Telling Tales – four stories of women’s bodies, gender & dysphoria.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 01.56.46.png

Here are four stories selected from those that arrive in my inboxes. Four voices, four women, each with something different to say. One is a nurse, herself with a trans-identified daughter, who describes dressing the arm wound of a young woman who had recently undergone phalloplasty. Another is a young woman who transitioned and later detransitioned, who offered to share her story with me in a series of DMs via Twitter.  The third is a mother who emailed me about her daughter who was groomed online, over a decade ago.  Finally there’s a piece from a woman about her changing relationship with her breasts; at the end she offers a message of hope to the dysphoric young women of today.

These are among the voices that transactivism will try to silence with the cries of ‘transphobia’ and ‘no debate’. We need to hear these voices. We need to hear about the dark side of ‘reassignment’ surgery; we need to hear the voices of the desisters, the detransitioners; and the women who travel a long and difficult path but eventually come to love their own bodies.

Four women, four stories from the front lines.

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 01.08.11

Thoughts from a Nurse

I have been a Registered Nurse for 30 years. For the past 7 years, I have been working in a very busy family practice setting. One of my roles in the family practice is having my own RN appointments with the physicians’ patients, to do nursing procedures such as syringing ears clear of cerumen, administering intramuscular and subcutaneous injections, removing sutures or staples from operative and trauma wounds, changing the dressings on operative and trauma wounds. These are just a few of the many nursing scope of practice activities I do within this role.

Also, I’m letting you know that over five years ago, my now 21 year old daughter told us that she thought she should be transgender. She has persisted to this day, in part, I believe, due to constant outside affirmation at school and work, and transgender-positive internet and social messaging.

One shift I worked, a patient in their mid 20s was booked to see me to have a dressing changed to a post-operative site to the patient’s left forearm. As I do with all patients, before their appointments with me, I reviewed the patient’s chart for previous information regarding what/when the surgery occurred and I discovered that the patient was classed as FTM (female to male) and had, two weeks prior, had phalloplasty surgery done and that the site I was to assess, clean and re-dress was actually the donor site for this operation. As a Registered Nurse, it is important for me to give evidence-based, excellent and compassionate nursing care to all of my patients. I prepared myself for this appointment by gathering dressing change supplies including sterile normal saline, antibiotic ointment, non-stick dressing pads, rolled gauze and paper tape. I tried not to think about my own daughter.

The patient arrived in my office, accompanied by their mother. Subjectively I noticed that the mother appeared to be approximately my age, late 40s early 50s, and had a tired look about her. She appeared to try to smile, but it looked more like a grimace, and there was a very sad look in her eyes. The patient appeared to be male, spoke comfortably to me, and sat in the patient chair, with their arm set up on a tray I had placed over the chair.

In reality, there was no preparation which could have readied me for what I saw when I removed the patient’s dressing. The entire diameter of the forearm was substantially reduced from the unaffected arm. It appeared like the skin/tissue which had been removed was likely 1 to 2 cm in thickness. The wound encompassed the full diameter of the left forearm, from just below the elbow joint to just above the wrist. I noticed that the patient had sleeve-type tattoos to both arms. The tattoo was completely gone from the site of the wound. The wound looked moist, red, inflamed, translucent tissue and the blood vessels were clearly seen just below the surface of the wound. Clear drainage was oozing from the entire wound. I couldn’t discern if the site was healthy or infected as I had never seen a wound site such as this before.

I had the patient’s family physician assess the site and he told me that the site looked well and not infected and asked me to clean it and re-dress it.  I applied a large amount of Fucidin (a prescription-grade antibiotic ointment) to the site, using a sterile tongue depressor to smear the antibiotic ointment onto the entire wound. I used numerous non stick gauze dressings to the site, and secured the dressings to the arm using a roll of clinging gauze dressing which I secured with paper tape. The patient tolerated this procedure very well. There was some discomfort, but overall the procedure went smoothly.

After the patient and the mother left the appointment with me, I had to compose myself. It was extremely upsetting and the memory will stay with me for a very long time. As an RN, seeing the condition of the forearm donor site, the only word that came to my mind was mutilation. I know that currently this isn’t a ‘politically correct’ term, but it is the only word that suits what I saw. It was healthy forearm tissue which was removed – not tissue removed because of disease or trauma.

I am also a mum. As the mother of a young daughter who, in my assessment,  has been taken in by both the transgender movement and identity politics/social justice world, for me to witness the degree to which females are being erased absolutely cut through to the depths of my female spirit.

*****************************************

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 01.39.24

Thoughts from a Detransitioner

@trialeterror

I am a recent detransitioner who struggled with dysphoria. I’m 27 years old and identified as FTM since I was 16 after first hearing of the possibility online. It all came to a head when I was 25 and I began testosterone. I had top surgery early last year.

In retrospect, I was very unstable when I began transition. I had hit a major milestone (25) and felt like my life was going nowhere. I was aware that I had co-morbid depression and anxiety, but I was scared that if I tried to address those issues first, I would be the ONE unlucky person who would be prevented from transitioning (lol).

The 2016 US election scared me into having surgery and changing my legal documents before I was truly ready. Lots of paranoia, anger, fear. Shot days made me unhappy because they were a reminder of what I didn’t and could never have. I quickly developed a phobia of doing the shots myself- my best friend did all of them after the first few. I felt like a burden. I was very clearly suffering from thoughts of worthlessness that I absolutely believe exacerbated (or caused) the dysphoria. Chicken or the egg, I don’t know.  I cried a lot, had emotional breakdowns. ‘I don’t want to be here anymore,’ played on repeat in my head. Sometimes I’d say it out loud. I started having sleep disturbances, so I finally became desperate enough and started anti-depressants earlier this year. Within a couple of months, I experienced a decrease in dysphoria and an increase in clear, level-headed thought. It’s been weird. I’ve since stopped T and am in the process of changing my legal documentation again. I’m not currently angry, but I do feel failed by the system.

I do feel that I am doing better now- calmer, at least. I wanted to be male in the same way someone might want blue eyes instead of brown- except that people (understandably) take sex Much More Seriously than eye color. I don’t know if I will have a satisfying life, but I do want to try, and I don’t think that would be possible if I spent all of my energy trying to force my brown eyes to blue. I don’t much like the ‘gotta have it all’ or ‘you can be anything you aspire to be’ mentalities because oftentimes we just can’t. We’re all born with different innate strengths and weaknesses and reproductive capacity is just one aspect of a person. It just seems cruel to encourage large swaths of people to strive for the impossible/improbable, when they could lead an equally enjoyable average life.

The first ‘trans memory’ that I have is from preschool and is pretty meaningless out of context: I always wanted to be the dad when we’d play house. During early puberty when my body started to change, I had a vague thought/worry/fear that I’d just keep growing or change into a boy.  I think the first time I felt particularly different was the time that I asked my best friend whether she’d ever want to be a boy ‘just to try it for a day’ and she said no. I also had a huge crush on a gay boy and I read into that a lot. I was very shy about my romantic interests, so I never did tell him before we went separate ways.

I’m a human of the creative variety, but on top of stories and characters, I started inventing alternate personas for myself. I thought maybe I was reincarnated or maybe in some kind of Truman Show scenario. I was also smart enough to know that these ideas were ridiculous and not to talk about it. I was never overtly delusional to the casual observer, but there were a lot of other issues that I was struggling with and imagination was my coping mechanism. In retrospect, it’s easy to see how I became fixated on the idea of being trans, but you don’t really notice it in the moment. You don’t see how these things connect in any meaningful way, and once you’ve spent long enough thinking you’re trans, you don’t remember how you started believing it in the first place. You kind of don’t want to remember, in case it unravels the fabric of who you are.

I found out about FTMs at 16 and I told my mom at 17. She was the first adult that I told and I had no idea how she was going to react. It wasn’t as bad as I’d feared. She’s never been on-board with it, but she’s supported me in I guess the best way she knew how. My step-dad once threatened me with violence because I said that speaking on the phone made me dysphoric, but there was no follow through. This was early on and he was actually pretty supportive when I started transition years later. Go figure. My bio-dad is an alcoholic and this was also around the time I started distancing myself from him. His response was basically just ‘you need to get laid’ and then to pretend I never mentioned it. Classy.

I wanted to start transitioning in college (around 2010), but there were very few gender therapists at the time and informed consent wasn’t a thing in my area. The first person I ever saw seemed fascinated, but said outright that he’d never worked with trans people. He talked about himself a lot, which I didn’t realize was a sign of a poor therapist, but it made me uncomfortable anyway. The second person I talked to was a woman. My one memory with her is trying to describe height dysphoria. When I said I was too short, she informed me that I was an average female height, which still upsets me because of how acutely she managed to fail to identify the problem: not that I felt that my body was wrong, but that it was wrong for me. I’m not sure which experience disappointed me more.

Having seen two therapists unqualified to deal with my issues and being a sheltered kid just trying to get through college, I gave up and retreated online. I spent most of my time in my dorm room or in class. This must have been when being trans started to become ‘a thing’ because once I was out of college and had moved out, I started noticing people transitioning- mostly online. I had still never had any real meaningful talk with a therapist about my feelings. I was intensely jealous that some people had access to better services than I had. When I later transitioned, my aunt (my mom’s sister) was VERY supportive. Apparently, when my mom told her, she said in that worried way that, ‘those people kill themselves’ which is so painful because it’s such an important thing to talk about, but you don’t want the people you love- and who love you- to know that about you. Not being able to say ‘I’d never do that’ is so hard when you genuinely don’t know. I’m not a good liar. My aunt has daughter in high school and apparently IDing as trans isn’t so rare anymore. When I was her age, I only really knew one other trans individual personally. We met online and meeting him (a fellow FTM) was like meeting a unicorn lol.

I actually work as an admin on a college campus now and it’s strange seeing so many (what I can only assume are) trans-ID’d students walking around. I often wonder how many are even dysphoric, how many can relate to what I’ve experienced, and how many are just having a bit of fun.

I think the most concerning thing for me is that the therapist who wrote my letters never asked whether I’d ever had any sort of delusional thoughts and the doctor who wrote my prescriptions didn’t ask whether I was depressed.  Personally, I think informed consent should be available for adults. However, I also think that, as with smoking and other risk factors, doctors should at least be required to do some very basic screening and bring it up with the patient. If someone along the way would have said to me,

“It sounds like you may also be experiencing depression and anxiety. We can definitely try testosterone, but since the effects of hormone therapy are more permanent, I’d like to try treating you with an SSRI for a couple of months to see if that provides any relief.  If you still want to start testosterone after that and your bloodwork is clear, we can go ahead and give that a try while continuing to treat your other symptoms. How does that sound?”

I mean… I might still be in the same predicament, but maybe not. Maybe I’m just optimistic, haha.  It just seems wild to me that people advocate for LESS screening, when there’s already so much that we aren’t looking for.

I’ve thought about telling my story somewhere myself, but I wouldn’t really know where to begin in order to reach an interested audience where it might actually have some kind of impact, haha. I would definitely be happy to see it shared with others though, and it would be great to hear from more people with similar experiences.

*****************************************

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 01.33.08.png

Thoughts from a mum

My wife Marie and I have 4 children, 3 girls and a boy who we have raised together. They are all now grown up and 3 have families of their own. My  daughter Amber is now a 24 year old woman with a boyfriend and a child. This is the story of her rapid onset gender dysphoria, which happened back in 2006.Out of the blue, when just 12 years old, my daughter said to us she was a boy and would now be called Sean.  She cut her hair and dressed as the other young men dressed.  Prior to the announcement we had absolutely no idea, she was a very feminine young lady.

Amber is an intelligent person, she spoke 3 languages by this age and stood out at school not only for having lesbian parents but because she was very academic.  She spent her summers at university summer schools in Cambridge and Bath designed to cater for children like herself.  She did not have much in common with her peers and had no friends who were girls at school.

When she spoke to us about these feelings we did not dismiss it or try to talk her out of her belief.  We listened to her carefully and we decided we should seek some help and advice.  We first of all spoke to 2 friends, one of whom is a MTF transsexual and one a FTM transsexual.  Both said the same thing- it just does not suddenly occur and we should seek help.

In the meantime we agreed to call her only by her nickname and the name we always used anyway, ‘Berry’, we did not refer to her as Amber.

WE first went to the GP who referred Amber to CAMHS.  They helped her work through her feelings and ultimately felt the alienation from her peers was at the root of her feelings and that she was probably not transsexual.  They referred us on to a gender ID clinic.  The wait for the services was more than 12 months so in the meantime she continued to have help and counselling from CAMHS and we also paid for a private opinion from a psychiatrist- not a gender expert but we felt it might be useful.

About 11 months after she first told us, a session with CAMHS found out some disturbing new information from her.  They called us in straight away and informed us she had disclosed that she had been talking to a person online-a MTF trans person in his 40’s.  This person had basically told Amber he thought her ‘problems’ were because she was trans.  We also found out that he had been telling her that if she was a boy then they might be able to have a relationship.

Obviously the first thing we did was call the police and they took it very seriously.  Her computer was examined and we went through many hours of police interviews.  The person was arrested and ultimately charged and imprisoned- Amber was not the only child.

We went through enormous feeling of guilt and knew we had let her down.  The dangers of the internet were not as well understood then as now, and we had been at best naïve and at worst negligent.

Amber, needless to say, was never trans and with lots of help and support we worked through her problems.

If she had attended CAMHS today I’m pretty sure they would accept she was transgender and the awful situation might never have come to light, or god forbid the abuse could have continued and she could have been in even more danger.

I know it’s a long story, and not an easy one to write, but the way her sudden trans revelation was dealt with by the GP, CAMHS and the psychiatrist was in stark contrast to what would happen today.  It all too clearly illustrates just one of the dangers of blithe acceptance of young people suddenly presenting as trans.

 

*****************************************

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 01.51.08

Big Butch Breasts

I can’t sleep tonight. Peri-menopausal insomnia. So I’m drinking tea and wandering on the internet and I just watched this video by a young woman called Kat. It’s about binding. It’s about her stopping binding.

Then I cried a lot and made more tea.

I’ve got my tea propped on my chest. My breasts, always soft and slack from the time of their arrival, and now, as I near fifty, even more relaxed in their styling, fall to my sides and leave me a flat, bony expanse for my mug to rest on. I’m wearing a chunky jumper over my pjs. From the menswear section. All my clothes are butch. I’m a butch dyke, a lifelong lesbian.

When they came, these breasts, it was swift and overwhelming. Aged 12 and still at a middle school, in which I was expected to change for sports in a room with boys, I hid my first bra under a vest. It was a vile item, that bra. I liked my snoopy sweatshirt, the cool ice hockey jumper I’d inherited from my brother, my super-tight jeans (it was the early 1980s) but I loathed the shiny white bra with lace-trimmed cups. It was actually too small from the start; my mother, in denial about the size of my breasts, had insisted we buy an A cup. I never was that A cup girl. I quickly progressed to a cast-off from my sister. It didn’t have the lace, thank god, but a butterfly between the cups.

Breasts didn’t just bring the hated ‘pretty underwear’ into my life. They brought the eyes of others to my chest. And once, when I was still aged just twelve, the hand of an adult man. None of that was welcome. So, I wore baggy jumpers on hot days and hid as best I could. But still I flinched at people ‘noticing’ my breasts in swimming class. Hunched my shoulders. Buckled with embarrassment.

I always felt that they didn’t match me. I thought I’d been given the breasts of some girl who wanted big ones while she had the tiny, pert, barely noticeable, ones that were meant for me. Along with periods, which also arrived at age 12, my breasts were an almighty annoyance. Something to be managed. Something I must have been cursed with by a witch at my cradle.

And so began the relationship between us, me and my breasts. I tried to make the best of it. I hunted down the plainest bras I could find – not easy in pre-internet days. If BHS didn’t stock it, it didn’t exist… I avoided changing rooms by cunning re-use of an excuse note for PE. I muddled through.

But I still resented my breasts all the time. I thought they made me look stupid. I thought they made me a less serious person. Less me. That they were the body equivalent of a clown’s red nose. Make of that what you will but remember this was the Britain of Benny Hill, Are You Being Served? (which I dearly loved, by the way) and Carry On films. Big breasts were a joke. The women who had them were a joke too…

There were some dark times in my teens. Some were particular challenges relating to my life but some were the universal moments of self-doubt and confusion experienced by all adolescents, as I tried to determine who I was. Who I was, it appeared, was a lesbian. By fifteen I was saying the word to myself in private and to a few select friends. I got hold of my first lesbian books. Lesbian feminist books from publishers like Onlywomen, Sheba and The Women’s Press. Vital, political. Not perfect, of course, but powerful.

I believe that hard, bleak and repressive as the 1980s were in many ways, I possibly had a better, a safer, a healthier experience of growing up as a young lesbian then than I might today. Because those books told me that what I was, a woman who was attracted to women, who rejected ‘feminine’ dress, was a perfectly valid thing to be.

More than that, feminist books and magazines told me that the world was lying to me about what it meant to be me. They voiced the great truth that violence against women is a toxic plague and that mental illness, self-harm, anorexia and more, were partly expressions of women’s distress in an oppressive patriarchy. They said that I was entitled to be a whole person but that I would have to fight to be it.

But they also said that I was not alone. I was not alone and I could survive. The overwhelming message was one of affirmation and solidarity in struggle.

Of course, none of that is easy or simple. And I was, in any ways, a privileged young woman. There wasn’t much money in my family but my middle class background gave me access to books and education. I don’t generalise from that to others who lived through those times because I know I can’t. I was able to move through feminist spaces relatively easily as a white, middle class, non-disabled woman. I recognise my privilege. And in those spaces I met friends and lovers. I was very lucky.

But what of the breasts? I hear you cry… Well, over years, many years, I reconciled myself to them. I can remember several key moments that illustrate my changing feelings:

Aged fifteen, on a train coming home from a day in London, I saw a lesbian couple. One was wearing a t-shirt of a feminist press. She was so cool. She had no bra underneath and I saw the gentle swing of her breasts as she stood. She was tired. She yawned and her lover rubbed her shoulder. Gentle and affectionate. She looked at home in her body and her life.

Dressing up in drag with my friends for a party when I was seventeen. The feeling of the cool dress shirt on my skin. Looking at myself in the mirror, in my tail coat, knowing I looked good. Deciding that maybe the breasts didn’t ‘spoil it’ and that maybe there was something rather exciting about a female body in formal menswear… I have never changed my mind on that one.

Aged twenty, wearing a Lycra body for a night at a women’s club. It was the first time I’d ever relished others’ gazes. It was low cut, under-wired, black. No trim. Nothing ‘feminine’. I wore a leather biker jacket over it. I felt powerful.

I guess that part of that power came from owning my sexuality. I’d had a few lovers by then, none of whom seemed to think I had the wrong body on. In fact, they’d generally been quite keen on my breasts. And I had loved theirs. I had met breasts of different shapes, sizes, colours and textures. I’d mucked about with lovers – naming breasts, squeezing breasts, joking. But I’d met their power too. I remember the exquisitely sensitive breasts of a lover who would gasp at the lightest touch. I’d learned some of the language of breasts in warmth, in private, with affection and desire, and away from the ridicule of public gaze.

Later still, aged twenty nine, I gave birth. My breasts swelled, burned and rushed with milk. They were entirely mysterious again. My nipples cracked. The pain was some of the most excruciating I’ve ever experienced but I persisted. They healed. They settled into these new things that provided nutrition and comfort for my child for two years. I felt grateful and respectful of their ability to work such magic.

Now I look at them with a mixture of that eternal irritation (I’d still have preferred a neater pair) and admiration. For a body part so unappreciated by me, they have done rather well, I think. I can even, on a good day, look at the way they glide down my torso and see a sort of beauty in them. I make myself see that because, god knows, I can see it in other women.

And there is always a little voice in my head that says, ‘Remember, they want you to hate your body, to hate yourself, to be your own enemy. It saves them the trouble.’ It’s the little voice that feminism gave me. And the little voice isn’t wrong.

Like most people, there have been times when my mental health has wobbled and at those times I’ve felt that loathing, that doubt about myself, my body, my mind and how it all fits together. I’m not all worked out about this stuff. But I appreciate the healthy body I have. I’m old enough now to know that it won’t last forever.

But I wonder what my experience might be today, were I that same, breast-hating, 12 year old? If I were that girl who was usually happiest in her jeans, reading her book up a tree? If I became that teenager attracted to girls? If, instead of reading books of feminist stories, I was watching YouTube videos about binding? If, instead of reading the message that a wrong-headed world wanted to make me hate my body, I was getting the message that it was my body itself that was wrong?

