Banning conversion therapy is urgent. Here’s how to submit a response to the consultation

By Daviemoo

The heinous practice of conversion therapy is still being debated by parliament. Despite assurances by Liz Truss that this would be done as a matter of urgency numerous times, the government are trying to create a “consent” clause which means you can consent to conversion therapy and therefore undertake it.
You can not consent to therapy to change a fundamental aspect of who you are, in a society where vast factions of it deem that aspect wrong, sick, evil etc. It is impossible. Here are my answers to the government’s questionnaire for you to copy and paste, to make submission easier. Please share this to ensure conversion therapy is finally banned in England and Wales.

Conversion therapy is an abhorrent practice that pushes the idea that bisexuality, homosexuality or being transgender is an aberration that must be removed via harmful therapy rather than a natural and acceptable alternative to heterosexuality or being cisgender.

This disgusting practice has rightly been banned in Canada and France this week, but again England’s government is dithering, and must be prompted to do the right thing.

The link to the consultation is here:

https://equalityhub.citizenspace.com/government-equalities-office/banning-conversion-therapy/

Firstly you’ll be asked your personal details, and I can’t provide those to you.

Next, you’ll be asked some initial questions around your involvement in conversion therapy.

Finally you’ll come to the responses section. See the link here to https://www.banconversiontherapy.com/ or use my copy paste answers!

Views on banning conversion therapy
Do you agree or disagree that the Government should intervene to end conversion therapy in principle?
Strongly agree


Why do you think this?
Please explain the reasons for your answer:

Conversion therapy, as has been stated sundry times to the government by those at risk of it or post therapy, is harmful, dangerous, often ineffective and
can lead to worse outcomes.
The government has been given endless evidence to this and is still waning on an outright ban because of a manufactured culture war against trans
people. Patriarchal reinforcement that trans people are anything other than normal people who just happen to be trans is worsening a debate that is
clear cut. Other democracies have outright banned conversion therapy- from Canada to France.
The UK government’s lasting legacy, should conversion therapy in any form be allowed to remain legal, will be one of closed minded bigotry and the
fostering of hatred towards a community who simply exists. And after this length of time if Liz Truss and her familiars cannot see the vital necessity in
banning a dangerous practice that has caused suffering worldwide perhaps not only should conversion therapy be banned, but someone suitable to
recognise these significant risks should be appointed to her post to protect the LGBT+ community effectively.


Targeting physical conversion therapy
To what extent do you support, or not support, the Government’s proposal for addressing physical acts of conversion therapy?
Somewhat support


Why do you think this?
Please explain the reasons for your answer:
The partial ban excluding trans people is bigotry. This must be a total ban. Conversion therapy is harmful for all who go through it and it is impossible to
consent to therapy to change innate aspects of yourself – because if you are seeking help to address those issues and move forward with them it is
possible to be manipulated into therapy you do not need and should not have- trans people should be able to access talking therapy to discuss these
issues, without fear of being converted into someone they are not with therapy that causes permanent psychological damage.


Targeting talking conversion therapy
The Government considers that delivering talking therapy with the intention of changing a person’s sexual orientation or changing them from
being transgender or to being transgender either to someone who is under 18, or to someone who is 18 or over and who has not consented
or lacks the capacity to do so should be considered a criminal offence. The consultation document describes proposals to introduce new
criminal law that will capture this. How far do you agree or disagree with this?

Strongly agree


How far do you agree or disagree with the penalties being proposed?
Strongly agree


Do you think that these proposals miss anything?
Yes


If yes, can you tell us what you think we have missed?
Please explain the reasons for your answer:
Anyone found to lobby the government on behalf of any talking or physical therapies to promote conversion should face custodial sentencing and a steep
fine.


Restricting the promotion of conversion therapy

The Government considers that Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code already provides measures against the broadcast and promotion of conversion
therapy. How far do you agree or disagree with this?

Strongly agree
Why do you think this?
Please explain the reasons for your answer:

I have never seen conversion therapy advertised or glorified.

Do you know of any examples of broadcasting that you consider to be endorsing or promoting conversion therapy?
No


The Government considers that the existing codes set out by the Advertising Standards Authority and the Committee of Advertising Practice
already prohibits the advertisement of conversion therapy. How far do you agree or disagree with this?

Strongly agree


Do you know of any examples of advertisements that you consider to be endorsing or promoting conversion therapy?
No
If yes, can you tell us what these examples are?
Please write in:


Protecting people from conversion therapy overseas
The consultation document describes proposals to introduce conversion therapy protection orders to tackle a gap in provision for victims of
the practice. To what extent do you agree or disagree that there is a gap in the provision for victims of conversion therapy?

