Below is my personal statement / account. Since publishing, other statements have also been written:
London Queers Against the Cuts statement
Brighton and Hove Socialist Party statement
Brighton Love Music Hate Racism statement
Brighton Pride statement, police statement, GScene statement *updated with second police statement*
Brighton and Hove Socialist Party RESPONSE to Brighton Pride and police statement
My personal account:
I formally registered the walking group Queers Against Cuts for the Brighton Pride Parade in July, paying the £60 fee out of my own pocket and from a donation from a local trade union. Members of the group were invited from local political groups, trade unions and activist communities, to march in solidarity together against government cuts to public services and jobs. Pride began in Stonewall in 1969 as a protest against police harassment of gay and trans people in New York. As Government cuts to jobs and public services are affecting LGBTQ people disproportionately, for many reasons, this is an important reason for us to march against cuts in pride today. In my application email I explained that we would be a collective of different groups and individuals marching together, to check that this was acceptable with Pride organisers, and my application was accepted. On Thursday 30 August I was sent the parade running order (read that here: 2012 Parade Lamp Post Order) and we were pleased to discover we’d be between the National Union of Teachers, who also had an anti-cuts theme, and performance group Champagne Anarchists, at post 50.
Last Wednesday I received a call from Trevor Edwards, pride organiser, who informed me the police had been in touch with concerns about our group being a protest. Trevor said he had reassured the police we were all formally registered and there was no reason to treat us differently.
Last Thursday I received a call from the Police Protest Liaison Officer PC Frank to introduce herself and to say good luck with our banner making (i.e. to let me know she was reading our Facebook Group) and to ask for my email to send me information (which hasn’t arrived yet). I explained I had formally registered the group for the parade with no need for different treatment from the other groups.
Today I turned up to register and collected my number 50 sign (see that here). Here I was told we’d been moved to the back, but as they didn’t know why and didn’t have the paperwork for number 58, they said we could stay in our original position and they would inform the mayor the order was as originally planned when we went past.
So we all got together behind NUT at point 50 who were pleased we were marching with them and we shared accessories!
Then a Pride Organiser came and told us we were in the wrong position and had to move to the back. I informed him that the registration people had said we could stay where we were, showed him my official ’50’ sign so he went away.
Another Pride Organiser came and I explained again, and he said we were fine where we were and could stay.
Another Pride Organiser came and said we had to move back, and when we asked why, became very aggessive and threatened if we didn’t move we would get thrown off the parade. I asked him to check with the previous organisers who had said we could stay.
Then a police officer came with the final Pride Organiser and said we had all been thrown off the march and had to be removed. At this point I broke down in tears as I had put so much hard work into organising the group. At this point I asked everybody to move to the back but was told we still couldn’t join the parade.
Then Caroline Lucas from the Green Party came and spoke to the police and Pride Organisers in solidarity with us. Finally we were allowed to march.
About 100 yards into the march on Marine Parade, some latecomers to our group arrived, including a breast-feeding woman with her baby and others with children. I was told by the Pride Organiser that if I didn’t make them leave our whole group would be blocked. I explained I couldn’t force people to go anywhere. Suddenly a row of police on horseback and foot ran into the middle of our group, and I was told I had to personally identify who was officially in the group to be let through. As this was mainly organised online I didn’t know everybody’s faces. I managed to get most people out of the kettle but around 15 people were left behind. Again I was in tears and others were close to it, having been part of the group organising from the start and suddenly kettled for no reason.
[edit: just read that police are denying a kettle. Here is a photo of the kettle with Queers Against Cuts banner in the middle of it:]
Finally we continued to march. Throughout the parade, any friends or latecomers who tried to join us were pulled from the parade by police. I managed to identify some friends to keep them in with us but others were blocked from joining us.
I’m very hurt and upset at how I was treated and spoken to by Pride, how the rest of the group were treated, how we were given no reason for our sudden relegation to the back, and our mistreatment by the police. Being surrounded by police on horses and on foot was unnecessary and too heavy handed. I was told other latecomers were allowed to join other groups such as The Conservatives. I believe the only reason we were treated this way is because we had political banners which challenged the status quo of a corporate sponsorship of Pride, and it has really shown the lack of political solidarity from Pride Organisers.
