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Why were lesbians protesting at Pride? Because the LGBT coalition leaves women behind
Misogyny doesn’t vanish at the flicker of a rainbow.
The LGBT campaign group Stonewall had harsh words for the annual Pride march through London, which took place on 7 July. The parade, said Stonewall, was too white; it would not be attending this year. The criticisms, which Pride described as “inaccurate” and “disrespectful”, won praise for Stonewall, which has been credited with taking a more radical direction under the leadership of Ruth Hunt. Meanwhile, Pride has also been criticised for being more about corporate “rainbow-washing” than sexual freedom: floats sponsored by high street banks dispense branded face paints, straight couples having a look-see outnumber the leather daddies, and you can’t even march without a wristband.
So when a small group of lesbians disrupted this year’s Pride, perhaps you’d imagine that Stonewall would be on their side. These women, too, think that Pride has grown stale and conservative. Like Stonewall, they accuse the march of letting down certain members of the LGBT coalition – specifically, lesbians. But instead of backing the protesters, Stonewall offered condemnation, saying they had put “people in danger” and “have no place at Pride”. In the calculation of my-enemy’s-enemy, Stonewall had decided that these women were the greater evil.