A Pride-liveried train? What's wrong with that? Er ...
And so it came to pass that ITV News told “Avanti West Coast is launching the UK’s first fully wrapped Pride train entirely staffed by an LGBTQ+ crew for its first official service. After Covid-19 forced the cancellation of Pride events across the country, which Avanti West Coast had planned to support, the intercity rail operator has completely wrapped one of its iconic Pendolinos with the progressive Pride flag”. There was more.
“The train operator has adopted the most recent iteration of the Pride flag which sees the addition of the colours black, brown, light blue, pink and white to bring people of colour, transgender people and those living with or who have been lost to HIV/AIDS to the forefront highlighting Avanti West Coast’s progressive commitment to diversity and inclusion”. One can almost feel the Gammonati about to blow off steam.
And yet more, as Avanti’s Sarah Copley added “I am so proud to be a part of a business where our people represent the communities we serve. We are always listening to our people and customers to ensure our diversity and inclusion strategy is relevant. Our new train livery is a powerful example of keeping the conversation going”.
And … we have ignition! Cue self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Dooda: “Trains are gay now”. Would Madam care to expand on that dismissive nugget? “This doesn’t bother me BTW. The trains looks [sic] lovely. I just don’t get why trains need to be pro Pride. Can’t they just be pro getting us to our destination on time, preferably with a nice cup of tea & without costing the earth? I don’t really care what they think about gay rights”.
What is her problem with Avanti’s prices, on-board catering and timekeeping? But we don’t get to find out, because that’s not the point. She wants to dismiss the event as some kind of irrelevance, marginalise it. LGBTQ+ is still not mainstream enough for her.
Which explains the premonition expressed by Miffy Buckley: “Give it ten minutes and some shyster from Spiked Online will be writing a huffy article about why this is deeply offensive & discriminatory towards working class straight white guys”. You want it, you got it.
There, with a photo of a Pride pop-up shop, just so readers know the identity of the intended target, was Spiked Online to let us know “Insincere corporate virtue-signalling has reached pandemic levels. McDonald’s is backing BLM. Ben & Jerry’s wants open borders. Every company pretends to ‘care’ about us. We should boycott the lot of these greedy firms, says Patrick West”. Yeah, let’s boycott the gay train! Boo gay train!
The media establishment may not be explicitly homophobic. But you can see it from there.
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