Strongly agree


To what extent do you agree or disagree with our proposals for addressing this gap we have identified?
Strongly agree


Why do you think this?
Please explain the reasons for your answer:


Ensuring charities do not support conversion therapy

Charity trustees are the people who are responsible for governing a charity and directing how it is managed and run. The consultation
document describes proposals whereby anyone found guilty of carrying out conversion therapy will have the case against them for being
disqualified from serving as a trustee at any charity strengthened. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this approach?

Strongly agree


Why do you think this?
Please explain the reasons for your answer:

I feel a new register, confirming active advocation for conversion therapy should also be introduced and be searchable to ensure that those who wish to
avoid those advocates can ensure they do so.


Recognition by authorities of conversion therapy as a problem
To what extent do you agree or disagree that the following organisations are providing adequate action against people who might already be
carrying out conversion therapy?
Services action against people carrying out CT – Police:

Somewhat agree
Services action against people carrying out CT – Crown Prosecution Service:
Somewhat agree
Services action against people carrying out CT – OTHER statutory service:
Somewhat agree
Why do you think this?
Please explain the reasons for your answer:

I believe until a total ban has taken place and been enforced rigorously there is always more that can be done.


To what extent do you agree or disagree that the following organisations are providing adequate support for victims of conversion therapy?
Services support for victims of CT – Police:

Neither agree or disagree
Services support for victims of CT – Crown Prosecution Service:
Neither agree or disagree
Services support for victims of CT – OTHER statutory service:
Neither agree or disagree
Why do you think this?
Please explain the reasons for your answer:

Having experienced the police’s idea of support I can assure you more training is urgently needed.
Do you think that these services can do more to support victims of conversion therapy?
Yes
If yes, what more do you think they could do?
Please explain the reasons for your answer:

Thorough training and better vetting of members to ensure they do not partake in bias against the LGBT+ community.

Economic appraisal
Do you have any evidence on the economic or financial costs or benefits of any of the proposals set out in the consultation?
No
If yes, please can you provide us with details of this evidence, including where possible, any references to publications?
Please write in:


Equalities impacts appraisal
There is a duty on public authorities to consider or think about how their policies or decisions affect people who are protected under the
Equality Act 2010. Do you have any evidence of the equalities impacts of any proposals set out in the consultation?

No
If yes, can you provide us with details of this evidence, including where possible, any references to publications?
Please write in:

Confidentiality
Would you like your response to be treated as confidential?
No

I don’t care how straight people feel about the F slur.

By Daviemoo

If a slur isn’t about you, what makes you think that you can understand the potential depths of how disgusting and offensive it can be- why is it so hard to err on the side of caution and just… not use it?

Every single year, as predictably as lights going up, as naturally as tinsel wafting in the breeze from a fire, the Christmas moral panic about cancellation starts.

“Why should we censor it? It’s a classic song!”

“It only offends a few people!”

“It doesn’t mean that

And on, and on and on. Sometimes in person, or on the radio, sometimes in lengthy newspaper columns- the UK in particular goes into paroxysms of rage that straight people are being policed, being oppressed, for being banned from singing a simple word in a song.

Oh how hard your lives must be. To be told that a word you’re using is really offensive and upsetting and then to be called out when you use it anyway. You had a choice and erred on the “I’d rather do what I want than the smallest thing to uplift others around me” side, and it’s so hard these days to do the difficult thing of not letting a hate slur fall out of your mouth between minced pies and your cousin’s rioja.

I often wonder what it’s like to be the type of person that does not have a hate slur written and ready to use against them- it must be really really nice to not be affected when people shout it. A lot of us aren’t so lucky unfortunately.

Ultimately it’s not up to people who are upset by something to explain to you why you shouldn’t do something that’s offensive. If you can’t be bothered to do that bare minimum of thinking you’re not brave, smart, funny or clever. You’re damaged.

