‘Homophobia is gay’ Pride In London poster causes online backlash

Official posters for this year’s Pride In London event have been axed after a backlash for focusing on heterosexual people.

Four online images have been removed after causing controversy for slogans including “Being homophobic is gay”.

Critics say this slogan re-enforces the use of “gay” as a negative word.

The images are built around statements on Pride from Londoners, which an artist then turned into online posters.

But some of the campaign has missed the mark and appears to ignore transgender and bisexual members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Gay Times deputy editor Ryan Butcher says he appreciates the sentiment of the campaign but that the “execution has been abysmal.”

Our ambition is, and always will be to promote and celebrate the visibility and diversity of London’s LGBT+ community

He tells Newsbeat that Pride events are for the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community and not to “make straight people feel good that they have a basic level of tolerance towards LGBTQ+ folk.”

“The word ‘gay’ being used as a pejorative is one of the many reasons LGBTQ+ folk grow up with mental health problems and are bigger suicide risks than straight people.”

Pride In London organisers, who work as volunteers to run the event annually, removed the images after being contacted by Newsbeat.

“It is clear we misjudged the content of some of the messages in this poster series, undermining the individuality, importance, and dignity of the LGBT+ community,” says a spokesperson for Pride In London in a statement to Newsbeat.

“This was never our intention.

“We are genuinely sorry to have played any part in something that appears to devalue our own community.

“Our ambition is, and always will be, to promote and celebrate the visibility and diversity of London’s LGBT+ community, to stand up against hate, and campaign for true equality at home and abroad.”

London Pride

Image caption London’s Pride march is an annual celebration of diversity, tolerance and acceptance

The organisation says their 2017 programme has been their “largest ever” and that they’ve launched “new services to tackle hate crime and raising awareness of the persecution of LGBT+ people around the world.”

“We hope the breadth of our campaign, that celebrates the wonderful spectrum of LGBT+ life in London, is a more truthful reflection of our community.”

Pride In London’s Pride Parade takes place on Saturday 8 July as part of a three week celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in London.

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Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/articles/40443047