Demo against QQT’s silencing of queer voices
See Facebook event for updates:
Date: Friday, 29 January 2010
Time: 18:00 – 21:00
Location: Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, London, SE11 5HY
Nearest Tube: Vauxhall
Queer Question Time have invited journalist, Julie Bindel, to form part of their panel for the QQT debate at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern on Friday, 29th Jan. While reserving particular vitriol for trans people, Julie Bindel has used her position in the media to be an outspoken opponent of queer identified people in general.
In her Guardian column of November 2008, she dismissed queer people as merely those “who are into kinky sex”, expressed prejudice towards bisexual people and the non-binary identified, comparing them to “devil worshippers” and declaring that she did not want to be associated with those “defined by odd sexual habits or characteristics”, and said that she wanted nothing to do with the wider LGBT movement, asking for “an amicable split”.
Now she is appearing on a panel to comment upon and discuss queer issues, and this discussion is being hosted in the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, traditionally regarded by London’s queer community as one of its “safe spaces”.
Julie has reserved much of her vitriol for the trans community, who have been described by her as “looking like the cast of Grease” and who she dismisses as mere dupes of “reactionary male psychiatrists”, with 1950s ideals about binary gender roles. In 2007 she appeared in Radio 4’s “Hecklers'” debate, arguing that hormonal and surgical treatment for trans people should “not be available”, and that they should be offered “talking cures” instead, expression a view similar to those of the US Christian right who favour so-called “ex-gay/ex-trans” reparative therapy.
Indeed, the homophobic Christian Right would find much in common with Julie’s views on gender identity and sexual orientation. She has often described homosexuality as a choice and suggested that sexuality can be changed by psychotherapy. In a world where the Religious Right seeks to extend its influence over the globe, as demonstrated by recent events in Uganda, Julie as a “respected representative” of the lesbian and gay community provides dangerous ammunition to those who wish to see sexual orientations and indeed, our very identities outlawed and have us coerced into their reparative therapy programmes. Indeed, her writing is already being cited by those in the UK “seeking to uphold Biblical values to the transvestite, transsexual and transgendered person”:
When queer people expressed their concerns about the invitation of someone who seems to fundamentally opposed to the queer movement into the heart of a space which has traditionally been regarded as safe and welcoming to queer people, we were dismissed by the organisers, who just kept repeating themselves over and over:
“QQT is an event for the LGBT community to debate current affairs. The panel is made up of a cross section of society whose opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the QQT organisers or the RVT.”
Furthermore, it appears opportunities to challenge Julie’s anti trans, anti queer views in the talk itself may be severely limited. This amounts to the organisers of QQT silencing queer people in our own spaces, and must not be allowed to stand unchallenged.
Please dress fabulously, bring rainbow flags and placards for a peaceful demonstration outside the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Let’s show those wishing to impose a corporate-friendly, assimilationist agenda that queer people who reject the constraints of heteronormativity, cisnormativity and rigid binary thinking *do* have a voice, and that we can shout loud enough to be heard.
See links for further JB articles:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/dec/05/facebook-groups-social-networking (Bindel typically misrepresents and stereotypes the members of this facebook protest group in Zoe Williams’ article)
http://www.g3mag.co.uk/joomla104/ (you have to download a PDF of G3 Magazine Dec 2008. Bindel’s article is at the back. See editorial also.)
http://www.parakaleo.co.uk/article9.html (from the website of a Christian fundamentalist, anti-trans/anti-gay ministry)
BBC Radio 4 ‘Hecklers Debate’: Sex Change Surgery is Unnecessary Mutilation:
Christine Burns interviews Julie Bindel:
See also articles/blogs/critiques written by transgender/genderqueer/neutrois/non-binary identified people:
Trans Youth Network: http://www.transyouth.org
Questioning Transphobia: http://questioningtransphobia.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/the-transphobe-who-can-ruin-your-day/
London Transfeminist Group: http://www.transfeminism.org.uk/
Roz Kaveney blog: http://rozk.livejournal.com/
TransFriendly Forum: http://www.transfriendly.co.uk/
Julia Serano official site: http://www.juliaserano.com/
Kate Bornstein blog: http://katebornstein.typepad.com/
If you are unable to attend please add your comments to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s QQT pages.
Queer Question Time Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=169053002441&ref=search&sid=678395520.3134693742..1