I have always believed in respect for, and inclusion of, trans people. I have nothing to say about the experiences of those who transition. It is not my place to undermine anyone’s right to self-determination. But, equally, I will not silence myself, eradicate my story of my relationship to my own body, lest I be accused of transphobia. We need all the stories to be told.

Many, many women I have spoken to have experienced feelings of distress, panic, even loathing of their own bodies. For those of us living as butch lesbians, there are rarely safe spaces in which to share those anxieties and the strategies we use to manage or overcome them. So, here is my butch breast story. For me, time, experience, my developing sexuality, motherhood and ageing have all affected my relationship with my breasts. Had my initial dread and misery at their appearance been amplified or encouraged I might never have become the person who rocked her toddler to sleep at her breast. At twelve, I couldn’t possibly have known what a precious experience that would later be.

So, to girls out there who might be hurting their bodies, crushing tissue, breaking ribs, struggling to breathe, planning to excise the hated pieces of themselves, I would suggest, with respect and solidarity, that there may come a time when they can accept and respect their breasts. That it is possible to be a butch, breasted, confident person. Sometimes we are what society calls a contradiction, or what our peers appear to despise, or what the media ridicules or slanders, but we can also be each other’s friends, lovers and champions. I send a hug. I say, be kind to all parts of yourself and give it some time.

 

*****************************************

 

Thank you to the women who have shared their stories with me, and thank you for letting me share your stories with others.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments

Brighton Rock -A Woman’s Place is Turning the Tide

Text & photos- Lily Maynard * Sketches – Michèle M

Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 21.32.49

On July 16th 2018, a group of almost 200 women, and a few men, attended a meeting organised by Woman’s Place UK’   at Jury’s Inn in Brighton.

A woman's place is turning the tide

“We are a group of people from a range of backgrounds,” declares Woman’s Place UK, “including trade unions, women’s organisations, academia and the NHS. We are united by our belief that women’s hard won rights must be defended.”

WPUK believes in the right of everyone, “to live their lives free from discrimination and harassment.” WPUK is concerned with the rights of women and girls, “who face both endemic structural and personal inequality,” and how those rights are affected by current proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act.

To this effect WPUK has arranged a series of talks around the country, meeting firstly in Cambridge in November 2017, then in Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Oxford, Basingstoke,, Newcastle, Todmorden, Hastings, and most recently, Brighton.

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 00.52.01

Taking the train down from London for the meeting, I decided to make a day of it and go for a swim in the afternoon. Siri informed me that high tide would be at two so I planned a swim for three.

Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 01.15.28

The beach was crowded and the stones were hard underfoot but the water was dark blue and perfectly chilled.  I buried my phone and cash in a plastic bag under my towel and stepped into the icy water. I only had to swim a couple of strokes before my feet no longer touched the ground.  Perfect. It was only too cold for a couple of seconds.  I bobbed like a baby seal on the rolling waves under the blue sky and burning sun. It would have felt more like an alpine lake than the English seaside if it hadn’t been for the undulating waves and salty taste of the water… and the seagulls screeching overhead… and the crowds of people talking loudly in English…  and the omniscient wafting odour of weed.

But you get the idea. No seagulls shat on me, no poops or tampons floated by.   For a journey just an hour south of London, this is as tropical as it gets.

After my swim I wandered through the Lanes, a little string of hippy happiness traversing the town centre. The shop and stall holders are kind and cool; touched with an air of having just got back from Goa or trekking in the Andes. Small dogs trotted past my feet and the air was filled with the scent of veggie burgers and vegan cupcakes. The atmosphere on a sunny Monday afternoon was almost festival.  I purchased a delicious but pricey coffee from a cheerful and friendly barrista and pretended not to be surprised at the £85 price tag on an ‘upcycled’ kimono.

I passed on the kimono and instead paid £4 for a charity shop scarf, which seemed like a spectacular bargain. I ran it under a tap, wrung it out and put it over my shoulders to keep cool.  At five o’clock I met Michèle in a coffee shop and we checked our email. The venue had been announced! We left the Lanes and meandered back down towards the seafront.

Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 01.52.02

The Friends Meeting House, Brighton

‘A Woman’s Place is Turning the Tide‘ had originally been planned to take place at the Quaker Friends Meeting House, but they had backed out of hosting it a couple of days beforehand, weighed under by the usual bullying. A Woman’s Place were uncowed by this, organising another, larger venue and relocating the event to the waterfront.

Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 01.36.06

The new venue was the modern and gargantuan Jury’s Inn, overlooking the sea.

We knew that protestors were expected, and there they were. We could hear them as we approached, chanting the inevitable: ‘Transwomen are real women!’

Transactivists, hotel guests & passers by outside Jury’s Inn

“No debate! No debate! Transwomen are real women,’  they cried.

‘Trans rights are human rights!’ They waved their placards.

‘Trans rights are not for debate,’ they called, earnestly,  as we approached the building.

“No debate! No debate!

No debate! No debate!

No debate! No debate!”

Transwomen are men Lily MaynardTranswomen are, of course, not women. Can I be a trans woman? No? Why not? Because I’m not a man. It really is that simple. We all know what a woman is: we all came out of one. We have words like masculine and feminine to help us describe the more ethereal aspects of how we perform gender; ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are biological descriptors. You can’t just take them – we need them. Women, and men too, need those words to describe our biology and how it affects our lives.

Trans people should have the same human rights as the rest of us. Obviously. Nobody I know has issues with that. Have you ever heard anybody say trans people shouldn’t have the same human rights as the rest of us? If I heard someone say that, I’d pull them up pretty sharpish, I can tell you that. Human rights are universal.

But trans rights do not automatically include the right to stop women talking about things that affect them.  We get to talk about that. Trans rights do not over rule women’s rights. This is not a game of Top Trumps. It is entirely disingenuous to suggest that anyone wishing to discuss feminism and changes to the GRA wants to take away anybody’s human rights, erase people or deny their existence.

Sometimes I feel we are so close to agreeing on all this. Prescribed gender roles are harmful. As humans, our responses to gender are complex and diverse. We need to break down stereotyped ideas of how a boy or girl should behave. Why this obsession with appropriating the language of biology?   How can a boy possibly be a girl unless we completely change the meanings of the words ‘boy’ and ‘girl’?  And to spread the net a bit wider, those who don’t want to choose a pink or blue box but still want their seat on the trans-train can be non-binary, or gender fluid, some are demi-girls or demi-boys. The trans umbrella spreads itself wide. LGBTQIA? Everyone can be special! Kids as young as twelve or thirteen are declaring themselves asexual.  FFS- you are literally 12! It’s quite normal not to fancy anybody at 12 , let alone not desire to indulge in rampant shagging- because YOU ARE A CHILD.

The belief that people can be born in the wrong body is akin to a religious issue. You may believe that we have culturally gendered souls that can slip into the ‘wrong’ body. I may call this sexist nonsense. Our disagreement on this no more means I am trying to erase you, or harm you, than my refusal to accept that god is a white-robed beardy bloke who lives on a cloud in the sky means I am trying to erase certain groups of Christians.

So there were they, waving their placards, chanting with excellent enunciation and full of righteous energy, and there were we, wanting to have a meeting and wondering if anybody was going to get punched this time.

“Transwomen are real women!

No debate!

No debate!””

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 03.34.50Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 01.00.56

One of the protestors had a sign on their T shirt reading ‘Fuck Gender Norms’ and I wanted to shout, ‘Yes, I agree! Fuck gender norms, they’re bullshit, it’s all nonsense! Wear what you like! Love who you like! Express yourself! Be masculine; be feminine, be passive or assertive, have long hair or short; paint your face or not.  It’s called having a personality. Challenge those sexist stereotypes, break those gendered barriers. Change things! You don’t belong in a box.’

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 03.08.01

I’m fascinated by the protestors who turn up to events organised by gender critical women.  Some people have said to me, don’t write about them, why even mention them, it’s just giving them attention. But to understand what’s going on, we need to try to understand them. How has this happened?

I believe in the power of protest. I’ve marched against bombs, wars, homophobia, rape, racism; against the poll tax, oppressive foreign regimes, corrupt banks, politicians and the meat industry. I’ve protested for the right to listen to loud music in a field and waved banners calling for the decriminalisation of drugs. I was actively involved in Greenpeace actions in my 20s.  My politics are libertarian left.  I have never been ‘the bad guy’ before and I don’t believe I’m the bad guy now.

Myself and other women want to talk about how changing attitudes towards gender and the redefining of words used to describe it affect the rights of women and children.  We’re told that to do so is hatred. Me-from-the-past views this with horror. Women being told they can’t discuss their rights? The ground feminists had gained, lost so soon?  It’s like one of the dystopian scifi novels I read so avidly in my teens. Oh the irony of being accused of erasing people by those who want lesbians to accept penises as female! The irony of being called regressive by those who think a feminine boy in a Frozen tutu should be encouraged to think he’s a girl!

Later on in the evening, the chant turned to ‘Non-binary is valid’, which must be a contender for the most ridiculous slogan in the global history of protest. We’re all bloody non-binary, with the possible exception of Barbie and Action Man- and they aren’t real. It would almost be endearingly funny if trans-ideology wasn’t resulting in young people becoming desperately unhappy – suicidal, as we are so often told- surgeons removing young women’s healthy breasts and minors being medicalised with off-label drugs. Most- but certainly not all- who transition are over the age of eighteen, but doctors have long known that the pre-frontal cortex of our brains doesn’t mature until we are at least in our mid twenties. Youngsters are impetuous. That’s one of the reasons their car insurance is so insanely high.

Most of the protestors are under 25. I feel maternally protective towards the narcissistic little blighters, although I know they hate me. I wonder if they’ve had a proper lunch.

For all the cries of equality, there is undoubtedly a hierarchy among the trans-identified  and their ‘17 types of gender‘.  Transwomen are at the top, naturally, their voices are loudest and they are the most listened to because they are men and we live in a patriarchy.  Transmen seem mostly incidental, noted in the papers only when they give birth or occasionally when they grow a beard.  At the bottom are actual women who want a shaft of the rainbow, the handmaidens of the trans movement, the ‘sisters not cis-ters’ who are happy to describe themselves as ‘cis’.

Michèle, never intimidated,  took a leaflet with a smile. Someone put their foot in the revolving doors, just for a second, when I wouldn’t take the one held out to me. The door stopped for a moment, then seconds later we stepped into the cool, air conditioned, glass and marble lobby of the hotel.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 02.29.40.png       Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 02.20.11

We registered in the lobby, where our bags were checked.  Outside, a few guests perused the protestors as they began chanting ‘transmen are real men’.  We milled off to the bar for a drink in the stunning air-con lounge. The space was huge and cool.  I sipped hot coffee and slipped over to the window, where I could see the protestors down in the street below.

“I should have taken a leaflet,” I wail, angry with myself for being momentarily intimidated. Michèle gives me hers. It’s disappointing.

Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 18.43.53

Debunking the leaflet

Firstly, we need to remember that sex is also a protected characteristic. Female-bodied people – aka women- have the right to their own spaces. We do not currently legally have to let boys change with girls; to let men into women’s refuges. We do not have to say that men are women. Yet.

As Helen Saxby pointed out later, in her talk, Penny Mordaunt (Minister for Women and Equalities) may well have assured us that the Equality Act won’t be affected by any changes to the law, but if you take the view that trans women are women it erases the sex class of women altogether.

There is no evidence that the UK trans community faces higher levels of violence than other marginalised groups.

There is a rich and detailed global history of LGB art and literature, even in cultures that punished or erased homosexuality. There is no history of transgender children. The Roman were keen surgeons who kept close records of their various achievements, which even included foreskin reconstruction. There is nothing to suggest that they even considered the idea of performing a ‘sex change’. It’s extremely hard to believe that nobody felt able to speak up about this until about 15 years ago and now suddenly thuosands of young people are ‘finding the words’ at last.

Discrimination is not a good thing. Women know all about it, and it isn’t something we chose to identify into, thank you very much, nor is it something we should be expected to have to identify out of. While I support your human rights, I will not call a man a woman and I do not have to believe in your gender fairy.

Support is essential for all of us, especially those of us going through crises or mental health issues. However, if you’re starving yourself, I’m not going to tell you you look better the thinner you are; if you’re self harming I’m not going to say ‘that’s a great way to let it out’. Supporting someone means more than blind acceptance of their beliefs.

The horror of child suicide has been used as a very effective silencing technique. Those who feel that mental health problems are caused by gender dysphoria rather than the other way around are dismissed as heartless and full of hatred for trans-IDd children.  Yet the Tavistock and Portman GIDS clinic states that among children referred to the clinic “suicide is extremely rare”. Outside the story of American Leelah/Josh Alcorn, most of the very few young trans-IDd people that have taken their own lives had full parental support. The 48% suicide attempt myth has been debunked here – one study represented as interviewing over 2,000 trans people actually interviewed 27. A peer-reviewed study shows that post-transition suicides, and psychiatric inpatient care, are actually higher post-op than pre-transition.   J. Michael Bailey, Ph.D  and Ray Blanchard, Ph.D talk about the ‘transition or die’ myth here

The GRA already gives trans people the right to ‘jump ship’ on their sex and have all records changed if they can show their intent is wholehearted and genuine. The leaflet describes it as ‘really difficult and expensive’. It costs £140, and those on low income receive help to pay. You can view the current process here. Changing the GRA so anyone can change all their documents- including their birth certificate- just by waving a wand causes all sort of problems from genealogy to criminal investigations.

I’m unsure what the writers of the leaflet mean when they speak of the ‘further trans rights’ they are seeking in addition to making self-identification viable in law.  If a male can wake up one morning & legally declare himself female ‘just like that’ where else is there to go?

The last part of the leaflet says ‘hormones are not prescribed to anyone under 18 in the UK.‘ This is blatantly untrue. They are prescribed to children as young as twelve. See here. Even the NHS website says otherwise. “If your child has gender dysphoria and they’ve reached puberty, they could be treated with… synthetic (man-made) hormones that suppress the hormones naturally produced by the body.”

So the leaflets were full of sensationalist misinformation, or ‘alternative facts’, which was disappointing but not entirely surprising.

The Meeting

Lily Maynard WPUK Brighton

The Panel – left to right: Helen Saxby, Kathleen Stock, Phillipa Harvey, Ruth Serwotka, Gill Smith

WPUK Lily Maynard

Helen Saxby, Kathleen Stock

Lily Maynard WPUK

Kathleen Stock, Phillipa Harvey , Ruth Serwotka

WPUK Lily Maynard

Ruth Serwotka, Gill Smith

WPUK

Phillipa Harvey by Michèle M

Phillipa Harvey‘s welcome was met with applause; the bar and the aircon were noted and praised. She thanked the hotel for hosting us at short notice.

“The term TERF will not be tolerated- this is abuse of women. Please be aware of how others in the room will feel as you are speaking. I’m angry that in defending women’s hard fought for rights we are being called transphobic.

Changes in law matter. Thank you for caring how the changes in law matter…  for caring to attend this meeting.”

Harvey introduced the first speaker of the evening.

Helen Saxby

WPUK Helen Saxby

Helen Saxby by Michèle M

The first speaker was Helen Saxby, a feminist writer and blogger.  Saxby told us that she wanted to talk about “how we’ve got where we are and why we feel angry about it.”

Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 01.34.43Saxby reminded us that the government consultation has now been launched and that it will be the first chance for women to have a say concerning changes to the GRA (Gender Recognition Act).  You can take part  in the government consultation about the GRA or just learn more about it here.

She spoke of the legal fiction put into law when the GRA was first introduced in 2004, back when nobody was expected to say that transwomen actually were women, and how it was supposed to “help alleviate the gender incongruence of a very small group of people so they could live more happily”.  She spoke of the abuse women received on Twitter if they dared to say that transwomen weren’t women.

‘What is at stake is the actual meaning of the word woman.’

Saxby warns.

Helen spoke of how the phrase ‘Transwomen ARE women’ is used to put a stop to talk of women’s rights. “It’s like a football chant,” she observed wryly.  Saxby pointed out that calling transwomen women used to be ‘a way of being an ally; a way to be nice… not hurting their feelings… just a matter of courtesy’, but what it has become is ‘a political slogan’.

Over the years, she said, the number of transactivists groups have grown, and they’ve been talking to governments, the NHS and other organisations and any argument has been shut down. It now seems transphobic to say transwomen are men.

WPUK
Helen Saxby by Michèle M

“Women are easy to ignore, feminist women are particularly easily ignored and lesbian feminist women are easiest to ignore.”

Saxby spoke of the Allsorts Schools Toolkit and how it discriminated against girls, and Transmedia Watch who work to ensure that male transgender crimes are reported as female crimes but if the man later takes his life it will be reported in the press as a trans suicide.

“It’s quite clearly unfair in sport,” she added, “when a male bodied person competes against a female... In every area where trans rights have been pushed for, it is women and girls who lose out.”

“Some gay men are beginning to realise what transgender ideology says about their sexuality,” observed Saxby, “and that it’s not really what they want either.” She said she hoped gay men would support their lesbian sisters who looked after them during the AIDS crisis.

“The mantra ‘transwomen are women’ is no longer a matter of courtesy, it’s a political point. It’s nothing to do with transphobia, bigotry or hatred…  I am being bullied by a political dogma that I don’t agree with. It’s my political right to say no to that dogma- and I would like everybody here to say no to that dogma.”

A resounding cry of “No!” and applause came from the audience.

“If you take the view that transwomen are women… what it does is it erases the sex class of women. If women as a female sex class can contain males it is no longer a female sex class and this means that the characteristic ‘sex’ in the Equality Act has actually disappeared simply by making it meaningless.”

If the suggested change to the GRA takes place, “the law of the land would be telling us that we actually choose our own subordination.” 

“Let’s get everybody we know to look at the consultation and fill it in. Please fill in the consultation and give women a voice.” she concluded.

I have only captured a few of Saxby’s points in this piece: she has blogged about her talk at the meeting and I thoroughly recommend that you read about it here, on her excellent blog ‘Not the News in Briefs’  You can also hear her talk on YouTube here.

***********

Gill Smith

“I wanted to show my face and say I transitioned and detransitioned.”

A Womans Place Lily Maynard

Gill Smith by Michèle M

Smith said she hears the mantra ‘no debate’ and sees it everywhere. Some LGBT ideas are taking precedence and others are being dismissed. Only certain views are allowed to be expressed, and there are those who would shut her voice down.

“I’m going to talk about my own experience and the number of young lesbians I see calling themselves trans everywhere I go now… I think that must be questioned. I’m sticking up for my own community, for younger lesbians. I thought of myself as trans at one point… I started medical transition; a diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder. I took cross sex hormones for almost four years. I spoke to a couple of surgeons about breast removal: this was 2006 and it was incredibly rare…. I don’t pretend it’s an easy issue… It’s a serious issue especially when we’re talking about teenagers and their bodies.”

WPUK Lily Maynard

Gill Smith by Michèle M

Gill told the audience how she was a confident child and a ‘tomboy’ growing up. She thinks she might have identified as a transboy if the idea had been around.

“If my mum had took me to the doctor I’d have been asking for puberty blockers.”

After realising she was attracted to girls, she was bullied and began having panic attacks.  She received a gender identity disorder diagnosis, which she says her mother did not agree with.

I separated my mind from my body,’ she told us.

Smith moved to London at the end of the 90s, binding her breasts and determined to transition. She is adamant that she didn’t get much help from the organisations that are meant to help young lesbians.   Smith pointed out that even if scientists looked at her brain and found it was different – “which it isn’t,” – it doesn’t mean you need to change the body in an attempt to match the two. She reminded the audience that male and female are biological categories; that biological sex is a material category.

WPUK Lily Maynard

Gill Smith by Michèle M

“A female is supposed to be feminine and heterosexual. You’re seen as abnormal and not woman enough. I hope lesbians in particular don’t forget that we have historically been medicalised, pathologised and fetishised… I hope we don’t forget this.”

There will be more and more young women detranstitioning in the near future, Gill believes. Wanting to send a message to girls and teenagers that you can have short hair, wear clothes that you feel comfortable in and still be female, she asserted that that it isn’t progressive for young women to be constricting themselves in new boxes when they should be smashing the boxes. She finished by telling gender-questioning girls and young women is that if they want to speak to anyone there are always women who are listening.

Gill has been speaking out about her transition experience for a few years now and says she is happy to have received a lot of support from other women. She finished by thanking A Woman’s Place for giving her a chance to share her story.

