About one year ago, I became a trans rights activist, then aged 68, I guess it is very fair to say I was very late to the party, but things happen for a reason.
Three people inspired me.
My very closest friend Laura is an LGBT+ ally. No, I lie; she is more than an ally and friend. She is my "adopted daughter" and just about the most inspirational human being I have ever met.
Then there is Liz Truss, more commonly known in the circles I now mix in as "TERF Truss." Her speech which threatened Trans Rights on the 22nd of April 2020, just did it for me. It became clear that hundreds of thousands of vulnerable and disadvantaged people were likely to be increasingly more vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Then there was a guy that many people may not have heard of - Harvey Milk, whose speech in 1978 still resonates in my head pretty much every day - but let's end this blog with his speech because his words are as powerful and true today as they were some 43 years ago.
As part of my activism, I decided to build a website and tell people I was trans.
In truth, I did not have to do either and certainly, for me living "in stealth" was an easy option.
For years I have been lucky enough "to pass," and with a feminine figure and a voice to match, many a woman in a shop would come up to me for a casual chat. It is one of the things that I miss so much since COVID19 struck - going to the charity shops in particular - the lengthy conversations, woman to woman, were so uplifting and always ended in a smile. Men do not do that!
Poor gender-criticals, little do they realise that they will see every day (and possibly know) people like me, my sisters and not EVER know they are trans!
Her next door, for instance.
Is she trans?
Heaven forbid - scary!
But in recent weeks, there has been a fundamental change in the tone of the 'Gender War.' A new language has been adopted that has deeply upset the gender-critical and the allies that follow them.
To be precise, just two words. "Nazi" and "Anti-Semitic."
So now this blog starts to touch very sensitive ground - and for the gender-critical, I will attempt to explain where the "trans lobby" is coming from.
Being called a Nazi is not nice, and that is NOT what is being implied personally.
Responsible for killing over 17 million people plus causing suffering to millions of others - Nazi's rightly should be remembered as the pits of humanity.
Only a tiny number of trans people say the 'gender crits are seeking to exterminate all trans people, and I am most certainly not one of them.
But what I suspect the majority of trans people involved in the 'Gender War' are saying that the methods used to create fear and mistrust of trans people have the same methodology as Nazi's used against the Jews and indeed others - gay people, for example.
Fear and mistrust are being spread by newspapers like The Times, Telegraph, Spectator, and to a slightly less degree, The Daily Mail, The Observer and The Guardian.
Invariably every single day, The Times runs an anti-trans story often politicising trans people into a group by using phrases like "trans ideology" or "gender ideology." The use of such phrases immediately implies significant bias and often transphobia. As mentioned, The Times are not alone, though they are the worst, thanks to one owner Rupert Murdoch, whose global media empire repeats the same anti-trans rhetoric worldwide.
Transgender people do not have a clue what "trans ideology" or "gender ideology" is.
So let's be clear here.
There is no such thing as 'trans ideology' or 'gender ideology' - just trans people!
Many well known gender-critical academics do the same as the newspapers - spread a message of hate, fear and politicisation, often doing their utmost to spilt the T from LGB. More to the point, many of them seem to be unaware of our history together, for example, when T's were fighting for L's to be accepted within feminism some decades ago.
So I repeat - no one is calling gender-crits Nazi's - we are just drawing attention that the methods being used by some in your camp ARE the same as the Nazi's used in the early 1930s at the early stage of their campaign principally against Jewish people.
And then we get to the second of those sensitive words - 'Anti-Semitic'.
Now the fact that Nancy Kelley mentioned this in a recent interview has been wildly distorted by the anti-trans press and media. Being anti-Semitic is rightly stigmatised - it is not acceptable in any form.
This is what Nancy said:
"With all beliefs including controversial beliefs, there is a right to express those beliefs publicly and where they're harmful or damaging, whether it's anti-Semitic beliefs, gender-critical beliefs, beliefs about disability - we have legal systems that are put in place for people who are harmed by that".
So did Nancy Kelley say that anti-Semitism and Transphobia are the same - which is effectively what the media is accusing her of?
No, she did not.
She simply said some people have controversial beliefs, and if they create harm to people, trans people like me can get redress by taking legal action. The judgement in the day-old Maya Forstater legal case said EXACTLY the same as Nancy Kelley. In fact, in this case, the judgment went out of its way to emphasise this very point - TWICE!
But perhaps we need to look at the true definition of anti-Semitism, and to be blunt, it simply means the hostility or prejudice of Jewish people.
And the definition of transphobia?
The dislike or prejudice of transgender people.
Smell the coffee?
Not a lot of difference.
Hostility. Dislike. Prejudice.
And this point has been made in other articles, for example, by the Jewish writer Nick Henderson-Mayo writing in the Jewish News the same day as the Forstater judgement was handed down, which headlined "Anti-trans rhetoric is not so different as antisemitism."
And while some are kicking off about Stonewall representing T people, let's also state what Stonewalls job is.
It is to represent a group of LGBT+ people who are disadvantaged and vulnerable.
Thirty years ago, it was gay people. Stonewall has pretty much confined the issues that gay folk had to tolerate to the history books. There are 45 gay MP's, for goodness sake - we have the gayest parliament in the world! Job done!
But where are the trans?
Those vulnerable trans?
Well, maybe next year?
Sorry, gender-critical people (and I readily admit, thanks to Twitter, that I know three or four GC folks who ARE decent, who are not transphobic and I would class as friends) - but what Nancy said is TRUE, and to be honest, she could have gone further, just as Nick did my comparing the rhetorics.
Transphobia and antisemitism are similar - BOTH FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION, and that is the point that Nancy made - Nick, however, took it further and linked the two rhetorics.
Nick, however, is not the CEO of Stonewall, so he will not feel the wrath (and lies) of the anti-trans press!
But what of Harvey?
Harvey Milk was murdered for his beliefs and gay rights activism back in 1979.
Murdered for being openly gay but remembered for this speech - and when recalling these words, I change one word 'gay' to 'trans' to be inspired; to be a proud 'trans rights activist' - and I will remain so - until we are no longer vulnerable and disadvantaged.
“We must continue to speak out. And, most importantly, most importantly, every gay person must come out.
As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends, if indeed they are your friends.
You must tell your neighbours. You must tell the people you work with.
You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. Once they realise that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and for all.”
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph.
With thanks to my Co-Editors for their valuable input into this difficult article - especially Paul who is Jewish.
I do call to end all 'name calling' and to stop the spread of hate on social media.
My adopted daughter's name is changed to protect her anonymity.
Credit to the song "Send in the Clowns."