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.

Your understanding of someone does not limit your ability to respect them

By Daviemoo

It seems almost farcical that in a world as complex, diverse and nuanced as ours, it needs to be said that people will live different lives than you will; that they will experience the world in a different way than you. It seems that too many people are stuck in a mindset of “people who aren’t like me are wrong/ defective”. This goes from horrific mindsets like white supremacy to casual homophobia- and it’s so easy to fix. But the question we need to ask as a society is- why are so many people unwilling to do the bare minimum of showing respect until they understand- and, in fact, even if they don’t.

I could be very far off base with this article, but I’ve noticed that political allegiance is akin to a protected characteristic in the heads of many folk these days- not specifically a right wing issue, but close to it. Speaking critically of someone because they hold conservative views is often compared to hate speech which, as someone who has been victim to literal hate speech before- is laughable.

Let’s start with two ideologies which, in my eyes, are closely linked if not always paralleled in people’s heads- gender critical thinking and right wing allegiance.

To a gender critical thinker, being called a TERF is often conflated with being slurred. I find it hard and almost comical to understand why people see this as hate speech- the essence of hate speech is as simple as, someone with higher societal standing than you insulting an immutable, unchangeable characteristic which many in society see as undesirable. I’m afraid, little gender critical readers, that being called a TERF isn’t hate speech and it’s this simple: You can change gender critical beliefs. You can’t change being trans. You are the societal outliers, but denigrating someone because of a characteristic they can’t control means you are engaging in hate speech- you can change, trans people can’t.

The same with right wingers. It seems that right wing thinkers believe their entire identity, their whole ideology, is under threat- that you “can’t say anything these days” without the WOKE CANCEL MOB coming for you.

a cardboard sign, with "we all bleed the same colour" written on it is held aloft by a woman's hand in front of beautiful stonework on a building.
Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding on Pexels.com

The people who think this must use the phrase “free speech” more times a day than I drink coffee- and that’s saying something. But it seems that no matter how many times you remind these people that free speech very much only applies to government censorship of individuals. But even in this case legislation exists to curtail speech that can encourage or embolden terrorism etc: sorry free speech warriors, you’re fighting for a cause that doesn’t exist. Free speech is the white whale of entitlement- an ironic statement considering it’s usually slavering racists desperate to throw around racial epithets without consequence who yell so loudly about it.

I also find the endless discourse around the gender binary itself quite comical at this point: there is no gender binary. Let me put that in simple, if reductive, terms: a binary means the answer is either 1 or 0, yes or no. There is no wiggle room, nothing in the middle, no outliers. It is light or dark, up or down- nothing betwixt.

Let’s pretend that the gender binary then, is a fact- if you made 3 rules for what a man is- Tall, beard, flannel shirt – but meet someone who is tall, bearded and is wearing a plain shirt- then that person can’t be counted as a “man”… but does that mean (we’re in a binary here) that he’s a woman? For a shirt? No. So he sits further down the “scale” of manhood, manliness… ah. So it’s not binary is it.

Gender exists in a huge, diverse and 3D spectrum, and again- in a world as massive and diverse as ours, gender can be experienced in different ways by every human being walking this earth with some commonalities. It is a unique experience for what I imagine is a huge amount of people, and it does not “belong” to a certain group, either cis or trans. It just is, and will continue to be no matter how humans, with their reductive writings on how YOU CAN’T BE A WOMAN IF YOU DONT X continue to try to wrestle this inexorable concept into a box.

And when it comes to the definition of existence under sex- well, intersex people exist and they’re just as valid as people who aren’t intersex…

Again though, when it comes more specifically to right wing ideology, there’s a certain conviction that you’re born right wing, grow right wing and die right wing and it’s as immutable as skin colour or sexuality.

It isn’t.

The reason right wingers seem to have been agitated so, is just how many younger people, brought up around right wing parents, in right wing fixtures are turning away from hypocrisy politics – let’s be honest, that’s what a significant portion of the ideology the more extreme right follow- rears it’s head.

