“Get the L out?” More like wake the L up!

By Daviemoo

I realised the other day that some of my pro trans content is misunderstood- some people believe I’m a trans man, which I honestly don’t mind because being trans isn’t a bad thing. But I’m not trans; I just stand with trans people. I stand with trans people because I have a few friends who are trans and I know more trans people who seem very decent, and because once you listen to trans people talk about their lives, their experiences, it would take an extraordinary amount of cynicism to doubt their sincerity. I know gender critical people too, and some of the vitriol that comes so easily to them casts no doubt in my mind that they aren’t decent, and even if they are their obsession with demonising trans people is twisting that into irrelevance.
The arguments that lesbian activist group “Get the L out” make all revolve around circumlocutive explainers of their distaste of trans people. “We don’t like men, we dont like penises” and so on and so on- using the veneer of obvious statement
to legitimise obvious transphobia because transgender women aren’t men. If anyone is trying to tell you you simply must date a woman with a penis, those people aren’t of the same ilk as the majority of my trans friends.
The accusations groups like this endlessly cast at trans people are stupid: What person in their right mind do you know who would force upon others the notion that they HAVE to date them or else? The only group I know who do this are… ah, cisgender (aka not trans) men, the men who lurk in bars and proposition women who clearly look uncomfortable at being approached- and it is this insidious comparison of trans female and cis male behaviour that has become so disturbing.
This paralleling is reductive, and will always miss the broader point: Blaming a different demographic for the behaviour of another is a surefire way to continue to propagate that behaviour. That in itself is troubling, but the increasing desperation of gender critical people to prove their ideology is correct has made for horrifying allyships- so to those who believe what Get the L out have to say- all I can say in reply is: Wake the L up.

Let’s get this plain: I dont want the L out. L’s dont want the L out. But people in Get the L out want the L out- so go. Nobody is stopping you, quite the opposite, we actively don’t want bigots in our marches: you don’t “have to” like trans people any more than you “have to” like gay people or people of colour. You’re entitled to be small minded: should you be is a different question. If you keep quiet about it you won’t have an issue- but being offended at being told not to say you don’t like a certain demographic is pretty comical. Saying “I don’t like trans people” is, frighteningly, socially acceptable right now- apply that to any other minority group and people would recoil with shock. This societal malfeasance around trans people is an oversight that will correct with time- people in the future will study this time period in shock at how blithe transphobia is right now. But a key point to remember is this: the people you don’t like also don’t have to treat that dislike, however muted or obnoxiously loud it is, with a wink, a smile, or good grace.
You’re allowed to wrap both hands around the handle of bigotry- but the second you wield it in malice against others, you’ll face repercussions. The fact that this is a shocking concept to people is utterly bizarre.
Transphobic accounts abounds online- anonymous twitter profiles with XXWOMBYN400 will blithely insult trans people with the same ridiculous arguments that have been answered ad nauseam. “What if a man pretends to be a woman, dresses up and goes into a toilet and rapes someone” we’re asked, as though pro trans people are thrilled with this idea. But my immediate response is- what the fuck does that have to do with trans women? That is the behaviour of a cis man- the theoretical behaviour of a cis man- and you’re ascribing it to trans women because-why? And throwing shocking and horrifying terms like, and stories of, rape don’t dissuade people from having the conversation- I myself am a victim of rape- not once, multiple times. Throwing for instance nonsense about rape at me isn’t as important as actual proven instances of it- and how we avoid those.
If you point the stark differences between trans women and cis men out, this is where the delineation between the oft chanted “just women with concerns” and open transphobia becomes plain. If you parallel trans women and cis men, its the open admission that you don’t believe trans women act as their own specific group with their own specific behaviours- and the very act of transitioning, be it socially and or medically, is it’s own divergence from cis het male behaviour. You don’t have to “believe” trans women are women to note that people who decide to socially transition are not of the same ilk as people who don’t. And why on earth would trans women endure a society as openly vitriolic as ours is right now just to enter women’s spaces? And, why would cis men embarrass themselves by pretending to be trans just for some sexual kicks when they don’t need to. Look at any city center on a Saturday night at the pissed up straight cis men who think it’s funny to throw on a dress for a lark. Those men aren’t doing it for sexual kicks, they’re doing it because cis straight men are a law unto themselves- literally.

Stop coddling cis het men

Shocking notion here but- society coddles cis men (including gay ones like myself, though I also posit that we endure different social pressures & therefore face different arms of the same problem).
Literally today, I saw a video of a straight cis man, wearing a rainbow tutu saying to a girl and her boyfriend “flash your boobs for pride!” the girl, naturally uncomfortable, says no to which the guy says “so you don’t support gay people?”
The comments for that video were full, and I mean full, of people saying “see- gay men are just as misogynistic as straight ones”. And yet- two seconds of research would show that the guy with the mic in that video is, in fact, a heterosexual man.
In another example, internet piss-storm and misogynistic shitpipe Andrew Tate is everywhere, all the time, mouthing off about women, and he has also had some choice words about gay people and trans people- and people online will debate for HOURS about how men like Andrew Tate who has openly admitted that he “only talks to women if he can fuck them” are gay gay gay.
Unfortunately for the hard of thinking amongst us, the parallel of not wanting to fuck women must mean that gay men hate women right? I also hate glass bottomed lifts and yet thats not because I don’t want to fuck one.

The sad truth is, many straight men and a worrying proportion of gay men have misogynist thinking baked into them by growth in a society that just doesn’t raise men right- this isn’t to exculpate these men from this type of thinking, by the way. Even I, who used to think I was a feminist and a good ally to women, had much thinking and behaviour to unpick and I try to do that work to the best of my abilities. The problem, though, is that society has hard wired into us the idea that straight men are just wandering the world on autopilot, totally out of control of their behaviour. A girl walks past in a revealing dress and gets groped? A dizzying proportion of people will say “I mean why was she wearing that” and not “why is he out in public if he can’t control himself”.
This same logic utterly pervades the gender critical movement, though rather than being woven in like knitting, large and observable, it’s threaded in like needlepoint and only noticeable when you pick at it.
So- what IF a man dresses up as a woman and sneaks into a woman’s space? Well, then he’s using a space he doesn’t have a legal right to, and he’s doing so for nefarious purposes: that man should be punished legally to the full extent the law allows to prevent it- there is a gulf of problematic behaviour between there, and a trans woman popping into a public bathroom to urinate. And what if a trans woman sexually assaults someone? Then she should be punished to the full extent the law allows because- and I know, shocking concepts everywhere today – anyone being a creep to anyone is bad.

Eternal word-twister Helen Staniland was recently asked why a trans woman quietly using a changing room, unseen, undetected even by the people around her would be problematic. Staniland replied something to the effect of “one could also say the same of a woman who was recorded without her consent- if she doesn’t know, what’s the harm”.
One is a person existing in a space they’re entitled to use, to try on clothes which is the purpose the facilities were built for and who doesn’t intend to circumvent anyone’s boundaries or invade anyone’s personal space- one is a crime and an invasion of privacy which carries a custodial sentence- it’s not even the comparison of apples and oranges, it’s the comparison of an apple and a Typhoon FGR4 fighter jet.
Staniland and those like her are hypocrites of the highest order- they accuse transgender people of disgusting acts which quite often they themselves carry out. Staniland is well known for asking people if they are happy to campaign for male born people with a penis to use women’s facilities, and refuses to accept the answer “if they are trans, yes”. But I’m also confused as to why Staniland et al are so keen to stalk changing rooms, verifying strangers genitals as up to their expectations- Staniland even zoomed into the crotch of a counter-protester in Bristol recently and accused them of having an erection. Sorry to break it to the gender critical movement, but some people just have penises which take up space in our trousers and do occasionally show through- but if you think merely possessing a penis is provocative that is very much for you to untangle with several bouts of therapy- not the least because, according to you, the inversion of a penis doesn’t mitigate the threat of it’s existence. Some people see the ownership of a penis as equivalent to the ownership of a gun, but a penis isn’t a weapon unless it’s used that way, the same way a monkey wrench isn’t a weapon unless you club someone around the head with it. It’s not the physicality of owning a penis one needs to worry about, it’s the intent of the owner and to cast all trans people as dangers just because of their genitals is a ridiculous argument.

The very idea that anti trans people see trans people’s mere existence as a transgression against themselves is the reason I’ve become so deeply concerned about the path down which the anti trans groups are wandering. Pushing the idea that it’s as offensive to exist in tandem to someone as it is to nefariously record them without their permission is fallacious- and eagerly swallowed down by gender critical supporters of all calibres because of course that’s what trans people are doing, why they’re transitioning. It’s not because trans people just want to use facilities like you do- they’re nefarious by nature, clearly…
This leads me on, though, to a point I feel the ardent supporters of groups like Get the L out don’t consider: the call is coming from next door right now, but it won’t be long til it’s coming from inside the house.

What if…

`Let us say that gender critical people “win”. Trans women are wholesale BANNED from women’s spaces (how you would even police this is insane; at my own gym, there are many women who I honestly couldn’t tell you are cisgender or not. Genital inspection? A quick DNA test on the door?)
Lets say they do it- NO MORE TRANS WOMEN IN WOMEN’S SPACES! Congrats my lesbian cis-ters, you win.
How long til it’s you? After all, trans women can be straight (aka like men) or be gay or bi. But lesbians always like women… and isn’t it dangerous to have someone who is sexually arrest by women in women’s spaces…? How far away from “I don’t want to share my space with predatory men pretending to be women” is the argument “I don’t want to share my bathroom with a woman who thinks other women are sexy”. Do you think the trans people will be booted out into a magic third space that will cost the taxpayer a fortune, or even into the mens spaces you’re so convinced they belong to, and the movement against progress will just disappear? Or do you think that there won’t suddenly be stats about lesbian and gay sexual assaults used as justification for the same rhetoric against us?
Ah, let me guess! “It doesn’t happen” right?
This is when I’m extra glad it’s Get the L out who did this- you may remember Get the L out from a certain BBC article last year.
Get the L out were surveyed by the BBC, who wrote an article intimating that some lesbians feel pressured into having sex with trans women (pressuring anyone into sex, ever, is wrong- is this controversial news?). Get the L out provided a survey, asked to their own (already transphobic) members, about whether they felt pressured into sex with trans women- which is a bit like asking a pub full of tories whether you think Boris Johnson seems like a decent chap: You know the answer you’re going to get.
But do you know who else was interviewed? A lesbian named Lily Cade- who not only went on, after this article, to write a detailed blog post about how trans people should be lynched and their families gang raped- but who was already notorious herself, our little cisgender lesbian Lily- for sexually assaulting women in bathrooms. Cade’s contribution was removed when it came to light that she was a serial assaulter of other women and that she had written a blog post calling for trans genocide- but the damage was done, the article had already been read en masse by those whose minds were shaped by it.

Far be it from me to use the phrase “strange bedfellows” but it seems to me that if you want to argue against trans inclusion in women’s spaces because you’re scared of women being raped, you might not want to side with a literal serial rapist.

We’re so far past “reasonable concerns”

The overarching problem here is that gender critical thinking, to an outsider, can be made to sound reasonable and moderate- and that’s why the movement presents certain faces as it’s front runners- Joanne Rowling, a children’s book writer who just has very normal reasonable concerns about mens behaviour because of her horrific past with men (note- men, not trans women). But if Rowling is the stone upon which the gender critical movement grows under, it only takes turning that stone over to expose the rot beneath; Rowling has even scribed a new book about being a person who gets hounded online, but never decries any of the hateful people she herself has endorsed. Magdalen Burns was one of the earlier gender critical activists on twitter- Burns is well known for this, mostly because her tweet telling trans people they are “blackface actors” still does the rounds every time her name s invoked to defend gender critical speakers. Or how about another well know gender critical, this one from the LGBT+ community itself, who is someone Rowling has passed warm regards to repeatedly.

