We’ve only just begun

August 1, 2008

Sarah – who I’m embarrassed to say I’ve been appallingly bad at keeping up with (we emailed once or twice last year) – has posted an update on the continuing fallout from the Pride fiasco (I wrote about it here and here).

In her Live Journal post Pride and Prejudice – the Plot Thickens, she reports on a meeting held a couple of days ago, which was attended by official representatives of the Met Police and various trans people who’d been at the march.

Sarah writes really well and I can wholeheartedly recommend reading her entire piece – but it has to be said that she doesn’t sound very upbeat in her summary :

So in general, a very frustrating meeting. I got the feeling that the Met Police remained frustrated that we haven’t “gotten over this”, that Pride London, despite words of regret, by their actions seem almost unrepentant about what happened, and that we left feeling frustrated that nobody understood why this is a big deal for us, and why it’s important that it’s put right. This feels like it’s only just starting.

I’m afraid that all this just deepens my suspicion of trans people allying themselves with groups whose prime concern is LGB people. Nothing wrong with any organisation doing that, I hasten to add – but it seems almost inevitable that the ‘T-for-Trans’ – when/if it’s added to the LGB acronym – is simply an afterthought, a cynical ploy to present a public image which is just not backed up by the reality.

The HRC/ENDA debacle was – or should have been – warning enough. I’ll say it again: trans people need our own Stonewall (Transwall? Stonetrans?) to fight for our various civil liberties. Although PFC do a truly excellent job and are not to be underestimated, I believe we need a much more public face if we’re ever seriously going to challenge the pre- and misconceptions of the general public.

I’d do it myself if I thought I could make a difference as just one individual. Anybody else?


©2008 Helen G


3 Responses to “We’ve only just begun”

  1. Lisa Harney Says:

    Many LGB groups are very normative and anti-trans (and anti-butch, anti-drag, anti-anyone that isn’t only distinguishable from straight white people by their attraction to members of the same sex).

    I think there really is a division in the GLB community, though – some are truly supportive, and some think we’re token inclusions or even that they’d be better off without us.

  2. Helen G Says:

    Lisa: Point taken, but I still don’t really understand why trans people were ever put in the same category as GLB in the first place (and by whom, too).

    Maybe I’m just oversimplifying, or being too essentialist/determinist/biocentrist/wev – but I just can’t get past "Trans = gender identity" and "GLB = sexual orientation". Not much commonality in that…

    OTOH, as you say, some GLB people are supportive, and if I was to pursue my pipedream, then I would need to be sure that Transwall/Stonetrans didn’t exclude allies.

    So much for trans-born-trans only spaces, then ;)

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