“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.

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.

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.

What would a world without “woke” culture be like?

By Daviemoo

Many of us who are labelled “woke” already live in a world suffused with anti minority sentiment- a cursory scroll of someone like Katy Montgomerie’s twitter shows the relentless onward rumble of abuse that she faces from those who are mildly uncomfortable with transgender women, to those who outwardly call for the arrest and forced de-transitioning of anyone transgender; conversely, many of the most outspoken critics of “cancel culture” live in a world where they can and do say whatever they want to and face absolutely no consequence for it. But what if those who rage against cancel culture win? What would that world look like? And could we really stomach a “so what” society?

Society at it’s core is huge, vast and varied and unfortunately it’s a simple fact that society must function by making allowances for divergence from what could be termed as the norm. If every person who did not fit the norm was ostracised from society, human civilisation would be laughably small and far away from where we are now. Human acceptance has been perilous ever since the first human emerged from their cave, saw another human and wondered why their hair was a different colour.

The benefit of intellect is that we can discuss how we can co-exist and make each other’s lives easier- but humans are still in some strange phase of our existence where we’d rather exhaust debate on why we shouldn’t, than why we should.

Let’s say the anti woke brigade won: how would life be for anyone outside of the lucky few who aren’t affected now by, and would continue not to be affected by the implementation of a “so what” culture?

People of colour

“Woke” sentiment is closely linked to anti racist sentiment- so scrap any and all discourse around racial inequality. It doesn’t mean racial inequality doesn’t exist- merely that it is not discussed. Any person of colour who faced inequality- be that micro aggressions or outright hatred- would be met with indifference in the “so what” society. Racist hiring practices could continue unabated with employers merely shrugging when called out on their inability to hire people of colour. Tests on blind CV’s have highlighted a worrying disparity on conversions of people with ethnic names to employees at organisations- and the backlash to organisations offering roles to people of colour has been thunderous- even when those roles are either best filled by people of colour due to the nature of the job or are specifically designed to wall over a shortfall in representation when it comes to broader society.

In the “so what” society, systemic racism would be glossed over with reports from the government that would reference experts who were not consulted to contribute. The inequalities faced by people of colour in the UK would be explained away with “agency” rather than a deep look into how the continuation of ostracising behaviour propagated by the government and a systematically racist society has contributed to worse living conditions, worse mental health outcomes and worse treatment by institutions like hospitals and police.

When nation wide protests are sparked about racial inequality and how to deal with it, including the glorification of slave traders, a “so what” society would likely spend more time focusing on the damage to a public statue and the four white people who did it than the feelings of people of colour who had to walk past a statue of a man who may have enslaved their ancestors.

LGBT+ people

Often when we speak out about the abuses we face, whether again micro aggressions like being asked invasive questions about who puts what genitals where, who has what genitals, or disgusting comments about STIs – we’re told that it “could be worse” and to be “thankful” for how we’re treated or spoken to or about.

We’re treated to regular sermonising about how we’re perverted or seen as unseemly because we have different sexualities.

Gay men are often accused of paedophilia as a pejorative, never so much as recently with the stoking of anti trans sentiment- if you publicly defend transgender people on the internet you will, it is a solemn promise, be labelled a paedophile.

In a “so what” culture, one could expect that hate crimes would rise precipitously because anti minority sentiment would be allowed to go unchecked to the point that organisations would step away from legislation designed to protect minorities from discrimination- and in fact, aid it.

In the microcosm of anti LGBT sentiment in the “so what” society, the BBC would knowingly allow a lesbian rapist like Lily Cade to contribute to an article about fear of rape, and use widely questioned figures- like a survey run by a transphobic group to indicate societal findings about fear of trans women.

In this “so what” society, discrimination like my own, where I was called “faggot” in front of everyone at work would be allowed to happen with no punishment: I was slurred in front of half the office, some of whom were my literal employees and in response my boss- the company owner- did nothing to protect me, to punish my aggressor- I would suggest that this fits in quite well with what would happen in a “so what” society.

Of course as an already polarised person I’m looking at this through my lens- but it’s the lens of those who don’t follow the flow of society on dint of who we are that need some social consciousness in public or we’re the ones who suffer.

Women

Need I say it?

When women can be murdered in the street by policemen and the police response is to wear the right shoes or that you should flag down a bus and not to look at serious police reforms, one starts to wonder whether this is exactly what a “so what” culture would do.

When women’s reproductive rights are restricted or debated, and women are overruled on their own healthcare regularly, and when medical problems are under-diagnosed even though they are common, you could surely say that this is indicative of a so what society- or when women speak out about their genuine fears in a society that is pervaded by men who don’t respect bodily autonomy or boundaries, and “not all men” is the immediate response rather than any attempt to work with women to allay their fears or deal with the causal root of the issue one could say that’s very typical of a “so what” society.

When violence against women is met with questions like “but what was she wearing“, or when society sexualises young women like schoolgirls and thinks this is normal- the infantilisation of women for sexual pleasure- one must truly question whether society works for women, or whether it’s already the common case that when women speak about women’s issues they’re met with “so what”.

