I do believe in a broad spectrum LGBTQ alliance. BUT…

Sometimes it gets hard.

Like this morning, when Stonewall’s researcher was on the today programme talking about the scandal of the so-called ‘discretion rule’ under which the Home Office will disallow asylum to lesbians and gay men on the grounds that they could choose to pass as straight and avoid negative legal consequences in their homelands. Needless to say, he did not mention bi or trans asylum seekers.

As I said in another context, ‘any incompetence sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from malice.’

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About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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19 Responses to I do believe in a broad spectrum LGBTQ alliance. BUT…

  1. andrewhickey says:

    We can’t see the change to that rule come fast enough. But I’ve never understood why Stonewall are regarded as authorities on… anything, really. I don’t know a single LGBTQ person who doesn’t openly, vociferously despise them…

    • rozkaveney says:

      But, of course, it’s Stonewall that get grant money to do things, which means that everything that gets done, gets done in ways that are poisoned by their classist, heteronormative, cis-sexist, assimilationist standpoint.

  2. steepholm says:

    But Stonewall consistently refuses to speak for trans people anyway, as you know, so this is not very surprising (though bi asylum seekers ought to have been with the resarcher’s brief).

    One problem with Stonewall that I’ve recently noticed, by the way, is that they are now awarding “diversity champion” status to employers (e.g. my own) on the basis of their policies regarding sexual orientation. The employers then think they have ticked the ‘LGBT box’, get a logo to display, and the whole process leaves trans people out in the cold.

    • rozkaveney says:

      Yes, of course they refuse to include trans stuff, but you would think when it is so often a matter of life or death…Also, when the persecuting state refuses to acknowledge any difference whatever between gay and trans, and punishes trans people under anti-gay laws, it’s particularly idiotic for us not to be be in solidarity.

      And that business about ‘diversity champion’ status is appalling.

      A while back, Stonewall agreed to meet representatives of national trans organizations, but would not speak to those who are essentially local activists. Did anything come of that meeting?

      • steepholm says:

        Yes, of course they refuse to include trans stuff, but you would think when it is so often a matter of life or death…Also, when the persecuting state refuses to acknowledge any difference whatever between gay and trans, and punishes trans people under anti-gay laws, it’s particularly idiotic for us not to be be in solidarity.

        I absolutely agree it’s idiotic. I suppose I just wasn’t expecting more from people who have adopted that particular idiocy as a matter of policy. But yeah – when you think about Iran, for example, the distinction looks particularly messed up. I can actually a imagine an immigration officer refusing asylum on the grounds that a gay man has the option to transition there, and so to pass as a straight woman.

    • The Secret Campus got some sort of certificate from Stonewall, for not being shits to lesbian and gay employees. This marked a seachange from the fight to allow civil partnership ceremonies on campus (straight weddings being allowed) shortly before this took place. I can’t remember what happened to the equal ops policy when we validated a theology degree for a southern African country. And doesn’t champion (we keep getting champions, and I imagined them in lycra catsuits or Batman capes) suggest a proactive approach?

    • They’re pretty shit about speaking for bi people too (unles it’s Stonewall Cymru, as they have actual bi people working there!).

      • cangetmad says:

        As does Stonewall Scotland, which works with bi and trans groups, but has generally had that fact ignored by the London mob.

      • As a fencesitter who has lived in Wales for 9 years, has actively engaged with the Cymru branch/wing/combine for most of those years, been a local and not-so-local queer activist, and known well one of the said moles,

        …I have to differ. There are some bi staff, there are some staff who will be nice polite and try to help under the table / unofficially, but as an org, they are just as shit, backstabby and take-the-grants-and-run at the England lot.

    • And speaking of Stonewall and universities… My initial response here, and I’ve sent an email to them pointing out that trans appears to be optional.

      • steepholm says:

        Thanks! The only mention I found of trans people was in the glossary, where LGBT is defined as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual [sic]”. Says it all, really.

      • Checks to see how I spelt it…

        There are a few LGBTs, but I suspect they are typos. And, thanks to a series of panels on GBLT sf from the Toronto worldcon, I can’t help but hear “Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and … Guacamole” when we go the initials route.

    • Oh gods! that diversity champions thing doesn’t even work for L+Gs! When they award it to Kent County Council* of all people it’s rather telling that it’s just a money for shiny transaction. A shiny they can then use to excuse themselves from any actual effort. ._.

      …In fact, it’s a literal selling-out

      * thems who refuse to let Section 28 die

  3. time_freak says:

    Oh my goodness. I wish I’d seen/heard it (radio prgramme?), it makes my blood boil. I’ve had enough of this “but you can CHOOSE something else” attitude. And what’s with ignoring Bi and Trans? What can we do about this, if the people who are supposed to be working FOR us selectively ignore half the groups they are supposed to represent? ARGH.

    And I don’t even know where to begin on the actual discussion itself about asylum seekers. Very sad indeed 😦

  4. ffutures says:

    I bet the Home Office don’t try to apply that argument to people facing religious / racial persecution.

  5. calimac says:

    Ah. And I just finished reading an article on the stresses put on gay soldiers who try to pass as straight in the DADT U.S. military, and how unsustainable that is – and how easily exposed they are. And now this claim that gays should just pass as straight in entire gayphobic countries. Ijwits.

  6. Actually that scheme doesn’t do that much for LG people either sometimes – a friend of mine works for one of the star performers on that index, but every year has serious difficulty getting anyone to staff a corporate stall for Pride because people don’t want to be (mis)identified as gay. They have great policies on paper though…

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