Suzanne Moore’s recent column on the “Pride Pillar” at London Bridge station raises crucial questions about inclusivity and visibility in public spaces, but not the ones she thinks.

While she frames her critique as concern for railway efficiency, a closer look reveals Moore’s inconsistency and underlying bias.

"I don’t need my sexuality affirmed at a railway station – I just want the trains to run on time Network Rail's 'Pride Pillar' is full of shapes and colours that represent different groups... but ultimately it means nothing""Suzanne Moore column in The Telegraph 30 January 2024
“I don’t need my sexuality affirmed at a railway station – I just want the trains to run on time Network Rail’s ‘Pride Pillar’ is full of shapes and colours that represent different groups… but ultimately it means nothing” Suzanne Moore column in The Telegraph 30 January 2024

As Suzanne Moore penned her latest column, I bet she thought she was being smart. “I am a cis het person”, she probably didn’t think to herself. “I don’t need my sexuality affirmed when I go for a train, why should anyone else get that luxury?”

If, as Moore claims, she doesn’t need her ‘sexuality affirmed’, why would she not question the adverts in the station aimed at affirming her sexuality? Why is she targeting LGBTQ+ messaging which, by its design, is not meant for her? This selectivity exposes her real agenda: extreme discomfort just walking past something affirming marginalised identities like LGBTQ+ communities.

Moore conveniently ignores the abundance of heterosexual advertising plastered across all stations, the roads leading to stations and alongside the buses you might get to the station. If her primary concern were truly operational neutrality, wouldn’t this pervasive heteronormativity also warrant criticism?

Moore views heterosexuality as the default, the unremarkable. Meanwhile, LGBTQ+ representation is deemed “unnecessary” or even “intrusive.”  Yes, folks, she described London Bridge station’s ‘Pride Pillar’, standing there in the middle of a railway station with its rainbows, as “intrusive”. All the half-naked people on the ad hoardings affirming Moore’s sexuality at every turn? They don’t get a mention. I wonder if Moore would be OK if LGBTQ+ organisations took over all those as long as they paid for the pleasure? I somehow doubt it.

London Bridge's Pride Pillar
London Bridge’s Pride Pillar

Her column is a beautiful example of a privileged straight white cis woman whinging about things she doesn’t quite understand, but is sure she doesn’t like. Polyamory is “having an infinite number of sexual partners”, demisexual? That’s “new parlance” to Moore, despite her being 47 when the term was coined. She’s 65 now.

“Never mind the aesthetics of this – and I do actually always think, “Pink and blue for the trans flag? Really? Please let us be a little less stereotypical, a little more imaginative”” Moore writes while being part of the least creative movement on the planet. They do, after all, have but one joke and Moore even includes it in her article when she moans, “So to see a picture of five white blokes – I am calling them blokes but they may well self-ID as non-blokes…”

“I am not so much intimidated by these inane flags as bored by them,” Moore continues, realising that she doesn’t want to seem as if she gets irrationally irate over something she could just as easily ignore without consequence. “They are symbols not of sexual freedom but of narcissism passed off as some kind of radicalism,” she says, oblivious to the fact she has whittered on for 900* words in The Telegraph about a colourful concrete pole that she claims “means nothing”. Self-awareness has never been something ‘gender criticals’ have been blessed with.

Moore closes out her article by asking, “Where is the flag for self-righteousness when you need it?”

May I helpfully suggest she check her own arse?

 

*For those counting, this article is 540 words.