Jaye Ware 0

Open letter concerned about the LGBTQIA-inclusiveness of Reclaim the Night (Edinburgh) and Slutwalk (Edinburgh)

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To the organisers of Reclaim the Night (Edinburgh) and Slutwalk (Edinburgh)

We, the undersigned, would like to express our concern about the LGBTQIA-inclusiveness of the recently held Reclaim the Night, and Slutwalk events held in Edinburgh.  Whilst we support the aim of raising awareness of men's violence against women, we are concerned that gender-based violence against LGBTQIA, non-straight, trans*, genderqueer, and gender-variant people is being ignored or being viewed as less important, at these events.

People of all genders in same-sex relationships experience similar levels of partner violence as women in female-male relationships.[1]  This is also true for trans* and genderqueer people of all genders.[2]  We believe that events highlighting issues of partner violence should include all people who are at greater risk of violence, as well as women.  We do not think that partner violence against one particular group of people should be prioritised over another.  We are particularly concerned about the literature distributed at the Reclaim the Night Edinburgh march which stated that:

"When we can better deal with the effects of men's violence against women and work towards a society where [men's] violence against women is not condoned, then we will be able to find solutions to address women who are violent towards men and same sex partners." [emphasis added]

In addition the gender stereotypes and attitudes that contributes to the acceptability of men's harassment, violence and rape against women, also contributes to the acceptability of people's harassment, violence and rape against LGBTQIA, non-straight, trans*, genderqueer and gender-variant people who fall outwith society's gender/sexuality norms.  Whilst we agree that when these gender sterotypes and attitudes are used against women this must be condemned, but we also believe equal attention must be given to the impact these have on LGBTQIA people of all genders.

We hope that when future events are held, that more thought will be given to including all people who experience gender-based violence, without prioritising heteronormative experiences of violence.  We hope to see events that are explicitly promoted as inclusive all genders and sexualities.  We hope to see literature and hear speakers that are inclusive of all people who experience gender-based violence.  And whilst we appreciate that the organisers of Slutwalk allowed an impromptu trans* survivor to speak, we hope that in future organisers will invite people to speak on LGBTQIA gender-based violence when planning the event.

Kindest Regards,

* * *

[1] Rothman, Exner and Baughman (2011)

[2] Roch, Ritchie and Morton (2010)



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