Let me explain to you my own personal experience of the F slur…

Times I have been called the F slur

-When I was nine and playing football in a black and yellow tracksuit two older boys cornered me in a garden, pinned me to the floor, took off my clothes and sexually assaulted me whilst telling me “you like that don’t you, you little faggot”

-Pretty much weekly in high school someone would bully me to the point of tears- not always physically but nevertheless the amount of times I was called faggot, batty boy, bum boy, queer, puff, homo, gayboy, numbers in the hundreds, perhaps thousands. No positive memories are attached to that word

-A member of my family referred to me as “that little faggot” not realising i was stood behind them, at a family gathering

-I was once dancing in a bar with some girls and a guy came up and grabbed me by the neck, screaming “ARE YOU A FUCKING FAGGOT MATE” in my face. When I pushed him away and said YES I AM he laughed, nodded and walked off

-Outside work in 2019 someone I counted as a friend, who had seen me lose my temper over the use of that word repeatedly, in front of half the people we worked with told me to “shut up you faggot”. He then refused to apologise for 3 weeks, and when he did apologise made out that it was my fault for “taking the joke seriously”. Despite my pleas for it to be taken seriously he worked with me for another six months, me having to be civil to a guy who had referred to me in such heinous terms. He faced no punishment for it.

I’ve been spat on, kicked, slapped, punched- while people call me that word. I’ve had folk laugh at me openly while shouting it at me.

Every time that word is used it’s a reminder that some people out there are capable of that level of cruelty against me, simply because of who I am, because of what I find attractive. I can’t and wouldn’t change that, I refuse to hide it. So that abuse will always happen, always come. Is it therefore necessary for you to encode that reminder of hatred and bigotry in your desperation to sing Christmas songs?

No it’s not equivalent to a swear word

Would you shout “FAGGOT!” if you were angry at someone? If you caught your thumb with a hammer? Would you shout another slur if you lost a bet, couldn’t find your wallet? I doubt it. Because slurs are specifically meant to be insults against a person, based on an unchangeable characteristic about them that’s caused them and people like them societal hardship.

Frankly if you’ve read this piece and you still don’t get it, I don’t know how else to put it to you: It’s really fucking rude to use a word that describes people like you in a very negative way, it’s upsetting and it’s unnecessary. Do not do it.

People still will. Some take glee from causing offence. I don’t know how to appeal to those people other than to say i’m sorry that you’ve been so fundamentally let down by your life so far that hurting other people seems like an attractive option. Nobody can compel you not to say a hate slur if you want to say it, but I assure you I’m not after your free speech- I’m after my own peace of mind. And I don’t see why you can’t not say a word if that means some of us out there don’t feel massively devalued as members of society by it.

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

By Daviemoo

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

“Woke gay boy”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lets be real- debating with bigotry is pointless

By Daviemoo

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

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

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

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

That’s not what online debate does.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to the main topic- debate.

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

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

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

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

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

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?

The BBC just doubled down on it’s transphobic hitpiece

By Daviemoo

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

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

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

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

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

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

“They’re destroying the modern way of life”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The BBC

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

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

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

Let’s speak about this survey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The BBC is a nest of TERFS.

By Daviemoo

After bowing to pressure from groups like the LGB Alliance who, despite having done nothing for LGB people besides allow those who hate trans folk to coalesce together, the BBC have left the stonewall diversity champions scheme. Now the BBC has released a 10 part podcast trying to dig into the “extreme gender ideology” which has “captured” stonewall. It’s regular guests are Rosie Duffield, a labour MP who seems more concerned with becoming the acceptable face of anti trans rhetoric, and several anti trans academics. I’d like to ask the BBC is neutrality is really the course to take when it comes to human rights, and representation of LGBTQIA people, especially in the face of their newest anti-trans scrawling.

Neutrality is important when it comes to investigative journalism. Being led by facts allows you to be unbiased in your approach, to further honesty and to offer a platform to the right of the situation.

The evidence should guide you to your conclusion- we are all human of course, and tend to err on the side of things that agree with how we think- which is a sad side effect of human nature. We don’t like to be told we’re wrong or indeed, proven wrong. But part of journalism which seems to flake further off into the distance every week in the UK, is the integrity which comes with remaining led by facts rather than assumptions, or as in this case, by the relentless campaign of the gender critical bigots whose mission is nothing to do with the protection of children, the enshrinement of “sex based rights” or any of the other scurrilous garbage they insist on hewing out to continue their attacks.

So far in the stonewall exclusive podcast, they’ve basically intimated that Stonewall offers heavily inclusive suggestions to those in its scheme to follow diversity rules. One can be forgiven if their eyebrows don’t exactly leap up to their hairline at the news that a nonprofit whose goal is to further equality is pushing the idea that neutrality or “both sides” is not actually the way forward- when both sides is a person wishing to transition to female and the other side is a person wishing to roll back that person’s enshrined rights.

It’s also been argued in the press by the BBC as they departed from the scheme that they want to approach LGBTQ+ issues “impartially”.

Shall we dive into what the BBC’s classic ideas of impartial reporting were?

