London’s first rainbow bus shelter to celebrate LGBT inclusion was installed overnight on Monday 24 June at Leyton Mills in Waltham Forest.
The project, developed by Pride in the Borough, was made possible by funding from Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 Fellowship Funding ‘Make it Happen’ grant.
The bus shelter – opposite Leyton Tube station – is one of London’s longest and is the perfect location for the rainbow flag design. Pride in the Borough worked closely with Transport for London (TfL) and Links signage to complete the installation.
Martyn Loukes BEM, founder of Pride in the Borough is known for his LGBT diversity work in London and has previously created a rainbow bus, taxi and DLR train. He also led the way for the installation of the same-sex traffic lights in Trafalgar Square and created London’s first rainbow crossing.
Speaking about the project Martyn Loukes said ‘I’m delighted in being able to continue the work I started at TfL in 2014 and bringing something outside of central London to the Borough I live in. The diverse population of Waltham Forest means that it’s sometimes harder to be yourself if you identify as LGBT. This installation is ongoing confirmation that same-sex lifestyles and gender identity matter and are a part of every community. I’m so thankful for the support I have been given by Waltham Forest.’
Pride in the Borough joins a year of cultural activity that celebrates the diversity of individuals and communities in the borough of Waltham Forest. To date, 25 projects and events have been awarded Fellowship Funding Make it Happen grants by Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019. Funded projects explore a range of topics including Polish jazz, refugee and asylum seeker communities, black heritage and more.
Sam Hunt, Creative Director, Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture said "our year as London Borough of Culture is for everyone in the borough of Waltham Forest. This year we are celebrating the incredible diversity of people and communities that call Waltham Forest home. Projects like this are essential to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ rights in the borough and beyond. Thanks to the hard work of Martyn we have the first rainbow bus shelter here in Leyton and we are proud that it is here. I am looking forward to what comes next and to see how this project grows over the coming weeks and months.
Throughout July a number of events, projects and installations will happen across the borough to celebrate Pride.