Heathrow flies passenger kiss flag to celebrate Pride

6,000 passengers donated their kisses to create unique piece of art for Pride London.

FLYING THE FLAG: The project was co-ordinated by the Heathrow Proud Network who provide support to LGBT+ employees

Heathrow has embraced the colours of the rainbow in celebration of Pride in London and commissioned a unique interpretation of the iconic flag, created with the help of 6,000 passengers’ kisses.

Populated by staff and passengers, the flag will now fly above Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal until the end of July.

The unveiling of the flag is part of a week-long celebration of Pride, with Heathrow showing its support for the LGBT+ community and the colourful spirit of the event, ready to welcome 5 per cent more passengers into London in the week ahead of Pride, than the same time last year.

The piece of ‘kissing art’ – created with kisses rather than traditional paintbrush strokes – denotes the famous rainbow coloured flag and has been populated by international passengers. Each passenger placed their own individual ‘kiss’ stamp onto the crowd-sourced artwork, to show their own support for LGBT+ rights.

The flag started life in Terminal 2 on July 1, positioned in departures, with passengers able to get involved and donate their mark of love for Pride by stamping their kiss in a choice of vibrant red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple lipstick, onto the blank canvas. The artwork was quickly populated, with 84,303 passengers passing through the terminal, taking 6,000 kisses to be completed, with the final kisses donated by staff across the airport’s terminals as it took a tour of the control tower, fire station and BA Crew Centre, before being sealed and placed on the flag pole.

Carol Hui, Chief of Staff at Heathrow Airport, said:” We’ve been getting into the spirit of Pride right across the airport to show our support for London and the rest of the UK, where diversity and equality are so strongly celebrated and equally valued across our employees and passengers alike. Many of the LGBT+ community travel into London, to celebrate this incredible festival so we wanted to give them a warm welcome by, quite literally, flying the flag for Pride.”

Leading the celebrations was the Heathrow Proud Network, an internal staff group that works together to make a difference to the experience of LGBT+ colleagues and to promote a level playing field of opportunity.

The group has run a competition with Gay Star News, to find the new faces of Heathrow whose images take pride of place across the terminals. The winners, all members of the LGBT+ community, include; Nicola Dumbleton, Security Manager at Heathrow; Steph Constantinides, Facilitator at Heathrow; Nikki Hayden, Transgender Activist; Mark Small/Vanity Nightmare, London Drag Queen; Ricky Tanna, Pride Performer and Adam Lee Mroz, from Gaymers Inc, an LGBT gaming community.

Steph Constantinides, Facilitator at Heathrow and one of the new Faces of Heathrow said: “For many years, my identity has been the talking point for many people. Apparently, I don’t fit in the ‘female’ appearance box. But if I was to step back and give myself advice, it would be to stand tall and never change YOU for anyone. What better way to stand tall than become the face of Proud Heathrow?”

The Heathrow Proud Network will also be taking part in the Pride in London parade on Saturday 7th July.

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