Remember when Elton John first presented his child to the world, and was on the BBC to do so? For the sake of “impartiality, balance and fairness” the BBC interviewed a man who believed gay people should be killed.

When gay marriage was under debate in parliament, the BBC “have your say” website put out a poll, asking whether gay people should face the death penalty- as you can imagine it was heavily responded to by those who are deeply confident in the idea that gay people not only don’t deserve equity, but should face actual death because the idea of two men being in love makes people feel uncomfortable enough to call for their deaths.

I’d like to flip this for a moment- it may take some mental alacrity on your part, reader, to picture this but- imagine those events in the inverse; say a prominent female pop singer gave birth and the BBC interviewed, for the sake of balance, a man who thought all women should be put to death. Would that be acceptable?
Shall we perhaps open up a poll about whether all straight people should be put to death? I feel like, if it’s time to play balance maybe the time is right to start questioning straight rights too- all in the sake of fairness of course.

Impartiality is a disgraceful choice when faced with the moral standpoints of supporting- or denying your support- to groups of people who simply exist: whose actions do not harm people around them, whose private lives do not affect you other than those so sensitive amongst us that simply thinking of gay sex makes them ill- to those people I ask whether you don’t think you’re a bit too sensitive to exist in the modern world – viruses killing people in the hundreds in the UK each day, war and famine, drowning refugees on the coast- but two men kiss and you’re at your limit. Perhaps your priorities are misdirected- and to those who think like this I give this simple advice- if gay, trans etc people bother you whenever you think about us, stop thinking about us. If we bother you in the street- ignore us as we do you. If you’re scared of sharing “spaces” with us either don’t go to those spaces or act like an adult and keep yourself to yourself.

It’s also, in my view, impossible to be impartial when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues. If one side says “we want to live, love, marry, access healthcare, be treated the same as everyone by having our safeties and identities respected in a democratic society” and the other side says “imprison them, kill them, stop them from having the same rights and protections as me” or who say “their mere existence takes away from MY rights” when this is demonstrably, laughably false, it seems quite plain that NOT taking a stand for those whose protections are under threat is at best abetting those who do wish to do harm.

The BBC, in fact most UK media can continue it’s transphobic tirade, bylines proudly on show- I look forward to the day in the future where these articles are presented, in pristine snippets of books about landmark equality movements, to people on talk shows who discuss how the trans panic was morally confected by the cis white men in charge to divert them from accountability for their own actions and too many reactionaries jumped on board to enable that. I look forward to uncomfortable interviews with journalists reviled for their disgusting anti trans views, begging for forgiveness from a tired community who weathered their nonsense. And most of all I have a deep and profound hope that those who stand against the LGBTQIA community will continue to fade and wither into irrelevance, kicking and screaming as they go.

It’s already past pastiche how often the LGB Alliance claim that they are a pro LGB group- every time I ask the angry gender critical people “what have they actually done to further LGB rights” suddenly I’m blocked, muted, told to go away, shut up, sit down… because there is no answer. The closest I’ve had to an answer is “they’ve lobbied for us”- but lobbying for anti trans standpoints does not do anything “for” the community – it’s patently obvious that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex and asexual people all face the same pigeonholing, ignorance and, yes, violence, for our mere existence- it matters not whether you as an LGB person “want” trans people in our community- we are in a community together out of necessity, because all anti LGBT+ sentiment comes from the same people, and all are altered versions of the same bigotry.

Invoking the name of Joanne Rowling to these people also seems to summon a certain amount of ire but my question is simple, as the LGB alliance today are claiming that she’s done “so much” for LGB people: what is it that Rowling has done to help LGB people?
She runs a charity with a woman (Baroness Nicholson) who actively opposes gay marriage and has run very close to calling all LGB people perverts online a number of times. She created a character who she labelled as gay but never once gave anything but subtext to- this character also never had a partner, never had sex, but of course did fall in love with a heterosexual who has strong parallels to nazism and convinced said wonderful gay archetype to join his Nazi fan group as well… good job voldemort didn’t have a nose and keep his lustrous hair and good looks, or we might have seen Dumbledore helping him eh.

The LGB alliance lionise people like Rowling, Stock, Joyce, Linehan- with no hint of irony that their continuation of bigotry could easily be flipped back on the entire community, and without realising that in fact the likely link between a huge uptick of anti LGBT+ sentiment leading to a huge increase in hate crimes against us, is likely because they continue to stir up sentiment against us- and in fact, seeing the growing discord within the community has given those who hate us more platforms to jump from. As a cohesive community we can move mountains – split as we are, we face a resurgence of the same numb-brained non-talking points we’ve faced our whole lives.

