A group of lesbian women were removed by law enforcement during a Pride march in Cardiff, Wales for “causing confrontation” after they were verbally attacked by trans activists. The organization, Get the L Out UK, opposes the addition of transgenderism to the LGB category, and carried banners which read “lesbians don’t like penises,” and “trans activism erases lesbians.”
Videos uploaded to Get the L Out’s Twitter account depict an exchange between Get the L Out organizer Angela Wild and a police officer.
“I want to make sure I understand. You are removing lesbians from an LGBT march. Is that what you’re doing?” Wild asked the officer.
“Yes, that is what’s happening. For your safety, and for other people’s safety,” he replied. “At the moment, your march is causing confrontation between different groups of people.”
In the background, a man wearing a dress can be seen rushing towards Liane Timmermann, activist and lead campaigner with the organization, while shouting insults.
Speaking to Reduxx on what happened, Get the L Out demonstrator Angela Wild says police formed a line between them and the other Pride marchers immediately.
“We were initially told by the police that we had to move, but we told them we had the right to march where we were. They then told us they could escort us, but only if we marched at the back. We said ‘no, we’re at the front, and we intend to march where we are.'”
Wild says that while the police initially told them they were allowed to march at the front, the decision was quickly rescinded, and the lesbian demonstrators were once again told they either needed to shift to the back of the march, or they would be removed entirely.
“They told us we were going to be removed for our own safety, to which we asked why they wouldn’t do anything about the trans activists who were harassing us. They didn’t respond. We were then threatened with being physically removed from the march.”
Wild noted that verbal abuse was being hurled at them, with one particularly hostile trans activist telling them that “lesbians can fuck off,” but police did nothing to stop the hostility that was aimed at Wild and her group.
“We did this action to highlight the way lesbians are treated within the LGBT community, and in Pride marches as well, where we cannot state that we do not like to have sexual relationships with men, even if the men identify as or call themselves lesbians,” Wild told Reduxx.
“It’s an issue that no one seems to want to talk about. One of our banners said ‘cotton ceiling is rape’ and another banner that said ‘lesbians don’t like penises.’ They don’t seem like controversial statements but that’s what got us all the harassment,” she added.
The ‘cotton ceiling’ refers to a term coined by porn star and trans activist Drew DeVeaux in 2015. It is inspired by the concept of the “glass ceiling,” which is used to describe discrimination women face in the workplace that prevents them for reaching upper management levels. The “cotton” refers to the material of a women’s underwear, and frames a lesbian’s refusal to have sexual relations with males as a form of discrimination.
Wild also says their participation in the Pride march was intended to provide opposition to plans the Welsh government has to introduce LGBT-oriented policy in an effort to become the most “LGBT friendly state in the world.” Wild stated she had concerns the policies were going to disproportionately impact women and lesbians as similar policies have in other parts of the world.
In a past interview with Women’s Declaration International, Timmermann explained that Get the L Out focuses on direct actions and research, and that the group was formed “because we realized that transgenderism is a threat to women, but more specifically to lesbians.”
“We see transgenderism as posting two main dangers for lesbians: the cotton ceiling and the trans’ing of young non-conforming girls and women, most of whom are lesbians,” Timmermann explained.
On Twitter, feminists and lesbian allies expressed outrage at the footage uploaded by Get the L Out UK, with many pointing out the irony in removing lesbians from a pride parade for not wanting to engage in heterosexual relations.
“Pride was set up to protest against the homophobia directed at people because of their sexual orientation not for heterosexuals. Yet there we have it – same sex attracted women being harassed by heterosexuals,” Twitter user Davina Day wrote.
Many also took issue with the police claiming the lesbians’ removal was for “their safety,” when the threat itself was not being addressed.
“And ‘for your own protection.’ How about removing the men who were threatening them? Or maybe the law doesn’t apply when you identity as trans?” User Jonathan Hartley asked.
Pride Cymru released a statement following footage of the lesbians’ removal going viral on social media. In the short post, they suggested Get the L Out had “interrupted the march” and proclaimed “trans rights are human rights.”
This isn’t the first instance of hostility being directed at lesbians attempting to march at gay pride events in recent months.
In July and August, lesbian activists in Germany were physically assaulted by trans activists for holding signs similar to those Get the L Out had in Cardiff.
On July 2, a group of women gathered outside of Museum Ludwig and unfurled banners which defined lesbians as “female homosexual persons” and declared opposition to the ‘queer’ trend. In response, trans activists heckled and harassed the women, and at one point a masked man rushed a young woman who had been holding a lesbian pride flag and put her in a headlock, wrapping his arms tightly around her neck and strangling her.
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