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Ex TV boss: We need more bi and trans people on screen

Ex TV boss: We need more bi and trans people on screen

Gay television exec turned millionaire, Lord Waheed Alli, has called on our community to get more bisexual and transgender people on TV.

Member of the British House of Lords, Alli, who started TV production company Planet 24 and was a chief executive at Carlton Television Productions, was speaking at Student Pride today (22 February).

The weekend for LGBTI students from around Britain is being hosted by London for the first time this year.

Alli told the students mainstream media was vital in improving the public’s attitude to lesbians and gay men – but more work should be done on bi and trans visibility.

‘I think we will have to do a lot more work with broadcasters. I don’t think they would object. But I think we need to be better at putting our case.’

A panel debate saw debate focused on LGBTI identity and how we should pull together as a community.

Commentator and entrepreneur Milo Yiannopoulos argued ‘the whole of mainstream gay culture is enormously left wing’ which had alienated him as a gay, rightwing Catholic.

But Alli, who fought for equal marriage in the UK parliament, said: ‘It is not us that picked the Catholic Church as a target. They picked us as a target.

‘The Catholic hierarchy are the people that called us sinful. For us to stand up and say we are equal in the eyes of the law cannot be offensive.’

And Lisa Power, former policy director of Terrence Higgins Trust, emphasized it was important for the whole community to pull together.

She said: ‘I guess I never lost that small town value that says if they come at us with machine guns they are not going to ask if we are L, G, B or T. Our enemies don’t like any of us. I don’t care how we label ourselves, we are all queer.’

The event will continue over the next 24 hours with more debates, parties and cinema screenings.

Gay Star News is a media partner of Student Pride.