Dennis Kavanaugh is a gay man and gender critical supporter. He is also a man who said he “preferred AIDS” to trans people’s existence, because at least AIDS just killed gay people and didn’t convert them. Kavanaugh was kicked from twitter for stating these vitriolic nonsense views but after a campaign was reinstated- Rowling warmly welcomed him back. From his suspension. For giving AIDS a nostalgic glance…
Or there’s Caroline Farrow, who recently said a crossing which was coloured in the trans flag colours almost caused her to run people over- the stark difference of white lines and white, pink and light blue lines must have been shocking to her eyes I’m sure. But Farrow is also known for touting her views about our community- she’s campaigned against gay marriage, spoken out about gay and lesbian adoption, she’s known for using the word f*ggot on twitter but framing it as anything but the slur she means it as.
Farrow was recently comforted by Rowling, saying she felt bullied by the community she has habitually moved against. Rowling sent her hugs.
There is also the very obvious conclusion that Rowling chose the name Robert Galbraith for her pen name with no hint of irony that she was pretending to be a different gender to access the known privileges of men despite not being part of the group, along with Galbraith being the creator of one of the mid-century forms of Conversion Therapy, AKA torture for gay people.
This is the reality of what anti trans people endorse, and much like any sort of MLM or cult there are levels. Nobody starts off as deranged as stating that AIDS is good or that gay people are mentally unwell- again, it starts off as “they’re letting MEN use WOMEN’S spaces”, “they’re forcing us to use chest feeding instead of breast feeding”- that’s the right wing reactionary playbook. Use shocking statements as if they’re fact and build on it, as a spider does a coccoon- before you know it, you’re trapped.
Gender critical thinking is a pathway to radicalisation.

All of this is what these groups- LGB alliance, Get the L out, and so on and so on are either unwittingly or- as I suspect, very wittingly, are pushing: the demonisation of transgender people feeds into a very rational fear of non trans men, to whom accusations and blame stick as successfully as oil in a hot pan. But the lack of nuance, the intentional misstep of ignoring the huge chasm of difference- whether you believe trans people are who they say or not- between a trans woman and a cis man, is the sort of hilariously glib oversight that would be funny if it wasn’t so deeply, deeply dangerous. Whilst the world rages against trans women for existing, cis men can continue their downward march into Andrew Tate’s male supremacy videos, spiking, wilful misrepresentation of consent and more- if you want to deal with those problems, get mad at the offenders.

Mayhaps you still need to be convinced.
Trans women and drag queens are two very different groups. Trans women are trans women, and it’s fair to say that the vast majority of drag queens are cis gay men.
Recently in Leeds there was a protest by quite literal fascist group “Patriotic Alternative” who showed up in laughably small numbers despite Leeds being their founding city, to protest a drag queen reading a story book to children at the library. They were so desperate to protect children that they set off a fire alarm, terrifying children, to do so. Why? Their rationale is that dressing in drag is provocative, sexual and inappropriate and is essentially paedophilic in nature.
Let’s unpack that. A gay man in a dress surrounded by parents and children is somehow being paedophilic by reading a book to children. Why? Is it the dress, the makeup? If so, it’s hardly a progressive feminist standpoint to agree with- do you think makeup and dresses are innately sexual or sexy? Is showing skin? Is dressing up as a female impressionist somehow sexual? I’ve done drag myself and I can assure you it’s not sexy- having a comb stabbing me in the temple, losing feeling in my toes for 4 months because of the heels, abrasions where the bra cut in, being unable to move my face because my eyebrows are glued down and covered with concealer… it’s not sexy in the slightest- it’s fun, it’s escapist and I did it to pay homage to my favourite metal singer- if anything it fits in with the carefree nature of children who don’t associate anything sinister because they simply don’t know about it. There is, as I keep reiterating, a huge difference between a drag queen calling a gay man a tart for having his nipples out in a gay bar, and a drag queen reading children a book. The only people guilty of sexualising are the creeps outside with “stop grooming our kids” written on their signs- and I have to tell you, if you see a drag queen as sexy you may well be closer to the LGBT+ than you think.

But this is more proof- because gender critical people agree with Patriotic Alternative and have indeed arranged their own protests against drag queen story time, stating that drag is parodying womanhood rather than simple gender bending, an act that’s taken place since gender constructs didn’t have a name but were as well known as any other type of socialised behaviour. They’re entitled to that view- but endorsing the slippery slope argument of literal fascists and ignoring the connotations that you’re stepping deftly over the line from “just womanly concerns” into “I hate several letters in the LGBT+” is another reason I’m stupefied that the number of people brazenly admitting they align with these beliefs continues to slowly edge up.

A reporter from a radical feminist group attended the rally against patriotic alternative and condemned both sides as just as bad as each other- despite the LGBT+ side cheering children and parents, reading out supportive messages and, and I can’t reiterate this enough- protesting against literally fascist people. Nothing like “fine people on both sides”ing an argument where one side is gay, lesbian, bi, trans, non binary and every other letter of our family and the other side are white supremacists- by all means feel free to socialise with some of those fine PA supporting men- but remember at the start when I mentioned straight men who cross people’s boundaries…?

This piece is a warning to the people I can’t stand to address directly because I have such a low opinion of them: if you’re LGBT+ and gender critical, you’re gleefully signing your own death warrant. You don’t have to accept and love trans people, but you sure as shit have to respect their existence- not the least because it’s the decent thing to do- because if you don’t you’re paving the path for your own struggles, and if you’re too blind to see it, take a look at your allies left and right. Some prominent “gender critical” thinkers:
Matt Walsh who hates trans people, and thinks women shouldn’t work, and cheerfully calls himself “fascist”
Ben Shapiro who has regularly stated he thinks women are inferior to men
Vladimir Putin who fosters the idea that gay people being murdered in Russia is fine because we’re equivalent to dogs
Jordan Peterson, a man who, when cornered about the comparison of racist and homophobic thinking, realised in real time how wrong he was- and still espouses those views
Joe Rogan
a human cigarette packet who hates everyone who isn’t a straight white man with veins popping out of his forehead

As I said before, strange bedfellows: all men who think women are inferior to men (all of them have either directly or indirectly said as much), all of them who think gay people are disgusting- keep working with them, I’m sure they’re definitely wrong about racism, sexism, having sex with younger women, homophobia and male supremacy- but somehow right about transphobia.

When we’re all walled off, taken away from our lives by the people you stand behind shouting transphobic nonsense, remember that it was people like me, and every trans person you screamed slurs at, who warned you what you were spearheading, and remember that it was me who told you- wake the L up.

Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.

The LGBT+ are not groomers: the people calling us that, though…

By Daviemoo

If you think seeing gay people being gay in public or on TV shows is going to “indoctrinate your children” I cannot take you seriously. And if you think being part of the LGBT+ in one or more ways automatically makes you a groomer that’s quite literally the essence of bigotry.

“Backs against the wall, lads”. I heard that a few times at school after I came out at 15. I always found it funny to be honest with you, not the least because most of the guys I went to school with were ugly as fuck.

Homophobic people always seem to think you’re just barely restraining yourself from trying to sleep with them which is an odd reaction to proximity to someone with a different sexuality than you: but I think it’s broader than that. As you look at the rise and rise of political toss pieces like Donald “he says what he means but let me explain it” Trump or vexatious idiots like Liz Truss as she scrambles for the leadership, or- related to right wing politics even if not necessarily directly, the same pastiched internet losers like Andrew Tate, a man who looks like a 4 year old who has been told to eat his vegetables or he doesn’t get to watch tv, you begin to realise that people who are homophobic genuinely see themselves as so desirable that anyone- men, women, everyone around them, is just barely holding themselves back from sleeping with them. It’s why they’re so dangerous: they actually believe the same disgusting shite that the old James Bond movies pushed.
“If I just harangue, pester, annoy, rile up this woman enough, eventually she’ll stop pretending she doesn’t want to fuck me”. It’s deranged, and being pushed by the mainstream as idiots like “grab them by the pussy” or tit-head Tate speak out on their platforms to angry young men who suddenly find themselves denied the “do what you want and we’ll say it’s just ‘boys will be boys'” nonsense that defended our predecessors. And if you don’t think there’s a causal link between internet nut holders and right wing politics… well:

I can smell the testosterone and brut from here


This rhetoric of “I know what people REALLY think, im just brave enough to say it” also pervades other movements: the anti trans movement in the UK has been lovingly embraced by all tentacles of the insidious Murdoch media empire, who push out transphobic articles- some of which are quite literally false information (Allison Bailey LOST against Stonewall!) – purely to detract from and distract from governmental malfeasance and all the while pushing the idea that ALL women hate trans people, ALL women secretly hate men because ALL men are bad and evil. The irony is, a lot of us pro trans feminist types agree that men are the causal issue- we just dont think trans women are men and understand that you’ll never make societal change to better the behaviour of cis men if you don’t start, y’know… fighting cis men…


One of my favourite moments the other day was when Rosie Duffield, the most tory Labour MP in existence, tweeted the sentence “nobody believes trans people don’t exist” and I called her a liar. A TERF quote tweeted me to say “no matter what she does you’ll call her a liar”… all of 7 tweets later she told me “I don’t believe trans exists”.
Shocker- TERFS not only lie, but cannot follow logic past seven tweets: a TERF came to the anti Nazi rally to “report” on it, and of course her blockbuster article condemned us all for being there- begging the question “do you think we should just let fascists protest unopposed”.

The fash were protesting against “drag queen story hour” because apparently its perverted and sexual that a man in a dress reads a book to kids. We’ve never before in society allowed men in dresses to be near children…

The right- and all TERFS, despite their other wider political views, are right wing- are desperate to level accusations at others that they themselves partake in. The latest insult we in the LGBT+ have to endure and hear constantly is “groomer”. Apparently we’re grooming children because we want schools to teach acceptance. For us, it’s usually because we recall our own school days when people would say stuff like “backs to the wall” or ask me if I liked d*ck up my a**e- at fifteen… and we don’t want other kids to go through that. Not only does it mean that children don’t grow up as I did, fully aware that I liked other boys/men and with absolutely no one to talk to about it and with only negative things ever said about it, but it also means that younger people who don’t know about it and would choose the path of ignorance have that interrupted, and at least understand it before they grow into the monsters who will end up making our lives hell.

But how come the right are happy to push the idea that forcing your “ideology” on people is grooming, and still do it?

Somehow it’s deemed as ok to take your child and get a total stranger to pour water on their head or dunk them in a font because you believe that a magical all seeing power wants you to do that so they prove their devotion, or to slap on a kid size MAGA hat and drag them to a rally where they’ll be told that everyone else is out to take their rights and guns and money. Somehow it’s not a problem when it’s YOUR beliefs, but someone else’s point of view- someone else’s literal existence- comes into the equation and suddenly that’s perverse, there must be some sexual element to it.

Tell me how many open cases of child abuse and sexual assault the catholic church has out against it at the moment, will you…?

I went to an anti nazi rally in my home town this weekend: there were well over a hundred of us, trans, gay, bi, lesbians all united in our white hot hatred of the Patriotic Alternative, or as I like to call them, Gammon MAGA. They dangled banners that called us groomers, paedophiles, said things like “Learn ABCD not LGBT”. I have news for the desperately uneducated incels on the other side of those barriers: Kids will still grow up gay, bi, trans without your little banners. They just won’t figure it out til later, and will leave wreckage in their wake when they do.

When I was younger I knew I was something… gay, bi? I wasn’t sure. And in the process of figuring that out, because nobody could help me thanks to section 28, I hurt people who didn’t deserve it.
If it’s about protecting the kids, how about protecting not only the ones who need help to figure themselves out, but the ones who get caught in the crossfire of people’s self discovery?