The disabled

What would likely typify the behaviour of a “so what” society when referring to disabled people? Say, in the midst of a pandemic, throwing off all restrictions to mitigate spread and ensure people were kept safe? Or perhaps not giving full living wage allowance to those forced to care for relatives who either cant afford or just don’t want to house their loved one in a care facility?

In a “so what” society, giving space and air time to disabled people would be a rarity because it would underscore the lack of support for disabled people in a country that barely tolerates the audacity of someone to be disabled, and those who do speak against the government struggle to be heard.

And when, at the height of death in the pandemic, the government legislates enforced Do Not Resuscitate orders for disabled people you have the true measure of whether a society does, or does not feel “woke” about disabled people’s issues.

You have what you want

Society has long been about asking people to at the very least control their voicing of their inner thoughts- think what you want, but don’t say it. Even this has become too much for the polemic group of anti woke nonsense pushing. Simply being asked to think whatever you want, no matter how heinous but keep it in your head is a travail they cannot endure. And yet when it is our comfort, our autonomy, our names, our pronouns, our liberties we ask to be respected -they cannot do so. How strange that we must return the favour which is never employed for us?

When you look closely at our society, you begin to understand that the issue that the anti woke crowd have is simply that they aren’t able to thoughtlessly speak with impunity – but none of us are barred from doing just that, we just elect to be decent people. What we have is a crowd of people desperate to have society foster their desire to say bad things without being made to feel guilty for them.

I’m afraid, dear anti wokers- you have the society you desperately crave and you’re wasting time asking for it to be more closed. Imagine what society would be like without allowances for difference, without consideration for other people; a deep, dark and horribly unhappy place where even the discussion of inequality cannot be stomached because it may make people feel bad.

If you really want to know what the society of your dreams looks like, perhaps it’s time to realise that it’s actually your worst nightmare.

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.

Dear Businesses: Stop Co-opting Minority Identities To Sell Your Services

By Daviemoo

Every year around pride, companies who engage in pinkwashing proudly display the flags of minorities whose identities they endanger, funding right wing pundits. Since BLM, people of colour have had to defend their right to exist in advertising. And every time a new LGBT+ character appears in a show, LGBT+ people have to defend ourselves. We don’t not want representation, we all want reparation, and we want our own peoples to be brought into discussion of how we’re represented. Heterosexual white cis people have had the forum for thousands of years. It’s past time you shared it.

“Woke gay boy”

I got that three times yesterday on social media because I was laughing at the latest target of homophobes across the world.

Firstly let’s not forget the irony that people see woke- slang for “aware of racial injustice” as an insult, because frankly I wear it as a badge of honour. But secondly, let’s examine why people feel the need to be angry at my laughter, when it comes to their hysterical flailing. You see, the advert that’s got all the anti gay people frothing at the mouth again is a Christmas advert from Norway, with a gay Santa Claus kissing his husband. The advert was funded by the post office to celebrate 3o years of an inclusive law brought in to protect the rights of the LGBT+ citizens living there.

Some of the, and I’m using this word with every ounce of festive generosity I can summon here, “arguments” around this advert which came up were thus:
1 “Why are they sexualising Santa!”

2 “I don’t want to have to explain to my kids what Santa does with his penis”

3 “I don’t mind people being gay, just don’t know why it has to be forced in our faces all the time”

4 “I’m sick of seeing these companies doing this, advertising with stuff like that”

Lets take these one at a time- briefly, simply, for the people whose histrionics may overwhelm a longer, more finessed answer.

1 They aren’t sexualising Santa because he kissed a man- you are. You saw two men kiss and your mind, homophobia ingrained, immediately jumped to gay sex- because you have homophobia in your head and need to deal with that.

2 “Hey kids, sometimes men like men, and sometimes women like women, and sometimes they like both, or neither”. All done, time for an earl grey.

3 How do you think it feels as gay people to be constantly surrounded by gyrating heterosexual couples kissing and touching on champagne adverts, and posters and tv shows and movies, in magazines, in public, in clubs and pubs, bars, restaurants? Heterosexuality is the majority, which is fine. But seeing something that isn’t heterosexual… one advert a day, one poster, one character… it’s not exactly going to give you renal failure. If you’re so delicate that the simple reminder that gay people exist- that we have lives and loves, health problems and more- bothers you so, you have no right to ever complain that we’re the sensitive generation.

4 So am I, really. Do you think I enjoy seeing endless heterosexually invoked pastiches of gay men and women, from companies who don’t donate to or do anything for the LGBT+ community? What happens when people create these adverts and flaunt minorities- this is much broader than the rainbow community but I can’t speak on behalf of POC- is this.

An advert is created featuring gay people, or a show is made with a bisexual, or trans, or gender neutral character. The IMMEDIATE reaction from right wing reactionaries is to be OFFENDED! How DARE this company flaunt this disgusting behaviour in our faces as if it’s NORMAL- as if the act of kissing another man, or heck, even just showing affection towards someone of the same sex is an unforgivable transgression. And of course, this rantery spills over onto a community just existing. We have to, as always, legitimise ourselves, our existence and enter discourse about how our mere presence on TV is so offensive, so graphic and sexual, that gay men having a smooch on tv somehow morphs into a 3 hour long video of two men clad only in sweat, rolling around in various positions. Our existence isn’t innately sexual, it just IS, much like heterosexual people. And yet we must defend ourselves against allegations of trying to make the world bi or gay simply because a company tokenised us.

