Erotic Awards held their prize-giving ceremony this past weekend. I just wanted to raise awareness of how the event went down, especially considering that the person who was awarded the ‘activist of the year’ was denied (due to the lack of accessibility) the possibility to receive the award on the stage as well as giving an acceptance speach. This is mostly a post consisting of quotes, I am afraid you have you live with that. (Revision period, exams starting in a week)
These are the words from De (also known as Clair Lewis,or Dennis Queen) who works with Consenting Adult Action Network:
Just back from trying to attend the Erotic Awards in London, I won ‘campaigner of the year ‘ award. What a sham! Given how I was excluded yesterday by an inaccessible stage, venue which was impossible to move around independently except for outside in the cold.. and a very rude awards compere, I don’t know if someone from CAAN will be going tomorrow to deliver my speech at the Rally after all, despite me having spent hours writing a powerful speech designed to pull more people into active campaigning. And anyway who knows if we’ll even get on the platform!
My costly attendance last night was unnecessary and a waste of my desperately needed personal resources, but we were told it was very important to have someone there by seven (judges decided days before who won) .. the event started two hours late.. and basically we didn’t get to accept the award on stage or say anything so we lost the opportunity to use this for publicity, be filmed and photographed or do or say anything useful.. or to just even identify myself to anyone – every other award winner was invited to the stage, something was said about their work and they were then invited to talk for a minute or two about it. My trophy was passed down (via others, not the person who was doing the presenting) across to where I had been asked to sit in my wheelchair, with the other winners by the stage.. the compere said CAAN is a campaigning group our website is www.caan.org.uk – and that was it. Didn’t even mention I was there (other CAAN people i saw later thought I hadn’t attended!!)
It would be good to hear the views of other CAAN people and supporters what we should do with this token gesture of a golden penis trophy.. Do you think other CAAN people should further personal time, energy and money on publicly supporting this event? and should we keep any kind of relationship with this archaic organisation which is too busy patronising disabled people to let us join in on an equal basis? They didnt even seem to think this was a problem. Really unimpressed.
ended up having to get a hotel cos couldn’t stay at the event as I was so cold it hurt, because it was so late by then that there were no more trains after wandering the streets in the rain.
I’d have given these thanks for my award, were I given the mic like the otherErotic Award winners. I know I couldn’t get on the inaccessible stage in my wheelchair, but I *can* still communicate. I will instead use my voice where I am welcome and let the ignorance of the people running things on the stage – Tuppy Owens and Helen Croydon (who were raising money ‘for the disabled’ (!)) – speak for itself.
“Thank you to everyone involved who has worked hard to support me in my role as National Convenor for our Consenting Adult Action Network.
Thank you to the Erotic Awards judges for this great compliment, which is due to everyone involved in our inclusive network, really, and well deserved.
All of us at CAAN are volunteers, donating our personal time, skills and resources, in all sorts of different ways. Many CAAN people work behind the scenes due to the personal risks of being outed.
Please continue to support us and join the fight against state-sanctioned discrimination, exclusion and criminalisation of consenting adults, just because of our sexual choices.
To read more about De, activism with CAAN and activism in general, check out the blog