Alex Blaze

TransLondon back in Pride

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 24, 2009 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: bathrooms, bus, london, march, pride, protest

I posted about a month ago that TransLondon pulled out of Pride London because of issues with representation (the theme for the transgender float was "Priscilla"), a bathroom incident in which security asked transwomen for Gender Recognition Certificates, and an undemocratic decision-making process. Well, TransLondon's back in, and they'll be marching under protest:

However, TransLondon has voted to rejoin the event, saying that Pride has now listened to its concerns over dress code, accountability and consultation.

At a meeting on June 16th, 48 per cent of members voted to march under protest. Twenty-eight per cent voted to continue the boycott, while 24 per cent abstained from the vote.

I'm glad that they were able to work out a solution (more on that after the jump), and that they're marching "under protest." These issues still need more visibility, and the problem isn't just the Pride London organizers, but the people who attend as well. Plus, half the point of Pride is to protest (the other half is to partyyyyyyyyy), and there's no reason protest, even internal protest, shouldn't happen at Pride. All transphobes and homophobes should be called out no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, because that's, like, full equality.

Here's more on the solution:

A statement from the group said: "TransLondon would like to make it clear that we support the intentions behind Pride events. For trans people, Pride must be a safe space where we are accepted for who we are and how we choose to present ourselves. The boycott has been lifted now that Pride London has revised its policies."We hope that Pride London will not make the same mistakes next year and look forward to engaging in an open consultation and decision-making process in a timely way regarding the participation of trans people in next year's Pride event. TransLondon hopes that it is recognised that we made our concerns known in a peaceful and democratic way and that we always sought to be good-natured in asserting our rights."

A statement from the group said: "TransLondon would like to make it clear that we support the intentions behind Pride events. For trans people, Pride must be a safe space where we are accepted for who we are and how we choose to present ourselves. The boycott has been lifted now that Pride London has revised its policies.

"We hope that Pride London will not make the same mistakes next year and look forward to engaging in an open consultation and decision-making process in a timely way regarding the participation of trans people in next year's Pride event. TransLondon hopes that it is recognised that we made our concerns known in a peaceful and democratic way and that we always sought to be good-natured in asserting our rights."

Instead of a float, there will now be an open-top bus with no dress stipulations. Toilets will now be unisex and toilet attendants will be barred from deciding who can use them.

An open bus probably isn't the most festive way to go, but it's probably the best they could work out at the last minute. But they should have been doing unisex toilets a long time ago - there's no reason Pride should be enforcing the dichotomy. It's our one day a year to imagine something saner.


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This sounds healthy to me; it's going to take a while for all of us to find common ground. The main frustration I have felt as a trans female at Pride events almost everywhere is feeling invisible, in spite of the fact that I'm 6'3". I think we freak out the Gay and Straight populations equally, since we point to a sexuality and gender identity that are fluid, and fluid means "change" and change means "threat" to a lot of humans of all stripes. Our natural allies are that most invisible of all members of our community; bisexuals.
Anyway, if you see me walking down the street at Pride in a rainbow kerchief and pigtails, I promise to smile if you'll promise to say "hi!".

mixedqueer mixedqueer | June 25, 2009 9:32 PM

yay! i was so sad about the whole issue when i read about it last month. action was definitely called for, but a pride without any trans folx is no pride at all. i'm really glad that pridelondon got their shit together in time to reconcile with translondon and that the trans community will be there in full fierceness.