Sydney Mardi Gras scraps event because of backlash over transphobic YouTuber Arielle Scarcella
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) has scrapped a panel featuring the lesbian YouTuber Arielle Scarcella after backlash over her self-identified transphobia.
Arielle Scarcella runs an LGBT-centred YouTube channel with over 630,000 subscribers. She has long been criticised for her anti-trans views, which are expressed in detail in videos such as ‘I Won’t Apologise for Being Transphobic‘.
A video she made in 2018, entitled ‘Dear Trans Women, Stop Pushing “Girl Dick” On Lesbians‘, led to several top lesbian media outlets publishing an open letter in condemnation of “vitriolic attacks” on trans women.
On 27 February Scarcella was due to feature on a SGLMG ticketed panel discussion organised by Les-Talk. Other panel members included the Buzzfeed video producer Tania Safi.
An online petition to withdraw Scarcella from the panel questioned if Sydney Mardi gras was happy to “endorse and sponsor transphobia”. It called on SGLMG to replace Scarcella with Australian lesbian or queer women, including transgender lesbians, and commit to zero tolerance with regards to transphobia.
Safi withdrew from the panel shortly after the petition launched. “I do not agree with Arielle’s transphobic and biphobic beliefs,” she said, urging organisers to “promote genuinely inclusive, progressive views… that means for all LGBT+ people everywhere.”
In response to the growing criticism, SGLMG confirmed on Monday that Scarcella’s panel had been dropped from the official Mardi Gras festival schedule.
“We have been in touch with the event organiser and have now removed it from our festival event listings,” they tweeted.
Scarcella angrily replied: “You took the ONE lesbian/female focused event down because a bunch of cry babies complaints that they don’t like a woman’s (my) opinion?”
You took the ONE lesbian / female focused event down because a bunch of cry babies complained that they don’t like a woman’s (my) opinion?
— Arielle Scarcella (@ArielleScarcell) February 16, 2020
She also described the entire fiasco as a “sh*tstorm” and blamed the decision on homophobia.
PinkNews was unable to ascertain how many other lesbian speakers the festival has, but given that the entire 17-day festival is dedicated to celebrating the Australian LGBT+ community, it is highly unlikely that Scarcella’s cancellation is the huge loss in lesbian representation that she thinks it is.