It’s never been about protecting children for the right, it’s never been about a balanced view, a “let them learn at age appropriate times” because if it was, we’d be listened to. I don’t want kids learning about sex too soon any more than the idiots on the other side of those barriers do: and I know this is hard to grasp but whilst SEXuality has the word sex in it, sexuality can have very little to do with sex.

Let’s say I decided that I was never going to date another man ever again: Does that mean I’m not gay? Did those warm feelings in my toes go away whenever I see a guy with a nice chest? Do I not blush when a good looking guy winks at me?
Hell no. Sexuality isn’t about where you finish, even if that’s a part of it: it’s about feelings. I knew I was gay at 4! Didn’t know what the hell sex was, just knew that a guy I went to school with was pretty to me the way the other boys said girls were to them. Teaching children that thats a possibility isn’t grooming: it’s fact. And I mean, facts over feelings, right…?

The fact is that LGBT+ people are called groomers just for existing and talking about our life and experience, and I regularly list the ways heteronormative people behave around others that would be absolutely torn to SHREDS if an LGBT+ person did it. It’s why I laugh when I see people say we have equal rights… try being terrified to show affection to your partner in public cos you might get murdered and then shout EQUALITY at me again.

But this brings me on the long cycling road back to the nature of this supposed grooming we’re doing. If we’re FORCING our IDEOLOGY on KIDS with our FLAGS and our PRONOUNS and you want all of that erased, it may be worthwhile examining your own societal behaviours…

Hope you’re not forcing kids to wear your flag whether they want to or not…

And it would of course be terribly hypocritical to force children to be around your political heroes, indoctrinating them into your beliefs…

And it always bears repeating that indoctrinating children into your religion, even when that religion is rife with covered up child abuse claims would definitely, surely, go under the definition of grooming…

The root of the issue is as simple as, none of this is considered grooming because it’s considered “normal”: but seen through a critical lens it takes on an uneasy tilt. Divergence from sexuality that is purely straight is also normal but it seems that cis het people grow up in a bubble, constructed purely of the idea that not being “like you” means you’re wrong and therefore bad.
Wouldn’t it also be ironic if, for example, virulently right wing anti LGBT+ figures were found to be quite literally grooming? Hope you keep this anti groomer energy for them…

Let’s be specific on sexuality: LGBT+ people are often uneasy around children specifically because we’ve had disgusting accusations levelled at us purely on account of our gender or sexuality. And it’s really, really heinous to sexualise children or push your sexuality on children… surely cis het people don’t ever do that… right?

LGBT+ people’s existence isn’t grooming, and if pushing the idea of accepting us instead of being a hateful piece of shit is controversial then we have bigger problems than we’re willing to discuss.

The right are hypocrites.
The left, and especially those of us on the left in the LGBT+ community who talk about steering children’s thought patterns and education towards not just grudging tolerance but acceptance, are open about our reasoning: because we don’t want to repeat the mistakes and the bigotry of the past. Children must be shaped early on to ensure their acceptance of others, especially in a world that shoves bigotry and flawed behaviour into us from every aspect- and untangling that is not easy. I’d rather save “normative” children the stress of untangling learned bigotry when they grow old enough to understand its wrong, along with the non “normative” children not having to suffer at their hand.
Call it grooming if you want- I call it learned decency.

The LGBT+ progress pride flag represents nothing of sex to me: it’s a symbol of a community who cares about those both within and without it. I feel sorry for people twisted by hatred for us, because what a sad little life it must be to be so deeply concerned with whether someone was born in their gender or falls in love with someone of the same gender… if that’s your biggest problem, you are truly blessed.
Now look at the flags of hate preachers like the PA and tell me you see tolerance and love in their ranks, or do you see people too stupid or narrow minded to accept that sometimes people are born different, and that’s ok.

As to wrapping your children in your paraphernalia, escorting them to Trump rallies or telling them how you weren’t a sissy growing up to stop the damn crying and to turn into another maladjusted adult who can’t manage their emotions so they take it out on everyone else, you might not call that grooming but I sure do: I won’t apologise for hoping and trying to help your children turn out less shitty than you.

The War of Friendly Fire – or ‘why would I blame a trans woman for the crimes of cis men’?

By Daviemoo

As I grew up, I assumed that the world would only continue its steady plod onwards re: progress, inclusion and justice. But it hasn’t: it’s been stalled- why? by an ageing generation who want permission to be awful under the guise of free speech, who want to blame the next generation for ruining the world they fostered and worse still- we’re letting them. Powerful men sit in mountain-high towers waving gold wrapped fingers to strike down rights they enjoy themselves- and all the time, as these men continue their oligarchical stranglehold on society, we’re all too busy biting each other’s backs to fight the real enemies.

It’s such a strange time to be alive. A virus that, in 2020, terrorised the globe now isn’t even a consideration: people cough and splutter openly in public (a woman just coughed near me in the cafe I’m in and my immediate thought was “great”) without masks or without even a hint of contrition. Minorities like disabled people, people of colour or LGBT+ people and all those who exist in-between those minorities are still fighting the same harmful battles we’ve been struggling against for generations, as ministers like Kemi Badenoch swell the ranks of a government whose race report was absolutely condemned by experts on racial disparity; and we’re called misogynists because we think trans people deserve to live in peace, because apparently misogyny is when you don’t hate trans people. Poor people line the streets to vote rich people into power, who spend their terms consolidating their wealth to unfathomable heights whilst telling poor people they just need to work harder. And all the time, everyone’s ire is aimed at each other, at cross purpose, never at those in charge.

At times it’s hard to picture better, but my good friend Dr Maria Norris said just that to me recently: it starts with the imagining of better. The world seems to be, less slipping and more lurching to the right politically, and the essence of right wing politics is the self. People are only invested in themselves and their own happiness- but this isn’t the fault of the individual. It’s right, fair even that people who are disadvantaged are only interested in themselves- their very survival. This is the essence of the trouble we’re in. So many people are economically deprived, two paycheques away from poverty in most cases, that we don’t have the mental space to imagine better for ourselves. How can we care that other people suffer more, when we suffer so ourselves? But care we must, or this cycle spins again.
The question I ask myself many times a day is- is this an accident? Are those in charge just so serially inept that they cannot come up with broad solutions to this? Of course not. There are ways, means to go about fixing these problems. But nobody with a scintilla of power will lever attempt it for reasons I understand but revile- but that is an article for another day: let’s stick with the material: the fact that society is fractured in a million ways.

The irony is how easy it is to point out the hypocrisy.
Lets take someone that I was always warm towards until recently as a perfect example of societal hypocrisy, an unexpected source no doubt: Bette Midler.

Recently in the US, the Supreme Court overturned Roe Vs. Wade which has upended the bodily autonomy and therefore safety and equality of roughly 50% of US citizens. The outcry was heard around the world and this terrible travesty has shaken any decent person’s faith in the idea that choice is sacrosanct when it comes to forcing a person to carry an unwanted child to term, and has even legitimised death from disturbingly common conditions like ectopic pregnancy as “god’s will”.
Midler was on fire, sharing stories about how Donald Trump’s wife allegedly sought an abortion previously, pointing out the logical fallacies around preserving life at the expense of those whose lives are fed to the baby making business, making memes that both twisted your guts and resonated in their truth.

Then Midler tweeted this:

Bette Midler on twitter

There was immediate shock: anybody who knows the battle for trans equality knows those talking points. Trans people are often accused of erasing women, erasing the word woman, taking women’s rights away, appropriating women’s battles… so, was Bette Midler revealing transphobia writ large to the world?

As it turns out, no. Midler has since clarified that she was clumsily talking about the intersectional battle all women face. Let’s just break the talking points down and debunk them. The word woman is not being erased at all, there are simply alternatives on offer for medical journals to allow more inclusivity to trans people- women can still call themselves women, trans women call themselves trans women, and chest feeding and breast feeding are interchangeable as you see fit- nobody is forcing anyone to use gender inclusive language for themselves but when referencing society- if you want to fight a battle for people, consider that not acknowledging a significant part of those affected doesn’t exactly engender the fight in it’s totality. Trans men are capable of having children and will of course fight for abortion rights, but not acknowledging that they face that oppression is unfair on them and in tandem, lessens the true horror of just how many people this affects.

As for “people with vaginas”- are women not people who have vaginas or did I miss something? That tweet seemed to blame gender inclusive language for the removal of womens rights. but is it gender inclusive language that stripped back access to abortion or was it a bunch of rich right wing people?
The answer is obvious- and as I cover further down, blaming people whose very happiness and existence relies on bodily autonomy being a basic right for the rolling back of bodily autonomy is utterly wrong.

But Midler also tweeted this:

Another minority who shouldn’t be there in Midler’s very famous crosshairs.

Muslim people had nothing to do with this decision: not a single person who made the decision is muslim. But Midler tweeted this image, swivelling the cannon to face muslim people again, America’s favourite scapegoat. Amazing how many devisions in America made by Christians end up being blamed on muslims.

Please bear in mind as I write this some very simple facts: I do not hate religious people- if religion brings you comfort, happiness, security, answers then I wish you that joy in totality. But I hate religion. All religion. I don’t need a god, a book, a set of yellowed scriptures to tell me murder is wrong, women should be equal to men and that I’m not a disgusting degenerate because I think other men are attractive. If the only thing stopping you from shooting someone is fear of punishment then you’re scum. What’s stopping me from doing it? It’s wrong.
I’d love the same sort of respect and response from religious people. Your religion says I’m disgusting and immoral for being gay? Well I’m sure it also says only god can judge me so button your mouth and let god tell me when I die, but until then I pay the same tax you do, I have the same bad hair days you do and I struggle to get out of bed some days just like you do. Let god tell me why I’m wrong for existing in this skin and just let me be.

Back to the problem at hand.
Transgender people are a tiny part of the population. They had no say about the overturning of Roe V Wade, though trans people who do support the overturn are, frankly- stupid.
The very essence of trans existence revolves around bodily autonomy being a base sacrosanct right. If cis women can’t decide they are not ready physically, emotionally, monetarily for a child, why would trans people be able to decide to undergo hormone therapy or surgery? The battles are linked: anyone who separates the two lacks the zoom-out vision required to understand intersectional existential battles.
Muslim people are also not to blame: Midler tweeted a jibe at six very much christian people who, in their christian conviction, made the christian decision to christianly remove the right to abortion for the US. What do muslim people have to do with it: under the Taliban women are allowed to seek abortion so let’s congratulate the US Supreme Court for giving women less reproductive choice than the literal Taliban.

Aiming our ire at the wrong place is a life time mistake: those foreigners who come here and steal our jobs and endanger our families are fleeing the wars our governments paid into for oil or to reap economic benefit. They, like us, are just people seeking the best for their families and themselves, and the best doesn’t exist in a country ravaged by inequality.
Gay people aren’t forcing our agenda down your throat, you’re just bothered you have to acknowledge we exist: the problem is yours. If you get angry because a woman kisses another woman in a children’s movie then you’re insane: Throwing accusations of sexualisation at two women kissing belies the fact that YOU think it’s sexual. Children see two adults kiss. If it confuses them, it’s as simple as “sometimes ladies like other ladies”. Did society end or are you just being histrionic over nothing…?

When it comes to coronavirus, people will still flatly deny the virus was ever a problem, never mind that it is now. They’ll accuse scientists and doctors of being on the payroll of a government who openly scorned and reviled them through the whole pandemic, then turn around and critique the government too, heedless of the fact that we should all be united together in protection and against a government who used our ever higher corpse piles as tinder to alight the economy- and not even well!
If we had let coronavirus persist unabated the death toll would easily have exceeded a million in the UK alone, not just from coronavirus itself but from hospitals crawling with patients, unable to provide care for anything.
Zoom out, people.
Were you unhappy you had to sit indoors for a year? If we’d all done what we needed to, if we’d sacrificed for each other and listened to people who made their entire raison d’être fighting back against these once in a lifetime events we wouldn’t have had to play the Hokey Cokey with lockdowns. But did we? Or were we too busy concocting conspiracy theories about Wuhan labs, about spike proteins and 5G chips and the like? And why? Occams razor says the simplest answer is most often right. So was Bill Gates putting gay semen into vaccines to control your brain into accepting a new world order helmed by Jewish trans women- or did a virus start infecting humans and make a lot of people very sick, a lot of people die and did we need to try our best to prevent that from spreading?

