Does Labour & the Left Have An Issue With Not Only Pride in London But Generally With The LGBTQ Community?

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.

yours truly with Jeremy Corbyn

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.

Reflections On 2019’s Pride In London

Pride in London is the one day of the year where you get cheered on for being trans & that you get cheered on by hundreds of thousands lining the streets of the capital as you march in the Pride parade for being trans is an experience that’s exhilarating as feck, it’s the reason I’ve kept on marching year on year in the Pride in London parade since I came out as trans almost a decade ago, no matter year after year the increasing physical pain I feel from participating in the Pride in London parade. But it’s not just the personal exhilaration I feel from being cheered on as I walk through the streets of London for being trans as to why I’ll put up with the physical anguish I’m feeling right now despite having been chugging Tramadol as if they were smarties, I’m prepared to endure physical pain from marching around London on a humid Saturday afternoon to further trans visibility because it’s the least I can do when far too many trans women & trans men & gender-non-conforming people have suffered far worse for simply being visibly themselves

A reminder of the role trans people have played in the struggle for LGBTQ acceptance came at Pride in London with public address announcers on the route of the march with remembrance that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots & it was trans women who were central to instigating the Stonewall Riots, a reminder that trans women were central to the most significant event which led to the LGBTQ civil rights movement as we now know it & thus we were very much involved at the very inception of LGBTQ civil rights movement, we’ve always been part of the LGBTQ community & central to pushing for greater LGBTQ acceptance no matter how much TERF & truscum bigoted fucks attempt to rewrite history. Yes unfortunately there were TERF bigots at yesterday’s Pride in London parade, a group of TERF bigots did come running past the trans group I was marching with as we waited to set off on the parade shouting some bullshit about how this wasn’t our pride but theirs, yeah well we loudly told them in no uncertain terms to FUCK OFF!

yours truly at Pride in London

At least with 2019’s Pride in London there wasn’t a repeat of what happened last year when a group of TERF bigots hijacked the start of the parade to push their hatefully odious agenda of trans exclusion, instead this Pride in London was led with a lesbian group showing solidarity with trans sisters by marching with a #LwiththeT banner, an obvious attempt of Pride in London organisers to make amends. Though it was good move to have a lesbian group lead the Pride in London parade as misconceptions need be dispelled & the truth needs to be illustrated that the vast majority of cis lesbians do in fact support their trans sisters, an illustration that with the LGBTQ community there’s more which unites us then divides us, personally I would have still preferred if an out & out trans group had led the parade as a means to make a amends for last year as well as acknowledgement of the contribution trans people have made to the LGBTQ community with this being the year which marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots etc.

Lesbians showing solidarity with trans sisters lead the 2019 Pride in London parade

I’m not sure as to exact reason why Mermaids a trans charity which helps trans youth weren’t at the front of this year’s Pride in London parade because it would have been fitting as it would have shown solidarity from Pride in London against the continuous attacks in the Tory press against Mermaids for daring to actually help & support trans kids, however Mermaids did have a presence further back in the parade & did make an impression with their presence.

I’m glad Mermaids were in attendance at this year’s Pride in London just as I’m glad of all the trans presence there was at this year’s Pride in London, trans visibility is so vital to the trans community gaining greater social-justice & didn’t hurt that TransPals whom I was marching with had a fuck off gigantic Trans Pride flag hehehe.

I actually want to close this article by giving special thanks to Patricia Curtis of TransPals as she far too much grief & not enough thanks for the work as a trans activist she does.

Here’s Hoping To See Trans People Come Out En Masse For Pride In London

I’ll most definitely be waving my Trans Pride flag tomorrow whilst marching in the annual Pride in London parade & I hope I’m one of many visible trans people who’ll be participating in London’s annual Pride parade or amongst the crowds lining the streets cheering the parade on because trans visibility at LGBT Pride events is so vital to the trans cause.