“You’re a woman and the word woman belongs to you.” concluded Smith.  “You don’t have to change your body…  go out and change society.”

You can hear Gill’s talk on YouTube here.

Kathleen Stock

Lily Maynard Womans Place

Kathleen Stock by Michèle M

Kathleen Stock is an academic at the University of Sussex , where “…we argue about the rights and wrongs of social arrangements: we have opinions but try to back them up with reasoned argument.”

“I’m clear, personally, that I completely support the rights of trans people to live their lives, without violence, harm or discrimination.” stated Stock at the outset of her talk.

“I’m also keen to distinguish between transactivists and trans people.” Stock referred to transactivist organisations as “rich, well connected and politically powerful’.  She reminded us that not all trans people support the aims of, or agree with, these organisations.

Conflicts of interest occur between groups when giving one group something takes something important away from another group. Stock said she disagreed with transactivists who claim that there is no conflict of interest between trans rights and women’s rights if transwomen are recognised as ‘literal women’.  If same-sex spaces for females- places where they undress or sleep- are reduced, it potentially reduces females’ safety from sexual violence.  Likewise if we give females political or media representation to transwomen, or places in female sports, the result is limited representation for females.

“If trans women are literally women, not just legally but in every possible context…  that does nothing less than force society into a complete re-understanding of what it is to be a woman, and obviously that has an impact on the biological females who were already occupying that category. So it’s perfectly ok for us to talk about that because it has an impact on our lives”

Stock said her writing had been met with ‘aggressive, angry public responses’ from fellow academics and is told she is causing ‘harm and even violence’. She is adamant that she does not claim that transwomen are especially violent, just that they are biologically male and it is important to recognise patterns of male violence.

Criticised for not being ‘kind and inclusive’, Stock observed that these expectations are gendered.

“I’m supposed to care that I’m not being kind because I’m a woman: no one tries that shit on men!”

Told that she’s playing ‘intellectual games’ she notes that she does not consider this debate to be a ‘fun game’ and that the criticisms she receives are personal rather than academic. Normally, she says, you engage with arguments, not character. There have, she informed us, been public protests about her on campus.

Lily Maynard A Womans Place

Kathleen Stock by Michèle M

‘The aim is to make me feel ashamed.. socially isolate me from potential supporters… and the ultimate aim to get me to stop talking… you’re told you’re evil, you’re told you’re confused, you’re not kind, you’re causing harm.. It’s particularly aimed at females…. In my case it hasn’t worked. I feel no shame whatsoever in anything I have written.”

This was greeted with cheers and applause from the audience. Kathleen went on to say that she sees men saying or writing similar things to herself but they do not receive the same damning response. Academics only feel comfortable taking privately or using pseudonyms, she added, saying she had lost count of the number of emails of support she had received from fellow academics but most said they ‘can’t face the onslaught’ of speaking openly.

Stock observed that some academic areas where proper discussion, analysis, and observation seem currently lacking are Law, Medicine & Biology, History and Psychology. She spoke compellingly about the importance of proper debate and research in these areas and how we need ‘public clarification of the fact that law cannot change biology.” 

“Some people believe hormones can make transwomen into women: that’s not true. If academics don’t start saying this more loudly the public will get more and more confused…. if we can’t talk about female health and reproduction then we are lost.’

Speaking of how Stonewall promotes the rewriting of history; Kathleen talked about how the Stonewall riots have been rewritten to erase lesbian instigator Stormé Delaverie. Marsha P Johnson, a self-described gay man and drag queen who arrived after the riot had started, has been posthumously ‘transed’ and credited with starting the riots.

“I would have thought historians who cared about truth should be getting on to that,” she added, observing that ‘proper academic scrutiny’ is needed when it comes to statistics about transwomen’s lives, rather than the phone polls and internet surveys carried out by organisations like Stonewall. Studies should ideally be carried out by someone neutral: we need to know where the statistics come from and who funded them.

Stock spoke of the importance of philosophy in discussing these issues. It is a human right to be free of violence but not necessarily through giving transwomen access to women’s spaces. We need to talk about female bodies and experiences because ‘if we can’t name our own bodies we can’t name our own oppression’.

Can the category of lesbians include a pre-op man with a penis?

‘Lesbians like myself say no,” asserts Stock, to the general agreement of her audience, adding, “this isn’t because I am being mean or unkind.’

Academics need to talk, because ‘facts matter, the truth matters’  especially in the face of ‘wild, inaccurate, confused claims and theories’ which will be accepted as truths if no-one is there to correct them.

Kids online are living in a climate of suffocation, terrified of saying the wrong thing. They feel stifled and frightened… ‘herding and groupthink’ is developing online. They need to see academics show it’s ok to speak out and show how to deal with disagreement.

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 02.42.53

Kathleen Stock by Michèle M

Fascistic tendencies develop in society if no one can speak out. Stock referred to the harassment of A Woman’s Place, threats of violence and the recent bomb threat. Her own email account had been hacked that morning. Of academics she concludes:

‘Quite frankly, they need to woman up!’

Kathleen- now Professor Stock – has published her notes for her talk at A Woman’s Place here.  Again, I thoroughly recommend you read the whole piece yourself. You can view her talk on YouTube here. She has also written in the Economist and other publications: this thread on her Twitter links to many of her inspiring articles.

**********

Ruth Serwotka

WPUK Lily Maynard

Ruth Serwotka by Michèle M

‘It’s been quite a week….  every week is quite a week in the land of gender identity,’ began Serwotka, speaking of how the Friends’ Meeting House had changed their mind about hosting the meeting.  She asked us to please give the organisers a clap for ensuring the meeting went ahead, and we enthusiastically complied.

In a darker moment, she spoke of the ‘culture of intolerance’ and referred to a picture doing the rounds online, a picture she had been sent, the silhouette  of a woman entitled ‘Kill TERFs’.

‘Freedom of speech matters, our right to free assembly matters, women matter.’

To loud applause and cheers, Serwotka referenced the letter from Women’s Place U.K, signed by so many and published in the Morning Star, and also the recent protest at Pride as progress that had been made in asserting women’s rights.

Women are not making progress, we are moving backwards, said Ruth. She spoke of how, in the poorest communities in the UK, women are now more likely to die at a young age than their mothers were. She pointed out how there will be fewer women in parliament if women’s shortlist’s are open to men.

‘No mainstream political party supports us’ she observed, chillingly. “We do not have equal pay fifty years after the Equal Pay Act.”

A Womans Place Lily Maynard

Ruth Serwotka by Michèle M

‘We must never forget that every week more than two women are murdered in this country, which is why we need services that are female centred and protect the rights of women and girls.’

The Home Office, observes Serwotka, says violence against women and girls is a serious crime, which has a negative effects on our economy, our health service & our criminal justice system.

We’ve had a lot of patronising statements released in the last few weeks about how women have been ‘very silly and got our knickers in a twist’ when expressing concerns about the effects of changes to the GRA. These concerns, she continued, are very real and the changes are more than ‘a little administrative tidying up’.

Serwotka spoke of how in August 2015 Stonewall requested that the government removed single sex spaces from Equality law, without consulting women, but Stonewall is now denying they ever requested that. This is ‘a repositioning and a complete hogwash’. She was met with cheers when she called for Stonewall to be held to account.

We must remain vigilant and respond to the consultation.

Ruth pointed out the importance of upholding the right of women to have their own spaces in law, pointing out that rape crisis centres, counselling and domestic violence services all need protecting; there should also be single sex wards in hospitals and there should be female only prisons.

“We think protecting female prisoners who are very vulnerable is a really important thing that we should continue to uphold as a civilised society.”

Serwotka added that women should have the right to request a female doctor for certain services, and that single sex carers should be available for the elderly.  High street changing rooms should have single sex changing rooms where women and girls are ‘not open to the male gaze of anyone who says they are transgender’ and toilets should also remain single sex, especially in schools. She also spoke of the right of women and girls to have their own spaces in sports and competition.

‘As women and girls we want a fully informed discussion and in a democratic society we have that right to meet, to discuss and put to our opinions forward’

You can see Ruth Serwotka’s full speech here on YouTube.

**********

There were lots of questions and observations from the floor. The microphone was passed around, and audience members were given two minutes to speak.  The atmosphere was excited as many people expressed their support for the speakers and the desire to carry on the discussion.

One woman said she was ‘here as a cis-gendered person’ and spoke of there being “so much fear and anger in the room.”

A few women booed at this, but Phillipa Harvey put them straight.

“We need to have this discussion and listen to each other. We have made this meeting an open meeting. We must listen to each other. Show respect.”

Another person observed that ‘TERFs are like a mouldy smell and they spread,’ which was not the most inspiring observation of the evening.

A bloke in a skirt and a T shirt stood up and said he’d been a cross-dresser most of his life and didn’t want to interfere with women’s rights. This was much more positively received.

There were many other people who spoke up, but my notes get more and more garbled from here on and this seems like a good place to leave my report of the meeting.

Phillipa concluded:

Lily Maynard Womans place UK

Phillipa Harvey by Michèle M

“This conversation needs to continue happening.. I would like to call on everyone who has their hand in the air. We just don’t have the time.

It was clear we need to have a discussion. Sometimes it becomes quite heated but this meeting will bring us forward… thank you for bringing your thoughts, your agreements and disagreements to this meeting.”

Harvey told us the hotel had had problems with guests resenting the demonstrators, and some people people had refused to pay their bills. She told us that there were demonstrators at both the front and back of hotel- exercising their democratic right to demonstrate- and that exiting from the car park might be best way to exit.

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 00.25.02Michele and I made our way up to the hotel bar for a drink. Someone said Julie Birchill had brought everyone a round, but I never found out if that was true or not. If she did, we missed it! We sipped our drinks and chatted with some of the other women, but after about half an hour we were passed a piece of paper with an announcement from the hotel.

A few activists were still outside, talking with guests and passers by. We downed our drinks and left.

“I’m buggered if I’m leaving through the car park,” I scowled at Michele, and she agreed.

Transphobes aren’t feminists!”  A pair of hands waved a piece of cardboard at us through the tall glass panels as we headed for the exit.

The voices became louder as we passed out through the doors into the cool Brighton evening air, although the activists’ numbers had dwindled.  A seagull pecked nonchalantly at a piece of bread. Several police officers were keeping a wary eye on things but no violence broke out.

“Transphobes are not welcome here!” an activist chanted as we stepped onto the pavement.

“Fight back, fight back!” chorused her friends.

“Non-binary people are valid!

Non-binary people are valid!”

“No debate! No debate!

Fight back, fight back!

No debate, no debate!

No debate!

No debate.”

No debate.

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 00.30.03.png

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

ROGD- Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria

There’s an ongoing battle between those who recognise Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) as ‘a thing’ and those who deny it exists. ROGD believers are mostly gender-critical parents and professionals, who have seen it with their own eyes in their children or patients, to them it is undeniable. I am firmly in this camp, having seen ROGD in my own daughter, who is now eighteen and desisted nearly two years ago.

ROGD deniers are mostly transgender people and parents who’ve transitioned their own children. Organisations like Mermaids, Gendered Intelligence and Allsorts are also scathing, because if ROGD exists it challenges the ‘born in the wrong body’ narrative. They claim that parents who observe ROGD in their own children just hadn’t noticed the signs that their child was trans, or that the child had kept it secret from them. Either argument is grounded in the idea of bad or inadequate parenting and assumes a closed and unproductive relationship with the child.

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 03.04.29

The reality is that many healthcare professionals recognise ROGD as a reality.

Tania Marshall, M.Sc., psychologist, and award winning author accepts the veracity of the condition (left) and therapist and Jungian analyst Lisa Marchiano responds here to a trans-identifed teen who says “recently I have been reading some of your writing on “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria…. if my parents knew what ROGD was, they would probably argue that I am in that category. I came out to them about a year ago and I hadn’t shown any gender dysphoria in early childhood.”

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 02.50.22

In addition, and perhaps most significantly, some clinicians at the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock clinic in London, which deals with gender dysphoric children, recently acknowledged the term. You can read their article in the Journal of Child Psychotherapy here, and the Twitter thread pictured to the left here.

 

So what is ROGD? I’ve written about ROGD previously in ‘but nobody is encouraging kids to be trans’

“ROGD is the name given to the situation in which an adolescent child, who has shown no prior belief that they are ‘in the wrong body’ suddenly expresses a desire to transition, usually after spending a lot of time on social media.  These kids are often autistic, gay, or have undergone trauma.  Many of these kids desist – usually the ones whose parents have not immediately changed their pronouns and rushed them into gender clinic referrals. My daughter Jessie, for example, herself a desister, has two IRL friends who identified as trans for well over a year and who have now desisted.
Some parents have presumed that trans support groups would acknowledge the ROGD phenomena.  Trans support groups are understandably vocal on the subject of the high levels of bullying, self-harm and suicide attempts in the trans community and these parents hope that the identification of ROGD might raise awareness of the fact that transition is not the best route for every child.  Instead, attempts to raise the subject are met with complete denial and even accusations of neglect.  ROGD does not exist, it’s made up.

On June 12th, I posted this request on my Twitter account:

Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 03.25.52Between June 12th and June 14th- in the space of just three days – 39 parents replied to my Tweet.  Some responses below have been cut slightly but no words have been changed. Where a parent commented more than once, three dots (…) join their comments.

There are kids out there – mine included – who experienced #ROGD for several years and today have dreadful mental health problems trying to get over it. Listen to #transregret #detransitioners and all young people who changed their minds.

Yep! My daughter. Aged 15 announces out of the blue… My GNC tomboy daughter subsequently diagnosed with ADHD found something on instagram that she felt answered why she felt ‘confused’ and not feeling like she fitted in around puberty.

My quirky, non-conforming, socially awkward, very intelligent daughter decided she was a boy after a summer spent on YouTube & Tumblr. Dysphoria followed. This has eased now, and nearly two years later she is a lot happier in her body… Schools need sensible advice on how to help children like my daughter. (This parent adds a link to the Transgender Trend resources for schools)

My d is a classic case: high IQ, ADHD, anxiety, some ASD symptoms, artist, anime, hard time fitting in w/alpha girls, romanticizes mental illness, romanticizes being LGBT member, trauma, afraid of physical intimacy, etc. Surprise announcement at 15…  I forgot to mention this new identity bubbled up after she became completely immersed in and enamored with DeviantArt and Tumblr. Those two sites seem to breed transgender identities.

My daughter came out as trans age 12/13. Outgrew it by age 17. I was encouraged by well meaning people to put her on puberty blockers – which could have caused bone damage & cognitive delays….. It was agonizing. I was so worried about her. And I felt completely alone. Every other parent of a trans child I saw in the media was “so happy” about their child being transgender. No mention of the risks involved, no expression of fear or loss. It was awful.

Yes. With great excitement after learning the concept “transgender” as a way to not have to “live as a woman”, my kid came out after turning 18. History of anxiety, signs of OCD and ADHD and very high-functioning ASD. No need for diagnostics…she went to ICATH clinic for T Rx…

5 years ago just b4 daughter’s 16th birthday she suddenly told us she was TG. Socially immature & academically very smart. After binging on utoob & tumb1r. Persists d/tconstant affirmation from teachers & employers. Hasn’t told extended family tho… Recently started Rx Androgel. Rxd by AB family doctor. No mental health or endocrine assessment.

Sorry, my story is a brainwashed child of 9 yrs old.

Me too. 21 year old autism spectrum son, no gd as child, typical boyish interests, on oestrogen now. Now very unhappy.

My daughter is affected by #ROGD. Name change, GID clinic pathway, utterly heartbreaking. Her Mum just cries. So sorry (replies another parent) ….. I just cry too.

My child at age 14/15. Since diagnosed as ASD, plus other MH issues. Now taking T (now a young adult). Effect on my child and our family life has been massive. Impossible to discuss and work through issues due to politics of it.

Absolutely! My daughter fits into this description!!!

Yep, mine did that, then desisted within 2 years.

Me, you know my story. (Gender Critical Dad)

My daughter certainly qualifies: (the mother links to their story here) Out of the blue announcement at 13 years old. Now 17. Still thinks she’s a trans man… She says she’s gay now. So many of these girls are lesbians who think they’re boys. Or heterosexual girls who think they are gay men. It’s absolute insanity… I really don’t know what she’s imagining. But it’s not based in reality. My college daughter tells me many hetero boys on campus who have sex r-ships w/trans-identifying chest binding women. She says they seem to be attracted to that look. Don’t know what to make of any of this.

My daughter qualifies. No dysphoria at puberty at 11. Very feminine after. Decided she was trans around 16 along with an entire friend group. Tumblr, deviantART, YouTube, anime, cosplay, ADHD, anxiety, anorexia, social problems. Currently thinks she’s a gay man.

Trauma, ASD traits ROGD overnight, anime, comic con, social justice issues, bullied, high IQ, bullied. De-sisted after a year. Hers was never felt but thought, she thought her way back, given space, time and circumstance, and NO affirmation.

My daughter came out at almost 19 but says she felt this way since 16 (21 now). She has aspergers, severe depression, anxiety and is gifted. Never once mentioned wanting to be or feeling like a man. Hated shaving her legs and wearing dresses in teen years but so do others

15-year-old daughter out of the blue after prompting from a counselor; it was horrible. We fired the therapist and lovingly but firmly explored the holes in the so-called science. After about a year it seems to be lifting, thank God. Love to all here. ❤

We are in this situation.

My kid for 2yrs 13/14-16. She no longer IDs as trans. The pain and suffering she experienced was real and awful. She learned to love herself.

DD has mild depression anxiety then came out gay. We supported, like gf. Then spiralled down into anorexia, announced “I’m your son”, then suicide attempt. 4 months inpatient tx, BPD Dx, much improved. Still wearing binder but happy and good therapist now. Fingers crossed.

Kid identifies trans at 14 after huge emotional traumas at school (2 child suicides), immersed in school lgbt queer peer gp & toxic frienemies. Developed anxiety/depression, hooked on SM. Always GNC, had no body issues. School gave detentions to girls for wearing “boys” trousers. (This post is expanded in the DM section below)

Suddenly and gradually, classic cookie-cutter #ROGD… DM me for more…

My daughter “came out” to us at 16, but came out to her friends 6 months before that immediately after meeting another “transboy”. She was always a “girly” girl, but also liked comics. Apparently she’s a “feminine transboy.” ASD ADHD and always had trouble keeping friends…  I’ll add that one of the most frustrating statements my daughter made was telling me she “figured it out” by reading the comments section of trans videos on YouTube.

(post in reply to above) I understand how you feel. When I asked my daughter how she determined she was trans she said by looking at those around her and how they identified and the internet. I about fell through the floor!!

Adding my dd to the list. First came out to a few friends, then to us last year at age 15. Right after that she shared with social media.

My story is the same as everyone else’s.

My daughter suffers from #ROGD. Isolation, body issues, grief, internet, puberty- BAAM! She convinced herself shes a boy. Now- 3 years later – very much in doubt, painted into a corner, anxious, depressed, tired, cant see the forest for trees.

Out of the blue, my daughter announced she is trans at 15 WITHIN 24 HOURS OF MEETING ANOTHER ROGD GIRL at school. History of ASD, ADD, not fitting in, etc. had been ‘all girl’ up to that point and really still is except in her head where she thinks she looks/acts male.
While my son was away at college came out as trans at age 20. Never showed signs of gender dysphoria as a child.

MAMA BEAR 2nd tweet: my kid is now “nonbinary”. Changed name & pronouns. Hates her female body & definitely has GD which should be treated. Now rooms with female-looking friend who goes by he/him. My kid on wait list for publicly funded mastectomy b/c wants to get rid of her breasts.

My 19 y/o kid suffers from BPD, severe depression, & anxiety. She was always precocious,bright & active as a child—loved wearing skirts & pants. Announced bi in high school then gay. Became obsessed with queer peer group & an ASD girl who has now had mastectomy. Lots of Tumblr.

My always-girly 21yo D was diagnosed bipolar 2 at 15; much anxiety, depression; moved to affirming city/college but dropped out b/c of anxiety; tons of Tumblr etc. followed by trans announcement; living with 3 girls, all of whom think they’re gay bois; at least 2 now on T.

Son spent way 2 much time on Tumblr-Twitter. Heavy into anime. Off to college & find out from social media He’s a girl. Hist of ADHD recent depress & anxiety. Hasn’t pursued hormones. Casual name change w friends but not out 2 extended family. No issues w gndr b4 social media.

Daughter entered #transcult as a college student. Not a tomboy or GNC Previous lesbian identity. Quiet, academic, into social justice. Likely was on trans-promoting sites when she was younger.

