I believed in Stonewall. But we have created a monster

The historic gay and lesbian rights organisation was set up, says former ambassador Kate Harris, to make the world a better place. But things turned out very badly
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by Kate Harrisformer ambassador of Stonewall and co-founder of LGB Alliance

I used to work at American Express in the golden age of the Stonewall's* brilliant campaign for LGB equality at work. As "Stonewal ambassadorl" was pleased and proud to support the programme Diversity Champions created in 2005.

The equality index was only a small part of Stonewall's efforts to make employers aware that LGB people exist, and that their rights needed to be protected. There were meetings, training programmes and an annual conference with high-level speakers, such as the Minister of the Interior.

The index consisted of a simple set of questions allowing LGB people to check whether employers knew what the law said to help create a workforce that takes diversity into account, encouraging us to show pride.

These were a civilised and well-intentioned programme. Its current version makes me shiver. It is vile. Stonewall encourages organisations to be 'ahead of the law' and gives misguided advice on the 'right' to do so.Equality Act. It says that gender reassignment equals gender identity. This is a mistake.

It is a mystery to me how what started out as a brilliant and progressive programme ended up so badly. Stonewall has created an environment where you are either online or you are a transphobic bigot. It is very easy to make mistakes. Ask Stonewall whether there is really a need to fight for employees to be able to use their preferred pronouns, or whether women would not prefer to have reserved bathrooms and immediately you will be marked as transphobic.

Why are employers slaves to an unelected lobby that misrepresents the law and do not instead safeguard the reputation of their companies and the well-being of all employees?

The reason people trusted Stonewall was because sensitive and caring volunteers testified to employers about its reliability. We did this in the firm belief that we were making the world a better place. Then, somehow, we took our eyes off the ball. Years later we realised we had created a monster.

*Stonewall is a historic LGBT+ association, one of the most important in the world.

original article here

here a video interview with Kate Harris


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