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London LGBTI porn festival forced to relocate after transphobes protest

London LGBTI porn festival forced to relocate after transphobes protest

Yoghurt is showing at the London Porn Film Festival | Photo: Yoghurt

A London queer porn festival was forced to relocate after a protest from a transphobic group.

The festival, celebrating ‘queer, feminist, radical and experimental porn’, pulled screenings from an arts venue in Bloomsbury.

The three-day event took place on 26-28 April at a new location disclosed onto to ticket holders.

Multiple complaints about the festival were made to Camden council.

Complaints made to Camden council over London porn festival

One of the films was Soft Tender Tuff Boys, a ‘love letter to all genderqueer and transmasculine people’.

‘Feminist pornography is an oxymoron,’ pressure group Women Against Pornography said.

‘Feminism is not about individualistic wishes or desires, it is about liberating all women from the oppression of males.

‘This can never be achieved by being tied up in a bed or by telling women that torture will make them free.’

Festival organizer Rude Jude disagreed with them.

They told The Guardian: ‘This is the next step on from the moral panic. Right-wing conservative groups have protested this kind of thing before.

‘Britain likes to think of itself as a place tolerant of queer people, but when queer people assert ourselves, we’re attacked.’

Is the group linked to other transphobic groups?

On the London Porn Film Festival’s website, organizers claim the group is closely tied with the transphobes that disrupted Pride in London’s march last year.

‘They’ve sent a letter to Camden council that’s full of lies, distortions and smears, asking the council to block our festival,’ they said.

‘Unfortunately the London Borough of Camden is bound by law and has started an investigation. This has also caused a lot of logistical and financial issues.’

Women Against Pornography refute this accusation.

‘In the letters we sent there was no mention of transgenderism,’ they said.

‘However, if transgenderism is apparently so closely linked with pornography then that’s not a very good advert for it. As radical feminists we are gender critical, although this didn’t form part of our criticism of the festival.’

Films are for ‘queer, feminist audience’ 

Organizers for the festival said their priority is to show films for ‘our queer, feminist audience, because we know they’re important and radical.’

They added: ‘We want to ask you to stand in solidarity with us, against transphobia and hate towards sex workers, and against attempts to censor and silence queer and feminist porn.’

The annual festival began in 2017. The original inspiration was pornfilmfestival Berlin, which has been running since 2006. Those showing their work are encouraged to ensure films are fully accessible, with audio description and subtitling.

Nimue Allen, who is showing the film Fisting Fun, said the festival is an inspiration for performers.

They said: ‘Festivals like this are so important to show that there are alternatives to the mainstream porn … Centering people of color, trans performers, queer sex of all types – and allowing people to see themselves represented on screen – is something that needs to be done so much more often.

‘I’m one person making porn from my bedroom, which can feel incredibly isolating without the ability to meet others with similar views at community events like this.’