And what happens from this? Discourse about the company abounds. They get word of mouth advertising, for free, from a community of people just trying to exist in their own skins. Is that fair? To force confrontation between people who think we’re literally disgusting and us, the people who just want to be alive in peace. Are we rewarded for this labour? Absolutely not. As always, we come away from another confrontation brought about by the machinations of someone else, pushed on us by people so weak they can’t cope with our mere existence and the fact that we sometimes have sex in a different way than them. It’s tiring. I am tired.

The same can be said for POC in the UK. Since BLM, POC have been platformed in more adverts- rightly so. I don’t care if the lady on the lemsip advert is black or white, if I need lemsip, I need lemsip and the skin colour of the actress doesn’t matter- to me. To a POC in the UK, much like me with the adverts I’m talking about above, I’m sure it comes as a double edged sword- “excellent, representation!” along with a weary certainty that somewhere out there, Sharon, 45, from Barnsley is angrily tweeting that WHITE PEOPLE ARE THE MAJORITY as if that has any bearing on anything at all other than Sharon’s blood pressure- We literally had this recently with a bunch of racist folk tweeting their rage that a black family were Christmas shopping on the Sainsburies advert. I’d love to ask why these, frankly weird, people can’t relate to what is essentially a loving family shopping for Christmas- is skin colour so important to these oddballs? But the answer there is – yes. But why? It’s not a mindset you can understand if you’re not in it and frankly I feel you have to lack a certain level of intellect to be that sensitive to inclusion.

We saw the same issue with the John Lewis advert- a young boy in a dress causing destruction in the house while he had fun… Sarah Ditum, a prominent transphobe took it as writ that this little boy was a representation of trans people and even referred to him with swearwords on twitter. The boy isn’t trans, just a boy in a dress acting daft as children are wont to do. But the trans community of course had to leap to the defence of a literal child who wasn’t even in their group, in the face of knee jerk bigotry from people who claim to “just have concerns about their rights”.

I’m sure this post will come across as the whiny diatribe of another SJW asking people to do inclusion the RIGHT way- but I don’t care. I’m tired, because I know now that Christmas songs are being played on the radio it’s only a matter of time until we have the row we have every single year about A Fairytale of New York. Straight people, intentionally homophobic or not will express annoyance, dismay, confusion about discourse around censoring, or not censoring, the F slur. And again, LGBT+ people are drawn into a row caused by straight people thinking that it’s censorship to ask them not to repeat the slur I’ve been called every time a straight person has used violence against me on account of my sexuality.

To you it’s just a word. To me it’s a word that strips me utterly of my equal standing in society, and a reminder that to some people I’m a sexual deviant who would have been beaten, arrested- killed, mere decades ago.

Must be nice not to understand what it’s like to have a word out there floating around waiting to be used with venom against people like me, to denigrate and insult and upset us. Some nice privilege not to know that feeling.

And all of these things, these feelings, these issues and rows are foisted on us when we just want to exist in the same space, with the same right to dignity as everyone else.

The so much for tolerance crowd have absolutely no idea what it’s like to spend your life having to face daily slights against your own right to existence and frankly it’s a shame that people are so incapable of putting themselves in the shoes of LGBT+ people, into the lives of POC who face daily microaggressions just for existing, imagine what it’s like to be women and listen to constant comments about how “sensitive” you are, and insinuations that you’re less than societally because of your gender.

And I’d love to sit with those who read this which is both a vent and a request for empathy and ask them why they think their right to exist in peace is not equal to mine, or anyone else- it exceeds it.

There’s no such f*cking thing as cancel culture you snowflakes!

By Daviemoo

Day after day, social media is suffused with angry knee jerking people, yelling to the high hills about how you can’t say or do anything these days without being cancelled. But people seem to fail to realise the irony of the platforms from which they speak. As John Cleese’s documentary on “cancel culture” arrives to cause more unnecessary culture war rehashing, I’m here to tell you the cold hard fact that cancel culture just isn’t a thing- you’re just not funny for being a prick.

One of my favourite examples of people who mysteriously believed they were “cancelled/censored/silenced”, was Rosie Duffield, MP, who endorsed transphobic views on twitter and has subsequently faced cancellation… by being in several national newspapers, talking about how silenced she is.

I’m not sure if Ms. Duffield is aware, but speaking from a double page spread is actually NOT what being silenced is.
I’ve spoken several times on transphobia and it’s clownery, but for an MP to speak on being “cancelled” because she espouses views contrary to the idea that she would seek to work with any of her voters- is highly ironic. She was platformed by those who voted for her, only to turn around and essentially endorse the idea that they do not deserve the rights they have- and feels aggrieved by being called out on this.

