Written by Renee Gerlich
Recent incidents of lesbian and gay erasure at Auckland Pride show how
transactivism harms LGB rights and promotes stereotypes rather than a sexuality.
In January, Auckland Pride board member Phylesha Brown-Acton told “self-obsessed gay male muppets” to “take your moral compass and shove it up the hole that you can’t seem to keep closed.”
Brown-Acton was ostensibly ranting in response to opposition expressed by Pride members to the announcement, made in November, that police uniforms are now banned at the Pride parade. “Your gay white male privilege,” Brown-Acton claimed in Facebook, “has been disruptive, extremist and abusive to the lives of trans people’s way before PAPA came along and started addressing the inequities of your abuse.”
It should no longer come as a surprise to see this sort of homophobia coming either from men who identify as “transwomen” like Brown-Acton, or from the state and corporate-backed trans lobby that Auckland’s Pride board is a part of along with its UK and US counterparts, Stonewall and the Human Rights Campaign. Brown-Acton’s comments represent an escalation of homophobic attacks that have been a part of Pride’s modus operandi since the beginning, but have been largely directed at lesbians to date. Since Pride supporters have received little criticism for their anti-lesbian positions, it makes sense that the board would begin to extend these attacks to gay males. As feminist historian Marilyn French has written, “the assertion of female inferiority prepares the ground for men’s subjection, because the principle of superiority ramifies endlessly.”
Many New Zealanders are aware of Labour politician Louisa Wall, whose bill legalised same-sex marriage in 2013, exclaiming to uproarious applause at a November Pride meeting that she does not want “any f—ing TERFs at the Pride Parade.” Wall makes no secret of the fact she is referring to lesbian feminists. She made the statement after the publication of an article critical of the slur “TERF” by lesbian journalist Rachel Stewart and after publishing a press release demonising the newly formed Lesbian Rights Alliance Aotearoa (LRAA) with the dramatic projection, “HATE is HATE. It is ugly and intolerable!”
Pride’s hostility to lesbians sparked a series of lesbian feminist protests at the 2018 parades in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and US. In February, I joined Charlie Montague from the LRAA to sneak through the barricades at Auckland Pride with a banner reading ‘Stop Giving Kids Sex Hormones / Protect Lesbian Youth.’ In July, a British collective including Anti-Porn author Julia Long, called “Get the L Out,” followed suit. These women brought banners to London Pride that said, ‘Lesbian = Female Homosexual,’ ‘Lesbian Not Queer’ and ‘Transactivism Erases Lesbians.’ They lay down in front of the parade, bringing it to a halt. Other protests took place at parades in Melbourne, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Belfast and Brighton.
Lesbians have been protesting conversion therapy in two forms. The first is known as the “cotton ceiling” – this is the demand that lesbians accept men into their dating pools. The demand is made by trans activists in the name of inclusivity and validating the identities of so-called transwomen, but the reference to women’s underwear as a barrier to be penetrated in the struggle for men’s self-realisation
The second form of conversion therapy that lesbians have been protesting is the increasing pressure on lesbians to identify as “transmen”, or in other words, as heterosexual males themselves. In January, Julia Long from “Get the L Out,” travelled to Washington DC alongside Posie Parker and others. Long and Parker disrupted a meeting at the Human Rights Campaign, where Long addressed national press secretary Sarah McBride (a man), saying, “Sarah, yesterday, I listened to mothers weeping over the fact that their teenage daughters have had their breasts sliced off and radical hysterectomies involving removing their womb and ovaries – would you like to speak to those mothers?”
Sexualities are based on sex, but gender identities are based on stereotypes. They have nothing to do with same-sex attraction, in fact
they undermine and erase homosexuals.
Long was referring to women she met with at and around a January 28 event, at which Women’s Liberation Radio News reporter Julia Beck spoke. “Today many young girls are told that they are ‘born in the wrong body’ if they do not embrace femininity,” Beck said. ‘Femininity’ is
“It used to be that if you did not follow traditional gender roles, being the ‘perfect pretty princess’ or ‘mean macho boy’, then conservatives would try to change your personality to match your body,” Beck said.
“But now it is worse – liberals are trying to change your body to match your personality . . . Teenage girls are binding their breasts, shooting up foreign hormones and undergoing dangerous, invasive surgeries . . . We are losing an entire generation of sisters to this madness.”
Indeed, a Yale University study has found that up to 80 per cent – the great majority – of children diagnosed with gender identity disorder transpire to be lesbian, homosexual, or bisexual later in life.
Beck further points out that despite the “LGBTQIA+” pretence of diversity, transgenderism is the agenda of today’s corporate and state-backed “queer” movement. This movement is represented by the Human Rights Campaign in the United States, Stonewall in the UK, and New Zealand’s Pride Parade. Its now-notorious alphabet soup has succeeded in misleading many people, who assume that Pride is a tribute to historic gay liberation marches, when it is not. “It is unfortunate that so many people are truly confused about gender and sex,” Beck says.
It used to be that if you did not follow traditional gender roles, then conservatives would try to change your personality to match your body. But now it is worse – liberals are trying to change your body to match your personality.
“So I’d like to break it down right now. There are only three sexualities: homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual. All the hip, new identities in the alphabet soup like “non-binary,” “gender fluid,” “pansexual,” are not actually sexualities. Neither is “transgender.”
“Yet everything is about the “T” now – entirely eclipsing the L, G and B. The T is diametrically opposed to the first three letters of the acronym, as especially to the L. Sexualities are based on sex, but gender identities are based on stereotypes. They have nothing to do with same-sex attraction, in fact they undermine and erase homosexuals.”
Transgenderism is incompatible with gay, and certainly lesbian, rights. This has been clear to women for a long time now, while men have been using extraordinary power to pressure and intimidate women into compliance.
Since there has been scarce public opposition to this misogynist bullying and homophobia, gay men will increasingly become targets also. Already in 2018, the Auckland Pride programme included KIWIFIST, marketed as “New Zealand’s biggest arse-play event,” for “gay and bi men into fisting and arse-play.”
It would be refreshing to see men become insulted enough by these stereotypes to stand up to this homophobic, misogynist trans lobby. And not just for their own sakes, but in support of lesbians, who have been abandoned by their supposed allies for far too long.