Blackpool Pride apologises for having ‘trans only’ area where kids had to be accompanied
The organisers of Blackpool Pride have apologised after putting up a sign for a “trans only” area which was for adults only.
A sign put up at Blackpool Pride at the weekend which read: “Trans area only. Under 16’s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.”
Organisers have since responded to apologise after being accused of transphobia by those in attendance at the event which featured Union J and Jane McDonald.
Critics said the sign perpetuated the false idea that trans people are somehow dangerous to young people.
Organisers said the sign was out of date and that it should not have been put out in 2017.
Writing on Facebook, the Chair of Blackpool Pride Festival, Shaun Pickup, said: “We are deeply saddened that we have received complaints and concerns from our visitors regarding the Trans* area at this year’s Blackpool Pride Festival and would like to offer our most sincere apologies for any offence which has been caused.
“The Trans area was created in response to requests from the community to provide a safe space for them during the festival. Both Blackpool Pride Festival and our partners at Horizon are fully supportive and stand in solidarity with the Trans* community at all times, the provision of this space was an attempt to respect their wishes. We were in no way were seeking to segregate members of any community as our ethos as an organisation is about bringing people together.
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“The sign in question was produced for a previous festival where there were age related licensing restrictions in the area of the building which the Trans* area was situated and should not have been displayed this year. As soon as the festival’s organising committee were made aware of the complaints regarding the sign it was removed and will not be used at any future Blackpool Pride Festival event.”
It was not immediately clear what licencing restrictions would mean that those under 16 would need to be accompanied by an adult.
Organisers of Blackpool Pride Festival have also said that they will reach out to trans groups ahead of its 2018 festival.
They said they hoped it would mean they could have a better dialogue with trans people ahead of next year’s event.
Organisers said: “As part of our planning for next year’s event we are reaching out to the Trans* community and their advocates to find out how they would like to see the Festival provide a safe and inclusive space for them to come together without feeling segregated.
“Blackpool Pride Festival is one which aims to bring people together from across the LGB&T and wider community and as a team we are all deeply sorry for any offence which has been caused. We hope that this unfortunate incident does not take the shine off what has been an otherwise successful weekend celebrating the community to which we all belong.”