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Trans group boycotts London Pride march

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  1. I see ‘4 Poofs and a Piano’ will be taking part. In my view LGBT supporters should boycott them.

  2. Priscilla Queen of the Dungheap 27 May 2009, 7:18pm

    Well, Paul Birrell is an expert on all matters relating to the diverse transgender community – he has managed, as promised, to avoid using images of drag queens to appease ‘those trans people from kicking up a fuss again’ and even going so far as to attempt to silence all dissent by trying to shut down the pride is a protest campaign group website found on
    Thanks Paul, the attempts to divide the trans community by using a transwoman as a puppet for your own corporate apolitical agenda has not gone unnoticed – please boycott london pride and join the queer community celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots around speakers corner, hyde park on 4th July!

  3. Sarah Brown 27 May 2009, 7:45pm

    It’s unfortunate to see Paul Birrell trying to spin this, rather than address the very real problems with Pride’s attitude towards trans people and other minorities within the LGBT movement. Saying that “Trans@Pride is still running”, presumably referring to the structure imposed on the trans community for 2009, rather than elected by it, as in 2008, seems to be to deliberately miss the point. Appointing your own “team players” when you don’t like what the communities are actually saying for themselves is very far from “operating fine”.

  4. I’m not all that into pride at the best of times, speaking as a transsexual person, but this year I actually find myself vehemently opposed to it – and it’s not Christina to blame for this, it’s Pride.

    The spin on this from Pride makes me feel as sick as the attitude from Pride itself. Curious that Pride should speak of how it’s all because Christina doesn’t like the way it’s going this year, when in fact it was a democratic vote by TL members that’s resulting in the TL boycott… you know – actual communication with the community it’s representing and respect for it’s views and opinions, in stark contrast to anything that’s coming out of Pride’s spin!

    No… the “hard work by transpeople” cited by pride is indeed hard work, but it’s not representative of trans people as a whole, it’s not democratic, it’s not informed, and it’s pandering to Pride’s commercial interests rather than to the will, desire, and true representation of transpeople themselves.

    It’s not Pride. It’s Contempt.

  5. Worthingwoman 27 May 2009, 9:36pm

    I’m in no way connected to Trans London or other organised groups but I have been following the debate as it has unfolded on the internet. It appears to me that the Pride management have decided that they have no room for any one who challenges their ‘corporate’ image. They were embarrassed by the fall out from last years Pride and the strength displayed by members of the Trans Community in calling them to account. This year they decided to appoint their own representative for the ‘Trans Community’ and it would seem, impose their view of who that community is and how that community should be represented.

    I’ve long believed that T belongs with LGB but this year I shall boycott London Pride. A big cheer for Brighton Pride who remember that united we are all strong.

  6. Well said, Worthingwoman. While Brighton Pride has it’s share of problems it has always welcomed the Trans community.

  7. Joanna Rowland-Stuart 27 May 2009, 10:57pm

    I agree! We were going to take part in London Pride, I suspect that we will change our minds!

  8. Sister Mary Clarence 27 May 2009, 11:08pm

    Wasn’t there an apology for the problems last year?

  9. Sounds like a great excuse to skip the parade and go and see Benny Anderson from Abba free in Hampstead (

  10. Too few of us have any idea what challenges Trans confront every minute of every day.

    This would be an excellent opportunity for the Trans community to share some of its pain with us, and never mind the glitsy and fabulous stuff for once.

    Problems getting into a ladies room is nothing compared to being attacked and beaten in a parking lot.

    Trans need to have access to some kind of legal protection, and I don’t necessarily mean a loaded pistol which is perfectly legal in the States.

    The LGBT population has to be made aware of all the daily realities of our lives.

    We need to be more compassionate if we are to find our strength in our unity.

  11. Paul Birrell 28 May 2009, 10:21am

    Sarah, this isn’t spin at all. Pride London have appointed a liaison officer, and she’s Trans. How this translates into stifling democracy is beyond me – last year’s liaison officer, Patrick Williams, was not Trans, nor the one the year before, Pete Heyes. Why is the change around such an issue this time?

    I assume that this whole spat is driven by Pride London’s refusal to pay travel costs to Trans individuals to attend our event – Pride London is an entirely voluntary organization – it doesn’t have any staff. It seems bizarre not to refund volunteers, but instead to start paying people to attend the event: but that’s just what Trans London demanded. That’s just not on, frankly.

    Despite the mean-spirited and bitter parodying of the float, it’s had a lot of hard work go into it. No-one’s forced to go on, or even near, a float, but to state that it’s pandering to stereotypes is pretty offensive to those Trans people that want the float and have worked so hard on it. By all means object to it if you want to, but don’t try to stop other Trans individuals from enjoying themselves, and don’t use that as a reason to attack Pride London – it’s not even Pride London’s float, after all.

    If Christina wishes to throw her toys out of the pram, she’s welcome to. All that Trans London has done here is attempt to push Trans issues to the fringe, and all this because Pride London won’t pay for people to attend our event and because members of Trans London don’t personally like a float that other Trans people are putting together.

    It’s just a shame that Trans London has taken such a stance, flooded out innaccuracies and some offensive twaddle against members of it’s own community, and then used that as a stick to beat Pride London. The Trans community deserves better, frankly.

  12. This is not the time to be bitching about!

    The LGBT community needs to have unity while the Equality Bill is going through Parliament!

  13. well done paul. ignoring what is actually annoying translondon and trying to put your own ill-thought out spin on it instead (their members of transLONDON- somehow i doubt being able to afford getting to london is their issue). you’re reducing the hugely diverse trans community to only a bunch of drag artists at the ‘back of the parade’. your an insult to the community.

  14. Again, above, Pride have tried to personalise the objections, when in reality they are NOT from one person, but a group. Maybe it needs another hand at the helm, willing to discuss issues and problems rather than spin about individuals. Maybe Pride London needs to reach out to all groups, and compromise, rather than being dogmatic and isolating sections of the community.

    Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway??

    Strikes me as immature.

  15. I fully agree with the first comment if ‘4 poofs and a piano’ are involved.

    Would you like some gay stereotyping, sir???

  16. davevauxhall 28 May 2009, 11:39am

    It seems to me a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Nothing to be gained from a boycott. We are all diverse individuals and make mistakes. Trans people have every reason to be proud! and Pride needs to show that all of us are proud to stand up to gender fascists with their rigid rules and roles and we’re stronger if we do it together. Some of us have had a harder road to travel than others and I think we shouldn’t be so quick to discount others experiences and remember it may be challenging but we can all make more of an effort to make life better for others as well as ourselves.

  17. Sarah Brown 28 May 2009, 12:29pm

    Paul – you said it yourself – the whole structure is based around “appointment”, and not an elected committee, as happened last year. “Liaison” has consisted of your appointee telling everyone else how things are going to go down. I was Trans@Pride 2008’s communication officer, I was there, I know how it was arranged. I also know about the frustrations we faced as a committee trying to communicate with the Pride board. I guess we should at least be thankful that you’ve been honest enough to not even make a semblance of representation this year.

    You also seem very hung up on Christina Alley, so I can only assume you haven’t read our press release – the boycott is the result of a democratic vote by TransLondon members. I appreciate that doing things this way might seem like an unfamiliar concept, but there is nothing personal here – just a whole load of trans people who are fed up with the shabby way Pride London has treated us. The boycott is a regrettable last option because our attempts at talking about things such as the lack of representation/involvement and the shameful way Pride London and your current trans “representative” behaved over the Toiletgate thing have been met with obstruction and indifference.

  18. Sister Mary Clarence 28 May 2009, 12:36pm

    So, there wasn’t an apology then?

  19. Paul Birrell 28 May 2009, 1:56pm

    Sarah, as I stated in my original message, Pride London has always had a liaison officer. Pride London has always appointed its own officers. Committees need to talk to someone from Pride London, not just amongst themselves. That person is our liaison officer.

    I have indeed read the Trans London press release, and apart from the vote you took where option one was “to participate in the march under the terms we felt were being dictated by the Pride London board” (talk about loading a question) the rest seems a web of rather unpleasant inaccuracies, to say the least, against the work of other Trans people on the bizarre basis that you don’t like their float.

    Is Trans London suggesting that Pride London should have refused to assist with a float simply because Trans London did not like it? That doesn’t appear particularly democratic to me. Trans London does not, and should not, have a veto on Trans individuals and organizations participating in Pride. Pride London will respect the right of float organizers to design their float as they see fit. Trans@Pride is raising its own money towards the float – who is Pride London to tell them how to design it? And, indeed, why is this such an issue for Trans London – it’s not as if anyone was forced to go anywhere near it if they didn’t personally like the concept. Had Trans London proposed a float, Pride London would have tried to help that too, as we have with Trans@Pride’s. I just find it astonishing that Trans London objects to what other Trans people wish to do, and then uses that as a stick to beat Pride London, simply because Pride’s helping.

    I have picked up on Christina’s name as she was quoted in the press release. As you mentioned my good self in your own initial posting, which I’m not objecting to, I don’t really see your point here. And I must say, I do question whether this boycott was a ‘regrettable last resort’, as you state, or simply a piece of pre-arranged grandstanding to the detriment of other Trans people.

  20. Sarah Brown 28 May 2009, 2:14pm

    This is getting silly – if you want to play at spin and PR, and pretend that your top-down, appointed structure is in any way equivalent to the bottom-up, community driven Trans@Pride structure we’ve had in recent years, rather than address the systematic alienation of minority communities, then go right ahead. Moaning about the inevitable consequences here seems silly though – you reap what you sew, and furthermore, if you continue to keep your head in the sand rather than address the real concerns of minority groups, I suspect you’ll be seeing plenty of other community groups walking away in frustration.

  21. Christina’s name is mentioned because Christina is the vehicle through which the views of the group are being expressed – she’s not talking personally, so why refer to her personally. As to “loaded questions”, have you considered that maybe that’s merely a symptom of how people feel? That the vote options were selected democratically?

