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Gay firefighters in London Pride boycott

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  1. Spanner1960 22 Jun 2011, 2:54pm

    I see this action as the wrong way of going about things. I appreciate they may not wish to promote a Fire Service that is not helping, but surely a public demonstration and exposure of just how many LGBT firefighters do exist and the fact there are so many has to promote their cause.

    By not attending, all they do is risk people forgetting about them altogether.

    1. Robert J Brown 22 Jun 2011, 2:59pm

      Actually . . . by not attending they are making a valid point that they are not being treated fairly.

      I am also not taking part in the parade this year due to the same issues in an organisation I am a member of.

      For me, by participating in the parade with an organisation or a company that doesn’t give the support, respect and dedication required doesn’t mean you’re against the Pride Parade, just that you would rather not be seen with the organisation or company that is not supporting you.

      I continue to fight within a particular organisation as I know they will come through – just as the LGBT Fire Brigade Union members are doing and realise the same.

      I also know many non-LGBT fire people who are not happy with the way LGBT fire people are being treated.

      1. Robert – Would you march with another organisation to help them keep numbers of representative bodies on the ground high?

        1. Bouncerman 22 Jun 2011, 3:42pm


          I and my work colleagues are also NOT taking part in the pride parade again this year – not because we have an issue with our organisation and its LGBT policies – but because of the manner in which LONDON PRIDE treated our large organisation.

    2. Galadriel1010 22 Jun 2011, 3:12pm

      They are marching with the union rather than the fir brigade itself, as I understood it.

    3. Jock S. Trap 22 Jun 2011, 3:23pm

      I agree Spanner.

      I think they are going about this wrong.

      Surely they should be using Pride as a tool to highlight these problems not hide them.

      1. But that is what they are doing by not marching with the london fire brigade and instead marching with the FBU. I wouldn’t have known gay issues had gone through a year of regression if they weren’t doing this. So spanner is wrong, because they are attending. They’re always my favorite part of the parade.

        1. Jock S. Trap 22 Jun 2011, 4:06pm

          Oh mine too so here’s hoping your right.

          1. ;)

        2. Spanner1960 22 Jun 2011, 8:26pm

          Eddy:I was unaware they were still going to march under a different banner, so that changes matters.

          My point was they want to demonstrate by *not* doing anything?
          That might work if you are a striking tube driver, but frankly, who is actually going to notice they are missing from the parade?

          1. Spanner, if you had READ the article posted right here on PinkNews you would have clearly seen that they ARE marching in the parade but with a Union contingent.

            “Union member firefighters from across the UK will march in the July 2nd parade in the union section.”

            Everything that you and Jock S. Trap are complaining about and saying that they SHOULD do is EXACTLY what they are doing.

            Reading the Fire Brigade’s response, it’s clear that they have NO clue what the problem is. They clearly think that the issue is about what they’re doing for the Pride Parade. In one statement she said that they had offered to have more managers “march in the parade” and in another statement she said that they would “continue to listen to staff about what they’d like to happen at Pride” in response to the Union members’ claim that they had disengaged and regressed on their commitments to serving the needs of their gay firefighters. Pride Parade participation is clearly the least of their concerns.

      2. I wonder whether if they did participate (given the draconian management actions of the fire service – notable in London) whether they would be able to do anything but toe the party line

  2. So what’s changed in the last 12 months. Well I guess we have a new tory government? I wish pink news would report more details on things. It’s like they just supply headlines that you then have to do research for. Why has there been a year of regression? Why have they withdrawn from the equality index?

  3. Samuel Croft 22 Jun 2011, 3:00pm

    Come on people. We have way more than enough against us as a community. Can’t you get through one parade without major and dividing issues like this? When we fight among ourselves it is a crack that can be use against us. WE MUST STAND AND MARCH TOGETHER!

    1. I think you’ve misunderstood, which isn’t hard considering PN publish a headline with two lines of a story. The firefighters will march, but with the FB union rather than with London fire brigade. Their point is, I think, that the fire brigade are being homophobic so they do not want to represent the fire brigade as gay friendly when they are not. There is no fighting amongst ourselves.

  4. Jock S. Trap 22 Jun 2011, 3:21pm

    Surely Marching at Pride is just as much as making a protest For Equality as making a stand on those against.

    A bit of cutting your nose off here I think.

    The more that show the better visible we are and hopefully the less taken for granted.

