Boyz magazine faces blistering backlash after urging readers to ‘listen’ to anti-trans LGB Alliance
British gay magazine Boyz faced backlash Thursday morning (26 November) after the publication’s official Twitter account shared several tweets from the LGB Alliance, a high-decibel anti-trans group.
The magazine, as well as its co-founder and managing editor, David Bridle, a self-described “Conservative Party supporter and Spectator reader” who has operated Boyz since 1991, retweeted the group across November.
In amplifying the LGB Alliance to its 24,700 followers, detractors quickly spilt into the publication’s mentions – hundreds, ranging from Drag Race UK queens to major activists and advocacy groups, denounced Boyz, with many emphatically tweeting: “Say no to hate.”
The groundswell of outrage prompted LGBT+ club owners, event promoters and Pride organisers to pull from Boyz – the monthly magazine is mainly distributed across London’s queer nightlife and spotlights club events and happenings.
— Sum Ting Wong #bIm (@IsSumTingWong) November 26, 2020
Here's @BoyzMagazine promoting the anti-LGBT+ hate group LGB Alliance.
— David Paisley (@DavidPaisley) November 26, 2020
— Tom, pass me another glass, PositiveLad (@PositiveLad) November 26, 2020
Fuck Boyz magazine. Fuck that hate group. Fuck anyone that doesn’t think trans people belong in our community. Fuck ‘em all. pic.twitter.com/JCDDzxViaf
— James (@dontforgetjames) November 26, 2020
"Hear them out." Why? They're saying the same toxic shit they've been saying since the beginning. They've been heard. They need hear us out. https://t.co/sMeR3wKOf1
— Olly Barter (@OllyBarter) November 26, 2020
— Christopher D. Clegg (@chrisdclegg) November 26, 2020
Honestly I’m not shocked about Boyz trying to defend and uphold transphobic views, I’m just tired and disappointed.
The trans community and the wider LGBT+ community deserves and needs inclusive publications which highlight that our strength comes from diversity. ?️⚧️
— Lawrence (@QueerGiraffes) November 26, 2020
Oh @boyzmagazine – it’s been a long time since I’ve had beef with you and I don’t want to return to those days (I genuinely don’t) but this is a terrible take. I have to state that. It is undeniable that this group stokes hostility towards trans & GNC people. That’s not ok. https://t.co/UlArhp5f01
— Greg Owen (@Greg0wen) November 26, 2020
This is a fantastic example of how to completely destroy your brand in less than 24 hours and ensure that no right thinking LGBTQ organisations will ever work with you again. ? https://t.co/5N37rMpD2m
— Christmas Steve #ThisTooShallPass (@Donnan_S) November 26, 2020
Boyz Magazine – a free magazine for gay men has come out swinging door the LGB Alliance.
To the gay trans men out there, avoid at all costs.
— What The Trans!? (@WhatTheTrans) November 26, 2020
Boyz responded to criticism on Twitter by asking its readers to “make no assumptions” and “at least hear [the LGB Alliance] out”.
What we are saying is please make no assumptions. Listen yourself to the founders of the LGB Alliance, and then make up your own mind. You don't have to agree, but at least hear them out. @ALLIANCELGB https://t.co/9kKtWHxj9z
— Boyz (@BoyzMagazine) November 26, 2020
LGBT+ club events and Pride in London pull out of Boyz as magazine is plunged into controversy.
Founders of the LGB Alliance have defended working with the anti-LGBT+ and anti-abortion Heritage Foundation as well as refusing to denounce its neo-Nazi and homophobic supporters, despite it seeking to position itself as an “LGB rights group”.
Indeed, with Boyz coming out swinging for a group that is with hammer and tongs driving a wedge between LGB and T people, numerous advertisers and collaborators were left rankled.
Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s Push The Button club night tweeted it will “no longer appear in Boyz or spend any money with them while this is their ~very clear~ attitude.”
Push The Button will no longer appear in Boyz or spend any money with them while this is their ~very clear~ attitude.
We will also request @thervt removes the magazine while Push The Button takes place.
We urge other spaces to do the same.
We do not tolerate transphobia.
— Push The Button (@PushTheButton) November 26, 2020
This was later echoed by the RVT itself, a beloved bedrock of the capital’s LGBT+ community, in a statement that reiterated the watering hole’s condemnation of transphobia and stated: “To be absolutely clear, The RVT will now not stock Boyz.
Good morning! We blocked them long ago and will not deal with anyone who supports them.
RVT is one of the very few LGBTQ+ venues that repeatedly vocalises support for our trans and NB siblings. Our manifesto cements our position, and we stand by it. No place for hate. pic.twitter.com/2WHfzPx2wc
— Vauxhall Tavern (@thervt) November 26, 2020
To be absolutely clear, The RVT will now not stock Boyz.
— Vauxhall Tavern (@thervt) November 26, 2020
While Pride In London similarly withdrew from Boyz, “formerly a champion of the LGBT+ scene”, for “publicising and defending a transphobic hate group”, the group wrote on Twitter.
We're shocked & disappointed to see Boyz magazine, formerly a champion of the LGBT+ scene, publicising & defending a transphobic hate group. We will no longer be working with them. There is zero place for transphobia in our society and we must call it out wherever we see it.
— Pride in London (@PrideInLondon) November 26, 2020
On his own Twitter account, of which Bridle specified in his bio are his “personal views”, he both follows and is followed by Malcolm Clark – a combative and firebrand LGB Alliance co-founder who once said LGBT+ clubs in schools shouldn’t exist because of “predatory gay teachers”.
And across a patchwork of tweets, he also expressed support for JK Rowling, whose explosive trans views are considered by activists as a “threat to LGBT+ people”, as well as former Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore, who claims to have been ‘bullied’ out of her job due to her trans views despite resigning of her own accord.
In a statement to PinkNews, Bridle said: “You don’t have to agree at all, but we invite you to at least hear the LGB Alliance out.
“This is a specific webinar aimed at our readership of gay men,” he said, referencing an online seminar the LGB Alliance will conduct Thursday evening entitled: “The Gay Spot – are gay men getting lost in the gender identity debate?”
“Simply shutting down debate is not the answer,” Bridle continued.
“Next year we will have published Boyz for 30 years and all our experience tells us that censorship of discussion is not the way to move things forward for the good of all in our community.
“We are simply saying let’s hear what they have to say.”