A Brixton Underground station roundel specially designed to celebrate Pride has gone missing only a week after its installation.
Marc Thompson, 52, of Brixton, who designed the roundel as part of a wider Transport for London (TfL) scheme, first noticed it had been removed yesterday.
Thompson contacted TfL and found they were not aware of the removal.
TfL has launched an investigation and has pledged to replace the roundel soon.
Thompson said: “We have no idea what’s happened to it at all.
“TfL were fantastic and they were completely supportive of the design, they understood the power and need to have the image and the message placed at the station.”
The roundel was installed at the station last week and shows two black men kissing, overlayed with the words of African American gay rights activist Joseph Beam: “Black men loving black men is a revolutionary act.”
It is one of 10 Pride roundels, with others at Caledonian Road, Vauxhall, Hammersmith and Baker Street.
Thompson said that his being the only one removed says a lot about what kinds of LGBTQ+ representation people find acceptable.
He said: “This is the only one that has a photograph, it’s the only one that features same sex couples being intimate.
“If it had been a rainbow flag or something like that it would have been fine.
“It’s disappointing that it’s been taken down but now it has sparked a conversation about how we’re represented and what’s acceptable.
“I think the fact that it has upset some homophobes or maybe some racists proves the point that we need to continue pushing these envelopes.”
In a message directed to whoever removed the roundel, Thompson said: “You’ll never silence us.
“You can take down our images and you can say that what we’re doing is wrong, but we are here and we’re not going anywhere.
“You haven’t disempowered us, you’ve empowered us.”
A TfL spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that one of the Pride roundels at Brixton Tube station has been removed and are working on getting a replacement installed at the station as soon as possible.
“We worked closely with the creators of these designs and have kept the design creator, Marc Thompson, informed.
“We continue to show support for the LGBT+ community and invite conversations around issues affecting the community through these thought-provoking designs.”
Featured image credit: Transport for London