Here’s an update on the RCPsych conference for anyone wishing to make a point about the blatant transphobia being demonstrated by that organisation.
The story so far has been rehashed at length and on various blogs, not least on one I posted a few days back. For those not yet up to speed: the RCPsych has decided to discuss trans issues. They are doing so without any real input from the trans community and have decided, for reasons best known to themselves, to include two speakers – Julie Bindel and Az Hakeem – whose views are at best controversial, at worst blatantly transphobic.
Attempts to get the RCPsych to engage in meaningful dialogue have so far fallen on deaf ears, with platitudes aplenty – but little of substance coming back and no willingness to real dialogue. It may yet all blow over, in which case, hallelujah! But don’t hold your breath.
Therefore, if you are at all interested in making a stand for trans rights, make sure you have 20 May (in SW1) in your diary. No decisions have yet been taken as to the form that protest will take, but it seems likely that there may be a picket either all day or at key points during the proceedings, with a larger demo at some point.
We are also looking to put on a conference of our own – a teach-in – designed to explore general trans issues and to critique some of what is going on in the conference. If you’d like to be more closely involved in discussions, join the Facebook Group: Protest Transphobia.
In terms of who is organising things, there is masses of good work happening on the Facebook group. For now, however, the public face seems by default to have fallen to two of the UK’s bolshier trannies – myself and Natacha Kennedy, with masses of hard graft and additional organising going on behind the scenes by various student groups. She is picking up official stuff, such as talking to the police about getting permission for a demo, and she is also likely to be organising a get together nearer the time for those wishing to discuss tactics.
We’ve both, also, been talking to the RCPsych although (see above) with little meaningful feedback.
If you’re planning on doing anything more outrageous, that’s your prerogative – but we’d rather not know about it if you are. This is the space for official, peaceful, police-sanctioned action and we really cannot be involved in anything that goes off piste and into realms that would leave our necks on the legal chopping block.
We will also be contacting other organisations, asking for official views on the event: and closer to the time, we’ll be looking to set up press comment and articles on same.