“Homophobia did not defeat us, so we’re not going to let the COVID-19 pandemic stop Pride.”

Although Pride in London has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, like many others around the world, LGBTQ+ veterans including Peter Tatchell have announced their plans to march.

They will march to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic London Gay Liberation Front, which is widely credited with being the beginning of the modern LGBTQ+ movement in the United Kingdom.

“Homophobia did not defeat us, so we’re not going to let the COVID-19 pandemic stop Pride,” said Tatchell. 

Peter Tatchell

The march is not open to the wider LGBTQ+ community to ensure compliance with COVID-19 regulations and to protect the health of vulnerable veterans. However, there will be a group of people to provide them with support.

Tatchell – who helped organise the UK’s first Pride march in London in 1972 – added: “We GLF veterans confronted anti-LGBT+ bigots 50 years ago. We faced down police harassment, far right extremists and homophobic political and religious leaders.

“We are marching as planned, with face masks and social distancing. We support Black Lives Matter and the just demands of black communities, just as we did in the early 1970s. GLF did not seek equal rights within a flawed, unjust status quo.

© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Pride In London

“It campaigned for the transformation of society to end straight supremacism and stood in solidarity with all other oppressed communities. This same agenda of radical social transformation is needed now as the UK faces the quadruple whammy of Covid-19, economic meltdown, endemic racism and climate destruction.”

The GLF Pride march will take place Saturday 27 June, starting at 1pm outside the BBC in Portland Place.

Related: Calls are exponentially growing for police to be banned from Pride marches.