This is my personal statement of my experience but I will be writing a formal statement from the Socialist Party of which I am a member, and asking groups and individuals to sign it once I get chance.
Well, this has inspired me to make the group bigger and even more organised next year! Who’s with me?
[Here we are marching along just before half of us got kettled:]
55 responses to “Queers Against Cuts mistreatment at Brighton Pride – statement from organiser”
[…] At one point, claims QATC leader Beth Granter, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas intervened to prevent the group being thrown off the march. To read her account go here […]
[…] I’m quite glad I wasn’t there to see the Queers against the Cuts contingent subjected to heavy-handed policing and treated like troublemakers by the parade organisers, while commercial firms like EDF Energy, […]
For anyone still following this post, if you’d like to join Brighton Queers Against Cuts on the pride parade this year, 2013, please join the discussion at http://www.facebook.com/groups/brightonqac/
[…] For more information regarding the treatment of Brighton Queers Against Cuts at Brighton Pride 2012, please refer to the organiser’s statement. […]
I’ll be with you next time. This just makes we want to come and show them they can’t force the politics out of pride!
Ignore the idiots in the comments, I don’t believe ‘witness’ was even there.
Thanks! That would be great if you got involved next time. Just a note for you and anyone interested – ‘Witness’ and ‘Steward’ are posting from the same IP address, so I believe ‘Witness’ is speaking on behalf of their partner, ‘Steward’, as some of the discussion ‘Witness’ is referring to (and misquoting) could not have been heard from the NUT float.
Good to meet you in the Cowley Club that evening and hear all about this. Sounds like you were treated rough – your protest looks perfectly civil from the photos. Best thing is to play it for publicity, write to local press & rags like G-Scene etc. Best wishes X
Witness – honestly, you are talking utter rubbish. Beth must be some kind of actress, she was physically shaken by the turmoil and I comforted her on occasions, so she fooled me. Honestly, Kindly don’t throw around insults such as “Deaf, dumb, and blind” – who’s the thug now?
Some of the comments on this article appear to be incredibly offensive and highlight just how uninformed many of the LGBT ‘community’ are about the history of Pride. Queers Against Cuts were, I believe, one of the few groups at Pride trying to positively and peacefully raise awareness of serious issues affecting the health and well-being of queer people. The police appear to have panicked and have had a rather heavy-handed knee-jerk reaction to the presence of the group. Pride was born from from activism – people angry about the oppression and ill-treatment of queers. Queers are still ill-treated all over the world, including here in Britain. It’s so very refreshing to see a group who I feel understand and represent my views. A group that highlight how life is for queers who are marginalised/vulnerable. Not all queers are happy to blindly consume what is offered to them in the way of fashion and commercial house music. Yes, Caroline Lucas and Peter Tatchell stepped in. Why? Because they have a robust understanding of grass-roots groups who do hard work on the frontline. Get informed. Keep going Beth and friends…
At “witness” – have seen numerous accounts both here and from twitter of people there on the day that there was kettling for no apparent reason.None of those accounts are anonymous.
What specific actions do you have a problem with? Someone saying “fuck”? In Britain in 2012, does someone saying “fuck” during Pride really merit a police response?
It sounds to me like Beth was pressured into accepting police containment under the guise of “help” – when surrounded unexpectedly by police with the potential for violence and arrest,I don’t see how you can blame her for being somewhat upset.
The only spinning and throwing of mud here comes from you – we have numerous accounts of people almost trampled by police horses, yet your accusations come to threats by one unidentified man with a beard. What specific and credible threats were made – it sounds to me like people were upset about unexpectedly being forced to move to the back, threatened with not being allowed to march/kettling, friends being not allowed to join them in the march and so on.
There is photographic evidence of the kettle above – with police surrounding the QAC banner. Are you alleging those have been photoshopped and everyone else is lying? Are you suggesting that if someone in a group swears or gets upset the entire group should be both kettled and banned? That seems somewhat of an authoritarian over-reaction, don’t you think?
Cel – yes I have actual evidence – I was there and personally witnessed the abuse from memvers of the group you defend. No it wasnt Beth’s fault but as a parade entrant organiser she should take responsibility for the actions of her group.
When she failed this basic task and asked for help the stewards and police tried to help- only to be falsely accused of kettling people.
