Why are so many LGBT organizations caving to trans activists and losing lesbians?

Julie Bindel argues that fear and funding are the two primary reasons LGBT organizations are abandoning lesbians to cater to the demands of trans activists.


Lesbian and gay organizations all over the country are failing lesbians. The growing alphabet soup — currently standing at LGBTQQIPA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Polyamorous, and Asexual) — has little room for “lesbian.”

Not only do lesbians have the least clout in the “queer” world, on account of being mere women, the word “lesbian” is becoming synonymous with “transphobia.” Lesbians have been the most vocal in challenging current Orwellian transgender ideology, because we have the most to lose by conceding hard-won ground to men who identify as women. Well-funded, powerful organizations that supposedly advocate on behalf of lesbians and gay men are leaving many of us behind in the quest to be as transgender friendly as possible.

There is no organization that previously advocated and campaigned on behalf of lesbians and gay men that has not been co-opted by the transgender agenda. When the trans-cabal says “jump,” such organizations — many originally set up by lesbians — merely ask, “how high?”

But why are so many organizations caving in, and lauding trans activists whilst losing lesbians? Two words: fear and funding. When I was nominated for journalist of the year in the European Diversity Awards in 2011, a transgender journalist with a grudge against me for being so outspoken against transgender ideology took it upon themselves to call every single sponsor of the awards to ask if they would consider withdrawing their support if the organizers refused to de-nominate me. Had the sponsors agreed to withdraw support, it would have meant that the entire awards would have to collapse.

The capitulation to the misogynistic wing of the trans-activists is based on cowardice and hypocrisy. Terrified of the vitriol and threats that inevitably face those of us who speak out against self-identification, as supported by Stonewall, a LGBT rights charity in the UK, many organizations have decided to toe the line. This leaves lesbians out in the cold.

The accepted definition of “lesbian” is a biological woman who is sexually attracted to, and has sexual and emotional relationships with other biological women, yet Stonewall’s definition defines homosexuality as “attraction to the same gender.” What this means is those of us that refuse to accept a male-bodied transsexual as a woman are labelled “TERFs” and hounded on social media and beyond. Let’s face it, men have more disposable income than lesbians, and that includes transwomen who were raised with male privilege and took jobs with male salaries before deciding to live as women.

Last year, Stonewall’s income amounted to £7 million, and yet the organization seems not to fund any lesbian only groups or activities.

I am certain that Stonewall wishes to avoid the bullying and vitriol from trans activists, and therefore play it safe. After all, it is easier to deprioritize lesbians — already the weakest link in the chain — than face the wrath of the new kids on the block.

Sarah Brown is deputy chair of the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group (TAG). In 2009, Brown wrote a blog post in which she asked her supporters to rename “the smegma-like mixture of dead skin cells, gynaecological lube, stale urine…on the end of a dilation stent when a post-operative trans woman withdraws the stent after dilating her neovagina” as “Bindel.” This vile misogynistic bullying has clearly gone unnoticed by Stonewall, despite my repeatedly alerting the chief executive, Ruth Hunt, to this.

Aimee Challenor, who, until this week was the UK Green Party’s equalities spokeswoman, is also a key member of the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group (TAG). Challenor stood down from the race to become the party’s deputy leader following the revelation that his father, David Challenor, who was jailed for 22 years after being convicted of torturing and raping a 10-year-old girl, had served as Aimee’s election agent when he stood in the 2017 general election and in the local elections in May this year — after Challenor’s arrest.

Aimee was not suspended by the Greens for this, and nor was he reprimanded after complaints about his conduct towards women who disagree with trans ideology, such as referring to at least one opponent as a “cunt” or for devising, along with his father,’ @Blockterfs — a mass-blocking tool that has been used by trans activists to encourage Twitter users to label those who speak out against male self-identification as female as “transphobic.”

The Green Party did, however, take swift action when it suspended Olivia Palmer earlier this year, who stood as a candidate in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections, because she “misgendered” transwoman Munroe Bergdorf during a TV debate, Genderquake. Bergdorf has previously referred to a woman as “hairy barren lesbians” and insulted another as a “butch lezza.”

Why would the Greens, supposedly the party of principle, suspend a woman for telling the truth (however unpalatable it is for transwomen to be reminded that they are men), but not suspend a person for a litany of bullying and slurs against feminists on social media? And that is before we even get into the issue of appointing a man arrested for rape and torture of a child as your election agent? Again, trans activists and their allies have the biggest voices, the largest wallets, and dominate social media and public discourse at the moment.

But despite the bullying and the threats to jobs and livelihood, many lesbians have had enough of the aggressive trans takeover of LGBT rights. The disquiet came to a head during London Pride this year, when a group of lesbians protested, holding placards with the slogan, “Lesbians don’t have penises,” and lying down on the parade route.

No doubt in response to this group being accused of being “bigots” and “transphobes” for merely pointing out the obvious, slogans on banners and placards given major prominence at Manchester Pride last weekend were “Lesbians: Stand By Your Trans,” and “No TERFs.” The only “good lesbians,” it would seem, are those ready to prioritize men.

This madness has even been extended to the LGBT section of the Fire Brigade Union. When Paula Lamont, a BECTU union official was bullied and harassed off her own picket line by trans activists and allies, screaming “TERF” at her, Lucy Massoud, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) LGBT+ London secretary, sent out a statement condemning the incident on behalf of her section.

Lamont was attacked because some of the trans activists on the picket apparently recognized her from having attended a meeting organized by A Woman’s Place UK to discuss proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act whilst they were outside bullying anyone entering the building.

The National LGBT secretary, Pat Carberry, responded by emailing Masoud, and copying dozens of union activists, including the General Secretary, demanding to know why she had issued the statement, suggesting that Lamont was a “TERF,” thereby suggesting she had done something to provoke the attack.

In a nutshell, Carberry’s response to Masoud’s statement was that because the FBU does not have an official position on the GRA and, in particular, the issue of self-identification, she should not have made any statement at all.

I spoke to Carberry about the email exchange, by telephone. When I asked him why it was wrong of Masoud to condemn a violent and unprovoked attack on a fellow union activist, Carberry told me:

“Had the statement said that Lamont was attacked because of her political views, that would have been OK, but she should not have mentioned the GRA because it is contentious.”

I responded by asking Carberry whether he would take this line in response to a black male union member being attacked on his own picket line, because he had been seen to attend a meeting to discuss whether or not Rachel Dolezal should be able to self-identify as black? Carberry appeared not to understand my point.

What if people think that the “political differences” Lamont was attacked for involved her being a rabid racist, I asked him, rather than standing up for her civil rights as a woman? Again, Carberry seemed not to get it.

Masoud was not available for comment, but I have been reliably informed that a number of senior male FBU officials are in favour of the new GRA proposals of self-identification, perhaps because the consequences of male-bodied firefighters gaining access to women-only facilities will not affect them.

So-called progressive men who secretly hate or resent women just love the battle between militant trans activists who bleat that they are “real women,” and the feminists and lesbians that are not having it. These men have created the perfect opportunity to call us “bigots” and “haters” and still be thought of as “woke.”

This sexist self-interest and cowardice is at last being challenged by some gay men. But while powerful organizations like Stonewall and influential trade unions cover their backsides whilst throwing women under the bus, the war will continue to rage.

Julie Bindel
Julie Bindel

Julie Bindel is a journalist, a feminist campaigner against male violence, and the author of The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth.

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