The Trans Pride flag being flown at Pride in London

The Stonewall Riots were the most significant event which led to the proliferation of Pride parades celebrating LGBTQ diversity in just about every major westernised city around the globe as part of the modern-day civil rights movement which all trans people living in the western world have benefited from. This of course marks the 50th anniversary since the Stonewall Riots & no matter what transphobic arseholes within the LGBTQ community resentful of trans inclusion might say or what transphobic enemies from outside the LGBTQ community might say in an attempt to either malign or blatantly erase trans involvement in the Stonewall Riots, the fact remains trans women were instrumental in the instigation of the Stonewall Riots, the likes of trans legend Jayne County along with notable trans women such as Marsha P Johnson were very much in the amidst of it all. Trans people have always been part of the LGBTQ civil rights movement from it’s very inception & as far as I’m concerned we should remain very much part of the LGBTQ movement, you don’t have to tell me there is hostility towards trans people coming from within the LGBTQ community, what with the whole #DropTheT bullshit campaign on social-media & that the majority of the most rabid transphobic bigots are lesbians (TERFs), I know from my experience of having sat on the national executive of LGBT Labour that trans concerns are more often than not overlooked by the rest of the LGBTQ community, but the answer isn’t to say fuck it & run away, to do so would achieve nothing as the trans community is simply not strong enough to stand alone, plus I along many trans women are very much very much LGBTQ as any other ‘bonafide’ member of the LGBTQ community as we are lesbians as well as trans women.

Considering the hostility there’s been from some individuals within the LGBTQ community towards trans people, considering a group of bigoted TERFs disrupted last year’s Pride in London parade to push their odious agenda of transphobic hate & the rumour there were Pride in London organisers complicit in helping TERFs disrupt last year’s Pride parade in the capital, I know there might be a substantial number of trans people who’ll be thinking of boycotting this year’s Pride in London, but I’d strongly urge them not to do so as that is exactly what transphobes want. I personally think it’s utter bollocks there were Pride in London organisers complicit in helping TERFs disrupt last year’s event, as a bunch of TERF bigots preaching hate is antithetical to the image peace & love & pride in LGBTQ diversity which Pride in London would want to convey. I actually strongly suspect the rumour about there were Pride in London organisers complicit in helping TERFs disrupt last year’s Pride event was in fact started by transphobes in an attempt to dissuade trans people to come to this year’s Pride event in London or any future Pride event in London, yeah well one should never give into bullies, trans people wouldn’t have accomplished as much as we have since the Stonewall riots in ’69 if we had kotowed to homophobic/transphobic motherfucking bullies & we won’t secure greater justice for ourselves unless we don’t stand steadfast & resolute in being out, loud & proud not only in being trans but in being LGBTQ

There’s more which unites lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender & genderqueer people then divides us, yes I’ve detailed some of the hostility towards trans people which I’ve witnessed from within the LGBTQ community, but let’s be honest this is coming in the main from a minute bigoted minority within a minority & the problem with rabid transphobes within the LGBTQ community is the same problem with all extremists of any stripe which they’ll shout the loudest thus get heard & go to the nth degree to make their point thus get publicity etc, the truth however is that 95% of the LGBTQ community are in fact onside when it comes to supporting trans people & very much of the mentality there’s more which unites us then divides us.

Despite the increase in people coming out as trans & this has obviously helped the growth of the trans community, we are still not a community which is strong enough to stand on its own in campaigning for better civil rights, equality & justice, we still need to align ourselves with the rest of the LGBTQ community, so if trans people aren’t visible at Pride events nor generally visible within LGBTQ community then its far harder to keep people within the LGBTQ community onside in supporting trans equality or combatting what hostility towards trans people there might happen to be. Of course trans women such as India Willoughby being uber conservative truscum fuckwits will always go out of their way to say they’re not part of the LGBTQ community & will frequently be publicly hostile towards the LGBTQ, encouraging hostility & division with the rest of the LGBTQ community really isn’t the way to go when campaigning for greater justice for trans people & greater respect for gender diversity, it’s in fact really fucking unhelpful as encouraging hostility & division with the rest of the LGBTQ community will just be returned in kind & that is certainly not what trans people need! Trans people have always been involved with the LGBTQ civil rights movement from it’s inception, the LGBTQ community are the most natural allies of the trans community & we need all the allies we can get right now, so fuck off India Willoughby & all other truscum bigots just fuck right off!

Fuck off truscum bigots, fuck of TERF bigots, I hope to see trans people & genderqueer people turn out en masse tomorrow at Pride in London showing we won’t be maligned or ignored, I hope to see trans people & genderqueer people turn out en masse tomorrow because being visible & being seen to be visible is one of the greatest strengths in furthering the trans cause.