You cant have it both ways and the truth is out there – rather than the political spin and lies from you.
Well done and solidarity – the organisers of Pride are a disgrace to the queer community and the many LGBTQ people who are being immiserated and killed by these brutal cuts. Since when was the purpose of a pride parade to prevent LGBTQ people from marching? Shame on you.
Pride has always been a protest – clearly now, however, some members of the community are happy to side with the police and Tory government against their own community. I can only conclude that they are completely ignorant of history, as well as current attacks such as the disgraceful treatment of LGBTQ people on benefits, cuts to HIV services, the “bringing back of section 28 by the back door” through academy schools, and so on.
Do you “witness” have any actual evidence of behaviour, or does your only tactic consist of throwing around personal slurs: “yob” and “thug” against working class people, a disgusting personal attack against Beth, and so on?
Well done to all of you. It must have been a very distressing time and you did well to stick with it. I have to say well done Caroline Lucas too for a having a bit of common bloody sense and helping you out. Good luck next year.
nicole- sorry I hadn’t realised that your group had deaf, dumb or blind participants.
As previously stated, we made a formal complaint regarding the language used and the treating nature of the gentleman with the beard. Just to confirm I was on the NUT float. My partner was one of the stewards.
One of your group had a small told that he carried around, on 4 occasions he was asked to move further forward away from the police horses to prevent any problems, his answer on the third occasion was go F*** yourself.
When Beth asked for help to control the additional number of people joining the group the parade was stopped and 4 police officers and a steward tried to help Beth and the group sort out the legitimate entrants and the additional ones to ask the additional ones to walk along behind the parade. Again more verbal and physically threatening behaviour was used by members of your group.
The 4 police horses were and remained throughout the parade behind the steward following the last entrants and where never in the middle of your group.
The 6 or 7 people who advised us that they had been invited by Beth from London where polite and apologetic regarding the yob element of the group (their words not mine)
It is sad that your group was taken over by a thug element whose tactics where to abuse anyone who you deemed to be in authority, including unpaid volunteers.
After more abuse and threats where made to the volunteer stewards, the police where then asked to help control the additional people joining the parade and so 3 officers where placed each side of the last two groups to help control numbers as requested by Beth. Her words where what can I do to control this, please can you help me. This was in the midst of her emotional blackmail tears and angst stomp.
Your group also contacted Caroline Lucas, Peter Tatchell and the Argus newspaper to try and support and justify your tactics.
Your group was a disgrace to yourself and a disgrace to Brighton and Hove Pride, you successfully managed to ruin a lot of people day. I hope you are proud of your actions.
I have now written to Pride, the council, Caroline Lucas and the Police to officially complain about your group and hope that you are banned from any further Pride events.
Dear ‘witness’ ‘Sharon’ and ‘Luke Matthews’ – I for one am no thug, and we didn’t so much as chant til we were halfway through the parade route, none of which was rude or threatening. I witnessed absolutely no thuggish behaviour or abuse except for the treatment I personally received and saw from stewards and police. Our group was forcibly moved to the very end of the parade at the very last minute (this is in Beth’s blog, in fact). We merely asked for a valid reason as to a) why we were being moved and b) how it would negatively impact the parade if we stayed in our original allocated slot behind the NUT. The response to this was “I don’t have time to go into that right now, you just move or you don’t march” among other poor communications – in fact the opening line was an aggressive “Don’t argue, just listen” in response to a friendly “Hello”. We were subsequently given conflicting information about whether we had to move or not and then told out of the blue we could no longer march. Caroline Lucas intervened at this point. Some time later Peter Tatchell approached us for comment and to offer support. We had the appropriate paperwork and are not contesting the fact that other political groups marched, but it becomes very clear when half the group is cut off and kettled/doughnutted by police and you find yourself surrounded by four police horses for doing no more than walking with a placard “Queers Against Cuts” that you are being specifically targeted. We had no derogatory banners and I know not of this sanitary towel you speak of. Strange. I had every intention of enjoying myself whilst also making a valid statement, though this experience has sadly confirmed my worst fears – Pride has now just become a corporate jolly intent on discluding many socio-economic groups =, political or otherwise, from attending. It should be renamed Shame.