Humanity is so angry at itself- why? Don’t we all have to exist together? Why would I be angry at someone who wears a face veil or a face mask – it doesn’t affect me? I don’t care what someone else does with their body as long as it doesn’t endanger me!
Coronavirus was and is such a problem because in this economy even a couple of weeks off work would decimate my finances- I could lose my home. But I’m a snowflake for popping on a thin bit of cotton occasionally, not taking my sickness like a MAN.
I once had garden variety flu and I wet myself in bed because I was too physically weak to get to the bathroom so even if coronavirus was “just the flu” it’s a flu I could certainly do without thanks.

And as for the other existential battles, isn’t it weird that transphobic people will scream at these “male impostors” IE trans people whilst almost completely ignoring the very real actual 100% garden variety cis men who are actively working against women’s rights?
If you’re more bothered about being able to call yourself a mother, or a trans person having a quick pee next to you in a cubicle in a gym toilet than you are about rich groups of men chortling into expensive whisky as they sign paper that means your healthcare options are limited, may I glibly suggest that your privilege overextends your awareness.

I don’t think we can win battles against these groups who work so hard against us until we stop aiming our ire at each other.

I’m not a misogynist because I want trans people to be able to live how they want to- and if you think I am then that’s your very different definition of misogyny that you’re free to apply to my very unconcerned self. I’m not a woke snowflake because I choose to listen to people of colour who tell me their experiences of both casual and out and out galling racism, of how tiring it is to still be having the same discussions about racial disparity, or because I plop a face mask on both because coronavirus floored me and because if I have it I’d hate to accidentally kill someone I share a crowded coffee shop with- or even mildly inconvenience them by making them unwell if I could avoid that…

If your ethos is “if it doesn’t affect me, I don’t care” then how very sad for you. You can’t expect the world to do better by you if you won’t do better by other people. And if you don’t expect the world to do better by you and you’re comfortable both being miserable and pushing that misery just know that you and those like you are the axis of the problem, the enablers of those faceless rich men who laugh at their continued control of the miserable status quo, the men who get away time and again, generation on generation with betrayal of the masses because the masses have decided it’s each other’s fault and not the very purveyors of our misery.

Elliot Page, in his coming out speech a few years ago, said something I say to myself at least once a day: “The world would be a much better place if we could all stop being so horrible to each other for five minutes”. So start your five minutes now, lets all start our five minutes collectively and stop blaming the minorities and the other, and start blaming the same people who have been in charge for hundreds, almost thousands of years. Lets blame the decision makers who have pushed us, always pushed us, down the path of division. If we have to hate- lets hate the right people. And if we have to fight- let’s stop fighting each other and start fighting the people handing out the weapons.

Bigots are the real perverts

By Daviemoo

I am so tired.
I’m 34, and when I was 15 that seemed like a huge age- more than double what I was then. Light years away…
I picked 15 because that was the age I came out. To my family and friends, at school. I was so lucky; the bullying that had plagued me because I was effeminate and shy stopped. I found confidence, I could stop lying about things and hiding. But so began a journey that is wearing me down- like the head of a hip bone in the joint I was strong in my youth but there are some arguments I’m honestly so tired of, and I want to set those out here, on pride month, so people who aren’t part of this community or who are and feel differently can see my perspective.

“Why do you need to make it your whole personality” is one of the most headache inducing sentences I can hear.
Do you think I do it on purpose? It’s on my mind a lot. And I urge you to think consciously about how often you reference the people you like, the people you love, sex, sexuality…
But let’s look at some honest to god things that I’ve seen in the last month.

In a queue in Tescos a guy squeezed his girlfriends arse, right in front of me, brazenly. Do I need to be party to that? Is that not over-sexual and a bit grim when there could be impressionable kids around? Or is is ok because it’s ‘natural’ because boys will be boys or because straight is the ‘right’ way to be…
Less than 2 weeks later I went for a walk down by Leeds river and saw a guy literally rubbing his girlfriend’s buttHOLE through her lycra running pants. Sat by the river. In front of anyone who walked past. THAT is gross- and yet so normalised that apparently my response of looking like someone had shot me with a crossbow was inappropriate, not the whole guy rubbing his girlfriend’s bum-hole publicly thing…?!
I’ve seen so many straight couples holding hands, kissing, cuddling, I saw a guy pick his girlfriend up and carry her down the street- at the gym a girl sat behind her boyfriend and cuddled him as he did weighted rows. All normal, right? All acceptable and totally cool…

I was in Starbucks the other week and heard a lengthy conversation from an extremely loud guy talking about how he plans to ask his girlfriend to move in in September. It was cute- but Imagine for a moment if that was a nasty gay or lesbian or bi doing it. Filthily shoving their sexuality down my throat. It’s totally different in no way whatsoever and I for one am sick of it.

The inclusion trope is so funny as well. “You cant turn a TV show on now without a trans or bi character”. Oh no! One to two characters who aren’t a carbon copy of little you?! Is this erasure? We can watch 3 hour long movies about blue aliens that use their tail fibres to communicate with their planet, but god forbid one of those blue aliens goes home to a woman instead, that’s degenerate, unrealistic!

The double standard isn’t even the most exhausting part, it’s bigoted people’s absolute transparent desperation to remove the nuance of anyone and reduce them down to sex sex sex… trans people only transition for sexual reasons, gay men are filthy disease ridden sluts and on and on and on go the stupid tropes – if anything’s being forced down anyone’s throats it’s your unbidden opinions of us! I don’t care if my sexuality disturbs or bothers you, it’s possible anything from your chunky jewellery and unflattering shoes to your miserable hatchet face disturbs me and yet I can and do keep it to myself.
I’m tired of us being called the thought police. I don’t care if you’re a bigoty piece of shit- just keep it to yourself. If me being gay, being gay publicly, kissing a man, being effeminate bothers you- grow up. Your discomfort isn’t my problem any more than mine is yours, but I can’t help being gay and you sure as shit can help being a bigoted piece of shit. Look away! Go on your phone, imagine something, get a hobby- just leave us alone! The reason I’m worried about you saying shit to me is because violence is usually sure to follow.
And let’s be honest, it’s not just about SAYING it, is it? I was once teaching two girls the dance to Bad Romance in the bar I frequented when a guy came storming up to me, stuck his chest on mine, stared me right in the eyes and said “ERE…are you a fucking FAGGOT”.
I panicked, but I figured I’d rather get punched out for being honest than lying so I said yes.
He shook his head confusedly and walked away- I dont get it either. But the point is, I wasn’t doing a gay act, I wasn’t pleasuring a man, I was doing a fucking dance and that’s STILL too much for you people, still too provocative. How dare I… know a dance to a very popular song? People like you won’t be happy til every man has a “mum” tattoo on his bicep, anger issues and a pending restraining order from an ex girlfriend.

We are MORE than our sex, sexuality, gender – but we’re never allowed to be by you people. Even if I never told people I’m gay they’d know, and even if I was achingly private about it people would still ask. It’s never a case of “you wear it on your sleeve”, it’s a case of your coat is torn off by nosy strangers who expose you regardless of whether you want to be open or not.

Rebel Wilson was recently outed by a newspaper- staffed by gay people who made the decision to completely shatter someone else’s privacy! Wilson hadn’t spoken out about it but suddenly it was in the public’s interest to know that she is dating a woman… why? If homosexuality is so sinful and wrong and we should stop shoving it down your throats, why is it that we can’t just live in peace without neon headlines buzzing our names and announcing “she likes WOMEN!”

It’s because, to you, we’re the car crash you can’t turn away from. Straight bigots love to point and whisper behind their hands about us, gossip about us, ask each other who does the fucking and who does the sucking but the second we step forward to say “yes, it’s true. I like men” suddenly we’re the perverts.

If you can’t look at a progress or a pride flag without thinking about sex and orgasms, about sweaty bodies it’s not because that’s what that flag, or this community, or we as individuals represent- it’s because you are literally a pervert. You sexualise a community who comes together because of our feelings, because of who we are. And of course sex comes into sexuality. But it’s so funny to hear people whinge endlessly about pride. Overly sexual pride. Gee guys and gals, it seems like having a big party in the street is the least we can do after our predecessors being sawn in half from the genitals to the neck because we’re gay, or being burnt at the stake, or gassed, shot, hate crimed, forced to bury who we are because you people are so reductive you can’t for one second accept that we are not human cookies, churned out in a factory somewhere all from the same mould, same taste, same look and any divergence is a weakness.

I would be a gay man even if I never touched another man in my entire life- it’s about my core identity- it’s about the fact that when I look at a handsome man I can feel my pupils dilate a bit. It’s about imagining having a conversation with him and seeing if his teeth are nice, about finding out we both like to write, about that electric moment his hand brushes mine and we look into each other’s eyes. Its about when we’ve been dating for 8 months and he casually asks if he can keep some things in my drawer. About the morning after a huge fight when I wake up to 6 texts and we cry then laugh together. To take from real life, it’s about loving a man who passed away and being devastated that I’ll never get the chance to put my arms around him again and tell him I forgive him for the way he left me, about how frustrated I am that his ashes are sat in his homophobic father’s house and how every so often I get the crazy urge to go to his old haunt and steal them back and spread them where I know he was happy.

These are the real lives, the genuine things you overlook every time you roll your eyes and sigh about the nasty inclusive flag.
Every time you look at that flag you should see the bodies of people who died rather than face the endless suspicion, persecution, violence you put them through- because when you reduce us to nothing but fuck puppies you take away our humanity. I’ve seen more humanity in one random member of my community, one transgender person who spends their time counselling younger fellows or one lesbian spending her weekends working for a charity than I ever have in a thousand red faced, yelling homophobes whose lives are empty because they cut out a huge group of people just for standing under a rainbow.

Knives at Dawn: The Attack on the ECHR

By Daviemoo

Following the public emasculation of the much reviled “Rwanda plan”, a very neutral name for a plan to ship refugees thousands of miles away, the right wing and its dogs of war have immediately mounted an attack on the ECHR, the European Convention on Human Rights. The very fact that its name contains EUROPE seems to intrinsically link this organisation with the EU and has therefore drawn the well worn ire of brexiteers who cannot hear the word Europe without brimming with detestation. But what IS the ECHR, why was it formed and what is its purpose… and why is this attack from the right deeply troubling?

Origin

At the end of World War Two the world was reeling from endless atrocities, both well publicised and kept away from the mainstream for various reasons and Winston Churchill, along with several other states, realised that there must be an overarching accountability for human rights protections that extends beyond states. Though Churchill is rightly a controversial figure now, this need to create a council to protect human rights at a Europe-wide level was a master stroke in accountability for the protection of individual rights and, indeed, group rights. Thus was born the ‘Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’.

Since 1949, a scant few years after the end of the war, the ECHR has overseen judicial decisions to ensure that human beings in countries under its membership- not citizens, simply persons within these countries- are treated with dignity, humanity and that their individual rights are respected.

The ECHR has overseen many different fundamental rights, listed on its’ own site, but shortlisted here:

  • the right to life (Article 2)
  • freedom from torture (Article 3)
  • freedom from slavery (Article 4)
  • the right to liberty (Article 5)
  • the right to a fair trial (Article 6)
  • the right not to be punished for something that wasn’t against the law at the time (Article 7)
  • the right to respect for family and private life (Article 8)
  • freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 9)
  • freedom of expression (Article 10)
  • freedom of assembly (Article 11)
  • the right to marry and start a family (Article 12)
  • the right not to be discriminated against in respect of these rights (Article 14)
  • the right to protection of property (Protocol 1, Article 1)
  • the right to education (Protocol 1, Article 2)
  • the right to participate in free elections (Protocol 1, Article 3)
  • the abolition of the death penalty (Protocol 13)

As you can see from the list, the ECHR is not simply extant to meddle in country affairs; it exists to add a veil of accountability overarching that of government: something which, in normal times, the law does too- but we are not in normal times.

