> Gay rights charity Stonewall raised more than £10,000 last
> week at its annual summer party.
> The money, raised by more than 350 guests, is to go towards the
> organisation’s Education For All campaign, which tackles
> homophobic bullying in schools.
And promotes transphobia by ignoring transphobic bullying whilst claiming homophobic bullying is the worst there is.
> Guests at the Roof Gardens in Kensington included BBC
> presenter Clare Balding and her civil partner Alice Arnold.
> Speeches were made by lesbian author Stella Duffy and Stonewall
> deputy chief executive Laura Doughty, while a raffle included
> prizes such as a Vivienne Westwood handbag and a case of Château
> Haut-Brion worth £3,000.
A roll call of transphobia-supporting luvvies.
> Ms Doughty said: “Last year, Stonewall chose to celebrate our
> 20th anniversary at the Kensington Roof Gardens and the event
> proved so popular that we decided to return this year for our
> 21st birthday. We used the event to promote our recent different
> families research and fundraise for Stonewall’s forthcoming work
> with younger school pupils.”
Which will involve promoting transphobia amongst the young.
Oatc, why is it transphobic of a gay and lesbian charity to not include transgender issues in their agenda? Or do you know of something that Stonewall do that is actually transphobic?
What exactly is transphobic bullying? Please can you give some examples of what is said and done?
Congrats, Stonewall. We don’t always see eye-to-eye (e.g. on the issuse of civil unions vs. marriage), but it is right to tackle homophobic bullying.
This money will be very useful and effective.
I’m not sure however if I would ever feel comfortable donating money to a charity like Stonewall in view of the fact that they think my sexual orientatation makes me a 2nd class citizen.
Stonewall does some good work for sure.
But their homophobic opposition to marriage equality delegitimises them as an organisation.
I feel the same as StephenC. I did donate because I would have felt bad not doing so. but I would have donated more if my attitude to Stonewall were not coloured by their de facto opposition to marriage equality.
Stonewall is homophobic? Isn’t that a bit insulting (and racist) to millions of real victims of homophobia in countries like Iran, Malawai, Zimbabwe?
> Oatc, why is it transphobic of a gay and lesbian charity to
> not include transgender issues in their agenda? Or do you know
> of something that Stonewall do that is actually transphobic?
You mean apart from the huge instance of entertaining, and defending the nomination of Julie Bindell as a nominee for their journalist of the year, in the course of which they mocked trans people and the demonstration mounted outside the event? Especially given that she says we should be “cured” by reparative therapy and not allowed surgery?
I did say “ignoring transphobic bullying whilst claiming homophobic bullying is the worst there is”. They go round schools and conferences saying homophobic bullying is the worst, and don’t even acknowledge that trans children are the worst bullied of all. OK, there aren’t many of us, but that’s no justification for pretending we don’t exist.
Given that many lesbians and gays think trans people are simply lesbians or gays who have “gone too far”, and that trans children are often taunted as being lesbian or gay, and some lesbian and gay children are taunted as trans, Stonewall doing the “trans children don’t exist” act has very suspect overtones.
They do the same right across the board.
Again, Stonewall run a really big “Diversity Champions” programme, which companies pay to join and be endorsed. But diversity means more than inclusion of lesbians and gays. It seems transphobic for Stonewall to honor companies as diversity champions without considering their attitudes to trans people, too, and indeed there are similar issues for other minorities.
Again Stonewall’s promotion of Civil Partnerships instead of equal access to marriage is transphobic in that they ignore that it perpetuates the situation where someone’s sex/gender is crucial in who they may marry, which causes huge problems.
Its not that we want a group with such a transphobic track record to add a T to their remit. But when you compare them to US national groups that have added a T there is a stark contrast. And then you find that in Scotland Stonewall claims to represent trans people (and its not a separate group, the finances are all in common), but it is so totally lousy at it that it amounts to transphobia. For example, Stonewall’s founder member Simon Callow was interviewed by the BBC in a Festival of Politics in Edinburgh and was asked, after being reminded that Stonewall was LGBT in Scotland, what issues remained; all he mentioned was homophobic bullying in schools, when trans people face many serious discriminations. Isn’t it transphobic to deny that we face discrimination?
Mind, as lesbian/bisexual woman (and remember I was a very transsexual child, so that does not mean that I was ever a heterosexual man), I’m not ungrateful for some of Stonewall’s achievements, and I did my bit to aid and assist them in their early years.
> What exactly is transphobic bullying? Please can you give some
> examples of what is said and done?
All the usual bullying when its because someone is trans or behaves as if they are trans, for starters.