    1. They are marching. But with the FB union rather than the london fire brigade. They’re not cutting their nose off. They’re pointing out to the gay community that the London fire brigade are increasingly becoming homophobic and that gay issues have regressed in the last year.

      1. Jock S. Trap 22 Jun 2011, 3:52pm

        I refer you to Bouncerman’s comment above.

        1. Is bouncerman part of the fire brigade? I refer you to pat buzz’s comment below.

      2. Jock S. Trap 22 Jun 2011, 3:55pm

        Actually it sounds like it’s been going on more than a year.
        Things like this don’t just suddenly happen, as convienent as that would be for some I know but unlikely nevertheless.

        1. How do you know? Are you part of the fire brigade? I refer you to C’s comment below.

          1. Jock S. Trap 22 Jun 2011, 4:17pm

            I can comment what I think Mr. Thank you.

            Mind you if any of this has that vile Brian Coleman’s greasy little finger marks on this then, prehaps I’m not surprised.

            I wish Boris would remove the idiot he serve no purpose.
            Brian Coleman may be a Tory but he has all the charm (joke) and bully-boy tactics more suited to Labour esp Ken Livingstone.

          2. I know. And you do. ;) Ken, Boris, Brian Coleman. They’re all the same.

          3. Jock S. Trap 23 Jun 2011, 3:59pm

            Boris is the lesser ‘evil’ then of the three and why I will be voting for Boris next May.

  5. I work for the London Fire Brigade, tho not as a firefighter. So I’m not in the FBU.

    While it has been sad to see LGBTetc. visibility diminish over the last 12 months – support/funding for the Pride float and Workplace Index withdrawn, and such – it has been far sadder to see many colleagues made redundant.

    I don’t want to be the person who tries to put a price on rights and equality, but if cutbacks in celebrating my diversity helps keep someone else in a job right now, then I can’t begrudge the Brigade that…

    1. But C, do you think they’ve cut back on the management dinners? Does it really cost that much for the fire engine to go out for one day on gay pride day? Come on, attending gay pride costs nothing compared to other things.

      1. Of course we’re not talking million pound savings here, but small bits add up. Obviously I can’t comment on wining and dining, but I have certainly seen the chopping block come for us all right across the upper and lower ranks as far as us non-operationals go. Something has to give.

        The Brigade has committed to supporting World Pride on a “large” scale next year as far as I know…maybe I’m a bad lefty, but I welcome the compromise as better than nothing.

        1. Like I said it costs nothing for an engine in the parade. One of my mates filled a form in for two free fire alarms and the whole local fire squad turned up in the fire engine and fitted two alarms for him and ticked some boxes on a fire safety form, they were there for nearly half an hour. It was very surreal, but it was a total waste of money and IMO degrading that firemen had to fit fire alarms. They could have just sent two fire alarms to his house, or he should have bought them in the first place. Apparently they do this service all the time. Sounds to me like you’re here to justify the london fire brigades position and not the FBU.

          1. Costs are involved. And see Pat below for the funding/support cuts they’re protesting about. I’m merely saying that I don’t like them either, but I’m personally willing to take them _for now_ because I’d rather have a fighting chance of keeping my job.

            I’m just here to justify my own position, on something I at least have some inside knowledge of. Things have been and are changing everywhere here, including with the community safety stuff you mention. Please don’t pretend we’re only taking about a Pride ‘saving’.

    2. Jock S. Trap 22 Jun 2011, 4:19pm

      Treating people Equality don’t have a price tag.

      1. We’re not talking about equal *treatment* here tho…it’s just a parade…

        1. Really? Just a parade? You obviously don’t know how much that ‘parade’ has, and continues to inspire gay guys into action for equality. Maybe you think we should stop the ‘parade’ altogether, as it’s just a ‘parade’.

          1. Spanner1960 22 Jun 2011, 8:32pm

            30 Years ago, maybe Pride had an agenda worth following, but frankly now we have most of the things we want, and a bunch of half-naked nancies mincing down Regent St blowing whistles is not going to make a jots bit of difference.

            It’s just a parade.

          2. So you think we have equality in the country? LOL. I take it you think we should stop having pride?

          3. Spanner1960 23 Jun 2011, 9:16am

            Well, compared to 30 years ago, then we had something to complain about.
            Now it’s a basic mopping-up exercise.

