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.

Conversion therapy is torture

By Daviemoo

Conversion therapy is a clumsy and useless umbrella term for everything that falls under it- from simple talking therapies to violence, rape and castration, it is a term that does not encompass the horror which it can, does, and has entailed for those who have suffered at it’s hands and – thanks to the conservative government, will continue to. This violence against the trans community must be stopped at all costs.

Firstly a disclaimer to the “gender critical” LGB and perhaps even T people who enjoy consuming my content to harass me: they were going to ignore any suggestions of a ban: you’re on the side of people who would happily see you tortured because of your identity too. Be careful throwing around the term ‘handmaidens’ in future because we may not be able to hear you over the flapping of your collars.

Anti trans activists have fastened their hands around some key phrases I want to debunk: “we are just women with concerns”. Many (not all, perhaps) of the concerns that anti trans activists have revolve around the bodies of trans people, information they are not entitled to: they revolve around baseless claims of transgender people as predatory, or about the damage that transition does to trans people rather than the successes of those who have been helped immensely by it- focusing on the small percentile who desist in their transition rather than those who happily, safely transition and live in their gender or those who choose to re-transition down the line. For women with concerns there is also a surprising amount of virulently anti woman commentary- Steve Brookstein, an X factor competitor tried to have a tweet saying “can we all agree the main purpose of a woman is to procreate” go viral.

We also see a surprising paucity of coverage of other concerns for women: a cursory search of some of the more prominent anti trans figureheads like Maya Forstater, JK Rowling, Kathleen Stock, Graham Linehan, Helen Staniland- reveal little to no discourse around topics like the horrific murder of Sarah Everard at the hands of a policeman, or Blessing Olusegun’s mysterious death, Sabina Nessa’s murder in a London park. They, of course, will argue that they see trans people as the biggest threat to women, that women are being erased in favour of a hopelessly small minority. Not to insult your intelligence dear reader, but can you spot the flaw in claiming that trans WOMEN are erasing the word women, or erasing women in general when trans women ARE women?

The other phrase often repeated is “standing up for women and girls” which I find a truly bizarre sentiment when those who spend hours online describing the rising transgender menace rarely speak out on topics like medical misogyny, period poverty, the disproportionate ageism women face, rape culture, body shaming- yet today the daily mail, with a photoshoot, lauds Forstater with a campaign she deems “the most significant women’s rights movement since the suffragettes”.

Suffragettes committed acts of what would today be called terrorism in desperation to be legitimised as human beings, as people with feelings, thoughts, brains, pride, and a fierce determination to be treated with respect: one could easily argue that Forstater’s virulent anti trans rhetoric could be pushing trans people so far to the wall that they are the oppressed facing a violent struggle for legitimacy. There is also the often spotted repetition of anti trans activists stating glibly that they can ALWAYS TELL someone is trans then blithely calling non trans allies trans: and it brings up a philosophical point: if you can “always tell” why is there also a huge push for trans women to disclose their medical history to you? Perhaps transphobes like being told things they apparently already knew: it does explain why the discourse is so hopelessly circular.

I doubt that there are many readers who believe that women have equality or equity in society: for those that disagree, you are wrong. Women have been maligned by men for all of history and are now, and unfortunately will continue to be because whether you believe in patriarchy or not, some form of male supremacy does exist, persist and propagates in society. One must ask though whether the anti trans movement is a cause that champions women’s equality or whether it opens the door for further oppression of women and girls.

Looking at LGBT+ oppression specifically which obviously encompasses that of women and girls- cis and trans- let us view the statements the UK government itself has made;

there is no robust evidence that conversion therapy can achieve its stated therapeutic aim of changing sexual orientation or gender identity

the types of practices tend to be similar for conversion therapy for sexual orientation and for gender identity – for example, talking therapies delivered by faith groups or mental health professionals

conversion therapies were associated with self-reported harms among research participants who had experienced conversion therapy for sexual orientation and for gender identity – for example, negative mental health effects like depression and feeling suicidal

there is indicative evidence from surveys that transgender respondents were as likely or more likely to be offered and receive conversion therapy than non-transgender lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) respondents

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-assessment-of-the-evidence-on-conversion-therapy-for-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity/an-assessment-of-the-evidence-on-conversion-therapy-for-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity

If you create a ruling against transgender people being able to access certain healthcare, that ruling likely speaks on the individual’s bodily autonomy. Bodily autonomy is already (for ridiculous reasons) still questionable when it comes to women: from seeking abortion rights to whether or when they may access birth control and which method- to the simple right to say no to men in some cultures. Propagating an argument about bodily autonomy against trans people can- and will – be weaponised against these supposed moral crusaders for women’s rights because it’s plain to see that the anti trans panic is being championed by those who also work against womens’ rights: fundamentalist christians and hard right figures who believe that their entitlement to control women’s bodies is paramount to women’s own rights to choose.

