A row has erupted after a university society removed an advert for a Brighton lesbian peformers' show called Dyke the Halls.

Sussex LGBTQ society said some had found the use of the word dyke offensive after an advert for the show was put on their Facebook page.

But Rose Collis, one of the duo behind the show, said the move was “utterly unacceptable, indefensible and staggeringly insulting”.

The well-known Brighton historian has been performing with VG Lee, from Hastings, and called their latest show Bah Humbuggers (or Dyke the Halls).

The show is due to take place at the Emporium theatre on London Road on December 1 and, looking to boost numbers, Ms Collis decided to share details of the show on the Sussex society’s Facebook page.

She was stunned when she received a message explaining the post was removed as the word dyke violated the “safe space policy” on the page.

In an email to Ms Collis, the society continued: “We find ourselves in a situation where members of the society felt uncomfortable with having an event posted which included the term Dyke.”

Ms Collis said: “To say women who define themselves as dykes is wrong and the word ‘violates safe space’ is, to me, utterly unacceptable, indefensible and staggeringly insulting. It also shows incredible ignorance.

“I’ve been an out dyke activist and performer since 1979 and an out dyke writer for nearly 30 years. I went on my first gay rights march in 1979, before it became a trendy social event in the calendar, and in the days when the police outnumbered marchers.

“People like me put ourselves at risk to ensure that future generations – such as the Sussex students – would have greater freedom and rights. So to be told I was ‘violating safe space’ is the ultimate insult.”

Sussex LGBTQ later clarified it has not banned the word and nor did it prevent anyone from identifying as dykes.

A spokesman said: “We have not removed an opinion piece, or a member’s comment/statement, neither have we told members that we are not allowing them to identify as dyke or express that they are dykes.

“What we did do is remove a poster, of which we have no obligation to allow on our page, because the word dyke being used in the poster offended some members, members which we have a duty to protect as a university society which caters to LGBTQ individuals from various countries of origins and ages.”

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