My D14- came out right before she was 12. Too much internet- Blindsided parents. Much more to our story. Aarrgghh!

My daughter went from cutting to trans. She was around 15 ish.

My son said he wanted to transition at 20. He showed no prior indication of this. He exhibited typical male characteristics from birth through childhood to young adulthood. He is attracted to women, by the way. He has been suicidal for several years.

My teen is a desister. she declared trans at age 13, and at age 15 desisted (she had socially transitioned, which I did not fight while I was fighting to prevent any medical transition. Her trans family rejected her when she asked abt biology.)

All the above 39 responses were received within 48 hours of my post. The comments below came in a few days later.

20 year old ASD female born daughter here – told us she trans shortly after 18th birthday – suffering acute anxiety and depression. Ideological stance makes it impossible to discuss for fear of alienating her. Needs a medical professional to tell her the feelings may not last.

Do you still need responses? Yes, suddenly at puberty my daughter started with tho we didn’t know it by that name at the time. Depressed and we find out she has ADHD and is gifted…not feeling like she fit in…

My son told us at 16. I’m like all the rest. I think you’ve been following my tweets. Thank you!

I’d also told parents they could direct message me via Twitter if they didn’t feel able to post directly on the thread. These are the 27 private messages I received, again, all but three in the 48 hours after my Tweet, from parents who wanted their stories to be told anonymously. I have removed a few minor points that might be identifying features- hometowns, colleges, names- and shortened a couple of the more lengthy responses. Two of the posts are longer versions of public comments made above.

Hi Lily,
I saw you are asking for stories of ROGD parents. Here’s mine: My kid, having shown no signs of being transgender as a kid, announced at age 12 that she was transgender. She was diagnosed with ASD just a month or two before her announcement. She had been heavily involved on Tumblr with a nearly 100% transgender friend group there. She is obsessed with all aspects of identity, but especially with gender identity and sexual orientation. At first, her dysphoria wasn’t too bad, but now, about 15 months on, it’s a daily topic of discussion and an ongoing struggle. She also suffers from depression and anxiety and has been hospitalized in a psych unit twice. She’s been completely brainwashed by the arguments of trans activists (biological sex is a myth, there have always been transgender people going back to the Egyptians, the increasing numbers of trans people is due entirely to “increased acceptance”) and is impervious to anything we have to say about it. Our story is a lot like the stories I’ve read on 4thwavenow and the Gender Critical Resources forum. Thank goodness I’ve found these resources, because, like the good liberal I am, I started down the “affirm” path, despite the fact that this made no sense to us. Fortunately, we have not been affirming this identity for around a year, and the therapists we’ve found here in (location deleted)  have been pretty decent, neither affirming nor taking a hard-line stance against her being transgender, which I think would have turned her off from therapy in general. All we can do is hope things turn around and try not to fight with her about this while still making it clear how we feel about this. It’s been a nightmare and I’m currently seeing a counselor myself to deal with how I’ve reacted to this situation, which is increased depression and anxiety. Please keep my story anonymous….

My daughter was 12 when she told she was Trans. Also 6 other girls, and 1 boy, in her grad and the one below her out of 700. The grade after those two-none. Tumblr has been my nightmare. She has not desisted yet, but she has recently acknowledged that she can’t actually change her sex. I’m somewhat hopeful. I try to get her thinking critically. Hope that helps…. My daughter is still wearing a binder and insists on the male name. However, she has agreed to wait until she’s 18 to bring up getting hormone treatments again. She said that she likes where she is right now, and wants to focus on school and getting ready for college. My friends think she is looking for a graceful exit. I don’t want to get my hopes up. But this significant, because in our state, 16 year olds are allowed to take hormones without parental consent. They can’t get a tattoo, or drink until they’re 21, but at 16 they can take cross sex hormones! It’s insanity. I’m still sending her links to 4th wave articles I think it’s helping.

At age 14, my daughter said she was “trans,” “agender.” Said she didn’t feel like a girl nor like a boy. Wanted to be called “they/them,” and change her name. Her friends and siblings went along, but her father and I continued with singular. She is now 18, identifies as gay, and seemed to drop the notion that she is trans or agender. It happened seemingly out of the blue, and was encouraged by a gay male friend of hers who was studying gender and sexuality at college.

Please feel free to use our story. I didn’t want it to come from my account because… I’m scared that we’ll be harassed/doxxed/reported to social services and I’ll be fighting for my right to protect my own child. My daughter, who’s pretty smart and socially awkward but had never had a problem with her own body till she went to secondary school and linked up with the LGBT group. My kid came home as gender fluid (which I understood and told her she didn’t have to conform to social gendered stereotypes, told her I must be gender fluid too), then she came home as non binary (which I said I understood as similar to gender fluid and repeated that it was all rubbish to expect people’s behaviour and personalities to be either/or)…  This school group started to take over every waking moment with LGBT projects like presentations to school assemblies, visibility days etc… My middle daughter one day said she was trans….  I asked about her sexuality and was confronted with, “So you’re saying I’m just a lesbian?” which I said was insulting to lesbians, which she hadn’t considered. The school had a very stupid uniform policy which differentiated between girls and boys trousers. My kid didn’t like the trousers “assigned” for girls so I bought her trousers she liked and was comfortable in. She got repeated detentions and lunch/break detentions for wearing these trousers… My kid stopped going to school. She developed high anxiety levels, depression and spent far too much time with unsupervised internet access (my fault)… CAMHS eventually really helped with the anxiety but after 6 sessions it came to an end and she hadn’t mentioned gender issues at all to the therapist, yet at home I was having “dead daughter live son” ultimatums thrown at me, quoted suicide stats, she changed her name 3 times, wrecked her room (very carefully) sent me you tube/instagram videos, became aggressive/shouty and confrontational whenever I asked any question like, “What is it that makes you feel you are a boy?”. She demanded blockers and testosterone and called me transphobic for not blindly doing all this immediately. Her friend also locked me into an instagram debate about how my lack of support for my son would result in their death…  Towards the end of term my kid wanted the school to support her in a big ‘coming out as trans’ assembly presentation. They asked me what I thought and I explained that we’d been to CAMHS, we were going to spend the summer talking this through without school pressure and to put it off till after the school holidays. The message that was conveyed to my child was that they weren’t going to let her do her presentation because her mother didn’t support it. That night my child threatened to jump out of a 4th floor window. I took her to A&E where she asked to be taken into care. We spent the night in the children’s ward on suicide watch and I cried all night… During the summer we worked on self esteem. She started (a new school) and it’s been slow but steady improvements. The school were very supportive and allowed her to use a different name and present as a boy. I wasn’t sure about this. Slowly her attendance has improved and her academic learning is back on course. She has a part in the school play and her friends seem friendlier. She now thinks she might be a gay boy…  she told friends that she’s done everything to indicated to other gay boys that she’s a gay boy but to no avail yet. I am still struggling to get a message of reality through to her. She has said that everything about women is disgusting and then proudly wears a feminist badge. She has accepted that I won’t endorse any permanent changes to her body while she’s a child. I have told her about… the long terms affects of meds and have tried to big up the gender critical brigade and butch lesbians. I have tried to explain the deep misogyny in the ideology and the violence towards feminists in the name of transwomen. I have explained the concerns I clocked with the huge rise in referrals of teenage girls, to which she says “So you think I’m just like everyone else then?”. I have tried to explain the worries about being reliant on life long meds in an increasingly capitalistic world where our access to free health care seems more and more at risk. She gets angry at me when I make a point or ask a question because, “What you say makes sense but it sounds offensive but I can’t explain why”. I have had a year of this. We have agreement that she masquerades at school and then is herself at home. The last few months have been really good on the other fronts of her life (homework, new friends, assessments out the way, school play etc). I have been controlling internet and social media, repairing family relations after a horrendous year for everyone, limited those old friends and encouraged hobbies, exercise and arts…  My kid is still confused. I wish she wouldn’t wear her binder and I blame myself for not being stricter with the social transition side of things, I hadn’t read enough at that stage to fiercely oppose the idea. When she outgrew a binder I refused to get her another and provided a sports/training bra, but she got a friend to order one for her instead. I reported this to the school and am deeply worried she’ll find someone to order blockers/T if she was inclined. I am hopeful she’ll grow out of her dysphoria and find a way to be happy in herself. Our story is ongoing…and breaks my heart everyday.

Hi – my daughter has all of a sudden come out as trans gender. She spent a lot of time on YouTube and Tumblr and is convinced of it. She’s seen a psychologist who feels she’s just going thru a phase and will grow out of it .

Have a daughter who has just desisted after 1 1/2 years. Glad we live in Africa since in our home country (Sweden) I fear the outcome may have been very different. She bought a tshirt today stating ‘All Women’. I almost cried… I feel very lucky indeed. So many incredibly horrific stories. It’s like we all admire the kings clothes and the few pointing at his nudity are crucified.

My daughter was always somewhat gender non-conforming (at least according to narrowly defined sex stereotypes). As a young child she loved dinosaurs and dogs, and spent a lot of time BEING a dog, horse, or cat. She always eschewed stereotypical “girly” things, which was fine with us, her parents. Around age 8 or 9 (circa 2011/2012) she started spending time online, especially a site called Chicken Smoothie, where her father and I had to repeatedly intervene because role-playing areas (even those designated for young kids) were constantly being infiltrated by older teens and young adults who would serve up a lot of inappropriate content. All of these young people (not my daughter’s age, but older) would have extremely detailed “profiles” which laid out their identities in detail. They were all some flavor of -sexual and somewhere on the trans “spectrum.” Chicken Smoothie was followed by Tumblr which was more of the same but many magnitudes more extreme. It shouldn’t have surprised us when, after marinating in this crap for three or four years, she told me one night that she thought she was trans. My knee-jerk reaction was to say, “Oh, hell no!” I mean, I didn’t verbalize it, but that’s how I felt inside. And, I don’t know why I reacted like that because, politically, I had always been on the left and very supportive of so-called marginalized groups. But, something just felt really wrong. Thankfully, in the moment I just told her that I thought she should hold off on doing anything, including transitioning socially, until high school. What I did do was get her hooked up with a therapist (I didn’t even mention the gender stuff) and talked to her pediatrician and got her on some anti-depressants, which helped A LOT. I don’t know if my initial hesitation had anything to do with it, or if it was the meds, or what, but over the course of the past couple of years she has gone from transboy ID to something more akin to “non-binary.” She’s never demanded pronoun or name changes, and we have supported her in expressing herself however she sees fit (short hair, men’s clothes), with the exception of a ban on any and all binders because they’re super unhealthy!!! I am so thankful that as soon as she told me and I started doing research online, I came across 4th Wave Now and other gender-critical people and websites, and realized I was not actually a giant asshole or a bigot for not affirming my daughter’s self-diagnosed transgender identity. All of my research really hit it home that this was a long-term fight, and that losing was not an option. She and I don’t talk about it much – I’ve found less is more in terms of confronting her about it – but she seems about 800% more comfortable with being female than she was two years ago. I’ve read this elsewhere, and I’ve told it to her repeatedly: There is no wrong way to be female. Any ideology that says that clothes or interests define a person’s sex or gender is a load of horse manure. That’s called sexism. I think the person who has struggled the most with my daughter’s trans ID is my husband, who is my daughter’s adopted dad (I’m her bio mom, but her bio dad is not in the picture). I think her desire to harm herself in this way was extraordinarily painful for him. It was easier for me in some ways because I just got mad and took a more pragmatic approach to the situation, trying to find ways to help her without harming her. He just got really depressed. As you know, there’s loads of support for people who want to affirm their kid’s trans ID, but if you have reservations you’re immediately branded a bigot. It’s very isolating. Thankfully, things have improved, like I said. Anyway, that’s our story. I’d like to remain anonymous if you use it. Two things I should have added: 1) In response to all of the problems we had with Tumblr, we ended up blocking it on our home computers and we seriously limited her access to apps and sites on her iPhone with parental controls – better to not have her marinating in self-harm posts and trans ideology 24-7; and 2) We are currently in the process of having her evaluated for ADHD (Inattentive Type) – she exhibits almost all of the symptoms. It seems ASD and ADHD are common in girls with ROGD.

My daughter came out suddenly trans at age 13. Now 17. Hasn’t transitioned. But uses male name and dresses as a boy… I believe that there are probably people who are truly trans. But for too many girls, specifically, I think they are misfits that have been convinced via tumblr, you tube, anime, etc, that the reason they feel this way is because they were born in-the wrong body. My daughter has no male traits at all. Never into sports, has no real male friends, doesn’t play “boy” type games, etc. lives in a hot pink bedroom. Liked wearing girls clothes until just recently when she said she couldn’t pass if she wore women’s clothing. Yet when she first came out she explained she was male presenting as female. She spends 80% of her time with online friends from god knows where. Rarely goes out with “live” friends her “closest” friend has Aspergers. I say closest in quotes because they hardly spend time together….The school had bent over backwards for her…  I can’t approach her with any alternate theories. She has all the canned lingo down. I pray that she will come out ok on the other end and that end being before college. But doubtful.

Not my kid, but my nephew. Got a girlfriend senior year who caused him a whole host of issues, eating disorder, drugs, then told him she wouldn’t date him unless he identified as a woman. She’s gone but he is still trying to be a lesbian. Before that, he seemed to me a typical boy, slight of stature, but typical boy interests. School culture may also had a lot to do with it.

Hi there, about the ROGD post. My daughter turned 14 and hit puberty then within three months was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, went from thinking she was bisexual to lesbian to pansexual to gender fluid to thinking she is a boy within two more months. This as well as claiming to be pagan then wiccan then atheist and a couple of rounds of being vegetarian too. One year later she now thinks shes a gay boy. She also disagrees with putting anything in your body that you don’t need and risking side effects. So I do see light at the end of the tunnel lol

In reply to your tweet. Yup, my 17 year old. Now his 20 year old brother is ‘questioning his gender’. It’s endemic.

Won’t post publicly but my 12 yo came out as trans last year. Friends and school affirmed with no notification to us. We found out after a friend reported her as suicidal and the guidance counselor called me about “my son”. We are trying to navigate without too much affirmation but have changed name/pronouns at home. She still will go by old name around extended family and friends as well as doctors. I feel helpless and unable to even seek help for fear of being labeled one way or another. The politics of this issue is frightening. I don’t want to lose her. I’m scared.

Here you go: my autistic, brilliant, loving, socially awkward daughter came out to me out of the blue at the age of 13. She got the idea after attending a school presentation; a school where over 5% of the students were trans, where names and pronouns were changed without my knowledge. She received affirmation from therapists, teachers, and students. I was emotionally blackmailed by therapists to support her social transition. By the time I realized this was a big mistake, her beliefs became more deeply entrenched. She is 17 now and plans to begin medically transition next year. I am trying to do everything I can to get her to see the truth before it’s too late.

Hi Lily, My daughter is 19. She came out as lesbian at 16, started going to (allegedly) LGBT support group Allsorts Youth in Brighton where she was snared by the trans-cult. She now insists she is a man despite all evidence to the contrary, and is on the pathway to transition. Tav and Port know she is ROGD but that doesn’t seem to bother them. While it is clear to me this will eventually be accepted as a national scandal and should my daughter see sense she’ll be able to sue for millions, I’d much rather she saw sense now, before it is too late. The NHS should be helping her come to her senses. It should not be humouring her delusion.

Our child came out as trans unexpectedly at aged 20 – having shown no signs previously. This followed a traumatic time in her life. Had come out as a lesbian around aged 18. From there, ‘progressed’ to trans with body dysphoria. 10 months ago went to see the GP, prior to making a new start at uni: now has 2 separate NHS diagnoses and will start testosterone shortly. Wants double mastectomy.

My child texted me to tell me they wanted to be a boy at 14, the usual story of immersing themselves in trans YouTubers. They had always been GNC but never suggested being a boy until 14. They told their guidance teacher & the school immediately changed their name and sex without consulting us. We were referred to CAMHS who were very supportive and they even told the guidance teacher when they imposed themselves on an appointment that their actions had not helped & they had jumped in too soon in changing name & sex. Our child is now 18 so can make their own decisions & we keep saying we believe they are GNC not trans. Up to now they have not attempted to refer themselves & I am hoping they won’t. (sentence deleted to avoid identification)  our relationship is improved despite difficult conversations. Our child has recently been assessed for autism & has been told they have “sub” indicators of autism but they do not have enough for a diagnosis & adult mental health services will not do a full assessment. I am desperate & terrified that my wonderful, confused child will start down a path of transitioning that will cause them harm and that they could come to regret. I do not mention this on Twitter as my child, & some of their friends, follow me on Twitter & ultimately it is their story not mine.

My 16.5 year old daughter came out as trans at age 14.5 in a period of social isolation and depression. Never fit in with the girls because of giftedness and limited interests (books). Deep thinker. Social justice minded. is now called a boy in school and everywhere but at home. My story is like so many others. The culture is enabling this and pushing our children onto a path of psycho social and medical self harm. Has ASD traits, sensory issues , diagnosed with generalized anxiety. Sexuality unclear. Very uncomfortable with sexuality in general. Now IDs as a gay boy. I suspect is a lesbian with high functioning depression and possibly mild Aspergers. (sentence removed)  Has perfect pitch and synethesia.

Hi Lily, have experienced the same with daughter – no where near out of the woods. Really appreciate all your tweets and info. Makes me feel less isolated by it all.

Hi. A few years ago when my daughter was about 13 her body developed pretty quickly and she hated it. She’s reserved and quite shy and had started getting attention from boys and even men in the street – very curvy hourglass figure. Her whole demeanour changed. She became depressed and suffered from anxiety. We’re very close and we talk about everything. Anyway things escalated – started to want clothes from boys’ section and had her hair cut short and shaved at sides. Then progressed to wearing chest binders. I went along with all this because you walk a fine line with teenagers and I wanted to keep the lines of communication open between us. However when she said she thought she was trans like some other girls at her school I told her I would support her through everything, except I could not finance or be part of her changing her body because if she ever regretted such a drastic action I would never forgive myself . It was a very difficult year or so but basically I listened to her every time she needed to talk – night or day. She got some counselling at school and I encouraged her to take up interests (she joined a local rock school where she played guitar) and meet her friends on weekends. Then one day she said “Mum I think I’m a lesbian”. I said that was no big deal but to take her time, that she was still young and didn’t have to worry because her sexuality would become clear to her in time. Just wanted her to enjoy being young. Anyhow over time I could see her growing in confidence and being happier with herself, she stopped wearing the binders and developed her own quirky punky image. Then about 6 months ago (at about 15 1/2) she said ” yep mum am 100% sure now I am a lesbian,” and then more recently, “what was I thinking about wanting to be a boy!” I would encourage any other parents to adopt the wait and watch approach even when your child seems quite determined, because if they are really unhappy with their developing body like my daughter was, changing sex seems like a very attractive solution at the time. I say this with no disrespect to trans people and of course I believe in supporting trans people’s rights.

My child (now aged 19 suddenly came out as trans soon after being put on strong antidepressants by Camhs who indoctrinated and fed my child hate towards me and had my child taken into care at 16. I have two other happy healthy children (age 16 and 22) living at home with me.

All we knew of our daughter and our relationship which I thought was closer than some came to a crashing end at 19 and 1 day when she met a young woman who had recently had double mastectomy and was identifying as transgender man. 19 and 3 weeks identified as genderfluid to us but transgender man to friends. Stopped going to uni lectures. Self diagnosed acute anxiety, depression, dysphoria. Refused counselling because of anxiety and “deprogramming”. At this point in our journey our relationship had gone from very strong and loving to we were oppressing her refusing to believe she was a man. The speed from which all this happened was breathtaking. My husband, other children, family and friends were disbelieving in that nothing prepared us for the misery of trans gender identity. She rejected everyone pre trans. I ended up travelling to her college town so she would reluctantly meet me for an hour. She thought and still thinks i am an absolute transphobe.

Hi lily. My daughter was 12, completely out of the blue. We supported her when she said she wanted a haircut, said we’d@talk to school etc. Didn’t get round to it as it lasted less than 48 hours!

