Earlier today the Elizabeth line gained its first trainbow – a train with a Pride banner on it — and the haters will hate it.

I know they will hate it as I wrote up a modest little article earlier this week about Pride on London’s transport network, and then spent much of the day playing whack-a-mole with the ranters, and even a photo of the train above this morning gained disapproval.

How dare TfL waste money on Pride etc.

I am not sure why but this year seems to have triggered more comments than similar articles in previous years, and they’re more virulent than in the past. There were even death threats this year, which I don’t recall from previous years (yes, I kept them in case they’re needed).

That reaction though, the hate and the venom, that tells you that Pride still matters.

It matters because visibility matters.

When I was at school, discussions about homosexuality consisted of being told one in 20 of us would end up gay, but couched in the sort of language that made it sound as if some of us would end up catching leprosy or worse.

In a school of over a thousand teenage boys, there must have been well over a hundred there who weren’t 100% attracted to the girls, and all I knew at the time was I didn’t like girls, and that was all I knew. Had there been openness about what that meant, if there had been visibility, how so much better my teen years could have been.

But there wasn’t any visibility.

No one was saying, it’s OK not to like the girls (even if its only because they giggle too much), and even later when the pieces fell into place, I was the only gay I knew. No one else was gay, or so it seemed. Actually, loads of people around me were gay but there wasn’t any visibility, so we were all thinking the same thing, but we were all alone.

It felt as if I was the only one who had feelings for my male friends that were a bit stronger than friendship, and it certainly couldn’t be admitted to. I did once. Whoops. It was an incredibly lonely period of my life, at a time when most people are far from being lonely. Usually quite the opposite in fact.

I still have deep regrets about all that.

So, visibility matters. It comforts people to learn that they are not odd or faulty or to be shunned, and that there are other people around them right now having the same thoughts and emotions as they are.

But some people seem to really hate Pride being visible as if the fact that a large minority of the population might love in a different way is such an affront to them that they need to hide it from view.

This hatred becomes very apparent during Pride Month.

Tracking Freedom of Information requests, and they’re all the same… How much did you spend on Pride posters? How much did you spend on equality services? How much did you spend on the train banners? How much, how much, how much.

It’s always about the money. Off they fire their Freedom of Information demands, but always couched in careful language to avoid spelling out the questioner’s real reason for asking. It’s always about how much of our money was spent on the decorations that those people.

Those people.

We know full well they’re just angry that something they don’t like has happened, and are determined to ramp up the anger by confirming that our money was spent badly. It doesn’t help then that TfL doesn’t pay for the decorations, but the anger is still there, people will retort that the bus firm paid, so it’s still our money being spent.

The proof that this isn’t about money and is all about the gays, is that I really cannot remember the same questions being asked about Christmas, or Halloween, or New Years Eve, or Armed Forces Day.

People are only ever concerned about our money being spent on Pride, and not bothered about anything else. So let’s be honest, they’re not concerned about how TfL is spending money, it’s just homophobia writ large.

It’s hypocrisy.

The worst sort though are the people who hide behind other excuses for their hatred – the religious lobby. The Bible says being gay is bad, so be less gay. In fact, it’s arguable if the Bible does in fact say that, but this is not a place for theological debates

The gist is that even if the Bible does forbid the gays, it also forbids an awful lot of other things that people don’t seem that bothered about. I won’t repeat what is so much more elegantly and devastatingly delivered in this famous West Wing monologue – but the fact is that the bible bans so many things that even the most fervent of Christian followers seem quite content to overlook as a tad inconvenient to obey.

But not the gay thing.

Are you wearing clothes made from wool and linen together – it’s banned by the Bible, but whatever. Touch a pig skin, grow crops side by side, selling daughters into slavery – whatever. When was the last time you saw people waving banners outside tube stations demanding that TfL shuts down all public transport on a Sunday because the Bible forbids working on the Sabbath? No idea, I don’t think it’s ever happened.

But, a man falling in love with another man — and suddenly, prepare the protest banners, pass laws, demand it be stopped.