    And would you like to know something Paul – I’ve got nothing to do with TransLondon… nor do I usually have anything to do with Pride and even I’M upset. I’m far from the only one either. Indeed, the the majority of transsexual people I’ve seen speaking on the subject, some of whom are normally VERY into the whole Pride thing, are offended by the way this year’s Pride is going for trans people.

    By the way – a democratic vote of such a nature is never grand-standing. It’s an honest consultation and representation of the views of a group of people… not an insubstantial group of londoners in this case either. The very opposite in fact of what doing things by appointment results in.

    How about Pride does what perhaps it should have been doing all along now, and instead of standing there “grandstanding” and talking about a ‘tiny minority’ (that’s anything but tiny, and perhaps no minority by any definition!), perhaps Pride could now actually start listening to people. If you’re so convinced you’re right, how about actually consulting on it properly and taking on people’s views rather than dismissing them? How about a little democracy from yourselves? (and while we’re at it, why not take TL’s Banner down from the trans@pride page on your website? – seems a bit disingenuous, like many other things coming from Pride right now)

    Asw to parodying the float, again, try listening to people and you’ll realise that for many trans people it’s the other way around – the float itself is seen as a parody of trans people. It is in NO WAY representative and inclusive of the trans community – just a small part of it, which happens to be the view of one person – your appointed trans rep who isn’t representing the whole trans community.

    This isn’t going to blow over Paul. Much like the handling of the Toiletgate incident last year, this is telling large swathes of the trans community just what Pride thinks of them – ie, not much!

    Open your eyes! It’s what Pride is doing that’s “to the detriment of other Trans people”, not what other trans people are doing!

  22. Pumpkin Pie 28 May 2009, 2:37pm

    Wow, now THIS is what a proper comments page debate should look like.

    I know it’s not exactly a pleasant discussion, but I’ve just come from one of the comments pages for a religious story, where homophobic loonies think quoting passages from a book passes as an argument.

    So nice to see some more mature adults having a dispute.

  23. David Henry 28 May 2009, 2:41pm

    It is very sad things have gotten to this stage but these troubles have been a long time brewing and it’s not just the Trans community who have been subject to this type of demeaning treatment.

    Anyone who speaks out or suggests community-organised alternatives to those put forward or designed by those higher up the decision making tree are branded as trouble-makers or awkward moaners.

    Before the news reached me a few days ago about TransLondon’s decision, I and many others have been fighting an uphill struggle to find out what this so called “funding” is available to support the involvement of other groups in Pride London – the BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) community and also young people. We have been coaxed in under the impression, handed over our own volunteers and energy, ideas and creative aspirations only to have them copied, ignored and our volunteers poached and our spokespersons hand-picked. For example we wanted to put on a trans-gender-queer film festival and were looking to Pride for assistance in hiring spaces/equipment whilst offering this event at no charge.

    We wanted to MARCH TOGETHER as we did last year with our friends at Trans London and Trans Youth Network and the NUS LGBT campaign amongst many others. Pride London have consistently tried this year to split us up and separate us.

    The Youth@Pride float last year looked very desperate, this year there have been pleas for us to get involved with it (at the expense of dropping our own identity and messages, banner etc) to which our membership have strongly objected to. So whilst £6,000 + was spent on what appeared to be extravagant flop of “random youths being carted around London on a wagon” we organised and paid for our own banner making workshops and walked in unison with our community as groups and individuals regardless of gender/age/race/sexuality/ability/politics etc.

    David Henry
    Queer Youth Network

  24. Paul,

    You noted above “it’s not as if anyone was forced to go anywhere near [the float] if they didn’t personally like the concept”. Well, that’s exactly what people are doing – not going anywhere near Pride because of it!

    When the largest support group for a minority in a city votes democratically to boycott Pride and disagrees with the actions of Pride’s appointed community liaison that rather suggests you don’t have community support, no matter how hard you spin. One appointee from a minority doesn’t equal community representation!

  25. Paul Birrell 28 May 2009, 3:27pm


    I’m not sure why it’s been said that any groups should be split up – people can march pretty much where they want, within reason, on the Parade. The only Youth group I know that has opted to march separately from other Youth groups are the Police cadets, who want to march with the Uniformed services section, and which we’ve agreed to – that’s not driven by Pride London, and seemed a sensible enough request.

    Pre-registration is the best way to get a confirmed space on the Parade (ie to know where you’ll be in advance), but there’s a large swathe where no pre-registration’s required, as there’s always has been. There’s no bar on anyone marching with whomever they so wish, and it’s only the front part of the Parade where it’s structured into areas such as the access safe space, uniformed services, etc.

    On your other notes, the BAME committee has been up and running for quite some time now. Have you spoken to them? contact details are on our website. On Youth, we have a liaison officer (it was James last year, and he’s still around if you prefer speaking to him) but we haven’t any Youth spokesperson as such, so we can’t have appointed them.

    I’m also not aware of any additional film festival that’s been proposed – we have a short film festival organized already (again, details as per our website) and I don’t think that it would have been too difficult to add in further films had we known.


    As stated in my previous notes, we don’t appoint committees but we do need to appoint someone to attend them on Pride London’s behalf and to explain Pride London’s workings to such committees if they so choose. That’s not changed since last year – Patrick was the liaison officer then, Diana is now. All we’ve done is change the person, and suddenly this is being spun as a huge change in operations. It simply isn’t.

    Krissie / Zoe,

    On the float, I think people are confusing Pride London offering to support groups who are involved with the event, with Pride London actually determining what those groups do. The Parade’s there for people to express themselves. By all means object to one group or another’s chosen means of expressing themselves, but it seems a bit harsh to blame Pride London and then call for a boycott. I’m sorry you don’t like the concept of the Trans@Pride group’s float, but you can’t censor other Trans people’s choice here, surely? Are you asking Pride London to ban that float? I’m not sure what is actually being asked and as Trans London both stormed out of the last Trans@Pride meeting and are now boycotting Pride London, it’s rather difficult to determine…


  26. Sorry Paul, going out for the weekend here… I’ll have to ask that somebody else please asnswer you for the main part.

    However, might I suggest that your trans rep perhaps consider not taking decisions on what will happen, and what the best ideas are, and instead set up a commitee comprising of all manner of trans groups to discuss what’s best, what does or doesn’t offent or misrepresent the community as a whole (or large swathes of it… and trust me, “precilla at the front and precilla at the back” as marking the trans community isn’t it… and gives certain ideas about what “Out to Play” means that portray transpeople in general in a stereotypical and in many ways unfavourable light”)

    Rather than acting as a gatekeeper/decision maker, perhaps your trans rep might better act as a facilitator for the whole trans community, and not just the small part of it she’s connected to. She’s taken decisions without proper consultation, and much like you, has dismissed the views of those that offer perfectly well reasoned objection even when receiving views from people.

    Again… Pride is not representing the whole trans community here – it’s representing a small part of it, and in doing so, mis-representing the rest of it. That’s not what inclusivity (or even diversity) is about… in fact, it’s a direct contravention of what pride is supposed to be about.

    As has been pointed out to you, regardless of the specifics, Pride is clearly in the wrong here, because pride does not have the support of the community it would like to expect – that much is in evidence. This isn’t just trans london, but translondons boycott has encouraged others to speak out about it to – there are discussions about it in various places. I would suggest that if this top-down idea of how things should work is something you believe in, then it is up to you and pride as an organisation to take a darned good look in the mirror, listen to people, and work out yourselves where you’re going wrong. If you want the trans community to tell you where you’re going wrong, then give the trans community a proper say in matters, and actually listen to what they are saying.

  27. Simon Murphy 28 May 2009, 3:52pm

    What will boycotting Pride achieve for the trans community in London?

    I support an inclusive LGBT Pride Parade but the trans community is shooting itself in the foot by engaging in a boycott. Do they want to be invisible. The ‘T’ part of the LGBT community would appear to be numerically much smaller than the ‘L’ and ‘G’ and ‘B’ parts of the community. Pride will happen with or without them. It’s better to try to engage with the organisers than to thrown a tantrum and boycott the event entirely.

  28. Dennis Hambridge 28 May 2009, 3:53pm

    The existing ” Predominant” white Gayman committee must be deselected and a Democraticly elected diverse community committee elected in it’s place.
    There is to much Me GAY GAY GAY and not enough respect given for the Bi-Sexual and Trans community
    The Trans community for to long have been treated like 3rd Class Citizens and this must now stop.
    In SOLIDARITY with the Trans Equality and Human rights

    Equally it should be noted that Pride London has done the same with BME groups

  29. “It’s better to try to engage with the organisers than to thrown a tantrum and boycott the event entirely.”

    There was such an attempt. As a result, this happened. That’s why TransLondon held the vote on it.

    Also, better not to be represented than to be misrepresented, and better to have some self-respect than to follow the leader that ignores you.

  30. Paul Birrell -You’re not trans. I’m trans. I’m neutrois. If you dunno what that is look it up.
    -All that people in the transgender community want is to be able to identify as however we identify, present as however we choose to present and not be told by people that we should behave in a particular way in order to fit in with somebody else’s idea of what it is to be trans. I thinThe trans community is broad and we’re all individuals. The idea of us having to wear any kind of uniform to stand on a float is therefore absurd. As well as LGB there’s also LGBTTSQQIAAPN people to think about -and in my eyes transgender, transsexual, queer, questionning, intersex, androgynous, asexual, pansexual, and neutrois people are unfortunately being continually marginalised within this society. I think pride should be an event where the voices of these grass roots minorities can also be heard -so that we can be proud of ourselves and thus carry a beacon of hope for other TTSQQIAAPN people -that we are not alone. There are some subsets of transgender (such as neutrois) where there are only a handful of people worldwide who are ‘out’ -and I’m proud to say I am one of them. But I wonder to myself -how would I as a neutrois person be represented by (perhaps well meaning) members of the Pride organising team who were not fully understanding of what it is to be neutrois? Would I be expected to dress in a football strip, or sequins, or both??? Or would I be invited to carry my own banner bearing the legend ‘Neutrois -becuase some transgender people don’t have instruction manuals…’ :)As far as I see it I have a right to be at pride as somebody who has at one time identified to some extend -or at least tried to with every letter in the every letter in the LGBTTSQQIAAPN acronym. But, given your personal, pedantic and patronising response to my trans sister and friend Christina Alley, I don’t currently feel particularly welcomed by the organisers. In my mind Christina Alley is an absolute saint for setting up TransLondon -a place where people from the trans community can be out as themselves and where the diversity of the trans community is *fully* recognised. -As testimony to recognising that diversity I was offered a lot of support at TransLondon when I cam out as neutrois. So I found it upsetting when you took such a patronising tone with a my friend and ally who recognises transgender diversity.