Don’t believe it? Vladimir Putin has, before defending JK Rowling, called trans acceptance a “crime against humanity”. Donald Trump almost immediately enacted a ban on trans people serving in the army (it is more nuanced than written here for the sake of expedience but is no less true). Trump’s son lauded Rowling’s scorn filled tweets about “penised people”. Let us also highlight the irony of Putin’s rhetoric- he claimed JK Rowling was “cancelled” and that the west is trying to “cancel” Russia: bold words from a man so afraid of political rivals he has them murdered, imprisoned or injured. Rowling enjoys wealth, influence and adoration untainted by her increasingly outspoken verbiage against a community she’s previously expected praise from for the crumbs of a non sexual gay character who went full wizard Nazi because his boyfriend wanted him to.

This does, however, run deeper than left or right wing politics though the case is easily made that this is right wing propaganda, especially as we see that the only thing the tories are levelling up on is the rhetoric that labour are woke lefties as we prepare for the announcement of an early election. MPs who would normally take pragmatic views step back on making clear statements of support for those they normally would for fear they would upset bigots. I myself have written to my local MP in disgust of both sides of the political aisle, from Rosie Duffield’s endless platforming to speak out against trans people to Wes Streeting’s repeated and ignored transgressions against trans people, and conversely to the openly empty sentiments of permanently angry sentient felt tip Sophie Corcoran tweeting “don’t call me cis!”.

Prominent news outlets like (and I won’t say respectable because) talk radio, sky news, LBC, The BBC, all dedicating portions of their air time to questions like “can a woman have a penis” or “should we ask men if they’re pregnant in hospital”.

Insanity incarnate rules the media: because who cares? Shall we entertain discourse about how big a penis has to be before a man is a man? Does a micropenis mean a man is not a man? Genitals do not define you wholly.

Non parody-parody commentator Darren Grimes leapt to an impassioned defence of conversion therapy on twitter- it’s strange that Darren is so passionate in the availability of conversion therapy and yet hasn’t gone through it. Mayhaps he hasn’t run out of hope that he’ll find someone who can overlook his personality, lack of intelligence and disturbingly toothy face in favour of his good qualities, like his mam’s cooking. Mayhaps Darren hasn’t partaken in conversion therapy because:

These troubling ethical practices have raised alarm in major mental health professions, particularly because of the harm to patients. Further, all of these factors raise another ethical issue: Even if the questionable claims of conversion therapy’s effectiveness are valid, should the conversion of some “homosexuals” to heterosexuality condone the iatrogenic harm done to other patients who later come out as gay or lesbian?

In other words, should it not matter how many gay or lesbian people are hurt in the process of creating a few heterosexuals?

https://meridian.allenpress.com/jmr/article/102/2/7/80848/The-Growing-Regulation-of-Conversion-Therapy

The argument has always been that you are what you are born, that biology and nature matter. This of course discounts the gene therapy people can have to prevent inherited conditions, the plastic surgery people can have on lunch to hide signs of ageing, the cancer destroyed by gamma knives, the towering blocks of concrete and glass we erect. Denying trans healthcare is to deny the progression of a species scientifically out of fear and bigotry: we live in a world where these things are possible- what does preventing it do?

There is no weight to arguing that women are women because of breasts which some women do or don’t have for one reason or another, or uteri, or hormones or this or that: combined, these things may- MAY – make up a huge proportion of woman, but cis or trans some women do not fit all or even any of these stereotypes. It is ultimately YOU who decides what makes your womanhood and though that can have commonality with other women’s ideas it absolutely does not make you more correct than the woman whose breasts never developed, who never had a period, and so on and so on. Nobody though is denying the biological reality of sex: but gametes do not dictate our societal treatment of each other (I would hope).

There is SOME weight to arguing that women are women because from the moment they grow they are treated as women are, for better or worse. But pause and ask the commonalities between trans and cis women’s growing experience and see whether you believe those common threads are enough that the experience is not wholly unique.