My daughter was age 12, entering 7th grade, when she came out to me only (not dad & brother) and asked for a binder. Looking at her YouTube history it appeared she spent the summer following Miles McKenna, who was now her idol. I took away YouTube (due to Miles making adult jokes) and told her until she goes through her history w/me and we decide together if it is a healthy choice or not she cannot have YouTube back (this was in September 2017 – we are now in June 2018). As of today she still does not have YouTube and she has decided she doesn’t want it back. She only came out to a few of her real life friends, but all of her online friends. I bought her boxers, I bought her clothes from the men’s aisle, I took her to get her hair chopped. I see all of this as harmless exploring. I did not allow her to change pronouns (kids will believe what you tell them they are), I did not buy her a binder as her lungs, spine, ribs and other organs need the room to grow. She told me she would not think of hormones until she was about age 23, so I left that alone. Due to living in a state where it is questionable if to not affirm is considered conversion therapy, which is illegal, she did not see a therapist. Instead we spend one hour a week working on anxiety and confidence. She has been great, open, honest and working through the exercises. I believe she has desisted (10 mos later). She does not like to talk to me about transgender, so I have not asked her directly. She varies her dress now, growing out her hair, no longer attempts to deepen her voice, and recently (her choice) applied, interviewed and gained a position in an all female STEM group. In her application she stated she wanted to meet other girls who are into STEM as none of her current friends are. I doubt I would have been able to help my daughter through if it were not for the writers on 4thwavenow and the parents of a gender critical support forum. They helped me realize I am sane and if I continue to support my daughter in her SAFE exploration she would be alright.

Hi Lily. My son, now 23, went to XXXXXX University, very bright, top grades, athlete, musically talented. His girlfriend of 3 years left him in the 3rd year of college. Became depressed, mild and then severe. Came back home almost 2 years ago, all of a sudden, after being exposed to the transgender propaganda, he became obsessed with wanting to change his name, possibly starting to wear women clothes, considering transition! He is in therapy but our family is absolutely shattered. We walk on eggshells. Why don’t any of the psychologists he has met consider addressing self esteem issue rather then suggesting he starts mingling with transgender groups? This is INSANE.

Daughter always tomboy and socially somewhat awkward, previously diagnosed with ADD and attachment disorder. Early puberty was a shock to her system. Hit high school, felt like fish out of water among all the princess girls. Decided a kid like her could not be a regular girl. Binged on youtube trans videos and decided she was trans, at 15. Decided there was no other explanation for her PERSONALITY as a non-princessly, math-loving, gamer nerd girl.

I‘ve just caught up your thread about cases of ROGD. My child 17 yo female has been struggling with this so feel free to add me to the case list. Can explain full story in confidence and craziness of “professionals” who were “helping”.

Hi Lily. Never heard of ROGD before but what you described fits my daughter’s case too. Gay, yes, GD, no. Went thru all this about five years ago – she is almost twenty now and in a stable SS relationship. She went from describing herself (suddenly) as Trans (following self diagnosis in social media) to queer to just plain old gay. We just said a strong no to any GD therapy. Sadly we recently heard her partner is taking hormone therapy… it’s a complicated world!

ROGD messages – response analysis

Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 03.25.52

I received responses, of one or more comments, from 42 parents (plus one aunt and one grandmother) in replies to my Twitter thread which you can read here. All but 3 were in the 72 hours following my request for parents to contact me.

I received direct (private) messages from 27 parents. Almost all respondents were mothers.

I have not included any of the the responses I received from teachers, family friends, distant relatives and concerned members of the public. (Or any of the messages telling me I’m an evil transphobe and ROGD is made up.) Parents do sometimes contact me, but here I have included only the DMs and messages I received on and in response to that thread,  my Tweet asking for stories from individuals whose children experienced ROGD.

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 01.58.5367 trans-identified young people were mentioned. Fifty two of the children referred to were girls. (Two of these doubled up as mentioned in both the DMs and the thread comments so read above as 54.) Nine were boys. The sex of six of the young people was not mentioned.

None of the respondents seemed to believe that their child actually was ‘born in the wrong body’ although one respondent did say ‘I believe that there are probably people who are truly trans’.

At least 12 of the children have now desisted. I do not include in that ‘she seems to have..‘ or ‘I think he has…’ so the figure may be higher. Transactivists will claim that these children are just pretending to desist because of their ‘transphobic’ parents. It is, of course, possible that this is the case. One of the problems with collecting information about desisters is that once a child desists, parents are not so keen to talk about it. Many just want to put the hell behind them and move on. I believe parents of desisters are much less likely to respond to a request like this than parents of children who are still trans-identified. This is, of course, my opinion.

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 02.28.47

One of the weaknesses of studies based on random requests for information, like so many of the LGBT studies floating around, is that you have a self-referred sample.

This is not supposed to be a great scientific study. It’s not a dissertation, it’s not peer reviewed, it’s not anything grandiose. This post has no delusions of grandeur, it is what it is.  I asked for parents who believed their child was suffering from/had suffered from ROGD to contact me, and contact me they did.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 02.03.28

Of course, as has been pointed out to me so very many times, the fact that a parent doesn’t know their child feels ‘born in the wrong body’ when they are very young doesn’t mean that child doesn’t feel that way.  It is possible that all these children had such terrible relationships with their parents that they hid their feelings, and also possible that the parents were so completely disinterested in their children and unaware of their feelings and interests that they didn’t notice. Possible, but unlikely. These parents seem intelligent and articulate and they seem to love and support their kids. These parents seem convinced that their children’s gender dysphoria was rapid onset.

One thing that does stand out is the number of children diagnosed with ASD or ADHD. At least 16 of the 67 children had an ASD or ADHD diagnosis.

“diagnosed with ADHD
socially awkward, very intelligent
high IQ, ADHD, anxiety, some ASD symptoms
History of anxiety, signs of OCD and ADHD and very high-functioning ASD
autism spectrum
diagnosed as ASD, plus other MH issues
Trauma, ASD traits… high IQ
aspergers, severe depression, anxiety and is gifted
mild depression… anorexia, suicide attempt
ASD ADHD
BPD, severe depression, & anxiety
diagnosed bipolar 2 at 15; much anxiety, depression
Hist of ADHD recent depress & anxiety
ASD .. acute anxiety and depression
Depressed and we find out she has ADHD and is gifted
diagnosed with ASD
having her evaluated for ADHD (Inattentive Type) – she exhibits almost all of the symptoms
autistic, brilliant
they have “sub” indicators of autism
Has ASD traits, sensory issues , diagnosed with generalized anxiety”

Many other young people had co-existing mental health issues.

Many were lesbian, although this was not mentioned as often as I would have expected.

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 02.47.25To dismiss ROGD out of hand, we have to believe that all sixty seven of these parents knew nothing about their kids.  Now, kids don’t tell their parents everything.  We’ve all heard parents say, “We didn’t know she was sleeping with him…  we didn’t know he was taking drugs… we didn’t know she was self harming… we didn’t know he was in a gang,”  but this is very different. To suggest that ROGD is not real is to suggest that throughout the entire childhood of their offspring, these parents were deluded.   That the girl who never once even said ‘I wish I was boy’ was keeping her true ‘gender identity’ under wraps. The response to that is often, ‘but now they’ve been given the words!’ I ask you, why would young people need to be ‘given the words’?

The only argument against the existence of ROGD is rooted in the idea that all parents whose kids did not come out as trans until they were adolescent are blind idiots who knew nothing at all about their children.  It’s also presumes those children had such a terrible relationship with their parents that they never felt able to talk about them about their feelings. I think that says a lot more about the family relationships of those making the accusations than it does about the families with an ROGD child.

ROGD IS REAL.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 01.43.30

 

 

 

I’m not a therapist or a psychologist & I don’t give out advice online beyond offering links to useful groups such as the gender-critical parents forum (which has 960 members), and useful website such as Transgender Trend, 4thWaveNow, Gender Critical Dad and YouTube channels such as Peach Yoghurt.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Pride & Prejudice – who is standing with lesbians? #GetTheLOut

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 01.54.02This year’s Pride in London parade was ‘hijacked’ by a lesbian activist group called ‘Get the L Out.

I was on the tube on my way to Pride when my phone buzzed.

“OMG have you seen this? Are you there?”

I clicked on the link Emma had sent me.

Hijack? Anti-trans group? What had been going on while I obliviously consumed a lemon muffin and a 3 shot Americano in Starbucks?  I flipped through the article to read that a group of women ‘seeking to exclude trans people’ had hijacked the front of the Pride march and were parading with ‘anti-trans slogans’. Was this more hyperbole from Pink ‘Penis’ News?

The tube went into a tunnel and I lost my reception.

Arriving at Charing Cross, I negotiated the hordes of rainbow-garbed youngsters walking backwards with their phones in the air or sitting on the pavement rolling joints, and skipped nimbly over the discarded beer bottles and coke cans. The atmosphere was still charged with energy; outlandishly dressed people laughing and dancing & uploading pictures to Instagram.  There were more rainbow flags than ever. MacDonalds, that staunch supporter of all things revolutionary and cutting edge, had adorned its store front with a bunch of multi-coloured balloons & the guy who usually sells hoodies & sweatshirts at the edge of the square had added a string of rainbow merch to his bow. The obligatory adorable gay-ally dog trotted past me & I joined the queue to get into the central compound.

Pride in London

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 02.34.14

As a teenager I once joined a protest march against Barclays involvement in South Africa; a march ending in a rally at Trafalgar Square, where the name ‘Barclays’ was met with boos. Barclays has a new slogan now, crafted from the finest word salad: ‘diversity is important but inclusion is essential’. How times change: Barclays is now also a headline sponsor of Pride in London. I try not to be too cynical about the commercialism. Yay for democracy & all that. As one Twitter user put it

“I’m ok with it. I’ll rather have the commercial soft support than no support at all.”

But still. Pride sponsors. Barclays. Starbucks.  Amazon. Nandos. Even Tesco, FFS.

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 02.52.36.pngI made it past security and offered a fiver donation for a ‘Pride’ tote goodie bag. Inside was a magazine, a couple of rainbow wristbands, a lot of flyers advertising holidays in Italy and an Oyster card holder with a picture of Jerusalem on it.

I spoke briefly to the Stonewall people who wouldn’t give me an ‘I rainbow-heart NY’ badge unless I signed up to go to NYC Pride. Or something like that. Maybe I got a bit confused. Perhaps it’s catching.

I grumble about commercialism and, of course, in the same breath I embrace it. After taking some photos, I found myself drawn into the ‘Gay Shop’ where I passed on the ‘pansexual’ beaded bracelet- no really, I’m fine- in favour of a bright blue water bottle.  I bought Jessie & middle-child a T shirt each. They’d come up with friends in the morning and had ‘run out of money can you get us a T shirt please mum’. I nearly bought a ‘Pride’ Oyster Card holder but it was three quid. I paid with a Barclays bank card.

Lily Maynard Pride

Pride Lily Maynard

I managed to find a takeaway coffee and perched myself at the top of the steps, just as Courtney Act tottered onto the stage to tumultuous applause. I took a few photos of the crowd and a sip of coffee and sat down in a quiet corner to flip through my phone and see what was going on on Twitter…

Anne Ruzylo

… and there they were. The lesbian hijackers!

On 7/7/18 group of lesbians from ‘Get the L Out’ jumped into the London Pride parade, bearing banners, to protest against lesbian erasure.

I had arrived at Pride late, bought a couple of T shirts, whinged a bit about corporate sponsorship and taken some photos. These women had a plan. These women were there right at the start, banners ready, fearless and outspoken, to stand up for the rights of lesbians like my daughter. I wanted to hug them all. It’s on my bucket list to hug them all.

Their blog is here.

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 20.01.15Get the L Out’ is a group of lesbian and feminist individuals and organisations, opposing the increasingly anti-lesbian and misogynistic LGBT movement and the erasure of lesbians. We believe that lesbian rights are under attack by the trans movement and we encourage lesbians everywhere to leave the LGBT and form their own independent movement, as well as to be vocal and take action against the proposed changes to the GRA (Gender Recognition Act).”

They recorded a short video of their action, which you can see here.

#GetTheLOut

The video, which begins just before the women leapt onto the Pride flag and began their protest, starts mid-conversation.

“… I think we’re going to get lost otherwise.”

“Yes, I think so too, I think we should do it now. Come on!”

The women run forward, chanting and shouting slogans.

Get the L Out

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 23.25.50.

“Come on, you’ve had your moment,” says one organiser briskly, trying to get them to move off the flag, but the women aren’t budging until they’re ready.

Ten minutes or so into the parade they lie down in the road and start chanting, ‘Get the L out of Pride’.

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 03.49.38

‘They’re losing our respect,’ one beardy bloke told a journalist, seemingly unaware that it was unlikely that a group of lesbians would be overly preoccupied with gaining his respect.

It’s a hot, hot day and the sun is beating down overhead.

“I should’ve put some sunscreen on,” one protestor says to another, and they laugh.

An organiser approaches them.

“We don’t mind you being here, we appreciate it, but maybe just advance a little bit, just so we can gradually move on.”

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 23.50.36.png

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 00.07.26.png

The women move on. En route, one hands her phone to some young women at the side of the march. “You want to know what sort of messages we get online just for being a lesbian?” she asks. “It’s just here.”

“That’s so bad.”

“I know.”

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 00.18.19.png

Later I watched a video that had been live streamed by a Pink News journalist. He scuttled down the parade route ahead of the protestors, somewhat like a disorientated and quivering squirrel, repeating over and over again the phrases, “Anti-trans campaigners… what has it come to, Pride in London?… Sadiq Khan was meant to be leading the parade… More as it comes….”

In the course of the video he describes the protestors as:

“A group of radical feminist campaigners who are opposed to transgender rights…  the group who were protesting against transgender rights… a group campaigning against transgender rights… a group of radical feminists who appear to have issues with transgender people… carrying signs opposing transgender rights.. the anti-transgender campaigners… a group who clearly upset many people… distributing these leaflets which are vile… anti transgender rights campaigners…

He mentions the word ‘lesbian’ only once, when he scathingly refers to the protestors as ‘a group of women who describe themselves as lesbians.”

Get the L Out

“Do you disagree with transgender people being here?” he asks one.

“No, absolutely not,” she replies. “Absolutely not. But I do disagree with men saying they’re women and that they’re lesbians.”

“Get the L out of Pride!” chant the women behind her. “Get Lesbians out of Pride! Stop lesbian erasure! No man is a lesbian! Lesbian, not queer!”

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 02.50.30.png

Pink News Journalist asks another of the women why she is there and suggests that the sign she is carrying means she has “issues with transgender people”.

“I don’t have issues with transgender people.”

She tells him she is protesting, “because I feel that lesbians are no longer represented by LGBT organisations…. I’m carrying this sign,” gesturing towards her banner, which reads ‘LESBIAN = FEMALE HOMOSEXUAL’. “This is a positive sign.” she adds, firmly.

PNJ takes one of the leaflets and reads part of it out to his audience. He then continues to refer to it, and the protesting lesbians, as ‘opposing transgender rights’.

Later,  PNJ asks another of the women what the protestors want, and if it has anything to do with the Gender Recognition Act.

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 13.56.24“To get the L out of Pride.” she replies.  “Lesbians are lesbians. A man cannot be a lesbian; a person with a penis cannot be a lesbian.”

“Is this to do with changes to the Gender Recognition Act?” he enquires.

“It certainly is, we need a proper, open debate and we’re sick of trans-activists preventing that with violence, intimidation and threats…

A man who alters his body is a man who alters his body. He is entitled to the same respect as everybody else. He is not a woman and should not be in a woman’s space…

The sex that you’re born, unfortunately, is the sex that you will remain. When archaeologists dig you up in 1000 years time they will look at the chromosomal evidence. Your external organs will have faded away…”

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 01.32.57.png

Have you tested your own chromosomes?” asks the journalist, bizarrely. When she replies no, he goads, “But you believe you’re a woman; you believe sex is defined by it, so how do you have that belief?”
The woman looked somewhat astonished but was polite enough not to laugh in his face.

“Look at me. No one has ever questioned that I’m a woman…  Read Cordelia Fine. The Royal Society gave her a prize for a reason.”

“That’s interesting,” he replies, in much the tone I would adopt if smallest brought me yet another kitten house sculpted from cereal packets, poster paints and toilet rolls.

“I think there’s a lot of sympathy in the crowd,” she continues.  “We are getting a lot of cheers. A lot of lesbians feel the same as us but people are scared to speak out because of all the violence and all the threats. I’ve had death threats, I’ve moved house; people are doxxed. Maria MacLachlan was beaten and the guy pretty much got away with it. There’s a lot of intimidation going on and people know that.”

The journalist turns to another woman and asks her to tell listeners about the reason behind the protest.

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 13.53.11

“Pride is not representing lesbians at all, and we feel that we have been erased, and that is why we are here basically… 

because men are saying they are trans, they are lesbians and are pressurising the lesbian community to actually sleep with them… 

we are pressured online, we’ve been called TERFs; there are lots of women who wanted to take part in Pride and they were frightened to come because of this, because of the hostility against lesbians.”

This is the A5 double-sided leaflet that ‘Get the L Out’ handed out to the crowds lining the parade route.

Get the L Out

Get the L Out

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 20.29.25

PNJ suggested that the when the crowd cheered the women it was because they didn’t understand the message. He suggested the crowd were cheering the empty space immediately behind the protestors rather than the protestors themselves. He then claimed that the cheers following the women must be sarcastic. At one point he referred to loud cheers as ‘a smattering of applause’.

“The message is going down in a mixed way,” said Pink News Journalist. “I’m not sure people understand what their message is.”

The one thing we can be sure of is that PNJ didn’t like it one little bit.

“The crowd earlier were chanting shame,” he reminded his viewers.

“‘They seem pretty pleased with themselves. They have spoiled the Pride march!” he complained at one point, only to follow it up a few minutes later with, “The group appears to be here to provoke some sort of reaction but really they failed.  There doesn’t seem to be much of a reaction at all.”

Oh the confusion! Even now, a few days later, critics of the protest seem confused. On the one hand the protest was a minor disruption by ‘only eight or ten’ women’, but on the other hand it’s a huge display of hatred that left many ‘feeling unsafe’.

Which is it to be?

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 17.48.09

If, like me, you aren’t seeing any actual ‘hatred’ in the words or banners of these women, the first important question has to be,

‘does pro-lesbian now automatically mean ‘anti-trans?

This seems to be what the mainstream media believes; what the Mayor of London believes; what Stonewall, Pride London and Pink News believe.

This is not about hatred, at least not about hatred coming from lesbians and feminists.

Get the L Out

The second question we need to consider is,

‘Is lesbian erasure now a trans right’?

I have honestly never heard anyone say ‘I hate trans people’. Believing that it is not possible to be born in the ‘wrong’ body is not hateful and erases no-one. We all have a right to our religious and spiritual beliefs, and if you want to believe that souls are gendered and that we have pink and blue brains; if you want to worship at the altar of the gender fairy, then go for it. Nobody can tell you what to believe. Your beliefs are your own business. It’s when you start demanding that everyone around you agrees with you and that if they don’t share your ideology then they must be evil people who hate you and wish you ill; that they must be silenced – well, that roar is the sound of transactivism rearing its tyrannical, despotic head.

The ideology of transactivism purports that a man who believes he is a woman, is a woman.

An astonishing number of people are willing to say this.

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 20.38.30

Transactivism also purports that a woman who believes she is a man is actually a man, but nobody pays much attention to that, because… misogyny. The women who think they’re men aren’t shouting that gay men should have sex with them, and gay men aren’t feeling they have to hijack marches to make people listen to how threatened and angry this makes them feel because a) Biology and b) Patriarchy.

A good trans-ally is expected to support the idea that a man who believes himself to be a woman has the heart and soul of a woman.  If a man ‘identifies as’ a woman, he actually IS a woman. And if he is a woman, so it follows that he has the right to be in spaces designated for women. Sports teams, changing rooms, bathrooms, women’s festivals specialising in workshops on vaginal steaming, women’s intimate waxing salons, women’s refuges, to name but a few such spaces around which controversy has recently risen.

gaslighting

The gaslighting of an entire population.

If we accept that the group of men who call themselves transwomen ARE women, it follows that they can also ‘identify as’ lesbians.  And if actual lesbians don’t like this – if they reject the idea of sex with these men purely on the grounds that they are… er… men, those women are automatically transphobic.

You see where this is leading?

A lesbian, attracted by very definition to other females, who points out that she doesn’t want to have sex with someone on the grounds that they are a man- any woman who points out that a person who has (or has ever had) a penis is not a lesbian- is transphobic.

Lesbianism is transphobic?  WTF? No wonder lesbians are pissed off enough to take to the streets of Pride protesting about this. Their banners didn’t read, ‘We Hate Trans People’, they didn’t read, ‘Trans People are Dirty and Stupid‘, they didn’t read, ‘Trans people are second rate citizens’. Remember what they read?

