Julia Grant talks about bullying and intimidation in 2002 and how she received no support

 

The LGBT Foundation, formerly known as the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF), likes to claim that it is "here for you" and that it's serious about challeging bullying. It's supposedly a great supporter of Transgender people... But here's what famous Manchester Trans business woman Julia Grant had to say in a video interview in 2011 (published here with permission).

Julia claimed to have been driven out of Manchester and that organisations such as the LGBT Foundation were more worried about their funding.

But there's more... After she left, a vicious smear campaign was started, claiming that she had run off with the money that had been raised by GayFest the previous August (2001).

This was lies. Financial accounts, which still exist, show that the three major gay charities had received most of the GayFest charity money. This included the LGBT Foundation which apparently did and said nothing at all to defend Julia who had organised GayFest, and despite it publishing a monthly "news" magazine for years called OutNorthWest.

So the demonisation of Julia Grant continued for a decade until two members of the campaign group Facts About Manchester Pride (which OutNorthWest never published one word about) obtained the accounts from the various charities.

Julia being discredited may have suited the LGBT Foundation's purposes... In 2003 it sold wristbands for the new, and much more commercial, Manchester Europride. It did so as part of Operation Fundraiser — a group of the charities — which charged Manchester Europride £59,520 for the service and then each received a share of the funds raised (profit). In 2004 the charge increased to £79,982 and the event was renamed Manchester Pride.

Minutes of a meeting from November 2002 show that the LGBT Foundation was there when those present were told that the public pavements couldn't be closed to pedestrians who didn't buy a ticket for the event or to residents and their guests. However the following August (2003) all concerned did exactly that, and then annually for more than a decade, until the Department For Transport spoke up in 2014 and the Local Government Ombudsman ruled on the matter in April 2015.

In 2010 the LGBT Foundation relocated about 100 yards from Princess Street to Richmond Street and spent £140,000 of Department of Health funding on the move. In doing so, it knew it would cut itself off to service users who didn't or couldn't purchase a costly wristband for Manchester Pride. But people had a legal right to walk to premises all along.

In year ending 2012 this extravagant organisation spent £23,899 on photocopier rental for its 34.3 staff.

The LGBT Foundation has a history of publishing false, misleading and one-sided information. It is a funding-grabbing, job creation scheme that is exclusively for people who are on message.

When Julia died in January 2019, the BBC didn't mention in its obituary the bullying, intimidation and smear campaign that Julia had faced in Manchester. It didn't mention that Julia opposed the commercialised Manchester Pride and in the last decade of her life appeared at protests about its lack of fundraising and inclusion. Or that she tried to organise a replacement event. The BBC chose someone from the LGBT Foundation as one to pay tribute to her. When challenged about the lack of balance, the BBC editor replied that a lot of people liked the obituary.

 

Useful reading

The ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in April 2015 (PDF). The Ombudsman decided that Manchester City Council had exceeded its powers by mentioning wristbands in a traffic order and that it was unlawful to restrict access to premises (businesses and homes).

 

Minutes of a meeting at Marketing Manchester in November 2002 (PDF). These show that those present were told they couldn't charge people to enter public streets. However they went ahead and did so from 2003 onwards for a decade. It was unlawful all along and they knew it.

At the meeting were: Manchester City Council, GHT, the LGF (now known as the LGBT Foundation), Marketing Manchester, the organisers of Europride 2003. The advice seems to have come from the police. Yet the police apparently then turned a blind eye...

This document was unearthed at the Library Archives quite recently by a FactsMCR campaigner.

 

Our factsheet for 2019 (PDF). As well as information about your right to walk on the streets, read about why Greater Manchester Police has questions to answer. And how the Manchester Pride staff have enjoyed an earnings increase of 56.27% per head since 2014.

And here it is as four images (handy for sharing on social media): page 1 | page 2 | page 3 | page 4

The factsheet for the previous year, 2018, is here (PDF).

 

Since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in 2015 the media — both LGBT and mainstream — have stayed silent about the decade-long wristband scam and about your rights. So some people continue to pay unnecessarily.

All your favourites know: GayStarNews, Pink News, Manchester Evening News, The Guardian, BBC and many more. Believe it or not, in a letter, the BBC actually defended its right not to report this. Yes, the same BBC which used to speak up about scams and the rights of consumers.

These organisations don't need to lie. They simply ignore an issue completely. Or, they report some of the facts; perhaps popping in just one or two bits they don't like to add a fake impression of balance. That's how they manipulate opinion in the direction they think it should go.

The veteran ITV reporter John Pilger has said that "not reporting" is the most powerful form of censorship.

What else aren't they telling us?

 
 

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