Now let’s move to a question on the topic at hand: do you believe conversion therapy works?

The government’s own compiled dossier on conversion therapy states as above that “there is no evidence that conversion therapy can or does achieve the aims it seeks to”. Those wishing to keep it legal will ask why it would then harm to keep it legal. This dry sentence does not encompass the horror that lurks beneath.
Documentaries covering the repeated brutal rape, beating, ECT, medication, physical and mental abuse that can- and does- encompass conversion therapy are widely available online. So is research into what these tactics achieve: high morbidity rates and for those who are “successfully converted” a lifetime of PTSD and dissatisfaction that may or may not prevent you from continuing to be exactly what you always were.

There is an irony I enjoy pointing out in fundamentalist anti LGBT+ thinking: you are the ones who sexualise us. The mere mention of gay men has people covering their children’s ears and hissing about inappropriate topics! But my penchant for finding men attractive is quite a distinguished topic from anal sex, poppers, doucheing. Did you know that the recently signed “don’t say gay” bill in the US had two proposed amendments offered? One suggested that it would be appropriate to provide assistive materials to those who a teacher reasonably assumed to be LGBT+ so they would be able to access materials to help them understand their identities? It was voted down. Another amendment suggested that it be made completely blanket illegal to talk about sex (of any kind): it was voted down. So you can talk to a 6, 7 or 8 year old child about heterosexual sex but not homosexual sex: because, it seems, it’s wrong to talk about gay sex but not straight sex? But this act is oft touted as “not homophobic, it’s about stopping children hearing about inappropriate topics”. No. It’s erasure.

There’s a saying which has deep roots in mythology: “we are legion”. And this applies to the LGBT+. You can legislate against us. You can demonise us, imprison and kill us; no doubt people will continue to do so. But we are born, not (to my knowledge) made- evidence backed up by the solid failure of conversion therapy to do it’s stated aim- convert.

We will continue to persist no matter what you do to us. Those of us with decency stand together. And again a reminder that you can only push a community so far before they need to resort to desperate efforts to defend themselves.

Please consider writing to your MP today regarding this fallacious state of affairs: the government must stop the rhetoric of transgender people being less deserving of dignity and safety and must start looking after the citizens of the UK. Legal torture protects nobody.

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.

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.

There is no “Trans Debate”- Just people trying to live versus a hate movement

By Daviemoo

Mandel, a vocal Rowling supporter who also thinks that friendship with Neo Nazis is a good idea

I feel like a traitor writing this piece. The last thing that’s needed is yet another cis person wading in to explain to other cis people the feelings of people who never ever get platformed and listened to. But it’s hard to stay silent when you see the damage of a ramped up hate movement being done to your friends, and so many other cis people determined to swing another axe at the base of trans rights. Over 50% of women in the UK accept that trans women are women; but the very vocal minority who do not are becoming ever more radicalised in their efforts to tar all trans folk as deviant. Anti trans folk like Rosie Duffield or Rowling will speak from double spread newspapers and in front of sympathetic journalists about how they’re being silenced, missing the irony, and platform seekers like Maya Forstater will throw away any decency to cling onto misinformed bigotry in the face of evidence to the contrary, shifting what was insisted as “biological reality” to philosophy just to propagate the hatred. What will it take for anti-trans people to accept that demonising an entire minority because of their perceived slights is causing damage to everyone- not just those they hate and fear?


Gender critical beliefs are a strange set of tenets which confuse anyone who doesn’t ardently subscribe to them- and still manages to flummox those who do.


“Women are being erased!” are you a woman? Are you being erased? Or is the definition of woman being widened for inclusivity? Does inclusion dilute or just offer more perspective? I’m sure you can guess my answer.


“People are being brainwashed into being trans” Fear not! There’s a 7 year waiting list, endless demeaning meetings and discussions, I’m sure anyone “brainwashed” will wake up from that.


“Trans women are men seeking to access women’s spaces for devious reasons” perhaps as a society we should address the problematic behaviour of so many men if this outlook on male behaviour is so widely shared – but trans women aren’t men, so blaming them for cis men’s actions is foolish and wrong.


“The world is going woke!” Enjoy your Forstater victory if you will – you’re perfectly entitled to think bigoted thoughts but, much like if I threw racial epithets around at work, if you are transphobic you will be fired. Think what you want, no one is the thought police, it’s just expected that if you’re transphobic you’ll either educate yourself out of bigotry or stay in that mind-set and keep it to yourself.