Whether we view trans women as women (they are) or not, homophobes see things quite differently. Any deviation from STRAIGHT MAN or STRAIGHT WOMAN is wrong and must be punished, and this goes for gender identity, sexuality- whatever. Pushing the rhetoric that there’s a right way to be gay/trans/bi is exactly the reason this nonsense continues and keeps worsening. So far from “achieving great things for us” these people are actively endangering us by stirring up sentiment against a group that’s stuck together through hell and high water for 50 years.

Nothing I say will change the minds of gender critical people but I do find it endlessly confusing that all of the issues they claim to worry about go back to cis men almost every single time- nobody is denying that there can be dangerous people in the trans community – but the existence of one dangerous trans person does not by default mean that every trans person is a danger- any more than the existence of a heterosexual rapist means that all heterosexual people are rapists.

And today’s little penned missive from the BBC which prominently features interviews from those with strong links to LGB Alliance and Get the L Out of course rehashes more internet nonsense- I’ve no doubt that it’s easy for those who don’t think to misinterpret people’s words- not wanting to date a trans person because you have a genital preference is likely not something a trans person is going to push on you- trans people just want to be accepted as they are and if you don’t want them as they are it’s unlikely they’d try to push that point- and again, those that do are not representative of an entire community who have quite explicitly said the same over and over.

They don’t want men breaking into their bathrooms and refuges and prisons. Not all trans women like women, not all trans women have penises, and on and on and on- these arguments have gone round in circles for 2 years with no change. My advice is if someone in a bathroom makes you uncomfortable, leave- their gender irrespective. Should you have to? Probably not- but fighting to minimise the rights of a minority because it might make you uncomfortable seems… well, stupid.

I note that the latest BBC piece has also made strong reference to stickers and a saying which is a transphobic saying oft repeated- “genital preferences are transphobic”- when all- without exception to my knowledge- trans people disagree with this statement. A genital preference is a preference for genitals, and not an enablement of transphobia.

A blunt fact for transphobes and non transphobes alike: anyone who commits sexual assault should be kept in isolation for their entire stay in prison- because rapists don’t deserve human decency. They choose sexual gratification over bodily autonomy and frankly I wake up on the daily wondering who thinks the punishment for rape is proportional to the crime. If it were my choice, rapists would be housed somewhere else entirely and their sentences would last so long that by the time a rapist left prison their immediate concern would be which burial plot they would go in. Rapists are scum, regardless of gender identity.

Conflation of trans people with dangerous predators, with untrustworthy people etc is nonsense. To a reductive mind I’m sure it makes sense- it doesn’t mean it’s correct.

And when it comes to national broadcasters deciding to return to the days of asking people who want to behead gay people for their views on gay adoption, if you don’t see that as a loss for LGB, and T people then you should really question why you’ve allowed your hate to override your sensibilities. Standing together as a group is not just common sensical, because the hatred towards us does- whether you like it or not- come from the same place. But even if you disagree, to countenance oppression for others just because they’re not like you is – frankly – foolish.

We have so many enemies in this world. Dividing a community and allowing a broadcaster who is duty bound to fairly represent us is just another step backwards our community has to take- but looking to past icons of LGBT+ liberation, it’s not a move we’ll take lying down for long. The continued provocation of the anti trans crowd, the homophobes, the people who continually spout their garbage about simple gay life being shown on tv being “propaganda” will not be left unanswered by a community who enjoyed (here) a brief lull in hatred, who enjoyed that silence- and who have nothing to lose to get back to it.

If you so wish to support the LGB Alliance and it’s other nonsense patrons, just know that you’re slitting your own throat too.

Critiquing MPs is not a hate crime

By Daviemoo

David Amess was one of the longest serving Conservative MPs and was murdered last week. Speculation is still rife as to the reasoning behind his death, which is currently being investigated by anti terrorism forces in the UK. The Conservative party have quickly made the link to Amess’ murder and online threats of violence- despite the fact that the person held in custody has so far not been shown to have any online persona. If anything, this tenuous linking of brutal and horrific murder to online discourse seems disingenuous, linked to something the tory party had vested interests in already. David Amess was concerned about knife crime before his death and had spoken about this on multiple occasions- perhaps action on knife crime would have been more fitting of a tribute.

A discussion is being had, predictably, that MPs voting records should be sealed or at least not so easy to disseminate- mostly because the more cynical amongst us are quick to check MP voting records when they weigh in on social issues. To prevent that would be a disgusting step backwards- another one- in a democratic society.

