With this past Saturday having been Pride in London & possibly in reaction to transphobes having disrupted the start of last year’s Pride in London parade to push their odious agenda of trans exclusion, Jeremy Corbyn authored an article for Pink News urging the rejection of transphobic campaigns. Being a trans woman who’s met Jeremy Corbyn on several occasions & spoken with him on those occasions about trans rights & knowing he has one the best (if not the best) voting records of any MP when it comes to trans issues, I’m certain he fully supports equality for trans people, but the same can’t be said sadly for a good proportion of those who appear to be his most hardcore supporters.
When I posted the article Jeremy had authored for Pink News speaking out against transphobic campaigns on various Facebook groups in support of Jeremy as Labour leader, well some of the responses included ‘He didn’t write the article so it can’t be assumed these are actually his views’ & ‘transphobia comes from the right so I really hope he is not taken in by the reframing of feminism as transphobia’ & other more extreme transphobic TERF type bullshit hate, I don’t know if any of those posting this shite are actual paid up Labour Party members, because despite Labour in the past year having expelled a number of transphobic activists. Labour still have an issue with transphobia amongst it’s ranks probably greater then there’s an issue with antisemitism. Unlike with antisemitism where there’s some ambiguity because people conflate legitimate criticism of the Israeli government with actual hatred of Jewish people, with transphobia its pretty black & white, if you deny the gender identity of any trans woman & deny them equal rights with any cis woman then you are being transphobic, plus if you are prepared to deny equality to trans women & trans people in general then you are in fact going against the principles which Labour have long espouse, but the nastiness there’s been within Labour hasn’t in fact surprised me as over years I’ve become increasingly aware of the lack of support with there is with the hard left when it comes to the concerns of LGBTQ people & in particular criticism of Pride in London.
I can’t say that the criticisms of Pride in London having become ‘too commercialised & corporate’ is necessarily a disguised homophobic/transphobic agenda as I’ve heard plenty of criticism of Pride in London having become too corporate from LGBTQ activists on the left of the political spectrum, Peter Tatchell has certainly been one prominent LGBTQ activist on the political left who’s been extremely vocal in protesting that Pride’s political message is being lost due to all the commercialisation & corporate sponsorship there’s now associated with Pride in London. Having attended Pride in London now for many years, I’ve seen the increasing corporate involvement in the event with Apple, Facebook, Barclays, Sainsbury’s & even the housing association who are my landlord having floats in the parade going through the streets of London, but it’s that corporate sponsorship which keeps Pride free for me & every other LGBTQ activist who does have a political message to march in the parade.
It’s not as if I don’t sympathise with some of the anticapitalist criticisms against Pride in London, the main argument being it’s all very well for tech giants such as Facebook, Apple & Amazon being socially progressive in publicly supporting LGBTQ friendly, but these companies dodge paying corporation tax in UK & any other taxes they should be paying. Of course the likes of Amazon & Apple & whichever other major corporation should be forced to pay the taxes they ought to be paying if they want to trade in this country, as its unfair to small & medium sized businesses as well as a detriment to society as a whole, but this doesn’t take away from the fact the likes of Apple & Amazon are prepared to be seen to support LGBTQ Pride events, would you rather those corporations weren’t LGBTQ friendly & supportive of the LGBTQ community?
I can remember a time when it was perfectly legal for a company to sack an employee for being LGBTQ & I don’t particularly want to back that kind bullshit which leads me onto the criticism lefties who are far more cynical have against Pride in London, this being various corporations support Pride in London as it’s a means of free advertising by having a float plastered with their corporate logo in the parade traversing the streets of the capital yet if you delved a bit deeper into how these companies actually treat their employees you’d likely find these companies aren’t as LGBTQ friendly as they’d like us to believe, hey I’m not going to deny that some of those same corporations who have floats in the Pride in London parade aren’t as LGBTQ friendly as they’d like you to believe & if there are corporations who are pledging support for LGBTQ Pride but are still treating LGBTQ employees like shit for being LGBTQ then this definitely needs to be exposed & opposed.
It’s a misnomer that corporations get ‘free advertising’ by having a float in the Pride in London parade plastered in their corporate logo, they actually have to pay to have a float in the parade & their contributions ensure I & other trans members of the LGBTQ community get to march in the Pride in London parade for free & thus trans people get the opportunity to promote the need for greater trans equality for free & there is definitely a need to be promoting greater trans equality & I nor any trans activist is going to turn down such an opportunity, ah but the hard left anticapitalist argument here is its all very well corporate sponsorship of Pride in London helping trans people to campaign for justice & equality but what about those same corporations being unscrupulous & unethical in it’s business practices in the developing world by employing child labour & generally fucking up the environment & whatever other egregious bullshit, to which my response is if major corporations are up to no fucking good in the developing world is the same as above which is expose & oppose the fuckers.
It’s not just with Pride in London being too capitalistic which the hard left has an issue with, nor is it just with trans women because a number have been indoctrinated with transphobic rhetoric mistakenly thinking it’s ‘radical feminism’, my impression is it’s with the entire LGBTQ community & our struggle. My experience over the years since I came out as a trans woman & a lesbian, is the hard left aren’t in fact that supportive of the LGBTQ community, my conclusion as to why they’re not as supportive as you might think a political grouping who bangs on awful about equality would be is it’s maybe due the hard left view just about everything through the prism of class struggle & thus seem to view the LGBTQ community & our own struggle as the product of bourgeois vanity & decadence, or maybe it’s because LGBTQ issues cut across the class divide thus they’re Tory toffs who are LGBTQ & if you’re narrowminded enough to view everyfuckingthing through the prism of class struggle then you’re going to be all at sea when it comes to those issues which cut cross the class divide. Maybe the hard left haven’t been as supportive as they use to be of the LGBTQ community is due to there being greater LGBTQ acceptance there are LGBTQ people living more comfortable lives, maybe it’s because LGBTQ people aren’t screaming for the complete destruction of neoliberal-capitalist system, maybe it’s just because of residual homophobia/transphobia.
Yes the Labour Party needed to move to the left as Blairites were far too much in love with neoliberal-capitalism & neoliberal-capitalism hasn’t been serving the interests of the many, but the less I felt welcomed as a trans woman within the party the further the party travelled leftwards with not just tolerance for those espousing transphobic rhetoric but electing them to positions of influence & power within the party, the party wouldn’t tolerate racists so which it tolerating transphobes, well this once-upon-a-time paid up member of the Labour Party who voted for Jeremy Corbyn to lead the party is now no longer a member, sure I’ll vote Labour at the next General Election but that’s only because I’m not a single issue voter & the Green Party have just as much of an issue with transphobic bigots amongst their membership.