I’m loathe to mention the cis women at the Olympics who have been stopped from competing, or been asked to present her genitals to prove she is a woman because her performance was so good; but sometimes the only way to capture those who are indifferent to the plight of trans folk is to mention these women: because when it can be applied to you as a person, suddenly it becomes more of a threat.
Caster Semenya has been told she must “lower her testosterone levels” so she can compete in women’s events. But as a cis woman, who is the arbiter of what is a “womanly” testosterone level? And do those who decided this think that once you are over a certain level of testosterone you are not a woman?

There are so many arms to the nuance of the debate: the erasure of non binary or intersex folk in the debate, the harm done to cis women (Like Caster Semenya, disqualified for her body’s hormone production or Tabitha Chawinga, who was forced to strip naked in public to prove she is a woman) that it seems gender critical people overlook, and trans people will bring up these examples to show the harm being done- only to be met with accusations of agenda pushing. There’s also the case of anti trans folk who will blithely confirm that “only women can have periods, only women can get pregnant, only women can give birth”- excluding as always any trans woman OR cis woman who doesn’t fit that paradigm which frankly borders on elitist- I know several women who can’t conceive and menopause ensures any woman who lives to experience it does not have periods. We’re to the point of gender criticality where you will read anti trans people speaking about hip structure and bone length or number of ribs as if that in any way affects how people live on the daily- I think if you lie awake at night counting your womanly ribs you’re entitled to do so, but whether that’s a disturbing view to take on your body is not for me to answer for fear of upsetting people.

Anecdotally, I suffered from gynaecomastia for months as a teen boy and essentially grew TINY breasts which subsequently went away. This, according to gender critical thinkers, is something only women can do naturally: so what am I?
Usually you’ll be met with “people like this are outliers” which is correct but also discounts the valid experience of people who do not fit the stereotypical growth patterns experienced by many. Incidentally around 1.7% of the world is intersex, which is close to the number of people that would have died in the initial wave of COVID had there been no vaccine. That number, this number of outliers? 132600000. Seems like not an insignificant number of people.


Rather than meeting people outside of the gender norms with scorn and repulsion, perhaps there should be some give on the gender critical side, a consensus that their understanding of their own experiences, bolstered by endless rhetoric from their own circle, does not explain why people transition, or continue to transition even in the face of relentless abuse, even when facing 7 year waiting lists, under accusations of perversion or mental illness, with the threat of hate crimes from insults to rape and murder looming heavy over their heads.


Personally I’ve tried to have productive discussions with gender critical folk before, to try and understand the depths of their mistrust and hatred of trans people, especially trans women, and I’ll be honest: it frightens me. Not every time, but often enough, folk who ascribe to gender critical beliefs are frighteningly radicalised into believing that all trans women- in fact, not just trans women but anyone they see as a man- are dangerous opportunistic predators.
I’ve tried to argue for trans women repeatedly in this discussion and am always met with unproductive replies about me being a “prostate haver”, a “beard”, a “misogynist”. In my eyes it’s reductive to ignore the point that gender critical feminism at its heart sees anyone that gender critical people see as a man, as a threat.

Cis Men are the Problem


Is the view that men are a threat incorrect? Probably not, unfortunately. Seeing the statistics following the murder of Sarah Everard where 97% of surveyed women had said they have experienced sexually inappropriate behaviour, it’s absolutely understandable that women would be cautious, nervous and mistrusting of men. But conflating trans women, a different demographic to cis men is a mistake: as does bringing up articles about trans prisoners sexually assaulting women. Sexual assault is a horrific crime that anyone can experience and too many people do- one person experiencing sexual assault is too many. But tarring all trans women with the brush of a sexual offender is disingenuous – should we tar all lesbians with the brush of sexual predator because some lesbians commit sexual assault? Or do the same with gay men?
Should we ban gay and lesbian people from their gender’s bathrooms because they might be uncontrollably aroused by their fellow users?
The idea of this is ludicrous and rooted, as is the anti trans rhetoric, in the idea that any deviation from gender or sexuality deemed “the norm” is automatically a disorder, perversion etc.


Anti trans rhetoric comes from a place so close to homophobia that it clearly shares a postcode and seeing the arguments recycled for the 21st century is disconcerting: living in a time of the trans panic, I sense I understand how LGBT allies felt during the gay panic of the 70s and 80s. Having to defend trans people from the automatic association with pervert is demoralising at best, and seeing a group of people determined to ascribe gender presentation with perversion is a frustrating experience at best, when you see the damage done to people simply trying to live out their lives in peace.


