Another surprise this week. At the Manchester Pride event a gay person was escorted away from the event by the police. As you would expect this has caused some consternation and opinions have been flying back and forth.
The person in question was simply wearing a LGB Alliance T shirt. So what is wrong with that it is gay pride after all? The pride events grew out of the Stonewall fight against homophobia so surely a gay person should have every right to be there. Sadly, the LGB Alliance is transphobic and is campaigning against trans people on the basis that it is not part of and its inclusion is damaging the gay community. In fact the person ejected, a gay man, is complaining that he feels excluded from Pride despite his rather “limp” protest as Pink News reported it.
In truth being gay does not mean you are entitled to be transphobic. The crowd that made their presence felt and expressed their view that he was not welcome because of his transphobic stance was a majority gay crowd. It was not a transgender event. LGBT is a Lesbian Gay and Bi event which includes trans people. Yet the LGB Alliance supporters are up in arms that a gay person was escorted away from the event by the police.
There are many theories about the LGB Alliance, whether it should hold its charitable status, whether it is funded by right wing evangelistic groups. Whether any of that is relevant I do not know. It is clearly anti trans in its stance and Pride is an inclusive event, include trans people.
It seems to me it was provocative to attend a Pride event wearing a LGB Alliance T shirt, it is also concerning that a majority of gay people present were hostile to someone being present wearing such a shirt. It has been asked how come a gay person can attend a Pride event and be harassed by gay people to the extent that they needed police protection and to be escorted a way? The answer would seem to be that the majority of gay people accept that Trans people are going through the hostility that gay people did when Stonewall was set up and the original Pride events began.
I have no time for the kind of protest and hostility that was seen in Manchester, the way forward has to be by talking and education. Resorting to “bashing” any minority, gay or trans is just totally unacceptable although I fear it is becoming more prevalent. I would prefer Trans activists not to resort to the aggressive tactics that often surface as such aggression fuels and polarises the debate. I am also aware that unless people stand up for trans rights they will be rolled back and disappear. It is a hard balancing act.