[…] background and experiences of Brighton Queers Against the Cuts is described in Beth Granter blog, the principal Brighton QUAC […]
[…] in her blog […]
Not being a witness, so I can’t comment on the alledged kettling or the general behaviour of the police. But I do take issue with two points in your blog post.
Greens, Lib Dems, Tories and Labour were all marching. There were also people carrying SWP banners calling for free Pride. So there was clearly no ban on political banners or slogans.
Second, the Parade Order distributed to all groups had the Queers Against Cuts at the very back of march. If you were in the wrong place, the organisers were entitled to move you.
Amazing how some people manage to turn a cock-up into a conspiracy.
Your sad little group of ‘rent a thug’ protesters where heard to be abusive by the groups around you at set up and a formal complaint was made. I notice that your group also included people from ban eco, the campaign for squatters rights and the camp in a field to piss off brighton brigade – oh and most funnily an ex worker for Pride who was paid to help organise last years parade.
Then when you dont get your own way you stamp your collective feet, throw a tantrum and call your MP, Peter Tatchell and the Argus to moan and groan – how very sad.
Your inaccurate reports (blatant lies) are objectionable at best and certainly do not represent Brighton Pride or the gay rights movement.
Then when you do the typical emotional blackmail bulls*it you get no sympathy.
You and your sorry bunch of thugs where a travesty of humanity and certainly should be banned from any further involvement in Pride.
Sadly you and your crusty comrades will probably now have another tantrum and throw even more abuse around to try and justify your pathetic attempts at political campaigning.
@ #1 josh : how can you say Pride isn’t political, that’s just crazy talk and you need to look into it’s history. this is what Pride should be about & not just some piss up in a park
Outrageous treatment. I was at the end of London Rd, so saw the last stages of the parade. I noticed an extraordinary police presence around (not just behind bring up the rear of the parade, but alongside and in front of) QAC, and wondered if it was ‘only’ because it was at the end, or if as I suspected it was, because they were openly anti-cuts. Had no idea at the time about the shocking behaviour of police and organisers at the start of the parade.
Definitely up for joining in next year under the QAC banner!
Jimmy, can you actually read? Go back and look at this bit again: “I formally registered the walking group Queers Against Cuts for the Brighton Pride Parade in July, paying the £60 fee out of my own pocket and from a donation from a local trade union… In my application email I explained that we would be a collective of different groups and individuals marching together, to check that this was acceptable with Pride organisers, and my application was accepted.” In what way is that not organising it properly? Can you explain what else they could possibly have done?
Pride is about liberation. How is campaigning against cuts that will massively hold LGBTQ people back out of place? I think it’s brilliant and behaviour of the cops, as usual, is disgusting. Stonewall was a fucking riot against oppression, of course it’s political!!!
Jimmy, you need to learn the history of your own movement.
Pride grew out of “Christopher Street Liberation Day”, a political protest march organized in the aftermath of the Stonewall riots. You might notice the word “riots” there. Pride began as a political movement and broadened from there. It’s kind of distasteful for someone to claim the exact opposite.
Queers Against Cuts did exactly what they were supposed to do. They got the right permit, they organised things properly. Despite this, they were mistreated by the organisers and the police because they didn’t show the shiny corporate face of Pride and rather reflected its actual radical roots.
I don’t particularly agree with any politically motivated unit being part of Pride: the original purpose of Prides around the world was and still is to celebrate diversity and ensure LGBT people are treated as equals. This has however grown into political parties and unions “supporting” this cause while also promoting their own. You had every right to be on that march but it was your responsibility to organise it properly. In other words, you’ve kind of only got yourselves to blame for what happened.
How is making a statement against cuts in a peaceful parade weren’t the outrageous behavior by stewards and police to act in such a manna that clearly shows we in this country no longer have freedom of expression,
It’s a sad day when the people of this country are oppressed by the people we put in office to run this country on our be hath they should be held accountable for all the suffering thy bring to the people of this country.
Fucking typical! In future I’d do what we do in London and we don’t ask if we can march we just do it! ‘We’re not on your side! Fuck corporate Pride!’
Pride needs to remember its roots. It was started as a protest movement and should be for ALL LGBTQ and not just those wanting to “have a party”.
The cuts are hitting those who are most vulnerable the hardest and I object to having services for us cut to pay the bonuses of the bankers who caused the economic mess in the first place.
