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Lesbian publications condemn ‘vitriolic attacks’ on trans women

Ella Braidwood December 19, 2018
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Lesbian publications publish open letter slamming transphobia in the lesbian community

Top lesbian media outlets have come together to publish an open letter condemning transphobia in the lesbian community.

Editors and publishers from five leading lesbian publications—including Diva, Autostraddle and Curve—signed the letter condemning “vitriolic attacks” on the trans community by “so-called lesbian publications” and distanced themselves from the actions of lesbian trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs).

“Following further vitriolic attacks on trans people in our media, the world’s leading publications for lesbians are coming together to send an unapologetic message of support and solidarity to the trans community,” the letter reads.

“DIVA, Curve, Autostraddle, LOTL, Tagg and Lez Spread The Word believe that trans women are women and that trans people belong in our community. We do not think supporting trans women erases our lesbian identities; rather we are enriched by trans friends and lovers, parents, children, colleagues and siblings.”

Diva, Autostraddle, Curve and more unite to call out transphobia

The letter was published after leading lesbian website AfterEllen was criticised for publishing anti-trans articles and sharing a video by lesbian YouTuber Arielle Scarcella titled: “Dear Trans Women, Stop Pushing ‘Girl Dick’ On Lesbians.”

“Following further vitriolic attacks on trans people in our media, the world’s leading publications for lesbians are coming together to send an unapologetic message of support and solidarity to the trans community.”

—open letter signed by Diva, Autostraddle, Curve and more

Responding to AfterEllen sharing Scarcella’s video, butch comedian Rhea Butcher posted on Twitter: “You don’t represent me or my friends and your website is a sham.

“You’re not a lesbian/bisexual website, you’re a TERF website.”


Lesbian publications have united against transphobia in the lesbian community
Five leading lesbian publications have come together to call out transphobic in the lesbian community. (Diva)

Lesbian website AfterEllen comes under fire for anti-trans content

On December 11, PinkNews contacted AfterEllen for comment over the criticism it is facing for circulating anti-trans content.

However, on December 12, AfterEllen published an article labelling PinkNews a “male-run” publication “at odds” with the lesbian community, and siding with anti-trans Irish television writer Graham Linehan.

It has still not provided PinkNews with a statement.

The seven individual signatories on the open letter are: Diva publisher Linda Riley; Diva editor Carrie Lyell; Autostraddle editor-in-chief Riese Bernard; Curve editor Merryn Johns; Curve and LOTL publisher Silke Bader; Tagg Magazine editor-in-chief Eboné F. Bell; and Lez Spread The Word founder Florence Gagnon.

It adds: “We strongly condemn writers and editors who seek to foster division and hate within the LGBTQI community with trans misogynistic content, and who believe ‘lesbian’ is an identity for them alone to define. We condemn male-owned media companies who profit from the traffic generated by these controversies.

“We also strongly condemn the current narrative peddled by some feminists, painting trans people as bullies and aggressors – one which reinforces transphobia and which must be challenged so that feminism can move forward.

“We are really concerned about the message these so-called lesbian publications are sending to trans women.

The letter concludes: “The sooner we stop focussing on what divides us and instead focus on our commonalities, the stronger we will be to confront the other injustices imposed on us.

“We won’t be divided.”

Related topics: AfterEllen, Autostraddle, DIVA, graham linehan, linda riley, US

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