Trans protest at Stonewall Awards faces feminist counter-demo

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The decision to nominate Guardian journalist Julie Bindel for a Stonewall Award has angered some in the trans community, and a picket of tonight’s ceremony has been widely trailed on the internet as a wider protest against “LGB transphobia.”

London Transfeminist Group said they are expecting a large crowd of protesters. They assert that Ms Bindel’s articles are transphobic.

Campaigner Ros Kaveney said:

“Ms Bindel is advocating talking therapies for trans people in a way that almost entirely parallels the advocacy of talking therapies by the Christian right as a way of extirpating all LGBT people.

“If she does not understand that, as a lesbian, she is a turkey advocating Christmas for turkeys in an adjacent bit of the farmyard, then she is being obtuse; what she is doing is betraying not only the trans community but the entire LGBT community, and it is wrong to honour her for her other work when there is this colossal stain on her career.”

London Feminist Network is planning a demo at the trans protest in support of Ms Bindel.

“Look out for the eight-foot high purple and white Julie Bindel Fanclub banner,” the group said.

Trans activists have claimed that more than one hundred people “from all over England will be waiting outside the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) for the arrival of the guests.”

Ms Bindel has apologised over the tone of a 2004 article Gender Benders Beware but stands by her view that people should question the basis of the diagnosis of male psychiatrists, “at a time when gender polarisation and homophobia work hand-in-hand.”

“Iran carries out the highest number of sex change surgeries in the world,” she said in a statement to LFM.

“It is unnecessary mutilation – in my opinion there is nothing ‘wrong’ with those who are currently seen as candidates for transgender surgery – they just don’t fit the gender stereotype.

“Surgery is an attempt to keep gender stereotypes intact. The diagnosis of childhood GID (gender identity disorder) follows old-fashioned notions of what constitutes appropriate behaviour for those assigned to the sex classes of male and female.

“It is precisely this idea that certain distinct behaviours are appropriate for males and females that underlies feminist criticism of the phenomenon of ‘transgenderism’. This view is shared by a large number of feminists of all ages and backgrounds.”

Trans activists have predicted that tonight’s protests will be “a major embarrassment for Stonewall over its controversial nomination.” They had called for Ms Bindel’s nomination to be rescinded.

A spokesperson for Stonewall told “All the complaints came after voting had taken place, so it would not have been honest in any circumstances to say that the nomination had been withdrawn.”

Other nominees for the Journalist of the Year Award include thelondonpaper columnist Joshua Hunt and Daily Mirror agony aunt Miriam Stoppard.

The ceremony will be hosted by Richard Wilson, best-known for his iconic Victor Meldrew character in One Foot In The Grave.

Nominees for Entertainer of the Year include Simon Amstell from Never Mind the Buzzcocks, singer Sam Sparro, Maestro winner Sue Perkins, and Queen of Shops host Mary Portas.