Lesbians support the right of transgender women to self determination. That was the overwhelming message of the lesbian community in hundreds of tweets and other online comments following the latest outrage perpetrated by a tiny splinter faction of nineteen seventies style lesbian separatists who endeavoured to disrupt the Swansea Pride event at the weekend. Popular newswire Gay Star News said that the effort failed and that the parade stewards intervened in a peaceful but assertive manner to allow the handful of anti-trans lesbian feminists to protest but not to intimidate festival goers. This is not the first time that a group of feminists has attempted to disrupt a Pride event. At London Pride during last year's long hot summer, a group of women trampled over the leading rainbow flag and obscured a tribute to LGBT NHS staff, an action which earned criticism even from trans-critical media such as the Communist Party's Morning Star paper. On that occasion, Police and London Pride stewards told the news agency Pink News that they feared intervening in a decisive fashion, due to the potential for violence. Over the past few months, the antics of a variety of small groups with names such as “Get the L Out” have included vandalising the offices of famous liberal newspaper The Guardian, and the headquarters of the famous LGBT charity Stonewall. Online, other anti-trans feminists have targetted groups as diverse as the NSPCC and Amnesty International, which prompted one political commentator to remark “Whatever your reservations about transgender people might be, these attacks on pro-tolerance charities are more reminiscent of the actions of the far right wing, not feminism with its traditions of debate and discussion”. One feminist activist, although retaining her trans-critical analysis, dramatically quit an anti-trans group in February, with Pink News detailing her horror that her fellow members, many of them lesbians, had actually joined with Christian extremists in the US to campaign. She felt this was a betrayal not just of other lesbians but also the whole women's movement.
Swansea Pride released a statement saying that they were saddened by the anti-trans incident, but the last word perhaps belongs to a lesbian feminist who supports self determination for transwomen. She wrote: ‘Hilarious, two transphobic lesbians protest at Swansea pride, roundly ignored by thousands of lesbians. Eight transphobic lesbians at London pride, ignored by 10,000s of lesbians. They see your bullpoo propaganda: ‘The VAST majority of lesbians have repeatedly stood for trans women.’