It seems at least in the circles I move in that it’s quite the in thing to attack S’onewall and Ben Summerskill in particular. Well, just for the record I’m not jumping on the bandwagon because we helped give it a push start in 2008.
It may be that S’onewall haven’t forgiven the Trans community for upsetting their nice awards though. I noticed earlier this year that their mention of IDAHO, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia strangely missed out the Transphobia. More recently I ran across their statement about their membership of the Equality and Diversity Forum which fails to mention Gender Identity, even though it’s present on the EDFs own website.
It concerns me that S’onewall are very good at publicity and education and thus are often consulted by public organisations when promoting and running equality campaigns, such as this example of an anti-Homophobia campaign by Gwent Police. Gwent Police’s portion of the press release fails to mention transphobia, although Gwent Crown Prosecution Service do manage to be more inclusive. Gwent Police no doubt think they’re doing the right thing and are to be applauded for that but I’ll hazard a guess that the beer mats being distributed, if S’onewall had anything to do with them, don’t cover transphobia at all. I’d encourage any organisation running any sort of LGBT equality event to also talk to GIRES who do excellent work on education. (As an aside, I’m still working on a Trans Action Group idea but I have some groundwork to do – GIRES don’t cover the same ground as they’re not political)
More bizarrely, Stonewall “declined” to take part in a Pink News article on Marriage Equality. All the other groups invited did submit their responses, although I’m concerned that only three of the eight organisations that replied thought it would be appropriate to mention, when replying to a request from probably the most Trans-friendly news service in the UK, the state-mandated divorce inflicted on transitioners. Of the three, two were unlikely champions – the Tories and the Christians.
And finally, I move on to one final Pink News story – Trans woman claims she lost her job after wearing women’s clothes. (Original Linconshire Echo story here – health warning, the comments include the usual kind of drivel you’d expect) Assuming the facts given are true, what’s the betting that a case like this would be defended in future using the provisions in the Equality Act 2010 because it made the clients she was working with “uncomfortable”? Luckily that can’t happen in this case as even if it doesn’t end up at tribunal for a while, the EA2010 isn’t yet in force.