schools outSchools OUT UK wishes to make a statement concerning the proposed appearance of Julie Bindel at The Working Class Movement Library in Manchester on the 4th of February, which is promoted on the LGBT History Month Calendar.

As the creators of LGBT History Month and the owners of the website and associated social media, we wish to make clear that the only events for which we are responsible are OUTing the Past: The National LGBT History Festivals taking place in fifteen venues around the country throughout the month of February. These are run locally and we provide much of the wherewithal, rather than taking responsibility for their overall management. We have no responsibility for the organisation of any other events during the month, whether or not they are promoted on our calendar; including this one.

That said, we recognise that this event is on our calendar and we have the editorial power to remove it. We have chosen not to and we wish to explain why.

Let’s consider Julie Bindel herself. As the blurb in the calendar says, “Julie has been active in the global campaign to end violence towards women and children since 1979, and has written extensively on topics such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution and trafficking”. This is hardly stuff that should cause objections. We gather she will be discussing what it was like to be a working class feminist lesbian in the 1970s, about which, as a middle class gay teenager in the 70s, I for one would like to know more. Her views are valuable and need to be heard. She made the comments that questioned the existence of trans women in 2004 and has said she would have phrase things differently now. But when the event went up on the calendar we were bombarded with demands that it be removed and threats to ‘withdraw support’ from LGBT History Month. Now a protest is being organised and petitions have been presented on social media to ban her from the event and attempt to remove funding from the Working Class Museum; as if shutting down the only museum of its kind in the country would be to anyone’s benefit. The struggle for equality is everyone’s struggle and the working classes need more visibility; not less.

There’s no denying that Julie Bindel will say things people don’t want to hear and that she will upset people. I was disappointed at an article she wrote challenging medical intervention to forestall puberty in

trans children; especially as the organ that published it was that enemy of equality and human rights The Daily Mail. She has a right to speak just as we have a right to challenge what she says. That is the nature of debate and it allows us to make change happen in society.

Tags:

Natalie has been an LGBT journalist for 12 years and joined the Fyne team in 2001. Her interests outside of work are cycling, running and badminton. She is also studying for a degree in psychology.

Comments are closed.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council stands up to LGBT discrimination for IDAHOT 2017

The message from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council for this years IDAHOT is that there is no place for Homophobia, Transphobia […]

Victim Support Projects – Wales

  Victim Support Cymru run two specialist projects that offer free and confidential support to the LGBT+ community. Rainbow Bridge […]

IDAHOBIT – Celebrating Difference and Challenging Abuse

Each year on 17 May, LGBT activists and allies across the world mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, […]

More LGBT adopters and foster carers needed in Britain

LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week starts on 6th March

More LGBT adopters and foster carers are needed in 2017 to provide loving homes for children in Britain, according to […]

Force Control Room Controllers (Scale 4 bar 5 bar 6 or Police Constable)

Scale 4 bar 5 bar 6 or Police Constable Working in a pressurised and reactive environment, the job has a […]

Force Enquiry Centre Controllers (PC/Scale 4 bar 5)

Hampshire_Constabulary_logo1

PC/Scale 4 bar 5 To be the first point of contact for all types of calls from the public and […]