The prime minister himself has broken the law and, but for a £50 fine, escaped punishment. The government as an entity seeks to undermine the NI Protocol which could destabilise the uneasy peace in Ireland and has already led to huge issues across the length and breadth of the UK.
The reason this is so concerning? The law of the land won’t hold the conservatives back from their degradation- but the ECHR just has…

The “Rwanda Plan

The plan to ship refugees off to Rwanda is sick, jingoistic and appeals only to those people who think that genuflecting the Union Jack is the essence of patriotic behaviour, rather than trying to improve the land on which it’s flying. Claims from the likes of Priti Patel that it will deal with traffickers are laughable: those desperate to flee to the UK are not going to be put off by threats of further deportation at tax payers expense- they are regularly fleeing war zones, atrocities, mass murder, truly authoritarian governments, rape, war…

Patel has shown herself to be reductive and appeal to the likes of the above before (we’ve all seen that interview where she defends the death penalty even for innocent people)- but I refuse to believe she does not understand how ridiculous a policy like this is. If you want to stop people crossing the channel unsafely: make safe passage.
Were it possible for refugees to apply for asylum from outside the UK, were it possible for them to travel here safely and be met safely to be processed, were the processing times quicker, the process more humane- this would completely depower traffickers at source. They rely on fear and lack of option. Offer options. Unfortunately, “make it easier” doesn’t read well with those who would read the Daily Mail or the Express with beady eye. They fear a tsunami of people suddenly deciding they don’t like where they are who would flood to the UK’s “easy” immigration system. It wouldn’t happen. Those desperate to flee would continue to flee, they just wouldn’t die on dinghies at sea any more.
But this is the essence of why Patel and her slowly marching army of gormless nationalists are so heinous- and why the “Rwanda plan” is so ineffectual. She knows this. And she does it anyway.

Additionally, as we spiral further into runaway cost of living the indescribable cost of the Rwanda plan boggles the mind. The UK taxpayer is footing the bill for an ineffective, inhumane and racist policy – and a worrying portion of the UK taxpayer wants it.
To those who believe this policy is in any way useful may I remind you that immigration is a complex topic that takes years to understand and glancing through the pages of 3 newspapers that are written simply enough for fourteen year olds to be adept in their verbiage may not actually give you the nuance and expertise you think.

Colin Yeo speaks eloquently on immigration regularly and has pointed out the ugliness of the UK’s immigration system including the fact that it is, in essence, designed to off-put people from staying in the UK, even with legitimate interests like work or family- so if the system works against the so called “legal” migrants, the people we want to attract to the UK like doctors and nurses, like those who will do the menial jobs so many here believe they’re above, imagine how poorly it treats those who we supposedly don’t want to come here.

The reason the Rwanda plan is so heinous is that at its core it carries the strong reminiscence of cattle trucks; packing up the meat to send it to the factory, knowing the whole time what its’ fate is and doing it anyway. Rwanda has faced criticism for its poor human rights record: Patel didn’t even bother to rebuke this but other tory ministers described Rwanda as a country that respects human rights.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people living in Rwanda face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents…No special legislative protections are afforded to LGBT citizens, and same-sex marriages are not recognized by the state, as the Constitution of Rwanda provides that “only civil monogamous marriage between a man and a woman is recognized”. LGBT Rwandans have reported being harassed, blackmailed, and even arrested by the police under various laws dealing with public order and morality.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Rwanda

Brave Rwandans are working to overturn the attitude towards LGBT+ people in Rwanda but this, as we know, takes time and can turn on a dime- since author JK Rowling began her descent into anti trans rhetoric we have seen a huge and disturbing increase in anti LGBT+ hate crime in the UK, not wholly the fault of Rowling but, many consider, as a byproduct of her huge platform normalising hatred against those from the group.

The real plan?

One suspects that the government always knew that the ECHR would intervene in the deportation of these poor souls to Rwanda, and that they hoped for these events so they could mount an effective case for pulling the UK out of the ECHR. They haven’t been deterred from their assault on our human liberties so far, or that of those who come from abroad- but this government are determined to lessen the scrutiny they face and leaving the ECHR would do just this. In conjunction with Dominic Raab’s quest to water down the Human Rights Act to his own liking, it takes a few steps back to see an overarching picture of a government, fervent in its desire to leave the EU to avoid the scrutiny of Brussels, who has placed a blanket of silence on its own citizens ignoring poll after woeful poll about the prime minister’s standing, who have effectively strangled the right to protest and now who wish to leap straight for the throat of our own home grown human rights (protest, voting and voter ID), and those protected by the ECHR. That in conjunction with privatising channel 4 for the crime of speaking critically of them shows a worrying pattern of desperation to avoid oversight in any form.

I frequently find myself rolling my eyes at the endless comparisons to Nazi rhetoric bandied about by others who are deeply entrenched in political discourse, but once you do move back from the rapid heartbeat pulse of daily drudgery pushed by the conservatives through the media- but one cannot underestimate the simple fact that regular citizens under regimes past must have been raising increasing alarms as the swirling and nebulous tendrils of authoritarianism descended through the streets, taking their voices and binding their hands. It is far too easy to wonder as we look around right now, what the endgame for the conservatives is- whether they simply wish to rule on high, pockets fat with tax money from a pliant farmyard of poor folk beneath who cannot speak for fear of reprisals.

Remember this: you are not the government fat cats shirking laws with no recompense. You are not the prime minister dodging from crisis to crisis and refusing to step down out of vapidity or stupidity or some confection of both. Those refugees, strapped to boards and placed, terrified, on an airplane to be sent thousands of miles are you, and there, but for the grace of God and the ever evanescing morality of the tory party, goes you.

Why I don’t believe in heterosexual marriage- but bravely back it anyway

By Daviemoo

I get that people are comfortable with their sexuality and feel the need to express it. I just feel like it’s being forced on me these days. Every time I put on the TV, every time I read a magazine or a book, there it is- the straight agenda. Men kissing women openly? I worry for our kids as we see the rise of this supposedly “woke” acceptance of straight people everywhere.

Let me preface this by saying, I’m not heterophobic- I believe straight people should be allowed to live in peace and with dignity. I’m just not comfortable with how open a lot of them are about their lifestyle.
Whether you chose to be straight, or you were born that way- it doesn’t really matter, you’re allowed to be and the world is more accepting of you now than it’s ever been – people almost never get killed just for being straight any more. But every day when I see perfume adverts of barely clothed straight couples gyrating on each other, or I’m forced to see another obviously straight-appeasing character indulge in a romance storyline on a tv show I’m trying to enjoy, I just have to ask myself how far this is going to go? Are we going to keep exposing our children to the sexual iniquities of the straight people out there in the name of supposed “inclusivity”?

I know this makes me sound bigoted but really hear me out. What if some poor, innocent gay child is minding their own business and one of their classmates decides to come out as straight and start talking about their lifestyle choice, and that poor impressionable homosexual is convinced that they might be too? When does it end? There should be limits on acceptable talk in front of children when it comes to heterosexuality- for their safety. I don’t want some poor confused kid going through hell trying to work out who they are, or pretending to be straight just to fit in when it seems these days it’s fashionable to call yourself a hetero and start parading around touching your girlfriend or boyfriend up in public. It’s deeply concerning to me.

Again I just want to say, I have no problem with heterosexuals! Some of my best friends are straight and I’m happy for them- but they also know how to act appropriately in public- they don’t go parading around kissing members of the opposite sex for fun, they don’t talk about their dates or their “marriages” that they’re suddenly allowed to have. I’m glad they want to say their relationships are as important as my own, I think they are well within their rights to do it. All I ask, and I’m sure this isn’t unreasonable, is that straight people just learn a little decorum. I do not need to hear your disgusting insinuations about your heterosexual bedroom activities, or worse as if it’s nice and normal to talk about it with silly phrases like “we’re trying for a baby!” because what I hear when you say that is that you’re having unprotected sex with each other- is that something you really want to broadcast, that you’re having unprotected sex?
Some heterosexuals just have no idea how to behave too. I was buying some things to cook the other day and a straight man squeezed a woman’s bottom in front of me! In public! In a store! It seemed performative, I don’t know how they had the nerve to do something so disgusting right in front of my face.

Ultimately, the Queen RuPaul’s bible does condemn heterosexuality in all it’s forms and I do believe it’s only fair to hate the sin but love the sinner- when people die, god will sort them all out and heterosexuals who choose to engage their lifestyle choices will pay recompense for it- that’s just what the bible says and I don’t feel I should have to apologise for that- it’s worthy of respect in a democratic society, obviously- and clearly my religion, my personal beliefs should impact on other peoples ability to live their lives because their activities make me personally uncomfortable, and we all know that this is the yardstick which all society should be formed upon.

Some people will call me woke but I do believe in straight marriage even if I dont agree with it per-se- I think hetero weddings are a beautiful idea (even if so many of them end in divorce because I think we know straight people, deep down, aren’t really “marriage material”) but if they want to do it, they should absolutely be allowed to- just as long as they keep it to themselves.

I really hope my straight friends understand what I mean when I say this- I don’t think your lives are worth less than mine, it’s just that being able to procreate is definitely something we should factor into someones’ worth as a human, because arbitrary processes like ovulation, sperm creation and being able to do missionary are really vital aspects of humanity and not silly irrelevancies like kindness, the willing to help others and any of that other nonsense. Remember, no matter who you choose to sleep with I will always think you’re alright: ultimately this is an issue of cultural appropriateness and I think once this fervour for “straightness” has died down and people realise they don’t need to play act we might see a calming down of the heterosexual agenda. Until then, be you- just please keep it appropriate in front of the children. I believe you’re more than your sexuality- I just believe it’s not really age acceptable to be cavorting around in front of the impressionable with something that’s a little too “adult” in nature.

I hope people read this and understand this is the sort of unmitigated hogwash LGBTQIA people have had to read about ourselves for literally our entire lives and I hope this is funny- but re-read it and imagine that it’s sincerely written about you by someone who actually believes it. Hard as it may be to believe this is the sort of unfiltered shitpipery that we deal with on the daily. Only you guys can sort this out- maybe it’s time to try doing that.

Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.

Our lives are not ideologies: your violent hatred is.

By Daviemoo

The UK faces multiple crises: people are calling radio stations explaining that they cannot afford food nor the energy to heat it. Coronavirus has hospitalised more people today than in January 2021. Our government had multiple illegal gatherings and our leader lied bold faced to the gathered parliament about it. And yet the press seethes with questions about women and penises. In America, the “don’t say gay” bill has passed, a ludicrous legislation that helps nobody but immiserates some, and recently a right wing pundit suggested that doctors who provide gender affirming healthcare should be killed. These are dark times indeed to be LGBT+

Nothing stokes my rancour so quickly as to see who I am described as an ideology. There is no such thing as the “gay lifestyle”, nor “trans trend”: we have existed since the human race began in our varied forms and every culture. Sometimes we were accepted, sometimes we were not but the fact of our existence has never changed.

An ideology is a set of beliefs or ideals brought together by a collective: capitalism is an ideology. Communism is an ideology. Religion is arguably an ideology.

The lives of your fellow rainbow humans are not an ideology. Our long and tiring discourse over acceptance is no attempt to recruit unwitting heterosexual or cisgender people to our ranks. We exist: we are, at our core, a collective who banded together because we faced discrimination historically and still do now.