Imagine if the Bible said that Moses had been told to lead the tall people to the promised land. Today people would be told that being short is bad. People would say they don’t mind short people but can’t they just keep it indoors? I am not sure about short people marrying. Can’t you pray to be taller?

Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?

But it happens to people who tick the LBGTQIA+ box on census forms.

If you are happy to overlook the many times you ignore what the Bible says, but not the homosexuality, then you aren’t protesting because a magic man in a cloud told you to, you’re doing it because you’re homophobic.

Just be honest with yourself.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of stinking hypocrites out there. People that are so inexplicably filled with hate that they can’t see other people being happy without feeling some sense that they should put a stop to it.

So, it’s Pride month, and the haters will hate. They’ll grind their teeth and try to pretend to themselves that it’s because a 2,000 year old book says it’s OK for you to sell your daughter into slavery, just so long as you don’t do the gay thing.

There are many things I dislike, but so long as it doesn’t directly affect me, rather than looking at people doing things I dislike and scowling, I try to smile, to look at them having fun and think it’s nice they are living the life they want to live, even if its a life I wouldn’t want for myself.

I don’t want to rant or moan or complain, it gives me a headache.

So when you see a Pride banner for a few weeks, why not smile that people are happy?

If nothing else, learning to simply accept that people are different from you is fine, and you’ll save a fortune in headache pills.

And at 3pm, I turned off the ability to comment, because it was getting nasty again and I have deleted about twice as many hateful comments than I left here. It’s exhausting.


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  1. ChrisC says:

    Excellent piece Ian.

    I live in Brighton and we get the same every year. How much is the council spending on rubbish collection to clear the mess up? How much do the police charge? (Yes the police charge some costs to Pride just as football clubs do).

    It’s the same people every year and they simply do not believe that Pride pays for those costs.

    These are the same people who aren’t bothered about rubbish collection and police costs at other events.

    But because it’s the gays they must be getting it all for free!

    • ChrisC says:

      (Pressed post too soon)

      I wonder how many of those moaners would refuse to get on the last train or bus home just because it has a rainbow wrap on it despite their “never getting on a gay train” comments.

      Would they refuse help from a police car or ambulance because it has a rainbow wrap on it or because they officer / paramedic had a rainbow lanyard around their neck?

      Do they stop shopping in the stores that display rainbow flags?

      And yes the bible bashers will continue with their hypocrisy. But they never see themselves as the hypocrites. It’s always everyone else.

      The best is demolishing the “pro lifers” who simply don’t believe that there are instructions for performing a termination in the bible.

      And they all complain about people being “woke”. Yet Jesus is Woke to the nth degree. Helping people less fortunate is the definition of woke.

      And don’t get me started on those wanting “straight pride” events (go and organise one) or wonder when it’s straight history month or white history month or men’s history month.

    • Anonymous says:

      How on earth does pride have any correlation to pay for collection?!

    • ChrisC says:


      Because as most pride event organisers are commercial organisations they are required to pay for street clean up and policing costs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chris C, I’m interested to how pride gets its funding then. What pays them in order to pay for stuff like this?

  2. Niall says:

    Fantastic article! Happy pride Ian and fellow ianvisits readers 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

  3. Jonathan says:

    Here here, Ian. My ex is bisexual, and she has been subject to abuse. It makes me sad and angry in equal measures. Love should win over regardless.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a stupid and irresponsible article to write, especially concerning Christians. I found it extremely vulgar that you’d write such words “try to pretend to themselves that it’s because a 2,000 year old book says it’s ok to sell your daughter into slavery”, nowhere does it say that in the Bible. I don’t speak on behalf of anyone but myself, but the pride movement has gone beyond the limits as far as I’m concerned. You try and conflict being LGBT+ as HAVING to relate to the pride movement, when in fact MANY gay people to take one example openly slam the pride movement as being a false flag. FOR THE RECORD, I’m NOT against anyone being gay e.c.t. You then go on to claiming to not wanting to rant or moan, yet you’re doing that exact thing here. The pride movement is literally black and white Rainbow Capitalism, it seems like you’re also jumping on the bandwagon for your share of attention and praise. I’m certainly not reading anymore, after and I will cancel my support. You seemed reputable and fair, and yet now you’ve started pandering to this nonsense.

