Transport for London are commemorating International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) by wrapping up one of their iconic London black cab taxis with a rainbow wrapping.
The initiative follows the success of a rainbow-wrapped double decker bus unveiled earlier in the year by the company – which operates the UK capital’s tubes, buses, licensed taxis and wider transport infrastructure.
The taxi’s rainbow wrapping is a partnership between Transport for London (TfL), Ubiquitous, the company responsible for advertising on taxis and cab driver, and 36-year old cab driver, Ian Beetlestone.
Beetlestone (pictured), who is gay, said in a statement, ‘Gay cabbies are like gay footballers – you know statistically there must be some but you rarely hear about them. I wanted to stand up and be counted. I’ve dreamed about driving a rainbow cab and am thrilled to have made this dream a reality.’
‘As we mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia this Sunday, I want everyone to know they are welcome to hail a ride in our iconic, beautiful vehicle.’
The rainbow taxi will be in service from Thursday 14 May. It will also take part, alongside the rainbow bus, in this year’s Pride in London parade on 27 June.
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) takes place annually on 17 May. Now in its 11th year, events are due to take place around the world. More details can be found at the official website.
TfL’s LGBT staff network group OUTbound celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2015. Its Chair, Martyn Loukes, speaking about the new rainbow taxi, said: ‘We are incredibly proud to have helped bring London’s first rainbow taxi in service to the Capital’s roads, joining our fabulous rainbow Routemaster which has proved a huge hit with our customers.
Watch a short film on the taxi receiving its wrapping below: