In his speech at last night’s Stonewall Awards, Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton invoked the spirit of the 1969 New York riots of which the British charity takes its name from.
Receiving the charity’s Entertainer of the Year award. Cotton said: “The world looks at, especially the UK and America for the way forward, and in 1969 when those riots happened it was the camp, it was the effeminate, it was the femme [and] the drag that burned those streets. It wasn’t the people that hid away. It was the people that had their gayness on their sleeves”.
He added: “And I’m not going to accept this award for me, I am genuinely thrilled but I accept it for all those people in 1969 and all those people in 2013 that are still fighting for their rights just to be people who love other people of the same sex.”
The riots that occurred at the Stonewall bar in New York on 28 June 1969 are widely considered to be the single most important event that helped establish start of the modern LGBT rights movement.
Along with gay and bisexual men and women, trans men and women were part of the uprising, which started as a result of continuous police harassment and violent raids.
But trans campaigners, such as Natacha Kennedy, have argued that Stonewall, the charity, has airbrushed this historical fact.
— Anne Cognito (@a_cognito) November 7, 2013
Stonewall in England and Wales does not campaign or lobby on transgender issues, instead claiming to work with transgender groups.
Stonewall are not merely complicit in trans erasure, they thrive on it. Refusal to rock the boat for anyone else is how they’re funded.
— aims &c (@aimsetc) November 7, 2013
On its website, in a section on gender identity, Stonewall says it “recognises that many trans people are also lesbian, gay and bisexual and often trans people encounter homophobia and experience homophobic hate crime” – yet the charity fails to mention they can also be victims of transphobia.
Stonewall Scotland campaigns on transgender issues and its research is trans-inclusive.
It states on its website: “Stonewall Scotland works for equality and justice for transgender people, as well as lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”