  31. Simon: It’s disingenous to accuse trans people of throwing a tantrum when last year we were the victim of a hate crime and have repeatedly tried to engage with the pride organisers but to no avail. Blaming us because we feel thoroughly disenfranchised is screwed up.

  32. Can’t we all just get along?
    Isn’t Pride a way we can show the community we are united?
    What’s the problem with having 4 poofs and a piano? What’s so wrong with being camp and ott?
    Does it mean that myself, a white gay man, wouldn’t do a decent job for the trans community? Isn’t that some form of positive discrimination?

  33. Simon Murphy 28 May 2009, 4:48pm

    XYL – but you haven’t answered my question.

    What possible good can come from boycotting Pride when it’s going to go ahead with or without trans participation?

  34. Alex S -The only people who should be representing the trans community are members of the trans community. Period. If you’re a gay transperson cool -be my guest. If you’re not trans why not let the trans community just organise ourselves. -This isn’t about ‘positive discrimination’ -The issue here is the right to self determination and self representation.

  35. I wonder if the organisers have installed some gender neutral loos? Until they do I don’t want to go to pride. Toiletgate anyone?

  36. I’d just rather stay away from somewhere that seems to have no intention of being a safe space for trans people to express themselves. I’m not going to attend on cis people’s unfair terms. Should I come with a catheter too in case as a neutrois I’m banned from using the toilets?

  37. Paula Thomas 28 May 2009, 5:18pm

    I am not a member of TransLondon, although I am thinking of joining following this episode.

    It seems to me that after last year’s debacle that you would want to make sure that the trans community were happy with this year’s arrangements. I would have thought you would want in particular to consult those members of the trans community who were particularly affected by last year’s illegal actions by pride staff were both consulted and happy (I know they were employed by an insecurity company but PrideLondon employed them and took no effective action to ensure they were aware of trans issues).

    In sort you now have yourself to blame. If the floats are anything like the descriptions that have been made of them then I can only assume a collective ‘up yours’ is now being aimed at the trans community.

  38. alex s asked “What’s the problem with having 4 poofs and a piano? What’s so wrong with being camp and ott?”

    Nothing wrong with being camp or ott. However they are complicit in Jonathan’s weekly lewd innuendo, and collude in demeaning the LGBT community. They are without dignity.

  39. @Dave so you’re saying that camp people bring it on themselves? That’s surely like saying women in short skirts should expect to be raped?

    People can be as camp as they like I reckon. It’s as diginfied as they want it to be!

  40. @CampTit

    NO I’m not saying that at all. Please read my message carefully.

  41. I’m quite outraged by Paul’s comments. As the Chair of PrideLondon, the last thing you should be doing is slagging off others who have an issue with PrideLondon. What you should be doing is trying to sort this out and mediate between the groups. Whether or not you feel you’ve done wrong – as with the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groupings – you should be trying everything you can to sort this mess out. This will only lead to more infighting, division and bad reputation for PrideLondon. As it stands and unless PrideLondon changes its attitude and starts to bring us all together again, I’ll not attend and instruct groups that I represent not to either.

  42. @Dave I did – you say that camp or ott people are “complicit” and “collude in demeaning the LGBT community”. So everyone should be “straight acting” and that will cure homophobia?

  43. @CampTit Sorry for the misunderstanding – where I said “they” I was referring to Jonathan’s house band. I believe there’s nothing wrong with being camp or ott.

  44. Cobus Fourie 28 May 2009, 7:04pm

    Male & Female toilets at a public event?! On what planet do you live? Joburg Pride only has unisex toilets and the same for the gay clubs. Who gives a damn?! Oh and the “toilet police”: very very mature…

  45. Sister Mary Clarence 28 May 2009, 7:29pm

    Denise, can I just say as a member of the BME community I couldn’t give two sh*rs whether the committee is black, white, blue or green. I don’t specifically need a black person to represent my views – why do people assume that because I’m black my view will be any different from a white person’s? I like to think that we are living in an integrated society.

    Why anyone would want to set themselves to be slatted by a load of never-be-happy crying bast*rds like we have on this thread is beyond me.

    There was an apology last year and people (and that does include trans people) should have the courtesy and good manners to accept it and move on. It was a large public gathering. There are always a small number of minor incidents at large gatherings. Lessons were learned. It won’t happen again this year. No doubt it will be the turn of someone else this year and they will be a bit hacked off.

    Dragging it out and not letting it go makes you look bitter and fu*ked up. Did anyone die? Did a little kiddie lose a leg? No, it really wasn’t that bigger deal, and there was an apology. We seem to be getting into the realms of killing people’s first born over nothing. Its fu*ked up and its childish.

  46. The toilets in Trafalgar Square are extant and used for every event, they are male & female and cannot be changed.

    LGBTTSQQIAAPN – FFS It’s the 40th year since Drag Queens rioted in New York, yet the trite and simplistic ‘come out and play’ theme and the march is to lead by a man who sued over being called Gay (Jason Donovan) and the commercial musical “Priscilla queen of the desert” is plugged to commercial advantage while real trans folk are marginalised.

    As they said about Watergate follow the money, Boris cut Pride’s money so they cut the funding for groups, but I dare say not the hospitality budget.

    It is now just a party if you don’t like it do something else.

  47. Sister Mary Clarence 28 May 2009, 7:32pm

    Oh, and as for all this business of setting up a committee to decide everything, that would be great, a room full of crying bast*rds, venting all their hate and getting sh*t all done.

    Hands up who else has got another f*ckwit idea

  48. David Henry 28 May 2009, 8:57pm

    I must say I found it rather odd how the BME committee was dissolved and control handed over to “UK OutBurst” – a private community interest company established less than 2 years ago despite there already being a separate “UK Black Pride” event established some 5 years previously – there is details of this incident over on the “Reclaim Pride London” facebook group.

    Paul, James has been nothing but helpful he does a good job however my contact with Pride London’s Youth@Pride committee this year has been someone called Luckasz from Mosaic? Who recently began posting on the Queer Youth Network message boards desperately trying to recruit (this happens every year) volunteers with the promise of funding for under-funded groups of young people like ourselves – who have millions of creative, original ideas which are often co-opted and reinvented for the purpose of fulfilling someone else’s failed funding requirements.

    We have been implicitly told by someone representing Pride London “we don’t just want QYN turning up as they did last year” – again – false as we had registered months in advance as we have this year and our organiser Hollie submitted a march application over 2 months ago.

    I believe there is some hidden agenda to depoliticise the march after last year some of our members on their own accord split off and joined members of TransLondon and other groups to protest against Stonewall – there is a video of this on YouTube here: to remind them “Stonewall was a riot” – I don’t think Sir Ian McKellen was too pleased, he was there! Also one of Pride London’s patron’s I believe?

  49. Tiresome, as usual, to have our experience presented through the lens of a parody. Again. When will the leaders of the gay community appreciate that it is possible to celebrate our right to be who we are, to express PRIDE in ourselves as trans people, without resorting to marginalising us as feather clad, Vegas-style cliche?

    I’m not a member of Translondon, and I didn’t vote. But I fully support the position they’ve adopted here. Why can’t a float which is designed to portray us do so in a way which is authentic, and useful in attacking the challenges we face in daily life, rather than reinforcing them? Why can’t the float be of doctors and lawyers and teachers and mothers and fathers and civil servants and scientists and pilots and all the other things we are, who just happen to be trans?

  50. Sister Mary, a woman was forced to use the mens bathrooms and was SEXUALLY ASSAULTED there. Pride London was directly responsible for the assault committed on her because their stewards forced her into a very, very dangerous place for her.

    I can’t help but think of how horrified (though probably unsurprised) Sylvia Rivera would be upon seeing what’s happening. Though it is ~interesting~ that an uprising started by a group of mostly POC and/or trans* women has been appropriated by white cis men.

  51. For years the gay community has been fighting for equality, the trans community, or its twisted bitter representatives here at least don’t want equality they want special treatment.

    Set up your own frigging march. I certainly wouldn’t want to be marching shoulder to shoulder through the streets of London with the screwed up whingers posting on here. I’m guessing the chip you’re all got on your shoulders is going to be a bit to heavy for marching anyway.

    The world owes you nothing and you’re just bringing misery on yourselves and all those around you.

  52. Lady Tanya 29 May 2009, 6:50am

    Two steps in front and one back
    We have just had IDAHO day and for the FIRST time the LGB and STONEWALL
    Include us TRANS-PEOPLE hip hip FUCKING hooray.
    As if it was not for us TRANS in the FCUKING first place there would not have been a stonewall
    It is just SOME of the GAY community who do not like us TRANS as we do not fit in to there ways,
    Some of us TRANS (like me as iam 6 feet 8 in my bear feet ) can get read by people
    Quentin crisp was shunned by the gays as he was, (there words) too much for them to handle and brought to much attention to the gays .
    But he stood up in court and said to the world fuck you iam gay
    Well I know he did not say fuck you iam gay
    But he did say yes iam a homosexual.
    So to all TRANS I say fuck them all and GO to London pride
    Stand tall and be proud of who you are.
    Some times it takes time to get were we are going, but if we do not go to prides
    Then it will take longer.
    See you at London pride
    Love to all Trans,,,,,,, oh all right,,,,, and love to you all lgb
    Lady Tanya x

  53. Oh who gives a f–k, it’s better without them anyway.. They are just straight men who have fetish for woman’s clothing and ride on the coat tales of the gay community..

