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

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 said that some who might have been expected to stand up against bullying were more worried about their funding.

After she left, a vicious smear campaign was started, claiming she had run off with all 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 (formerly known as the LGF) which apparently did and said nothing to defend Julia and despite it publishing a monthly "news" magazine for years called OutNorthWest.

From 2003, the LGBT Foundation (along with GHT and Body Positive NW) ran the lucrative wristband scheme for the new, much more commercial, Manchester Pride.

So the demonisation of Julia Grant continued for a decade until two members of the campaign group Facts About Manchester Pride obtained the accounts from the various charities and published the truth.

Julia was no angel. One volume of her autobiography details how she went to jail in the 1970s before she transitioned. However, it was grossly unfair to demonise her two decades later and attempt to undermine her success as a charity fundraiser.

Factsheet 2022/23

2022 factsheet Our 2022 Factsheet (PDF) about Manchester Pride is available (there won't be a new factsheet for 2023). Read about your right to access the Gay Village without buying a wristband, history & opinion .

Download the PDF version.

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

Our factsheet from 2021 is still well-worth a look. It has four pages of facts, gossip and fun. Download it as a PDF here. See our factsheets page for other years.

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. These show that those present were told they couldn't charge people to enter public streets. However some of them went ahead and did so from 2003 onwards for a decade.

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.

The media

Since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in 2015 the media — both LGBT and mainstream — have stayed silent about the decade-long wristband fiddle and 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. In a letter to us, the BBC defended its journalist right not to report this. The same BBC that championed consumer rights at one time now prefers to cosy up to the civil-rights-infringing Manchester Pride, as a "sponsor" (the BBC says it doesn't give money).

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 says that "not reporting" is the most powerful form of censorship.

What else aren't they telling us?