Originally Posted 11/09/2015
Last week some members of the lesbian and gay community started a petition to drop transgender issues from lgbt activism on Change.org.
Here is a summary of the reasons they created it and of reasons given in the comments for those that signed it…
- Death threats hurled at people trans activists disagree with
- The common occurrence of guilt tripping people, especially lesbians, for not wanting to date trans people
- The fight to allow any trans identity claiming XY person into all female spaces anytime whether they present as female or not
- Discounting gay men’s activism in Stonewall
- The channeling of very young children into a gender identity disorder diagnosis at young ages and use of hormone blockers on tweens when many gender non-conforming youth grow up to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual
For gays, lesbians, and bisexuals that support this position, I agree that there is a serious extremism problem in trans activism right now. But keep in mind all activists movements have had serious problems with extremism. You can read writings from lesbian feminists from the 1970s blaming the entirety of the world’s problems on men and stating males are like a parasite and like cancer. And some lesbians held opinions that shamed heterosexual woman for their orientation as being in bed with the enemy, oddly forgetting heterosexuality is necessary for our species survival and creating more little baby homos. Some of the AIDS activism in the 90’s was overboard and obnoxious. At one point gay men and lesbians had to prevent NAMBLA (pedophile organization) from co-opting the gay rights movement. As far as trans activists issuing death threats: when anyone airs controversial opinions in public they get death threats over the Internet no matter if it is a right-wing issue or a left-wing issue. A lesbian was fired from her job because she threatened anti-gay pizza restaurant owners. The trans movement is unique in that it is really peaking at the height of use of social media, which is rife with threats and abusive language.
We can’t throw all of the decent trans people who need help and just want to live their lives under the bus because of these problems. There may be arguments that some of our needs are in fact different. I don’t have a problem with that. Some trans people believe they should separate to better support their own interests. But this should not be done out of malice between the groups. I do think queer media and activists need to do a better job of acknowledging and moderating people’s concerns about women’s safety, threats, and the fears around solidifying a trans identity in 5 year olds and have rational, fact-based discussions. These conversations are necessary and are currently staunchly avoided.
Update: 03/06/17- After I wrote this I have also become even more concerned about the transing of children and teenagers, “Do Youth Transgender Diagnoses Put Would Be Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Adults at Risk for Unnecessary Medical Intervention?”