“Lesbian = Female Homosexual”

“Transactivism erases Lesbians”

“Lesbian not Queer”

Where is the support for lesbians? Who in the LGBT movement is fighting for the right of lesbians to actually be lesbians? Who is standing up to those who insult, threaten and even strike these women? Well, not Stonewall, that’s for sure.

Stonewall’s Ruth Hunt released this call to armsstatement shortly after Pride.

“The event was marred by a transphobic group… a transphobic group who are actively working against the community… distribut(ing) leaflets filled with myths and lies… not everyone was safe… hatred directed at trans people… these people have deserted the fight for LGBT equality, they have no place at Pride… Be an active, fierce ally.”

Stonewall

Over and again the lesbian protestors are referred to as ‘anti-transgender’: not just by Pink ‘Penis’ News, but by the Guardian; by the Independent.

The Independent refers to the women as ‘anti-trans protestors’.

Patrick Greenfield writes in The Guardian of “a group of about 10 women carrying anti-trans signs…  anti-transgender campaigners…  women carrying anti-trans signs…”.

He goes on to quote a Liberal Democrat LGBT chairperson who talks of “transphobic protestors… a betrayal of the thousands marching”.

Owl Fisher churns out a quick piece, in the same paper, calling the protestors “divisive, hateful and misguided.”

There’s no pride in hatred,” he pontificates profoundly, adding, apparently with no trace of irony, “Trans women wanting to be accepted as women – some of whom are lesbians – does not erase anyone else. On the contrary, it enriches our community.”

Get the L Out

Er… hang on… the claim that men can be lesbians doesn’t erase lesbians? Saying that penises are female doesn’t erase lesbians? Would permitting white people claim to be black, for example, ‘enrich’ the black community? Of course not. What planet is he on? Where is this ‘hate’? Just how does this work? How much doublespeak are we supposed to be able to swallow?

LGBT Labour said “these people should never be allowed to march at Pride again”.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said, ‘The vast majority of those present at yesterday’s march respected and embraced that and the Mayor condemns the tiny minority who did not. Transphobia is never acceptable.”

Viking FM DJ Alex went so far as to call the banners ‘hate crime and surely they will now all be arrested and charged?”

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 01.12.25

After initially claiming that ‘hot weather’ was their reason for not stopping the women, then acknowledging that the protestors hadn’t done anything illegal, Pride in London released a statement saying they would be ‘reviewing what happened with the Metropolitan police. They went on to call the protest

“shocking and disgusting…a level of bigotry, ignorance and hate that is unacceptable… we condemn it completely… we reject what this group stands for… we are shocked and appalled…  some felt threatened by the protesters…”

So there you have it.  PRIDE rejects lesbians who claim penises can’t be female. To say a man cannot be a lesbian is threatening and an act of hatred. Is it any wonder lesbians are wanting out from under the LGBT umbrella?

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 02.18.25

Not one review I have read in the mainstream press even acknowledges the issues these women were trying to raise awareness about. It was as if those speaking out to condemn the women had not even taken the time to read the writing on their signs, let alone think about the very real concerns expressed in their leaflets.  Their action was doubleplusbad and even thinking about what it entailed could be dangerous and problematic.

It couldn’t be clearer that LGBT will not protect lesbians. This level of misogyny makes me scared & sad for young lesbians everywhere. Is it any wonder that so many lesbians want out?

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 20.43.06.png

Meanwhile, back at the parade, Pink News Journalist points at the protestors and shoves his microphone into the faces of two young women observing the parade.

‘‘This is a group of radical feminists who appear to have issues with transgender people.’ They have occupied the Pride march. They’re being allowed to lead it…”

He pauses and, when no response is forthcoming, asks them directly what they think.

“That’s ridiculous,” says one, smiling.
“That’s pretty shit,” grins the other.

“Organisers, police, nowhere to be seen!” he adds, inviting them to share his outrage. They nod blandly.

“I don’t know if either of you are trans,” he adds. “I see you’re wearing a trans wristband.”
“Yes,” says the girl wearing the band.

“Presumably this is not a great l message to send? They’re distributing these leaflets which are vile,” he says “I don’t know if I can say that and be impartial?” 

The girl with the wristband shrugs and she and her friend look away.  After a moment’s awkward silence, during which he realises he isn’t going to get the reaction he’d hoped for, he thanks them and moves on.

“Still distributing leaflets to the crowd,” he observes, his voice growing slightly higher at his inability to find anyone quite incensed as himself.

What has it come to, London Pride?” he wails for the twentieth time.

Elsewhere, one of the women is speaking to other lesbians in the crowd, telling them she gets called a vagina fetishist or a transphobe online for saying she won’t sleep with people with penises.

“Do you think that’s normal?” she asks another lesbian.

What, sleep with someone with a dick?”  responds the other woman, taking the proffered leaflet. “Why would I? I’m a lesbian!”

“I’m really tired of this,” the protestor says, handing a leaflet to another couple. “Lesbians shouldn’t be shamed for loving women.”

“Fuck you, TERFs!” calls a man from the crowd.

This is what happens when we ignore the fact that Pride was started as a riot,’ says PNJ, meaninglessly, seemingly oblivious to the irony and forgetting that only minutes before he had bemoaned the lack of a police presence.

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 19.20.45“Trans women started Pride! These people hate trans people! They’re ignoring the history that Pride is a protest started by trans people!” yells a bloke in a black net top with roses on it.
“These people are here to erase the history of Pride, to erase trans people! They don’t just hate trans people, they hate sex workers, they hate anyone who doesn’t fit into their oppressive ideology. They are just as bad as the Westboro Baptist Church & the bigots who come out here saying gay people are going to hell!”

PNJ is so happy to come across someone as incensed as himself that he overlooks the absurdity of the suggestion that lesbians would tell gay people they were hellbound, and bounds over to net-top to introduce himself.

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 01.10.31“Oh, you’re Pink News!” coos net-top into the lens, as his friend flicks his hair back & grins at the camera, “They were taking photos of me… (he points at the protestors) I can guarantee you they’re going to try to go after me and attack me personally.” He taps his fingers on his chest. He sounds strangely happy at this unlikely prospect.

“They were trying to get cops to arrest my friend for no fucking reason… these people are absolute bigots, they’re the worst.”

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 03.31.37.png“I fucking had a go at the TERFs! I had a go at the TERFs! The police are angry at me, fuck it, I don’t care!”  boasted a green-haired bloke who sounded remarkably like Rik Mayal in The Young Ones.

“I’m angry that the first thing of Pride was the TERFs. Fuck them. The opening thing was ‘transactivism erases lesbians’? Fuck off with that! I almost got in trouble with the police but I don’t care, Pride is a riot! Why is this group opening, saying ‘you are not welcome at Pride trans people’? Don’t tell trans lesbians they’re not welcome at Pride!”

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 02.50.06

“The anti-transgender campaigners appear to have continued down the march, They’re no longer near… This is what Pride is all about, this is the real Pride!” exclaimed PNJ happily, as the charismatic, heterosexual Mayor of London pressed a button turning the advertising screen at Picadilly Circus into a giant rainbow.

And perhaps, in a time when the gay rights movement is willing to chuck lesbians under the wheels of the gender identity bus without a moment’s thought, perhaps it is.

************

POSTSCRIPTS

GetTheLOutGetTheLOut

The Lesbian Rights Alliance has written an open letter to Stonewall which collected 135 signatures in two days.

Open Letter to Stonewall

Dear Ruth Hunt
Remove the L from LGBT

We demand that Stonewall removes lesbians from the list of groups you claim to represent as a national LGBT organisation. Since its foundation, Stonewall has rarely represented our interests. Now, in your single-minded campaign to promote the trans political and ideological agenda, you not only fail to represent us, but you actually promote lesbian invisibility – and lesbian erasure.

Lesbians are biological women who are sexually attracted to, and have sexual and emotional relationships with other biological women, only. Being a lesbian is primarily about sexuality: it is a same-sex attraction. Stonewall no longer accepts this basic, socially-accepted definition of lesbians. In fact it defines homosexuality as ‘attraction to the same gender,’ not biological sex.

As a consequence you support the absurd idea that male-bodied persons can be lesbians, and you demand that they be accepted as such by actual lesbians. If we refuse to accept these men as lesbians you label us transphobes and “TERFs”, unleashing a torrent of hate speech upon us from your supporters.

The vast majority of biological males who self-identify as lesbians retain their penises. So Stonewall is not only promoting hate crime against lesbians, but imposing compulsory heterosexuality on lesbians.

Stonewall does not recognise or represent the many young women who reject conventional feminine stereotypes in appearance and sex roles, and who become lesbians at puberty. Instead you support the trans argument that many gender non-conforming lesbians must really be men, born with “male brains” in the “wrong body”.

This outdated definition of lesbians was first promoted by male sexologists at the end of the 19th century. It has now become the dominant narrative. In the absence of alternative information, young women are stigmatised and bullied into taking on a male identity, rather than being healthy young lesbians. As one young woman told the Lesbian Rights Alliance, ‘there was no one who looked like me or acted like me who I could turn to as a role model.’

In your support for trans ideology you are literally erasing young lesbians, telling them they must mutilate their own female bodies to impersonate men and appear to be heterosexual. In 2016- 2017 female adolescents comprised over 70% of young people seeking to transition at the Gender Identity Development clinics, the majority of whom are attracted to their own sex.

In your educational programmes for schools you claim to address homophobic bullying, but none of your school materials represent gender non-conforming young lesbians.

For the few lesbians who have managed to escape lesbian conversion to trans and joined LBGT groups at college or university, they are often told that they should not use the term ‘lesbian’ since it is too ‘exclusive’. Instead they must define themselves as ‘queer,’ which means in practice that they must be open to having sexual relationships with men.

You also misrepresent the suicide statistics, claiming that young, transgender people are the most likely to attempt suicide. This is untrue: in fact young lesbians are the group most likely to attempt suicide, which is unsurprising, since they have become the most stigmatised group out of all LGB people.

According to your website, Stonewall has an income of over £7 million in 2018. You also support numerous LGBT groups and LGBT youth groups around the country. Women-only and lesbian-only space is crucially important to lesbians in the development of our lesbian lives and lesbian community. Yet as far as we are aware you have not supported a single lesbian-only youth group, or supported lesbian-only groups of any kind.

It is clear that being ‘stronger together’ in Stonewall does not include lesbians. So we urge you to stop claiming to represent us and leave the L out.

Yours
The Lesbian Rights Alliance

GetTheLOut blog:

https://getthelout.wordpress.com/

Lesbians protest Pride: GetTheLOut:

Comments on the YouTube video:

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 01.21.34

Tweets

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 01.58.36

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 04.00.51

Critical Sisters

jb

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 02.01.56

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 03.56.32

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 22.18.03.png

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 03.57.29

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 04.01.25.png

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 13.18.18

Advertisements

Occasionally, some of your visitors may see an advertisement here,
as well as a Privacy & Cookies banner at the bottom of the page.
You can hide ads completely by upgrading to one of our paid plans.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Guest Post: The 2018 Gender Games

 

A few weeks ago,  when this year’s World Cup was still in its early days, (I’ll be honest here, I had to Google that. I had absolutely no idea when the World Cup started, it just mysteriously, suddenly WAS EVERYWHERE) mumsnetter ScarletBegonias pontificated on how a football match between transactivists & a gender critical team might go.

The thread took off, with various gender-critical mumsnetters putting in a line or two, until it reached hundreds of comments..

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 21.43.39

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 22.17.10

 

You can read the thread here, but it gets a little convoluted.  When I retweeted it, DJLippy asked if I’d want to host an version that she had edited, here on my blog.

Excellent plan!

 

 

So here it is, a footy-themed piece by the women of mumsnet, nothing to do with me at all, welcome to:

 

THE 2018 GenDEr GaMeS

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 21.31.33

FIRST HALF

Welcome to the opening match of the 2018 Gender Games. It’s the first match of the tournament and team Trans Rights Activists (TRA) are facing up against the plucky underdogs Team Mumsnet.
It was always going to be a highly contested game.
Trouble started early in the pre-match warm ups when Team TRA demanded no one should have to wear the number 2 as that suggests a binary. Everyone on Team Mumsnet is – quite confusingly- wearing the number 2.

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 22.54.40.png
There was controversy about the eligibility of the American players in the TRA team. Officials decided the use of the potentially offensive term ‘soccer’ was permitted, but not before officials confiscated all baseball bats.
TRAs win the toss and we’re off!

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 21.32.45Lees, passes to Peto – Peto to Brown, Sarah Brown, a last minute substitution there by manager Maria Miller.

Brown – Munroe.

And that was a dangerous run by Munroe, neatly blocked at the last minute by AngryAttackKittens – such a whole-hearted, physical player!
There seems to be a bit of a fracas on the pitch as team TRA are adamant that team Mumsnet, with their ladybrains, are unable to fully understand the offside rule. Much ladysplaining going on by team TRA. I must say it’s strangely indistinguishable from mansplaining.Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 23.01.10
Team Mermaid captain has intervened and is trying to make it less confusing for Team Mumsnet by explaining it is like a beauty pageant only with wickets and spherical objects.
No one seems any the wiser.

Mumsnet Captain Sarah Ditum is holding back an irate Posie Parker there. She doesn’t look happy does she?

 

But what’s this? Madigan is throwing a temper tantrum on the pitch!Apparently it’s transphobic to play with balls and they want Corbyn to step in and take them away as they’re distressing for the TRA team.
Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 21.35.39Commentator Owen Jones suggests a parliamentary inquest into the transphobic nature of playing with balls in general and asking that the items formally known as “balls” must be referred to as SPOFS (spherical playing objects for sport).
This is agreed. The crowd applauds.
What now!? Team Mumsnet’s Star goalkeeper Yardley is being forced to leave the pitch after refusing to use the term SPOFS and colourfully telling Bergdorf to F off. Mumsnet fans in the stadium have erupted in solidarity as Yardley walks off the pitch with two middle fingers raised, protesting loudly.
“WE’RE BOTH MEN!!!!” becomes the viral meme of the game.
Unbelievable folks, unbelievable.
Yardley will join team mates Venice Allan and Lisa Muggeridge on the bench, who have both received three match bans.
Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 23.15.54

Madigan off at the side there. We’re getting word their shirt has been ripped and the referee has ordered them to get a new one. They’re now off begging from the other players in the dugouts. A crowdfunder has been started.
Team TRA want to put in Muscato up front for Team Mumsnet, despite the protestations of Team Mumsnet.
The referee is being forced to consult the new inclusion rulebook…

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 23.18.48

Magdalen Berns is on a run for the goal now- she looks unstoppable but what’s this? Foul by Muscato! And the crowd don’t like that.
Shocking, absolutely shocking!
What’s this? We’re just hearing that the medical team Dr Adrian and Dr Christian are refusing health care to Team Mumsnet on the grounds that these women are literal monsters.
Never mind, Berns is up and it looks like she’s getting ready to take the penalty…
Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 23.27.40.png

Fae seems to be tying something on their head. I can’t quite make it out – it looks – no it can’t be. – yes it is – it is a helmet that looks like an egg. Fae is making quite a show of putting it on –

it says on the side …. “See I’ve got a lady skull”

 
Back of the net! She certainly knows where the goal is doesn’t she?

 

Oh dear. There’s disagreement among the commentators in what is proving to be a tetchy match-up. Graham Lineham’s stating that Mumsnet lead by 1-0 with Owen Jones responding that Lineham has just denied the existence of Team TRA and that Lineham is on the wrong side of history.

It’s 1-0 to the Mumsnet Feminists, but the TRAs are self-identifying as having scored 6 goals.

HALF TIME

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 21.32.34

It’s half time here in the dug out here and my, my what a match. Less than 50% of Team TRA are playing for their starting team, nobody knows which changing room to use and one lone player has self identified as the referee and is demanding a full enquiry.

A protest has been logged: Team TRA have identified as Team Mumsnet and are demanding their right to access the Mumsnet changing room and bath.
It looks like they’ve blocked access to the tunnel:. If Team TMA (or Trans-Mumsnet Activists as they must henceforth be known) can’t have it, then no-one will!
More half time shenanigans. Someone has hacked the Wikipedia entry on Team Mumsnet and retrospectively transed them on the basis that some of them had short hair and they all clearly liked football. They are now suspected of being the people who really started the Stonewall riots.
It was always going to end in chaos when they scheduled the match for a Friday.

 

SECOND HALF

We’re back but there’s a delay in kicking off. Team TMA has refused to take to the pitch until after they’ve each done their Soccerette catwalk to Mr Big Stuff.
And we’re off.  But what’s this? The TMA goalkeeper  Fae has lost their mooncup and is demanding a break in play while they find both it and their cranberry juice. The referee has agreed, giving the ground staff chance to pick up all the errant chicken fillets.
Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 23.48.37

Bergdorf is rolling around the pitch in agony complaining of period pains and the start is suspended. TMA have rushed to the other end of the pitch and they’re waving their tampons and pads. A discussion about the virtues of a mooncup vs sanitary products has ensued. This is new to the TMA team as yet another new novelty in the lady experience.
Yet more delays as cries of, ‘Die TERF scum’ can be heard from the stands causing confusion, prompting an official pitch inspection.

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 23.49.35.png
No dye or scum is found on the turf and play resumes.

Parker – Bewilderness – back to Parker.
Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 23.55.09We’re just hearing match commentator Graham Linehan has been attacked by fellow commentator Owen Jones for daring to say that team Mumsnet have scored some points and seem to be playing a fair game!

Jones is in time-out in his own media room, which has been soundproofed and furnished with soft toys so as not to offend his delicate sensibilities.

 

Bewilderness – Parker – Berns on a run for it now – passes to Ditum.
And it’s a red card for Fae!!!
The ref has sent Fae off for skewering the SPOFS with a knitting needle whilst saving a cracking shot to goal from Ditum.

Schoolboy defending there!
A penalty has been awarded and Sweary steps up to take the shot as team Team TMA hastily replace Fae with substitute goalie Faye.
Faye’s taking a while to get on the pitch – we are hearing from the dugout that there’s been an issue with Faye’s pre-match ritual whereby inspirational songs from Erasure seem to have been appropriated by Team Mumsnet.
Mumsnet supporters have got wind of the development and are now singing ‘Respect’ loudly from the stands.

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 00.00.31

Faye steps into goal attaching a talisman of some sort to the post. Ah we are informed it’s an inspirational picture – what’s that? Yes we can confirm – it’s a mirror.
Sweary lines up the shot and “GOAL!!!” Right in the top corner!
And what’s this? Faye’s booked as he’s caught trying to erase the Mumsnet score from the scoreboard!
Team Mumset don’t look happy.
You couldn’t write a script like this! Unbelievable.
Interesting to note Madigan has only had three touches of the spherical playing object for sport in the entire game because they’re too busy trying to get all the Mumsnet players sent off.
What now!? Match suspended! Little Owen Jones has taken the SPOFS and gone home, but not before shouting ‘My Gender Neutral Parent is bigger than your Gender Neutral Parent.’
Absolute scenes here, folks, absolute scenes!
Team Mumsnet have got a SPOFS from one of their cars and the game’s on again.
But what’s this? After conferring with team TMA, the ref has announced that mentioning or kicking the ball is a literal foul and, depending on the context, could lead to a yellow or red card- or not.
Team TMA are swishing their hair and grabbing their crotches in triumph while Mumsnet seek clarification to know how to proceed with the game.
After consulting with TMA the referee can confirm they’ve changed the laws of physics and the game resumes.
But wait! Madigan has run off the field in tears. Action replay here we can see the SPOFS came towards them – they cowered and tried to swat it away but it looks like they broke a nail. Another crowdfunder has been started.
Oger has been sent on as a replacement and is threatening legal action against said SPOFS for violently attacking Madigan and all on the TMA team. They claim that’s the law in Canada and by extension in Europe.
In newer developments, the referee has ruled that hands CAN be used in the game, but only if they identify as feet.
Team TMA is now wearing the same jerseys as team Mumsnet, and accuse team Mumsnet of literal murder because they’re not passing the SPOFS to them.
Well, despite some dirty tactics from team TMA, it seems team Mumsnet are holding firm.

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 00.02.49.png
Their defence has been particularly solid. Critics of their play have suggested they needed to bolster their attacking play and to be fair they seem to have responded. New recruits from the Friday Academy have definitely added a new dimension to the team. I think Mumsnet definitely have the squad to take not just the match but the tournament.
The match is resumed.

