The world’s leading publications for lesbians support trans people, and are speaking out for us. Here is the statement:
Not in our name
Lesbian, bi and queer media unite to send a message of solidarity to the trans community
Following further vitriolic attacks on trans people in our media, the world’s leading publications for lesbians are coming together to send an unapologetic message of support and solidarity to the trans community.
DIVA, Curve, Autostraddle, LOTL, Tagg and Lez Spread The Word believe that trans women are women and that trans people belong in our community. We do not think supporting trans women erases our lesbian identities; rather we are enriched by trans friends and lovers, parents, children, colleagues and siblings.
[Clare: It’s diversity, innit? “Enriched”. That’s the heart of it. We are happier and livelier and better able to be ourselves when the widest range of people are welcomed in and their voices heard.]
We strongly condemn writers and editors who seek to foster division and hate within the LGBTQI community with trans misogynistic content, and who believe “lesbian” is an identity for them alone to define. We condemn male-owned media companies who profit from the traffic generated by these controversies.
[With the exception of the Morning Star, the publications opposing trans rights are on the Right or Hard Right. They are not feminist, and they are not pro-lesbian. They know that all the general public will hear from the argument is the message that trans is bad and dangerous, which supports Right-wing narratives about how men and women are different. All the stuff about gender non-conforming expression gets condemned by the same mouths.]
We also strongly condemn the current narrative peddled by some feminists, painting trans people as bullies and aggressors – one which reinforces transphobia and which must be challenged so that feminism can move forward.
[While some trans people tweet unpleasant things, most of them have few followers and little in the way of platform. And they are speaking up for their right to exist. I condemn all trans violence and threats of violence, but we are too weak to make much of a threat, or to bully anyone.]
We are really concerned about the message these so-called lesbian publications are sending to trans women and to young lesbians – including trans lesbians – and we want to make in clear this is not in our name.
As the leading publications for queer women, we believe it is our responsibility to call out scaremongering conspiracy theories levelled at the trans community, and make it clear that DIVA, Curve, Autostraddle, LOTL, Tagg and Lez Spread The Word will always be safe spaces for the trans community.
Forty years ago, to be a lesbian was to be questioned and persecuted. Today things are better for cis lesbians but there are still places where to be a lesbian is impossible.
So it is for trans men and women, as well as non-binary people, many of whom identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay or queer. We know something of these struggles. And just as they and other allies have supported us, so we must support those among us who are trans, or risk ending up on the wrong side of history.
The sooner we stop focussing on what divides us and instead focus on our commonalities, the stronger we will be to confront the other injustices imposed on us.
We won’t be divided.
Clare: Trans women should speak up for lesbians and for feminist causes generally. Trans is the front the forces of oppression have chosen, at the moment, but lesbians still suffer prejudice and discrimination. We are stronger together.
The statement is here.