Many people defend the seclusion of our community from society at large without once realising that the sexualisation, the insinuation of perversion always comes from without, not within: the “don’t say gay” bill had an amendment removed which would have explicitly forbidden discussion of sex or sexual matters: this amendment was voted down. Which means that HETEROSEXUAL acts can be discussed with children. In my eyes this is deeply disturbing. No child should be exposed to discussions of sex until ready: and it is here that the majority of the world itself still has learning to do.

Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

Sexuality and gender identity are not sex. They are not sexual. They are objective terms. If you can tell a child you have a wife, you can tell them you have a husband. If you can tell a child you think a woman is pretty you, you can tell them you think a man is handsome. Gender identity is deeply personal, to the point that my own gender identity as a cis man is different of that of another cis man: every single person has their own individual construction of their gender or lack thereof, and it is theirs to own and claim.

Terms like autogynephile were coined to insinuate that trans people are trans for sexual reasons and not simply that they were born into trans bodies and must reconcile that however they see fit.

We talk about spaces and inclusion, and there is a particular lack of nuance in the gender critical discussion around spaces that is endlessly frustrating: you are not “keeping” spaces single sex: spaces have been trans inclusive for well over 30 years, so to now MAKE a space single sex this necessitates trans exclusion, and exclusion is wrong.

Today I had a lengthy discussion with a gender critical account on twitter- they claimed to be a woman but I do not know as their account was anonymous, and I tried to reconcile gender critical ideology even against itself and came up lacking.

According to this account they “have trans friends” they’re fine with but are not fine with “males in their spaces” and “can tell when someone is male even if they don’t say it”.

Sometimes I admit I’ve found myself leaping to trans people’s defence so quickly, I haven’t weighed my words appropriately so I decided to do so this time. Let’s take this argument at face value despite the facile nature. What if we did ban all trans people from the spaces they currently use? How many murdered, beaten, assaulted transgender bodies would it take before gender critical people understood that trans people are at threat as well. And in fact, would they? Though many deny it there is a core knot of gender critical thinkers who would like nothing more than to simply see transgender eradication: and for those less hardcore thinkers in the gender critical circles if you do not wish to confront your feelings towards trans people, you may wish to confront those within your circles who condone a trans mass eradication.

Endlessly talking in circles around sexual assault and genitals and fetishes online is a dark, depressing and tiring struggle and lately I’ve found myself debating simply tuning it out and focusing on political activism- and yet time after time I find myself appalled at the language and falsehoods spread by anti trans activists.

How anyone who claims to be feminist can hold such damaging, narrow and regressive views is beyond me. Having an erection is not a sign of sexual enjoyment: as a man who has been sexually assaulted I can assure you of that. Almost 1 in 2 trans people have experienced sexual assault. There is a commonality here with cis women that should bring the communities together and in many cases does, and yet gender critical thinking uses this as a wedge.

But this goes beyond worst case scenarios. We come across a lot of very structured repeated language when we talk about trans people: “keep access to single sex spaces” (trans people have used those spaces for over 30 years so you’re ‘keeping’ nothing, any change to make spaces single sex would bar trans people, thereby removing their rights. “Protect dignity” what dignity is lost from a trans woman being present that is kept in the face of a non trans woman? The constant refrain of “safety” which is always paramount but also figmentary: safety isn’t guaranteed because of a sign on the door, or trans exclusive recommendations by the EHRC, or by legal declarations by an inept PM appealing to anger. A predatory person will do what a predatory person will do regardless of these things.

Trans exclusion is constantly being framed as womens’ safety- and yet we see very little to no actual founded evidence that trans inclusion is a threat to women in the first place. Uncomfortable for some, perhaps though it’s arguably more due to the bias of the woman than the existence of the trans person. Fear mongering around trans existence has no end result. Trans people regardless of hormones and affirming care or wigs or hair growth or blockers or dresses or packers or binders- will always be trans.

Again, I feel there needs to be a pointing out of the urgent need to reframe arguments to be seen as they are from the LGBT+ perspective.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

When people argue that gay & lesbian people cannot be discussed, it is not we who are innately sexual: you are sexualising us, ignorantly placing our sexuality in this illusory realm of immoral behaviour. A gay man in a grey suit walking to work is not innately sexual- but he is gay. So why is referencing his sexuality so sexually explicit it cannot be mentioned?

If you want to protect children from sexual referencing may I suggest a law banning children from watching TV until they are 13. Adverts sexualising people are on TV all day- from perfume adverts with nude bodies as the containers to literal adverts for prophylactics: sexuality is everywhere- just, the sexuality you WANT for children. You don’t care if a little boy sees an advert of a half naked woman smelling another half naked woman’s neck, and you don’t mind asking a 5 year old if his female friend is his GIRLFRIEND at the school gates. I remember those expectations early on and they damaged not just me, wondering why I didn’t feel what everyone told me I should but they also hurt my family when I did come out, because this imaginary future they built for me all but vanished: was that my fault? Should I have lived a lie to make them happy?

The worst of the liars are those who claim to “accept us” but think we shouldn’t be referenced in front of children. If those children are straight all they will do is nod and move on. If they’re like us, the likelihood is they might just feel a little bit less alone: and treating us like we are watershed humans is a dehumanising experience.

Our community exists. It’s not an ideology: we have cultures we can, if we choose, loosely abide by or take elements from. Culture is pre-existing facets, behaviours or tropes which we can reference, imbibe or exhibit. That isn’t an ideology, and there wouldn’t even be a NEED for gay, lesbian, trans culture if we hadn’t been ostracised- by exculpatory ignoramus’ passed- from culture at large.
You notice also that those of us who are gender critical or even work against our own rights (see the regular gay republicans trotted out to say they AGREE with anti LGBT+ sentiment) are usually desperate to conform to what they see as hetero or cisnormative.

Anti trans, anti gay people and all of those in-between- at the very least stop referencing our very lives as "ideologies"- it demonstrates a poor grasp of the English language and an ignorance you're fighting hard to deny.
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

When it comes to ideologies and damaging ones at that, I would point the accusatory finger damningly in the direction of movements aimed at removing rights from transgender people as a whole because of the imagined crimes of a few, of demonising gay and lesbian people so badly that we cannot even be mentioned in front of children. Looking at ideologies that monetise their hate- a new conversion therapy camp opened recently in the UK- or who make merchandise specifically geared to intimidate us (adult human female T shirts, umbrellas, key chains), who show up to our days of remembrance to harass us or stand on the sidelines of our marches to tell us we’ll face eternal agony for who we are- how can it be denied that these movements are inappropriate.

Nobody would deny women with legitimate concerns from speaking but I’d hasten the gender critical women who truly believe in their cause to step forward and kick out the monsters from your group – after all, one bad trans person means they’re all bad, right? So what does one person, five people, ten anti trans activists belittling rape victims stories say about your movement.

Lets be real- debating with bigotry is pointless

By Daviemoo

It’s probably highly ironic for me to write this article- half my life is spent posting hot takes and arguing with people. But this needs to be said and set down somewhere, and I’d hope it detoxifies some of the online arena: Debating bigots is not a useful way to invest your time. Speak your truth to the internet at large, reply to those pushing bigotry- but don’t think sitting down for a chat will help, or change the minds of those drunk on moral panic.

If someone proved me wrong on a point I was fearsomely defensive about, I worry that I’d be an asshole, but I try (as I think we all should) to be contrite- in fact, this very weekend a black gay man called me out on my ignorance around the POC gay dating culture and I agreed and asked for help from people for resources which I really need to follow up on. I don’t want to ever be ignorant of POC issues because I really want to be an ally, but we all need to remember that we’re insulated from these issues as people who aren’t POC and need to think about them. I failed here but I have to work to rectify it.

I’m not perfect and I know that my ignorance can walk close to bigotry, because ignorance is bigotry acknowledged and embraced. So I try really hard to fight against that. Sinking into the warm, comforting pool of being sure you’re right without questioning that is too easy- it’s too simple to imagine that because you feel a certain way on a topic, you’re right. And there will always- no matter how hideous your take- be a wealth of people on the internet or even in real life- be people willing to take your side. Your take being popular does NOT mean it’s correct.

When it comes to debate, it’s a useful tool when used correctly. Both sides follow the rules and present their arguments and counter arguments- no interrupting, shouting, sniping etc.

That’s not what online debate does.

There’s a clutch of smart, enterprising left wing people on apps like tiktok who make a wonderful show of debating – if it can be called that -with right wing commentarians who think their FeElInGs on a matter will concrete the issue. And don’t get me wrong, as always I’m trying to look at it uncritically but am biased as a honking great lefty.

And to those people, I’d like you to know I admire you for trying and I’m certainly not saying stop. I can’t stay civil with people I know are talking in ignorance and doing so willingly.

The issue comes here: if I’m proved to be wrong, I’m more than happy to admit it, to do the work behind the scenes to become better. Society seems to think that shifting positions on issues is flip flopping, or weak- but if you’re wrong about them and admit that, and explain why you’re wrong- can people really hold that against you? I see growth in contrition. If you see weakness in backing a well debunked point- be it the existence of a secret cabal of spies like Q-anon or more- then you’re backing being a loudmouth… Which is enough for some but not for me.

When it comes down to debate, both sides have to take it in good faith- and a lot of the right wing debaters don’t do this- from making points up on the spot, making up figures, wilfully misinterpreting the data to prove a flawed point, and more- again, I’m looking at this from a flawed and biased perspective but I see this REGULARLY online. These debaters don’t WANT to debate- they want to rant, to stir up other people in the tornado of their feelings and suck up the oxygen. Debating with them is pointless. They know they’re lying, or spinning falsehoods, they know they’re doing what they shouldn’t. You can’t, and you won’t improve the situation by sharing your platform with them, even if you do feel that you “won” the debate. They still got to whip up the people who agree with them.

Lets take one of my favourite examples of this: transphobia.

This weekend I was piled on on twitter, because an abuse prevention charity listed a partner not respecting your pronouns and personal identity as abuse- and I saw a tweet vehemently disagreeing, and claiming that they had experienced REAL abuse.

Bearing in mind I’m a cis man but a gay man I’ve been misgendered a fair amount in my life. “Girly boy, girl, girly, little bitch, wo-man, woman” over and over and over- do you realise how demeaning it is? I’ve never once struggled with my gender identity, but being constantly referred to as a girl, a woman, a female when I’m not was bullying and it got me very upset more than once. Is that not real abuse? Was it not real abuse when, when I was nine, two boys cornered me in a garden near my grandma’s house and pushed me on the floor and made me feel them against my will while telling me I was a girl, a gay, puff, faggot, queer, bum boy. That was the tip of the iceberg and the physical things they did then and after were awful. But all of it sticks with me, not just the physical abuse but the excitement in their voices as they called me a little girl and used their fully grown, adult, cis, male bodies to hold me down. The way they enjoyed hearing me panic and deny their insults. You don’t get to decide what is and isn’t abuse because you aren’t affected by it or haven’t gone through it. These experiences are the reason it took me a long time to become OK with the casual lingo that come from shows like RuPaul’s drag race- my friend once said “hey girl” when he walked into my living room and I actually snapped at him because it reminded me of that.

