The inclusive rainbow flag, which includes extra colours to represent queer people of colour and trans people, was lifted over the Town Hall for the first time this weekend.
The raising of the flag by Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville, alongside equalities lead Cllr Carole Williams and Hackney Speaker Cllr Kam Adams, marks the start of Pride Week and recognises the diversity and intersectionality of the borough’s large lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, plus (LGBTQIA+) community.
This year’s Hackney Pride 356 events programme has been put on hold due to coronavirus, with the Town Hall instead supporting nationwide online event Pride Inside, a series of gigs, comedy shows, and panel discussions organised by Amnesty International, UK Black Pride, Stonewall and ParaPride.
Mayor Glanville said: “Pride has its origins in the spirit of political protest so raising the inclusive Pride flag for the first time adds vital visibility to our borough’s commitment to equality, especially when trans rights are under attack and we need to reiterate that all LGBTQI+ Black lives matter.
“With social gatherings on hold, this year’s Hackney Pride 365 will sadly not go ahead but we’ll use this time to reflect on what progress we’ve made and what we can do to support LGBTQI+ going forward as new challenges are met due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We know how important our cultural spaces and health resources are to our LGBTQI+ residents and acknowledge the threat they now face. This is why we’ll use our online resources to support and signpost the important work they do, alongside the excellent program of events at Pride Inside. I look forward to raising the flag on Sunday and to working with our community to curate an exciting Pride365 2021.”
You can find highlights from previous Hackney Pride 365 programmes on the Council’s web page.
Highlights from Pride Inside, Hackney Pride 365 and the borough’s vital LGBTQIA+ venues and community groups will be posted across council and Pride365 social media channels throughout the week.
A spokesperson added: “It will also be a time to reflect on the Hackney Pride 365 programme to date, which was developed in partnership with our LGBTQIA+ community, with groundbreaking results.
“These include welcoming UK Black Pride – Europe’s largest celebration for African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean heritage LGBTQIA+ people – to the borough in 2019, and Faggamuffin Bloc Party, the first-ever carnival sound system, run by and for queer people of colour. After a successful debut at Hackney Carnival in 2018, the collective has secured £35,000 grant from Arts Council England to develop an online platform for queer black DJs, performers, artists and creatives in 2020.”