By Sophia Siedlberg
© May 2009
I have sort of kept quiet about this because pride festivals bore the hell out of me quite frankly. They have a huge one not far from where I live and to be honest it tends to consist mainly of people waving rainbow flags and corporate logos around. It sort of reminds me of that Advert for Honda that was out in 2006, with all the little rainbows and bunny rabbits with the word "HATE" written everywhere. I say that because the "Diversity" and "Unity" are often restrained affairs that pander to stereotypes.
However, this is precisely why London Pride sparked my interest last year when the oh so liberal organisers insisted that transsexual women use the men's toilets and pretty much turned a blind eye when the inevitable happened and one of them was sexually assaulted. The fact is there is a deep prejudice that runs in the LGBTQQXYZ community and this is the reason I as an intersexed individual have avoided pride festivals like the plague.
If they cannot deal with transsexual folks (This is obvious given that this year there are profound differences of opinion between London Pride and Trans@London more on that later). What chance have they of understanding the needs of intersex people?
They would probably call me as a "Subset of transgender". Well fine but it does not describe me or my experience. I think transsexual folks are also coming to similar conclusions about the LGBTQQXYZ movement as it currently stands.
If I am honest, I was quite shocked to read that in 2008 there was an incident where a number of transsexual women were told to use the male toilets. I was even more shocked to read that one of them had been sexually assaulted and the organisers of the Pride festival didn't seem to care much about it. In one sense this illustrates the point of many transsexual folks I have come across. They claim that the term "Transgender" is used to define them as "Men in dresses" and not the men or women they have become after surgery. In fairness to the organisers of London Pride I don't know fully what happened but this row about some policy on toilets is nothing new.
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