A queer display at London Bridge has been recently unveiled much to the chagrin of known bigots on the internet. So disturbed are they by gay flags that they have taken to describing it as “intimidating” and calling for it to be removed.
The queer display at London Bridge is, quite frankly, hideous. In my honest opinion it genuinely looks like someone found a bunch of stick on flags in a back room and took 20 minutes to slap them up on a concrete pillar just to get rid of them. It looks bad and I don’t like it!
Bigots on the other hand don’t like it because its inclusive of the people they are bigoted against. Some are on Twitter desperately trying to bigot-theory craft their way into a rational explanation for this. Most often leaning on the established bigoted rhetoric which attempts to position trans identities as a pernicious ideology, ie “trans ideology” etc.
It was great to see this display while I was passing through London Bridge station today.
Please don’t give in to the pressure from dishonest transphobic bullies. Everyone has the right to feel safe on the railways. pic.twitter.com/UqhSTGiPHE
— Dr Natacha Kennedy (she/her) (@natachakennedy) January 28, 2024
There is no such thing as “trans ideology” and attempts to not actively discriminate, sideline or further marginalise us aren’t symptoms of some specific ideology. They are just basic tenets of human rights and democratic societies. But you can’t reason with bigotry so nevertheless she persisted… to compare trans people to a religious cult while championing the use of laws surrounding religious and/or philosophical belief to oppose trans equality.
I do wonder though… who came up with the design? As pointed out by queer commentators – some of the flags used are ‘out of date’* and not particularly used by their communities any more. Other commentators joked that the creator had just googled “gay flags” suggesting that the gesture feels lazy and half-baked.
*Gay flags can’t really be ‘out of date’, it’s just that some fall out of use and get replaced with others such as is the case with the polyamorous flag. Which has had a few further interations since the initial 2011 ‘pi symbol’ flag including this one and also this one which is my favourite. Also a great contender;
made a new polyamorous flag because the old designs kinda stink pic.twitter.com/EMAmACjsN2
— caelestis 🏳️⚧️ (@neoncaelestis) September 9, 2021
I can’t say I disagree. The ring of flags around the bottom of the pillar is kind of cute and okay on its own – sans the ‘out of date’ ones. But then there’s these two other pride flags just floating off above the ring? It really doesn’t look like a lot of care or planning was put into this at all.
Which is really a shame! Its an interesting space for a queer display – a somewhat circular concrete pillar – and I have no doubt there are literal tonnes of queer artists who would die for a brief like this. I’m not even an artist and even I have a few ideas of gorgeous gay scenes you could have depicted on this pillar for a queer display instead of slapping up some flags.
I know they say don’t bite the hand that feeds but I think that’s kind of the problem. I would love to be wrong about this but I don’t think a queer artist was commissioned for the queer display at London Bridge at all. So instead of this feeling like a great inclusive gesture it just comes across as a cynical and lazy waste of an opportunity for beautiful queer inclusive art.
I don’t care how upset the bigots get about it honestly. These are the same group of people who are showing up in the media to say rainbows are authoritarian symbols now. One of them even once saw a rainbow in the refracted reflection from a phone screen and did a whole Twitter rant about how upsetting it was. They are not serious people and you should not take them seriously.
You should take queer artists seriously! You should want to pay them to create beautiful things for you! If there’s any take away from this minor debacle it is simply; hire queer artists to create a queer display at London Bridge and everywhere else too.
Speaking of queers creating beautiful art and fun things… why don’t you check out our latest contributor piece from Felix F Fern by clicking here.