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Comment: Why are gay people trying to ban East End Pride?

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  1. Douglas Pretsell 14 Mar 2011, 12:14pm

    hmm, not sure I have seen anyone denouncing the organiserrs yet. Certainly not gay people living here in the East End.

    However, I do take issue with your claim that ´”the far right has decided to re-brand itself with a bit of Kylie and some rainbow flags is laughable”

    Maybe you missed Pym Fortuyn in the Netheralnds or Jorg Haider and his boyfriend leading the Austrian far right? The UK may have been slow off the mark, but the EDL (the most visibly islamophobic group in the UK today) most certainly has a very active LGBT wing:

    http://www.facebook.com/EDL.LGBT.Division

    Now you could say the EDL have nothing to do with this event and most people would believe you but the fact that the organisers have stated they do not wish to see EDL or SWP banners rather suggests they recognise the risjk that this event could be manipulated by far right or far left carpetbaggers.

    1. There were gay people in the NF so its not new

      1. Agreed. Dismissing gay involvement in right wing groups as “it’s the boots and cropped hair” is frankly pathetic. I would like to ask Mr Birrell what London Pride has done to combat racism and other forms of bigotry within the gay community? I have seen and experienced racism/islamophobia/general bigotry (transphobia, sexism etc) during pride marches and on the gay scene.

        1. “Leaving aside the admitted similarity in appearance between the far right and quite a few gay men – it’s the boots and cropped hair – the idea that the far right has decided to re-brand itself with a bit of Kylie and some rainbow flags is laughable”

          This is actually a dreadful piece of reporting

  2. Julian Morrison 14 Mar 2011, 12:18pm

    Gee, Pride is confrontational, who’da thunkit.

    1. isn’t it fantastic – back to the real thing rather than a dance n drag festival!

    2. Dear Julian,

      A queer of colour being accused of being homophobic for demanding a racist free march, OR cancellation if it cannot be so thunk it!

  3. I’m always up for Pride. Even moreso for this one as it’s been inspired by a specific case of homophobia. And quite frankly I don’t care if it is an assault on someone elses views… why should we be silent when the opposition is so bloody loud? It’s not like anyone is advocating violence, of course that would be unacceptable. There’s nothing wrong with people standing up for themselves peacefully.

    I think people should also bear in mind that gay people are not trying to remove the rights of other individuals. Simply fighting for our own equality. It’s not like anyone is trying to say straight people shouldn’t be allowed to marry, or advocating violence towards straight people, and you don’t see “No straight zone” stickers down Old Compton Street. WE are the ones being assaulted, and Pride events are merely a peaceful protest against that in my opinion.

    1. You said what I would like to say if I could find the words *lol*

      I live in East London, and I took the appearance of these stickers very personally. I do not push my views or beliefs on anyone else, why should I stand to have it done to me?
      Pride is never “anti” anything – it’s PRO- love, acceptance, tolerance and understanding.

      I will be Proud to be at Pride!

    2. No one doubts that gay people are subjected to homophobia. No one is arguing against consistent and sustained campaigns to fight homophobia. All that some people are saying is that there is good reason to believe that the EEGP is organised by people who have agendas of anti-Muslim racism and anti-immigrant xenophobia. Being ‘gay’ or queer does not exhaust my entire politics and identity. I have a right to know the politics of the people I am marching behind. If I have reason to believe they are racist, I have the right to say I will not join you. AND, I have the right to request the same of all others who are queer and progressive. As for the repeated reference to their statement as ‘proof’ that they are non racist, this is naive beyond belief. No racist ever admits to being one. Not in this age. Not if you are looking to mobilise support. Which does not take away their links to EDL and their total disrespect for the very politics which has today won us the right to a life with dignity

      1. Ian Townson 15 Mar 2011, 10:53am

        I take Ikkarus point seriously. If some groups offer support to LGBT struggles we should not automatically welcome it without examing who they are and what they stand for. Even with the slightest tinge of left or socialist politics it is easy to detect the EDL as rabidly nationalistic and racist. The EDL’s fake LGBT group is an opportunist attempt at gaining credibility among various groups through a charm offensive. The other side of the EDL is seen in the thuggery and violence they meted out recently to muslim communities and businesses in Leicester, Stoke and Luton.

        This is the fallacy of LGBT pride abandoning politics. Also we should not be defined by our gay identiy/politics only. This has led in the past to many LGBT people voting for New Labour because of the LGBT reforms they brought in while ignoring the slaughter in Iraq and Afghanistan, their keeping of Thatcher’s anti-union laws and the destruction of any political representation for ordinary working people.

        Ian

  4. Paddyswurds 14 Mar 2011, 12:20pm

    I have no opinion either way on the veracity of this event, especially as i live so far away from London (Luckily) but i do have a question Short hair and boots !! Isn’t that just so 70s? Has the gay movement not moved on….

  5. I would also question why the organisers of East London Pride think it s a good idea to reproduce the offensive stickers on their posters and ask people to download them and copy them around. What is the purpose of giving more visibility to those stickers , if not stirring resentment between gay and muslim communities. ” Hey if you have missed the homophobic stickers the first time round , dont worry we will make sure that you see them when WE put them around ” Something s def. not right with those people and as the chair of London Pride you should be a bit more sensitive to LGBT s concerns than dismissing them as “sour grapes”.

  6. I can understand that various political interest groups might use Gay pride as a springboard for their own agendas, but that’s not a reason to ban it for everyone else.
    Banning pride to help community cohesion is missing the point by a country mile.
    Funny how we always carp on in these threads about pride becoming increasingly irrelevant and commercial now gay equality isn’t such a hotbutton issue to the public at large, yet when there is a local cause worth fighting for and right wing bigots on the warpath the first instinct is to pander to the homophobes.
    Sounds like the Neville Chamberlain school of diplomacy to me.

    1. I am queer. I am an immigrant. I am black. Can somebody please tell me how I am supposed to march in solidarity with people who are gay, but racist and anti-immigrant? Opposition to EEGP is not about community cohesion or panedring to homophobes. It is about making the march safe for ALL. This the organisers have refused to do by refusing to openly say that the march shall not pander to fascist and xenophobes. This is a clear discrimination against sections of the queer community. Sections who are coloured, sections who are immigrant and of course, sections who are Muslim. These are the queer people who are protesting to EEGP. With good reason. With genuine concerns. They are not pandering to homophobes.

      1. Jock S. Trap 15 Mar 2011, 8:18am

        This March is about protesting against homophobia and hate of which is being shown in the community. It is a message by all affected to all those who wish to silence and remove us. This isn’t hate on hate. This is a visible message to make a stand. This isn’t about race or religious its a message All homophobes esp those who feel they need to put up homophobic poster.

        This is a peacefully, visible protest about hate and homophobia. However organisations like Out East/Rainbow Hamlets seem to want to make issue about it about race which is just wrong. They are making way to much noise which I feel is highly suspicious. Maybe they think they’ll lose money, I don’t know but it is only Out East that is making this racial. I don’t trust Our East’s motives.

        In the End it is not this march that will do damage, it is Out East and what they’ll do. They just prove they have nothing to offer LGBTs living in Tower Hamlets.