I can give examples here- from Donald Trump decrying cancel culture for being removed from Twitter, only to create a social media platform that explicitly forbids negative comments around Trump himself or the platform, to Boris Johnson trying to disband or limit the efficacy of an investigative panel because he is about to be investigated by it (again…), or right wing pundits like Isabel Oakeshott defending Stanley Johnson by saying he does indeed feel people up, touch you inappropriately- but it’s not a police matter because SHE feels comfortable with it…

Conflating your choice of ideology or politics with something as bone deep as your actual identity is incorrect. If education on certain topical issues can change people’s political alignment, how is it comparable to something like my sexuality- even if I never touched another man again for the rest of my life I would still be gay, my friend would still be trans and feel trans regardless of her body or her hormones… these things are immutable.

This now leads me into the topic that made me write this piece: understanding.

A woman lays on a bench reading a book
Photo by John Ray Ebora on Pexels.com

Understanding is brilliant, and the saying “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” is a clever way of giving people an understanding of others’ lives, and a way of furthering equality and equity. If you look at half of modern media, messages encoded into our most classic films or our favourite TV shows give us tiny flavours of people’s lives and lifestyles, and often suggest to us that perhaps we don’t know what people are suffering, how their lives are or why they are the way they are- and from this message we gain a tiny particle of understanding, furthering the idea that perhaps we are not superior, perhaps we should try and accept, tolerate (a hated word but true in this context) other people and forge better relationships through understanding.

But I want to take that thought a little further; why do we need to understand someone to accept their legitimacy?

I don’t understand the mechanics of how a person with a certain disability negotiates their daily life- but I don’t need to, to understand that they deserve to do so. I don’t understand what it must be like to be a person of colour who cannot (and, it goes without saying, shouldn’t have to) hide their skin colour to avoid discrimination in the street- but I know they don’t deserve to face that. And I know that many cis women & trans men have biological processes going on inside that I will not experience- but I don’t need to directly experience everything that everyone goes through to know that they’re still, to coin a phrase that gender critical people do seem to enjoy so, “worthy of respect”.

Now, I can hear the right wingers/ gender critical folk who may stumble somehow across this piece asking me why we don’t flip that thinking- why we don’t imagine THEIR plight.

I do. I have. And I decided long ago that the frustration of being called bigoted, the difficulties of always being enraged about something being “cancelled” etc, and the endless thought shifting to avoid admitting to hypocrisy is a terrible fate to bear- but it’s not one brought on by “the other side”. And if you need to understand how I decided that I don’t need to respect you – your ideologues are the proof. I’m sure you feel the same about me.

If you can genuinely look at lacklustre politicians who clearly do not care about people at large unless they can enrich themselves from them, or if you can continuously denigrate minorities- if you can condemn behaviour like doxxing then cheerfully partake in it- you don’t deserve my sympathy, my understanding. You made your own bed.

Ultimately, the simple message from the piece is that acceptance shouldn’t hinge on understanding- so the next time you find yourself ready to rail against someone, ask yourself if that person is worthy of your respect whether you can comprehend their plight or not?

Until police stop blaming victims for their crimes, the UK will not be a safe place

By Daviemoo

After a spate of anti LGBTQIA crimes, the met police have released “safety tips” for rainbow community members- tips like “avoid dark areas” and “don’t listen to music” and now I as a member of the community ask the police – when will you attack the perpetrators instead of chastising the victims?

(In this article I’ll regularly reference women and LGBTQIA people- I understand that there are women in the LGBTQIA, so please bear with me – as an inclusive feminist, and as a man who sees intersectionality and the commonality of struggles between all women and all other members of the LGBTQIA, I want to write a thorough and fair piece to anyone and everyone who experiences the unhelpfulness propagated by the rhetoric of the advice above. I would never purposely discredit or prioritise any one group’s difficulties over another, but I write from my own experience as a cis gay man and unfortunately suffer from my own bias as I write. I understand your struggles as best I can and I hope this article does justice to it, as much as it can but would be more than happy to edit or add as may suit you. Please also bear in mind I’ll be discussing sensitive themes.)

I RECIEVED A SURPRISING amount of blowback to a video I created speaking about my displeasure with the narrative the met police are offering regarding the spike in anti LGBT+ sentiment in the UK. A few people said they felt I was making parallels that didn’t exist- that the police were simply suggesting people take accountability for their safety- as if those of us who are regularly offered this waffling and useless nonsense for our own protection are normally the hapless first to die at the start of a horror movie- we hear our boyfriend being brutally slaughtered downstairs but still go to investigate, we run up the stairs and hide in the closet instead of going for the front door. The suggestion that women or LGBT+ people don’t take our safety seriously, and need to be offered empty advice like “don’t go into the dark areas like parks” is ludicrous.

