Words by Smiley Team
Rainbow flags, exquisite drag costumes and loudspeakers-galore, Pride is celebrating 50 years since the Stonewall riots sparked the first-ever UK Gay Pride Rally in 1972. To mark the occasion, The Royal Mint has launched a commemorative 50p coin decorated with rainbows.
Using state-of-the-art colour printing technology, the makers have imprinted the coin with the iconic colours of the Pride progression flag. These represent Pride’s values of Protest, Visibility, Unity, and Equality, which are embossed onto the coin’s ‘tail’ side, as designed by an east London artist, writer, and LGBTQ+ activist, Dominique Holmes.
After visiting The Royal Mint to see the coin being made, Asad Shaykh of Pride in London said: “It humbles me greatly that the words that I coined for the brand, protest, visibility, unity & equality - will be on an actual coin, opposite the Queen.”
She added: “This queer brown immigrant has come a long way, powered by hope, love and this city. Nowhere in the world had this been possible, except in the UK. Pride in London feels very proud today.”
Alongside the launch, The Royal Mint will donate to London LGBT Community Pride. As a collector’s item, the 50p will not enter circulation but can be bought via The Royal Mint website this summer. The range includes gold, silver, and other uncirculated versions.
Clare Maclennan, Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said: “The 50th Anniversary of Pride UK is a milestone celebration, and it is a privilege to mark 50 years of progress with this 50p coin.”
“This is the first-ever UK coin dedicated to Britain’s LGBTQ+ community,” she explained, “with colour printing technology capturing the spirit of Pride UK with its iconic rainbow colours.”
Pride will return to the streets of London on 2 July, following Reclaim Pride on 25 June. Reclaim Pride’s organisers are currently seeking volunteers to help realise the second Reclaim Pride in order to bring the event back to its roots.
DONATE: Help get the next Reclaim Pride off the ground by donating to the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
GET INVOLVED: To reestablish Pride’s founding values and principles, help organise the next Reclaim Pride.