      2. Paddyswurds 15 Mar 2011, 11:36am

        @Ikkarus…i totally agree with you and on the day after this fiasco takes place so will most ordinary decent queers throughout the United Kingdom. This so called “Pride” march is nothing but a racist facist inspired facade to further the aims and ideals of the EDL and BNP and to foment tension between the Gay community and Asian community of the East End of London. That it comes hard on the heels of an EDL concocted sticker campaign earlier this year, and which failed to whip up the tension intended is testament to this. That the stickers are to be distributed amongst the participants of the march on the Day is even more evidence of the insidious intentions of those behind this fiasco. It is akin to the N*zi Party distributing Yellow Stars and Pink Triangles amongst the Judges at the Nuremburg trials. If the march isn’t abandoned voluntarily it should be stopped by the Police because it will result in violence, not least to the Gay community,for which it pretends to be an advocate.

  7. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2011, 12:35pm

    Totally agree with this comment.

    All Out East and Rainbow Hamlets are trying to do is trying to stop the LGBT being out and proud in parts of OUR own country where being LGB has been totally legal for over 40 years.

    Question should really be Why do these so called Gay groups want us to surpress who we are as if to go back into the closet? Who do they Really represent?

    What are they really losing? Money?Profit?

    East Out/Rainbow Hamlets Support the LGBT community or disband.

    1. Flying dutch 14 Mar 2011, 3:23pm

      me. they do represent me and not someone with a british flag which is a bit nationalistic ( personal taste ) nobody wants to get back in the closet, there is a question about Islamophobia here. we are not losing money, obviously, only the heart. far more important. with hate we do not resolve anything. period/

      1. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2011, 3:40pm

        The fact the need to stereotype the Union Flag says it all about your actually.

        You assume this is about hate but it’s anything but. The hate has already been shown. I don’t actually see anyone from the LGBT community asking for retaliation to these acts. That would be hate on hate.

        It IS about showing we are here and us making a stand Against hate, whoever it is from.

        No-one should back away from that, no-one.

      2. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2011, 3:50pm

        Why do the people against this March insist it is Islamophobia when it is actually about Homophobia. Why are these people pigeon holing this. Again it make no sense.

        This March is about being against homophobia WHOEVER the perpetrator.

        Oh and just thought, you wanted to point out the Union Jack, I was out with one of my Muslim friends who wore a Union Jack top, what comment do you want to make about him?

    2. Who do they Really represent?

      They represent gays who are immigrants, gays who are Muslim, gays who are black. They represent gays who live and face homophobia in Tower Hamlets and have been fighting it for decades.

      What are they really losing?

      They are not ‘losing’ anything. They are fighting for what they believe is right, i.e., a gay pride march should not provide room for prejudice against people of colour and for migrants from other cultures.

      1. Jock S. Trap 15 Mar 2011, 8:21am

        This March needs everyone who feels threatened. Black, White, Asian, Immigrant who happen to be Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transexual and friends who don’t feel safe in this area. The only people making an issue out of this is Out East because they refuse to act on our safety.

        1. My repeated questions remain unanswered. How is a person of colour and an immigrant supposed to feel safe marching with a group who believe that ‘those backward South Asians’ should be shown their place or pushed back out of ‘OUR country’ where, you seem to suggest, they have no right to be? I am using your words and the words of your supporters when I quote. Would you march with someone who spoke about ‘those backward gays’ or ‘those immoral gays’? I am guessing your answer is no. How can I march with you? Why should I march with you?
          On one thing you are right, the march needs ‘Asian, Immigrant who happen to be Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transexual’. It needs this multicolour diversity so that it can pretend that actually, its not racist. But racism is not just about skin colour dude. Its about being prejudiced and hateful about ‘others’. The organisers and supporters of this march are deeply prejudiced. I, for one, will not help out the march with my black face or my gay ass!

          1. You are suffering from cognitive dissonance. You want one thing, but fight for something else. Are you honestly equating calling a bigot “backward” with a bigot wanting someone dead? Please examine your motives and your conscience.

            The real reason you won’t be at the march is because someone Asian might see you there and duff you up later.

            Which says it all, really.

          2. Jock S. Trap 15 Mar 2011, 12:41pm

            Erm, whose words are you using when you quote ikkarus? Who has said those words in your first paragraph?

            How does two people of the same sex holding hands on a peaceful march equat to hate?

            This is a Pride with it’s original message stop the Hate, stop the discrimination. A message for all.

            It’s disturbing that some feel that Pride is somehow irrevent when clearly it is needed more. Only an idiot would think Pride is about hate when all the LGBT want to do is get on with our lives without hate.

    3. flaminboxers 15 Mar 2011, 10:52am

      You’re saying that this is not about phobia towards immigrants and Muslims and yet in the same breath you are using a capitalised possessive pronoun to differentiate between ‘OUR’ and presumably ‘THEIR’ country. If that is not an indication of the difficult subtext of difference and or racism / nationalism / xenophobia then what is? I am not saying you are any of those things but this issue tends towards bringing out the racial tensions which simmer below the surface whether consciously or not.

      1. Jock S. Trap 15 Mar 2011, 1:01pm

        You read too much into things and let fly the accusations which end up diluting real hatred.

        I know plenty of people from other cultures who use ‘our’ as a term of being proud of this country. Many have become citzens after moving here. You add the them & us arguement which is not necessary. There is none I’m simply pointing out that this this country homosexuality has been perfectly legal since 1967. I don’t care where people are from They don’t have to accept it but they do have to respect it. Just as the respect they would seek.

        People I know used to be amazed that I wasn’t some racist because of the racism and homophobia that eventually hounded me out of my birthplace. I never have because I know and love too many people from all sorts of different backgrounds and sexually sure I’ve done my bit for international relations in my day.

        Your constant rambling about ‘racial tensions’ is reason there is any racial tensions. Im sure if you say it enough…

  8. It’s like student politics for nominal grown-ups. When did gay politics become so self-serving, self-righteous and selfish?

  9. While I think that some of the critics of East End Pride have been deliberately offensive and antagonistic, in a way that completely undermines their own stated goals of forging solidarity, the organisers of East End Pride have yet to respond adequately to the quite detailed arguments I’ve seen circulated. Their only responses so far have just dismissed these arguments (‘It’s all just a bit of fun!’ or ‘We’re definitely not EDL!’ rather than engage with them.

    Birrell’s response here is, frankly, just a lot of hot air delivered in the same deliberately offensive tone he (rightly) accuses his critics of using.

    Personally I’m not in favour of ‘banning’ East End Pride, but I think the organisers have demonstrated, at best, a worrying disregard for the views of others, mirroring exactly that which they’re supposedly marching against.

    Pink News – can we expect to see a commentary from the critics of East End Pride now? ;)

    1. “Personally I’m not in favour of ‘banning’ East End Pride, but I think the organisers have demonstrated, at best, a worrying disregard for the views of others”

      Yours is a voice of sanity in this thread, however, let me explain why I cannot be this measured in my response. As I am a migrant and black and queer, I sadly do not have the privilege of participating in a pride march which refuses to take an anti-racist stance. The organisers have already banned my participation by refusing to make it a safe space for me. How can I have a measured response? What kind of measured response can I have?

      1. Jock S. Trap 15 Mar 2011, 8:24am

        This isn’t a professional organisation. This is six people who have had the guts to say ‘we’ve had enough’ This isn’t some money making venture, this is a protest to say homophobia in the community is not right and will we will not surrender to it.

        Someone HAD to do it. So why didn’t Out East. Why are they not protecting the LGBT community in Tower Hamlets?