The cherry on top, is the idea of silence while being interviewed by national media is… comical at best. When is the last time an everyday trans person was interviewed to platform their views…

Instead, we see the same faces pushed to media- trans people who agree to toe the line of the gender critical or people who aren’t even accepted by the trans community for what could be considered radical views. And so the media giant turns the screw more- “we thought you wanted representation” they say, platforming trans people who agree it’s a sexual perversion – who never, oddly, stop to wonder if it’s just THEM who feel that way. Or gay people like Darren Grimes who decry “identity politics” and in the same breath refer to themselves as a working class gay man. Irony is lost on these people- specifically because their brains don’t have the acuity for it, clearly.

The irony of this whole farcical debate about cancel culture, is that many of those who proclaim to think it’s an attack on their freedom, their views, their lifestyles- themselves- often cheerfully propagate their own versions of it!
Take Cleese for example, who is cheerfully creating a TV show talking about how hard cancel culture is for folk of his ilk- forgetting, I’m sure, to mention that he sued a journalist for saying something Cleese didn’t like- is that cancel culture? Cancelling a person with an opinion? Or is that the good type of cancel culture that those who benefit from it overlook.

The crux of the argument seems to be is that many people these days seem to feel that they are cancelled for espousing their horrible views- but never before has this been such flagrant nonsense, with the four year tenure of a pussy grabbing mask denying gobshite like Trump, lauded for “telling people like it is” recently coming to a close- the man’s only selling point that his head was too empty to say anything with grace or just not speak when he could be megaphoning his own greatness to a feverish crowd, or a PM in the UK who has described Muslim women as letterboxes and criminals, gay men as tank topped bum boys, black people as having “watermelon smiles” and his only response? “Out of context”. Having read it- the context makes it worse. So never before has it been so clear that the people who decry cancel culture’s issues isn’t that they’re being punished for espousing disgusting views- its’ that they didn’t already have the insulation of a platform to say it from with safety.

Equally, looking at examples of people who did suffer “cancellation” seem to truly deserve it. Openly being racist, homophobic, misogynistic, ableist and that being your only schtick means you’re trying to profit from hatred- are we in a world where profiting off hatred is ok? If so, what a sad society we’ve become. But I can find scarce examples of people who have successfully been cancelled- Paris Hilton’s homophobic rant didn’t stop her from creating a TV show where she “interviewed” for her best friend. Rowling is still jogging along cheerfully throwing bigot baguettes out of her hamper for her slavering crowd of followers. But lets look at Janet Jackson- thrown under the bus by a co-worker and lost her jobs and footing… strange, I wonder what was different about Jackson compared to, I don’t know… white people being bigoted. It’s a mystery!

That’s the real message I get whenever I hear the bleating of “WoKe CaNcEl CuLtUrE”- I’m just angry that I’m not already famous enough to say this and survive it.

The fact is, racial, anti LGBTQIA humour, ridiculous sentiments like anti vaccination stances or similar, has been the safety net of many a waning star to gain a quick following from people who will blindly support you because they’re a one issue voter.

Those glibly hashtagging #IStandWithRosie or sharing Cleese’s documentary with unbridled glee that SOMEONE IS FINALLY SAYING IT couldn’t care less that Duffield drove two gay staff members to quit with her mindless rhetoric, or that Cleese thinks London “is not an English city any more” as long as they keep pushing the victim mentality that’s hilariously common with people in this regressive mindset.

Gaslighting is a term I don’t like to throw around but when you have vast portions of society on your side simply by dint of your gender or the fact you were a beloved comedian in your youth, accusing minorities of cancelling you because you don’t like being told your views are incorrect and damaging, or that your comedy relies on punching down on people’s existences.

The irony is that nobody in this crowd of oh so oppressed for their thoughts people, never stop to put themselves in the position of the people who suffer for their thoughts, their humour, their thoughtless words. Are people just moaning for the sake of it, or could it be that your endless rehashing of shit humour, your banal and frankly incorrect assumptions about someone because of what arouses them or their skin colour, is just tedious enough that we’re bored of smiling and nodding and privately deleting your number from our phones.

Your want the impunity to speak, but don’t have the stones to cope with the reaction to it. Clearly it’s better to wander the world shouting racial slurs because THATS WHAT MY GRANDMA DID than try and empathise or just, generally, not be a sack of cat sick.

It’s an irony. I have thoughts often about people that would surely hurt them should I speak them- so I just don’t. And if i do say something insensitive, even if my immediate reaction is to defend myself because I don’t like to be accused of doing cruel things with intent, I’d be seriously let down by myself if i didn’t apologise and try and understand what I’d said and why it was damaging.