    3. Entering the Stonewall Equality Index doesn’t cost anything at all C, it just means showing a willingness to demonstrate how gay-friendly (or not) you are towards gay staff and recruits. The LFB’s decision to withdraw from that does suggest that this isn’t very much to do with costs and cutbacks but may be about equality for gay people in general.

      1. @Serenity

        It does have costs in terms of management reports and monitoring etc … but they are minimal costs …

    4. Entering the Stonewall Equality Index doesn’t cost anything at all C so this does suggest it’s about more than cost-cutting

    5. Are they doing anything that actually harms gays with practices. I can understand stop payng stonewall and probably stopped advertising in gay magaiznes, but thats just all about money rather than equality in the workplace

  6. As the person who has issued the statement on behalf of LGBT members of the fire service I take note that Pink News felt it necessary to contact London Fire Brigade for them to promote the myth that they are actually doing something for our community.
    We have marched for over 15 years and I can remember the fight to be allowed to be identified as a member of the fire service and the threats that we were bringing the brigade into disrepute.
    The decision follows our exclusion from the LFB Pride Breakfast which is held behind closed doors, the decision to withdraw support to our members wishing to attend LGBT education events designed to support and empower them to take pride in who they are, the decision to withdraw from Stonewall as they new that in this years equality index they would clearly have fallen far from 25th place in 2010 as they have stopped all work and there outright refusal to have discussions with us on how to move forward on LGBT issues.

    1. You need LGBT education to have pride in who you are, Id rather you put out fires, or get another job?

  7. These are challeging times and it is tragic that we are seeing job cuts anywhere in the fire service. Even though it may be potrayed that it is back room staff and not front line firefighters jobs are going across the service. Those backroom jobs are just as inportant as they firefighters posts as they are all part of the team that gets those appliances rolling when people are in distress.
    On LGBT equality our union and London Fire Brigade are supposed to be in agreement. If we cant sit down and talk about the things we do agree on what chance is there for meaningfull movement on all the other issues.
    We have not closed the door to London Fire Brigade but are making the point that we will not march with them until they take note of our needs and hopefully for the future we can work together for the better of LGBT staff and the LGBT Community.

    1. Jock S. Trap 22 Jun 2011, 4:22pm

      Totally agree with that then.

      1. Oh, so you’ve decided to stop “saying what you think” based on ignorance and actually get some facts before pontificating? Some of these facts were in the original story posted (like the fact that they WERE marching but with the Union contingent) but you chose to ignore it and make false and misleading statements based on your right to “say what you THINK”.

        Well good for you anyway. Better late than never I guess.

        1. Jock S. Trap 23 Jun 2011, 1:07pm

          Well at least it must be nice to know whose made the comment, not someone who changes their name every two seconds to suit and hide from their own arguments.

          1. There you go looking stupid again Jock. I and my husband are two different people with widely varying, and often disagreeing opinions on things. I posted my opinion under his name by accident once and caught holy hell for it so yes, I do make sure to change to my own name before commenting now.

            We happen to agree on this one. And my statement, unchallenged except for an ad hominem attack, stands. You made incorrect and misleading statements that contradicted the posted report and then told us what you thought about your misinformed belief. Then you took exception when someone challenged you claiming it was your right to state what you think. Sorry if the truth hurts.

            Strangely enough I’m usually one of your biggest fans because you usually respond to facts with facts. Not this time.

          2. Jock S. Trap 23 Jun 2011, 2:53pm

            Oh Paddys… it’s you.
            I should have known.
            See now I wasn’t at the time necessarily referring to you but as you just feel down the guilt hole and shown yourself up I guess if the cap fits and all that.

            I seriously wouldn’t have know until that second comment.

            Paddys…, why don’t you just stick to the one name.
            Why do you keep changing it?

          3. Jock S. Trap 23 Jun 2011, 2:56pm

            May I also point out the little comment thrower there too where you also went wrong.

            The comment:-
            “Strangely enough I’m usually one of your biggest fans because you usually respond to facts with facts. Not this time.”

            Doesn’t go with the beginning of the previous one does it:-
            “Oh, so you’ve decided to stop “saying what you think” based on ignorance and actually get some facts before pontificating?”

            Think that second comment from your first comment strikes of the reality from the first comment from you second comment…

  8. HelenWilson 22 Jun 2011, 4:49pm

    How can you have a equality index that excludes transgender staff on it because of Stonewalls rabid transphobia?……Its a strange way to measure equality when you exclude one grope from the results!…..Withdrawing from the Stonewall index is probably the best thing the London Fire Brigade has done to promote equality in a long time……Maybe the Fire Brigades Union should consider that.

