Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

In response to the editorial and Bindel piece in g3 here, I wrote a letter to the editor
Dear G3,

The trans community has indeed got better things to do than demonstrate against Julie Bindel's offensive comments of 2004; among those things are the more measured, but equally offensive, things she has said in 2007 - when she called for the withdrawal of gender reassignment surgery - and 2008 - when she has constantly made it clear, not least in your pages, that she regards all trans people as responsible for anything negative that any one trans person says about her. Given her access to ministers, we have good reason to be disturbed by her preparedness to misrepresent, or at best misunderstand, almost anything we say, and her portrayal of herself as having a mission to, as Janice Raymond put it, morally mandate transexuality out of existence.

However, the demonstration was not against her; it was against Stonewall for cluelessly thinking it appropriate to celebrate the journalism of someone whose arguments in favour of 'talking cures' to persuade trans people to stop existing unpleasantly parallel the claims of their Bigot of the Year, Iris Robinson, to be able to cure gay men and lesbians by similar methods. More generally, it was against Stonewall's assumption that they can represent the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities without representing the trans community, or even the specific interests of the high proportion of that community who are lesbian, gay or bisexual as well as trans.

One of the standard cants argued in favour of this is that trans is a gender identity and the others are sexual preferences - which is superficially intelligent until one reflects that most trans people have sex before and after transition, and that lesbians and gay men are discriminated against and attacked as much for who they are, and how they present themselves as for what they do in bed and with whom.

Some of us in the trans community have been around the queer movement since its beginning - I went to my first GLF meeting in 1971, where I sat in All Saints Hall with the rest of what we would now call the trans caucus - and we are not going away. Stonewall, and Julie Bindel, may as well get used to that fact

Roz Kaveney
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