Much like other ridiculous ideas (see “electing a silly haired right wing chittering gibbon as leader”), the cancel culture garbage has been imported from America. Over in America over 60 percent of polled citizens believe that cancel culture is an issue which is affecting mainstream society: to this I would politely ask these polled Americans, what views is it that you hold that you’re so worried you’ll be cancelled over?
With an ex president who won based on racial populism, desperate to build an ineffective wall between your neighbours, you can’t think it’s racism? And with a supreme court stacked with anti LGBTQIA bigots, and where literal members of the GOP refuse to publicly come out despite myriad statements from sex workers about their private proclivities, it cant be that you worry about being labelled a homophobe. I dread to think what it is that keeps you awake at night, wondering for whom the imaginary cancel bell is tolling today…

Ultimately, modern society is built on the promise that to co-exist humans have to put aside their petty nonsense and work together to further human interest, and many of us have to bury resentment about the snippy way we’re treated in service jobs or the outright aggression we face from strangers based on the bodies we were born in or what it is that arouses those bodies, but more and more it seems that a bunch of oversensitive folk, somehow on the more right and yet more wrong side of the spectrum, seem absolutely fervent that they should be able to say and do whatever they want without impunity – but when spoken back to, suddenly their free speech is being CANCELLED! What about our free speech to decry your bullshit, Karen?

People who refuse to change their thoughts, their actions to accommodate society are the reason it’s being cut to ribbons as it’s dragged along by those of us who want to make the world better. If you want to watch historical comedy series’ that make racial or homophobic jokes, no one is going to castigate you for it, but at some point maybe it’s better that we… move on as a society or at least share the stage with comedians from those minorities who get to make fun of the people who make careers out of stepping on our backs.

Pride was, is and will always be a protest- lets make what that means crystal clear

By Daviemoo

Anti LGBTQIA sentiment has taken a notable uptick in the UK in the last 4 years. As of October 2020, community specific hate crimes had tripled, with a huge survey of people confirming that they had experienced anti LGBTQIA sentiment in public or at work over the course of their recent lives. Some outside- and an unfortunate subset of those within- blame the visibility of the trans rights battle. Others, like I, believe the rise of right wing populism and the unmasking and normalisation of hateful sentiment, is the clear cause. The question is- how far will the UK slide, and what will be the catalyst for action to be taken?

You know when you’re at the beach, and you can see a tiny rock that’s been washed around in the tide and that tiny stone has worn a hole in a bigger rock? That’s how I feel, like that little rock, ebbing and flowing backwards and forwards and trying to wear in some change but also getting thinner and thinner myself- when I talk about certain aspects of being gay, back and forth over the same points, trying to wear in the groove so it’s not necessary to keep repeating. It’s so intrinsic to me that it’s almost tiring to have to explain it. Equally I want anyone who does come across this blog to realise that this is MY experience, not THE experience. I’ve met thousands of LGBTQIA people in my life and we all have different stories, so take what I write here as an op-ed, an opinion piece of being part of the LGBTQIA through the well worn lens of my own experience, and not the defining experience. It’s my explanation of me, how I feel and what I face, along with consensus from others I’ve spoken about.

I’m 33 years old, and I was pretty outspoken about my sexuality- firstly, as I grew, accidentally- now, very much intentionally. I didn’t mean to wear it on my sleeve as a child and it’s the idea that it’s controllable that wears at me so. I was never masculine, even though my dad and my uncles are the epitome of typical masculinity. I remember being 4 and 5 and seeking out girls to be friends with because I felt shy around other boys.

I’m apparently an odd one, because I always knew I was gay. I remember being 5 and telling my friend I would marry him one day, and the disgust on his face made me bury it all. But I couldn’t hide my presentation, my campness if you will. But I always felt I should. Rarely, directly, other kids and adults would tell me they didn’t like how I acted, that it wasn’t “normal” and that sentiment was echoed everywhere, wound tightly around my experience of existence and of my adolescence- and I always wondered where it came from, and why the way I acted was (i assume…) linked to my sexuality- I knew from the knee that There Was Something Different, and other people were all too happy to hammer that into my head.

I don’t think- because of that- that I ever experienced a real, relaxed childhood. Because I spent so much of my youth wondering what was different and why, and if I could change it, take it away, deny it, repress it.

I knew that I had to hide it to survive, and I lied to myself every day that I DID like girls, I DID want to be like the other boys around me, share their interests, their demeanour, their jokes. And I never could. This all sounds very self pitying – it was a miserable existence until decided I didn’t care what the repercussions were and that I was going to live outwardly as I was within, and embrace who I truly am.

As I battled through this, I heard so many hateful recycled tropes, and became aware of this culture of open irony that surrounds us on the daily. So, lets focus on some of these aspects and see if we can’t shed some light on why the world is such an odd place to be…

The Narrative of “choice”

I used to believe that there was no element of choice in being gay. And for me, I still don’t. It’s threaded deeply into every aspect of me- sexuality, in a heteronormative society, affects much more than just who you love. But it’s reductive at best for me to say 100% that nobody chooses to be gay- I’ve literally met gay men who have said they chose it, and who am I to deny their experiences off my own? That said I think that if you are gay you are gay- the choice comes into it when it comes to ACTING on it.

Equally, the narrative of choice is a common talking point with anti gay campaigners, so my simple question is -even if it is a choice: who cares? Why does sexuality being a choice in any way mean it deserves less credence, less respect?
You rarely get an answer that isn’t garbage and gobbledegook when you ask this question. The idea that sexuality is a choice is absolutely laughable to me, as someone who (as a child- not now) would have chosen to flip that switch in an instant so I could enjoy my life as other children around me did. Now- I’ve been gay my entire life, I don’t know who I would be if I hadn’t experienced what I have so I cling to it because I believe I’m a mostly good person, and a lot of my empathy comes from the feelings of dislocation that are enmeshed in my sexuality, which is a part of my identity.

