Friday, 15 October 2010

Stonewall - Another Fine Mess

I’m thinking of taking some anger management classes. You know how I always say “I didn’t think Stonewall could make me any more angry, but they just managed it”? Well… it’s that time of the week again!

Let’s look at the latest Stonewall car crash (this week not involving marriage equality, I can hear your hip-hip-hooray’s from here!):

The Stonewall Awards are to be held on the 4th of November at the Victoria and Albert museum. In the running are various individuals such as Joe McElderry, a young X Factor winner, who is nominated for “Hero of the Year” for being… famous and gay? I don’t know if that quite qualifies as being a “hero”, but perhaps I’m being unfairly cynical. Also in the running is one Bill Leckie, who was once criticized for transphobia by Stonewall Scotland (see full story here), for “Journalist of the Year”. If this wasn’t clearly enough to irk me greatly, Stonewall then released one of their hilariously bad press releases. Basically it seems to state that if you’re nice about a celebrity (in this case Gareth Thomas) who comes out as gay, it absolves you from being transphobic in the past without any need to show evidence of no longer being transphobic! No apology or change of heart required for forgiveness for bullying from Stonewall. My own personal anger-based doomsday clock was moved to one minute to midnight after reading that sycophantic article by the Pink Paper.

This whole situation makes a nonsense of Stonewall’s claims to be focusing on anti-bullying! They award bullies, whilst they ignore the pain of entire groups of people. And this is not an isolated case. Two years ago they nominated Julie Bindel for an award, someone who had written transphobic articles. To all those who criticize me for being nasty to Stonewall when they are doing such “good work” in tackling homophobic bullying, I present to you “Exhibit T”. I trust you’ll join me in condemning Stonewall’s backing of bullies, and in calling for them to start leading by example… or get out of the way.

Recently I’ve also been attacked for extolling “middle class gay values” (turns out a belief in actual equality is “middle class”, I need to believe in the repression of LGBT people to be properly proletariat it would seem). Plus someone accused me of believing in the commercialization of LGBT people (with no evidence at all) because I supported marriage equality and didn’t support Stonewall. So I was amused to see that last night Stonewall held a seminar on how to advertise to “LGB” people. Talk about the commercialization of “LGB” people, and talk about middle class values!!! It’s good that Stonewall can find the time and resources to help businesses make money out of the “LGB community” but can’t find the time to simply say “We support the principle of marriage equality” or “We renounce transphobia in all it’s forms”.

If you feel Stonewall need to support marriage equality, stop being transphobic and become more honest and accountable (and employ better PR people) then please come join the protest planned outside the Stonewall Awards ceremony on the 4th of November. It’s time to make a stand for what is right.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

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