England: The Pride London organisers have issued an apology over the discrimination meted out to a transwoman at the event last weekend, and also corrected certain details. They note that the stewards responsible were not employed by Pride London, and that
[t]his incident has marred a very successful event and lessons have to be and must be learnt from it..
The full statement follows:
Public Statement on the Incident at the women’s toilet at Pride involving a Trans woman
We at Pride deeply regret this incident happened and are doing everything within our power to remedy the situation. As the Appointed Director to handle this issue I am concerned that a lot of misinformation has been circulating with regard to this.
So let me clear some of this up:
Firstly SFM workers are not volunteers for Pride London, they are handled by SFM directly. The incident that took place in the women’s toilet did not involve one of Pride’s stewards as been reported as we at Pride do not adhere to any discrimination issues. We have a clear policy with regard to toilets and usage by Trans people, that is a Trans woman is clearly allowed to use the women’s toilet and a Trans male clearly able to use a male toilet. We would never say to any Trans person to use the disable[d] loo as this is clearly illegal.
SFM have adhered to Pride’s policies for their three years of providing additional stewarding at our events, and this is the first complaint we have had over their handling of such an issue in all that time against all the hundreds of staff that they provide. SFM have assured us that this incident was not how they would normally handle such an issue, and was a genuine mistake. We are working with them to ensure that there is no repetition.
Secondly we at Pride cannot speak on behalf of the Metropolitan Police with regard to this incident. It has been alleged that one of their LGBT liaison officers requested a Gender Recognition Certificate: this is a breach of all legislation in relation to Trans, as very few individuals can request this, and a GRC is never to be used as an ID document. I am sure that the Metropolitan Police will be looking into this.
Thirdly we have very clear policies regarding equality and expect that all sub-contractors adhere to this - this is going to be looked into as a matter of urgency.
*Making this Public statement I must also say that we deeply regret that Roz Kaveney had to endure such an experience at our event, this is deeply regrettable and should never have happened, and so I publicly apologise on behalf of Pride London to her with regard to this, and we will endeavour to ensure that it never happens in the future with respect to any groups that are a part of our stakeholders forum, or indeed any one attending Pride London’s events.*
When things like this happen it leaves a very distasteful feeling with any person or community who feel that they are being singled out or picked on and this is not what we are about at Pride London. We hold very dearly our commitment to equality. We accept that in some cases training is important and we are happy to work with any of our contractors with the training of their volunteers in this respect, and we will also include any individual or groups that have an interest with this as well, where appropriate. This can involve Trans members being called upon to be a part of a training package.
Pride London has an excellent track record or working with all members of our community, and has in particular a strong record on Trans issues. This incident has marred a very successful event and lessons have to be and must be learnt from it.
Chair stakeholders Committee and HR Director
for and on behalf of Pride London
ToiletGate: The Apology—Cheryl's Mewsings, 8th July 2008.