Leicestershire Police’s trans flag provoked a storm of criticism (Twitter/@LeicsPoliceLGBT)
Leicestershire Police have faced harsh criticism for flying a trans Pride flag outside its headquarters to celebrate LGBT+ History Month.
The force’s LGBT+ network Twitter account tweeted a picture of the transgender flag flying outside the headquarters in Enderby on February 16.
“A miserable day with Storm Dennis but @leicspolice have proudly flown our trans flag from police headquarters for week two of #LGBTHistoryMonth,” the simple tweet read. “What flag are we flying next week!?!? Two more weeks of #LGBTHM2020 & we’ve got more to our campaign & hosting an event at HQ.”
The harmless attempt at inclusivity may have seemed innocent but it was enough to provoke a storm of criticism online, with Twitter users branding the force “pathetic”, “political” and a “laughing stock”.
A miserable day with #StormDenis but @leicspolice have proudly flown our trans flag from Police Headquarters for week 2 of #LGBTHistoryMonth
What flag are we flying next week!?!?
Two more weeks of #LGBTHM2020 & we’ve got more to our campaign & hosting an event at HQ
— Leicestershire Police LGBT+ Network (@LeicsPoliceLGBT) February 16, 2020
“Are the @LeicPolice there to do police work? You seem to have become hijacked by radical trans ideology,” said one.
“I would never enter a police station flying this cult ensign,” commented another.
And one person claimed: “This makes me feel unsafe to be in Leicester, as the police are celebrating a misogynistic movement.”
Many detractors wanted to know why the police station wasn’t flying the Union Jack instead of “that cr*p”.
“It seems to me by flying the rainbow flag you are excluding non alphabet people but, if you flew the union flag you would be including everybody, it wouldn’t require tweets and you could get on with policing law and order. Just a thought,” one user suggested.
Another asked: “When is the flag for heterosexuals flying please? We must give people with every sexual preference equal treatment. Shouldn’t we? It’s the law isn’t it?”
The backlash was so strong that Leicestershire Police were forced to defend their choice of flag, which they insist was not political in nature.
“Sadly there are many negative comments on this thread, this tweet was not about being political, it’s about showing support for LGBT+ History month,” they wrote.
“It’s about informing & celebrating, it’s about educating out prejudice & making LGBT+ people visible in all their rich diversity.”
Sadly there are many negative comments on this thread, this tweet was not about being political, it’s about showing support for LGBT+ History month. It’s about informing & celebrating, it’s about educating out prejudice & making LGBT+ people visible in all their rich diversity.
— LeicestershirePolice (@leicspolice) February 17, 2020
The force also responded to one person who said they should have been doing ‘police work’ to say that much of the work done by the LGBT+ network is done in the members’ own time.
“We are doing police work,” they replied. “The LGBT+ network is ran by officers and staff and much of the work they do for the network is done in their own time.”