 

Rowland receives and that’s a beautiful bit of footwork there, past Lees, past Chandler – interception by Lees. Free kick!
Team Mumsnet’s star striker Berns is going to take it.
Team TMA are having trouble protecting their crotches and looking lady-like at the same time.
Play is stopped to find a solution that isn’t ‘outing’.
A scuffle breaks out on the pitch as Bergdorf snatches the ball from Berns and insists on taking over their job as free kick taker.

Recently Bergdorf – before even getting a chance to get stuck into their new role as Mumsnet manager – resigned following a mass protest from fans about the suitability of a manager who both badmouthed the team and knew literally nothing about football. Mumsnet defender Amy Desir has since been suspended pending an internal investigation.
What’s this? There’s a chant coming from the Mumsnet crowd – what are they saying? “Penis, Penis, Penis – he’s got a penis!”
And now it seems Bergdorf is angrily demanding that the Mumsnet fans are ejected from that stadium! The officials have been consulted. The request has been denied.
The referee in a surprising twist has given the SPOFS back to Berns .

Interception by Izzard.
Izzard to Zinnia. And what’s this? Zinnia  has picked up the SPOFS and they’re putting it -oh my days! – that’s not in the rule book is it? Jones has certainly put the ball away. I must say it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘squeaky bum time’. Jones is down and it looks like we’re going to need another SPOFS.

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 00.08.02
India Willoughby comes on as a sub and is greeted by boos from the Mumsnet fans. Willoughby’s sulking and stamping around the pitch shouting “I am a woman!” and flashing their boobs to prove it.

The boos continue.
Unbelievable folks, unbelievable.

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 21.33.06
And what’s this? Willoughby is holding out an arm saying they were hit. I think we can all agree that supporter was at least three metres away. Did we get it on film?
Team Mumsnet battle against their female socialisation and try not to help.
The Mumsnet mods are the unhappy lineswomen being yelled at by everyone.
The crowd is getting wild.
With a few minutes to go, Mumsnet Manager, Justine Roberts, dressed as a clown fish, has changed all the rules.

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 00.10.03.png
There is chaos on the pitch. The crowd’s going wild!
They think it’s all over.
It is now.

 

POST MATCH ANALYSIS

This has definitely been the group to watch in the playoffs.
Of the four teams in Group A in the Gender Games trying to make it to the last sixteen, Mumsnet have been seen as the underdogs by the other three in their group; TMA, MRA and Mermaid.

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 00.13.32
It’s still unclear if the heavily anticipated Mumsnet/Mermaid match will go ahead as officials are still debating certain demands for the match to be played in Thailand, whilst Team Mumsnet have launched a counter claim that many Mermaid team members are underage and therefore not eligible to play.
We contacted them for comment and received the following statement.
“There is no debate to be had. I’ve named my squad and the location. Frankly the game shouldn’t be played at all. I’ve already decided it will be a 5-0 result and Mumsnet are just bloody meanies who don’t like football”.
And now we are getting perplexing reports that the offside rule has been redefined by the Scottish Government to include any onside play identifying as offside. Pundits are claiming the offside rule has been stolen behind their backs.
There’s also been an appeal against the VR ref decisions, but it has been confirmed that potential, imagined and fabricated fouls will be treated as actual fouls, depending on both the context and which team the individual referee supports and, in some cases, their mood on the day.
Just a reminder to tune in tomorrow for coverage of the Group C matches where we will be watching team GCJ (gender critical journos) vs team STHP (Spineless Try Hard Politicians).
Both teams are looking to field some strong players with team GCJ putting forwards Turner, Freeman and Kirkup on from start of play. It’s a solid and experienced team of whom much is anticipated.
STHP have already announced star defenders Corbyn and Butler will be playing despite scoring a number of home goals in the pre-tournament friendlies with the forwards largely being pulled from the LibDem LGBTQXYZRDG academy (known for its particularly combative style of play).
The other match in this group is expected to be less well contested with team YTL (YouTube Lesbians) captained by Peach Yoghurt to dominate from the kick off over Riley Denis’s YTGDM (YouTube Genitals Don’t matter) team.

This could prove to be our least triggering game so far.

 

 

“The Mumsnet Football Match” is a Guest Post. It was a collaborative effort by the gender-critical women of mumsnet and was edited by DJLippy.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

‘Inconvenient Women’ @Camden Town Hall 13/6/18

Text & photos- Lily Maynard

Sketches-Michèle M

‘Inconvenient Women’ is one of a series of lectures organised by Venice Allan as part of the ‘We Need to Talk’ tours. Key speakers were Sheila Jeffreys and Nicole Smith. Chaired by Anne Ruzylo, the meeting took place at Camden Town Hall on the evening of  Wednesday, June 13th 2018. The event was livestreamed on Facebook, and can be watched on YouTube here.
Lily Maynard

‘Inconvenient Women’ by Michèle M

 

To lessen the chance of protests by transactivists the venue was not made public before the event, and the main meeting place, also kept hush-hush until the day, was a nearby branch of COSTA. This seemed like a pretty good start to the proceedings to me.
Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 02.40.48
“You could go straight to the venue if you like, Lily.” Venice offered when I spoke to her on the phone shortly beforehand.
I was horrified. “God, thanks but no. And miss the coffee?”
Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 20.28.42

Venice Allan (organiser) speaks to the media.

So thus it was that I arrived in the smoggy evening sun at COSTA coffee on Euston Road to meet with old friends and new for the brilliantly named ‘Inconvenient Women’ talk.  I arrived with just enough time for a quick chat with a few people and to down a triple shot Americano.
I’d never been to the spectacular and imposing Camden Town Hall before. There’s so much stylish architecture in London that it’s easy to walk past a building a score of times without really noticing it. And, surprisingly, there wasn’t a transactivist in sight!
Lily Maynard

Attendees entering Camden Town Hall.

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 03.28.31
The first thing that confronted us on entry was a gargantuan Gatsbyesque marble staircase. For some reason I didn’t quite manage to fathom, we weren’t permitted to use this gleaming escalier, but were huddled eight at a time in two small unreliable lifts on either side of the foyer. On first attempt ours went to the top of the building and back down again without opening its doors.
From the lift we emerged into a labyrinth of corridors and then, through an unimposing door, into a huge, spartan, glass-ceilinged chamber, already half filled with inconvenient women and a sprinkling of menfolk.
Inconvenient women

The meeting room at Camden Town Hall

inconvenient women

The audience

Inconvenient Women

‘Inconvenient Women’ by Michèle M

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 03.55.12.png
We shuffled around, we changed seats, we waved at each other. Some chatted excitedly, some waited in quiet anticipation. the room was bright and clean and the acoustics were excellent. Some opened notebooks and fumbled for pens, one woman fed her baby.
Then Anne took the microphone and we were ready to begin.
The first speaker was Sheila Jeffreys.
Lily Maynard

Left to right: Anne, Nicole, Sheila

Sheila Jeffreys

Sheila Jeffreys

Sheila Jeffreys @ Inconvenient Women – Michèle M

Sheila Jeffreys taught politics at University of Melbourne for 25 years and is the author of 10 books on the politics and history of sexuality, including ‘The Lesbian Revolution’ coming out on the 29th of August 2018. Her book ‘Gender Hurts’, a feminist analysis of the politics of transgenderism, was published in 2014.

Jeffreys called her lecture ‘The Protection of Men’s Sexual Rights in International Law’.

 

 

 

Lily Maynard

Sheila Jeffreys & Nicole Smith

 

“What I’m going to talk about tonight is how important it is to think internationally when dealing with the threat of men’s cross dressing activism- commonly called the transgender rights movement- to women’s human rights. I fear there may not be as much humour in my talk tonight as some might wish because it’s a big, complicated and quite serious subject.”

Jeffreys spoke of how in the UK the feminist resistance to ‘men’s cross dressing rights’ had been growing exponentially in the last year but was concentrated on the tip of the iceberg, the situation in the UK. She suggested that the feminist focus needed to be more international as a variety of important documents which do not have any influence in law- yet- are increasingly promoted as human rights best practice. Jeffreys called this the ‘agenda of gender rights’ and these developments often take place without the knowledge or scrutiny of feminists.
In March 2018 the EU parliament adopted a report calling for the depathologisation of transgenderism and condemning states such as Britain which require medical evidence to support change of gender. ‘Psychiatric consent’ as this is named, argues that transgender people do not have a mental illness yet paradoxically suggests that easy access to medical treatments and surgery should be easily available.

So what are the Yogyakarta Principles?

Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 02.04.06The Yogyakarta Principles is a 35-page document about human rights concerned with the areas of sexual orientation & gender identity.  The Yogyakarta Principles were signed and created in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in 2007 and were updated in 2017 with 10 extra principles, (the plus 10).
In 1995, a group of cross-dressing men in the USA produced the International Bill of Transgender Rights. It had no standing in law but the demands have now been accommodated in domestic law in many countries through the vehicle of the Yogyakarta Principles which state that:

‘gender identity is understood to refer to each person’s deeply felt internal individual experience of gender’.

The word gender, when placed in front of the word identity, means any person’s belief that they have some essential personality traits normally found in the opposite sex.
Gender identity is a problem for the vast majority of us who have no internal sense of gender and reject the gender stereotypes that feminists have always sought to abolish. The notion of gender identity makes gender- the behaviours of a system of oppression wherein women wear high heels and restrictive clothing and men are seen as assertive and taking up more space- appear to be something natural and inevitable.
The Yogyakarta Principles are signed by human rights campaigners and lawyers, some of whom may feel obliged to sign, or sign without looking at the situation more closely, believing that gender identity is somehow inextricably connected with the rights of women and children, and lesbian and gay rights.
Sheila Jeffreys
“Hair flicking is very important,” commented Jeffreys sarcastically. “It’s something women do to show men they’re interested in them. Now I haven’t been heterosexual for a long time…”
People don’t actually change from being heterosexual,” called a heckler from the back of the room. “You’re either heterosexual or you’re not!”
Scan

Kat – Michèle M

The heckler, I was later told, is called Kat. She was a contestant on ‘Big Brother’ back in 2004, and yes, I did Google her and she was described as “a political activist who tried to bring a wee bit of anarchy to the house”. Evidently she tried to move a fridge of booze into the BB bedroom. That’s all you’re getting from me. No, really. This isn’t ‘Take A Break’.
“I’m often called a straightbian.” shot back Sheila, gesturing towards Kat. “She’s got this ideology that means that anybody who has been anywhere near a a penis isn’t actually a lesbian- which means that 99% of lesbians in the world.. well… it wipes out Adrienne Rich, Mary Daly, Andrea Dworkin…”
Applause and cheers ran through the room, although some women looked unsettled.
“You’re a bit of a cunt…” was Kat’s retort.
The response to this was gasps and angry cries of “Out! Out! Security! Boo!”
In the middle of this confusion, Kate got to her feet and began loudly singing a rousing version of ‘Every Woman can be a Lesbian and a few others joined in the chorus to further applause. Kate’s strong and powerful voice was strangely soothing in the general kerfuffle, but no-one seemed quite sure what might happen next.
Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 11.49.22

Inconvenient Women: mother & baby – Michèle M

The film crew in attendance were loving it. Many women were standing up. It all seemed a bit surreal. It struck me as a good time to go to the loo. It also gave me the chance to coo over a cute baby at the back of the hall.
On the way through the halls, I looked out through the vast glass windows over the network of rooftops that comprised the top of the Town Hall and reflected on how fun it would be to hop out onto the roof and try to see the view of the street below. (The fearless Julia Long, I later discovered on Facebook, realised this dream.)
When I came back things seem to have calmed down.
Sheila was reminding the women present that it was Eleanor Roosevelt who managed to get ‘sex’ included as a protected category at the United Nations in 1946, and pointing out that in most languages the word ‘gender’ doesn’t even exist.

“Sex is biology and it’s on the basis of biology that women are oppressed: it’s on the basis of biology that women have gained rights and become a protected category… the idea of gender arises from the oppression of women and cannot exist without it.”

Activists are very keen to see more women and children transition, said Jeffreys,  because ostensibly if children are doing it it can’t be about sex and if women are doing it, it can’t be about male fetishes.
This made total sense to me. The plethora of late transitioning males on Twitter, so concerned that kids’ gender identity should be respected, has always seemed strange. Wouldn’t it be great if these men were as concerned about children going hungry, missing education and living in sub-standard housing as they are about giving them access to hormone treatments & irreversible non-medical surgeries? But I digress.
Jeffreys pointed out that lesbians are not attracted to women because they are feminine or because they wear make-up, hair flick & walk with small steps but because they are women- biological women.
Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 04.08.43

Sheila Jeffreys by Michèle M

“As a lesbian feminist I am extremely aware of the need for the protection of the rights of lesbians- and gay men- internationally… these rights need to be separated off from the rights of heterosexual male cross dressers if the rights of lesbians and all other women are to be protected…. we are going to end up with the stereotypes as acted out by men for sexual purposes protected in national and international legal systems.”
In 2000 Jeffreys attended CEDAW – the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. She says that many religious organisations are able to attend because they have access to large amounts of money, yet there may be, for example, just one woman representing the whole of West Africa because of insufficient access to funding.
Until 2007 lesbian and gay organisations were unable to attend. Jeffreys attended one meeting where the church had brought along schoolboys who were sat at the back of a lesbian and gay talk, “clicking their rosaries with terror”. The idea that homosexuality was the result of men and women having the brains of the opposite sex mysteriously transplanted into their bodies has always been furiously rejected by the gay liberation movement and lesbian feminism.
The Yogyakarta Principles combined sexual orientation and gender identity so closely that they now have one short acronym which incorporates both: SOGI. This language is now being used all the time. With what result? Well, firstly, women are not in any way advantaged by this. As Jeffreys puts it:
“Lesbians in South Africa are relentlessly raped and murdered and the state ignores any responsibility, and right now we cannot campaign to support them without promoting the right of heterosexual male cross dressers to take over women’s spaces and opportunities.”
Jeffreys concluded by saying how important it is that women should attend the next CEDAW, if possible by joining a woman’s organisation that already challenges trans rights, which few do, and is an recognised NGO (non-government organisation) able to send representatives to CEDAW. Another option would be setting up an organisation of our own so we can apply for accreditation with CEDAW, which is not too complicated, and go there to challenge the trans-push. While the well-financially supported trans and gay organisations and churches find attending no problem, travelling to and staying in New York would be very expensive without funding.  In Europe, Jeffreys suggests we need to be lobbying our MPs and the women’s groups in the European Parliament.
“I’m open to many, many other suggestions,” she concluded, “because I think we are in an urgent situation.”
Bursts of applause and a cry of “I love you, Sheila!” greeted the conclusion of Jeffreys’ talk.
Anne Ruzlyo

When the applause had died down, Ruzylo took the microphone to announce the next speaker.

“Our next speaker is Nicole Smith. She is a student and feminist activist.”

 

 

 

 

Nicole Smith

 

Nicole Smith

Nicole Smith @Inconvenient Women – Michèle M

“The TERF had repeatedly maintained, in conversation, that transgender ideology is stuffed with such madness, nonsense, and contradictions, that (s)he admired the world in being so long deluded by it.”

1697, Smith told us, 20 year old Thomas Aikenhead became the last person in the UK to be executed for blasphemy. Now, she says, the idea of blasphemy is replaced with the idea of ‘hate speech’ when organisations wish to persecute someone whose speech they believe to be ‘unholy’. Jones pointed out the similarities in the passage from the indictment of Aikenhead and read it out, replacing the word ‘prisoner’ with ‘TERF’ and ‘scriptures’ with ‘transgender ideology’.
Nicole Smith
Nicole pointed out that Venice’s event in Bristol was the first event on this topic to go ahead in the advertised venue. She spoke of how Jenny Murray had been reprimanded by the BBC for her article entitled Be trans, be proud — but don’t call yourself a “real woman”’ .
According to the BBC, Smith reminded us, what women are is a ‘controversial topic’ for women to speak on. Any woman who criticises trans-ideology or the potential forthcoming changes to the Gender Recognition Act, is denounced in a manner reminiscent of the Harry Enfield sketch ‘Women Know your Limits’
Rachel Cohen of Stonewall had replied to Murray:  ‘They are women just like you and me… whether you’re trans or not your identity  is yours alone. I wouldn’t question your gender identity journey, Jenni, and in return I wouldn’t expect you to question mine or anyone else’s. What right do you have to do so?”
An argument constructed on the sense of a gender that is yours alone, says Smith, cannot be challenged because it is self-referential. She mentions non-binary YouTuber Ash crying on the phone to her mother as she comes out as trans; saying her identity goes ‘beyond clothes and roles’ and is ‘just like an internal sense’. Of course, her mother can’t dispute this; no-one can dispute this, in the same way that a Christian purporting to have a personal relationship with God cannot be challenged. The only evidence is their own conviction.
Currently to get a gender recognition certificate (GRC), you need to ‘live as’ your desired gender for two years and sign a form saying you intend to live that way forever. Children are supposed to be ‘consistent, insistent and persistent’ before they are diagnosed as ‘trans’. Changes to the act would mean that self declaration of identity is sufficient. Faith is all! Yet in theory, if it takes nothing to be transgender, surely the government doesn’t have to give anything to transgender people?
Smith calls the changes to the law “ill conceived”. If a resource is available to anyone who identifies as x, the resource is available to everyone. Gender Identity is a faith-based claim, evidenced only by your own conviction and like notions of the soul or the holy spirit, it is not scientifically verifiable.
Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 12.06.05

Nicole Smith – Michèle M

“The use of preferred pronouns is a dynamic involving tacit agreement on the part of the oppressed that the subjective interpretation, no matter how removed they are from our reality, are in fact correct…  to most women, cis is as onerous distortion of the truth as is Eve having come from Adam’s rib…  when you operate under faith you are immunised from standard methods of reason.”

“Together,” concluded Nicole, “we must resist the modern day scripture that is gender ideology.”
*****
After the claps and cheers that greeted the end of Nicole’s talk we had a short break before people were invited to speak from the floor.
“I know there are a number of women in this room who would like to ask some questions and speak,” said Anne, “if anybody would like to be on the live stream.. come up here.. please go through me, I will be quite strict but try to fit in as many women as possible.”
I should put in here that I haven’t been able to write about all the women who spoke in the second half of the evening. If you want to watch the livestream of the whole event, you can see it here.  Apologies to those I’ve left out. The power and commitment with which you spoke was inspiring.
Kate spoke first and expressed her admiration for Sheila Jeffreys. She spoke of the fetishisation of oppression and pornographic interest. SKate described herself as a ‘lifelong lesbian’ and she knew women who were lesbians who had decided to get married and lesbians who had been married before they became lesbians. She objected to the phrase ‘sexual orientation’ and claimed that the idea of ‘born this way’ had been developed to silence the church.
Mumbles of dissent came from the back of the room, but nothing discernible.

Magdalen Berns was introduced to cheers, interspersed with a few shouts from the back.

Magdalen Berns

Magdalen Berns – Michèle M

Magdalen Berns – Michèle M

Magdalen began speaking about having got in trouble for ‘safe space’ violations at Edinburgh University but was interrupted again.
“Lesbians! Sexual orientation!” called someone from the back, or at least that’s what it sounded like to me. I suspect it was Kat again, but I couldn’t be sure. It might have been ‘Lesbian isn’t a sexual orientation.”
“I’m not talking about that,” replied Magdalen, exasperated, when she was heckled for the third time. “Can you stop shouting at me? I’ve got a microphone and you haven’t, so I’m gonna be much louder than you!”
This was met with loud cheers from the audience, who were obviously hoping to hear what Magdalen had to say- and hear it they did.
IMG_7448.JPGBerns raised her voice so she could be heard over the rumblings at the back, and said that we need to be making connections with women all over the world, because there are massive numbers of women pushing against ‘this nonsense’.
She suggested that we need to find out what’s going on in their countries, and we need to unify women all over the world.  We mustn’t get picked off one by one: we need to make sure we are resisting internationally, using all kinds of media to get our message across and to act as a collective. She suggested we meet up locally more often, and set up local groups to fight trans-ideology together.
Scan 2

Lisa – Michèle M

Lisa spoke next. She said she felt that UK women are well placed to win this battle.  The laws we have concerning intersectionality are laws women demanded concerning violence and abuse and when women stand up and demand to be listened to, we are invincible.
“We already have the laws. We just need to make sure they’re fucking applied. Transactvism is narcissistic abuse.”
Bett
ina told us about ILAW (International Legal Action for Women), an new organisation, recently set up with a plan to stop the Human Rights Act being corrupted.