I was in a relationship for 2 years with a man who was so deeply brainwashed by heteronormativity and the message that his father pushed to him that gayness was not an option for him, that he only realised he was gay when he’d had sex with his girlfriend, she had gone to bed, and he had gone to watch gay porn on the internet, suddenly realising he only felt fulfilled when he was looking at men. He felt terrible for his girlfriend but was desperate to leave and be true to himself- I met him on his return to the UK, and we were together for 2 years as he explored who he was. Due to my own experiences I thought this was a rarity – not, apparently, so.

People ask why LGBTQIA issues should be taught in school – probably because many people feel as he did, and end up experimenting in the opposite way that society normally speaks in hushed tones about. I’d imagine younger girls and boys would appreciate not being the experimentation of LGBTQIA youths who don’t know who they are, due to what I can only describe as indoctrination by heteronormative media and the framing of how we raise children in this society.

It’s always entertaining to ask heterosexual people when they chose to be straight and listen to either glib silence, or slack jawed misunderstanding. Though I did see @theconsciouslee who is amazing by the way, have an argument with a homophobe recently who said that heterosexuality is “the default”- which would imply it’s not a choice because you intrinsically are it and then somehow, without choosing, choose to stray from that…

I think some LGBTQIA people would “choose” not to be part of the LGBTQIA if given a choice. Having run a poll on Twitter, my results say:

So though many people would choose their identity if it was a choice, ultimately the fact that people can even answer the question should defeat the narrative of choice, which needs to be extinguished once and for all; and for those who believe they are straight but choose not to engage in homosexual acts, or who think their reluctance to transition due to whatever reasons means others are the same- you’re bi/trans and ignorant of others’ experiences to boot.

I suspect in a different society/country the results would be vastly different than they were, and would not be echoed by this tweet which I agree with

I know it has “sex” in it, but sexuality is about more than sex

Another defence homophobes love to use is that they don’t want to “confuse” children when allowing LGBTQIA issues to be spoken about in school. Again, to reiterate, what about those of us in the rainbow who grow up confused- but aside from that- we still grow up as ourselves despite being surrounded by heterosexuality, so the idea that a class could “confuse” someone into being part of the community is ridiculous. And again I repeat- for the vast, huge majority of us there is no element of choice.

Equally it always comes across as the idea that heterosexual fearmongers think that people in the rainbow’s issues only ever revolve around our genitals or sex. It’s rarely spoken about that we have a much higher rate of depression, low self esteem, suicide rate, that we engage in unsafe sex practices because we’re simply not taught to abide by safety and because we feel that sex is our binding commonality and have to use this to bond with and please our fellows. I’m trying to be sensitive when saying that, as it’s certainly not an accusation of a cavalier attitude to safety in the community- it’s an explanation of the reality that some of us seek sexual safety and equate that to emotional closeness- even at 33, I too can sometimes fool myself that someone who wants to have sex with me is the same as someone who cares for me.

Talking about LGBTQIA issues in a setting like school would allow for us to safeguard youths in the rainbow from falling into the same traps many of us have- unsafe meetups, grooming by the more sinister of those in our community (Who should also be dealt with), falling into echo chambers about issues that affect our community. The normalisation of sexuality and gender presentations would allow for a broader dialogue of shared experiences to bolster the youth experience of those who both do, and do not, conform to what is seen as societal norms- and expanding those societal norms to embrace us would give those of us outside the current norms to find a sense of normality – something I’ve had to search for years to find from within. I am normal. We are normal. It’s a society that forces rigid conformance to gender and sexual spectrum norms that is not.

Sexuality is a huge trope in culture, and comes with baggage which can be foisted on us- and to escape that iron blanket and discover our own identities takes work. We have to untangle not only the negative aspersions we face from heteronormative society- we have to unpick the subcultures we sometimes feel obligated to be part of, and feeding into stereotypes or archetypes leads to problems of it’s own.

Recentering pride

As efforts are made to shift pride back to the pure protest it originated as, with or without the acceptance of an utterly ambivalent tory government, this should be a claxon call to the community at large. It’s not the time to seek peaceful dialogue with those who would debate our rights to marry, kiss in the street, live with our partner, transition. Our existence is not an inconvenience to people but an incontrovertible, undeniable hard fact. Our existence can, as it has been, suppressed but we can and do continue to exist in strength through that. And now we’ve tasted the freedom acceptance grants, it’s not likely to be something surrendered easily.

Pride once again needs to become an outright slap in the face of those who would deny us our rights, our happiness, our ability to live as we are. We have to fight the foolishness I’ve gone over in this article and work together as a community, or we’ll always be struggling for even the bare minimum of being tolerated.