It’s also proscriptive towards those of us- of which there are many – in the community, male, female or enby who don’t live in some theoretical well lit, safe, upscale apartment block with security and friendly neighbours. LGBT+ people take many shapes and forms, and can live anywhere from town houses to run down flats- and suggesting we avoid the very areas we may need to live in due to personal circumstance is insane, and feels like a rebuke against people whose lives are difficult already due to circumstance- from being ousted by family members to having life altering trauma that prevents full time employment, warning us away from areas that may be unseemly is pointless when we may live there as our only option.

Much like the edging-very-close-but-not-just-saying-it’s-your-fault rhetoric, this is another patent attempt by an ineffective and indifferent police force to off-shift blame for crime from those who feel entitled to commit them, knowing the advice focuses on the narrative of the victim placing themselves at peril rather than the perpetrator being discouraged. Women, cis or trans are asked about what they were wearing, gay men are judged for their presentation or- as was the case for both myself and a male friend- we’re asked if we went to places we didn’t even know are cruising spots, if we went wanting sex then regretted it, judged, shamed and then dispensed with no justice. This is the reality of life for women, LGBT+ people- and who knows how women who are LGBT+- and then WOC who are LGBT+ cope- presumably we are increasingly urged to entrench ourselves in our homes, seal every gap, sit quietly in a panic room and wait for change because apparently our mere presences provoke people to attack.

Taken from the ONS reports

Look at the increase in anti LGBT+ hate crime in the UK from 2011 to last year. No doubt the figures will have changed due to lockdown and in 2022 the met police will celebrate a job well done, failing to realise that when you keep people separate, their ability to attack each other is limited. But a dip in figures is not a change in sentiment.

The frustration in regards to this advice is that again, much as women are punitively advised not to go out, to carry their keys defensively, to check in with friends, walk in groups, plan their routes- it fails to address the root causes.

A society that commodifies the (in particular) female body as something that people are entitled to regardless of consent, that places the onus of blame on the visibility of skin or the friendliness of the individual is a broken society. And now to extend those less than useless (as evidenced by the tragic case of Blessing Olusegun, Sarah Everard, the horrendous acts of the Plymouth incel, the fact that 97% of surveyed women- NINETY SEVEN PERCENT- have experienced sexual assault) guidance again as if they are of any use at all, other than to tell us to lock ourselves away for our own protection, is insanity.

I feel like I’m quintessentially British when I write- I throw in a smattering of posh words and moan a lot so here are some things I’d like to see the police actually implement or action to perhaps make some sort of dent in this endless rhetoric that is damaging to anyone but cishet, and sometimes just cis, men.

Stop victim blaming

Suggesting limp talking points like “don’t go out in the dark- don’t listen to music- wear running shoes” is placing the responsibility on us- of course it’s common sensical and we all do it- so why waste the time telling us when you could be creating sustained education campaigns to impress on young men that they are not entitled to sexual gratification from other people. There could be a reiteration that crimes of these natures will be punished severely to the full extent of the law. The media could be approached to prevent the platforming of what SHOULD BE CALLED extremists, terrorists and more. No name, no notoriety. Crimes against women and LGBT+ people (and, obviously, the women in the community especially), should be prioritised as the stats continue to rise- with a focus on those who do experience anything being supported properly (this, in my experience, does not happen and leads to worse for those who have already suffered enough). Creating the narrative that we are responsible for other’s behaviour merely by showing skin or being open about our gender or sexuality is a complete dereliction of duty.

Earlier this year when news broke of an Iranian gay man, murdered before he could flee, the article stated that there was “worldwide condemnation”- and yet there was also a disquietingly loud smattering of those stating “why would he come out? would you really wave your sexuality around like that?” As though the crime of existing and being gay should be met with such swift and horrific punishment.

See source at top: Rest in peace Alireza

And then in Spain, a man was beaten to death by a homophobic crowd- again, condemnation, shock, outrage- nothing.

