Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

Toiletgate - The Saga Ends

After an extended series of exchanges with Pride, I received an e-mail today from Paul Birrell which provides the absolute assurances I have been asking for:

As we have tried to state throughout - and I can only apologize if this has not been clear from our writings - Pride London does not support any position where an individual would be prevented from full and open access to facilities in accordance with their gender identity. This has been Pride London's policy since inception, even prior to the amended legislation. I can state quite categorically that Pride London will be not only be complying with the relevant legislation, but will continue to, as it has tried to do in the past, ensure that it progresses rights further than simply the legislative agenda that the government has seen to pass.

You may not believe me, but I was appalled at the very thought of anyone being refused access to the toilets on the basis of their gender identity at what I regard as the one day of the year when we should all be able to walk freely through central London and live our lives without harassment. That's regardless of any legislation. I've been campaigning for LGBT rights for most of my adult life which is why this is as much a personal issue for me, Pride London being a company I run, as opposed to simply a corporate affairs matter as I am sure previous 'Pride', and I use that word advisedly, organizations such as Mardi Gras would have seen it.

There will be no discrimination, either unlawful or indeed in those instances where the law does not as yet extend through the sphere of LGBT rights. We are an LGBT rights organization and we are ensuring that this policy is clear to all contractors as well as organizations that work with us, as opposed to just those that work for us.'

I have accepted his apologies and assurances and plan no further action on the matter.

My thanks to Paul, Neil Young of the GLA and all the people who have given support in trying to ensure that the July incident never happens again.
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