Singer Alison Moyet has signed a letter criticising LGBT charity Stonewall for supporting transgender rights.
The “All Cried Out” singer, a regular performer at Pride events in the UK, was one of the 17 signatories of the letter, published in The Times on October 4, attacking Stonewall for backing trans-inclusive changes to the Gender Recognition Act.
Stonewall historically campaigned only on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues until chief executive Ruth Hunt led the adoption of a transgender-inclusive stance in 2015, recruiting a Trans Advisory Board and beginning to campaign for reforms to bolster legal recognition of trans people. The charity recently adopted the slogan ‘Trans Women are Women, Get Over It!’ on merchandise.
The letter took issue with the charity’s broadened mission and claims its work is “undermining women’s sex-based rights and protections.”
It claims that “it is vital for there to be a debate about transgender politics and the rights of women and girls,” and attacks Stonewall for purportedly “call[ing] debate on this matter ‘transphobic.'”
The letter continues: “We urge Stonewall to acknowledge that there are a range of valid viewpoints around sex, gender and transgender politics, and to acknowledge specifically that a conflict exists between transgenderism and sex-based women’s rights.
“We call on Stonewall to commit to fostering an atmosphere of respectful debate rather than demonising as transphobic those who wish to discuss, or dissent from, Stonewall’s transgender policies.”
Moyet has previously had heated Twitter confrontations with trans activists.
In a tweet on Wednesday ahead of the letter’s publication, she wrote: “I am thankful for activists both pro and anti women’s rights. You have focused my mind with your love and your hate. I am officially radicalised. #Feminist”
The letter is co-signed by a number of other trans-exclusionary radical feminist campaigners, including Julie Bindel, who has been vociferous in her criticism of the so-called “trans cabal.”
In a 2004 column, Bindel described a trans woman as a “man in a dress” and claimed: “I don’t have a problem with men disposing of their genitals, but it does not make them women, in the same way that shoving a bit of vacuum hose down your 501s does not make you a man.”
Other signatories include actor James Dreyfus, the star of 90s gay sitcom Gimme Gimme Gimme, who more recently starred in Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London.
A petition was also launched this week purporting to represent LGB people who disagree with Stonewall’s work on trans issues.
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The charity has taken the rare step of posting a direct response from chief executive Ruth Hunt on its blog, rebuking the criticism.
Hunt wrote: “The petition…. asks us to acknowledge that there is a conflict between trans rights and ‘sex based women’s rights’.
“We do not and will not acknowledge this. Doing so would imply that we do not believe that trans people deserve the same rights as others.
“However, we are unequivocal in our support of trans people’s – and everyone’s – right to equality and will remain so. Our motto is ‘acceptance without exception.'”
The chief executive continued: “We’re proud of the work we do with trans communities to fight for trans equality. It’s central to our goal for every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person to be accepted without exception. Trans people are currently facing horrific levels of harassment and abuse in their daily lives. It’s a situation none of us should accept.
“We know that there is huge support for trans rights from lesbian, gay and bi communities.
“The #LWithTheT movement sprang directly, and organically, in opposition to horrible transphobic demonstrations at events this summer, which aimed to make trans people at the events feel intimidated but in the end motivated a whole wave of lesbians and allies to loudly say that those angry voices don’t speak for them. That’s just one example.
“Now is the time to make that support even more visible and vocal. Together we are stronger and can raise each other up. That’s as true for trans people today as it has been – and continues to be – for lesbian, gay and bi people through our history.
“At Stonewall, we are absolutely committed to continue our work to ensure all trans people, as well as all lesbian, gay and bi people, are accepted for who they are in Britain and around the world.”