So today (now yesterday) was Trans day of Visibility.
Which is strange, because rarely has a supposedly marginalised group been so visible. The rainbow flag that until recently stood for the same-sex attracted community has been appropriated and replaced with the ‘progress’ flag. Ever the cuckoos in the nest, the TRAs pink and blue chevrons hide behind black and brown stripes: as if to suggest that the original rainbow flag didn’t already include people of colour. This cleverly leaves many people feeling unable to question the change for fear of being accused of being racist or homophobic.
This new flag (and the pink blue and white trans flag) is now featured on tube station signs and trains, on taxis and hire cars. Zebra crossings have been repainted so the flag lies beneath our feet. Last year, Regents Street was decorated with a hundred flags that flew above our heads. We see the flags on soft drinks, sandwiches, shampoo and cat treats. Government departments and banks, coffee shops and sports stores regularly change their social media profile pictures to wave the flag.
We now have men (those who claim to be women) doing adverts for sanitary products. Giant pictures of women who have removed their breasts advertise razors to those on their daily commute. Men win ‘Woman of the Year’ awards, appear on female shortlists and break women’s sporting records. Male sex offenders are placed in women’s prisons.
Transactivists like to tell us ‘there have always been trans people’. This is disingenuous. There have been always people who found it difficult to confirm to the gendered norms of their culture, and many of these people escaped those demands either by disguising themselves as the opposite sex or more often by just being themselves and facing the disapproval. Either choice could be dangerous: most cultures place huge value on conforming to sex-class roles, now more fashionably known as ‘gender norms’ and as such those who do not conform are often penalised.
Women who remove their headscarves are imprisoned. Gay men are thrown from the top of buildings. Lesbians are subjected to ‘corrective’ rape. Society wants us to do as we are told, and there are penalties for those who resist. Same-sex attracted people have frequently been forced underground throughout history, but there is a rich and detailed culture of lesbian and gay art, music and writing which has survived so we can see quite clearly that, as would be expected, there have always been gay people. There is no history of people hopping from sex to sex at will – because it is complete and utter nonsense. There is certainly no history of transgender children.
It is true that there have always been men who adopted the trappings of womanhood. The hijra of India; the ladyboys of Thailand. They often live their lives within the bounds of prostitution, religion or mysticism, they do not usually live ‘like women’. They do not go through a female puberty. They will never have to scrub menstrual blood out of their clothes. They will never be overlooked for promotion because they might leave and have a baby.
The truth is that even if a boy-child was raised ‘as a girl’ from birth, he would still be male. Even if he is pumped full of puberty blockers and oestrogen, even if he has his penis inverted, he will still be male. This is not ‘being unkind’. Womanhood is not a prize to be won. It simply is. Man, woman, girl, boy: these are words that Mean Something. As has been said so very many times before, a woman is a biological fact, not a feeling in a man’s head.
Trans-advocacy pushes people into boxes. It celebrates conforming to gender norms under the guise of celebrating difference. It pretends to be unconventional whilst fiercely conforming.
And who loses? Women lose. We lose our sports teams, our sports records, our awards, prizes and scholarships. We lose our toilets and our changing rooms. We lose our women-only clubs and bars. We lose our LB nights and events.
Children lose. Thery are gaslit, shown naked ‘trans’ bodies on television shows and ‘educated’ until they say ‘it’s pretty normal really’. They are told that boys can change into girls and girls change into boys- by their school teachers, no less. Children are transitioned in schools behind their parents’ backs. Trans activists online tell them to cut themselves off from their parents.
Of course there are trans-identified people going about their lives wishing nobody harm. No-one I know has ever claimed otherwise. But transactivism isn’t about these people, who mostly shun ‘visibility’ and just want to fit in- after all, isn’t that the point?
Transactivism has become a violent movement, hijacked by angry men. A movement that exploits vulnerable children and young adults, that preys on people’s concerns, weaknesses and insecurities. A movement that tells them they are not enough as they are. If they can just become something else, something entirely different, only then will they be enough.
I have seen my friends intimidated, beaten and assaulted by angry men who just want an excuse to scream at and assault women. I have seen women support these men. I have heard women say “Well, I don’t care about single-sex toilets,” as if that means other women should have to do without.
I have faced down men far bigger than me to give women the space they need to say what needs to be said. I will never stop fighting to expose this movement for what it is.
Transwomen are men, and transactivism is not a movement grounded in love or peace.
Trans visibility? Oh, we see you.