Bisexual representation groups will be marching in the parade of London Pride, despite missing out on the original line-up.
The annual event, which was last year attended by almost a million people, will feature a parade of more than 300 groups, however originally not one of these are groups specifically represented bisexual people.
Organisers have now confirmed to PinkNews though that they will be making space for bi groups to join the parade, despite applications already being closed.
A spokesman added: “As a founder member of the UK Pride Organisers Network, Pride in London is proud to support the development of the Pride movement. Through this network we have met with and provided assistance to the committed volunteers who are setting up a BiPride for the UK.
“Following recent concerns of bi representation, we’re delighted to confirm BiPride will be in the UK Prides section of our parade. While space is limited, BiPride will invite other bi groups to join them to show their support for the development of BiPride and to increase bi visibility.”
Next year lets do much better and fix the outreach so we have dialogue earlier and look to other ways to secure space and ensure visibility
— Pride in London (@LondonLGBTPride) May 31, 2017
In an additional message on Twitter the team pledged to “do much better” next year. They added: “[We’ll] fix the outreach so we have dialogue earlier and look to other ways to secure space and ensure visibility.”
The festival had come under fire for the parade line-up – which had included banks such as Barclays and Bank of America and food chains such as Starbucks and Nandos, but did not have a group solely representing bisexuals. Last year Bisexuals+ were part of the parade.
Organisers had claimed that no groups had put themselves forward, and that it was up to individual groups to represent themselves, but several members of the community slammed it as a “failure in outreach”.
Jasmine Andersson, a freelance journalist in London, told PinkNews: “It’s hard to be identified as bisexual whether or not you’re on a float. Straight people expect you to perform your queerness, and people in the gay community have labelled me as indecisive or fake.
“Bi erasure is still a pressing problem in the LGBT community, and it baffles me that a celebration that is meant to rejoice in what people are no matter how they identify would fail to cater for the entirety of it’s community.”
In response to the move from pride, she added: “I’m really pleased Pride have addressed this and taken this seriously.
“Bi-erasure is still a massive problem within the LGBT community though, so I hope this will be the start of a strong commitment to work towards combatting this in the future.”
Biscuit, an organisation which advocates for bisexual women, also welcomed the move.
In a statement, the group said: “The BiPride team were always going to march, under the banner of the UK Prides Network. They are not a London bi group. However, we are extremely pleased that Pride in London have taken our concerns seriously, and we’re very glad they have made this move.
“Honestly, while we obviously don’t think its the best solution for *us*, we think it’s the best solution that could have been reached where everyone gets to be happy. So thank you Pride in London. Thank you for listening.”
The Bisexual Index, which also fights biphobia and bi-erasure, also praised the pledge to work more closely with the bi community.
That sounds like a great plan.
— The Bisexual Index (@bisexualindex) May 31, 2017
Anyone wishing to join BiPride in the parade should email [email protected].