Transphobic radical feminists fail to rain on annual parade
By Jason MacGregor
Organisers of Oxford’s annual Gay Pride parade breathed a sigh of relief Saturday when so-called trans exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) did not protest the event as planned.
Parade leader Andrew Mudd led the 1,500-strong parade through the university town’s historic city centre, and said it was the largest Pride parade in Oxford history. His initial estimate of 1,500 participants would make it 300 higher than last year’s number.
He said organisers were made aware of the potential presence of TERFs, a group of radical feminists who do not accept that transgender women are really women.
“Stickers had gone up on the High Street last week and we spoke with police about it,” said Mudd.
In anticipation of possible trouble, Mudd and other parade leaders pulled aside around 40 volunteer stewards and explained what to do if they were confronted.
“I heard [the TERFs] were around London,” said Liz, who took part in the parade and later manned the TransOxford kiosk in Westgate Shopping Centre’s atrium.
Organisers had reason to be worried – last year, a group of radical feminists who were vehemently anti-trans protested the Oxford parade.
Controversy over the so-called TERF movement isn’t new to Oxford, a city of 150,000 people. One Oxford professor, Selina Todd, has been accused of supporting the radical feminist movement and being transphobic. The accusations came after the history lecturer and college vice-principal retweeted comments from a parody Twitter account.
“Parents, there is an alternative to having an embarrassing gay son or lesbian daughter! All it takes is timely intervention!” one tweet read.
The end of the parade did not mean the end of the party; without the added stress of having to deal with protesters, Mudd was free to supervise other festivities into the night.
Photo Credits: Jason MacGregor