    1. This was also my personal opinion about the withdrawal, Helen. Thank-you for voicing that point.

    2. The Fire Brigade Brigades Union’s LGBT Committee (please note our committee includes T) do take note of Stonewalls reluctance to take up the fight for our Transgender staff and have campaigned to have this area included in there campaigning. Stonewall Scotland does include Trans issues in their campaigning.
      The point made about withdrawal from the Stonewall Index is that if they do not talk to the democratically elected representatives of LGBT staff or Stonewall, then who are they talking to to establish what our needs and issues are?

      1. Thanks for posting Pat. The article doesn’t tell you the details you have said in your comments. Its disturbing when eroding equality can be passed off as financial cutbacks as some others have said. I hope its not unions that are being sidelined like in previous tory governments.

        1. What’s even more sad is when those most negatively affected buy into the lies of their masters and go out and parrot them without actually seeing if they pass the smell test. To see gay people argue that the cutbacks to promoting an equal workplace for gay people are necessary to save jobs is sad and infuriating. To hear them claim that a truck in a Pride parade threatens a firefighter’s job while these “alarms” are being sent out for people’s birthdays and upper management are still spending on perks like drunken sailors is something right out of an Orwellian novel. It’s truly an obedient surf to master mentality that has worked like a charm for thousands of years. You just don’t expect to see it still working so well among intelligent, educated people of England today.

    3. Isn’t the Stonewall Equality Index an LGB Index because there’s a similar Index for Trans people?

      1. The index is linked to how much money these organisations pay for stonewalls consultancy service. I would hate to work in a company where i was singled out for being gay and receiving special attention

  9. trickymicky 22 Jun 2011, 5:51pm

    I take my hat off the Fireifighters concerned. Why give the illusion that everything is rosey when it is clearly not.
    By agreeing not to stand with an organisation that appears to be working against LGBT issues is the right thing to do, would you want to be linked to organistaion that says one thing but appears to do the opposite!!

    1. Too right and that stonewall index is a load of bollocks companies pay for that recognition

      1. But James, their website makes crystal clear that you don’t have to pay to enter the Index.

        1. If only the world was that serene, no the fact isnt publicised because then the Index would loose credibility. The high rankers all use stonewall consultants to achieve the necessary ticks in boxes

  10. Rich (original) 22 Jun 2011, 8:55pm

    Get lost, bastards!…. :)

    1. Spanner1960 23 Jun 2011, 9:18am

      Ah Rich. Bless your cottons. We’ve missed you…
      Sit down, have a chair, let me plug it in.

  11. As an FBU member in the London Fire Brigade (LFB), I have to say I am extremely disappointed with the comments the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has made. The facts that have been put forward in this article are by no means accurate. How can FBU members who are not in the LFB have any idea of what goes on behind the scenes in London? They are obviously being fed misinformation by certain members. The LFB has supported Pride for the last few years, and “everybody” has been welcome. Can the FBU say that they don’t exclude people? I know for a fact that they can’t! For the first time in a number of years, the LFB is not doing the very popular Pride Breakfast at Soho Fire Station, but do you think its acceptable for the Brigade to pay for a social event when staff in the LFB, this week, have been made redundant??

    1. I don’t believe for one moment that you are an FBU member. The anonymity of the internet is a wonderful thing for concern trolls.

    2. Well RD as a London member you will be aware that it is a fact that at last years LFB Pride breakfast members of the FBU LGBT Committee were invited. The week prior to the event the invitation was withdrawn and we were excluded.
      Members from London were originally booked to attend the FBU LGBT School, an event were presentations from across the LGBT coomunity were hosted from Amnesty Internationaland international LGBT oppression to LGBT domestic violence to a whole raft of other LGBT issues. Unfortunately LFB withdrew support to any member of their staff wishing to attend that even, fact!!
      With regards to this years pride and any other LGBT related matter LFB have had no discussions with members of the FBU LGBT Committee. Fact!!
      If they dont want to have anything to do with us is not a bit rich to expect us to turn our members out to march alongside there fire appliance for pride promoting a notion that they actually care.
      Easy to use anonymity to say im misleading people.

  12. Stephen John Williams 31 Jan 2012, 7:38pm

    Why should the the fire service promote lesbian and gay people thats not their job!

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