        1. These ‘six people’ have also said a lot of other things other than ‘we have had enough’. They have stereotyped everyone who raised legitimate concerns and worries as ‘anti-fun party’ as ‘those haters’. They have displayed their political ignorance by responding to critics who pointed out the anti-immigrant symbolism of a pink Union Jack by saying, ‘its a big pink flag, get a life’ and ‘you can come and kiss my pink ass’. They have sat in meetings and declared that ‘I have friends in EDL, so what’. Yes, they are not an organisation. They therefore have no experience. They have refused to learn from those who do. Instead, they have heaped abuse on their critics. They are yet to answer legitimate worries regarding possible racist attacks, jut like you are refusing to answer my questions. As for money making venture- why do you keep harping on it, I wonder? No one has suggested that it is. Is there a guilty secret there somewhere?

          1. Jock S. Trap 15 Mar 2011, 1:07pm

            Look clearly you’ve made up you mind. Fine don’t go. But I know what I am there for and thats to show people that homophobia cannot ever be acceptable behaviour in this country. I don’t care who they are haters and homophobes come from different ends of society but this Message is just one simple message.

            The ‘Stop The Homophobia’ unlike you does NOT discriminate.

  10. David Wainwright 14 Mar 2011, 12:58pm

    It does seem that the EDF is attempting to recruit LGBT people to its cause in order to give it multi cultural credentials and improve its public relations , we should be alert to affiliating with such thugs , by the same token I applaud the organisation of a PRIDE for east London it is a fabulous idea and i hope will become an annual event in Londons calendar .

    1. Ian Townson 14 Mar 2011, 3:51pm

      LGBT events should be political and celebratory. Pride should not come before a fall and the only way to ensure that is to remain vigilant against homophobia. The EDL is playing a clever game of pretence. When it is not intimidating muslim communities its website is full of muslim-bashing bile. They clearly want ‘Muslim Free Zones’. They have a LGBT section. This is to divide and rule so that they gain credibility with other communities. It’s a different tactic to the anti-gay image of the National Front or the British Movement and the EDL’s defence of ‘England’ will get it street cred for those who like waving the union jack (pink or otherwise). The blood stains of the British Empire and colonial rule against the oppressed won’t appear on their logo.

      EDL thugs may well be on the East End Pride March. The only way to counter this is to make sure Muslim organisations and other groups are present and clearly visible in solidarity. Otherwise cancel to avoid muslim-bashing.

      Ian

      1. EDL supporter 14 Mar 2011, 4:38pm

        Talk about class prejudice. You would never refer to black people or muslims with such prejudicial contempt. I’ve met hundreds of people in EDL and never had a single glimpse of hostility from any of them.

        I hope you are right and muslim groups do go out and show their support for EEGP. That would be a huge sign of progress.

        Meanwhile EDL has a national demo in Blackburn on April 2nd, so I can’t see why they would be going to an event where they’ve been told they are not welcome (although I suspect the UAF communists will still turn up in the hope of causing violence – I’ve stood next to them and heard them say “we hope there’ll be a riot”, and I’ve heard Martin Smith say in public “peaceful protests do not work”).

        1. Sister Mary Clarence 15 Mar 2011, 1:07am

          There’s one born every minute apparently

        2. Ian Townson 15 Mar 2011, 10:12am

          I am not sure what you mean by class prejudice. I imagine you mean that the membership of the EDL is largely made up of white working class (men). Given that both the Labour Party and the Left have abandoned the white working class it’s hardly surpring that lack of representation opens up the EDL and other far right groups to white workers. However the charm offensive doesn’t impress me. The EDL website is full of vitriolic hatred for muslims and that forms the basis of their fake concern about homophobia and the real reason why they ‘support’ the East End LGBT demonstration in an area with a large Bangladeshi population.

          Ian

  11. Most Pride marches are now just commercial enterprises piggy-backing off historic expressions of liberation, and as such have lost all real meaning. This is not one of them.

    Don’t march because it’s confrontational to confront real, genuine, local homophobia? This is a 21st century Cable Street, except this time the roles are reversed and it is the bigots trying to state “they shall not pass”.

    Don’t appease homophobes, march.

    1. yay! March. March with the racists against homophobia and cover yourself in revolutionary glory! Do not ask stupid questions like if there is racism within gay communities. If this particular march has ties to racist groups/individuals or not. No no! Just sacrifice all other political principles, causes, even your own position as black or Muslim and South Asian and march with a group to whom ‘those bigots’ and ‘those Muslims’ are synonymous. Glory glory glory to the radical EEGP!

      1. Jock S. Trap 15 Mar 2011, 1:09pm

        Yet it is you that is making it a race issue ikkarus!

  12. “Perhaps one of the most bizarre rumours floating around is that Pride is being used as a front for the far right. Leaving aside the admitted similarity in appearance between the far right and quite a few gay men – it’s the boots and cropped hair – the idea that the far right has decided to re-brand itself with a bit of Kylie and some rainbow flags is laughable.”

    Love it!

    Good piece, I agree wholeheartedly.

  13. Terry Stewart 14 Mar 2011, 1:45pm

    Paul Birrell how dare you insult the LGBTQ community in East London. I suggest you research the subject before you offer you bias view. Tell you what I have done you a favour. It all down here.
    Open Letter from Out East to the organisers of East End Gay Pride
    As a result of the recent homophobic stickers that appeared in Shoreditch, Stoke Newington and broader East London, you have decided to organise a Pride March event on the 2nd April. Out East, with other local LGBTQ community groups, has great concerns about this demonstration and we have decided neither to participate in the event nor to call our supporters to be part of it, and we think it important to express the reasons why.

    1. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2011, 2:30pm

      Yeah, kind old news now that that disgusting hate supporting letter is open and about for all to see.

      Clearly Tower Hamlet support groups are the ONLY ones who dare to insult the LGBT residents of East London by doing their trademark ‘Nothing!’ Not just nothing mind but encouraging all else to do ‘Nothing!’ too!

      Disgraceful.

  14. The main Pride allows political organisations to march. If a legal politcal organisation wants to have a presence then they should be able to have one. I’m a leftie liberal but I don’t think it helps to seek to ban this or that organisation. But I think the most important organisations to have in place making their voices heard are the gay or gay-friendly muslim organisations.

  15. Terry Stewart 14 Mar 2011, 1:49pm

    Firstly, it is not clear who is behind the stickers and the police are still investigating that issue. However, what is clear is that the message of the stickers identifies Islam as the cause for this hate. There have been allegations that it is an attempt from far right groups to stigmatise Muslim people. Whether this is true or not, what will remain in people’s minds is that Muslim people as a whole group are the cause for homophobia. It may not be the intention of East End Gay Pride to en

    1. OMG! Dont you give up??
      You’re just rehashing the same BS over and over again.
      Cant you see that the support is astronomically AGAINST you!

      You have been disproven over and over that the East End Gay Pride Team have nothing to do with the EDL, yet you’re still banging on!
      Just because they didn’t ask you to be involved!
      Please accept the fact you’re a waste of space and NOT representative of the LGBT Community in Tower Hamlets.

      Paul Birrell isn’t insulting the LGBT Community, Terry. He’s having a swipe at all the left wing political morons that claim to represent them!
      The irony is you are supported by the UAF! They are JUST as extreme as the EDL, and in fact only formed BECAUSE of the EDL.
      Go back in your hole and concentrate on Hackney Pride. (like THATS gonna be a success!) Oh and calling it QUEER Pride, is really offensive. The word Queer has been used for SO much homophobia and hatred you are just being hypocritical!

