A joint statement from the co-presidents of InterPride, Brett Hayhoe (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) and Sue Doster (New York City, NY, USA):
As the international association of Pride organisers, InterPride’s direction is set by its membership, a membership that spans the globe, encompassing many diverse religions, ethnicities and cultures. To compare InterPride’s membership to George Orwell’s Animal Farm is (at best) insulting to the intelligence of our members and we strongly refute such an analogy.
In regard to trans issues, this is something that previous boards have had mixed success with and one which the current board is strongly dedicated in its resolve to positively address. Having said that, InterPride has had a serving board member transition whilst still serving and up to only a few years ago had a serving transwoman board member (who retired for work-related reasons).
Championed by our partners at FCP (Fierte Canada Pride), the By-Law amendment to add a board position specifically for a trans-identified person has also been one of major improvement in only a short period of two years. The initial amendment was passed with 59 percent of the vote in favour and 41 percent opposed, to this year reaching a 62-percent approval, a 34-percent opposition and a 3-percent abstain vote (note: figures are rounded down). As the vote required 66 percent of the voting organisations present, the motion could well have passed with only one or two more members voting in favour. It is also pertinent to point out that five members missed the vote due to traveling schedules on the morning of the plenary.
It is also worth noting that this process has nothing to do with the Delta Foundation or Pittsburgh Pride — the hosts of the 2014 InterPride AGM & World Conference.
At the announcement of the results, an overwhelming majority of the membership were clearly and vocally distressed by the outcome. At the ensuing board meeting, many members continued to voice their distress and called on the new administration to actively resolve, educate and pursue the issue to a more satisfactory conclusion.
An immediate response from the North Eastern Regional Prides (NERP – a combination of InterPride organisations) is to re-focus their conference in March 2015 to heavily concentrate on trans-related issues, including many of their conference streams and their keynote speaker.
InterPride looks forward to working closely with both the authors of the By-Law amendment and various members of the trans community to move forward with this change and will do all in our power to ensure its safe passing at a future AGM & World Conference.