Those who are keen to seal voting records are quick to say that MPs could have been whipped to vote against their personal interests etc- regardless, they did vote as such, and to remove our right to transparency when it comes to an MPs vote is a foolish move.

Those who made this observation were also horrendously disrespectful towards those of us who do frequent pages to check voting records, implying that perhaps we “didn’t understand the nuance of voting”. Because of course they understand, in a way we do not. You’ll be shocked of course to know that these people were boomer tories- as always assuming that their opinion is the opinion.

For my sins, I have only seen the screenshots of votes David Amess cast during his time in parliament. I have my own personal opinions about those votes, especially as some directly impacted on my potential rights as an individual. It’s somewhat irrelevant- murdering someone is actually not something we should endorse- if political disagreement is a prerequisite for murder then we’re all constantly at threat, and if you can’t defend your political standpoints without violence then frankly political discourse might not be for you. Getting heated, even being disrespectful is just discussion- feel free to engage or disengage as is your wont. Violence is a no-no.

Equally it’s not exactly easy when you run into someone who is diametrically opposed to you having equality. When I meet people who are against gay marriage I can’t imagine the narrow mindedness with which you can approach deciding that your personal distaste for someone else’s adult relationship trumps their right to have equal standing in a society. So to see anti gay votes on someone’s ledger, yes, makes me dislike them; makes me unlikely to be civil to them if they engage me. That is, as they say – my right in a free country.

We’ve already had our hands tied on protesting. We’ve already been told that helping someone drowning if they’re a refugee is punishable. We’ve seen statues offered more protection than women’s bodies or LGBT+ people, whose hate crimes have risen precipitously. We’ve seen denials of racism even as the PM himself and the home secretary gleefully spark rows about what constitutes abhorrent racist practice, and to refuse to apologise for it. We’re now approaching an inability to speak in terse terms to politicians who have made no concerted effort to protect us from coronavirus, goods and medicine shortages, rising commodity prices… The UK’s ever steady march towards authoritarianism under this government continues.

I will not be stopped from holding MPs to account. Violence is unacceptable. Speaking back to people whose decisions impact on my quality of life is the very least we should be allowed. And the important freedoms we have so treasured in the past are removed, while people opine on the imaginary freedoms like the freedom not to wear a mask during a pandemic, or the imaginary freedom of not getting a vaccine so you can become a walking super spreader.

I wish David Amess had not been killed, because he was a human and human life has value. But the tories move to turn his death into more oppressive legislation is yet another low move on their part. Let’s remember that when Johnson was called out for his rhetoric in parliament after the murder of my old MP, Jo Cox, by a white supremacist who blamed her pro-eu stance – Johnson all but scoffed at the implication that his words inflamed people to commit violence.

The worst, the most insidious literary violence we can see is not from anonymous profiles- it’s from Journalists with tens of thousands of readers who gleefully swallow back the “traitorous remainers” or “terrorist sympathisers” or whatever else you want to cherry pick from the endless rhetoric of the media. The government is interested in curtailing the media’s ability to hold it to account, as mentioned earlier this year. So what, then, if all this legislation is passed- the media cannot publish “embarrassing” articles about MP’s, we can’t speak out about MP’s poor service: does that sound democratic to you?

What the government fail to realise is that UK citizens’ patience with their obsessive need to protect themselves rather than do a good job is waning, even when it comes to the endless defences of the media, and willing puppets like Dan Hodges who push pro government agenda even in the face of their disgusting hypocrisy.

We will not be held down when it comes to exercising our voices.

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?

Tolerating bigotry is bigotry- and tolerance is bullsh*t

By Daviemoo

As long as I’ve been able to understand the concept of tolerance I’ve hated the word. Here’s why.

TOLERANCE IS NOT A GOOD WORD, it’s not a good concept, and it’s been waved around in society so much that people lose the thread of what tolerance actually means.

When I wake up at 3.30am and the corner of my toenail is catching the sheet, it’s a horrible feeling. I’m tired, and I daren’t move because the feeling of the nail catching makes me feel nauseous. But I’m too tired to move so I resign myself to tolerating it until I can sort it out in the morning. It’s a horrible, eyerolling, arms crossed and sighing feeling to tolerate something that bothers you. But as a gay man, I’ve spent a majority of my life hearing about how it’s a good thing if people learn to “tolerate” me.

To those who feel it’s enough to simply treat my existence as something they need to engage tolerance for, a short message: F*ck off.