One of the enduring problems we face is the hedonistic amongst us in the community who care only for their own rights and protections. I see being part of the community as an automatic opting in to defending the rights of my fellows who share the community for whatever reason. To see selfish cis gay men talk about how they don’t care for trans rights, to listen to lesbians casually erase bisexuality etc, is maddening and exhausting. We can’t, we shouldn’t, fight amongst ourselves- that ire should be aimed at those without, not within. The more accepting the community is and the more it grows, the safer we are- and everyone in the community, at its core, suffers oppression- regardless of it’s “cause”, we share that commonality and must fuse together to battle this.

Having tried to baby the anti trans movement with spoonfuls of information to explain away their worries about a people who simply want to live unimpeded by their ignorance, or nicely ask for my least favourite word- tolerance- from bigots, I’m of the mind that time is running short to remind people that the community is more than happy to fight for it’s rights.

As the worrying radicalisation of more and more people continues unabated under a government indifferent to serious warning signs that the LGBTQIA of the UK are under threat, the time has come to utilise pride as the weapon in hiding it’s been during an era of more acceptance. We must be heard, we must be seen, we must be fierce. We, as a united group, will not have our rights supplanted by people who do not understand or care to understand our humanity.

Pride must be mobilised as a march of warning, as the sound of doldrums to make those who would stand to take our rights away- as a threat that coming for our community will not end with peace, but will bring back the radical queer movements of the 70s and 80s- staged die-ins, tv channels being overtaken, protests. We are a people whose oppression is not a “debate” as the more literate amongst the bigots try to say- we are humans, with rights and dignity we will not lose to appease the pathological amongst us.

Danger Signs

The reason I chose to write this piece is the sheer amount of anti LGBTQIA hate crimes taking place across the UK at the moment- worldwide, anti LGBTQIA sentiment is as always, a frightening topic. But in the UK, it seemed to have reached a point of normalisation that was refreshing. You weren’t beleaguered by bigotry in the street often, and people didn’t ask the retinue of foolish questions that are invasive and degrading in equal measure.

It seems that in recent months, hate crime has spiked against the community again, and at a time of danger, we should be focusing on coming together to offer support and foster discussion on how to be safe- but instead are mired in efforts to enlighten the more foolish amongst us who subscribe to anti trans sentiment, or feel that it doesn’t affect them because they are “lucky” enough to blend into heteronormative society.

If a concerted effort is not made by the entire community, these issues are never cured, only banished into the dark to fester, and it’s re-emergence is a worrying sign of things to come if we don’t rise up as one to combat the never tiring bigotry that hides in the shadows.

The concerted but quiet efforts of bigoted politicians has been the cornerstone of the issue with a sliding backwards of movements against the community. From the mainstream acceptance of politicians like Priti Patel who was, is and continues to be outspoken in her dislike for progressive rights for gay people, the prime minister himself referring to us tank topped bum boys, foolish errors in judgement like former PM Theresa May and then a compounding of the error, Kier Starmer, visiting an anti LGBTQIA church who foster conversion therapy- the dismantlement of the LGBT advisory board by ostensible equalities minister Liz Truss, the mainstreaming of transphobia in politics by (at best) misguided and at worst radicalised MP’s like Rosie Duffield or Jess Phillips who stupidly tweeted a conspiracy theory about a trans murderer then refused to apologise… And the fact that the anti trans arguments are, naturally, recycled tropes from homophobia.

For fun, lets pick them apart!

*Insert LGBTQIA person here* is a pervert!

From “gays shouldn’t teach because they are paedophiles” to “trans women will wave their genitals around/ look at my genitals”, genuinely WHY – is being part of this community linked to the idea that we are naturally perverted. It seems that any LGBTQIA behaviour is linked intrinsically to the idea of sex, sexual gratification or sexual arousal. Gay men couldn’t just want to be teachers for the same banal reasons as heterosexual people. Trans women couldn’t just want to use a bathroom because they feel comfortable surrounded by people with their own gender presentation. The bathroom fallacy is always my favourite to pull apart, and as I mentioned in another piece, if you’re afraid of the arousal of those around you in a bathroom the next issue will come with lesbian, gay or bi people being forced to use some mythical third bathroom option to prevent what heteronormative folk see as a natural result of shared space.

To not adhere to societal expectations does not automatically match the (frankly overused in this instance) moniker of pervert. Enjoying leatherwear or being a drag queen does not automatically feed into some deep seated lust for unsafe sex acts. This eagerness to tie members of the community to the anchor of perversion is to cast a huge swath of the community overboard to sink in the ridiculous seas of meaningless buzz phrases we’ve been fighting against since sentiment against us was coined. I’ve done drag 6 times. It’s not sexual, it’s fun to do something outside of the gender norms.

People also tend to conflate drag and trans people- I’ve never understood that trope either. To do drag is to adopt a persona other than your own and create an exaggerated look that matches that- usually, but not always, a feminine one. To be trans is to feel that your gender does not match what you feel it is.

At it’s heart, this sort of sentiment is meant to “other” us, to dehumanise us. But every single human is human, no matter how good or bad they are, and to not fit your societal expectations is not automatically set to run parallel to not being deserving of, at very least, respect.

*Insert LGBTQIA person here* is trying to convert our children!

