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The legendary lesbian singer-songwriter Grace Petrie had a simple message to the transphobes that saw her play: Go get a refund.
As part of her Connectivity tour, Petrie played to a packed Stanley Arts in South Norwood, a quiet south London suburb, on Friday (12 November).
But during the performance, some patrons reported hearing transphobic jabs be made against fans.
Grace Petrie says transphobia is the exact ‘opposite’ of what her music means
It wasn’t supposed to be like this, thought fan Laura Dale. After all, the folk singer is an uncompromising trans rights activist.
Dale, a trans author and Twitch streamer, was left “surprised” after overhearing gig-goers lob “‘maybe I should identify as X and demand rights’ jokes in the bathroom”.
“Can’t remember the last time I experienced as much as transphobia as I’ve experienced tonight,” Dale wrote on Twitter.
Can't remember the last time I experienced as much transphobia as I've experienced tonight at this @gracepetrie gig, which is a surprise given how supportive she herself is.
Just had to listen to "maybe I should identify as X and demand rights" jokes in the bathroom.
— Laura Kate Dale (@LaurakBuzz) November 12, 2021
“This was after invasive questions from a stranger, and a person making an overt statement in my direction,” she added.
“I was really hopeful for a pleasant safe night tonight. Her audience really doesn’t reflect the singer they came to see which is really unfortunate.”
And Petrie agreed.
“Last night I was really surprised and saddened to read on Twitter that some members of the audience were subject to transphobic comments at the show,” the “Storm To Weather” hitmaker, 34, tweeted.
Last night I was really surprised and saddened to read on Twitter that some members of the audience were subject to transphobic comments at the show. I want to reiterate in the strongest terms possible these views are the opposite of what I’m trying to communicate in my songs—
— Grace Petrie (@gracepetrie) November 13, 2021
“I want to reiterate in the strongest terms possible these views are the opposite of what I’m trying to communicate in my songs.
“So please if it is in your nature to be unkind, mocking, misgendering, disrespectful to queer, trans and non-binary people then I would much prefer that you get a refund than come.
“I have a lot of queer folks coming to the shows and I want more than anything to provide a safe and inclusive environment to those people who experience so much hostility just for existing every day in this country.
“I hope the folks affected last night weren’t too shaken up.”
Last month, Petrie told PinkNews that transphobia has become a “stain” in Britain’s history and will be looked back on with “shame” by history books.
“It’s not the case that we’re suddenly overrun with trans rights and trans representation, or that [trans people] are in some way colonising the spaces that we have for lesbians. That isn’t true at all,” she rallied.
“It’s still overwhelmingly the case that like 99 per cent of culture is catering to straight, white, cis, able-bodied men.
“Trans people are not the enemy.”