      1. Terry Stewart 14 Mar 2011, 2:02pm

        No John I dont give up. You are absolutely correct. I am in it for the long haul, which is about a future for our community. You dont have to agree nor do you have to become personal. My criticism of Paul Birrell are Political, lets keep it that way.

        1. Your criticism of Paul Birrell is one of panic and refusla to admit defeat. Have you read the comments on here? Have you seen what the LGBT Community in the East End think of you and Out East?
          You have the nerve to demand of an organisation the size of Pride London what they have done to combat homophobia??!
          How about we ask you to PROVE what you have done. All we have seen so far is “we’ve had a meeting” we “encourage more debate”

          Pride is about making a statement Terry. Whatever that statement may be. Whether you agree with it or not is irrelevant. The Organisers of East End Gay Pride have publicly denounced the EDL and their politics, but you still insist they are involved?

          Why will you not accept their statement, yet you insist everyone must accept yours? You’re putting it up everywhere on the net in what appears to be a massive act of desperation.
          You have lost so much support and respect over this, as you refuse to actually act for fear of upset religious extremists.

        2. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2011, 2:39pm

          What community Terry, coz from where I see it, it ain’t one that includes the LGBT community. Your starting to come across as back as the people who put up the posters in the first place.

          Clearly you can’t show support in a show against homophobia but what I don’t understand is if you claim to represent the LGBT community why would you stop others protesting for their rights?

          Unless there’s something your not telling us? It doesn’t make any sense.

      2. No John, Terry Stewart has not “been disproven over and over that the EEGP team have nothing to do with the EDL”. All that has happened is that EEPG have stated over and over that they have nothing to do with the EDL. No proof has been forthcoming, no evidence supplied or indicative action taken by EEPG. Just repeating a statement doesn’t make it any more or less true. The criticisms of EEPG will continue while they refuse to engage in dialogue

        1. Kevin, no proof or evidence supplied or indicative action has been taken to prove they ARE the EDL or supporting them. Isn’t it innocent until proven guilty? All Out East have are some out of date screen grabs from a far left blogger who refused to allow the East End Gay Pride organisers to respond and defend themselves. By self admission. The dont need to prove themselves to anyone but the LGBT Community on the day.
          You’re right, repeating a statement DOESNT make it any more or less true. Yet Out East insist on peddling the same statement over and over again!
          The only way it will be proven is by attending on 2nd April.

      3. Actually the UAF was formed to combat the BNP. Also quite a lot of the older generation of gays like to use the term queer as it allows them to take control of a term that was used to put them down.
        I agree that the pride should go ahead but I do think Paul Birrells response isn’t exactly true and also a bit naive.

        1. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2011, 3:54pm

          So whats the difference between BNP extremists and Muslim extremists like Islam4UK?

          1. EDL supporter 14 Mar 2011, 4:44pm

            Groups like Hizb ut Tahrir are far more extreme than BNP, which is saying something.

            Hizb ut Tahrir calls for the execution of gay people (I don’t think even in their worst days BNP did that). HuT is banned in Germany for their anti-semitism; Cameron assured us in the last election that he would ban HuT (no sign of him fulfilling that promise).

            HuT would install a pan-national muslim dicatatorship. They would institute public hangings, floggings, and stonings. I don’t think the BNP had all those policies.

            Everyone (including non-muslims) would be subject to sharia law in the Caliphate. The entire pan-national islamic state would be geared towards permanent war.

            But in 25 years Searchlight or UAF have never once said a single word condeming Hizb ut Tahrir. It is as Cameron pointed out: fascism is seen as acceptable from people with brown skin.

          2. I would say the main difference is that groups like the BNP and EDL are in danger of having some actual power in the UK, while muslim extreamists really aren’t.

          3. @Kris, politics is far more than political parties. I hope EDL don’t become a political party because I think they do not have enough common ground to be an effective party (there’s people from far-left to far-right and many in between). When it was mooted last week in The Independent that EDL was going to become a party, there was a discussion in the EDL forum all about class war!

            The BNP is finished. The Griffin admitted years ago that the only reason why the BNP saw an upswing was because of opposition to islamisation in the UK. That’s why Griffin hates the EDL. The EDL will bring about the demise of the BNP even more quickly. When one prominent BNP councillor tried to jump onto the EDL bandwagon, he was unceremoniously shown the door (of course, only the far-left bothered to report this).

            Many experts and many muslims acknowledge that by 2050 muslims will have electoral control in Europe. That is why Hizb ut Tahrir must be destroyed now.

      4. ‘left wing political morons': I find this ironic, as those very morons and their politics won the LGBTQ community the right to a life with dignity. These morons continue to fight today, in France where gay marriage is a farce, in America where gay marriage is illegal and in India where it is criminal to be homosexual. Shame on Paul Birrell for being such a sell-out!

      5. Sister Mary Clarence 15 Mar 2011, 1:12am

        John, Terry might not have the support of the EDL, but its a bit rich to suggest that astronomically AGAINST him.

        I’m kind of thinking a few, probably initially well meaning, gay people in East London are playing with fire and are doubtless going to get themselves hurt, and others with them.

    2. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2011, 2:34pm

      Terry, your so narrow minded, you can’t see this protest isn’t just about homophobic Muslims. It’s showing protest against ALL homophobes in the area.

      Maybe the Asian youth arrested with the very hateful posters on him was an undercover EDL member, eh?

      Anyway see the message for what it is and stop being so devisive. Support Equality and the fight Against Homophobia or continue to make excuses for it.

  16. Terry Stewart 14 Mar 2011, 1:54pm

    . It may not be the intention of East End Gay Pride to endorse this message but having a short term response and an emotional reaction to these stickers risks antagonising and scapegoating Muslim communities. Out East refuses that LGBTQ rights or pride demonstrations are used to promote islamophobia even if not intentionally. Furthermore the council, the mayor, the East London Mosque and the interfaith community worked with local LGBTQ people to take a stand against homophobia and support the police. Neither yourselves or the majority of the media have highlighted this approach, leaving the wrong impression that the east end is actually in danger of becoming a ‘gay-free zone’.

    Secondly, we have serious concerns about the close links that this event and some of its organisers have with the English Defence League. This ranges from one organiser stating they are supporting the event on the Facebook group, to inviting Facebook members with EDL logos as their profiles to participate, and some organisers having EDL friends on their profiles*. This has been further compounded by the fact that East End Gay Pride has banned anti-fascist group UAF from attending the event. In addition to this, East End Gay Pride organisers have made it clear that they don’t want the event to be political.

  17. Terry Stewart 14 Mar 2011, 1:55pm

    On the contrary, we believe that our response to homophobia can only be a political response and must therefore include all political groups who are working against all discrimination. Taking this political position automatically excludes far right groups who preach a message of exclusion and East End Gay Pride should make it clear that such groups, including the EDL, are not welcome at this event. Instead, the organisers of East End Gay Pride prefer to say that everyone is welcome as long as they don’t bring any political sign or banner. It is clear from comments made on Facebook and responses to articles referring to East End Gay Pride that EDL members will be tolerated if they carry no specifically political signage. If nothing is clearly done to prevent EDL individuals taking part in East End Gay Pride we have great concerns regarding the safety of all the participants, including LGBTQ people themselves who have been repeatedly the target of the far right.