Now it’s common to, on the daily, open up the news apps to a small headline about another gay man, lesbian, trans person, couple, enby person, being beaten, bashed, robbed, chased, sexually assaulted. These crimes are horrific wherever they occur but are getting closer and closer to home, and it’s not the responsibility of those who may suffer from these crimes to take precautionary measures- it is for those who would commit the crimes to be discouraged through either the simple expedient of education or through fear of repercussion.

Start repairing trust in a community that has historic bad blood

Even I, as an extremely tepid and boring human, have had several very negative interactions with the police- twice related to my sexuality, twice not. But my trans friends, and several of my cis lesbian, gay and bi friends have had very negative interactions with the police based on their sexuality and hate crimes. I haven’t even bothered to report some of the things that have been done or said to me on account of my own sexuality- partly because I can manage, and partly because I know that often nothing comes of it.

Faith in an organisation that’s previously categorically failed to help the LGBT+ community and women is unsurprisingly worn thin- but the police never work to make reparations for communities they have historically (and arguably presently) let down. The right wing press demonised the police’s attempt to create vehicles with the pride inclusive flag, writing that the police should focus on “real” crimes.

Source: https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/police-hate-crime-cars-rainbow/

The irony of this move is, it’s yet another cishet created move for “inclusion” that misses the mark but allows the community to suffer the repercussions. We do-not-care about flags on police cars. We care about a competent police force who will listen to and action our issues. We care about resolution to any crimes committed against us, and we care about the betterment of the society in which we live which currently seems to be slowly turning against us in a frightening way.

Protest has always been a key tenet of the LGBT+ community as we’ve fought for our rights to be who we are without judgement or, ironically, fear. But that right has been taken, and it’s a right that must be enshrined- yet has been desecrated by a flippant government seeking to avoid retribution for it’s actions. This move was, to our eyes, fostered by a police force desperate to be able to prevent public speech in dissent of it’s behaviours and so lends another unneeded nail to the coffin of LGBT+ trust in the force.

Societal change

Cis men won’t like the idea that society fails too many of them in the simple area of being taught that they cannot touch what people do not consent to- that they cannot (I have literally witnessed this behaviour and screamed at the individual) take pictures of girls in workout clothes at the bus stop at the bottom of Briggate in Leeds, that they should not open conversations with pictures of their genitals. Whatever it is that is not impressed upon them in their youths and as they grow must be implemented if we hope to make a society that allows people to feel safe. I as a cis man am regularly dumbfounded by people assuming I’m happy to receive unprompted pictures of their naked bodies. And the RAGE! The rage that is directed at you when you aren’t interested- as if looking at their bodies when I didn’t want to was some sort of secret reward. As if being told that I make them horny when I didn’t want to know is some elusive prize they want to award me. The depersonalisation of the other is a huge, foreboding problem with far too many men- some think their unprompted sexualisation is wanted or a gift we ask for just by existing in the same space as them.

Though the article is old, I doubt the systemic belief has changed much with no campaign to do so:

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/06/quarter-of-adults-think-marital-sex-without-consent-is-not-uk-survey-finds

Others don’t care if their obscenities are received well, they simply want to get off to knowing that others are forced to see it. It’s flashing for the 21st century and the police should be impressing upon people that they can and will access records of conversations, and that if someone sends pictures like that unsolicited and without agreement, it merits punishment.

Before the “it’s not all men” crowd leap in, yes women should be subject to the same scrutiny- and yet I noticed an odd phenomenon when discussing this topic with straight cis men before- when I told them how annoying it is to be subject to something of an occasional deluge of pictures of penises, they told me they would love to receive pictures of vaginas randomly. It’s this disconnect in mindset I don’t understand and would like to.

These are the same people who, when I explained that I have been sexually assaulted by a partner who woke me up holding me down, taking off my underwear and taking advantage of me when I was exhausted and unable to consent, and more than once did say “no”, “stop” or “get off”, was met with either silence or indifference, told me that they would “love” to get woken up by sex.

You didn’t misread that. On three occasions I’ve disclosed to straight cis men (and two gay cis men…) that I was painfully sexually assaulted and their response is that they would want that to happen to them. Either their lack of imagination when it comes to consent is terrifying or a worrying proportion of men have distorted opinions when it comes to what sex is and should be. I’ve also had -specifically- several cis straight men tell me that they imagine it’s “normal” that eventually sex slows down and that situation occurs. And when people ask me why I, to this day, have trouble trusting men, it’s because of these statements and the actions of the person who did it to me.

