Tuesday 5 August 2008

Toiletgate 2: swishing the mop

You may be wondering what ever happened after that business with Roz Kaveney and the no-trannies-in-the ladies'-loos thing at Pride. Wonder no longer, for here is an update.

Here's how it went:

Roz Kaveney was refused access to the womens' loos at Trafalgar Square.

An impromptu protest was held.

Roz was allowed into the womens' loo.

The impromptu protest dispersed, believing that the "no trannies" policy had been reversed.

It wasn't reversed, and a short while later a transwoman was assaulted in the mens' toilets as a result of this policy.

Criticism has been levelled at the stewards in question, and the Metropolitan Police LGBT Liaison officer who was present, and at Pride London in general.

There has been much heated discussion about whether there is, or even should be, a T in LGBT.

Auntysarah was at the big meeting to discuss this stuff, and here's her write-up on LJ.


  1. I think I've said this before; what is it with the Brits and toilets? Anyone would think that everyone had 'his' and 'hers' loos at home.

  2. There is that, of course, but then there's the more fundamental issue about what we are. Gays and lesbians can be and sometimes are insulted for being what they are: "faggots" or "dykes" or whatever; but that form of insult is not a fundamental rejection of their identity, in the same way as insisting that a transwoman is really a man, or that a transman is really a woman. And this rejection *can* come from gays and lesbians too. As this incident demonstrated, there's a long way to go.

  3. I did understand that it is a very cruel form of rejection - there is indeed still a very long way to go.

  4. This whole thing beggars belief really, on about ten levels. But here are a few of them:

    a. That Pride and the Met still don't 'get it'...reading that write up just makes you feel depressed, though Roz herself (on her blog) seems to suggest that she feels the Met has moved?

    It's like so many things...people 'act' like they understand...and you think you're making progress, and then they do something which makes you realise that they're just mouthing the attitudes.

    What the world has to realise is that what we are doing here is about the most powerful, undermining-of-their-unthought- through-gender-assumptions, thing it is possible to do. You really have to GET it, before you GET it!
    If you don't, say...and we'll go over it again...

    Point No 1: We are W-O-M-E-N. We had a condition we had to fix, and we did. That's all.

    Understood? No...?


    Most Chilling Comment Award...that the contractors Pride hired were the 'best they could get' and anyone else would have been worse. Makes your heart just sink.

    Most Baffling Concept Award...why the hell was anyone 'policing' the loos anyway? I don't see 'guards' on public loos anywhere else!

    b. The whole 'Should there be a T in LGBT?' thing. No. It is time we took a stand, and created for ourselves a movement in which we could have pride in ourselves, working to an agenda of fixing the stupidity of the world.

    I am proud, as a woman, that I have had the courage and tenacity to face this incredible, confusing, disability...

    That said...there ARE some good people in the LGB movement, and I know one friend who works very successfully with them, and believes that their support has been invaluable. When they do understand...great, it's a movement that knows what it's like to be shat on, and we can learn from them. When they don't understand ...or, worse, when they shit on us...sayonara...

    ...End of rant ;-)

  5. I was very tempted to get involved in the LGB/T discussion. I feel, generally, that LGBT is inappropriate for me not because I am not gay but because my T issues are not issues of sexual identity. I think I would be a bit dim if I tried to pretend that some of the issues are not parallel, and that as a result, working alongside the GLB community is a Bad Thing. However, as an actively heterosexual trans woman I fail to see why I should see the T alongside GLB as a part of my inheritance. It's a bit like being expected to join a squash club even though I don't play squash.

    Howeverrrrrr. Roz Caveny's treatment at Pride was awful, and the lack of effective response from either Pride or the police has been more than hurtful. If I was gay, bi or even associated my transness with that sphere, and an organisation (however loosely formed) such as GLBT seemed to reject or misconstrue such an elemental part of my identity, I would be irritated beyond measure.

  6. The invocation of "Health and Safety" by Pride London to justify their actions is at once darkly comic and yet sickeningly sad.

    It is comic because it is reminiscent of the universal, but conveniently secret regulation at the heart of Catch-22.

    It is sad because health and safety should be a right that we all enjoy - but its misuse as a phrase suggesting a real life Catch-22 drags genuine protection of health and safety into the same disrepute as these arbitrary interpretations.

    The fact that a trans woman was assaulted in the male toilets shows that health and safety (small h, small s) was not being repected, even if the real-life Catch-22 manifestation of Health and Safety was being respected. Of course, they probably can't tell us why it breached Health and Safety rules, because, telling us would itself breach the rules, if Joseph Heller's book is any guide.e