• Al Jennings

Trans Rights are Human Rights - and thats all that needs to be said!

There is a part of me that can’t quite believe we are still having this argument, but let’s just start by stating the fucking obvious. Trans rights are human rights. Period. I think, for the majority of people I am stating the obvious, however, for a small number of people within our community they are not really getting it into their heads because yet again we are having to have the same conversation.

I’m gonna try and do my best not to sit here and waffle on. I want to keep this short and concise as possible. I am sure that you by now will be very well of the shitstorm that exploded over social media over a webinar held by the extremely problematic group the LGB Alliance. Never heard of them? Well here is the cliff notes edition. The LGB Alliance claim to be “advancing the interests of LGB people”. They believe that “attempts to introduce confusion between biological sex and the notion of gender are harming LGB people”. I just can’t anymore. I mean really. Yeah? The gays are really in danger.

During November 2020, British gay magazine “Boyz” has come under a fierce and blistering attack after their official Twitter account retweeted several tweets advertising a webinar for “like-minded gay and bisexual in our gay spot that’s just for guys”. What are they on? “Boyz” is a well-known publication in the gay community as it distributed freely amongst venues including bars, clubs and saunas. The backlash was expected but then it really did kick-off when they attempted to defend them. “What we are saying is please make no assumptions. Listen yourself to the founders of the LGB Alliance, and then make your own mind. You don’t have to agree, but at least hear them out”.

I’m going to start with the obvious. There should no be such thing as an “LGB rights group”. As far as I’m concerned – it’s LGBT or nothing. For a long time now, the trans community have faced hatred from so many places. The debate has become too toxic especially online. We need to listen to them and let them tell us what would make a difference in their lives – not try to deny their existence. But the LGB Alliance are no fools – they know what they are doing – because the more we shout and push back they know they are getting their message out. A message that is quite frankly transphobic.

But wait, what? hang-on – hear them out? The LGB Alliance are well known to be transphobic. Their founders have defended working with anti-LGBT+ and anti-abortion Heritage Foundation as well as refusing to denounce its neo-Nazi and homophobic supports. Doing this whilst seeking to further its position of “LGB rights group”. I don’t think. I talk about it a lot, but what happened to common decency here? Let’s be fair – without the trans community that first brick would not have been thrown at Stonewall and we would not be where we are now. We wouldn’t have the equalities that we have today, and I’m not saying that things are perfect right now, because they aren’t. But surely, we need to show some solidarity with the trans community during their hour of need. We need to raise them up and shout about them. Show the world that we are proud to stand together, side by side – because that is what a community does – it’s why I love this community, because for all its flaws; when the chips are down; we are present. We show up.

Following some of the UK’s top pride organisers, queer retailers, theatres and club owners, healthcare professionals and activists all began to distance themselves from “Boyz” and amid the debate this afternoon a statement from the managing editor took aim at what he called the “censorship of discussion” over trans rights”. Speaking through a series of tweets, Bridle said; “We are simply saying let’s hear what they have to say, and not assume that we already know”. Adding that he was “sorry that many of our readers feel we should not allow such debate” over trans rights, whilst advertising the upcoming webinar. “You don’t have to watch the webinar, but you do, it’s possible you would open all of us to finding a way through this damaging schism in the LGBT+ community”. It sounds to me that has been to the Pritti Patel school of apologising. “We’re not trying to make matters worse; we are trying to bridge gaps and start some talking”.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot today, and I’ve been thinking about why?

Why would a supposed LGBT publication even go there? Surely, they should know full well that it’s a contentious issue that sparks debate.

As a predominantly LGBTQ+ writer, when I write these opinion pieces, I feel that sometimes I have to balance the argument and least try to show both sides. I’m not even going to attempt it this time because we somethings are so completely indefensible; and this is one of them.

We have a platform for which we can bolster and stand up for our community. We have the opportunity to further the conversation. The sting will always hurt when we are attacked, but when the attack comes from our own community then the sting is that that much worse. Instead of infighting and trying to further our own agendas, we should really show some solidarity and stand shoulder to shoulder alongside our trans sisters and brothers, as they have done over the decades. Let us not forget who threw that first brick at Stonewall.

LGBT rights have never been a sprint – it’s a marathon, and like it or not, we all have to play our little part of it. There is no LGB without the T. Trans rights are human rights, and let's just remember that shall we?

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