    Got a march of your own and leave us GAYS alone!

  54. Tessa Hauke - Co Founder TransLondon 29 May 2009, 9:04am

    Paul Birrell stated above, “I think people are confusing Pride London offering to support groups who are involved with the event, with Pride London actually determining what those groups do. The Parade’s there for people to express themselves.”

    I wish this were true, but the experience of communicating with Pride London this year has been very different.

    After finding out that Pride London had appointed a “representative” for the trans community for this year’s Pride and had held several planning meetings (to which, apparently, none of the major trans organisations in London had been invited) I wrote to the trans rep asking for minutes of previous meetings and details of funding allocation for the trans communities. I was hoping to pass this information on to TransLondon members in order that they could come up with financially viable ideas for the parade. To date I have still not received that information. Instead, I received a brusque and dismissive reply from Pride’s representative, part of which is quoted below without amendment:

    “As I have previously stated this is PRIDE LONDON’s event and we have our own plans set in place as to what we intend to present for the Pride Parade, this is listed on our site page”

    So much for community engagement!

    I even invited Pride’s appointed representative to attend the April TransLondon meeting so that she could provide an update of her/Pride’s plans, but she didn’t even have the courtesy to reply to this invitation.

    I am saddened that Pride London has put us in the position where trans people feel there is no other way to voice our frustration and disappointment about being dictated to. The lack of transparency and openness up until now clearly demonstrates Pride London’s lack of commitment to grassroots engagement. In fact it appears that Pride London does not trust the LGBT community to come up with appropriate ideas and themes for the Pride march and rally themselves.

    TransLondon is keen to hear from other trans groups, allies and any groups from other parts of the LGBTQ community who also feel disenfranchised by Pride London this year. We would like to discuss alternative arrangements for a celebration of the diversity of the LGBTQ community, free from cynical corporate politics, where we can enjoy the true spirit of Pride.

  55. pp and bobby o. do some research into the stonewall riots. transpeople were there at the start. its our movement too. your just too dman transphobic to see it.

  56. Erm, Bloke :
    “FFS It’s the 40th year since Drag Queens rioted in New York, yet the trite and simplistic”

    It was gays, lesbians and drags who rioted. Not only Drag Queens.

    And if anyone actually reads what happened you’ll see that it was the ‘butch’ lesbians who actually begun to physically fight back first against the police. Mainly because they had been inappropriately felt up my male officers during the body searches. One of the girls was struggling and still fighting in handcuffs saying ‘they’re too tight’. This prompted the police to hit the girl on the head with a truncheon to which she shouted to the predominantly gay male crown outside ‘do something’, which in turn, they did!

    It was the whole community, not just one section of it.

  57. Pumpkin Pie 29 May 2009, 9:59am

    “Oh who gives a f–k, it’s better without them anyway.. They are just straight men who have fetish for woman’s clothing and ride on the coat tales of the gay community..

    Got a march of your own and leave us GAYS alone!”

    And that was the story of how, in one fell swoop, Bobby O became the most despised person in this entire thread. You did it intentionally, didn’t you? You’re just trying to stir up trouble, aren’t you? …Or are you really that much of complete and utter tosser?

  58. “Ride on the coat tales” Um, clue, trans people were there from the beginning. There were trans people as well as cis people fighting at Stonewall. I think Sylvia Rivera (a trans woman) said it best, after years of helping fight for gay rights:

    “And after all these years, the trans community is still at the back of the bus. I despise that. I’m hurt and get depressed a lot about it. But I will not give up because I won’t give the mainstream gay organizations the satisfaction of keeping us down. If we give up, they win. And we can’t allow them to win. The reason we, right now, as a trans community, don’t have the rights they have is that we allowed them to speak for us for so many damn years, and we bought everything they said to us: “Oh, let us pass our bill, then we’ll come for you.”

    Yeah, come for me. Thirty-two years later and they’re still coming for me. And what have we got? Here, where it all started, trans people have got nothing. We can no longer let people like the Empire State Pride Agenda, the HRC in Washington, speak for us. And it really hurts me that some gay people don’t even know what we gave for their movement”

  59. Brokecrack Mounting 29 May 2009, 12:22pm

    This whole thread is a joke surely?

    It’s a free event, you can parade for free, watch all the stuff for free. You only have to pay for drinks if you want them. It’s a lot more cheerful that it used to be.

    Oh and “can we have unisex toilets”. Arent all of the portaloo things unisex anyway?

  60. This was going to be my first pride but I have decided to goto Brighton pride as clearly being trans I am not welcome at London Pride.

    I think TransLondon have a point but seem to of lost the art of negotiation. It was unwise to go for nuclear option of pulling out and issuing press releases as its only negotiation tool.

    Equally the pride committee should be looking to resolve the issues not taking offence the giving of some ground is needed. The committee must of known the float would offend many trans people.

    Is it not time to sit around a table and work this out like adults? Or do the pride committee and TransLondon want to continue acting like children.

    As for those questioning trans involvement, have you ever thought that trans people might also have a sexuality as well as gender issues!

    See you at Brighton Pride

  61. No don’t go to Brighton it’s even worse and is just one big piss-up for the men.

    Do go to London as it kind of welcoming despite being so massive!

  62. Sister Mary Clarence 29 May 2009, 1:42pm

    Drakyn – I’m sorry luv, it was a male toilet at a gay festival, not the fu*king trenches at the Battle of the Somme. It probably wasn’t nice for the poor girl, but got to any gay club or bar and the toilets are usually being shared by everyone anyway.

    A mistake was made and lessons were learnt from it and an apology given.

    I think people ought to be mature enough to accept that in good grace rather than starting a war over a storm in a teacup. Over the years I’m come across a number of transsexuals, and generally found them to no different from any other section of society, getting on with life in the same way, wanting the same things from life, as happy and unhappy as the rest of society with their lot, so where they hell they managed to dredge you lot up from I don’t know.

    Who you purport to represent I cannot imagine. You do not want to be treated equality, with equal consideration and respect, you screaming your heads off about how different you are and how differently you need to be treated. You’re not speaking for the trans community you’re speaking for yourselves. You’re marginalising yourselves. You don’t need anyone else to do it for you.

    I’m all for communities having a voice, but trying to start a civil war over someone having to use the wrong toilet is truly pathetic – I have absolutely no respect for a single one of you. Had Pride told you to f*ck off last year when the incident happened, you might have grounds to complain, but they didn’t. They did as much as they could to right the situation. Jesus Christ though, you want blood, and you won’t rest till you get it. Screw everything else wrong in the world that you could be addressing, you’ve all got your teeth this Paul Birrell guy and like a pack of dogs you’re not going to let go till you’ve ripped him apart.

    I do not know him, he might be a complete tosser, or a lovely guy, but either way, move on. If you don’t want to go to Pride, sit at home and boil your head, don’t spoil it for the rest of the community, trans or otherwise, who might want to go and have a laugh and get pissed.

    As for the Stonewall Riots, just done a bit more reading to get my facts straight and, as one of the other posters points out, yep, a lot of lesbians, the original violent stemming from a woman being hit of the heat with a police officer’s night stick, drag queens and gay men. Not an awful lot of information about the pivotal role played by transsexuals to be fair. Although that’s not to say there weren’t ANY there.

  63. Mihangel apYrs 29 May 2009, 2:07pm


    I can’t remember voting in any “leaders of the gay community”. Those there are are self-appointed, and in bed with the establishment (cf Stonewall)

  64. Let’s have more toilets, I’m sure that can be arranged. Someone mentioned it’s not like the trenches at the Somme – I disagree strongly. All toilets at major events usually look and smell just like that after about an hour or so.

    In any case, since every other shop in London is Starbucks, Nero, Coffee Republic, or Costa, there should be no shortage of convenience stops.

  65. “Toiletgate”? It sounds like “Toomuchtimeonmyhandsgate” to me. Sad.

  66. Funny how this has descended into another toilet discussion. This should be about how Pride have attempted to impose what seems very much like a gay male interpretation of Trans on their presence in the march. I mean, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”? I would rather see no representation of transsexuals at all than see yet another half-baked parody. We get enough of that from the media already without getting it added to from within what should be our community.

  67. Justice for all trans 29 May 2009, 4:45pm

    Travel bursaries?

    Did i hear that right?

    Did trans people from outside London get their fares paid last year?

    If Translondon and Trans at pride can do that can me and my friends come down from Edinburgh then? Im sure all the LGBT people that pay london taxes wont mind will they?

    Where can i get my money then.


  68. Sister Mary Clarence 29 May 2009, 5:03pm

    “TransLondon is keen to hear from other trans groups, allies and any groups from other parts of the LGBTQ community who also feel disenfranchised by Pride London this year. We would like to discuss alternative arrangements for a celebration of the diversity of the LGBTQ community, free from cynical corporate politics, where we can enjoy the true spirit of Pride.”

    Revolution! Revolution! Well Tessa, what a divisive little sh*t you are, if you don’t mind me saying. Pride isn’t for everybody, and clearly it isn’t for you. It isn’t for YOU clearly because it isn’t ABOUT you.

    I’m sure we are all starting to see the hurt, trauma and suffering that must have been caused over the last year, but one of your coven getting her leg eaten off by rabid wolves right in the middle of Trafalgar Square with the Pride committee looking on and cheering, having set light to her hair … oh no, hang on, that didn’t happen did it … she was asked to use a different toilet. As a result you are now trying to ruin Pride for everybody. What a beautiful person you must be inside, truly beautiful.

    If the whole of your little coven at TransLondon is a f*cked up and twisted as you, best you all do stay at home (alone I’m guessing).

    Sweet Jesus, what do you do if the bus is late – fire bomb the bus depot.