People in the LGBT+ community, or anyone who has ever felt this label of someone to “tolerate” will likely understand what I mean by this. We are people. People with agency, individual merit, with grace or impatience, with the right to experience dignity as everyone else does. Tolerance is an insult. Tolerance is less than the least you can do. And I’m tired of the rhetoric of tolerance being given back to us by bigoted MP’s who claim that not taking our rights away or debating our existence openly is something for which they should be thanked.

After a self proclaimed “NOT lgbt” person was forced to leave Manchester pride this weekend for wearing merchandise belonging to the “not” hate group, LGB alliance, the LGBTQIA community has spent the weekend reading hot takes from gender critical and hateful groups that range from hilarious to flat out incorrect. So let’s talk about the LGB alliance and what the community needs to do to show gender critical people that they are not welcome.

Pride in pride

Lets start with the hate-monger who attended pride. If your social media proudly proclaims that you’re not part of the LGBT+ community, and you go to an LGBT+ community event wearing a shirt which is well known as anti trans iconography- you can expect to be evicted from pride. And you can decry this as unfair, an infringement of free speech, the “woke mob” cancelling you- the rest of us, the adults in the room, call it “consequences”. LGBT+ pride is an event for all of those letters and anyone in the plus. We love having straight allies at pride because they support us to live our lives. If you don’t do that- if you don’t support every single letter of the rainbow acronym- pride isn’t for you and we’ll reclaim it from rainbow marketing and from bigots like yourself.

Enjoy your flash in the pan fame, but make no mistake that we all know, full well, that your only reason for doing as you did is because you’re miserable in your own skin. You’re determined to take whatever angry upset feelings you have towards yourself and externalise them, to make everyone else around you as miserable as you are. It won’t work. We don’t feel fear, we don’t feel anger, we just feel a mixture of fed up, and frankly – pity. We see through it. If you really hope to do anything beyond mildly annoy people, make yet another transparently nonsense apology like every influencer ever where we have to walk you through why what you did was wrong. You’ll surely be ingratiated into all the right wingers groups who don’t care if you live or die as long as you prop up their ability to be bigoted- but as for the rest of us, you are less than a ripple in an ocean.

Equally, learning the error of your ways would allow you a type of acceptance you’re clearly unfamiliar with but would likely enjoy. I urge you to try and understand the error of your thoughts and move forward- stop taking your self hatred out on others because it’ll be the death of you but doesn’t do anything of note to us. It’s sad to see members of our community externalising hate rather than dealing with it- but your individual plight doesn’t outweigh the strife you try to cause to the trans community and the rest of us who stand with them.

The LGB alliance claim not to be an anti trans hate group. Their mission statement is to “defend the sex based rights of lesbian, gay and bi people”. Ignoring for a moment that trans people also have sexualities and can be lesbian, gay or bi, lets talk about sex based rights.

Sex based rights in the concept of gender criticality are nonsense.

That might sound prescriptive, but when it comes to the rhetoric of the gender critical crowd, sex based rights is a nothing. Upon googling sex based rights, the top result is a rad fem website talking about the right of women to have access to spaces away from predatory men – don’t we all have the right to be safe from predatory men?

I’m so tired of going over the bathroom and changing room fallacy pointing out that blaming trans women for the behaviour of predatory cis men is pointless, or that trans women aren’t planning to ERASE WOMEN from the earth. Expanding the definition of something doesn’t water it down, and rights are not a pizza that gets smaller when more people are invited to eat from it.

The “LGB ALLIANCE”

The LGB alliance’s most recent declarations online are the antithesis of their mission statement. They declared that adding + to LGBT “opens the door for paraphilias like bestiality and more to all be part of one big happy “Rainbow Family”. This is – word for word- the same rhetoric summoned fresh from the 70’s of “if we accept the LGBT people, next we’ll have to accept animal lovers and paedophiles”. You see, the LGB Alliance’s argument isn’t new, fancy or special- you could take the signs from any anti LGBT march from 1970, 1980- hell, today in some countries like Poland- and note the same sentiments from the supposed Alliance and those vehemently opposed to the community. They also- shockingly- oppose our right to equal marriage because the numbers of LGBT+ people who marry isn’t very high. This- shockingly – doesn’t mean that right shouldn’t be accessed. It means that we’re a community that doesn’t feel the need to follow a heteronormative relationship pattern, and does not mean that we should have rights available to other people taken from us for it.

Atypical Radical Feminism

At it’s core, radical feminism could actually have done some serious good when it came to aggressively pursuing lawmakers in their indifference towards crimes committed against women – sexual assault and harassment, sexism etc. The irony is – trans women suffer from misogyny as well. Misogyny is violence or anti woman sentiment aimed at someone because they are -or, to explain for the bigots at the back, present as female or feminine.

