The Scottish Parliament is attempting to reform Gender Recognition Legislation. They have launched a public enquiry to gather public opinion on this. I submitted answers to some of the questions. I tried to make them in-depth and informative enough to publish them here. I hope you find them helpful.
The removal of the requirement for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and supporting medical evidence.
The need for diagnosis is a remnant of a time when we considered being transgender a “disorder”. Although there is value in discussing identity with a medical professional, only the transgender individual themselves can honestly know how they feel concerning their gender identity. A doctor does not know best. I think there should be a need to speak to an expert gender therapist. Still, the need for a diagnosis treats gender dysphoria like a medical condition rather than an intrinsic part of a person’s identity.
Furthermore, not every trans or trans-aligned person experiences a quantifiable amount of gender dysphoria beyond not identifying with their assigned gender. GPs and doctors often overlook this when diagnosing a person because there is a focus on diagnosis for surgery rather than a diagnosis for legal identity. Being trans should be more focused on living as one’s true self rather than attempting to change oneself to a more acceptable version of another gender. This encourages transmedicalism, which discriminates against non-binary people, who can’t necessarily get surgery to appear more like their gender outwardly.
A diagnosis was important before, but the more knowledge we gain about how gender identity works, the more redundant it becomes. We need to shift the focus away from the medical aspects of being trans to humanise the trans community rather than making them appear to be a medical anomaly.
Provisions enabling applicants to make a statutory declaration that they have lived in the acquired gender for a minimum of three months (rather than the current period of two years) and that they intend to live permanently in their acquired gender.
Gender is a spectrum and is often very fluid. The current legislation encourages trans people to decide their gender at a very young age. This makes it harder to prevent trans people from going through puberty with the sex they do not align with.
Reducing the requirement from 2 years to 3 months will help trans people access healthcare and be legally recognised as their correct gender quickly, but I don’t think it goes far enough. Despite the positives, the idea that “they intend to live permanently in their acquired gender” ignores the idea that some trans people’s identity changes and shifts over time. There needs to be room for identities to change over time. If there is not, we will be stuck in a similar situation to which we are now.
The minimum age for applicants to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) should be reduced from 18 to 16.
There is medical research that some trans people are perfectly aware of their gender identity from the age of 5. There are also statistics to show that having little-to-no access to healthcare in their teenage years significantly increases the rates of mental health issues and suicide amongst transgender teenagers.
Healthcare is a human right, with the legal age of medical consent in the UK being 16. Not only should trans people be able to consent to perfectly reversible hormone treatments from the age of 16, but they should also be able to obtain a GRC quickly – at a minimum!
Hormone blockers should be available to pre-teens to help them prevent the experience of going through the wrong puberty. Obviously, they would not be able to medically consent to this, but supportive parents and a doctor who listens should be able to provide access to this for people below the age of 16. It saves lives.
GRCs should be available to people at the age of 16 but should also allow for fluctuations in Gender Identity as that person continues to develop. This should include their ability to reverse the process in the case that they wish to detransition.
If you have any comments on the offences of knowingly making a false application or including incorrect information.
There is a lot of fear around people who falsify their gender identity to take advantage of trans-friendly women’s spaces. These people are not trans. They are sex offenders.
An offence of this scale creates fear and distrust of the trans community and can lead to increases in hate crimes against trans women. Therefore, the consequences of this offence should reflect the crime of falsifying documents and the damage this may have done to trans people internationally and the crimes this false information may have facilitated.
Luckily, very few crimes of this type have been committed. When I last checked, I could only find one case of it in Canada. Nothing in the US. Nothing in the UK. So, there should be legislation in the unlikely case that something like this happens, but I doubt it will have to be used.
If you have any comments on removing powers, introduce a fee.
Healthcare should be free at the point of use. Being legally recognised for who you are is part of coping with gender dysphoria. It is essential for transgender wellbeing. Charging for it is a tax on wellbeing.
Could the Bill’s intended policy outcomes be delivered through other means, such as using existing legislation or another way?
We need to rewrite trans legislation to remove it from the harmful standards of the past. The existing legislation can only be improved upon, so ultimately, as long as it includes the recognition of non-binary people, it does not matter.