  69. Justice for Maddie 29 May 2009, 5:04pm

    Yes, and you wonder why they complain when they’ve now been told NO!

  70. Sister Mary Clarence 29 May 2009, 5:06pm

    “In any case, since every other shop in London is Starbucks, Nero, Coffee Republic, or Costa, there should be no shortage of convenience stops.”

    AdrianT, anyone would think you were talking to people who would ever comtemplate, being flexible or making the best of things. Wrong thread I’m afraid.

  71. Justice for Maddie 29 May 2009, 5:06pm

    No to their cash I meant, but I getcha Sister Mary!

  72. Sarah Brown 29 May 2009, 6:27pm

    It’s interesting to note that despite Paul Birrell’s protestations that TransLondon’s concerns over the float and the way it’s been imposed on us have no substance, his appointed Trans representative earlier today sent out an email which is essentially a climb-down on the issue of the float. I quote:

    “Following considerable comment from the wider TQQI Community. Trans@Pride have decided to revisit their plans for a float based entertainment presentation.”

    “I will be hosting an open meeting on Saturday the 6th of June at MLS 130 Shaftsbury Ave W1 at 5pm all are welcome.”

    I for one welcome this development. It’s regrettable that it took a decision from a major trans organisation to boycott the parade to bring us to this point, however. It is my view that if Pride London had engaged with the trans community as partners, rather than the condescending and dictatorial manner we feel they have employed, many months ago, none of this need have happened.

  73. Sarah Brown you and transLondon do no represent me and the majority of trans folk stop trying to the arogance of your post astounds me. I would suggest you wind your neck in this is not petty student politics your trans feminism is just as bad as the likes of Bindels its divisive and not constructive. You should have the common decency to except the offer of talks without attacking Paul Birrell show some compassion and diplomacy for once and hold your tongue. This whole situation is the result of transLondon’s own shortcomings because TransLondon failed to raise any money for this years pride. They will want TransLondon to stay in line with the main pride plan if you don’t like it then it would be better if TransLondon stay away.

    You only represent yourself Sarah Brown stop showing up the whole trans community.

  74. Sarah Brown 29 May 2009, 8:13pm

    Dear Abi1975, You’ve made clear in your eloquent reply that you are not part of TransLondon, did not take part in the vote, and apparently have no interest in doing so. You may therefore rest assured that nobody from the organisation would presume to speak for, or represent you. I hope you have a most enjoyable Pride.

  75. Transwoman 29 May 2009, 9:28pm

    Having had to sit through, what Trans London describe as a democratic process, I cannot believe my poor ears. An organisation of some 20 odd people who claim to represent the whole Trans community. From what I have seen they appear divisive almost paranoid and are willing to support violent militancy at the drop of a hat. They deserve to be in the corner of Waterloo Place!

  76. the other half 29 May 2009, 9:36pm

    same old. same old…

    as to Stonewall: it wasn’t the start of the Queer Rights movement as National Groups had come into being after to riots at Comptons in San Fransisco three years earlier.

  77. LADY TANYA (52):


    All Trans need to check out a story entitled ‘Honduras: End Violence against Transgender People’ posted today on the Human Rights Watch webpage. See the 8 photos too…gawd!

    Just type in Human Rights Watch; you’ll find it if an idiot gay colonial like me (yea Canada!) can find it. Or www dot hrw dot org.

    You are so right, Lady Tanya. Scrap the bitching and go to the London Parade.

    My only suggestion: wrap yourselves in a United Nations Flag because that is where your rights (our rights) are coming from when all is said and done.

    We need to find our strength in our unity, not fly apart like this while the Equality Bill is on the table. We’ll get back to the bitching after, after….not now.

    Cyberspace hug to you, Lady Tanya. xoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoo

  78. the other half (76)

    If you want to be a stickler about it, it was Harry Hay who started the Mattachine Society in the 40’s who started the ball rolling.

    Regardless of what was happening in San Francisco (and I left my heart in San Francisco), it was the Stonewall Riots, triggered by a gutsy NYC drag queen who punched a pig right in the face, that marks a turning point in the Gay Liberation Movement in the US of A. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

  79. David Henry 29 May 2009, 10:39pm

    In support of TransLondon – they are not alone in expressing their concern and the accusations that they do not represent the Trans community are unfounded. Queer Youth Network is one of the largest LGBTQ membership groups in the country and has nearly 15,000 members and hundreds of affiliate groups consisting of our sister project Trans Youth Network. Last Sunday over 40 young people from our South Eastern group gathered in London’s Hyde Park for their monthly meeting. Our members still wish to march in the parade with our banners we have added our voices to the discussion in support of TransLondon, Trans Ebony and others.

    Our ability to offer a huge number of diverse number of perspectives will always outweigh the relatively small level of consultation work carried out by the organisers of major pride events.

    PuinkNews chose not to include our statement in support of TransLondon which was part of the original press release issued by TransLondon but which is available on our website and also TransLondon’s homepage.

  80. Sarah Brown 29 May 2009, 10:45pm

    “Having had to sit through, what Trans London describe as a democratic process, I cannot believe my poor ears. An organisation of some 20 odd people who claim to represent the whole Trans community.”

    Given that meeting was standing-room only, and there are rather more than 20 chairs available for meetings at Gay’s The Word, and that the number of votes cast for participating under Pride London’s terms was zero, and that nobody there or in our press release made any claim to represent anyone other than ourselves, I smell a troll.

  81. Sarah Brown (80):

    We don’t know each other, but I can recognize a smart lady when I read one. You are smart, and you do have a lot of influence.

    Let’s admit that nobody’s perfect, that the democratic process is always under construction, that these negotiations should have taken place before now.

    The whole thing does not unfold the way we would like, and probably never will, and maybe it’s best that way, who knows.

    With all the material available on this thread, you and all Trans have a handful of ideas of how to proceed ‘after the ball is over’.

    This debate is a very important one in bringing everyone together on an equal footing and to find ourselves, our identities, our future under the heading of LGBT.

    We all need to be flexible right now. You are in a position to do a lot of good. Entrenching ourselves rarely brings results. You won’t be humiliated, you will grow as a human being, you’ll see. And then we will all stand proud and smile, smile, SMILE ! ! !

    You are in the thick of it, I know that, and I do not want to tell you what to do. Do what we all do sooner or later, and follow your instinct.

    Best of luck, love every one of you,

  82. Did they have women’s toilets at the Stonewall riots then?

  83. RobN:

    Touché ! ! !

  84. It’s important to note for all the wags talking about who used what loo that when stewards forced a transwoman into the men’s loos, she was sexually assaulted there. The anger over toiletgate wasn’t merely the stewards not understanding that trans people are as they present, it was that their utter mishandling of access to basic accommodations caused a woman to be physically harmed. This wasn’t about someone sniffing because they weren’t read properly or were spoken to harshly. Sexual assault is not a joke, and the risk of assault for trans people is extremely high. To be put in harm’s way because of policy being parroted by Pride employees is unacceptable and untenable, and to have people joking about what that woman suffered is atrocious.

  85. Allyne:

    You’re right, of course, and I’m sorry if I offended you.

    How many gays know about incidents like you describe? If you check my post 10, you will see that I am making a sincere effort to educate LGB’s about the daily trials of T’s.

    Now, I’ll go one step further, is it legal or not in England to carry pepper spray? Here in Canada, even the postmen/women have pepper spray to ward off loose and over-protective dogs as they go from one door to the other. It’s only common sense.

    What with all the attacks on LGBT’s all over the place, I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to approach City Hall about getting a license to carry pepper spray, if it is not already legal.

    At this late date, I wouldn’t be surprised if all Trans have made up their minds about going to the London Pride Parade or not, and I am not about to attempt to peruade you one way or another. Everyone has to follow her conscience out of self-respect.

    Bonne chance, and hugs and kisses all around,

  86. Sister Mary Clarence 30 May 2009, 2:51pm

    Sexually assaulted? Not heard that before, reading the victims comments in the press about having to use a ‘disabled’ toilet, it gives no indication of a sexual assault:

    “I pointed out to the stewards that I transitioned and had surgery before they were born; I was more polite than a polite thing. No dice.

    “I don’t think it was particularly to do with how much I do or don’t pass – I think I got read (sic) in part because I am so tall and turned up in the queue among a particularly short group of lesbians.

    “It was one of the most wretched experiences I have had in thirty years, only made positive by the love and solidarity of my community.”

    I think had she been sexually assaulted the experience would have been a lot worse than ‘wretched’.

    The press did report that she was pushed and barged though – again I’ll make the point that it was the ‘disabled’ toilets in Trafalgar Square not the f*cking trenches at the Battle of the Somme.

    Allyne, not sure if your information is from the same fact file that supplied the information that transsexuals apparently led the charge at Stonewall maybe?

    I know that there is sometimes a temptation to exaggerate things to make them more interesting (sometimes called lying), but ultimately it never gets you very far.

  87. Sister Mary Clarence 30 May 2009, 2:56pm

    p.s I’m glad to see there now seem to be a few other members of the trans community posting alternative views to the bile and puke that seems to be erupting from the TransLondon coven.

    Restored my faith just a little

  88. the sexual assault has been common knowledge in the trans community since last london pride. do some learning before you comment

  89. Charlie Butler 30 May 2009, 4:21pm

    Sister Mary Clarence: You’re conflating two incidents and two people.

  90. Dru Marland 30 May 2009, 4:25pm

    Sister Mary Clarence, I see that you have quoted from Roz Kaveney’s description of her experience at Pride’s “Toiletgate”. She was not the woman who was sexually assaulted after being told to use the men’s toilets. That was someone else. I don’t know if you’re trolling, selectively quoting for your own ends, or truly ignorant; and I don’t much care. You are sucking the air out of the room though. And if there’s any bile and puke around, it doesn’t seem to me to be coming from the Translondon people.

