I recently posted an article which claimed, based on newspaper reports, that the Trans charity Chrysalis had lodged a complaint with police over a children’s hospice running a drag fun run, claiming to describe it as “drag” was a hate crime.
I will admit to having been misled by press reports over this story in the Daily Telegraph. In fairness, however, the story was repeated in Pink News, whom I would suggest really should research the facts before copying the story from a right-wing newspaper verbatim.
I have since been contacted by Steph Holmes of Chrysalis acquainting me with the full facts of the story. She asserts that neither she nor anyone at Chrysalis lodged any such complaint with Lancashire Police. The entire premise of any such police complaint appears to be a complete fabrication on the part of the media.
Better I think to let Steph explain in her own words:
Neither Chrysalis nor any representative of it reported the event to police. Neither Chrysalis nor any representative of it has been contacted by Derrian House. Neither Chrysalis nor any representative of it wanted the charity event stopped.
It was Derrian House that asked the press to remove the word ‘drag’ from press reports about the race. Chrysalis were OK with it being drag – it’s a tradition as older than the panto dames theme that they finally changed it to. We only objected to the comments made by Derrian House’s representative, and asked that they change the premise of the race. This they did within a couple of days and the race went ahead recently. I hope it made a great deal of money for this extremely worthy cause.
Meanwhile, of the British national newspapers that ran this story without fact checking, one withdrew the story straight away and the other has printed a retraction because of the factual errors.
Incidentally, I was inundated with hate mail briefly until the truth came out, some of it very threatening. Stupidest of all, I was accused of homophobia – I’m a lesbian.
Steph attaches the links to two news stories; one about threats she received, and the other of Manchester Pride, which she took part in, despite those threats.
It was never my intention to deliberately misrepresent either Steph Holmes or Chrysalis and I shall freely admit I got this one badly wrong. For that I offer my deepest apologies to Steph personally, and Chrysalis as a whole. I truly am sorry.
Finally, I would say that if anyone sent Steph or anyone else at Chrysalis hate mail and / or threats as a result of reading my article, then I not only say shame upon you, but please stay the hell away from my pages. Cyberbullies are no friends of Xandra.