    • Toby says:

      Exodus 21:7, Good News version:
      ‘If a man sells his daughter as a slave, she is not to be set free, as male slaves are.’

  5. Annabel Smyth says:

    I’m so sorry you are having to put up with this shit. Please believe that not all Christians are like that – many of us are totally in support of Pride, and our churches are what’s called Open and Affirming, which means we are more than happy to welcome LBGTQ+ Christians into our midst. And a great many churches who go, “Oh but God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” would actually welcome Adam and Steve – or Eve and Donna, for that matter – with open arms if they rocked up to Church next Sunday!

    And I notice that the negative commenter above hasn’t even had the decency to sign his or her name – I was taught, from a tiny child, that anonymous letters/comments were shameful and nobody should ever take any notice of them!

    • Anonymous says:

      Me being anonymous is irrelevant, I could easily make up a fake name and you’d believe that wouldn’t you? I have many gay friends and I respect them as much as I respect myst. I signed up to read about the railways and transport in the UK, NOT to read about whatever OP’s tantrum about antipride. He will delete it probably as it doesn’t fit the agenda but if he doesn’t, a small round of a applause from me

  6. Jonathan says:

    And we have a hateful comment. Why must you be so unkind? I understand there is a degree of ‘pride washing’ amongst some firms who don’t care about the LGBTQIA+ community the rest of the year, but Pride-the event and the wider month-shows we have more to do to combat comments such as yours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jonathan, I’m not being unkind. Nothing of what I said should be of any offence to people who are LGBTQ. As mentioned in a precious comments, I don’t care about the colours. It does make for a nice makeover but what the issue is is the reasoning behind it. It’s the ridiculousness of the whole thing that’s the issue and how it pushes demonic ideologies to sexual acts. Drag queens are a good example of such.

  7. Sam says:

    Excellent piece and I am proud to be ally and support all people, regardless of orientation or minority, or majority.

    I am very sad to hear about the threats, although I agree this year the environment seems a lot more hostile than usual sadly.

    Whilst I disagree with the negative comment above, I do think that singling out Christian’s is perhaps a tad unfair. I have met lots of bigots that don’t even need an excuse. And realistically, quoting the bible to a Christian won’t make much of a difference.

    Wishing you the best Ian.

  8. Keith says:

    Personally I’d like to see the rainbow wraparound kept all year round, and not just for pride month. This way it would reduce wastage (i.e. when the wraparound is removed) and enable it to be seen more.

  9. Jonathan says:

    Dear Anonymous, drag acts are not as you put it ‘demonic’ or pushing sexual acts; there’s nothing wrong with drag at all, or with anyone celebrating Pride.

    • Toby says:

      Oh dear. I’m not sure how a study that finds that 10 German drag queens distinguish ‘between their “public” persona, an artificial character that lacks sexuality, and their “private” life (e.g., sexual practices), shaped by an “inborn” sexuality,’ can be used to say that drag queens are demonic or push sexual acts.

  10. Jonathan says:

    The Mayor is a true Muslim, regardless of what that means-you can be gay and a Muslim, for example-or you can be an ally and be a Muslim. It is not degenerative to be from the LGBTQIA+ community, that is an outrageous homophobic slur and shows why Pride must continue work to defeat homophobia and prejudice.

  11. Jonathan says:

    The same genders, as you put it, are entirely free to ‘feed their own lust’, again as you describe it- it is not evil.

    Also you do not have to be heterosexual to raise good children, there are plenty of heterosexual couples who are bad parents, just as there are many heterosexual couples who are great parents.

    In addition, you not have to give birth to children yourself for you to have them, as long as they are you can give them a safe and happy home, they are your children.

    Finally, you should be aware that you do not need to be married in a relationship-either as a heterosexual couple or a gay couple-to have children, as long as they are in a happy and loving household, then that is all that matters.

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