Society needs to stop procrastinating at the peril of people who suffer these heinous crimes- sexual and simple violence- and come to an understanding of causality and change. Lives would be saved.

The UK media must be stopped

The anti LGBT+ sentiment has always boiled along in the background, my entire life. I remember disparaging articles in the daily mail when I was in my formative teen years, that gave people I cared greatly for the energy to rail against my sexuality as though I chose to make their lives more difficult by dint of who I find attractive. We haven’t yet reached the resurgence of openly and blatantly homophobic headlines like these compiled by Tony Reeves:

Disgraceful, isn’t it! And yet are we really- really- so far from this rhetoric?

Source: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/lesbians-are-being-erased-by-transgender-activists p.s JulieBindel is an anti trans bigot – don’t give her the click

Last year’s “poofters” and “d*kes” are this year’s “trans Taliban”, activists seeking to erase women, erase lesbians, roll back freedoms and rights, imperil people- and a disturbing portion of the community allows themselves to foster and promote these beliefs by buying into and actively promoting them. Nobody should go through what the LGBT+ activists did, and yet they did, so to perpetuate such scorn upon yet another community is a travesty of the highest proportion.

More cis people writing hateful books about trans people- demonising them, accusing them of propagating trans ideology and more. Joyce didn’t even interview a trans person for her book, focusing instead on burrowing deep in the echo chamber of the internet’s anti trans activists. Shrier’s book suggests that being trans is a craze rather than a divergence from being cis, and that the increase in people coming out as trans was a more accepting society and a deeper understanding of the nonexistence of the gender binary.

At the same time, we see regular reports of anti LGBT+ preachers extolling their dangerous platitudes about how we’re trying to de-sanctify the world, gay up Jesus, whatever else these curmudgeonly hacks want to push into their echo chamber. We’re asked or told to debate our right to be, to live, to love, to access healthcare- we’re forced endlessly to defend ourselves against accusations of trying to woo children into some imagined community initiation scheme, talked about, grumbled about and loosely tolerated until the first time a lesbian tells someone to shut up and then suddenly – SEE, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TOLERANT AND LOVING LGBT?

When all is said and done, the police will continue to mop up hate crime rather than look at ways to tackle it systemically and the problem will worsen, the media will continue to half heartedly demonise us for things out of our control, and make the worst of us the examples of the rest of us and until many of us have paid the price of their lassitude, the problems will continue.
I’d urge the police to consider taking some actual action, doing some actual groundwork with the government to stem the tide of hatred leaking through every brick in the wall that holds us safe against those who would wish us harm. Is that too much to ask? Or do you need to clean my blood off the pavement to realise, too late, that I told you this was coming?

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.

The Radicalisation of the Left

By Daviemoo

In a country utterly obsessed with woke cancel culture, with media outlets like the BBC and the guardian facing daily callouts on it’s factionalisation of the transphobia row, where racist events like the euro cup are fully expected by POC and their allies and where anti LGBTQIA sentiment is slowly burning backwards- can we really claim surprise that those pushing for tolerance are getting happier and happier to claim the weighty mantle of “radicalised” against the other side?

Here’s an excerpt from an email I’ve just sent my long time friend Pam: “People will literally twist themselves in knots to avoid actually confronting their implicit biases cos they cannot admit that we might be in the wrong and have work to do to make the world a better place; It’s up to everyone else to take the blame, it’s everyone else’s job to do the work to make the world better. The second you say hey so maybe our country is racist its IT IS NOT PEOPLE ARE JUST SENSITIVE CANCEL CULTURE WOKE SNOWFLAKE… it’s literally more work to cling to your rhetoric than just admit it and work on yourself.”

I often laugh when I read the endless epithets I’m gifted online by the supposed anti woke brigades: woke, weak, snowflake, SJW. What’s thrown at me as an insult, I wear with pride. If it’s woke to care about others, weak to be offended by hate speech, snowflakey to demand racists are held to account then I am the SJW you so angrily proclaim me to be, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

I’m also not quite sure what a “radical leftist” is, and why they are apparently so dangerous. I hardly plan to break into the houses of parliament and force Boris Johnson to respect people’s pronouns at gunpoint. It just so happens that I’m very much frustrated by injustice and therefore, loud about it’s removal from a society that has the means but not the wherewithal.