The police action is disproportionate and also breaches the ECHR right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
The message from Brighton Pride seems to be loud and clear – We are not wanted. First they attack those who are poor by high admission charges to the party and then they don’t want anyone or any group who wants to act in the spirit of the original Prides.
Please note this comment was written in a personal capacity and not in an official capacity as the South Eastern representative on the National Committee of PCS Proud, the LGBT group within the PCS Union.
Sorry to hear about the shameful way you were treated today. I’ve blogged about the history of Pride at http://reflectionsinthegreenhouse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/when-was-first-brighton-pride.html Solidarity.
There was no reason AT ALL to treat the bloc in this way. It would be interesting to hear why the stewards rounded on one of the only groups with a political message? A steward said to me he was worried more people would join the bloc. That comment and the ticketed events at Preston Park for the past two years shows how Pride is pricing normal people out. Instead of having an active, campaigning and inspiring message, the aim of Pride is to say ‘everything is fine, buy some Bacardi!’ We need a MOVEMENT to DEFEND and EXTEND the rights that have been achieved, and to stop the vicious cuts agenda of all the mainstream political parties, as well as to reach out to others having to do the same. It seems to me it was this message that some (not all) Pride stewards objected to, preferring to keep the parade a pristine showcase of big business, while sending the ‘complainers’ to the back like naughty schoolchildren!
Many Pride events have become corporate-sponsored parties, complete with the ‘security’ that such corporations demand, and the unwritten command that you must obey or be outcast. I strongly disagree with this and so I do not attend such Pride events.
Pride started as a protest, whether you see it as political or social – we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it – and it should remain so, not be watered down into an ‘edgy’ marketing tool.
I offer solidarity to Beth Granter and Queers Against Cuts, for their struggle against the money men within the State and the ‘free’ market.
What an excellent point Shona, and certainly one that a great number of Queer people will applaud you for.
There will, of course, be those who cry out that Pride is purely a party, but this shows nothing but ignorance of the past and worst still, ignorance of the present. In a world where being Queer is still persecuted and subjugated to varying degrees in every single corner of this globe, then it is still essential that we stand up, proud of who we are, with our fists raised and make sure that we are seen and that our voice is heard. Yes, we may have our civil partnerships and our impending marriages here in the U.K., but we are still marginalised, misunderstood, preached against and harassed all too often. We are still not accepted by British society as “normal”, for we remain the “other”, the “abnormal”, the “non-heteronormative”. Around the globe things are far worse.
Pride must be political — and furthermore, being Queer must be a political statement — until we have created a world where Queer and Heterosexual-Cisgendered individuals are both “normal”, and where the only thing that is “abnormal” is hate and prejudice.
Yes there are many Queer people, more often than not financially comfortable caucasian, cisgendered gay men, who decry that Pride must not be political and that they want nothing to do with the “radicals” and “socialists” who oppose everything from the current cuts to capitalism itself. These people should not be our enemy, these are our friends whom do not yet understand our fight. If groups like Queers Against Cuts wish to help lead the beacon to a brighter tomorrow then they must use the power of rational argument to win over all Queer people and their friends. That task is not easy, for there are even conservative gay men out there who idolise Margaret Thatcher, prominent homophobe, as a gay icon, but it is nevertheless a task that must be attempted.
Shocked by some of the ignorant and naive comments here.
Pride, as Beth rightly says, began with Stonewall where LGBTQ people, tired of harassment and violence from the police, said ENOUGH and fought back. Today a group of LGBTQ people, many bearing the brunt of brutal cuts and privatisation to the services they rely on, continued that tradition of speaking up against injustice (far more peacefully than the originators of the Pride movement were able to in the dire circumstances they faced).
Pride IS political, always has been, and until genuine liberation is achieved for every single LGBTQ person, no matter how marginalised, it always should be. I saw no derogatory slogans – ‘cut rents not benefits’/’pride not profit’/’queers against cuts’ could only be seen as offensive by those swinging the axe, or benefiting so much from the privileges won by years of other peoples’ struggles they are blind to the war being waged against those less fortunate than themselves.
By the logic of today’s events, the original Stonewall protesters would have been excluded from the parade from the outset. To suggest LGBTQ people should be excluded from Pride because they have something to rage about, because they want their voices to be heard, and not to have their identities sanitised, commodified and flogged to the highest bidder whilst they struggle to get by, shows just how far we still have to go.
