Disturbing video footage has emerged showing trans comedian Jen Ives being verbally abused and branded a “pervert” while attending the LGB Alliance conference last year.
The event held by the controversial political group took place on 21 October, and was attended by figures including comedy writer Graham Linehan and Labour MP Rosie Duffield.
Attendees at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London were invited to watch panels about “free speech” and the supposed threat of “transgender ideology”.
LGB Alliance founder Malcolm Clark also shared a photo of himself posing with a cardboard cutout of Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who has drawn criticism for her stance on transgender rights. Rowling did not attend the conference and had no connection with the cutout. She has repeatedly denied allegations that she is transphobic.
Ives, a bisexual trans woman whose stand-up comedy has been championed by stars including James Acaster, initially spoke about the incident last year.
She told Pink News that she had paid for a ticket and had a “nice chat” with two men, one of whom respected her pronouns after she disclosed that she was trans. However, the other man reportedly left after learning this, then returned with a camera pointed at her.
“He was much taller than me, leaning over me with his camera out,” Ives said at the time. “He was calling me a nonce, a f***ing pervert. He was ranting about oestrogen and hormones and all kinds of stuff.”
Video footage of the incident was shared from Ives’s Twitter account on Wednesday 23 March. In the clip, which was allegedly shared then deleted by the man who filmed it, Ives can be seen standing with a friend while the man shouts at her and repeatedly tells her: “You are a man.”
A woman in attendance tells Ives she is “being provocative” by attending the conference.
“I am raging,” the man filming can be heard saying. “You are a mentally ill autogynephilic pervert.”
“Video footage surfaces (recorded by the perpetrator) of me being harassed at LGB Alliance conference,” Ives wrote in a tweet sharing the video. “Look how long it takes QE2 security to get involved.”
In a reply tweet she remarked: “The thing this video doesn’t demonstrate much, and is for me the most chilling aspect, is the sheer lack of empathy from the women surrounding me. They emboldened, supported and relished in my harassment and continued to victim-blame me well afterwards.”
Journalist and LGBT+ campaigner Owen Jones was among those to express his support for Ives, tweeting: “This is a truly disgusting transphobic rant, and underlines the sort of hatred which the ‘LGB Alliance’... attracts.”
“Trans woman is called mentally ill and a pervert for being... a trans woman. This is horrendous and wrong,” tweeted author and activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu.
“I feel relieved and vindicated that there’s proof, because I’ve been accused of being a liar [about the incident] in public since October,” Ives told The Independent.
She confirmed that she bought a ticket to attend the conference to see what kind of issues were being discussed: “The conference claimed to be for everybody, so I put that to the test.”
“I think it’s shocking [LGB Alliance] has charity status within the UK,” she said. “[They] try to present themselves as a legitimate organisation, which unfortunately they have become, in a way. They say that they care about LGB rights but from being there I experienced first-hand that they’re actually quite obsessed with trans people. They seem very clouded by their own agenda, and I don’t think they saw me as a human being.”
“All LGB Alliance events including our annual conference are open to anyone, regardless of political views or affiliation,” a representative for the group told The Independent.
“We are of course aware that issues such as sex-segregated facilities provoke very strong feelings on both sides of the debate, and we would like to thank the conference attendees and security team who stepped in to defuse the situation.”
The LGB Alliance was founded in 2019 and is a registered charity. It has been the subject of numerous controversies, and has been branded “anti-trans” and “dangerous” by critics including comedian and actor Matt Lucas.
“The LGB Alliance is an anti-trans group,” he wrote on Twitter. “That’s all it is. It doesn’t represent me or any gay people I care to know.”
On their website, the LGB Alliance says that accusations that the group is transphobic are a “myth”.
“The issues and priorities for people who are attracted to the same sex (homosexual/bisexual) are different from those of transgender people, and so, with a number of organisations focused on trans people and trans issues, our focus is on lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people and their issues,” they said in a statement.