In a first, the United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 25, flagged off the country's first 'Pride train' which has been entirely staffed by the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) crew.
The 11-carriage train has been wrapped in what is being considered to be the biggest Pride flag in the UK and it completed its first journey from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly.
The selection of the staff members and the paint job on the train have been regarded as signs of steps towards a more 'inclusive, diverse and equal society'.
Our Pride train has just departed for its first official journey from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly. The train is serviced by our full LGBTQ+ crew, creating not just a Pride train, but a Pride experience 🌈 #LiveProudhttps://t.co/q0gpxeoTcT pic.twitter.com/m1tZTQ4wG6— Avanti West Coast (@AvantiWestCoast) August 25, 2020
Painted with the traditional rainbow colours, the carriages also have black and brown paintwork to represent the Black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the colours of the transgender flag – blue, pink and white.
"This is about being accepted for who I am and representing the LGBT+ community we serve across our network… I am so proud to be involved today," said train manager Paul Austin, reported The Metro.
As a gay man, I don't want a "pride train", I just want to get on a train that runs on time like everyone else. Most gay people cringe at this nonsense... could you imagine if it was a white only crew? Please stop the identity politics!! #trains #alltrainsmatter https://t.co/gclELNNuLt— John James McGivern (@JohnJMcGivern) August 25, 2020
Reports have also highlighted that the train will be bear posters for passengers on pride-related information and facts about the community will be shared during the onboard announcements.
Executive Director Sarah Copley said, "I'm delighted to be launching our new Avanti West Coast Pride Train, which represents everyone in the LGBTQ+ community."