Today I attended my local Pride event in Leicester, an event that I'd been to before and enjoyed. Our household was excited to go, and we spent the morning getting ourselves ready for what we thought would be a great day our. However, the three of us were extremely disappointed by the event. Not because of the constant rain that soaked us through, it's summer in England, we're used to that kind of thing, no we were disappointed by some of the incredibly offensive language being used by one of the event's organisers.
As we were waiting for the event to begin my girlfriend noticed the high vis jacket one of the event crew was wearing, which had the word 'Tranny' printed on the back.
I have to be completely honest, when I first saw this I thought that I must have misread something, that I'd seen one thing and accidentally read another. But no, it very clearly has the word tranny printed on it. I felt absolutely disgusted when I saw this. Here we are, at an event that is supposed to be celebrating an embracing all parts of the LGBT+ community, somewhere that is supposed to be a safe space, where we can all be ourselves, and someone is wearing one of the worst slur words for the trans community.
If I'm being completely honest, I wanted to leave. I absolutely hate that word. I have had people call me that word when they've threatened to kill me, I've had people shout it at me in the street, I've been called it when I was spat on. It's used to put down and humiliate trans people. It's a word of hate.
Because I was meeting a friend and his some at the event I chose to stay on as not to disappoint them, but my day was essentially ruined from that point onward. I felt that as a trans person I was being told that I wasn't welcome at the event, that trans people were being looked down upon by the rest of the community, or even mocked.
However, I wanted to ask the event organisers themselves as to why this word was used, for all I know this guy could be trans himself and using the word to reclaim it, which is fine. So, I went and uploaded the photo to Leicester Pride's Facebook page and asked them about it.
As of yet I haven't received a response from the Pride organisers themselves, but their supporters have responded, and boy is their reaction not nice.
These are just a few of the comments being made on Leicester Pride's Facebook page. I've been told that I'm being PC, that I'm overly sensitive, that they can use that word because they're a drag artist, that I'm a 'fucktard', that I should never leave my house. This is the reaction from the LGBT+ community, to launch into an attack where I'm the villain for asking why a slur word was used.
So far the actual organisers haven't given a response, but they're allowing these responses to be made on their social media, they're allowing their supporters to attack a member of their community. Well, maybe I guess this event is just for the LGB community.
The abuse is still rolling in at the minute, please feel free to see for yourself on the link below, or even get involved in the discussion if you want.
Perhaps there was no malice in this person using that word, but it's still not right that they do use it, and the reaction to someone from a marginalised group telling you that something is highly offensive isn't to launch into an attack and tell that person that they're wrong, especially if you're not in that community. If you're not a part of the community what makes you qualified to tell them that something's not offensive to that community.
This reaction is shocking beyond belief, it's ruined what should have been an amazing event and it's completely unacceptable.
The entire conversation thread, including dozens more abusive comments, has now been deleted by the Leicester Pride page admin. The page has also been made so that all posts and comments must be approved by their page admin, effectively preventing anyone from speaking out on this incident and any other issues that people may have.