Bigots are the real perverts

By Daviemoo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Daviemoo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

What motivates men to send unsolicited nudes?

By Daviemoo

As a man- and a gay man at that- some behaviour that other men display mystifies me. I need to clarify before I get into this piece that sending nudes is fine, if consensual. Things that imply consent like trading alts or sexting and discussing it change the paradigm of sending naked pictures- but there are some things people do which utterly confuse me, and I’ve read myriad articles about these behaviours trying to see if other people understand it better than me- it’s led to more confusion than anything.

Having read several articles and spoken extensively to friends, both male and female, straight and gay, about this topic it often elicits weird and varied responses.

As a whole, my female friends (either trans or cis) do not like, want, or appreciate unsolicited nudes. The responses are usually that it’s strange, alarming, coercive… I’ve never actually had a female friend tell me they want to receive nudes unless it’s someone they already like and have discussed explicitly (ironic phrasing) with the person beforehand. My male friends however… gay or straight they seem to enjoy the idea of unprompted nudes. I’ve asked why, and the responses ranged from “dunno, I just think it’s fit” to “it shows they like you”. It seems to be a fundamental difference in how people think, and I’m not sure if its sociological or biological- but it’s interesting and disturbing in equal measure.

For my own personal experiences using apps like grindr etc, you’re told it’s “part of it” which I honestly can’t help but see as a sad indictment of the mindset of a lot of men who are sexually attracted to men. If people do find trading nudes enjoyable that’s fine – I do too- but sending unprompted explicit pictures as a hello is deeply wrong in my eyes. Even if you’re on grindr for sex, who says that you want to see everyone naked? Or receive explicit voice clips etc?
The men who defend these practices seem not to realise how very predatory their behaviour can seem. Would you approach a stranger you found attractive in a bar and immediately show them your naked body without their consent? Why do you think it’s appropriate to do because it’s on an app instead of in person?

Often those who question these things are the ones who are castigated or shouted down: it’s expected that some men can, and will, behave in this way and with impunity for it. “It’s not serious, it’s not a big deal, it’s for a laugh, you can just ignore it”. It’s always the person receiving the unwanted messages who needs to calm down or moderate their behaviour- not the sender.

Some have stated that they feel these behaviours have worsened because of, or during, the lockdowns during the pandemic.

Men have spent a lot of time away from women, and have almost lost any semblance of respect for women that they had in the face of endlessly talking to other men on the internet about female mythologies- plus the #NotAllMen backlash from the horrific murder (at the hands of a police man) of Sarah Everard seemed to push misogyny to the surface, a piffling defence that not every man commits heinous crimes- but exposing, simultaneously, that any critique of men which personalised towards the every day man, enraged any men who felt personally attacked- which coincidentally covered a lot of men, who suddenly felt exposed and aggrieved for being called out on negative behaviour. The explosion of outright hostility from men all over the internet who felt like they shouldn’t be questioned and should be given carte blanche seemed to cover the fine point that many of the men who do these terrible things, from harassing women over the internet to brutal sexual crimes, were given carte blanche- and now that card was no longer blanche -French for white- it was now the rusty brown of the blood of women murdered for saying no, for walking away, for the crime of being desirable or just being there at the wrong moment.

In my own humble opinion, this behaviour’s continual fostering and tolerance in society is indicative of why we see and experience so much sexual impropriety- from being touched without consent in bars to full, gritty and horrific cases of sexual assault, to men declaring women their property. At no point are men – regardless of sexuality – taught to value the feelings of those they’re speaking to as equal to their own: to pause and consider how unprompted sexually explicit imagery may make people feel, regardless of their own views on receiving them.

I’ve tried to put myself into the mindset of those who send unprompted explicit photos and it’s a strange mindset to be in- is it that sending photos is the sexual thrill, regardless of the reaction? Is the potential of a negative reaction arousing? Do they genuinely expect a positive reaction? Is it a brag? Is it a power move? All these things occcur to me and yet I’m never sure if I’m close to the answer or wildly off base. I can’t help but feel that different people do it for different reasons because it’s so widespread.

I’ve also discussed this with a close group of friends, and one of them said he’d asked a friend who does it “why do you send them unprompted”- the person he asked apparently was shocked that it might offend or upset people- he was convinced it was a nice way to tell a woman he thought they were attractive.

The issue I think that society misses is that every enabled transgression against other people’s sensibilities can potentially be a building block to embolden more damaging behaviour- and society fails to address men’s propensity for thinking of these things as non-serious, indeed, emboldens it and, as such fosters worse behaviour to occur. After all, if men can and do joke about everything from sending unwanted nudes to sexual assault, it lessens the severity- it’s the reason that minorities do not appreciate jokes at our expense- because making someone or something serious an abstract joke emboldens people’s flippancy towards it.

Many men read writing like this and immediately become defensive and it’s this oversensitivity to critique that must be stopped. If these things apply to you – if you send unwanted pictures, just don’t. If you make off colour jokes about sexual harassment – stop. Nobody is asking for you to cut off a toe, it’s a simple reframing of your own comforts to match those around you- and it’s past time that men feel that their entitlement outweighs other people’s comfort and safety.

I urge you to realise that if this applies to you it’s not to say you’re a horrific person: I do feel that a lot of men are victims of a society that fails to impress on them moral decency, and that gives them- us, I should say, a skewed concept of our importance to others. If you grow up believing showing someone a picture of your penis is a reward or a compliment, clearly you have a misplaced sense of right and wrong. Society is failing women every day by not looking urgently at how to address these issues- but it’s also failing men by allowing deep, dangerous holes in moral fabric to percolate and worsen. Of course it’s down to individual choice as to whether you act on these urges which are wrong and in some cases verge on harassment. But I do feel that society needs to take ownership of it’s endorsement of these behaviours, stop, and urgently push men to reflect on how they behave.

Regardless of sexuality- until society admits that a false economy of men’s behaviour being tolerable when it isn’t, and until as a society we commit to doing better, men will continue to be viewed with well earned suspicion.