    Just sayin’ :-)

  91. Wyvernsound 30 May 2009, 5:07pm

    “If Christina wishes to throw her toys out of the pram, she’s welcome to.”
    This comment seems way too personal and patronising to be part of a serious discussion. Paul Birrell needs to take a reality check re professional conduct in my view.

  92. Wyvernsound 30 May 2009, 5:18pm

    “p.s I’m glad to see there now seem to be a few other members of the trans community posting alternative views to the bile and puke that seems to be erupting from the TransLondon coven.”
    Sister Mary Clarence, are you using the term ‘coven’ above as an abusive adjective? I certainly have that impression. Are you not aware that queers have been burned to death over the centuries for allegedly being associated with covens; have you no historical understanding of minority rights at all? Your comment is anti-pagan, trans-phobic, self-oppressive and deeply offensive to me, a practising queer pagan, and my community.

  93. Wyvern Sound…… is that some kind of pagan radio station?? Is the morning show ‘Wake Up To Wotan’ by any chance…. ;-)

  94. Sister Mary Clarence 31 May 2009, 4:44pm

    Wyvernsound – yep, I am using the term as an ‘abusive adjective’ as you refer to it, I actually intended it to be used as an ‘abusive noun’, but to be fair school was a long time again I’d probably prefer to avoid getting into a long discussion about the use of English grammar.

    Moving to the point about ‘queers’ getting burned to death. Firstly, I’d steer away from using the term ‘queers’ in normal conversation, I think it re-enforces negative stereotypes, however hip some people may choose to believe it is. I also feel that it endorses a non-cohesive un-integrated view of our position in society, which interestingly seems to be the position that TransLondon is seeking to carve out for the trans community in relation to, go one I’m going to say it, ‘Toiletgate’

    As to the quotes I referred to, they were lifted from PinkNews. I did however cross reference them with a report from Commander Steve Allen, who chairs the Gold Group, who I believe was the senior officer on duty that day. As I understand from his report, a volatile situation developed, where it seems following the incident, a serious risk of disorder was identified FROM the trans community. This was diffused and it was established that neither the trans victim/combatant nor the steward, who was subsequently assaulted after the initial incident, wished to press charges or take the matter further.

    Witness statements were taken and CCTV footage was also viewed.

    In my view, however whoever assaulted the steward should have been locked up. Everyone has the right to go to work without the fear of being subjected to violence and I find it rather disingenuous for ‘Delta Force’ TransLondon to now be backbiting about the ‘victim’ being subjected to violence, when the reality seems to be that someone got pointed to the wrong toilets, at a gay event where probably everyone was expecting to be sharing the same toilets anyway (ironically an idea that someone has suggested on here as well). She has packed the shits over it, got all here mates involved, who have them kicked off on mass and assaulted a steward.

    The whole fu*king lot of the thugs who sought to spoil what should have been a nice day out for the LGBT community and their friends by lashing out at at the first sight on a minor problems, should have in my view been bundled into a police van handcuffed and taken to the nearest police station, charged with affray and assault (and any other public order offence the police could drum up), kept in custody over night, to appear in court for sentencing.

    So, to summarise, how f*cking dare you, come on here posting all this half truth sh*t about poor f*cking you, and how hard done by you are. If the group involved in the demo and assault were from TransLondon, you should be going cap in hand, on bended knee, begging to be allowed back to Pride this year rather than twisting the story round to you being the ‘victim’ in all of this. The ‘victim’ is the poor f*cker that got assaulted.

    We all from time to time in our lives get asked to do things that we don’t agree with, that we don’t like, or that are inconvenient. However in a civilised society, we do not kick and punch our way out of those situations. Those involved in the incident behaved worse than animals and they should be treated as such.

    TransLondon does a dis-service to the entire trans community and I’m glad a few voices have been raised to show that the only people you represent are yourselves. Can I suggest that TransLondon and any of its apartheid loving followers go and have a march somewhere else this year – maybe over the side of Blackfriars Bridge for example, while the rest of the LGBT community parade through the centre of town in a show of SOLIDARITY, shouting, laughing, drinking and dancing to the sound of vacuous, wallpaper pop music

  95. Sister Mary Clarence 31 May 2009, 4:57pm

    Oh, and by the way ‘anti-pagan, trans-phobic, self-oppressive’?

    How f*cking so?

    Anti-pagan – whilst as rule I have little of no time for religion, personally I would say that Wicca for example is probably one of the least offence and gay friendly where all sexualities are considered ‘healthy’. If I called you a ‘tit’ – does that make me anti-tit?

    Trans-phobic – I have made the point that it is the behaviour of the unrepresentative, vile, self-appointed crones from TransLondon that I have issue with, this I would say is evidenced by the comment:

    “Over the years I’m come across a number of transsexuals, and generally found them to no different from any other section of society, getting on with life in the same way, wanting the same things from life, as happy and unhappy as the rest of society with their lot, so where they hell they managed to dredge you lot up from I don’t know.”

    Self-oppressive – sorry, haven’t the slightest clue what you even mean by this – you’ll have to explain if further if you want a response.

  96. Dru Marland 31 May 2009, 6:17pm

    This is a quote from a letter written by Commander Steve Allen, regarding the alleged assault upon a steward

    “It is clear that members of the trans communities and the officer found themselves involved in a set of circumstances for which the trans communities were not responsible. They were clearly the victims. It has been claimed that the demonstrators assaulted stewards – examination of CCTV evidence demonstrates that these claims are mistaken. Despite the best endeavours and intentions of the officer, these obviously came across in a way, which caused misinterpretation, confusion and hurt.”

    I would suggest that you have moved from disinformation to telling lies, “Sister Mary Clarence”. Whose sockpuppet are you, I wonder? Keep smiling :-)

  97. Sister Mary Clarence 31 May 2009, 7:18pm

    Clearly we are not reading from the same reports Dru, does your report have any mention of the alledged ‘sexual assault’ by any chance, while we’re exposing my ‘lies’?

  98. Dru Marland 31 May 2009, 7:51pm

    This is what I mean when I describe you as ‘sucking the air out of the room’, “Sister Mary Clarence”. It’s not my job to educate you; the truth is out there if you want to go looking for it. I’m just calling bullshit when I see it. If someone else wants to humour you, fine and dandy.

    Now, surely we’ve got more useful things to be doing with our time? I think the main issues in the article which sparked this comments thread have been adequately covered now.

  99. Worthingwoman 31 May 2009, 9:06pm

    Sister Mary Clarence, you are really sad. There were two incidents at the same toilets, no one barged or assaulted a steward and your disinformation reflects on the inability of a part of the gay community’s lack of understanding about the right (where it hurts no one) for everyone to go about their life in a manner that reflects who they are. The core of this discussion is about the trans community having the right to take part in Pride without having the ‘corporate’ image thrust upon them.

  100. A comment from the peanut gallery, if you please.

    I live ‘across the pond’, so I am not emotionally caught up in this interesting and informative debate.

    However, I have been reading comments made by Sister Mary Clarence on many, many other threads on a large scale of topics, and I have always found that she knew what she was talking about.

    For example, she’s the kind of woman who does her homework before speaking up, and I would be inclined to show her some respect. I wish you would all show each other a bit more respect.

    Feel free to tell me to f.o., but I am sure that if I knew you all, I probably would like each one of you. You give the word ‘courage’ a new and better meaning.

    It’s too bad these issues did not surface before now, at the eve of the Pride Parade. There’s a tremendous amount of informaion surfacing here.

    Can I assume that ‘we’ do not have regular meetings, or that ‘we’ do not have a forum somewhere. Did you know that a forum can be opened on PinkNews by clicking on ‘My’ of the homepage?

    In a way it’s none of my business, except that I find you are all so gifted insofar as you express yourselves so well in writing.

    I am in my mid-60’s, and I have chaired committees both large and small. There is no better way than the democratic system, voting in the administration (tough and ungrateful voluntary work), monthly meetings, defining objectives and agendas… you know what I mean, and a yearly meeting where two, three or five-year plans can be voted on by the assembly. The word is ‘focus’ and achieve, but you all know that…

    It surprises me that you expect anything to get done without these structures. This is like last minute gift-wraping on Christmas Eve… could drive anybody around the bend.

    On the other hand, not being in the thick of it like you are, it pains me, it really does, to see you struggling like this when all anyone of you want is what’s best for the Trans community.

    Fianally, it has been my experience that women are much better organisers than men because they can practically see in the dark, if you know what I mean. Women can visuailze the details of any event before the event takes place. That can be a plus or a minus. My sincere wish is that it becomes more and more of a plus, as time goes by.

  101. Sister Mary Clarence 1 Jun 2009, 1:51am

    Ok – bit of clarity on the assault thing, having taken some advice from the constabulary on the issue. The difference in the apparently contradictory police statements may arise from the decision not to press charges. If someone says that someone hit someone it is an ALLEDGED assault. If the person wasn’t charged/convicted of assault, then no ASSAULT took place. Therefore, the from the information available from police and news sources, it suggests that a person or persons were subjected to violence but that there followed no formal assault charges.

    Possibly you were already aware of that Dru, I’m guessing. You were right though, truth was out there, so thank you for the heads up.

    As to Worthingwoman, the statements provided by those at the scene do seem to contradict your view of what happened. Maybe as you weren’t on the end of the violence, you saw it differently. Often that’s the case in life, the person giving the kicking doesn’t always see it as a kicking, but the person getting the kicking usually does.

    “The core of this discussion is about the trans community having the right to take part in Pride without having the ‘corporate’ image thrust upon them.”

    If you actually read the story property …..
    “TransLondon, the largest group in the capital for all trans-identified people, has announced it is boycotting London Pride.”
    “The decision comes after trans women were denied access to female toilets at last year’s Pride and one was allegedly sexually assaulted.”
    “The trans group has also said that an unelected trans representative is forcing “negative media stereotypes” on trans marchers at the parade.”

    The business about negative media stereotypes in an ‘also ran’ and the primary reason, according to the report, is fact that a trans women was denied access to female toilets last year.

