In an interview with DIVA publisher Linda Riley, the Mayor of London pledges his support for LVW and calls on DIVA readers to re-elect him in May

BY CARRIE LYELL

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged his support for Lesbian Visibility Week and says he will fly the lesbian flag above City Hall this April. 

Launched by DIVA Media Group in 2020, LVW centres and celebrates all women loving women and non-binary people, and takes place 26 April – 2 May. 

In an interview with DIVA publisher Linda Riley, Khan affirmed his support for the LGBTQI community and said he will fly the lesbian flag above City Hall in London for the first time. “I want to be the first Mayor to fly the flag,” he said. “Let’s make history and fly the flag during Lesbian Visibility Week this year.”

Khan also discussed the future of Pride In London following accusations of institutional racism, and said it was “right and proper” for there to be a “reset”.

“There have been a number of serious complaints raised about Pride In London,” said Khan. “It’s right and proper for there to be a reset and a refresh and to take on board some of the legitimate concerns about a lack of inclusivity.”

Calling for a Pride In London that’s “properly inclusive” and celebrates “the richness of the community”, the Mayor added: “We can’t have a situation where members of the LGBTQI+ community feel they’ve been discriminated against. That’s why it’s really important for Pride In London to respond to and address those concerns.”

Sadiq Khan in 2019

Khan, who is running for reelection on 6 May against candidates including Conservatives’ Shaun Bailey, Sian Berry of the Green Party and Women’s Equality Party leader Mandu Reid, pledged that if voted back into City Hall he will continue to support LGBQTI equality.

Manifesto promises include ensuring there are no new HIV infections in the capital by 2030, reaffirming a commitment to tackle hate crime, and protecting LGBQTI+ spaces and venues at risk of closure. 

Asked why DIVA readers should back him, Khan pointed to his record on supporting LGBTQI communities, including grant funding for iconic venues such as the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and £5.7m loan to Tonic Housing to support the establishment of the UK’s first LGBTQI+ retirement community, and said: “I’m really clear in my mind that we should celebrate diversity.

“For me, it’s a strength, not a weakness. And by supporting me, by lending me a vote again, I can build on some of the progress made in the first five years of being Mayor.”

DIVA magazine celebrates 27 years in print in 2021. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 

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