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This news story is written by Machel Bogues, Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Manager at the RTPI 

On Saturday 29 June an excited group of 25 RTPI colleagues and members in some very stylish RTPI rainbow T-shirts participated for the first time in the London PRIDE parade alongside our BE Inclusive partners, CIOB, The LI, RIBA and RICS. This was not just about joining a parade; it was about making a bold statement of inclusion, diversity, and support for the LGBTQ+ members and community.

Our preparation for the London PRIDE parade was a collective and inclusive effort. We formed a dedicated PRIDE committee to oversee the planning and ensure that our participation was meaningful and impactful. From designing our t-shirts and reaching out to members every step was taken with careful consideration and enthusiasm.

Matthew Winslow, an RTPI member and Assistant Director (Planning & Implementation) at Maldon District Council, was with us on the day and shares his thoughts of how it went:

“My LGBTQ+ identity and my profession as a planner have never mixed before in any formal way and I felt very proud to be marching at PRIDE in London with the RTPI's first entry into the Pride Parade.

Matthew pictured alongside RTPI Chief Executive Victoria Hills at the PRIDE parade

“From coming together at RIBA for the pre-parade reception with our specially issued RTPI rainbow T-Shirts, photos and discussions and the performance from veteran drag queen Son of a Tutu really served as a tremendous warm-up to the 3hr endurance of the parade. Just a glance around the room showed the diversity and support Members from across the UK built environment institutes had for each other and the causes that affect us. I had an amazing day marching with the RTPI, RICS, CIOB, The Landscape Institute and RIBA.

The weather was glorious, there was such an atmosphere from within the parade itself, and also from the London crowds who were easily 5 or 6 people deep in places who where cheering and chanting R.T.P.I. That certainly doesn't happen every day. What a way to showcase our profession literally to millions of people!

“I was bursting with pride on Saturday; but not just for the PRIDE in London event, but also for the RTPI as it was prepared to march to champion equality, diversity and inclusion in a very public and supportive way. I am so pleased I was able to be part in the first year and I know next year will be bigger and better!    

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Everyone met up for a pre parade reception at RIBA

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Members and staff were warmly welcomed with the crowd chanting R.T.P.I.

Also attending PRIDE was Amy Ingle –  London Young Planners Committee Chairperson and Senior Planner (Policy) Richmond and Wandsworth Councils. Amy also shared her thoughts on the day:

"The welcome reception was a fabulous opportunity to meet members of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies from other institutes including RICS and CIOB - there was even an incredible drag performance to get attendees in the right mood for the parade.

"Following the reception, we headed into Central London turning heads along the way, to join the main parade at Hyde Park Corner. Before we even got to the start we were cheered on by members of the public who had either come out to support or were surprised by the parade whilst going about their day.

"There was a wonderful sense of anticipation as our wider built environment group waited to join the main parade, and we all enjoyed some classic Britney and brand new Charli XCX blasting from a float in front of our group - Pride was certainly in full swing….

"We finally joined the parade after a short while of waiting and the atmosphere was incredible - music blasting, whistles blowing and Pride flags waving. Revellers and supporters waved and cheered as we marched as a group along the parade route. We saw some fabulous outfits, so much colour and experienced a huge sense of joy, liberation and celebration from all around throughout the entire event. I had an absolutely wonderful day and cannot wait to celebrate alongside members of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies again next year. I would heartily recommend signing up for a wristband if you are a member of the RTPI and can easily get to the Parade - you certainly won't regret it.

I would heartily recommend signing up for a wristband if you are a member of the RTPI and can easily get to the Parade - you certainly won't regret it.

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Amy with the RTPI group at PRIDE

The Importance of PRIDE

PRIDE is much more than a series of colourful events and celebrations. It is a vital movement that commemorates the struggles and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community. The roots of PRIDE trace back to the Stonewall Riots of 1969, a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. This historical backdrop serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience and courage of those who have fought for equality and justice.

Participating in PRIDE allows us to honour this legacy and show our support for ongoing efforts towards achieving full equality. It’s a time to celebrate progress, recognize the work that still needs to be done, and reaffirm our commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. For us joining the PRIDE parade symbolizes a deep respect for this history and a dedication to supporting the LGBTQ+ community within the profession and beyond.

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RTPI staff from teams across the institute joined in

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The Parade went past some of London's most iconic landmarks

Visible Engagement with Communities

Engaging visibly with the LGBTQ+ community through PRIDE is a powerful way to demonstrate our support. Visibility matters—it sends a message of solidarity and acceptance to those who may feel marginalized or unseen. By taking an active role in the PRIDE parade, we are publicly affirming our commitment to CHANGE.

This engagement goes beyond the parade itself. We were please to march alongside not just our BE Inclusive partners but also alongside LGBTQ+ including, Planning Out, Building Equality and Freehold giving us an opportunity to engage, listen, learn, and build lasting relationships with LGBTQ+ communities. Understanding their needs and challenges, and how we can work together is essential if we are to create a more inclusive society.

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