    *(Latte Labour blog, containing screen grabs of EDL presence http://lattelabour.blogspot.com/2011/03/east-end-gay-pride-update.html)

    In addition, Out East believes that our response to homophobia must be political because homophobia is a system which is present everywhere and not only a hate feeling from particular groups or individuals. Homophobia is not caused only by one particular group but is part of broader society and has political roots. It is easy to portray other minorities (even unintentionally) as the cause of homophobia rather than, for example, questioning the lack of means to fight discrimination in a period of cuts in public services. Instead, we want to highlight the intersection between sexuality, gender, race and class oppression. Homophobia is fed by political practices and ideologies which in turn encourage individuals to commit discriminatory acts.

  18. Terry Stewart 14 Mar 2011, 1:56pm

    Thirdly, we believe that the most appropriate response to the stickers is to liaise with Muslim communities and others to create bridges and communicate with each other. We want both homophobia and islamophobia addressed as a collective problem and not feed one against the other, we do not recognise these as distinct categories. We will refuse any attempt to divide our communities or take the risk that an LGBTQ event is used to oppress other marginalised groups, in particular LGBTQ Muslims who will be the most affected by this rising antagonism.

    We cannot disconnect this particular event from the more general trend in western countries to use LGBTQ liberation campaigns and feminism as a way to stigmatise migrants and Islam as a monolithic culture or Muslim people as uncivilised, barbaric terrorists or hateful invaders.

    We applaude the work of Rainbow Hamlets, the Tower Hamlets LGBT Forum to which we belong. It is building meaningful open dialogue between all communities, so that each addresses issues of homophobia, transphobia, islamaphobia and racism in their own midsts. We, in common with Rainbow Hamlets, would like public meetings to happen in East London where LGBTQ and Muslim communities come together and discuss the issues of homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia and racism and how we can all fight together against all discrimination. We welcome working with the local councils in East London to facilitate the organisation of these public meetings by providing safe spaces in which to meet and link all of our groups and organisations together.

  19. Terry Stewart 14 Mar 2011, 1:57pm

    We would like public meetings to happen in East London where LGBTQ and Muslim communities come together and discuss the issues of homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia and racism and how we can all fight together against all discrimination. We welcome working with the local councils in East London to facilitate the organisation of these public meetings by providing safe spaces in which to meet and link all of our groups and organisations together.

    For all the reasons above, we call on you and the organisations supporting this event to cancel it with a view to working with the local communities of the East End to ensure active, inclusive responses are made to homophobia, which do not inadvertently contribute to community tensions.

    We encourage all other groups who agree with us to co-sign this letter and those already involved to reconsider their support

    1. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2011, 3:58pm

      This letter already has it’s own story for people to comment why do you feel the need to copy and paste it hear too? Do you think people are not intelligent enough to see it?

      Your clearly intent on not allowing people have the choice. Pathetic. I only hope it backfire and on 2nd April the turnout is even better than expected. I know I’m going to pubicise it as much as possible.

      1. I didn’t see it before and I’m glad he reposted it. So there.

  20. Aodhán Curtin 14 Mar 2011, 2:06pm

    What an ill-informed and blinkered comment piece. It doesn’t address a single one of the concerns that have been expressed about East End Pride.

    EEP has become controversial because of concerns that far-right fascists are using it as a base for whipping up racism against Islam and Muslims.

    Rather than blathering and bleating, and swiftly dismissing any concerns about racism as “laughable” perhaps Paul Birrell could take ALL accusations about the possibility of prejudice seriously.

    1. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2011, 4:01pm

      However unlike Out East it does support action against homophobia not sittin on there butts doing sod all.

  21. excellent article. it’s sad to see how corrupted some of the careerist politicos have become that they’d claim that a gay pride event was somehow “provocative.” gay pride is provocative only to bigots. i’m looking forward to a huge turnout at east end gay pride.

    east london, contrary to some stickers put up by islamists, is a GAY-FRIENDLY ZONE.

  22. Poplar Poofta 14 Mar 2011, 2:21pm

    There are the Tower Hamlets Taliban, Hizb ut Tahrir are active in the borough, these people do want Sharia Law and us dead. They are like there friends in Iran who push walls on to gay men in a modern version of stoning.

    They may be a fraction of the population but so are we. I believe they have the right to express there views as hateful as they are they must accept our right to express ours with a short stroll down the A13.

  23. This is returning pride back to its root – taking a political stand by being visible and proud. I have not been to the main pride events for many years as this have degenerated into commercial events to promote clubs and booze but I would definitely attend this one.

  24. Trollwatch 14 Mar 2011, 3:06pm

    I have to say this “discussion” has become tremendous fun! Thierry Stewart just seems to be regurgitating an old press release like a stuck computer.

    Didn’t he read that someone has been arrested for putting up the stickers? Doesn’t he want to actually debate his views?

    He is arranging a pride event in September in the same area. Why is he against this one a few months early? I think I answered my own question there.

    1. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2011, 4:03pm

      I get the feeling they are more concerned about profits than community safety.

  25. The geographical scale of these “gay-free” stickers suggests to me that they’re the result of a large collaborative effort. The fact that a South Asian was caught with some of them makes it obvious that they are not the work of the EDL. No, they are the dreadful outpouring of hate from a backward immigrant community towards the values of its host country. Never mind playing the race card, this issue needs to be addressed, and it needs to be addressed urgently.

    1. Your comment is blatantly racist which you are clearly aware of with your use of the defensive term “race card”. You talk of the hate of others, do you recognise the hate your comments portray? Or do you think your hate is more righteous?

      1. Nice try. I suppose the best defence is a good offence.

        I don’t have any hatred for anyone – that doesn’t mean I’m going to stand by and let one group of misguided / brainwashed people subjugate and devour another group of people, just because a troll like you says so.

        1. I am South Asian. I am queer. How dare you Adam? How dare you call an entire community ‘backward’? And then ‘misguided and brainwashed’? What do you know about the South Asian community of Britain, immigrant or otherwise? Is this the kind of prejudice which will be at display at the EEGP? Looks like it. And it increasingly feels to me that only whites and non-immigrants, or at self-hating South Asians will be welcome at this march. I am disgusted, pink paper!

      2. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2011, 4:05pm

        Oh lordy do give it up. Your not convincing anyone.

        1. He’s given it a damn good try, though. His every post accuses someone of being a racist, including someone who called a Frenchman “French”.

    2. Terry Stewart 14 Mar 2011, 5:40pm

      “Backward immigrant comunity”. I think I need to remind you that most Homophobic attacks and murders are carried out by White males and not South Asians. Values of the Host Country. Thankfully most English people dont have the values that you do and thats what makes it a great country..

      You clearly have a Racist agenda, which speaks about nothing only Hate..

      1. What a phoney you are. And how you play with instant statistics to make yourself seem like a decent person. ALL recorded crimes are committed in the main by white anglo-saxons, because they are the majority. Even a pea-brain like you knows that.

        But in mainstream white/Christian/agnostic/secular culture, homophobes are viewed as something of an anachronism, an aberration. In Islamic culture, they are the norm. Those Asian youths beating people up in bars are our tomorrow. That has got to be addressed now, irrespective of your own sinister agenda.

        1. Terry Stewart 14 Mar 2011, 6:47pm

          I rest my case as a decent Human being.