I sorry to hear that you had hastle at the beginning of the parade. I stood and watched the whole parade and have to say that I was disgusted by the woman in your group that had a sanitary towel strapped to her hat with the words ‘Cunts not Cops’ written on it. And why also was your group the only one with Derogatory messages on their banners. No smoke without fire.
@ Stina – words well said. I am glad these were the last posts I read.
I think all comments also indicates what pride gas become. Hope this is a marker for us all to get back to basics of what PRIDE represents. A fight for ours right for all of us those affected and those not affected. Especially in these times when so much is being eroded socially polically and legally.
Tactics of dividing our groups to easily attack our gay comrades is a significant tactics that all the pride organisers should be aware and mindful of.
I was very stressed to here of thus incident and more so by some of these comments.
Solidarity with you Beth. Queer activists and trade unions have to take a stand against Pride events becoming pure corporate moneyfests. This is a threat to LGBTQ political activism and our right to organize independently. The threat is there not just in Brighton but elsewhere too, especially with the current threat that business interests take over Pride London. Let’s put the politics back into pride.
[…] and spiteful treatment by organisers and police. The organiser of the event tells the full story here but in summary, it appears that having been accepted by the Pride organisers as part of the […]
Thanks for all the solidarity comments here and great responses to the critical few. In response to the steward, thank you for the two free tickets you gave us as you didn’t need them. I think it is shocking that volunteer stewards and registered pride parade participants are expected to pay, I agree you should not have had to pay out of your pocket.
I also wonder why the police raised concerns regarding our group before the parade, very good point. I didn’t see any of our group being abusive. As described above we were given conflicting information throughout the morning and suddenly told we were not allowed to march, so I am not surprised others got upset as well as me. I had no problem with the latecomers joining our group but was told by you that I had to remove them, I just said I didn’t know how I could do that, I only asked for you to help our group to stay on the parade.
Josh, darling, darling, darling, you really outta get your facts right, The Pride IS a political demonstration!!! Well guess you got it mistaken with a opportunity to get shitfaced, but then hey, easy mistake.
“I am totally pissed of at the left, right, middle, and every other disaffected political part of society, hijacking my lifestyle”
What a stupidly idiotic statement to make, especially from a so called gay man lol, your so called ‘lifestyle’ would be non-existant if it wasn’t for people, both gay and straight, “hi-jacking, as you so foolishly put it, other marches/rallies around the country.
‘We’ owe our thanks to the many gay/lesbian/trans activists around the country, if not the world, for the (limited), freedoms we have today, Pride should never. ever, yet, be just a ‘party’, it should always contain an element of protest, pride and sense of achievement, at what has been done, is being done and has still to be done to gain full equality and acceptance, in both this country and around the world, if anyone thinks that this has been achieved then they are being a fool to themselves and a let down for others 🙂
It is absolutely disgusting, and in fact scary, to think that the people who organised a so called gay pride march, allowed this intimidation to occur, to carry on with the ‘normal’ pride, and seemingly took part in the intimidation, it’s bad enough having straights against us, even worse when our own kind turn against us 🙁
Beth it’s a pity some of your group seemed determined to harrass and abuse the volunteer stewards.
Also I wonder why the police raised concerns regarding your group before the event and why you group where so abusive when asked to cooperate with the event stewards.
Then your group members and you yourself asked for help to control the additional people that had joined the parade and so the main group where held to enable identification of those people that where registered entrants and those that where not and your group wher allowed to continue.
The final part of the parade has always been the police horses and vehicles which your picture clearly shows where behind your group.
Also a final point the steward who gave you two entry tickets as his friends where not able to attend did so from his own pocket and had paid £25.00 for them even though various members of your group had been verbally and physically threatened during the parade set up and march.
I’m with Ew. on this one – modern day pride is not appealing, especially with this coming from someone like myself who hasn’t been to many and I’ve been disappointed each time.
Thanks for the write-up Beth, and for all the work you put into organising the marching group. Sad to hear of what happened. I wonder what on earth they thought you were gonna do, that prompted that sort of fearful reaction?!
