Trans Activists To Protest Gay Dinner Over Journo Nod


British gay group Stonewall may have egg on its face this Thursday when trans activists protest the organization’s eponymous awards at the V&A Museum.

Activists are annoyed over the group’s nomination of lesbian journalist Julie Bindel, who, in 2004, wrote an article in which she pitted her feminism against trans rights.

Wrote Bindel:

Twenty years ago, when I worked on an advice line for lesbians, I would take call after call from self-hating, suicidal women who had experienced horrific homophobia. Thanks to feminism and gay liberation, that situation has altered radically. What a disgrace, therefore, that our legacy amounts to this: if you are unhappy with the constraints of your gender, don’t challenge them. If you are tired of being stared at for snogging your same-sex partner in the street, have a sex change. Where are those who go berserk about the ethics of genetic engineering yet seem not to worry about major, irreversible surgery on healthy bodies? Also, those who “transition” seem to become stereotypical in their appearance – fuck-me shoes and birds’-nest hair for the boys; beards, muscles and tattoos for the girls. Think about a world inhabited just by transsexuals. It would look like the set of Grease.

Bindel later spoke at a panel and suggested “sex change operations constitute unnecessary mutilation.”

With Bindel’s nomination, trans activists and their allies are coming out to fight the “notoriously transphobic writer” whose work, some say, mirrors that of the Christian right. Stonewall, meanwhile, chalks the protest up to a “publicity stunt.” Even if that’s the case, it’s working. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but this doesn’t look good.

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15 Comments

  • ChicagoJimmy

    Sad that she feels the need to beat others up to justify her own experience.

  • Darth Paul

    I have to agree with the critics- she sounds an awful lot like ignorant religious types who seizes on the most visible aspects of the trans community (drag queens and kings) and think trans identity is about not-being-able-to-hack-it as a homo. Very divisive and uncool…

  • Paul Raposo

    I know I’m going to get flamed for this, but I’ve seen this as all too common among feminist lesbians. They seem to hate that some men want to become women; and some women are happier as men. As if, how dare MtoF’s want to be female without being born as such and how dare FtoM’s want to leave the sisterhood. Camille Paglia is a prime example.

    Where is Ash when we need some lesbian input?

  • Paul Raposo

    Although I should point out that its not always lesbians. Remember a few years back when the Lilith Fair refused to allow a aMtoF trans perform, because according to TPTB she was not a “real” woman? Sadly, Sarah McLachlan went along with that unseemly discrimination.

  • Darth Paul

    Paul Raposo, I don’t think it’s fair to lump “feminist” (aren’t most of them feminists of some sort?) lesbians together. Sure, the orthodoxy (which, incidentally, Camille Paglia actively detests) is stuck in 1980 with the Female Victim/Male Tyrant mentality fully entrenched, but the most refreshing and compelling feminist authors of late are younger queer females who think well beyond that sad status quo. They are definitely the future of feminism.

    I’m glad, though, that you cited Sarah McL since it’s the heterosexual feminists who largely have become the “old girls club” which pitifully imitate male sexism and chauvinism by reciprocation and do little more but whine, complain, and fashion their once-noble cause into sad marketing twaddle.

  • Jack

    Might I remind you all that she also protests vehemently that homosexuality IS a choice. She claims this is the case for her – ‘I grew up wanting to be a lesbian…’, and insists that it also the case for everyone else. And therefore we should all stop lying to ourselves and the world, and just admit we picked our sexuality deliberately.

    A sweeping generalisation which is as insulting and degrading as it is ignorant and short-sighted.

  • Jennifer

    I’m so sick of people beating up on trannies. This woman sounds like the biggest bully in the schoolyard.

  • LappyDappy

    >>She claims this is the case for
    >>her – ‘I grew up wanting to be a lesbian…’

    How does she know that in her case, pubescent biology and desire didn’t coincide?

  • nikko

    Yeah, but her point on trannies as looking like their gender stereotype is right on-exagerrated females and he-males. Though to be fair, she almost looks like the stereotype mannish lesbian(ugly).

  • a.

    that’s not really true though. i have a number of trans friends and colleagues, and the majority of them are the opposite of gender stereotypes. My two roomies were t-girls who were soft butch or boi butch dykes, and i have trans guy friends who identify as feminine men. Most trans folks I know are queer-identified (bi or gay – clearly not transitioning to appear straight). Obviously that doesn’t speak for everyone, but these less gender conforming trans people seem to be invisible sometimes. Part of the reason for that is they often pass super well, people don’t realize they are trans, maybe because they aren’t the steretype of what trans people are supposed to be like. Another factor I think in why these stereotypes exist, is many trans people feel an immense pressure to ‘pass’, and I think that sometimes pushes t-girls for example to wear more makeup, long hair and feminine clothing because it hurts when people see them as anything but female. Maybe in a future when it’s more accepted for people to express their gender in less strict ways, the pressure on all of us to look a certain way will be less acute.

  • nikko

    Thanks, A. Good feedback.

  • M Shane

    To envision a world surrounded by tranies is as stupid as she is. The people who require sex changes to be happy should have them. I am gay but am perfectly happy with my equipment. I will say that I would be pissed as ahell if someone tried to jinx my sexual choices. We need to be happy as we are best suited to be on this earth as long as we don’t harm others.

  • CitizenGeek

    Ugh, what are Stonewall UK thinking?!

  • Emma

    Another point about the stereotype of the uber-fem M-to-Fs and uber-butch F-to-Ms is that if you happen to be getting treatment from the NHS you’re pressured by the doctors to conform to these stereotypes to prove to them that you’re serious about being a woman/man. Because many gender psychiatrists are late middle-aged men who haven’t a clue about what it is to be trans aside from what they’ve read in the books and are still from a generation where the doctor knew best and the atient did what they were told or else. The pattern is starting to change with younger doctors coming in who are more willing to listen to their patients and even some actually trans people becoming gender specialists (although only doing private stuff as far as I know). Things are changing, but it’s a slow difficult process and people like Bindel perpetuating unhelpful stereotypes isn’t helping anything.

  • 3genders

    Stonewall or Brickwall? Both sound the same when you try talking to them.

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