          Homophobic crime statistics from the Met police Jan 2010-11:
          Westminster (‘gay friendly central London? 146
          Islington – 132
          Lambeth – 126
          Camden – 91
          SOuthwark – 78
          Tower Hamlets – 73

          Why the East End? Why now? Racist and religiously motivated?

          1. You’re a money-grubber, and your motivation for urging the cancellation of this march is purely financial. The statistics you quote take no account of a rise in homophobic attacks in the East End, and completely overlook the fact that the place has been plastered with warnings from “Allah”.

            You don’t represent me. Just your own vested interests.

        2. Dear Adam,
          When did you last check out the white Christian culture of America and its views on homosexuality and gay marriage? Homophobia is not exclusive to any particular religion or culture dude. And when did you last check out with Stonewall the soaring rates of homophobic bullying in UK schools? Surely you are aware that ‘gay’ is the new slang for uncool amongst UK kids? If I had to follow your line of reasoning, I would have to argue that the vast majority of British schoolkids are backward and the vast majority of white Christians in America have medieval mindsets! When some Asian youths are homophobic, it does not follow that they are homophobic BECAUSE they are Asian. Its an excuse they use to avoid responsibility for their individual acts of hate, which are born of their own prejudice and not ‘sanctioned’ by their culture. And oh, some of us ‘backward’ and ‘brainwashed’ Asians are gay too you know. I feel SO ‘loved’ by your RESPECT for my culture and my people.

          1. Hi Ikkarus,
            You make some very valid points in your post, and I’ll try to answer each of them eventually. Islam is a relatively young monotheistic religion, and over time it will doubtlessly evolve. It’s still at its rebellious finding-my-way-through-the-world stage. There are millions of very progressive and wonderful Muslims here and abroad. (Unfortunately, I won’t have time in this life to meet even a fraction of them.) They will influence immeasurably the generations to come. But right here, right now, Islam is a problem to people of other cultures, and it’s a problem to Muslims themselves. How many Asian men have I been involved with who have told me that their lives have literally been crushed by that close-knit loving culture that you hint at? (And I have no doubt that it is enviably loving, helpful and close-knit in every other respect.) Men who’ve been forced into marriage, or into inventing fictional white girlfriends that they see at the weekend, and so on and so on.

          2. Men who’ve been forced into marriage, or into inventing fictional white girlfriends that they see at the weekend, and so on and so on. Men who are now so cautious (and whose mobile phones are so numerous lest anyone pick up a gay electronic trail and trace it back to them), that their very nature has become sly.
            That’s not to say that English Christian gays aren’t closeted as well… but really, you know and I know that it can be tantamount to suicide to declare yourself gay in South Asian communities. The collective disapproval is on a whole other level, and for this reason if no other (and there are others), a sweeping and global reformation is in order. It can only come from within Islam. If you look at my comments regarding the story on Lieutenant Choi, you will see that I very strongly disapprove of violence in order to bring about any change. But respect has to be a two-way street.

          3. You are perfectly correct to reference the Christian ‘culture’ of America and “its views on homosexuality and gay marriage.” I despise the doctrines of these so-called Christians, for they have far less excuse (given the liberality that they are exposed to) to cling on to them. But America is not a theocracy. In the long run, these self-righteous no-hopers cannot win. And in ten years’ time, even to most of them, the present ban on gay marriage will seem peculiar and archaic. Given what you know about South Asian/Muslim culture, do you think it’s likely that same-sex marriages will be permissible in Dubai, Pakistan, Iran or even plundered Iraq in the next TWENTY years?
            Of course I believe that British schoolkids who use ‘gay’ as a pejorative expression are backwards (as in all likelihood are their parents), and of course I think that white Christians in America are medieval relics.

          4. . And whenever they rear their ugly hate-filled heads I shall call them out on their washed brains and backwardness.
            But in this particular instance, we have a situation where a group of Muslims in one part of London (with or without the tacit approval of their wider community) are posting up warnings from Allah for gays to go away, and the response to those who want to March against this bigotry is: “Don’t. You will cause an inflammatory situation.” Inflammatory? Why? Is there an Islamic militia controlling these streets now? Is that what you want for the future?

          5. I do love you, Ikkarus. This is (for me personally) more about keeping your life free than it is about keeping me liberated. Some ideas need to be challenged, and I think now is the time to challenge them. Despite the comments about bigoted and racist gays on here, statistically you will find that your homosexual brethren are the most open minded people in this country. They hate injustice because on so many occasions they have been the victims of it individually and as a collective. Muslims are not our enemies. But it appears that we have become so for them. Whether we are white, brown, black, Muslim, Christian or Atheist or whatever, we are fit only for condemnation and persecution.

            It’s up to us, my friend. No one is going to do it for us. This march is SO important. Please come along if you can.

  26. Homophobic crime statistics from the Met police Jan 2010-11:
    Westminster (‘gay friendly central London’) – 146
    Islington – 132
    Lambeth – 126
    Camden – 91
    SOuthwark – 78
    Tower Hamlets – 73

    Why the East End? Why now? Racist and religiously motivated attacks are 8 times the number of homophobic attacks. Why isn’t the LGBT community standing up for the people of colour within it? Why aren’t the EEGP team listening to local queer of colour and Muslim groups who are calling for the cancellation of this march because it threatens their safety? Why does the Pink Paper continue to publish articles that polarise the debate between Muslims and gays?
    I hope this debate proves a chance to think about LGBT complicity in racism and religious hatred. I will not march,as a white queer I am deeply ashamed of my so-called ‘community’.

    1. “Why isn’t the LGBT community standing up for the people of colour within it?”

      It’s standing up for EVERY person within it. But at the moment, it’s carloads of Pakistanis who are attacking gay people (not vice versa). And of course racist attacks are greater in number – a person’s skin is more obvious than their sexuality. There should be ZERO tolerance for those attacks as well, though. Completely unacceptable.

      It’s bad enough that men and women from South Asian communities generally are closeted, without all the rest of us being pushed back in as well.

      1. Dear Adam,
        For some strange reason, I am not being allowed to reply to your loong response to my criticisms. I am therefore responding to another post of yours as I feel our discussion is helpful in highlighting very important points.
        Firstly, you take great pains to say that you would equally hate bigots of every religion, not just Islam. Then you go on to throw around the words medieval and backwards to all other instances of homophobes. Your readiness to call school kids backward and in the process also insult their families is particularly alarming. Do you really think this will promote greater acceptance of diversity, including homosexuality? My point was to say that such abuse is not a way forward. If you disrespect me, then I will abuse you is the medieval politics of eye for an eye, which leaves the whole world blind. Your naive responses have just reaffirmed my initial suspicions that the organisers and supporters of EEGP have the political maturity of football fans!

        1. Secondly, you single out Islam as a problem. Islam is not a monolithic culture or religion. There is a battle on for the soul of Islam, between fundamentalists and progressives. Between the Wahabis and the Sufis. When you speak of Islam in the singular, and look at the entire religion as a problem, flattening out differences you give power to the fundamentalists. This is exactly what they want. To claim that Islam is singular AND that it is under attack from non-Muslims who have no respect for Islamic culture. Therefore, they can claim with greater force that all Muslims who are true Muslims must rally behind them. Your identification of Islam as a problem and your fight against it thus makes it much much more difficult for progressive Muslims to fight the fundamentalists. Your position plays into the hands of fundamentalists.

