Graham Linehan calls pansexuality ‘b*****ks’ as he shifts from gender identity to launch fresh attack on sexuality
Comedy writer Graham Linehan has called pansexuality “bollocks” in a fresh attack on sexual orientation, a move away from his focus on gender identity.
The Irish comedian, who is known for co-creating British sitcom Father Ted in the 1990s and for his anti-trans Twitter crusade, launched the attack on pansexuality on Twitter.
“Let’s take a quick poll. Who thinks pansexuality is bollocks?” he asked his followers.
The only two responses available are “I think it’s bollocks” and “I too think it’s bollocks”.
Linehan’s comments about pansexuality mark a shift in his focus from transgender issues to sexual orientation and have been promptly labelled “biphobia” by LGBT+ rights organisations and members of the LGBT+ community.
“This most recent direct attack on pansexuals is just one small part of lengthy track record of abuse and denigration that Linehan has enacted towards vulnerable groups within the LGBT+ community,” said Dr Adrian Harrop, a GP and LGBT+ rights advocate.
“Linehan’s long-standing [view of] transgender people is essentially a matter of record, and of course, it comes as no surprise that his line of attack has now moved on to another marginalised and voiceless minority within our LGBT+ family.
“Our community cannot allow this demonstration of unabashed and unapologetic panphobia to go unchallenged. Queer people must stand in solidarity with one another, and fight back against rhetoric such as that spouted by Linehan, ensuring that it is called out for what it is.”
Others also pointed out what pansexuality actually means.
“Bisexual – attraction to two or more genders. Pansexual – attraction to others REGARDLESS of gender; i.e their gender identity doesn’t come into it at all,” tweeted London Irish playwright Roisin T Moriarty.
“Your ignorance and nastiness are bordering on epic at this point,” she added.
Linehan’s tweet included the hashtag #comebackSuzanneMoore”, a reference to the Guardian columnist who wrote a scathing tweet about the pansexual Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran on April 2.
Moore left Twitter soon after posting the tweet, which referred to Moran as “Layla thingy”.
Moore wrote a March 2 column for the Guardian, which implied that advocating for trans rights poses a threat to cisgender women, was widely viewed as anti-trans and was condemned by hundreds of feminists and hundreds of Guardian staffers, as well as thousands of members of the public.
Responding to Linehan’s tweet, Laura Russell, director of campaigns, policy and research at Stonewall said: “It’s a sad fact that bi identities, which we take to include pan, are frequently dismissed as something that doesn’t exist.
“Mocking pan identities is a damaging trend that makes it harder for people to come out and be accepted.
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“Stonewall research shows that three in 10 bi men (30 per cent) and almost one in ten bi women (eight per cent) say they cannot be open about their sexual orientation with any of their friends, compared to two per cent of gay men and one per cent of lesbians.
“We can all help support pan people by learning more about their experiences and the challenges they face, and calling out biphobia.”
Graham Linehan has since doubled down on his original comments, adding: “Fashionistas drove another woman from Twitter because she made fun of narcissists who say ‘pansexual’ instead of ‘bisexual’ to sound like extra special little soldiers. Come back, Suzanne!”
you're a hateful, irrelevant, attention-seeking little man
— puck figs (@puckfigs) April 3, 2020
Linehan’s fresh attack on sexuality comes after his most recent comments about transgender people were made on BBC’s Newsnight on February 10, when he compared doctors treating trans youth to Nazis experimenting on children in concentration camps during the Holocaust.
His comments were swiftly condemned by UK holocaust memorial boss Lord Eric Pickles as “trivialising the Holocaust”.
Graham Linehan has been contacted for comment.