    I fully appreciate everyone’s right to go about their life in a manner that reflects who they are, but no one is saying the incident was handled well, hence the investigation and the apology. TransLondon seem hell bent now on destroying Pride as a result – this is where I have the issue, trying to rally unrest with other minority groups to destabilise the entire event. I really am struggling to see how you have any ‘right’ to do this.

  102. Sister Mary Clarence 1 Jun 2009, 5:49am

    oops – read the story ‘PROPERLY’

  103. Dru Marland 1 Jun 2009, 6:17am

    Indeed. So your purpose, “Sister Mary Clarence”, appears to be to divert, derail and disinform. Well, coming to this as a relative outsider, I’ve certainly learned a lot from this thread. And not, perhaps, what you intended. Thank you. I’ll leave you to it now.

  104. Justice for all trans 1 Jun 2009, 10:31am

    I Still think it is about money… can i have some?

    Can trans london and trans for pride 08 say yes or no to this question.

    Did you money given to you to pay for trans people that don’t live in London to come to pride?

  105. @Sister Mary Clarence

    TransLondon are making a big thing about this because of the toiletgate thing. But elements of pride are also blowing this up because of the trans Stonewall awards Julie Bindel demo.

    What’s not happening is people sitting down and discussing a way forward and how we all can work together. A lot of good work by people who are unifiers has been destroyed by all this petulance. I wish some people would see this has a direct effect on trans people when they are looking to access shared services.

  106. Jean-Paul 1 Jun 2009, 2:03pm


    Aw, don’t be like that.

    You are one of the 100 watt light bulbs in this debate. Please, continue to kick it around. Go ahead and argue, debate, you have some good points, you’re smart.

    I know Sister Mary Clarence simply because she regularly posts on other issues on PinkNews threads. That doesn’t take anything away from you.

    Please take a minute to elaborate what you mean by ‘divert, derail and disinform’. For example, speak to me as if I don’t know anything about the issue. I want to learn something from this debate that no-one else can teach me.

    Please don’t be like that, don’t leave the debate. Every one will come out of this experience a better person, you’ll see. So what if everyone will have to compromise a bit?

    This is not a contest, it’s an open debate. There won’t be a winner or a loser; there will be a consensus, and you are getting closer and closer to it.

    Be honest, speak your mind, help everyone keep the well-being of the group at the forefront. You can do that.

    Take it out on me, if you want, yell, scream, punch me in the head if you’re angry. I don’t blame you.

    Is there anything in Sister Mary Clarence’s last post that you can agree with? What about this corporate image thing? What is that, anyway?

    It’s more of a challenge to build than to destroy, and this experience will only give you all more of what you will forever need in your lives: more guts! More, more, more!

    Please carry on. Ple-e-ase.

  107. Charlie Butler 2 Jun 2009, 1:08pm

    @Sister Mary Clarence:

    Your insinuation that the withdrawal of the allegation of assault was on some sort of technicality won’t wash. The Borough Commander of Westminster has accepted that careful consideration of the CCTV evidence, has been not only failed to substantiate the allegation but DISPROVED it.

    You then state:

    “If you actually read the story properly …
    The business about negative media stereotypes in an ‘also ran’ and the primary reason, according to the report, is fact that a trans women was denied access to female toilets last year.”

    If you want to gauge TransLondon’s priorities it would make more sense to read the statement they actually put out, rather than the Pink News summary of it. To be helpful, I have appended it below. Clearly your interpretation above is not accurate one:

    “In a busy meeting on May 19th, members of TransLondon, London’s largest support group for all trans-identified and genderqueer people, voted overwhelmingly for a boycott of the Pride London 2009 march and rally. As a result, for the first time since the group was formed, TransLondon will have no presence in the parade, nor at the rally.

    This is part of an ongoing estrangement from Pride. Last year, a successful Pride march was marred at the rally in Trafalgar Square when a number of trans women were denied access to the women’s toilets by Pride security stewards. One woman was subsequently sexually assaulted after being told to use the male toilets. Roz Kaveney, one of the women targeted in the 2008 “ToiletGate” incident, explained how she felt Pride London had only ever provided a grudging apology under threat of legal action, and that she felt they had never taken the discrimination against trans women in the 2008 rally seriously.

    During the meeting on May 19th 2009, members heard how the democratic and transparent structure used in 2008 to co-ordinate participation of trans groups and the funds made available for transgender attendees, through the elected Trans@Pride committee, has been abolished by Pride London for 2009. Instead, Pride London have imposed their own unelected “representative” for the trans strand. Furthermore, requests for information about funding, how decisions were made and who participated in the decision-making process, have been rebuffed.

    Last year, the elected Trans@Pride Committee consulted repeatedly with over a dozen groups and hundreds of individuals over before arranging travel bursaries for trans people to attend from around the country, hosting a breakfast for marchers on the day, commissioning artwork from a local queer artist as a rallying point for trans marchers, producing banners and bunting, arranging trans performers for all of the Pride stages including the main stage in Trafalgar Square and publicising the arrangements widely. In stark contrast, the meeting heard of how Pride London’s appointed trans “representative” for 2009 has simply imposed Pride’s vision for trans participation in the march and rally.

    The 2009 pride participation is, so we are told, to consist of a float at the very back of the parade which would pander to the most tired and inaccurate media stereotypes of trans people. Trans women would, in Pride’s vision, be dressed in sequins, high heels and fairy wings and, apparently as an afterthought, a few trans men would be invited to pose in football strips. The Pride representative explained that the trans float would complement a float at the front of the march with members of the cast of the West End musical, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”. In her vision, onlookers would be delighted to see “Priscilla at the front and Priscilla at the back”. As a coup de grace, a visible cordon of security stewards would surround the trans float, ostensibly “for our own protection”.

    Rather than address the true diversity of the trans community, members of TransLondon felt that participating in such an event would serve only to bolster the kind of negative media stereotypes which portray trans people as “the cast of Grease”, and that these undemocratic plans constitute an insult to London’s diverse trans community. Sarah Brown, a member of TransLondon, an elected member of Trans@Pride 2008 and co-founder of the London Transfeminist Group said, “If I am to march at Pride, it would be as the lesbian woman I am, not dressed up as a corporate parody”.

    To determine TransLondon’s official position on participation in Pride London 2009, three options were put to the vote:

    Option one, to participate in the march under the terms we felt were being dictated by the Pride London board, received no votes.

    Option two, to participate in the march independently of the “official” trans strand, as a form of direct action to show our dissatisfaction, received 31% of the votes cast.

    Option three, to boycott the parade and rally received 65% of the votes cast.

    There were some abstentions from members who wanted to see what their friends in other groups were doing before making a decision.

    The democratic decision of the membership of TransLondon is therefore that the organisation will have no official presence or banner at Pride London, 2009.”

  108. Jean-Paul 2 Jun 2009, 4:12pm

    Thank you, Charlie, for the tremendous insight. A bit overwhelming for me , but an excellent and time-consuming report.

    I would have to re-read it all, but for the moment, why were the funds of the Trans@Pride committee abolished? Who proposed that? Did Trans have any say in the matter?

    These questions cannot remain unanswered. Transparency is part and parcel of the democratic process. I smell something fishy.

    As for the float, I always felt that the last float was every bit as important as the first. Doesn’t the last float leave a lasting impression? Does for me.

    Finally, this whole thread would have been simplified had you spoken up sooner, but I am not saying that to blame you. From a stranger’s point of view (I live in Canada, in my mid-60’s, in a successful s-s relationship), I have been so confused reading this thread…couln’t see the forest for the trees, know what I mean?

    The members of TransLondon will not participate as a group. Individual Trans are free to do what they want without fear of reprisals, correct?

    Finally, what do you think of the suggestions made in this thread regarding the use of unisex toilets as a compromise?

    I feel there’s a strong undercurrent here that I can’t put my finger on. There’s a piece of the puzzle missing, or am I going daft?

  109. The irony of seeing certain members of the LGB part of the spectrum going for blood against the T part never ceases to amaze me. It’s Pride ffs. We should be sticking together with the trans-lot and if you want to look at it really closely, maybe it’s worth remembering that Pride’s the commemeration of Stonewall… which the first action was taken by a trans activist by most accounts. Julie Bindel is very hypocritical indeed.

  110. You said: “hosting a breakfast for marchers on the day”

    Will that be the private, invitation-only breakfast that the majority of us were excluded from despite it being paid for by London Pride?

  111. Sister Dire-Reaahh of the Holy Immodium 4 Jun 2009, 8:20pm

    As a result of some involvement within this current situation, I feel it necessary to let you all know that Sister Mary Clarence is not talking on behalf of the London House of Common Sluts, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. I and other members of the House know of no Sister by this name who is active and therefore instrumental in causing positive change within our wider community.

    Showing respect, offering love and always tolerant, Sr. Dire xxx

  112. Pumpkin Pie 7 Jun 2009, 10:31am

    Haha, oh wow! A Sister of Perpetual Indulgence! I love you guys! Rock on.

  113. Peter Lello 8 Jun 2009, 4:19pm

    I must admit that I knew Paul Birrell personally – we were once very close friends – I am an ex-Director and Trustee of the Charity known as the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard (LLGS). I am also an ex-member of the pre-cursor to the Pride London organising Committee, on which I served for several years with Paul Birrell.

    I thus have a very good history of involvement with the – predominately London – LGBT scene and events, and of Paul Birrell personally.

    Firstly, I know Paul Birrell is not – in any way – someone who regards even the most minority of interests as in any way inconsequential. Paul has, at his most fundamental level, ingrained in his DNA almost, a commitment to equality and fairness. It is very unlikely that he would, or deliberately, act against any specific or group, minority, interest group at Pride London.

    While Paul may, of necessity, be a ‘blunt instrument’ as opposed to a surgical scalpel, in terms of having to deal with a wide range and level of special interest groups, this is a feature of any higher-level organisational responsibility. No one person at any level can have a totally detailed view: individual representatives – including at Pride London – must take personal responsibility for their own respective areas.

