You’ll notice a few more rainbow flags waving proudly in the city over the next week.
Pride week officially kicks-off Thursday and wraps up with the annual parade on July 29.
To mark the occasion the Pride flag was raised at London police headquarters at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
“It’s such a great show of support,” said Andrew Rosser, president of Pride London Festival.
“The police are very supportive of our community and work year round to keep our community safe. They really do support us throughout the festival. I’m thrilled to be there for the flag raising,” he said.
The pride flag is now flying outside the @lpsmediaoffice headquarters in #ldnont. Chief John Pare, @LPSDiversity, and Andrew Rosser from Pride London were on hand for the flag raising this morning. pic.twitter上海龙凤419/Xpo1qh5dBb
— 980 CFPL London News (@AM980News) July 19, 2018
Back in April, Pride London Festival announced London police would not participate in the parade in uniform.
“I think the hardest part for me is, when I think about London Police and their 800 staff, I think, ‘They’re all humans,’” said Rosser.
Decision to keep uniformed officers out of London Pride parade ’empowering’: police board
“Yes, there are some horrible systemic things that have gone on in policing and we have a lot of work to do, but there are some really great people in that organization that support us,” he said.
Chief of Police John Pare says he understands the situation, and is working diligently to ensure the relationship between police and the LGBT community isn’t fractured further.
“We’ve made some positive steps over the past few years, but of course, this has certainly slowed down our relationship,” Pare said.
“But like any relationship, we’re going to continue to work on that,” he said.
While the situation isn’t ideal, Andrew Rosser feels it has sparked a conversation about how Pride can be more inclusive.
Police to participate out of uniform in London Pride parade
“I think it’s really brought around the conversation about authentic participation in Pride,” he said.
“If removing the uniform from the parade is one way to do [be more inclusive, then] we need to listen to our communities,” he said.
“We are thrilled that the police are still participating, just not in uniform.”
The raising of the flag included a brief ceremony with Rosser and Police Chief John Pare.
Fanshawe College also raised the Pride flag at their campus at 11:30 a.m.
To find out more about Pride events click here.