LGBTQ Pride Parade in San Francisco, US
StringersHub

Transport for London (TfL) has celebrated LGBTQ+ by remembering the secret language the community used to use.

Homosexuality was illegal throughout England and Wales until 1967 – when sex between two consenting men over 21 was no longer considered a crime. Scotland didn't follow suit until 1980 and Northern Ireland until 1982.

To avoid imprisonment and to quite literally save their lives, gay men would use Polari, defined as code talk "made up of Italianate phrases, rhyming slang and cant terms". The language was an essential part of British Queer culture.

To celebrate the city's 50th year of Pride celebrations, TfL has embodied the old phrases with posters around London.

People have turned to Twitter to praise the signs and share their discoveries on their travels.

One sign reads: "bona to vada your dolly old eke", meaning, "nice to see your pretty old face."

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

A second says, "You turn my oyster up," which translates to: "This makes me smile."

"Fantabulosa," pretty much means fantastic and fabulous.

Meanwhile, "Zhoosh it up for Pride" encourages people to get into the swing of things and "glam it up for Pride."

And, if you wanted to compliment someone's outfit you'd say: "Bona drag!"

Marcia Williams, TfL's Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Talent said: "TfL is a strong and constant supporter of Pride and LGBT+ communities and we're committed to showing our continuous support all year round.

"This year, we're opening a broader platform to experiences, voices and creativity from the community and we hope the wide collection of posters will engage, delight and inspire customers using the network.

"Everyone has the right to travel and feel safe whilst travelling on public transport, and we continue to do all we can to ensure public transport remains a safe and welcoming environment for all."

While Pride month draws to a close, London's official Pride march is set for 2 July.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.


Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)