For the past four years, the Conservative Party has been discussing whether or not to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ people. Today it was revealed that the reason it has taken so long is evidently the existence of transgender people.
On Thursday, Boris Johnson and his party declared that they would not ban conversion therapy, and everyone went up in arms. The anger and disgust were so evident that they U-Turned. The Conservative Party, which has claimed not to be transphobic, has announced that they will ban conversion therapy for LGB people but not for trans people on 2022’s trans day of visibility!
Patrick Corrigan from Amnesty International UK, who attended 10 Downing Street’s reception for Pride 2021, said:
“So-called conversion therapy can constitute torture or cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment – it has no place in our society.
“We are urging Ministers to introduce a blanket ban on conversion therapy without delay, a ban we want to see replicated in all parts of the UK.
“‘Praying the gay away’ is just as unacceptable as any other pseudoscientific approach which tells LGBTI+ people they are ‘sick’ and ‘broken’.
“It’s time to stamp out this hideous practice once and for all.”
Despite this, Prime Minister Johnson has allowed his party to ignore the rights and needs of trans people yet again and only ban conversion therapy for our Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual siblings.
No argument will convince me or any other trans person that the Tories aren’t transphobic. They have ignored our pleas to legally recognise non-binary genders, they have delayed medical access to gender transition treatments, they have thrown money at our problems time and time again, and now they have decided that we are the only part of the LGBTQ+ community that deserves to be tortured by people who think we are broken.
Language has rules that we all follow on a day to day basis. These rules are often fluid and open to change, at least to the vast majority of society. To gatekeep, language has often been something the upper classes do to separate them from the lower classes, who are more prone to slang.
I will front this post with the admission that most of my claims here will be theoretical because there is very little academic research into this topic that I can cite. It will be a compilation of my own and others’ experiences. Standard and non-standard English has almost exclusively been a class divide for most of modern history. Still, there has been a shift in recent years with the introduction of Transgender issues into the mainstream. Suddenly, the lines have blurred with a mix of upper and lower class people for language adaptation and a similar mix attempting to gatekeep. However, I do not believe that the blurring is a matter of mixed opinions, but more the product of propaganda from those in the upper classes attempting to gatekeep.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton was the first to say, “the pen is mightier than the sword”. He was correct, considering that the most radical ideas manifest through the written word and not through action most of the time. When one lives in a society that balances the clear divide between two seemingly distinct groups, the most radical thing one can do is defy that system to the extreme. One way is to stand firm with the group treated as inferior and stay firm in believing that both groups are equal. The other way is to undermine those two groups. Neither of these actions is mutually exclusive, but both are equally radical.
Patriarchy in Europe was a Catholic invention, according to feminist Mary Daly. She says that “Patriarchal religion has served to perpetuate all of these dynamics [sexual caste] of delusion, naming them “natural” and bestowing its supernatural blessings upon them. The system has been advertised as “according to the divine plan”.” In simpler terms, religious belief has taken the unjust divides between the sexes and used them to bestow the title of “dominant sex” to males.
“The exploitative sexual caste system could not be perpetuated without the consent of the victims as well as of the dominant sex, and such consent if obtained through sex role socialisation – a conditioning process which beings to operate the moment we are born, and which is enforced by most institutions. Parents, friends, teachers, textbook authors and illustrators, advertisers, those who control the mass media, toy and clothes manufacturers, professionals such as doctors and psychologists – all contribute to the socialisation process. This happens through dynamics that are largely uncalculated and unconscious, yet which reinforce the assumptions, attitudes, stereotypes, customs, and arrangements of a sexually hierarchical society.”
This means Patriarchy is cyclical. The “dominant sex” sets it up so that it penetrates everything – even if one tries to stray away from it. She claims that the masses consent to it by continuing the cycle, and thus we must break away from it in every aspect, which brings me back to my opening concept. The patriarchy establishes two distinct groups, one seemingly inferior to the other, so I hypothesise that the most radical thing people can do is stand up for the perceived inferior or disobey the distinction.
