A railway company has been accused of “virtue signalling” for creating an LGBT-themed train painted with the movement’s multi-coloured flag.
The train, launched by Avanti West Coast yesterday, includes pro-LGBT literature and onboard announcements. Its first journey was only staffed by those who identify as “LGBTQ+”.
The move was met with a social media backlash from travellers who said they would prefer the state-subsidised train operator to focus on its service rather than promoting a controversial agenda.
Many criticised the firm for promoting radical transgender ideology, which one called “a movement which threatens women’s sex based rights & carries risks for vulnerable children who become convinced they’re in the wrong body”.
Another who identified himself as homosexual, called the move a “patently distasteful means for big business to virtue-signal”.
The launch was accompanied by an official photo of an employee wearing multi-coloured braces, lanyard, badge and a “he/him” pronoun label.
In response to questions, the company said staff would not be required to wear the items and “can choose what badges/lanyards they would like to wear if there is a special cause/event they would like to support”.
As a gay man, I don’t want a “pride train”, I just want to get on a train that runs on time like everyone else. Most gay people cringe at this nonsense… could you imagine if it was a white only crew? Please stop the identity politics!! #trains #alltrainsmatter https://t.co/gclELNNuLt
— John James McGivern (@JohnJMcGivern) August 25, 2020
In 2018-19 the west coast service – then operating as Virgin Trains – received a £100.8m subsidy from central government.
Last year, thousands rallied behind a Norwich bus driver who was suspended after he declined to drive a bus where the service number bore the colours of the LGBT flag.
The man, who had not been named, told passengers he could not drive a Konect bus which “promotes homosexuality”, and that they would have to wait until he could swap buses.
One passenger, Rebecca Sears, objected to this, and complained about the incident online, saying that “Norwich doesn’t appreciate homophobia”.