g3 Magazine, a free magazine for gay/bi women mentioned the whole S’onewall/Bindel thing in their December 2008 edition. (Ed’s letter on page 5 and Bindel’s piece on page 98) Bindel’s piece is the usual stuff, but I thought I’d correct some of the editors misconceptions and wrote them a quick letter…
I guess I’m not the first person to mail g3 about this and I’m sure I won’t be the last. This isn’t a comment on Julie’s piece – Julie is a lost cause as far as I’m concerned – but rather about the comments in “Ed’s letter”.
Yes, many of us there did have better things to do with our time and certainly I for one don’t think Stonewall should explicitly include T in their mandate. However, so much of homophobia and transphobia is linked as an attack by the privileged majority on those perceived to transgress the gender norms. In that regard, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a champion of diversity such as Stonewall to be an ally. How are we supposed to fight transphobia in the wider world when even those we would like to think of as our allies don’t get it?
As well as the 2004 article for which she only apologised for the tone of, I’m sure Stonewall were aware of the 2007 Radio 4 hecklers debate she appeared in, proposing the motion that “Sex change surgery is unnecessary mutilation” and her 2008 piece objecting to unisex toilets at the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.
Despite all that, this was never about Julie, even if she’d like to think it was. She has a right to free speech, we just don’t think Stonewall should have nominated someone so opposed to diversity and this made it more likely that her work will continue to be published.