We can’t.
Firstly as I’ve mentioned, I’ve no idea how I’d go about converting someone to gay – either people have those feelings or they don’t. I don’t know the first thing about making someone feel something they don’t feel.
Secondly, even if we could, I wouldn’t.

I’ve slept with questioning men, men who wonder if they might have gay/ bi feelings. It never ends well – usually with being completely disregarded, sometimes with hate crimes… If my sexuality is so repellent to you why precisely would I want to foster that with you? And why, oh why, would I want to raise a child into a sexuality that (despite coming with good things), has been the cause of a significant portion of unhappiness for me in my life- usually at the hands of other people.

*Insert facet of the community here* is innately sexual, and shouldn’t be spoken about!

I am a gay man. Is it sexual when I go and buy stamps? Is it a part of my sexuality when I look at shoes in a shop? Is it a gay perversion when I go to the bathroom, make a cup of tea, answer my work phone, dry my clothes, itch my foot?

So often- too often, we are reduced to pastiches of the worst kind, sex crazed, kinky people who are only about that. We all brush our teeth (I hope), eat food, read, sleep… And I feel it prudent to ask people outside our community to please stop reducing us down to what we do with our genitals, and what we think about. Equally, a message for those in the community as much as outside of it- you don’t have to have engaged in same sex acts, or have transitioned, to be LGBTQIA. A gay or bi man who has never had sex with another man is still gay or bi. A trans man who hasn’t been able to start transition due to the woeful state of trans healthcare in the UK. It’s not about your perception of another person’s acts or presentation, it’s about theirs.

Opening a dialogue about LGBTQIA issues for younger people would not just help LGBTQIA youths but also those suffering their own issues- for example, speaking about the increased isolation and depression rates of LGBTQIA youths would also, naturally, have benefit for those who feel those same feelings but who are NOT part of the community. Speaking about the pressure that comes with sexualisation in a community where sex is (often but not always) the common denominator or reason you gain attention, would also feed back into those who are sexualised against their will in modern society. It can only give benefits to give an honest and open dialogue about difficulties people face, and the normalisation of those individuals.

Let’s stop catering to reactionaries & radicals

If you are genuinely so radicalised as to believe people will go on years long waiting lists for hormones and gender reassignment surgeries, or who will face ostracization from family and friends to live openly as they are, you are frankly more privileged than you could know. I, and I’m sure it’s not just me, am thoroughly exhausted of catering to fools who believe this nonsense. Their views should be scorned, ridiculed, debunked and those who cling to it like driftwood at sea should be shamed. You don’t get to cling to beliefs that are damaging in a very real way to huge groups of people when the evidence you are wrong -and you are- exists in such abundance. You are the anti-vaxxers of sexuality and gender presentation, buying into scurrilous conspiracy theories in place of thinking critically about human nature and the diversity encoded into our ways of reproducing. You shouldn’t be entertained or catered to, because you choose ignorance in a way we cannot choose our sexualities (to my knowledge) or genders.

Religious or “philosophical” entitlement to bigotry

Lets keep this brief for the Maya Forstater supporters in the room. Your choice to believe in all the wizardry of books about magic beings who create afterlives and moral lists of how we can be good people is yours, and you’re free to make it. But why you think for one moment that your beliefs should be able to impact on our right to live, our right to access healthcare, our right to urinate in public in peace, is one of the most confusing and yet enduring arguments in modern society. If you want to believe that all gay men are ravening predators, or that trans folk are somehow suffering from AGP (google it, it’s frankly too ridiculous for me to even explain), that’s not because you have founded proof of it- it’s because you choose to believe in bottom line bigotry, because your desperate need to “understand” something you’re not a part of means you are willing to believe nonsense recycled by others who are not a part of the community- or at best, are outliers of it- instead of putting aside your desperate need to apply prejudice and actually speak to the people you so fear and attempt to understand them. That, I assure you, is a problem, an issue, a shortfall, an imbalance with you- and is not something that should labour the life or happiness of a member of our community. To sum up -get a life, get an education- or get out.

Concluding words- and actions

Pride being a protest is a message that’s been gently moved to the back, in favour of a rebrand of a more peaceful word like, celebration, memorial or similar.

We exist in spite of those who would see us killed, beaten, bruised, arrested, raped, converted- and pride is a stark reminder that we can, that we should, that we must stand in defence of ourselves and each other, shoulder to shoulder in this constant march towards progress.

To know that we exist in a world where we could be murdered based on something so comparatively minor which has been made important by the collective idiocy of the society we’re in is exhausting sometimes- and it’s a sentiment that’s shared with many other members of society. Women face increased risk of violence, both physical and sexual, and yet a significant portion of gender criticality is based around the idea that cis women are somehow at loggerheads with trans rights. To deny the commonality is to deny common sense- and yet anti trans radicals do this often.

Society at large sees heterosexuality as a norm to be applied, chased, obtained, whereas I see all sexualities and gender presentations as the norm- genetic quirks but notable enough to be part of a melting pot of societal norms- there is not, and should not be, a hegemony of any one over another. Coexistence, surely, is the norm in a society who can and should foster acceptance.

And if society can’t foster coexistence, as the saying goes, it can expect resistance.