          1. Thirdly, you represent Muslim/South Asian gay people as closetted and repressed. They are also incredibly brave, out and battling prejudice. Loot at Safra Project. That needs guts man. Yet, you claim to save Muslims from homophobes by ignoring the advice and refusing to engage with those very people who have been battling homophobia. You assume that you know better. On what basis? ON what experience? By what right? All you are really saying is that you want your march, cause you think its cool, and you will have it, even if it is deeply damaging for those most directly threatened by the posters, i.e., those who are Muslim AND Gay.

      2. Two last points: ‘that close-knit loving culture that you hint at’. really? When did I? If you ask me, South Asian culture is a circus. It includes 17 languages, at least four religions, tons of internal prejudice, its own brand of racism and religious antagonism, too much history and its own movement for gay/queer liberation. I am sure that like all cultures it has its loving bits and its horribly horrible bits. Once more, it is you who wants to see a diverse reality as a singular whole (loving etc.) and then prove that this claim is a hoax. I never made this claim dude. All I said was that you do not have a clue about Muslim culture or South Asian culture. Your views are uninformed and simplistic and you have just proven my suspicions to be right. And political action based on such views can only be detrimental, not progressive.

        1. Last one, but by far what I found most offensive: you do ‘love’ me and this is actually more about my ‘safety’. really? Why dont you, out of your love for me and concern for my safety ensure that the empty clarifications of ‘no EDL” actually are given some substance by the organisers? I am equally threatened by racism and homophobia. Infact, in recent times, I have felt more discriminated against as an immigrant than as a queer. If you are so concerned about my safety, then support my demands that a fight against homophobia MUST also actively take a stand against racism. It must make the march safe for immigrant queers by banning xenophobes. If you cannot do that, then do not pretend that this march is about me, or does anything to help me. March if you will, but NOT IN MY NAME!

          1. Your demands are extraordinary. How can I as one individual guarantee who will and won’t be at a march? ANY March?

            You know very well that a considerable number of placards will link racism and homophobia, condemning both. Why don’t you show up with one such placard?

            Never mind. Others will do it for you. And you can pretend that it was some outreach leaflet campaign that ultimately secured you your legal and social rights.

        2. Whether it’s a circus or not is irrelevant. It largely works for the people who are in it. And I know more than you think I do. Please don’t be so defensive and so patronising. I’ve never seen a bigger chip on one shoulder.

    2. Colm Howard-Lloyd 14 Mar 2011, 4:17pm

      The numbers you’ve quoted only go to show that there is homophobic violence across London and that we should continue to be more visible not less.

      Boroughs cannot really be compared with each other – they are all very different places. What matters is the increase or decrease in homophobic crime. In Tower Hamlets 73 offences represents a 3% increase on the previous year.

    3. EDL supporter 14 Mar 2011, 4:50pm

      Onni, gay people have left east London in droves. 10 years ago my street had 5 out of 20 gay households and a gay bar, and now there’s one household and no gay bar. Most gay bars in east London have closed in the last 10 years; gay bars in Soho and west London are thriving. In fact, north London has about the same number of gay bars now as 10 years ago.

      So those figures for homophobic attacks are irrelevant against an understanding of what proportions of gay people live in a borough.

      No action has been taken by anyone against the violent homophobic attacks against people in east London in recent years.

      These stickers (relatively accurately) describing east London as a Gay Free Zone are what has prompted the people behind EEGP to have a march.

      I hope the march goes off well, I hope local muslims join it in support; I hope these homophobic stickers and homophobic preachers disappear.

      1. Terry Stewart 14 Mar 2011, 6:09pm

        In my East London Gay people are on the increase. I have never seen so many well heeled young LGBTQ.

        Along with the increase in Artists in the area, this has also brought young vibrant and imaginative LGBTQ people with them.

        Younger LGBTQ people dont want the same Gay bar environment. Mixed bars have become more popular and reflect the new scene for them.

        I am afraid History has past the traditional Gay bar by and young people want something different.

        If the Gay Landlords had invested in their customers, rather than see them as an easy shilling, things might be different.

        Have a look around and you will see the Traditional Gay bar dying on its feet, where as those that have invested in their customers and are offering something different are doing well.

        Local LGBTQ people have taken action to combat Homophobia/Transphobiac attacks. Others have chosen to ignore it.

      2. Bizarre analysis. So I guess Rainbow Hamlets, Safra Project (set up in October 2001 by and for Muslim LBT women) and Outeast (voluntary community group that formed in 2010 to organise HACKNEY QUEER PRIDE MARCH) all go towards proving that East End is a gay free zone. I do sympathise with your bad experiences, but your personal experience, especially if it has been traumatic, is hardly the correct basis for forming an objective and informed opinion on current affairs.

        1. People have died and rioted and been imprisoned so that Rainbow and Safra and all your other cuddlesome organisations could come into existence.

          It wasn’t the ‘tragic’ closet cases depicted in Bareback Mountain who won us freedom and acceptance, it was our defiance and political lobbying.

          Please look up “cognitive dissonance”, as you appear to be suffering quite strongly from it.

  27. Peggy's Friend 14 Mar 2011, 6:22pm

    Peter Tatchell gave this statement:

    “All forms of intolerance are wrong. The Gay, Muslim, Jewish, Asian and Black communities know the pain of prejudice and discrimination. We should stand together, united against hate. East End Gay Pride celebrates multicultural diversity. Bigotry will not divide us. Together, we are strong and proud.” Peter Tatchell

  28. Well, its funny how all this debate is happening as EEGP is a non-political pride demo/march/party whatever, None of your view points count anyway. Go on the day and blend in with everyone else. Leave your politics and brains at home. OKAY!!!!

    1. That’s always a good policy for any street party, Mega… but everything we do as a group at this point in history is political.

      Otherwise, we don’t have a future in which we are visible.

      1. Exactly, why the hell would anyone want to go to a ‘pride’ march that will ban any political discourse?

        Stonewall was a riot.

  29. Staircase2 14 Mar 2011, 8:23pm

    Did any of you read the statement yet?

  30. I and many others including Rainbow Hamlets etc have been working hard behind the scenes for all of the LGBT community with regards to anti gay statements which is at risk thanks to these organisers – I can’t say much now, but please watch for further news!

  31. There have been a few posts suggesting that Out East support a “do nothing” approach and that, if EEGB is cancelled, nothing will change. This isn’t true – many east enders are involved in inter-community dialogue and bridge-building right now, all of which will be more effective and constructive than EEGB could be. Let’s keep talking to our neighbours, workmates, relatives, strangers and everyone else we meet. It’s the best weapon we have against homophobia, racism and the EDL.

    1. How can you say Out East don’t want anyone to do anything? They must be in favor of action as they have a yearly Hackney Queer Pride March which last year was headed by a no-borders,/ pro-immergration group. I think you should look at there website: OUTEAST.ORG.UK – under the about section. PRIDE london is a joke.

      1. I have been supporting and working with Tower Hamlets Council, Rainbow Hamlets, East London Mosque, Out East and others to create an East London Pride to grow from Hackney Pride last year!

        We have been working hard and voluntarily behind the scenes to build bridges between all communities and I have denounced and spoken out against the UAF, Ken Livingstone and others and have been vilified for doing so!

        I have connections going back to the east end for generations and have lived and / or worked around the area for decades!

        I know what I am talking about and I would like to CLEARLY say that this was nearly all undone by this group of people organising this ‘East End Pride March’.

