The rainbow flag is proudly flying over Barking Town Hall throughout February, as the council marks LGBT+ History Month.
It’s the fourth time Barking and Dagenham Council has joined in the national event, which launched as a way of marking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, as well as celebrating gay rights and the civil rights movements.
This year sees a return to in-person events after last year’s plans were forced online due to coronavirus restrictions.
It is the first LGBT+ History Month to take place since an inquest regarding the deaths of four young men found murdered in Barking – Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, and Jack Taylor – found a catalogue of failings by the Met Police during their investigation.
The council is liaising with the families of the four men to ensure their memory is appropriately honoured in Barking and Dagenham.
Councillor Sade Bright, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills & Aspirations and Member Development, said: “We are proud to stand side-by-side with our LGBT+ community and provide reassurance that regardless of your sexuality, gender, age or ethnicity, Barking and Dagenham is a safe space for everyone – we are one borough, one community.
“As part of this year’s flag-raising launch for LGBT+ History Month, we remembered Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel, and Jack and they will be in our thoughts throughout. We continue to work with their families and discuss arrangements for a memorial to be established in our borough.”
For further details about all the events planned, visit lbbd.gov.uk/lgbt-history-month.