Stephanie Davies-Arai from Transgender Trend told how the replacement of the word ‘sex’ with ‘gender’  is being led by Stonewall in schools.

Scan 3 2

Stephanie Davis-Arai – Michèle M

Stephanie Davis-Arai – Michèle M

She spoke of how homosexuality is being defined by Stonewall and transgender groups as an old fashioned medical term – gay is now described as attraction to the same ‘gender’ rather than the same sex. In the Stonewall and GI schools’ resources and anti- bullying materials, sex is replaced by gender.
The erasure of biological sex is the erasure of the female sex because male is the default, & likewise homosexuality is erased but heterosexuality is not, as heterosexuality is the default.
This ideology is being led by Stonewall & the transgender youth ‘support groups’ springing up all over the country. In schools children are being indoctrinated into the idea, from the start, that whether you are a boy or a girl is
‘not a question of biology but a matter of an internal sense of feeling’.
She spoke of the material used to teach these ideas such as the genderbread person and the gender unicorn and the Allsorts Toolkit that promotes this ideology, and emphasised the importance of the accessibility of alternative resources.
Stephanie Davies-Arai

Stephanie Davies-Arai – Michèle M

Davies-Arai referred to the ‘tsunami of harassment, abuse and defamation online’ against her personally, and against Transgender Trend, when they released their schools pack (I wrote about this extensively here)
She noted that no actual body, not the Department of Education, not the Equality & Human Right Commission, no teaching union nor human rights organisation, has actually denounced the Transgender Trend resource, despite concerted attempts by activist organisations to get them to do so. The reason for that, she suggests,  is that it clearly explains the difference between sex and gender and nobody can argue against what it says.
When the Crowdfunder was started, the harassment and complaints increased. She thanked those who wrote to Crowdfunder asking for the project to be reinstigated. After six days of investigation,

‘… we were cleared of hate. There is not hate in this document, there is only truth. This was a massive victory, for truth and reality, and the protection of children.’

Stephanie concluded by thanking those who had supported the resource and saying- to resounding cheers- that the money raised  from the Crowdfunder, over £10,000 to date, would help get the resource pack into every school in England.
*********
Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 03.21.52.png

Posie Parker, self described as ‘blunt, brutal and belligerent’ spoke about the importance of free speech and the right of free expression.

Posie Parker

Posie Parker – Michèle M

“Americans under Trump have more freedom to speak than you do.. objective justice has been sacrificed at the altar of the individual. ‘I’m offended’ is the new shut up, don’t speak, be silent. If we have no right to offend we lose the ability to speak freely, to share and evolve important ideas.”

Parker pointed out that organisations like Mermaids and GIRES want the law to be used to stop ‘misgendering’. This means that in theory a woman could be charged with a crime for objecting to seeing a man’s penis in a female changing room. She said she had been told by the Somerset police that a male police officer who identifies as a woman could search a female suspect. She suggested we contact local forces and demand FOIs to see what the policy of our local force is.
“Beneath this mask of progressive, liberal thinking, hides misogyny.”
IMG_7745Posie spoke of the social consequences and disciplinary hearings that are so often the result of women speaking the truth. She suggested that we go to our children’s schools and ask what they’re teaching; ask our local police forces, local councils and local hospitals how much money they’ve spent on diversity training.
“The road to tyranny begins with small steps. Controlling language is the first, second is your thoughts and before you know it much of the truth we know will remain unspoken.”
*****
Joani Walsh

Joani Walsh – Michèle M

Joani Walsh raised the subject of the announcement that the British Film Institute planned to use transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf to headline their women’s festival (boos) and suggested that we protest it (cheers).
Elizabeth, an environmentalist, spoke about big pharma and oestrogenic pollution, due not only to trans, but HRT & the pill. She spoke of various other hormones that are endangering the oceans.
Sheila was asked if she had anything else to say. She said that the phrase ‘sexual orientation’ was a problematic phrase and dangerous because anything- for example paedophilia-  can be added on to it.
When asked what we should say instead, Sheila suggested that ‘lesbian and gay’ worked perfectly well.
Sheila also pointed out that lesbian & gay right organisations now get huge amounts of money from promoting transgenderism and their focus has been diverted: now they can’t give up supporting or promoting  trans ideology because their funding will be cut.
“We have nothing but our rage, which is going to have to be good enough for the moment.” she concluded.
Someone mentioned that Mumsnet had brought out a list of phrases and words that would no longer be allowed and speculated as to how it would be possible to get round this. TIM and TIF had been banned, although so have the words cis and TERF. Sheila replied that TIM seemed a perfectly respectable acronym to her, and that the shutdown showed the power of patriarchy to control our language.
“Get the L out!” shouted a voice from the back. “Get the L out of LGBT!”
A woman spoke who had been part of the mass resignation from the Labour party.  She said Labour had phoned her and asked her to reconsider her resignation. When she told them she had raised thousands of pounds for them in the past but had left over their support for the changes to the GRA, they put the phone down on her. She spoke about how her own body dysphoria was a result of repeated child sexual abuse. She said she could understand how women could want to renounce womanhood and spoke of the barrage of hate and abuse that people who are openly gender critical receive.
Claire spoke about the Girl Guides and how a boy who identifies as a girl will be included in the Guides but a non-binary identified girl would be directed to join another organisation. “We shouldn’t allow this organisation to turn these girls away!”  She pointed out that male trans-identified leaders can take on all the female role in the organisation, including overnight stays and chaperoning, and how this should be a safeguarding issue.
Another woman asked if anyone wanted to buy her badges.
‘There’s always one,” quipped Anne.
“Well, I’m skint,” she laughed.
The Conservatives are as guilty as Labour of supporting the transagenda, another said.
Another suggested that the media and elite culture would soon discover how terrible some of these organisations are and that hopefully our laws will prove fit for purpose and protect children.
A woman who worked in Brussels as a feminist lobbyist in 1991 said at that time the Labour Party Women’s Officer became a Gender Officer & EU Women’s Rights Unit was changed to the European Women Gender Equality Unit – and within a year both posts were filled by men. These men had no shame, no conception that this was a problem.
This ongoing change of words is another opportunity for men to get women to shut up.
Another spoke about ‘deadnaming’ and of a feminist campaign in America to stop any man who’s committed a crime against women or children changing his gender. This was met with cheers from many, although to me it seemed a bit of a double standard: gender identity shouldn’t be a prize for good behaviour, nor a reward to be handed out for not molesting people.
Someone asked Sheila if she would go to CEDAW. again She said she’d love to go but women really need to go as part of organisations. She said there were many older women working there, some in their 80s and 90,s and that we very much needed to be represented.
“We have got to do it and we have got to organise.”
A man said he was struck by the constraint on the use of language made it ‘so difficult to articulate safely and accurately your own ideas’ and how it was something he was really going to go home and think about.
Lily Maynard

‘Inconvenient Women’ Venice Allan & Anne Ruzylo

Anne Ruzylo spoke of how she resigned as Women’s Officer Labour Party Women’s Officer; despite rumours, she assured us she wasn’t sacked for ‘transphobia’.

Ive never been phobic and there’s no such thing as trans, so I can’t be guilty of that”.
She commented on how, after having resigned, she was contacted and asked to chair the women’s forum meeting on Friday as the now officer couldn’t make it.
Ruzylo spoke of the high levels of sexual abuse in our culture, and how many young women think that transitioning will help save them from this abuse.  She spoke of how Stonewall has always been very corporate but now they all give each other awards. Anne told us she now likes to nickname Stonewall the ‘clitorati’.
“I’ve never seen a hierarchy of lesbians before in my life, if you’ve got money and power you’re put on this little pedestal.”
She suggested that in most LGBT organisations it’s all about the money; there’s a huge investment in trans, it’s all about ‘power and men reinventing themselves’.
“Let’s get the L out of LGBT – let’s get the T out quite frankly, I don’t see why we have to move, it only used to be LG, so let’s get the T out.”
“At the end of last week,” Anne told us, “Myself and some others discovered that councils up and down the country had slipped in gender rather than sex in protected characteristics.”
She urged people to check their own local council policies & write and challenge them. These policies can have devastating effects for some women. If women see refuges are ‘trans inclusive’ they’re stuck. They may not feel safe because if they go to a refuge they’re likely to be alongside a man. Anne told us that for 8 years, Cambridge’s policy has included gender not sex: this isn’t acceptable.
Finally, Anne paid tribute to Venice, who, she said, “does everything on her own & it’s absolutely remarkable.”
Venice said “I think we’ve had a great meeting; I think we’ve had enough. When the livestream goes off I’ll tell you where were going if you’re still up for a drink and a chat. Thank you so much to the venue…  thank you to the women who are here tonight who were here at our first meeting on Speakers Corner. A lot of people on Mumsnet say you have to be brave to come to one of our meetings- I don’t think we’re brave, I just think we’re doing the right thing & we’ve got to keep on doing it…. we need feminist networks in every corner of the country and all over the world.”

“We’ve had seven meetings since September” she concluded, “and tonight there were no protest with activists. We did the meeting, we protected the venue… I’m really pleased.”

She turns to Nicole “What was it you said in your speech? You can’t punch all of us! Goodnight!”

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 03.56.45.png
***********
IMG_7738.JPG
Michèle M spent most of the talk sketching while she listened. I was really glad she’d agreed to do some more sketches for my blog, following on from her excellent work at Transgenderism and the War on Women in parliament earlier this year. Below is a selection of audience members from her brilliant drawings.
Lily Maynard

Inconvenient Women 3 – Michèle M

So finally, I give you a toast:

To inconvenient women everywhere! Long may our voices be heard!”

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Transgender Trend – raising money for resource packs; standing up to bullies.

Transgender Trend was established in 2015, by a group of parents who questioned the current trans-narrative. Over the last few years it has grown into a well-known and respected organisation with a strong ethical and empathic foundation. Although considered controversial by many of those who would support the transitioning of children, Transgender Trend is emphatic that there is nothing hateful or phobic about its position.

We believe that transgender people deserve the same civil and human rights as all of us and should not face discrimination. As the term ‘phobic’ literally means ‘irrational fear’ we want to make it very clear that we are not afraid of, or prejudiced against, transgender people in any way.”

So who are Transgender Trend? Well, the best way to find out is to visit their website, of course. Read what they have to say and decide for yourself.

We are a growing network of parents, teachers, other professionals and academics.” says spokeswoman Stephanie Davies-Arai.  “We are the mouthpiece for the large and growing numbers who are dismayed by the sudden introduction of a non evidence-based approach to children in schools, without any consultation.”

Transgender Trend was concerned that the schools packs produced by transgender and LGBT organisations promoted the new ‘affirmation’ and social transition model, which has been shown to increase persistence of gender dysphoria in children.

The Allsorts ‘Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit’, for example, co-written by trans-identified Ryan ‘teddy bear’ Gingell and Sam Beal in 2014, and updated in 2017, is used by many schools in Brighton. The pack claims that children ‘under the trans umbrella’ may not just identify as boys or girls, but can be ‘both male and female (this may be at the same time or over time)’ or even ‘have a gender identity that we don’t yet have words to describe’. It suggests that 5 year olds may be given ‘scripts’ to repeat if questioned while deciding which toilets they wish to use. It infers that teachers may have a responsibility to provide SEN kids with required ‘gendered’ clothing; possibly even behind the backs of their parents. It suggests that pupils who are boys one day or girls on another could wear badges to signal to the teacher which pronouns everyone is required to use that day. It says staff may need to use judgement to decide if bullying is homophobic or transphobic, but must be ‘careful not to under record transphobic bullying’ – in fact ‘anyone who challenges the gendered expectations of their natal or assigned sex can be subjected to transphobia’. The pack writers claim that the Equality Act supports the idea that where sex education classes are segregated, trans-identified children should be able to choose which class to attend. They claim that ‘trans’ children should be able to choose which changing rooms to use for PE: if a girl feels uncomfortable changing with a boy ’it would not be appropriate to remove the trans pupil from the changing rooms’. Rather the girl who feels uncomfortable should be moved. The writers of the pack are under the illusion that the Equality Act supports this. It does not.

The Allsorts toolkit is a muddled, misguided and confused document, that never really touches on dealing with the needs of the non-trans children in the class, or creating an environment that is comfortable for everyone. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself. I WANT you to read it, and come to your own, educated decision.

Under the circumstances, it isn’t surprising that by 2017 it was decided that something more egalitarian, something slightly more grounded in reality, something that truly embraced diversity was needed. Transgender Trend was up to the task.  In February 2018, after months of work, TGT released their own schools pack.

Lily Maynard transgender trend

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 23.24.09The TGT pack was the Marmite of the month: parents and teachers worldwide sang its praises, while magazines like Pink News, organisations like Stonewall, and transactivists accused it of being a work of hatred that would literally cause young people to kill themselves.

The transactivists lobby attempted to whip up a media frenzy and turn TGT into a modern-day folk devil: I wrote about the ensuing furore in my article ‘Bin it! Ban it! Shred it!’ here.

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 02.00.02

Luckily, despite transactivists claiming that irreversible harm could be done if anyone so much as read the pack, enough rational and respectable people were impressed that its success was guaranteed, and in the fifteen weeks since its release the Transgender Trend schools pack has been downloaded nearly 6,000 times, by parents and educators all over the globe.

 

 

Useful and easy as downloads are, being able to hold paper in your hands and share it with others by post or in face-to-face conversation is invaluable.

TGT began working out how much it would cost to print paper copies of the pack and distriblute them to schools throughout the UK.

According to the Department of Education, there were 23,528 schools in England in 2017. 3,408 of those are state-funded secondary schools.

‘We want to get a pack to every school that has requested one and every parent who has asked for a pack for their child’s school,” explains Stephanie Davies-Arai. “We have been swamped with requests from all over the country,”

transgender trend

Everyone who works with Transgender Trend does so voluntarily. There are no government grants, no allowances for travels to meetings, seminars or training courses. There are no multi-millionaires sponsoring their work. The cost of producing and distributing the packs would inevitably be thousands of pounds. It seemed that it wouldn’t be possible to get a pack to everyone who wanted them… until someone suggested a Crowdfunder.

Crowdfunder helps people fund business ideas, charities, community groups, sports clubs and political movements. “Crowdfunder is available to use for anyone with an idea that matters. You can be a social enterprise, business, charity, community group or individual – everyone’s welcome!”

It seemed the perfect place to collect funds from those who had often pledged their support to the organisation, and on the 25th May 2018, three months after the schools pack was released as a pdf document, the Transgender Trend Crowdfunder went live.

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 02.13.39

The response to the crowdfunder was incredible. In less than 48 hours, the fund had been donated over a quarter of the £10,000 it hoped to raise. Transgender Trend’s crowdfunder page was swamped with messages of support.

Screenshot_2018-05-27-16-24-35

Screenshot_2018-05-27-16-23-47

Screenshot_2018-05-27-16-23-30

 

It seemed that the necessary money would be raised to start producing paper copies of the packs, with support also coming in on Twitter and other social media.

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 04.21.10

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 04.20.30

But certain transactivists were less than pleased by the support the project was receiving. Twitter was again awash with fury, wild accusations and inaccuracies.

The fragrant, ‘non-binary’ Owl, of course, had something to say. The pack is just dangerous bigotry disguised as concern: but luckily, Owl is so very special as to be able to see through it right away!

 

Screenshot_2018-06-01-08-19-51

One fiercely pro-transition mother of a trans-identified child, who used to work voluntarily as Mermaids’ marketing manager, was especially vocal about her feelings, casting aspersions that some might consider libelous (but that’s another story). She also perpetuates the lie that the pack contravenes the Equality Act.  It’s almost as if some people believe that just saying something often enough will make it true…

Screenshot_2018-05-27-16-58-46

“I’m sure the person who donated £1 would be thrilled to be called a powerful financial backer,” observed one supporter of the project.

 

Screenshot_2018-05-30-18-59-17

 

Screenshot_2018-05-27-16-55-47

Screenshot_2018-05-27-16-59-37

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 03.11.10Personally, I donated twenty quid. I’m privileged enough to be a position where that won’t adversely affect my family’s budget for the week, but I hardly think it puts me on a par with the multi-billionaire, late-transitioning man who now goes by the name of Jennifer Pritzker and has donated millions of pounds to the cause of transgender children and their transition.

 

 

Screenshot_2018-06-01-13-05-33

Screenshot_2018-05-29-09-12-16

Screenshot_2018-05-28-02-43-43

Screenshot_2018-06-01-10-03-57

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 03.43.05

Um. What? Who hates gay people? Who pays people to hate gay people? What has that got to do with this? Pinatas? I’m so confused.

 

 

Screenshot_2018-06-01-08-12-45

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 03.53.07

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 03.52.00

 

I could go on with these Tweets, but you probably get the idea. A campaign was quickly organised to mass-report Transgender Trend to Crowdfunder, and on Tuesday 29th May, Transgender Trend received this email.

“Dear Transgender Trend,

I am getting in touch today because we have received a high number of reports from the Crowdfunder Community about your project Transgender Schools Resource Pack. The majority of these reports have reported that the project is in contravention of our terms and conditions:

2.1.2 We have specific rules regarding the types of Projects that you can post on Crowdfunder.co.uk. Please see our Projects and Rewards Guidelines which contain these rules and form part of our Terms.

The particular guideline which these reports are referring to is the following:
 
What’s not appropriate:

– Offensive material – this means any hate speech [or pornographic material].

We take reports of this nature very seriously, and in light of this, the project has now entered our review process. As part of this in process the project will be hidden from search results on the website, pending review. This process will take up to three days and there will be three possible outcomes:

1. The project will be allowed to continue to run for it’s full duration.
2. The project will be closed and any money raised so far will be collected by you, the project owner.
3. The project will be closed and the supporters refunded.

We hope that you understand that our guidelines are in the best interest of Crowdfunder’s community, and as such is it our duty to uphold them.

All the best,

Katie Austin
Customer Experience

The crowdfunder has been suspended. At the time of writing, Transgender Trend still aren’t sure what will happen next; if the crowdfunder will be reinstated and allowed to run its course, or the money raised so far returned to the donors.

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 02.12.44

The Haters were less than happy with what happened next. The campaign to shut down the project backfired. Scores, if not hundreds, of supporters have written or emailed Crowdfunder in support of Transgender Trend.

“I was going to donate later today. Is there a way of donating directly?” asked one parent on Mumsnet“My donation has just doubled because I’m pretty passed (sic) off.”

Another parent posted the email they’d sent to Crowdfunder:

“…the aim of this crowdfunder is simply to fund producing printed copies of information for schools to help them support gender non conforming children and trans children alongside all other pupils. It has been produced in consultation with teachers, child protection and welfare professionals and lawyers.
It would be very sad if you allowed the extreme activism of a small minority to stand in the way of fund raising for this excellent cause.”

A third had this to say:
“I can only imagine that you haven’t read the pack or you would see how respectful it is of all students. It is also important to remember that many children ( my own nephew included) desist from a transgender identity if not affirmed, and grow into happy, well adjusted gay kids.”

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 04.08.19

The Times ran a piece on June 1st, exposing the bullying the project had been subjected to.

Transgender Trend, wrote Andrew Gilligan, is considering taking legal action against activists for claiming that the resource pack is “transphobic”, included “hate speech” and was “a modern edition of Mein Kampf”.

 

More people than ever, angered by the bullying tactics and the lies, began to donate via paypal and within a few days not only had the fund crossed half way to its target, but downloads of the pack were peaking again.

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 03.58.20

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 04.03.20

 

I asked Transgender Trend if they had anything to add before I published this article, and Stephanie Davies-Arai made this statement:

“We are not just a small group of parents. We are a growing network of parents, teachers, other professionals and academics. We are the mouthpiece for the large and growing numbers who are dismayed by the sudden introduction of a non evidence-based approach to children in schools, without any consultation. The accusation of ‘hate’ is being directed towards the very people who are most invested in the protection of the welfare of all children.

We are not cowed by the vitriol directed towards us, it only serves to strengthen our conviction that such people should not be involved with directing policies affecting children.

We are the only organisation advocating a more cautious approach towards children who are confused or distressed about their sex and, contrary to misconceptions, our resource has been legally checked to ensure it complies with EA2010 (The Equality Act).

Our supporters can rest assured that we will continue our work no matter how many attempts are made to silence us.”

 

Fighting words indeed.

Anyone wanting to give to the fund can do so here by donating via paypal or directly into the Transgender Trend bank account.

Anyone wanting to download the Transgender Trend Schools Pack and read it for themselves can do so here.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 14.03.16

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments