London Pride transphobia: how to respond?
Pride in London was disrupted by a small clique of anti trans equality campaigners on Saturday. The LGBT community has been reacting in shock over the weekend that a group campaigning against the history and spirit of Prides wound up – as the security and stewarding team struggled to solve the problem and the police failed to intervene – leading one of the biggest pride marches in the country.
In Manchester, BiPhoria have proposed to the city’s largest* pride festival that every marching group be issued a trans flag as part of the ‘numbered pole’ arrangements for authorised entries in the parade.
A BiPhoria spokesperson told BCN, “Every marching group has to have an entry number on a pole as issued by Manchester Pride to take part. Add a trans flag to each of those poles and you have a line of trans flags running the entire length of the parade, showing that the hundred and something groups represented on the parade stand united against the bigotry displayed in London this weekend.
“Even if Manchester’s event were similarly disrupted, the rejection of transphobia would be reflected by the entire rest of the march.
“It could be organised by the Pride team, or it could simply be something that each group taking part in the parade arranges for itself in a more ‘grassroots up’ than ‘top down’ kind of way.
“Some groups, like ourselves or the immigration groups, operate on very tiny amounts of money – sometimes the pennies left over from the organisers’ job seeker allowance – so possibly larger groups could help achieve this by donating trans flags and poles to the smaller groups.”
Elsewhere bi groups have published statements condemning what happened and pressing that were something similar to happen in their areas, for it to be resisted more vigorously. Edinburgh Bis are taking up the “add a trans flag to the parade entry” model, and Sheffield, Leeds and Bristol bi groups are among those taking a clear and vocal line against the scenes in London.
*: across Manchester and its neighbouring boroughs there are about a dozen Prides.