        1. So that’s what it all boils down to, a fringe group dedicated to fighting “gay imperialism” and “homonatioalism” — whatever they are — stomping its foot when other people are fighting homophobia and not following its increasing bizarre calls to arms.

  32. Poplar Poofta 14 Mar 2011, 10:49pm

    There has been endless talking now is the time for action. My only regret is the march isn’t down Brick Lane and past the East London Mosque where the hate spills out from.

  33. When Ian baynham was murdered or those guys in Bromley there was no march. Some people put up
    Posters and get this response I’m not convinced it’s a march opposing homophobia Muslims yes homophobia no

  34. This is propaganda dressed up as objective opinion. EEGP has not been opposed by a bunch of gay people, but by organisations who have a long history of working for gay rights and fighting homophobia including OUTEAST, Rainbow Hamlets, Safra Project. London Pride deliberately misrepresents their reasons.
    OUTEAST: ‘If nothing is clearly done to prevent EDL individuals taking part in East End Gay Pride we have great concerns regarding the safety of all the participants, including LGBTQ people themselves who have been repeatedly the target of the far right.’
    Safra Project: Unfortunately, the claim by the East End Gay Pride march organisers that they are not being anti-Muslim is insufficient to stop their effective complicity in fuelling the various stereotyped ideas about Muslims. It also undermines the important work that our organisation and others are involved in around issues of gender, sexuality and Islam (www.safraproject.org/sgi-intro.htm)
    Why is London Pride lying?

    1. Yes Ikkarus and it will be left to these organisations, whose work often goes unreported, that will be left to pick up the pieces after this “pride” marchers have gone home and the armchair activists have moved on to the next hot topic.

    2. Ikkarus’s accusations are based on nothing but smear and innuendo.

      After the initial allegations, the organisers of EEGP said the following “[the people with EDL links] were unintentionally added [to the group] but as soon as we were aware of the situation they were removed and blocked. The screenshots you have seen are 3 weeks out of date and we have since released statements about this.”

      All that’s happened since then is one blogger and fringe organisations like Out East — a group that rather than fighting homophobia, in its own words campaigns against “gay imperialism and homonationalism” — trying to flog this non-story to smear the organisers of EEGP.

      1. People with EDL links is not an empty threat. It is a legitimate fear of people with anti-Immigrant, anti-Muslim and racist views. In the facebook group of EEGP, in this and other comment threads, there have been persistent posts of completely racist and hateful nature. It is the duty of organisers to ensure that a gay event is safe for ALL in the queer community. They have refused to do so by refusing to take a clear stand against racism and other forms of prejudice. I have asked again and again that how am I, as a queer of colour and as an immigrant, supposed to feel safe with marchers who believe that Muslims are backward, that South Asians do not belong in ‘OUR country’. Will you ‘get real’ and answer this instead of calling me names? Or does that safety of some queers matter less than that of others?

        1. Guilt by association is a pathetic argument.

          Comments on this thread in no way represent the organisers of EEGP.

          The organisers themselves have meanwhile shown that not only are the allegations old, they are also unfounded.

          All you are doing is creating straw men and attacking them.

          You will be safe at EEGP, because there won’t be any “marchers who believe that Muslims are backward, that South Asians do not belong in ‘OUR country’”. They are products of your imagination.

        2. @ Ikkarus. Like most other people marching on the day, I have no links with BNP or with EDL, nor wish to have. You are guilty of tarring a whole community (or large parts of it) with the same prejudicial brush you accuse others of using on the South Asian population.

          Ikkarus, if the appeasing approach had worked, if the hands-across-America approach had worked, if the attempts at building political bridges had worked… we wouldn’t now be in the position where ALL gay people are having threats made to them by “Allah” to leave the area. You wouldn’t have a buffoon like Mayor Lutfur Rahman encouraging his posse in the public gallery of the council chamber to be shouting out homophobic filth. You are an apologist for the worst sorts of intolerance!

          The most political and productive and dynamic thing to do is to stay put, and to stay visible. Hence the march.

          Anything else is rolling over and playing dead. Which is what the bigots of all creeds and denominations would like.

  35. I think East London Pride is bloody briliant idea! Can’t wait!

  36. I have repeatedly been raising concerns of the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim tone of this pro-gay march, which I find unacceptable. I have repeatedly pointed to the fact that it is impossible for immigrants and Muslims, gay or otherwise, to march with people whose politics profess such hatred against Islam and against migrants. I have been accused of all things including the fact that such concerns are a ‘figment of my imagination’. In that light, I feel it is important to share this hard proof, that the main organiser of EEGP is also a founding member of EDL.
    http://www.imaan.org.uk/index.htm
    Is there no better way to stand up for gay rights than to march behind right-wing fascists who are trying to hide their true colours in a deluge of pink??

    1. I’ve just had the same circulated through my networks too.

      Imaan’s press release is detailed, thorough and, in my opinion, damning – not only of Raymond Berry but also, in light of Imaan’s rebuffed attempts to clarify the situation with EEGP, of the organising team as a whole. I have friends on both sides of this debate and would dearly love to see a Pride here, but given Imaan’s evidence, the half-hearted responses from the EEGP team, the outright banning of UAF and not EDL, and online discussions such as this, I can only conclude that EEGP has been planned specifically to use LGBT people as a weapon against ethnic and religious minorities.

      Imaan’s suggestion for the organising team to voluntarily stand down and allow Pride London to take over the running of the event seems a good one to me. That way we can still have our Pride, and we can still have our pride.

      1. There IS a pride march that OUTEAST runs every September. That is done alongside community groups and is open.

        1. open, provided no one mentions the elephant in the room.

  37. In the light of the latest revelations, serious questions arise. Why is there deafening silence from Paul Birrell, given that his support leant legitimacy to a clearly dodgy venture? If you are the director of London Pride surely it is your JOB to protect pride from exactly this kind of nonsense. Instead, what have you done? Your support for right-wing zealots based on NO research and your dismissal of legitimate concerns facilitated and strengthened the ability of right-wing zealots to abuse vigilant, progressive and inclusive LGBTQs of London. Worse, you divided the progressive LGBTQs. Many were misled to trust the organisers, and thus oppose their friends who were, with good reason, asking for the march to not go ahead. Why are you silent now? Were you complicit? How much did you know? And, isn’t it time you resigned???

  38. Mark Healey 17 Mar 2011, 2:32pm

    I am so pleased to see this video released today because it reminds me what we can do, political and non-political people alike, standing together to say that Hate Crime is not acceptable in our communities. In light of recent attempts to divide our communities – we must ensure that all events in the name of Pride are inclusive events that celebrate our diversity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mhkn9YqFwY

  39. I’m gay and really really hate gay pride. It’s such a pathetic event and needs to be ended (or at least renamed freak show) I’m not ashamed of who I am and i’m very open with people about my sexuality and i’m happy with it. What I don’t agree with is having a huge parade just to get the message across that ‘we are out and proud’- emm… I think people already know, now get over yourselves.

  40. oh and also, it’s really not going to do much else for us now. There will always me homophobia, just like racism and sexism- it never goes away.

  41. RED montcal 13 Aug 2011, 12:42pm

    i think london is not really ready for the gay pride of nation…londin is famous and respected about gay community,but when i read this news,,its not very cmfortable to read this,.I LOVE LONDON,,love this country,,even if i am a FILIPINO.

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