Easy as it may be to rest in your ignorant shell, there comes a time where those with any moral fibre become embroiled in the fights that may not directly involve us and suddenly become aware of the impact we can have just by standing shoulder to shoulder with others.

I can’t tell you how many times a month I’m asked if I’m trans because I defend my trans brothers, sisters and enby folk. I’m not trans, and I can scarcely imagine their struggle- but imagine I have, to the best of my abilities. But you shouldn’t have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to empathise with their plight.

As a white (as fuck- I am roughly the colour of fresh milk) cis man, I will never understand even a corner of the struggle that POC face in a country with such blatant systemic racism oozing from every crack in it’s wall of ignorance- but that doesn’t mean I can’t empathise fully with those who suffer from it, and want to do what I can to chip away at that wall, to expedite the drainage of such disgusting pus that festers in the wounds of every heart it infects.

Today, as is par for the course, my insistence that a man who tweeted the N word, blaming the POC players for England’s loss at the Euros led to me being compared to Nazis. This comparison always confuses me: Nazi ideology was based on only the able bodied arian white folks being the cream of society, able to live on the backs and deaths of anyone who was other, on the subjugation of those seen as lesser- and the weakness of a mind who compares a demand for consequences to that is beyond the stupidity I can muster the energy to comprehend.

Nazism is the most abhorrent system of thinking that’s been widely accepted and known to humanity- so for internet weaklings to compare holding people to account for their own actions, to conflate holding people to account for refusing to absorb the simple truth that racism is appalling and only believed by fools and willing bigots- should be, but is not, laughable.

The invective that right-wing aligned people throw at the supposed “woke” always misses the fundamental hypocrisy that nazis were… far right politically.

As right wing populism grows underfoot, as it snakes into the houses of parliament, the left are further demonised by a press monopolised by right wing punditry: from Rupert Murdoch’s empire to what I can only equate to “tabloid-lite” papers like the daily mail, England in particular is beset by bigotry at every turn, and every word carefully selected by journalists to toe the line and maintain the fiction that England isn’t steeped in the blood of the people of colour who were dragged here to build it, manufacture for it and better it at their own expense, is another brick in the wall mentioned above- as one falls out, another journalist who believes the rhetoric that white people could ever truly understand daily racial abuse will simply slide another block in.

Is it any wonder…

That leads me to the whole point of this post: Is it any wonder that, as this system propagates itself even in the face of it’s own hypocrisy, as it grows and maintains itself even under growing calls for it’s examination, it’s dismantlement, it’s replacement with equity for all who share this land, that those who have patiently or impatiently watched it’s sinuous twisting of the truth for it’s own benefit, have grown tired and become, to use the descriptor the right so love- Radicalised.

I’m not quite sure what reaction right wingers expect from me when they call me a radical lefty. “Yep” is usually it. I am. They see the moniker of radical as a terrible thing, because of course they equate it to the oft-disparaged, even in their own rags, far-right.

Here is the difference.

On the far left we have people willing to fight for equality, equity and fairness in a system that’s always been kiltered to cater to the few instead of the many.

On the far right? Literally nazis.

The Myth of the “Tolerant Left”

It’s been said before many times but it bears repeating that the tolerant left is a myth.

Do we “tolerate” (a word anyone who follows my video posts will know I detest), or as I prefer to call it, accept people whose needs and wants are different to our own? Absolutely. Do we try to cater for those who need different requirements than us to exist with dignity and prosper in a world that caters to homogeny? We do, or we try.

What we don’t, won’t and can’t tolerate under our wide arching but moral beliefs, is bigotry.

If you think we should accept that people have a difference of opinion on whether tomato soup is the best soup, I can cope with that. Accepting that you think gay people are disgusting, that POC are lesser than you with your white skin etc, that’s quite another thing.

To tolerate the existence of beliefs that mean others should suffer for their existence when it harms no one and is as normal as any other is the cognitive dissonance I feel the right are well known for in leftist circles.

There are many right wing arguments I’ve gone to pains to debunk over the years, including:
Gayness is not a choice, but even if it was it’s still not unworthy of respect in a democratic society, hiring practices that prioritise people of colour are not “biased” in a country where POC are underrepresented in many workplaces and specialities, trans women are not comparable with cis men.

