How trans ideology hijacked the gay rights movement
So many veteran gay rights activists and gay and lesbian people in their 50s and 60s are fed up with the so-called LGBTQIA+ movement. Some are beginning to see it as a hostile takeover of a gay rights movement by heterosexuals. Worse still, many now regard it as one of the most regressive social movements of the last century. The reason lies in the growth of this acronym, with the forced association of various groups with divergent, even opposing interests.
Forty years ago, there was no acronym. There was a “gay community”, which implicitly included both male and female homosexuals. Except that lesbians were rightly demanding some visibility, which changed in the early 1980s to “lesbian and gay”. Then it became ‘lesbian, gay and bisexual’ (LGB) in the middle of this decade when we also discovered bisexuals. And we stayed there as LGB, happily (and exclusively) same-sex attracted. That is, until the “T” for trans appeared about 15 years later.
In the 80s and 90s, there was no “trans” or “transgender” community. There were two very different groups, transvestites and transsexuals. The one thing they had in common was the need to be able to discreetly source women’s clothing in men’s sizes. The transvestites were mostly male and heterosexual, and liked to wear women’s clothing occasionally. They didn’t believe themselves be women, and they didn’t want to make the physical transition either. These transvestites outnumbered the much smaller group of transsexuals by 10 or 20. Transsexuals at the time were mostly male, mostly gay, and suffered from such severe gender dysphoria that they voluntarily underwent the pain and risks of “gender reassignment” surgery. (There were only a tiny number of biological women identifying as transvestites or transsexuals at that time.)
The public knew little about transvestites, except for a few problematic letters (“Dear Deirdre, my husband has started wearing my best dress”), or anonymous newspaper articles, where they always seemed uncharacteristically eager to point out that wearing women’s clothes did not mean they were gay. The public was generally more sympathetic to transsexuals than to transvestites and homosexuals at this time.
But at some point in the late 1990s, transvestites and transsexuals coalesced into a new group: “transgender” people. The public mainly thinks that transgender people are the same as former “transsexuals”, that is, gender dysphorics who have either already “changed their sex”, or at least intend to do so. But more than 95% of transgender people do not “change sex”. Most trans women are biological men who still have full adult male genitalia and do not wish to change that. Many are still sexually attracted to biological women like the straight men they are and always have been. This is how we came to ‘LGBT’. This is how a collective identity for gay people came to include a lot of straight men who wanted to be seen as anything but straight men.
Then it was only a short wait before the Q was added. Q for fag. The n-word for homosexuals. Maybe “hanging gays” wasn’t why the Q was added to LGBT, but some of us felt that way. Surely LGBTQ now included even more straight people who didn’t want to be considered straight – because it’s too… boring? Anyway, another bunch of straight guys had muscled into our acronym, literally queer our pitch, not bothering to ask the boring old-fashioned LGB if he wanted to force-team with even more no – homosexuals. Most LGB people are silent. Others, fearing they would be left behind, began calling themselves “non-binary”. No one seemed to understand what that meant, except maybe having pink bangs and big glasses.
Then came ‘I’ for ‘intersex’. Neither a sex nor a gender, but a medical condition this time.
So it was ‘A’. For “asexual”. Boy George once said he’d rather “have a good cup of tea and a session” than sex. Fair play! But that hardly justifies launching a campaign for human rights.
And so we came to LGBTQIA, which was then immediately overtaken by LGBTQIA+, with the plus sign signaling that there would be no limits to expansion. If this is a bit confusing, just remember that LGB is the gay bit, TQIA+ is the straight bit.
First our acronym was hijacked, then our flag. In 2018, our beautiful and simple rainbow flag was discarded and replaced with the ugly “Progress Pride Flag”, with added triangles signifying trans and non-binary people, as well as people of color. Apparently a rainbow, the very definition of inclusion, isn’t inclusive enough for our new queer world.
The next step for a takeover was our community’s crown jewel, Stonewall. What was once a model lobby group has been hijacked and turned into a consultancy for companies looking to tick a “corporate social responsibility” box. We should have seen this corporatization coming years ago, when ‘Lesbian and Gay Pride’ was first de-gayed into ‘Pride’.
But what to do with all this? Is it time to divorce? Well, according to the gaslighting narcissists at TQIA+, we LGB are nothing without them, and they will never let us leave them. Meanwhile, all of those lovely progressive “allies” keep telling us to “give the relationship a shot – you were meant to be together!” “.
Unsurprisingly, some lesbians have come to the conclusion that they just need to “take out the L” of LGBTQIA+ and organize separately as lesbians. Good luck with that. Every lesbian group and dating app is currently besieged by trannies claiming to be lesbians and demanding to be considered valid sexual partners. Other lesbians (from the Gay Liberation Front of the 1970s and the early Stonewall) created the LGB Alliance, a charity to focus again on the needs of gay people. Shamefully, Stonewall and others tried to block this organization from even having charitable status.
This all might sound to you like a grumpy old man complaining about a TERF war between different bands of an ugly flag. But what started 25 years ago, with the erasure of the distinction between transvestites and transsexuals and the addition of a fourth letter to the acronym LGB, has today delivered a whole catalog of problems, some of which with devastating consequences.
Of perhaps minor importance, but extremely annoying, is Stalin’s rewriting of LGB history to center trans people, when in reality they were absent or only present on the fringes.
More seriously, the progressive view that while biology is real, gender stereotypes are mere social constructs has been upended. LGBTQIA+ ideology reverses this, downplaying the importance of sex and placing “gender identity” on a pedestal. Dressing in the wrong color or playing with the ‘wrong’ toy is now considered diagnostic of a ‘trans’ identity – and anyone who dares to question that identity is likely to be accused of ‘conversion therapy’.
The issues of transwomen’s unfair advantage in women’s sport and the potential dangers of their presence as biological men in women’s shelters, prisons, locker rooms and washrooms are becoming increasingly evident. The social contagion of rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescent girls and the “transition” of sissy boys and butch girls both deserve much more attention. They are a physical and mental time bomb ready to explode. Decades of progress in women’s rights, lesbian and gay rights, and even children’s rights are being reversed or jeopardized.
This is not the gay rights movement of old. It’s time to divorce.
David Allen served as chair of the Conservative Gay Equality Campaign (TORCH) from 1996 to 1999.