    What does not seem to be understood here is that Pride London – assuming it is the same as its pre-cursors – is NOT generally an organisation of paid positions! Post-holders do this as a voluntary position, in their own spare time, of their own generosity – as do those of the contributory groups to Prides under any guise!

    Nor is Pride, under any guise, an organisation with vast riches to behold and to scatter as it pleases. It is not. Yes, public funds may be available, private funds may be too. But these funds are inevitably limited, and choices must be made. Difficult choices!

    As I know from my own experiences liaising with the various groups who provide floats at Pride, the effort put in, and understanding of each groups’ own interests, is crucial, but are other areas of the community better than Pride overall?

    In my years at London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard between 1999 and 2002, I can tell you that this is not the case. Why is it that that organisation itself is still not called ‘London Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Switchboard’?

    Honestly? Because every time such a proposition was made, near-riot ensued. The popular joke / rumour was that if such a proposition ever even made it to a vote of the membership, at least half the female, lesbian, members would resign en-masse, in expectations of the male bisexuals practically raping them in the building. As far as any potential trans-members were concerned, again, any male-to-female trans members were regarded as not ‘real’ women or lesbian members while female to male trans members were viewed as traiters. This was always to ignore any more ‘subtle’ issues such as those of biological or physical sex – pre- or post-op – members.

    So, I would say that I find it difficult to accept that the true or whole fault here lies with Pride London – let alone personally against Paul Birrell who is, after all, but one cog in a big mechanism – than it lies with the whole edifice of the various LGBT communities.

    In closing – engage in dialogue. I am sure, knowing the key participants such as Paul Birrell, that this is fully possible, and that true, wider resolutions are totally achievable.

    If anyone in the trans community has the slightest issue with Pride London let alone any other organisation – ask yourselves, look at, other organisations such as London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, ask yourselves if this is a unique slight, or a wider, community-based, one – THEN not only decide, but make your plans for action on those bases, not one aimed solely at one, largely undeserving, target.

  114. I note the ranting continued with noone from TransLondon prepared to tell me where the money went and whether the breakfast was open to all or just a select few!

    PS You are confusing assualt with battery here. If someone believes they will come to harm (ie they are threatened in a convincing way) that is assualt; battery is the act of actualy violence. Often confused.

  115. So exactly how much money have Translondon raised towards Pride do they publish their accounts? I saw them shaking buckets last year, where did that money go? Exactly how many people attended this “Busy” meeting, I already know, but in the interests of transparency Translondon should state exactly how many people attended this meeting and how many of them where Londoners? I find it very very sad that you scream constantly about equality, yet seem continuosely to want special treatment

  116. i think peter raises a really good point about the position of trans people within the wider community. i have found that a lot of the trans people who are talking about their experiences are really offering a richness of looking at how we relate to gender in our societies. i sometimes find it challenging but it always broadens my mind and give me awareness of what is possible for human beings. issues such as stonewall’s nominating of Julie Bindell and the reported float representing Trans people at Pride this year to me seem indicative of a wider attitude within the gay community to ignore the more radical voices coming from the trans community or to see them as not being related to our concerns.

    my experiences as a gay man have confirmed for me that trans experiences are fundamentally intertwined with gay experiences. after all a lot of homophobia is fundamentally based on gender expectations – you’re a man you’re not supposed to behave that way. men don’t do this. women don’t do that. the deep questioning of our gender identities by the trans community is doing a lot to free people from restrictive roles. it is a pity this could not be represented and celebrated at Pride. our community would be much richer as a result.

  117. it also occurred to me that the biggest wounding in all our communities is silence. we all know the dangers of silence and what it is to be misrepresented. the events at Stonewall 40 years ago were a very loud shout against the silence that had stifled us for many years. and we march, as far as i understand, to remember those who had the courage to make that shout. a lot of us now enjoy a more comfortable life because of those who were noisy and rowdy, took a risk and said this is not who i am and it is not right.

    on re-reading the TransLondon press release it seems to me that what they are doing is drawing attention to misrepresentation and the lack of diverse expression within Pride. even if TransLondon do not represent the whole of the Trans community (and i am sure they don’t) their voice is still a valid one and, given the tradition we are celebrating, one that we ought to be embracing as showing up fault lines and blindnesses within our greater community. the fact that their tone has become strident just shows that our organisations with more power to control representation are still missing the point. it would be wonderful if our major organisations such as stonewall, pride etc carried out grass roots consultations with groups expressing concerns with marginalisation. although the process might not always be easy it has the potential to broaden our community and help us find a place where we find unity in celebrating diversity.

    and on the toilet issue – a few years ago i came across a report from the institute for lesbian and gay studies addressing the issue of Trans people using Shelters or other Sheltered Accommodation. as i remember, the report concluded that the best way to proceed was for the self-identification of the person to be honoured. so the work on this issue has been done. i can understand the anger of TransLondon that at an event like Pride the Stewards were not aware of the issues surrounding gendered public facilities such as toilets.

  118. thinking on this it also occurs to me that the biggest wounding in our community is that of silence. we all know the dangers of silence and what misrepresentation can bring. and 40 years ago that silence was broken when a bunch of people got rowdy and noisy and said i am not that, this is wrong. and many of us now have more comfortable lives thanks to those who took a risk and made some noise. and, as i understand it, one of the reasons we march is to remember those who did this. and to celebrate them.

    on re-reading TransLondon’s press release it seems that they are drawing attention to misrepresentation within the Pride march and how the organisation has operated this year. whilst TransLondon may not speak for the whole Trans community (and i’m sure they don’t) they are still a valid voice and given the tradition we are celebrating, one that we ought to listen to. their press release shows the fault lines and blindnesses that exist within our wider community and we would do well to heed them. the stridency of their tone for me shows that our organisations who have a lot of power to control representations (such as pride, stonewall etc.) are missing the point.

    it would be truly wonderful if our larger organisations would hold grass-roots consultations with groups expressing concerns over marginalisation. although the process might not always be easy it could open our community to a great richness where we really do find unity in our celebrating of diversity.

  119. this has started me thinking on how the major wounding in our community is silence. we all know the dangers of silence and misrepresentation. 40 years ago a group of people changed the silence that was stifling us by getting up and saying i am not what you say i am, this has got to change. many of us now have more comfortable lives because they took a personal risk and got noisy and rowdy.

    re-reading TransLondon’s press release it seems that they are drawing attention to misrepresentation with the Pride March and also within the organisational structures of it this year. and even though TransLondon may not speak for the whole Trans community(and i’m sure they don’t) they are still a valid voice within our community and one that, given the tradition we are celebrating, we ought to listen to.

    we are being alerted to the fault lines and blindnesses within our wider community. and the fact that their tone is becoming more strident points out for me that our major organisations (such as London Pride and Stonewall) who have greater power over who gets represented, are missing the point.

    it would be wonderful if we saw our major organisations holding grass-roots consultations with groups who feel marginalised. this would show greater community leadership. although the process may not always be an easy one it would build a much richer community where we really do find unity through celebrating diversity.

  120. this has started me thinking. one of the major woundings in our community is silence. we all know the dangers of silence and misrepresentation. 40 years ago a bunch of people stood up and said i am not what you say i am, this has got to change. and many of us now enjoy more comfortable lives as a result of those people who took a personal risk and got noisy and rowdy. and, as i understand it, one of the reasons we march is to remember and celebrate them.

    on re-reading TransLondon’s press release it seems to me that they are drawing our attention to misrepresentation within the Pride march and the organisational structure for it this year. TransLondon may not speak for the entire Trans community but they are still a valid voice and, given the history we are celebrating, one that ought to be listened to.

    they are pointing out the fault lines and blindnesses within our wider community. the fact that their tone is becoming more insistent suggests to me that our major organisations (such as London Pride and Stonewall) who exercise a lot of power in how our community is represented are missing the point.

    it would be wonderful if our major organisation would hold grass-roots level consultations in an open way with groups who have concerns over marginalisation. this would show true community leadership. the process may not always be easy but it would build a richer wider community where we really do find unity in celebrating and encouraging diversity.

  121. in the last paragraph read *organisations*. wouldn’t like to suggest it was any one group’s responsibility. it’s all of ours to raise it with the groups we belong to. :)

  122. hmm. well comments 118 to 120 didn’t seem to be accepted by this site due to messing up the captcha thing so i retyped it. now i see they were. so sorry everyone for the re-iteration. still getting the hang of posting on these sites.

  123. TransLondon rep 25 Jun 2009, 12:58pm

    @Steven – lovely, inspiring comments. Well said.

    @xyl and transwoman – TransLondon did not organise the breakfast last year – that was FTM London and they used their own money until Pride offered to reimburse them. It was not in any way a breakfast for a select few. There were 80 breakfasts provided for anyone in the trans community on a first come first served basis and the availability was posted in a newsletter to every trans group possible and on as many noticeboards as possible. I remember seeing a very representative selection of trans people there.

    Regarding collecting money – that simply did not happen. TransLondon has never shaken any buckets at any events including Pride. It is an entirely voluntary organisation without any funding. No TL members claimed travel bursaries last year either – we live in London so why would we?

    People are believing the spin.

  124. The following comments: “Comment by xyl — June 19, 2009 @ 17:09”, “Comment by xyl — June 4, 2009 @ 10:29” and “Comment by xyl — May 29, 2009 @ 12:35” were NOT made by the same xyl who was posting in this thread earlier on. It seems to me that someone is trying to defame TransLondon and Brighton Pride and divide the trans community by claiming to be me. I just had a phone call from a TransLondon representative about this, so any attempt to bring my name into disrepute have failed.

    Perhaps Pink News would care to take a look at the IP addresses of the posters (note that I’m at my partner’s house in london now not where I made my earlier posts from).

  125. Don’t you see the gay haters are using you to fight each other. Don’t fall for it, it is a trick. We all, LGBT need to work together if we are to get our equal rights and freedom to marry.

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