But as time goes on I’ve realised that all I’m doing is recycling talking points to shut right wing mouthpieces up when they begin their usual ignorant sermonising. You can not change the mind of someone who has willingly immersed themselves in bigotry, even if it’s more work to continue to cling to and push said bigotry- because the terrifying reality for these people is that they would have to question themselves, realise that the bias is with them, that they are in fact in the wrong, and they’d need to do work on themselves to improve- so the choice comes to continue to cling to bigotry over questioning their own internal bias and ask whether it’s worth keeping that ignorance alive, or letting it die and becoming something else.

The war on woke is essentially a bunch of people claiming that they’re fighting for their freedom – their freedom to remain ignorant in a world filling, daily, with information that proves their choice to stick to ignorance makes them part of the problem.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’m told that the fact I’m not willing to compromise and have calm discourse with racists and bigots and scumbags, oh my, is the reason for their continued ignorance- so let me spell this out for you:
We are not your mothers. We are not here to teach you. The resources exist in the world to help you- you need only stop knee jerk reacting with your fragile emotions towards the changes that keep happening, and listen to POC, listen to minorities, read the books that are written about these topics- and realise that when you simply start to address those inner biases you’re doing the same thing we did to become your most terrified title: woke.

So Many Causes, not Enough Time

One of the strangest things someone said to me recently is that they’re surprised I have enough time to work when I’m so busy being a “woke warrior”.

The short answer is: if you care about black oppression, trans rights disinformation or the other glaring issues you see daily – you’ll make time. I’m surprised people have all the time in the world to watch a 1 hour and 20 minute football match which includes kneeling for BLM, LGBTQIA representation and a hugely diverse set of players and still miss the point of the hilariously mistitled “gesture politics” that take place. Again as I’ve argued with someone recently, if you see these things as gesture politics you’re probably likely to not have ever needed to see that representation and therefore are incapable of understanding how much it means to those who do. If you think a rainbow armband or taking the knee are unnecessary then please tack on the words “for you”. Because for those it represents, many are thankful to feel like we’re cared for by others who may or may not be like us.

The mental gymnastics involved in decrying kneeling against racism, only to go on and leave so many racist comments a 19 year old player for your country’s team that he deletes his social media, or to give the usual tired bleating of “the gays forcing it in our faces!” but say nothing when a gay man walking down the street in liverpool is assaulted so badly he’s convinced he is about to die, is quite something to watch play out in real time.

It may be easier to simply start questioning why these things are being introduced to you, why they please those they’re for and why they annoy you so- simply because you’re suddenly made aware that the world does not cater to you exclusively, and that others deserve the same basic experience of existence without conflict that you have.

Wrapping up…

This blog was essentially a place for me to write down my thoughts as I grow more frustrated with the country I’ve been raised in, to get to grips with my own frustrations when it comes to politics. It’s become one of the few things I have that allows me to vent my anger at a world so screwed up that I willingly paid for it to be hosted. I don’t even really care if others read it. I just wanted a space that was mine, where I could write down my thoughts and explore my ideas out loud.

A few people have said they appreciate it and I’m very glad of that. It’s becoming more isolating to hold moral views- I’ve tried to reason with people I grew up with who refuse to let of of bigotry, I tried to gently explain that I’m allowed to exist as a gay man with people who think gay sex is worse than murder, I’ve tried to gently express hope that I’ll be accepted- no more.

It seems that as we’re accused more and more of being extreme, so we have to become that. The country takes drunken lurching step after step to the right, and as we dig in our heels, lean back and pull on the tautened rope we’ve thrown around it’s neck, we become more tired and less capable of patience.

Blamed constantly for “radicalisation”, I’d like the right wingers who throw the labels I’ve brought up in this blog post to ask the question: do you blame us? Do you take ownership for your own part in our radicalisation, as we have to become louder, more indignant, more insistent to work to counteract your hateful rhetoric? Or is it, as is always the right wing way, our own fault: no one is responsible, it’s a hum dinger, clearly people are just magically becoming radicalised by… I don’t know, society, music, drugs, instead of the appalling behaviours of our fellow man- otherwise known as you.