Essex

Southend Pride parade: Lesbians 'feel betrayed by GBT community'

Southend pride march Image copyright Teresa Hull
Image caption The first Pride Parade in Southend for 15 years was enjoyed by people from across the community

Southend's first Pride Parade in 15 years was under way on Saturday, despite a threat of a counter-demonstration.

Before the event, there was a disagreement between a lesbian campaign group and transgender activists.

Members of the national Get The L Out group say they are victimised "for not recognising that a man could become a woman".

Parade organiser Dan Turpin said the LGBT community should be united.

Angela Wild, of the Get The L Out group, said some transgender members were accusing lesbians of "being guilty of hate crime by not recognising that a man could change into a woman".

Image copyright Teresa Hull
Image caption The Pride Parade was marked by a row between lesbian and transgender activists

"We are really angry and betrayed by GBT people because of their promoting transgender rights without any regard for those of lesbians," she said.

"The GBT movement is not promoting and supporting lesbians or protecting our rights to have same-sex relationships.

"The movement is targeting and demonising lesbians for being attracted exclusively to females."

However, parade organiser Mr Turpin said: "I want to be safe when I walk down my high street, and I want lesbians, bisexual and transgender people to be safe, too.

"We live in a world where we can choose who we want to be. So let's come together and include people."

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