Photos: Bermudians In 2010 UK Gay Pride Parade

July 5, 2010

Pink Bermuda shorts, scooters and the Bermuda flag could be seen on display as a group of Bermudians and their supporters marched in London’s Pride parade on Saturday July 3rd to protest against the Island’s failure to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Around 20 people, including some straight allies, marched behind scooters with a banner which read “BERMUDA” and “LGBT refugees: No better time for full human rights and equality” through London’s West End.

Pride London, now in its 40th year, celebrates gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender culture and is one of the largest of its kind in the world. The BBC estimates one million people took to the streets of London for the event and the city’s mayor, Boris Johnson, joined the march.

“We were marching to increase awareness of our situation,” said Adam Cooper, who organised the Bermuda march. “There are a lot of Bermudians here in London for whom going home is not really an option because of the discrimination they’ve experienced,” Mr. Cooper said. “We sometimes joke that Bermuda’s biggest export is LGBT people. But there’s a real drain of talent and it’s Bermuda’s loss.”

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There was a Bermuda float in London pride for the first time last year. This year’s float was immediately behind that of the Liberal Democrats, one of the parties in the UK’s coalition government. A number of the marchers endured the 80-degree temperatures dressed in full Bermuda business attire, including pink shorts and blazers.

“I had a number of people come up to me afterwards because they recognised the shorts,” said Mr. Cooper. “They didn’t realise that LGBT people don’t enjoy the same rights in Bermuda as in the UK and were invariably shocked by the lack of legal protection.”

A vote to amend the Bermuda Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation failed in 2006. Andra Simons, who participated in the march, said: “I’ve been disappointed in the painfully slow process of including sexual orientation in the Bermuda Human Rights Act.

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