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Comment: Stonewall’s complicated relationship with trans activists is based on old arguments

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  1. What arguments from 10 years ago (that are no longer relevant/happened behind closed doors) is she referring to?

  2. Can you PLEASE stop saying just Stonewall? Stonewall Scotland doesn’t have any of these hangups :) Please don’t tar everyone with the same brush.

    1. I don’t understand why Stonewall Scotland even use the brand.. Why not call themselves something different? Or team up with the Equality Network or the LGBT Youth Scotland? I’m sure having so many groups isn’t too helpful.

      From what I’ve seen, from not being entirely involved, the changes to the Marriage law in Scotland were thanks to the Equality Network and the Scottish Transgender Alliance. Did Stonewall Scotland help? Does it matter when Ben Summerskill is telling the UK Government we don’t want/need marriage?

      I don’t know what the links between Stonewall and Stonewall Scotland are. I also don’t know what you’d call Stonewall other than Stonewall, to differentiate them from Stonewall Scotland.. Stonewall UK would be even more confusing, since that includes Scotland, no?

      1. How about, ‘Stonewall England’?

        1. Wales is not part of England so it would have to be “Stonewall England and Wales”

    2. Stonewall only use LGB’&T’ in Scotland because they were pressured into it. They don’t actually do anything useful for trans people, and their role in LGBT legislative change over the years in Scotland has been non existent. Can anyone name any change they’ve actually been responsible for?

  3. The “spousal veto” would be outrageous if we had immediate no-fault divorce. But we don’t.

    Without the “spousal veto”, a gay man married to another man who decided that he was a woman would be forced to be in a heterosexual marriage.

  4. Very charitable of you, Sarah, and I completely agree with your prescription for the future. I very much hope that Stonewall will become an LGB & T organisation.

    And I hope Stonewall will be more inclusive and consultative from now on, and so avoid the arbitrary decisions which can arise when a few individuals have too much unconstrained influence.

  5. Stonewall UK needs to remember (or learn) that the original Stonewall riots were sparked by police harassment of the transgendered. That’s right, it was the crossdressers, the drag queens, the transvestites and transgender patrons of the Stonewall Tavern that stood up to the police. Later on the LGB people joined in, but they (we, actually) were not the ones that started anything. This has been confirmed by an actual Stonewall veteran in a public interview. He was there, Stonewall UK was not. If Stonewall UK doesn’t want to recognize the contribution of trans people, then they should be stripped of the name “Stonewall”. They are defacto liars, and need to be called out on their behavior.

    1. I agree. Gayed, lesbianed, bisexualed people have a lot to gain by helping each other. Let’s hope Stonewall listens.

    2. nixi otemba 27 Jan 2014, 5:57pm

      totally agree, they should be stripped

  6. Paul Brownsey 27 Jan 2014, 4:49pm

    “On paper you can draw nice neat lines separating “gender identity stuff” and “sexuality stuff”, and have everything work out. Sadly, reality is messier and doesn’t much care for attempts to confine things to neat boxes.”

    Hmmm….Trouble is, there will also overlaps between LGB concerns and the concerns of, for instance, people seeking artificial insemination, people into BDSM, sex workers, supporters of children’s rights, fathers denied access to their children, etc, etc. But I take it there shouldn’t be a single organization dealing with all these concerns and others. besides. It’s fine for Stonewall to work with other organizations on specific matters but I don’t think it should take on all the concerns of these other groups. By the same token, I don’t think it should turns itself into an LGBT organization, though it should work with trans groups as and when appropriate.

    1. Midnighter 28 Jan 2014, 5:56pm

      This is a slippery slope fallacy. No one (afaik) is seriously proposing any of those should be considered. Were they to do so, they would need to justify their relevance, for example by the percentage of the community those issues affected. Furthermore you’ve pointed out yourself that other organisations exist to deal with those things anyway (and they generally do so successfully, whereas Trans groups struggle to be heard).

      LGB people suffer many of the same issues and prejudices as the Trans community: for e.g. how many boys hear authority figures disapprove of something because it is “gay” or “girly”, as though either trait was of itself an automatically bad thing? In my view we have a basis there for a quantifiable common ground if statistics are needed to convince people: nevertheless I believe many of us have already concluded from our own experiences that the Trans community is natural fit for inclusion and cooperation.

  7. Stonewall is by far the biggest recipient of state funding for the work it does. Between them, Stonewall and the Lesbian and Gay Foundation take the lion’s share of such funding, crowding out hundreds of smaller, more inclusive organisations.

    Rather than see the Stonewall monolith encompass trans issues (and given how poorly it handles bi issues, I’d advise people to be careful what they wish for), I’d rather see a more equitable distribution of funding leading to a healthier LGBT+ charity and voluntary sector competing to produce the best ideas, to be the most inclusive and to be the most engaging. Sure, Stonewall’s financial clout is great for funding national media campaigns, but an organisation that size is like steering a cow.

  8. Sorry but no. Trans is not at all linked with sexuality and trans discrimination is not the same as sexuality discrimination. LGB does not need to be a “one-stop-shop” for all and sundry. Trans have their own active campaign groups, which is fantastic, but nothing to do with sexual orientation and should stay that way. It is like having a blind man in a deaf support group. Totally different even though there are similarities. I just don’t like that people cling to the LGB label just because the LGB community are generally very accepting of all people. It doesn’t make them LG or B. Xx

    1. unchainedaura 27 Jan 2014, 6:57pm

      you forget a lotta trans folks are LG and B too.

    2. thelostdot 27 Jan 2014, 8:40pm

      Then give up the funding you are unfairly robbing!

      1. It is hardly “robbing” (stealing would be better). The funding given to LGB organisations is given to them for LGB yet trans organisations think they are entitled to it? If they were entitlted to it they would have been given it themselves. LGB is not an umbrella term, it is for LYN people! Xx

  9. At the end of the day stonewall was set up by gays for LGB rights not transgender rights, although I think it should represent the rights of transgender people more, there is no point in shouting and screaming or even dictating to an organisation what they should be doing, that’s not going to work. If they choose to represent LGB rights let them, it’s upto them what they campaign on.

    1. aura hazel 27 Jan 2014, 6:58pm

      so I suppose according to you T people were nlt involved. Way to erase people dude.

    2. thelostdot 27 Jan 2014, 8:41pm

      don’t see there’s much need for Stonewall now, so disband and start an organisation that deals with more relevent problems these days

  10. I agree that one organisation can not be involved in everything, there are conflicts in some things LGB want and that T want, and whilst in shared issues in relation to LGB fair enough, things dedicated just for T should have their own organisation.

  11. They are old arguments, however, so let’s move on, toward greater LGBT inclusivity. What are the leading UK transgender rights issues and how are they currently being addressed under English/Welsh and Scottish law?

  12. What next? ‘all ‘women’ shortlists? Men in dressses becoming elected into parliament as ‘women’ if this is not misigyny then Im the pope

  13. Juli Richmond 28 Jan 2014, 11:06am

    It is an LGB organization, and the T is being left out.
    Trans folks and LGB folks get discriminated for the same reasons,
    Not fitting hetro normative norms.
    So working together should be a no brainer.

    1. YES! Exactly. The specific needs may vary, but the antagonists are similar- those who victimise an ‘effeminate’ (according to their lights) gay teen man are unlikely to be respectful of a teen trans*woman either.

      Nice precis, Juli! :-)

  14. Juli Richmond 28 Jan 2014, 11:12am

    Crazy how LG folks want to discriminate Trans folks,
    You folks in the UK need to look at intersectionality a bit deeper
    Sincerely, saddened trans person

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