Freedom of Thought?

I have today been told that I am disinvited to speak at a Black Workers Group at Lambeth Council as part of Black History Month because a member of Unison believes that my ‘reported remarks’ about the proposed changes to the gender recognition legislation’ are transphobic, whereas I believe these Transactivists are anti-woman.

It is true that as a Black feminist and lesbian I am critical of the new politics of Trans which sees gender as interchangeable with biological sex and consequently seem to attribute all the stereotype features of femininity; such a wearing dresses and make-up; as markers of being a woman. It is true that as a feminist I have fought alongside my sisters to get rid of these stereotypes and limitations placed upon women.

I was the first Black lesbian to be Out as a Local Government Council Leader - in my case, in Lambeth where I had grown up. I endured many attacks as a Council Leader from the Labour and Tory Parties and from the Press.

I have a strong feeling that the person who opposes my attendance at a Black Workers Group celebration of Black History Month may be white and it is therefore inappropriate that they should specify who can address such a gathering. I did say I would fight back if attacked. I know that many White men consider such a remark an affront to their dignity but I assure you that I have been exercising the same ‘affrontery’ for over 50 years.

I am sorry that you have been placed in this position but hope that you and your members will soon feel strong enough to invite who you wish to speak to you whether white men agree or not.

For the record, please note that there has only been one act of violence in the political tussle between ‘Trans women’ and Feminists in the UK. This was at Speaker’s Corner in September last year, I was referring to this incident when I said I would defend myself. I am defending myself now in writing and in speeches, making the case for Equality as I have had to do for many decades. I will be appearing a Marylebone Magistrate Court later this month to answer another complaint about the same alleged threat of violence against trans women.

These and other issues will be enlarged in my forthcoming Memoirs.

In Solidarity and Support

Linda Bellos 5th September 2018

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