Chris, while you may state that “Being Gay is not a political statement” as if it were an objective fact, you must surely recognise that there are others whom would firmly disagree with this statement, and have arguments to back them up. For many figures throughout history, being Queer –and in this we must include not only the gay man but the lesbian, the bisexual, the transgendered and the pansexual, all individuals whom you have not mentioned — is in itself an intrinsically political statement because it is about being counter to the prevailing socio-political domination. Just as a Marxist would probably argue that being working class was in itself innately political because you would be in conflict with the interests of the dominating bourgeoisie, so many figures involved in Queer Liberation would argue that being Queer was innately political because it is in contrast to the dominating heteronormative culture.
Simply holding this opinion by no means indicates that an individual believes that all heterosexuals are anti-Queer, far from it, but it does mean that they recognize that in a society where heterosexuality is seen as “normal”, being Queer must intrinsically be seen as “abnormal”. And, as sociologists, historians and anthropologists alike have shown, the “abnormal” is often persecuted. You personally might not have felt like you’ve experienced much prejudice in your life, but there are many thousands of Queer people who have, and when we have a situation where a man can be beaten to death in Trafalgar Square – London’s touristic heart – by yobs slinging homophobic abuse, then it is clear that there is still a major problem with homophobia and anti-Queer prejudice in Britain.
[…] time thinking about the politics of Pride events this summer, so it’s interesting to hear about what’s been happening at Brighton Pride, where Queers Against Cuts paid £60 to formally register …. Sounds like a horrible experience, but Queers Against Cuts must be doing something right if […]
And how do you think you got to live that comfortable civil partnered and unabused gay lifestyle? You got it because people got out there and fought for you to have it.
@Chris Hoult – “Pull up the ladder Jack, I’m alright….”
Hahahaha – Josh, what an amazing comment. Were you happy about there being a Conservative presence, despite them being (quite obviously) a political movement?
I’m gay – and I’m happy that someone was marching under a political banner. I can’t abide this crap about “Pride” being just a party. It’s not – it has a political statement to make as well.
Beth – can you post when you’ve got everything else up and running to complain? I think this was abominable!
Being Gay is not a political statement. I consider myself liberal with a small “l”. I am in my 60’s I do not consider myself a hard done by minority. I have suffered little if any abuse. I wonder why? I worked in the construction industry not renown for it’s open mindedness.. I am civil partnered many of my work colleagues attended my celebration. I am not closeted. Why therefore did I not seem attract the agro? Perhaps I didn’t assume that everyone was against me. I am totally pissed of at the left, right, middle, and every other disaffected political part of society, hijacking my lifestyle. Piss off back to political ghetto and allow the rest of us to carry on enjoying a well rounded, level headed, non eventful family friendly life. We really do not need the sh*t stirring.
Solidarity from Queer Friends of Bradley Manning. Shocked to read about the way you were treated by Pride’s organisers – not so shocked about the behaviour of the police though, have come to expect that as a matter of course.
My sympathies with the harassment that you and your comrades suffered on the march.
And the figure posting as “josh” really needs to go and learn some of his/her Queer history. Pride was, from the very beginning, a left-wing protest against the treatment of Queer-identified people by conservative and right-wing figures of authority, whether they be in government, the police, the clergy or society at large. Hence the role of figures like Peter Tatchell over here in the U.K., and the role of individuals like Harry Hay and Hibiscus in the U.S. Socialists have certainly not jumped “onto the gay bandwagon” as you suggest; they were there from the very beginning, and if anything, it was us Queers who jumped onto the socialist bandwagon.
Josh does not have to subscribe to left-wing politics, but if s/he wants to be taken at all seriously on an intellectual level, s/he must accept the historic, and ongoing role of the left in Queer Liberation.
Next Pride Scotia is in June 2013, by the way.
At Pride Scotia, we welcome everybody!
That is an absolute disgrace. The corporate whore organisers should be fucking ashamed of themselves. Should be, though I very much doubt the soulless little twerps experience shame.
The reason i did not attend this years pride was because of the presence of political groups like yours. Pride should be a happy occasion and not turned into a left wing demonstration.
Im glad you were banned even if that silly cow from the green party let you in.
You do not speak in my name. Save your socialist politics for political demonstrations and stop jumping onto the gay bandwagon to voice your political views. That applies to all the other groups who are doing the same.