In the wake of Pride in London

During the annual Pride in London parade on July 7, a small group of lesbian activists organized under the slogan “Get the L Out!” disrupted the parade with flyers and banners carrying anti-trans messages. After a short negotiation the group was subsequently allowed to march ahead of the parade with a banner stating “Transactivism erases lesbians” while handing out flyers saying that the “trans movement is coercing lesbians to have sex with men”.

In the wake of Pride in London

“I disagree with men saying they are women and that they are lesbians. I’ve got nothing against people cross-dressing or anything else, but I don’t believe that you can change sex”, one of the lesbian activists explained to Pink News.

Immediately after the incident organizers from Pride in London were heavily criticized for allowing the anti-trans group to be present and march ahead of the parade. They since issued a statement condemning the protest and apologizing to the trans community.

A divisive issue
The unfortunate incident during Pride in London has brought renewed attention to a serious and divisive issue within the LGBTQIA community: A growing, internal conflict between transgender activists and lesbian, radical feminists. Voices from both sides seem to quickly go shrill and the online debates are far from pretty to read. From one side of the gap some lesbian, radical feminists claim that trans women are simply men in disguise while on the other side some transgender activists call it transphobia if a lesbian is not sexually interested in trans women based on whatever they might or might not have between their legs.

The gap is very real and so is the struggle – on both sides. And the complexity of the issue and the whole debate around cannot be underestimated. Thankfully there are voices out there trying to calm the waters and bridge the gap. The outspoken, lesbian feminist and singer-songwriter Beth Ditto, took to Instagram to publicly comment on the lesbian protest during Pride in London:

“Don’t forget all the movements that came before. We only can see the result of them. There was turmoil, infighting, debate, fall outs on the inside all the way. But still they pressed on. And succeeded. We have to do the same”, Ditto said.

Zero tolerance in Copenhagen
The anti-trans protest during the parade in London has also sparked heated debate in Denmark where Copenhagen Pride Week is coming up. The organizers of Copenhagen Pride found it necessary to release a statement after having received messages from concerned trans people who asked whether they could feel safe during pride in Copenhagen. Part of the statement from Copenhagen Pride reads:

“The position of Copenhagen Pride is abundantly clear: We do not tolerate trans- bi- homo- or any other LGBTQIA+ phobia in our activities. This includes the Copenhagen Pride Parade and at the City Hall Square of Copenhagen which, during Copenhagen Pride Week from 14th-18th August once again will be transformed into Pride Square. Transphobia, biphobia and homophobia is always unacceptable – regardless of whether it is propagated by people who themselves identify as LGBTQIA+ or from other individuals or groups. Copenhagen Pride Week must be a safe space for all LGBTQIA+ individuals, and we will defend the integrity of our festival as such. Copenhagen Pride Week is a festival for inclusion and a celebration of diversity, and implicitly in these terms is embedded an expectation of those who choose to participate, that they are champions of these principles, that they celebrate diversity and the individual liberties, that they help create a safe environment for all and that they support the agenda of inclusion allowing all people to feel safe, despite differences in gender identity or gender expression and across sexual orientations. Hateful messages directed at minorities, shaming, abusive behaviour and discrimination simply will be allowed no space in our festival, and we do in no way regard it as a mitigating circumstance that the perpetrators themselves belong to a minority.”

Hop ned til bunden og smid en kommentar.

Smid en kommentar

Copyright © Homotropolis - Nyhedsmedie, guide og eventkalender for bøsser, lesbiske, biseksuelle, transkønnede, queers og faghags i alle farver.

Homotropolis is a proud member of Copenhagen Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.