On to the main reason for this article – I’ve used an app a while ago called TERFblocker, which automatically blocked thousands of anti trans accounts. I’m glad of it- the dogpile that was just a flirting annoyance this weekend threatened to be a hundred times worse. The instigator kept copying my tweets to his followers- hundreds of them openly complained that I’d blocked them when we’d never interacted, calling me a snowflake and a weirdo whilst knowing nothing about me except that they were blocked- blocked because they were on the terfblocker list. The idea that I owed these people my attention, that I should leave my profile open for them to attack me because someone they like doesn’t like me, that I should allow them the space to comment bile at me, is ridiculous… If you don’t like me, block me. I can assure you I won’t lose one second of sleep. The reason I use that app cheerfully was a huge dog pile I was in last year. I even argued with the heinous anti trans speaker that is Maya Forstater who was, as always, waxing philosophical about bathrooms. Hundreds- HUNDREDS of people talking about how supporting trans people is condoning rape- which, in case it’s not clear, I’ve been through more than once – I’m “supporting people in their delusions” and on and on and on… it was exhausting and I used the terfblocker to drown them out because I had nothing but the accusations the terfs throw at we “TRAs” thrown at me- suicide jokes, insults, rape condoning, questions about my gender, sex, penis size, sexual proclivities… One woman told me I was bisexual because I’d date a trans man- I don’t know about you but I don’t spend my life imagining someone’s penis in their trousers when I flirt with them. If you do then so be it- I just see life in a fundamentally different way than transphobes. We’re all billions of neurones, electricity flying from connection to connection. What the body became because of phenotypes and all of that is superfluous to who you are in your head- your body is just there, an extension of who you are, and of course nature doesn’t reconcile birth sex with your gender sometimes- it’s horrendously complex, as is whatever makes us have our sexuality, as is whatever makes us have brown or blue eyes, as is whatever makes our height what it is. Genitals aren’t completely unimportant to me, but if the man I love has a vagina am I going to let that stop me from being with him, any more than I would if he had a small, or huge penis, or erection problems, or one testicle…? Fuck no. And if being a woman is an experience it’s clearly not linked to your sex or to your gender- and therefore anyone can experience it and therefore become a woman if they experience it- and if it is purely biological then has every single person who calls themselves a woman been through this laundry list of obstacles to claim the title?

Ultimately, it was that rude awakening of thousands of people calling me a beard, making fun of my appearance, telling me I was a rape enabler and a misogynist, that made me realise these people don’t WANT to debate. They don’t WANT their minds changed, or to be given new information that might make them think differently, that might make them believe that perhaps what they’re so invested in pushing is a false flag event. It’s about rage, about moral panics, about pushing the agenda that the people you don’t like are perverts, and monsters and paedophiles who will snatch and corrupt your children, will stop you living your life with liberty, take away your rights and freedoms… sound familiar? See the blowback from the civil rights movement, see trying to end apartheid, the anti jewish sentiment during world war two- this moral panic against a group is not new, but it is frightening every single time.

If transphobia evaporated overnight- not transphobes, I hasten to say, but the ideology (I don’t wish harm to transphobes, I just want them to wake up), trans folk and cis folk could unite against harmful ideologies still perpetuated by a patriarchal society that fails ALL women, regardless of cis identity or not.
The idea that women are still chattel, property, need to be controlled, disciplined, mocked, sexualised- exists ALL AROUND our society. How do I know? The same way I know trans people are just normal humans. I exist around it all.

I wish transphobes could hear the shit men come out with when they aren’t around. The disgusting shit I’ve heard in changing rooms (yes sometimes I’ve called it out even in my fear, no not always, I am not that brave and I’m curious as to who would condone it if I didn’t speak out). Trans women- or trans men- are not threats to cis women. Cis men though… that is a different thing.

I’m certainly not saying it’s all cis men of course, and I’m sure i’ll need to put this disclaimer- ironically to placate the very men it IS about, but no it isn’t all cis men. But it’s far too many.

I veer wildly away sometimes from saying what I want to say. That women should be celebrated for how amazing they are, venerated for fighting their place in a world that proclaims their value whilst debating their reproductive rights, right to show emotion, right to wear what they want, wear makeup, have the audacity to have periods, or to not have periods, or shave, or not shave, be loud, be silent, marry, not marry, have kids, not have kids, adopt, not adopt- and this is irrespective of intersectionality with things like skin colour or sexuality – black trans women (I met a lovely black trans woman at trans day of remembrance recently- her speech was badass!) have the rawest deal of all, and that’s without including the ostracization by white trans folk AND cis women. The reason I veer from it is not because I don’t feel it’s the case that women should be uplifted and celebrated for who they are but because I feel like it’s patronising for me to suggest it- I’m a cis man and it seems performative. But women are amazing, regardless of gender identity- purely for keeping up the fight in the face of a world that barely hides the face of grudging tolerance to the “quiet ones”.

Equally, applying a label to all trans people is also foolish. Many gender critical people claim that “all/ most trans people are predators and perverts just wanting access to women’s spaces”. How farcical is this statement when you swap the minority- which has been done before! “All gay men want access to men’s bathrooms for nefarious sexual purposes”. No. We don’t. Some? Sure. Should we all be denigrated for the perversions of a minority in a minority?

I don’t know what makes a woman, or a man, or a genderless person. Do you? Because if you fall to any biological processes there will ALWAYS be outliers. People born without ovaries, wombs, women born with testicles, women born without breasts, men born with ovaries, men (like me!) who grow temporary breasts at puberty, women who grow beards… biology is far too complex to rely on as a hard and fast rule of “a man or a woman is x” because there will always be a man or a woman who is y.

Lets also look at the gender binary again – the idea that people can deny that gender is a spectrum is laughable when explained thus.

If a binary is either 0 or 1, yes or no, x or y that is an absolute- and again, if you vary even slightly then there is NOT a 0 or 1 option. If a man is tall, dark and handsome and I’m short, blonde and ugly then man isn’t binary.

Please don’t think that I’m claiming to be an expert on sex and gender- I don’t want to be tarred with the same brush as those who revel in their ignorance like Stock et al., but I fail to see how these points can be in dispute.

As an ally, I’m tired of the endless rowing. And that’s what I’ve realised- it is ENDLESS. You can have the “trans women shouldn’t be allowed to go into women’s toilets” row every single day for a month on twitter, and debunk every bogus claim, and fight back on every talking point, and discuss every statistic- and it never changes because these people flatly DO NOT WANT to debate. It’s not about debate. They have assigned their woes to trans people as the arbiters of their misery- it’s trans women who cause their tribulations in life and nothing else can change that mindset, even proof to the contrary.

Back to the main topic- debate.

If it were pointful to debate right wing folk I’d be interested in partaking in it, but I’ve seen too many examples of the right wing folk being proven wrong or their arguments being picked apart and the instant reversion to insults. Every time I’ve tried to unpick an anti gay/anti trans argument recently, the IMMEDIATE reaction from the injured party has been to make a “hard drives need checked” comment.
The irony of this isn’t lost on me- most anti gay and anti trans arguments are recycled from the panic of the 70s and 80s where it was insinuated that we were all perverted. But considering the side making these accusations also regularly listens to folk like Allison Bailey who talks about young healthy breasts never knowing a lover’s caress, I cant help but feel aggrieved that this is overlooked and my simple observation that gay men are allowed to be gay means I’m sent homophobic memes.

When it comes to debating people who sink instantly to these tactics, it’s pointless. There is no interest in learning or hearing the other side, and you can’t argue against people’s conviction that they’re right in the fact of scant evidence: much like arguing against flat lies, arguing against right wing opinions is pointlessly like screaming into a pillow.

The truth is a stubborn little rock that is only what it is. But a lie, or an opinion, can be elastic, and fit whatever you want it to. You don’t need to read the facts that there haven’t been trans attackers bombarding women’s bathrooms, and any problems have been caused by cisgendered men when you’re absolutely convinced that all trans women are lurking quietly, waiting for their chance and you’re just so lucky to have avoided it.

I wish I knew how to make positive steps forward and to stop this endless deluge of trans exclusion, hatred and misinformation that is being thrown around the internet, but I’m not that smart, or patient. But something has to change. Trans people cant wait.

As I always say, I have empirical experience of being around all sorts of trans people- asexual trans women, bisexual trans men, gay trans men, lesbian trans women… every one of them is, frankly, a hair’s breadth from being almost boringly normal. Their medical file is – there’s no other way to say this- fuck all to do with me. I don’t often stare at the genitals of my friends or strangers (not unless I want to and we all consent), so perhaps we can extend this bare minimum standardised treatment of cis people to trans folk too- and maybe we can stop believing people who talk endlessly about debate.

The BBC just doubled down on it’s transphobic hitpiece

By Daviemoo

If you read the desperate flailing attempt at journalism that was the BBC’s recent expulsion against trans people, I feel sorry for you- It’s wording is still rattling around my brain and frustrating me. I, and what I take as thousands of other people received a similarly poorly written response from the BBC where they endorsed their own transphobic nonsense. This state sponsored culture war against trans people hurts the LGBTQ+ community and cis women- the only benefactors? Cis men. It’s past time the community and it’s allies take this besmirching with patience- and take the fight back to the media.

I get asked perhaps once, twice a week, “are you trans?” because I spend a lot of time talking about trans issues. I don’t think it matters whether I am or not, I’m standing up for a minority who are being dragged through our offal filled rivers backwards and I don’t have to be part of that minority. The sad fact is as well that people just don’t listen to trans people about their own issues, even if you platform them- they will gasp, exclaim and swear if a cis person explains the horrors that trans people face, but blithely ignore trans activists who speak out.

Which is why I’m so disappointed in cis allies- there are many, many people who agree that this endless gushing rhetoric in the presses about trans people and their allies is wrong, sick, disgusting, inaccurate- and dangerous. For only so long can this thumb twiddling “we’re trying to sit in the middle but here’s another piece about how terrible trans people are and no rebuttal from trans people themselves” narrative be pushed before it will- IT WILL- spill over into physical violence. And how will that go? If the victim is murdered, they can’t speak. If they survive their words won’t be published. And if they fight back- dangerous trans people attack innocent defenders! It’s a tale as old as time, and as frightening to minorities as it may seem- we cannot win for losing. And with what seems to be most media outlets happy to continue to platform anti trans rhetoric, our possibilities of publishing rebuttals, statements- anything that allows a platform for trans folk and their allies- continues to shrink.

Gender Critical people seem to believe that this mainstreaming of their beliefs is a sign that they’re “winning”- forgetting as they always do that hateful ideology is disturbingly available in the mainstream and it doesn’t make it right- or even the moral majority. Racism was widely platformed as racial segregation was rolled back in the US- in the 70s, 80s- the 90s it was common to read anti gay articles.

The parallels that run between the anti gay moral panic and the current transphobic ones are so blatant once pointed out that it seems amazing that transphobia persists in the face of proof that it’s recycled homophobia.

Arguments we’ve heard before from:
“If we accept the gays we’ll be asked to sleep with them next”

“They’re destroying the modern way of life”

“They’re perverts and we shouldn’t have to share facilities with them”

Are these facets of the moral panic proven? No- no proof of any of it exists.

In fact, the prevalence of the opposite side being involved in their arguments against trans people is almost comical. How often anti gay preachers are found in clinches with other men- one has to wonder how many voices against trans folk are simply fetishists of trans people in the privacy of their own home? One wonders how many moral panics are sparked or inflamed by people furious with their own biological urges- desperate to place blame for attraction at the feet of those who simply exist in the bodies and states they have and are.

Back to the media- the regular dirge of stories demonising trans people serves only to enable and embolden a society that conflates “different” with “devious”.

From Ofcom leaving stonewall’s diversity scheme to the BBC’s increasingly frequent promotion of hateful ideology, this problem is widespread, systemic- and being pushed by a handful of loud voices and a smattering of quiet ones.

The idea that trans rights are in conflict with womens’ rights just isn’t true. Starting with the simple fact that over 50% of women in the UK agree that trans women are women, and even more women agree that trans women are not a threat to cis women- but even if you don’t agree, the confusion and stupidity around this debate continues to frustrate those in it’s periphery along with those it directly involves.

If anti trans people believe they should be able to challenge anyone they don’t feel is cis, there will be a great number of women whose looks do not fit this mysterious “not patriarchal but doesn’t fit my idea of feminine”, who are challenged pointlessly- regardless of whether they were trans or not. I have to wonder how the “we can always tell” crowd plan to police these things. Sometimes in public I will see someone and have absolutely no idea what gender they are and the fact and key difference is- I don’t care.