Watching gender critical people be further pushed to think that the truth of trans is tied to sexual arousal is confusing. Being trans isn’t linked to sexuality- it’s why there are gay, lesbian, bi, asexual trans people. And every trans person has had to explain, repeatedly, at length, that transitioning is not linked to sexual arousal or fetish- it’s a deep seated need to be on the outside as you are within and that is something I don’t believe anyone who is not trans could understand, or experience- but can most assuredly empathise with.


The reason it’s so frustrating to see the trans panic be framed as “philosophical” or “a debate” is that there is no debate here: one side want to maintain their rights, improve their healthcare and societal standing so it’s adequate and doesn’t come with years of waiting and demeaning processes, create a supportive atmosphere for youths who feel the same. The other side will throw accusations of paedophilia or grooming, they will shout over rights that trans people have had for longer than I’ve been alive, warning of dire consequences that just never seem to happen, and wrongly ascribe blame to trans women when it should be aimed at cis men.


Even the desperation of trans people to distance themselves from problematic trans women – because every demographic has problematic people within it- does nothing to assuage the fears of the gender critical crowd. Folks like Yaniv or White (if you know them, you’ll understand) are widely disparaged amongst trans activists and yet the gender critical folk will still continue to apply the miscreancy of these outliers to all trans folk as a rule- it is an established practice of gender criticality to ignore the facts for the sensation.


No decent trans person would support a man who donned a wig and a dress to access a private space for nefarious reasons – I’ve seen as much said by at least 3 of the most prominent trans activists. And when it comes to spaces like prisons, forget gender presentation –why are sexual predators being housed with people in general- having someone invade your body is a base betrayal, and those guilty of it should be housed away from anyone and everyone else.


Gender criticality boils down to the idea that men are dangers, and perceiving men that way is a huge, systemic societal problem that needs to be addressed (because it is not an idea without merit) and, it is my firm belief, would salve the fear anti trans people hold because it is ultimately cis men, sexuality irrespective (as a gay man who has experienced multiple instances of gay men not understanding the simple concept of consent) who are the instigators of the issues women (and other men!) face.


Additionally, one of the faces of gender critical beliefs is Graham Linehan who now publishes a blog to espouse gender critical beliefs after being kicked off twitter for his relentlessly hateful conduct- he has made a new career out of being the face of a hate movement, and I’ve no doubt that history won’t look kindly on him. But one has to wonder what on earth is in Linehan’s mind when it comes to supporting a movement that looks so unfavourably on men- and in fact, why a movement based around the idea that men are dangerous seem so willing to accept him as one of it’s ringleaders. In my personal view, Linehan appears to be a pet of the gender critical crowd, useful because he is a man telling the gender critical supporters that they are correct, that men are something to be feared, insidious, and that trans women are the highest example of this. One wonders how Linehan is so intimately familiar with how these imaginary devious trans women who are, despite years of having the rights he contests, think… or in fact what he himself thinks, if he’s so convinced that supporting the ideology that all men are opportunistic predators thinks.


It’s an unfortunate reality that many men must be taught how to comport themselves when it comes to consent and decency, and this stance is often met with flat denial- usually from the men most in desperate need of hearing it. But again- trans women are not men, and shouldn’t be held to the same values as a cis man- whether you think they are women or not is irrespective of this point- trans women have a vastly different perspective and lifestyle than cis men do- or they would not be trans women.

Looking at the LGB alliance I can only feel scorn for a group of people whose ostensible mission is “Stop being bigoted to us- but keep being bigoted to THESE people”. Their mission is so debased as to only need to be looked upon with disgust. Splintering the community that has supported each other from it’s necessary inception is a fools errand, and to condone certain forms of bigotry as long as it doesn’t affect you is horrifying.


Supporting trans people is to support a tiny faction in society who desperately needs to be protected from the increasing radicalisation of people who deny science which backs trans lives, who insist without evidence that trans people are dangers or in any way “wrong”. I can’t help but feel after such a long time in this debate, if you haven’t come to the conclusion that supporting trans people is right and fair, perhaps you’re lacking in some of the empathy you’re desperate for people to apply to you in your “struggle to be heard”.

If wearing makeup, womens clothing, hormones, your literal brain telling you, and shared experience don’t make a woman- what does. Because it certainly isn’t the continuation of bigotry.