Pride London’s LGB-where’s-the-T “Power List”

Time Out magazine have published Pride London’s “Power List” for 2011. I’ll save you some time looking: One Trans person on the list, Christine Burns OBE, at number 96. I’m not sure if I should be annoyed at Pride for insulting the Trans community by (mostly) excluding us or annoyed that the community has so little “power” that we barely even register in the top 100.

Oh, a quick look at the judges might be in order – one of the three is Bun Summerskill. Ah, that will be why so many Stonewall award winners, chief executives, directors and so on feature on the list and so few Trans people.

(Only the inclusion of Christine Burns at 96 has stopped me from writing a very annoyed letter to Pride London, asking them to rebrand this to an “LGB” power list and not an “LGBT” one)

17 comments

  1. To be fair, from a quick shuffle through it, it’s only marginally more B than T. Which still makes it one of the B-est LGbt lists to make it into mainstream print 8(

    Anyway, they have comments boxes at the bottom of the article 😉

    1. I was wondering about the B angle, but I’m not up on Bi politics so didn’t feel qualified to judge.

      “Only” 70% male in the top 10 too. There’s progress for you.

      1. Without checking all my references, it’s about 5 bis of whom one a boy. That’s using a broad “b” where people who would perhaps choose another label, but who might be reasonably considered bi in a “gay, straight, bi or a?” categorising, get counted in to boost the numbers.

        The party politics of it is a trainwreck, too. Fancy that happening when people with like Ben and Angela (who was Ben before Ben was Ben and who sent an LGBT conference in Manchester last year a special message of love and support for just the LGs) are picking the list.

        1. The third judge seems to be a Labour person too. I think the credibility of this judging panel and their list is reasonably well shot to pieces now 🙂

  2. I’ve only had a quick scan, but it looks like it’s just LG to this B. But then we B’s are used to being shot by both sides too.

    1. There are some bis. Not many, but some.

      But then, I’ve edited a bloody magazine about bisexuality for ten years, so I have quite a nerdy knowledge. So that’s not a criticism on you for not spotting the well-hidden bis in a list that’s about 94% LG!

  3. “(Only the inclusion of Christine Burns at 96 has stopped me from writing a very annoyed letter to Pride … )”

    Well, 1 in 100 is 1%, which is tokenism, or at best not really trying much. Maybe writing the letter is a good idea.

  4. Quite nasty the way they dug up Christine’s past as a Tory party activist. That has long gone.

  5. You’re going to have to allow me a huge long drawn out sigh on this one 🙂

    First, of course, ALL lists like this are meaningless. On what basis do you count? X-factor style? And, if so, what sample of people do you ask? And, if it isn’t a popular vote like that then how do you meaningfully weigh one person’s influence or leadership against another?

    On the basis that there’s no remote possibility of it being an objective assessment what are we then left with? Well, in this case, it would be very hard to escape the conclusion that my listing is simply tokenistic.

    I arrive at that conclusion because, although I do a lot of things which I would be quite genuinely proud to have recognised, it’s clear that the compilers haven’t a clue about any of that. As others have observed, the conservative stuff ended 15 years ago and is only known because I make a good joke at my own expense about it. (It’s a joke I can tell, but for others to try and tell it is like a cis person using ‘tranny’ without permission).

    I also know that if the inclusion criteria were objective then there would be many other trans people on the list .. and some a lot higher. Trans women know, just like any other women, that power and influence isn’t always wielded out in the open. It’s through the things we do quietly behind the scenes. So, I can think of some trans women who wield some enormous power to the benefit of the whole LGBT community without their names every been discussed openly. But even out in the open there are people like Roz Kaveney, the folks at TMW, trans london and many more who ought to be on a list if I’m on it.

    Personally, at the end of the day though I’m not fussed. As trans people we see little enough recognition that I’m going to kick up a fuss about one occasion when I’m mentioned in dispatches … even if it’s by an idiot who doesn’t know my work and is just ticking a tokenistic box.

    WE know who, among our own, who goes the extra mile to make real differences to peoples’ lives. Perhaps it just means, however, that the trans community should organise their own top 10, 50 or 100 to be sure that people have genuine peer recognition. Now THAT’s the kind I would consider giving a weepy acceptance speech for.

    Christine

  6. The problem with the bi thing is, you may be assuming a lot of the people on the list are gay when they’re actually bi and quite openly so… Just saying.

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