The point that never gets spoken about in detail is that the concerns so regularly espoused by anti trans activists are already addressed. In existing legislation, there exists exemptions where, as a last resort, trans women can be separated- there is this elusive victory the gender critical group want- already delivered. But it isn’t enough, and this is where the obvious lie crumbles whilst somehow still standing. It’s not and it’s never been about a credible argument against trans people: it’s always been about demonising a minority. Every single instance of a trans person failing to be a paragon of virtue is instantly snapped up by a group and banded about, used to justify pre-conceptions. But of course a group as large and varied as trans people has darker elements- should the whole group be castigated because of the behaviour of a few? The frightening answer from gender critical believers is – yes.

The BBC

The article the BBC wrote was terrible in many ways- not the least, poor writing. Cobbled together with supposed months of research, the article is contrived and clearly has an agenda driving it.

I attach below the body of the response to the complaint that everyone who wrote to the BBC received;

The complaint is masterful in only the flippancy and dismissal of it’s tone. Not one point I made was addressed, as my initial complaint asked the BBC why it wished to place itself at odds with trans people and platform dangerous stories which would- not could, but would- increase the threat to them. They particularly focus on the survey they included.

Let’s speak about this survey.

Hosted by “Get the L out”, an organisation formed by transphobic lesbians to pigeonhole trans lesbians and trans women in general, 40 out of 80 respondents confirmed that they had felt pressured into sex with trans lesbians. I can’t speak to these experiences- I don’t know the people involved and I certainly wouldn’t say that no trans people would pressure others for sex- its proscriptive to say that you know how a minority would behave. But does it not perhaps seem a bit odd that the BBC are happy to use a survey, conducted by an already trans averse organisation, completed by 80 people, half of whom agree with the transphobic rhetoric of being pressured into sex? Of course people will agree with the transphobic question if they are part of a transphobic organisation… It’s hardly a reputable source.

But lets examine the respondents further: one of the 40 lesbians who responded confirming they felt pressured into sex with trans people – is a self admitted pervert who has sexually assaulted multiple women, talked women she has had sex with out of using sexual safety products, and with vast corroborative stories from her victims and an apology from her freely available on the internet- so yet again we hark back to my earlier point that the loudest voices are usually talking about themselves. Seems that the “fully researched article” is somewhat hypocritical, as this very important part was either omitted by mistake – or purposefully.

To allow a person who has literally admitted to sexual assault to cast aspersions on others is highly ironic and – I would think we can all agree- admittedly poor journalism. Hardly the type of person whose words can be trusted.

Spurious allegations from dubious sources seems to be what’s accepted for BBC journalism in the current climate – a worrying development but not one unfamiliar to the minorities the BBC have historically worked to denigrate.

Further to this though, more allegations in the article can be debunked: a section of writing is devoted to stickers with the inclusive pride flag as a backing, which state “Genital preferences are transphobic”. This is, as anyone sane in the fight for trans equality knows, a transphobic nonsense phrase. Genital preferences, most trans people will tell you, are not transphobic- stating you won’t even entertain the idea of dating a trans person because of what you assume are their genitals – is. Quite a simple concept. The proof that these stickers belong to the gender critical people is fairly blatant- they are stuck up with other transphobic stickers, even in the photos in the article- but a thoroughly debunked letter stating the same thing was sent to several organisations in early 2020 along with this sticker. The letter was quickly linked back to… a small cadre of gender critical people.

Is this what we now accept as, and what passes for, thorough, rounded journalism? Or are we to accept that our national broadcaster are willing to sell out their credibility because they have been asked to promote and push a ridiculous culture war, aimed at a group of people who are easy to demonise?

My followup to the BBC’s offensively blithe response is below for your perusal:

And worse still than the BBC’s uncaring response: more journalists come out to defend the piece and the writer!

The overarching problem is this glass shield of “impartiality” which the BBC wishes to stand behind. I have seen no articles by trans people or trans allies denouncing the ties that gender critical people have to the far right – from the confused collaboration of a group of TERFS who started off protesting with – but then were attacked (and one even stabbed by) the proud boys, to Andy Ngo- literal fascist- being given a press badge at the LGB Alliance conference- one has to wonder at what point those who aren’t so extreme may decide that siding with gender critical people puts them too close to the far right.

Where also are the pieces highlighting the problems that trans folk face on the daily, from a healthcare system which seems to actively work against them to allowances the government make in legislation against conversion therapy to allow people -people who will be seeking conversion therapy because they hate or fear themselves and wish to change themselves- to give “informed consent” for therapy – effectively making any bans useless: Nobody can give informed consent to having dangerous, ineffective therapy for something they are castigated for all day every day. Those seeking, or told to go to, conversion therapy, should be intensively protected- not put under the mental strain of this horrific practice. It’s also been revealed as I wrote this piece that the government has been lobbied by a group who perform this evil practice, which is one of the myriad reasons for the delays in banning it!

It’s painfully obvious to anyone, from the very edges of this ongoing tirade against the trans community right to trans people themselves, that the BBC is determined to whip up continuation of this ridiculous and confected war against a minority, as a distraction from the failings of a government who has let down it’s populace more times in six months than most governments during their entire tenure.

Trans people are an easy demographic to blame on the face of things- some trans people become transients, kicked out of their houses by uncaring parents. Forced into sex work to be able to live and then charged by police who even in 2021 do not understand that sometimes life forces people into this avenue, their criminal records are happily displayed by gender critical people as “proof” that trans people are perverted. Context is key, but when you have a hateful agenda to push, anything that sits adjacent to your narrative is sufficient, the full extent discarded.

As this normalisation of hate continues, the LGBTQ+ community MUST set aside it’s petty squabbling and come together- we must be a shield for each other and ourselves, lest we be thrown back to the days where dangerous activism is the only way to be heard. Some of us are not only willing, but ready to embrace a role as a dissident if it means upsetting the status quo- if the status quo is to begin to regularly contain hateful propaganda against members of the community.

I’ve no doubt that a corner will be turned down the line where trans people finally see some light in the darkness, where their acceptance becomes mainstreamed- the question, the reason I sometimes can’t sleep at night, the rock in my stomach worry is – how many of our trans siblings are we fated to lose before people open their eyes to the empty hate spewed forth from institutions happy to foster lies and empty propaganda?

Ofcom have sold out the LGBTQIA

By Daviemoo

Either infiltrated by trans exclusive radical feminists or simply browbeaten into doing so, Ofcom today released a statement confirming that they would be leaving the stonewall diversity champions scheme. Despite the statement promising their continuing commitment to diversity, the suggestion and implication that Stonewall mean to do anything but protect and enshrine the inclusion of L G B T Q I and A rights at any affiliated institutions is blatant misinformation, parroted hot from the presses of the gender critical who so love to bombard social media from behind anonymous profiles. So- Et Tu, Ofcom? And what does this mean next?

Ofcom’s role is to regulate media in the UK, ensuring that fair, equal and proportionate representation is always at the forefront of media production. As you may be able to tell from the rise of right wing populist media in the UK, Ofcom are questionable at best at this role. Even the BBC’s horrendous oversight of the Peter Stefanovic “Debunking Boris Johnson’s Lies” video lends credence to the fact that Ofcom is doing a poor job of regulating anything these days. But nothing shows Ofcom’s increasing determination to declare obsolescence than leaving the diversity champions scheme that has beenn a corner of any business in the UK who wishes to declare it’s commitment to ensuring that members of the LGBTQIA have fair representation in the workplace- both as employees, and as protected members of a minority status.

Looking historically at stonewall’s achievements, along with their ongoing commitment to equality for everyone under the banner of LGBTQIA- from significantly lending a hand to shaping the equality act to pushing the repeal of the highly damaging Section 28, legislation which even significantly affected childhoods like my own at a time when queer issues were not spoken about in school, it’s clear that their commitment to equality is the bone of contention that has meant their exclusion from an ostensibly vital organisation.

From the outside, what does leaving a scheme like this look like?
The statement provided by Ofcom was meant to reassure that they are committed to diversity and feel they do not need Stonewall to do so- an odd statement, as Stonewall is the go to for any guidance around LGBTQIA representation in the UK. But the second part of their statement, implying that Stonewall’s efficacy has come under scrutiny is viewed through the clouded lens of bigotry so often employed by the gender critical crowd who seem determined to suffuse society with their hatred.

Stonewall’s determination to protect trans people from hatred has been inspiring and has provided many a cis ally – myself included- with hope that organisations will not fall to the mindless hate that gender critical groups are foisting on the public.

As more frighteningly prominent figures come out as radicalised in favour of stripping back trans rights and protections, the situation in the UK looks bleak for trans individuals and an indifferent government- wholesale- does not help. Lisa Townsend, Police and Crime Commissioner has released an article decrying “trans ideology” in, predictably, the Daily Mail. Quotes in the article follow the usual line, for example: “Residents “scared of female-only spaces filling with women with male genitalia”, as though accepting the tiny proportion of trans women in the UK will suddenly lead to an explosion of trans women.

It’s not surprising to see- if you look at Ms Townsend’s twitter follows, you’ll find the Conservative party, GB news, and account after account who are anti trans- for example, as I scroll now:

Anyone even mildly familiar with the relentless tide of transphobia which continues to wash across the UK will know names like Maya Forstater, we are fair cop, Debbie Hayton, Marrion Millar… all old hat names when it comes to the anti trans extremists. Curious that a police commissioner is so fervently following this group. One cannot help but feel that her role may be compromised as to treating trans victims with any decency if she is so convinced of the radical (self professed, using their own phraseology) feminists so opposed to trans equality.

Equally, worrying news regarding anti-trans campaigners breaking the news of ofcom’s departure from the scheme has made rounds on social media and if the alleged information is true, lends credence to the theme that Ofcom withdrawing is not to “avoid bias”- it is to endorse it. If anti trans campaigners working at or with Ofcom knew ahead of the statement’s release it suggests that they are operating from within to ensure this move was undertaken- and how is this not the very bias Ofcom supposedly works to prevent?

As an ally, I worry about what the next decade will look like for trans rights. As this group gains steam, I’ve no doubt that lives will be threatened. Trans people already face disproportionately high suicidal ideations, domestic violence, hate crime, sexual assault and murder and in a society emboldened to foster ignorant beliefs like gender criticality, how will this change and shape how trans people can live?

I’d urge gender critical nonsense imbibers to sit back and actually listen to trans people and what they want and need. Blaming someone for the body they have is at best callous, at worst pointlessly cruel. And acting like anyone standing in support of trans people is a dangerous misogynist is a laughable idea, comparable to those who said supporters of the LGBT community in the 70’s and 80’s were paedophile enablers.

To cease relations with Stonewall is a tacit admission that your organisation will no longer foster the equality of trans people- and this is exactly how it reads to anyone involved. Ofcom may be the first of several organisations to make this misstep and I simply look forward to whatever necessary changes need to take place in society for the ignorant in this fractured society to reflect on their behaviour and simply become better.

The irony is that every facet of every community contains an element of dangerous and depraved individuals. But to constantly seek out and platform those unscrupulous amongst the trans community is incredibly disingenuous. Often the anti trans community will fervently seek out the less scrupulous amongst the trans or trans supportive community and display them like zoo animals.

Where though, is the platform for trans women who excel at being simple members of society? Where is the threat from a trans woman walking down the street to her job? Or the trans man who serves you at the bar, helps his neighbour with shopping and gives to charity? To tar all trans people with the brush of dangerous, deluded etc is to engage in the very thoughtless bigotry that Stonewall stands against- and society at large is actively beginning to foster holding the view that all trans people are anything other than people who are trans.

Ofcom’s role is to provide balance to UK media production, and to move away from a body that’s entire reason for existence is an aggressive commitment to equality should be a worrying sound for any and all who notice- so spread the word, complain to Ofcom about their foolish and misguided step away from progression. Or admit that you are ambivalent towards equality for an already horrifically treated group in society.