In my opinion, shared by most of my sisters who were also transsexual children, the safest path for any such child is to live as a girl. Then there can be no doubt of their feelings and sensibilities, and the usual rules on how boys treat girls should apply. Especially if it is done so that others don’t know the background. The safety of the child has to come first. And education is then much more possible too. it doesn’t mean they cannot switch back (thats considering the issues of puberty separately). The converse for female to male.
Its wrong to try to force some third gender status unwillingly on a child. Or to try to make other children be gender neutral.
The rest is about something of what it is like when a trans child is not safe, is in a school without effective anti-bullying policies, caught in that no-man’s-land between the sexes as a child.
Personally I loved being called a girl, even “such an old woman”, but it wasn’t meant kindly and was threatening. Its like males have a mission to ensure other males as masculine, or die, picking on our gestures, speech patterns, preferences, body language, such as tilting ones head, holding legs together or carrying things across ones chest.
The threats are often physical and real. Classmates twice tried to kill me in the street, quite casually, by propelling me into the path of traffic, which gets very scary. They harassed me on the way home every day, and at every break, and in most classes. In my teens I had to switch from sciences to arts, which were not as strong subjects for me, because the laboratories provided so many ways to be dangerous. Threats, taken books or other possessions, damaged clothing, spit. Its still the stuff of my nightmares decades later – many of us suffer PTSD. There are many suicides.
Read what happened to this ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2004/jan/12/gender.world ) girl at school.
Some trans children refuse to attend school when such fear has been been fostered, and others get blamed by the school and excluded. Its traditional to blame kids who don’t conform.
The fact that boys’ bullying is more often physical, whereas girls’ tend to be verbal and relational comes from differences in boys and girls brains and bodies. The constant boys’ physical threats (which boys may take as simply play) can be very disturbing for a girl, and has to count as transphobic bullying when the child is picked on the more because they find it so troubling.
There’s especially a big gender difference in response to stress, which increases learning ability in most males, and prevents it in females. Girls tend not to fight when threatened, but to make allies or flee. Many transsexual girls report repeated intimidation that seems caused by their not responding as boys. Typically, when surrounded by bullies I slumped to the ground, my muscles like jelly. This was apparently excellent fun for my tormentors but terrifying for me.
Many of us seem to have our transsexuality “written on our body” for all to see, regardless. Take April Ashley at 14 ( http://www.antijen.org/Aprilv1/AprilPix/AA2.jpg ) as an example. Clearly many of us have low testosterone and that shows in looks, in sensitivity to pain, in muscle distribution, and later in scent and body hair. Like April I never had a real male puberty, my voice didn’t break and I never needed electrolysis. It would have been real nice to know that was going to be the case because I was terrified of terrible changes from, like age eight onwards. People kept telling me it would happen, just, it seemed, to upset me.
A transsexual girl usually wants to play with other girls, be friends, talk, but boys try to disrupt that, going to extreme lengths. That’s transphobic bullying.
A big problem is that teachers do a lot of transphobic bullying, trying to force children to conform, or finding an easy target that takes heat off themselves. There are well documented cases of even head-teachers going to physical extremes, such as removing trousers from a transsexual boy. Sometimes it is just tedious and disruptive, like pointedly choosing a child to read a particular passage so the whole class sniggers. Or mocking a choice of subject or colours in art, or things written in an essay, or done during a holiday. Or deciding to put boys against girls and singling the trans child out to direct which group they should be in. Its sports teachers have most opportunity.
When you know your identity, and it isn’t gay, its both homophobic and transphobic to be called the gay-related epithets. There’s a lot of difference between the aspirations of a girl and a gay boy and I found being called a faggot or queer very distressing, yet that started as soon as I commenced school. Well, at the first break, when I said I hated football. You cannot expect a child that identifies as a girl to have the awareness to cope with that at 5.
Sorry, I’ve barely scratched the surface.
No 7: Mike: you say:
“Stonewall is homophobic? Isn’t that a bit insulting (and racist) to millions of real victims of homophobia in countries like Iran, Malawai, Zimbabwe? ”
There are degrees of homophobia – from casual thoughtless homophobia to murderous, violent homophobia.
Of course the situation for LGBT people in Iran and Malawi is a million times worse than in Britain.
But the unalterable fact is that Stonewall believes that same sex couples should not be allowed to marry because they are gay.
That is quite simply unacceptable. And it is homophobic even when people try to contextualise it in terms of Iran etc.
It delegitimises them as an organisation.
StephenC, Remember the sting is taken off the term ‘homophobia’ by casual and inappropriate use. Its already happening to ‘bigot’.