A counter campaign has been started to ‘keep the T’ in LGBT, after the ‘drop the T’ campaign was met with heavy criticism.

The Change.org petition, which has been signed by a thousand people, calls for ‘T’ to be removed from ‘LGBT’.

It claims to have been created by a group of gay, bisexual and lesbian women who want trans people to be “disassociated” with the term LGBT.

A scene during the 1969 Stonewall riots, as seen in Kate Davis and David Heilbroner???s documentary STONEWALL UPRISING. A First Run Features Release. Photo by Bettye Lane.

The petition goes on to note the apparent “vilification and harassment of women and gay men/lesbian individuals who openly express disagreement with the trans ideology.”

It also notes comments made by feminist author Germaine Greer, who recently said trans women are “can’t be women”, and attacks the trans community and its allies for “re-writing gay and lesbian history,” after complaints that Roland Emmerich’s film ‘Stonewall’ erased gender non-conforming people of colour from its telling of the Stonewall riots.

The author writes: “Particularly frustrating was the fact that media outlets such as The Advocate, Out and Huff Post Gay Voices, who should have been the first to point out the fallacy of this notion, actually went along with the lie.”

They go on to claim that if laws like the recently defeated Houston ordinance to protect LGBT people were passed, cisgender men would pretend to be trans in order to infiltrate women’s bathrooms.

A counter-petition has been created, which has already been signed by almost 500 people.

Titled ‘We stand with trans people – Reject ‘Drop the T”, the petition calls the original campaign “insulting, inaccurate and transphobic”.

The author of the new petition writes that “we want to make it clear that this narrow group of people do not speak for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole.”

It goes on: “Trans people do not infringe upon the rights of women, gay men and children. Neither do they seek to ‘re-assert and codify’ what ‘Drop the T’ refers to as ‘classic gender constructs’. Indeed, by seeking to deny trans people access to safe spaces, and by seeking to deny support for trans children, teenagers and others, ‘Drop the T’ is actually doing more to reinforce conventional constructs of masculinity and femininity.

“We urge you reject their petition and continue to work the rest of the LGBT+ umbrella to promote the wellbeing of all those within our community.

“‘Drop the T’ does not speak in our name.”

Jonathan Boniface, who started the petition, told PinkNews: “I started ‘We stand with trans people’ as a response to ‘Drop the T’ because it’s my feeling that we are stronger as an LGBTQ+ community, and because I completely reject the notion that what this group of people call ‘trans ideology’ is ‘harmful’ to the interests of the ‘LGB’ spectrum.

“The ‘Drop the T’ petition is little more than thinly veiled transphobia masquerading as a facile attempt to open a ‘debate’. There is no evidence, in fact there never had been any, to support claims that trans women are cis men pretending to be women so they can access safe spaces, and the whole notion that trans people silence the ‘gay narrative’ would be insulting if were not so laughable.”

He continued: “The fact of the matter is that trans people are much more likely to face verbal attacks and physical violence in our society, and there should not be a group such as ‘Drop the T’ working to perpetuate the misinformation that encourages such attacks. They should know better. There are issues within the LGBTQ+ community and things that need to be done better, but I strongly believe that the majority of our community would want an opportunity to reject the ‘Drop the T’ petition and prove that we’re better than that, and that’s what I was hoping my counter petition would provide.”

GLAAD has already responded to the original petition with a statement, calling it “outrageous” and “destructive”.

The statement reads: “GLAAD stands firmly with the transgender community and unequivocally rejects the outrageous and destructive idea that the ‘T’ be removed from LGBT,” said GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement.

“For decades, transgender people have worked alongside lesbian, gay, and bisexual people to advance equality for everyone, often leading the way in the movement for full equality and acceptance. Many trans people are also lesbian, gay, and bisexual — they are an inextricable and invaluable part of the LGB community. At a time when anti-LGBT activists continue to attack the basic rights and protections essential to all of our lives, we must stand together, rather than succumb to the ruin of divisiveness.”

Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, also condemned the petition.

He said: “This is unequivocally wrong. The hate that killed Matthew Shepard killed Zella Ziona. The bullies at school aren’t just harassing the gay kids, they’re harassing the transgender kids. The parents who could provide loving homes for the 400,000 children in foster care aren’t only lesbian parents, or gay parents, they’re bisexual parents and transgender parents.

“This idea that we are somehow separate and apart is patently untrue. We are one movement, stronger in our unity. We are one community, period. And the Human Rights Campaign will not be done working until equality reaches every single one of us.”

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