To cut off a portion of women who suffer the same irritants and dangers as you (one in two trans women will experience sexual assault) is madness. And rather than focusing ire on a very small part of the population who would just like to use the bathroom in peace and accusing them of myriad crimes just for the body they reside in, perhaps it would be best to drive this unwheeshty energy at the police force who are now legally allowed to rape people if it means they complete their mission, or who can have you imprisoned for years for protesting, or the government who continues to dither on the provision of feminine hygiene products or maternity leave or equal pay.

Of course the moment a gender critical person reads this I’ll be called a prostate haver, a beard, a man, told that I can’t have opinions on this because I DON’T KNOW what it’s like to be a woman. To that I respond- if they don’t know what it’s like to be trans perhaps they should pause and wonder why they feel it’s appropriate to read books from cis women who don’t even speak with trans people but write a book claiming to understand it.

To side with people like the LGB Alliance, or with anti trans activists who share pictures of people post mastectomy as if that is something to be ashamed of considering women go through it for myriad reasons outside of being trans, or use hormone tablets for myriad reasons outside of being trans, may not be able to concieve naturally just like trans people (due to surgical intervention or nature), face sexism and sexual assault just like trans people, feel unsafe in public just like trans people may, or are shamed and sexualised for their bodies just like trans people are…

It seems like gender critical women have a lot in common with trans people, and it’s not the trans people excluding others from their journeys.

Dangerous rhetoric

Some of the most worrying talking points which have come from the LGB Alliance and rad fem speakers is that if we DON’T support the plight of gender critical people (remember at this point that over 50% of UK women believe trans women are women and pose no more threat than a cis woman), we’ll lose our rights. In fact, the recent uptick in anti LGBTQIA sentiment is put down to the fact that most of us stand in solidarity with our fellows under the T. But it only takes a simple search to realise that this, as always with reactionaries, is the start of the thought, and to complete it you must look further, to the regular weaponization of our community in the UK media.

Articles around anything from the pride flag and it’s appropriation by UK institutions- I’m looking at you NHS, which was then disseminated via media and business to overshadow rainbow pride with the NHS rather than LGBT+ people, meant that if we brought up symbol appropriation we were told things- as I directly was- like, “The flag never represented you it’s god’s symbol” or “Well now it stands for the NHS you need a new one”. That fight was very much outside the trans community, but hand in hand with BLM, trans and intersex rights we created a new more diverse symbol to represent all of us- the inclusive flag.

And again the UK media delights, year on year, in creating thought pieces on how pride gives us entitlement, how there shouldn’t be LGBT+ pride, how there should be straight pride as a counterbalance and on, and on and on, and endless recycling of hot takes around a community that holds pride to demonstrate that we are and will unapologetically be ourselves whether you like it or not.

I’m old enough to remember salacious pieces about George Michael’s public sex, speculation around Will Young’s position in bed, the suggestion that Boy George was perverted for being gender non-conforming. And every time a member of our community acts like a fool, the entire community faces the brunt of it- articles about this trans person who said something stupid or that gay person who did something awful presented to us as reasons why we shouldn’t have what we do.

How many straight men a year commit rape? If we started waving those articles around, no doubt we’d be accused of histrionics.

LGBTQIA people are just people. We aren’t all perfect, there are bad elements inside- and outside of- this community. We are all human, and being so determined to castigate us all for crimes of a minority in a minority is as ridiculous as this crusade against trans rights is.

At the bone in the meat of this issue, we as a community do not now, nor will we ever, have to tolerate- there it is again- intolerance and bigotry. The LGB alliance and the anti community groups out there now have a clear demonstration that in the real world, the LGBTQIA community stand shoulder to shoulder, we don’t countenance nonsense and it’s time for their understanding- that their idiocy will not be entertained by us any more- must be reiterated. And accepting that bigotry is trying to enter this community endlessly, wrapped up in black t shirts or in the guise of “just women with concerns” – is not something I, nor anyone else- should tolerate.

Ofcom have sold out the LGBTQIA

By Daviemoo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Daviemoo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Daviemoo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Narrative of “choice”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recentering pride

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

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

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

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

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

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

Danger Signs

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

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

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

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

For fun, lets pick them apart!

*Insert LGBTQIA person here* is a pervert!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s stop catering to reactionaries & radicals

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

Religious or “philosophical” entitlement to bigotry

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

Concluding words- and actions

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

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

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

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

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

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.