The initial way historical feminists did both was by becoming “political lesbians”. This meant they disobeyed patriarchal heteronormativity by having both romantic and sexual relationships with women exclusively, regardless of their orientation. They disobeyed the distinction between male and female by ignoring their perceived biological duty to be wives to men as forced by Western patriarchal ideation. Now, the battle is on the grounds of expression. An increasing number of feminists have taken charge of their expression, feeling free to dress hyper-feminine or more androgynously rather than continue to obey modern beauty standards. It has created the online trope of the “blue-haired feminist” because some radical feminists began to dye their hair and cut it short as an act of rebellion against patriarchal values.
Of course, the explanation is simplified significantly, but this is not a post about modern radical feminism. This example is used merely for illustrative effect. To be radical, one must break society’s rules.
To be transgender is patriarchally radical. The idea that any sex can be any gender is categorically radical, but that does not mean that the idea of breaking the strict rules of sex and gender as imposed by a patriarchal system is necessarily the end of the fight.
The language we use to describe someone’s gender identity as we know it today dates back to the 1400s.
The use of the gendered pronouns “he” (to describe a man), “she” (to describe a woman) and, “they” (to describe someone whose gender is unknown or inconclusive) is standard in society. Recently, gender-neutral pronouns were popularised by gender non-conforming individuals when describing someone even if one knows their sex; however, the language rules were the same. Therefore there was a pre-established expectation for people who were non-conforming to abide by, despite the very nature of their identity being “non-conforming”. Use gender-neutral pronouns and therefore appear to have a gender that is “unknown” or “inconclusive” – be androgenous.
The expectation of non-binary people to already fit into a box after attempting to break out of an already rigorously policed “sex caste” conflicts with some non-binary people’s identities, and thus neo-pronouns came into use.
A neo-pronoun is any pronoun used to describe someone in place of any expected options. For example, someone who uses neo-pronouns will go by anything other than “he”, “she”, or “they”. They do this to break free of the pronouns and roles assigned to them by a patriarchal society. Common examples include xe/xim, xe/xer and ey/em.
In the past year, a debate on “do neo-pronouns exist” has found itself in the mainstream. A select few use their voice to denounce neo-pronouns as something “transtrenders” do, rather than a helpful way to reclaim one’s identity, which has justified the transphobia perpetuated by countless cis people online towards people who use neo-pronouns.
“The word ‘sin’ is derived from the Indo-European root ‘es-,’ meaning ‘to be.’ When I discovered this etymology, I intuitively understood that for a [person] trapped in patriarchy, which is the religion of the entire planet, ‘to be’ in the fullest sense is ‘to sin’.”
The problem with neo-pronouns lies not in theory nor with those who use them, but in the discriminatory and hateful ones. Those who aim to maintain the status quo are too wrapped up in self-importance to make an effort. Rebelling against a societal norm is always met with resistance, but why?
When a person is scared, they elicit two responses: fight or flight. The fight response causes people to resist change by devalidating all those attempting to live authentically. The flight response appears to be too busy with their own life to give a damn about the trans community. Both responses are born out of fear. People resist neo-pronouns because it puts the resistant’s own identity into question, causing fear. This is why it is called transphobia. Daly says, “Courage to be is the key to revelatory power of the feminist revolution.” Therefore, fear is the characteristic of the status quo – fear of disobeying the Patriarchal standard.
Some people have burdened themselves with the role of teacher to the fearful because teaching is a burden. The educators spread a message of freedom; freedom of identity, freedom of expression and the freedom to be seen and heard. For people to understand neo-pronouns, they have to listen to people before forming their own opinions, especially if that opinion is going to be “neo-pronouns do not exist”. How can one call oneself an ally whilst not being empathetic all the trans experience?
To those who experience being trans in the modern world, gender is not a given. We are not provided with the language and the resources to describe ourselves adequately. It is not as simple as looking down and feeling sure that a doctor got it right. Neo-pronouns are a tool that some trans people use to describe themselves better because the accepted language does not describe them. It is that simple.
“The method that is required is not one of correlation but of liberation. Even the term “method” must be reinterpreted and wrenched out of its usual semantic field, for the emerging creativity in women is by no means a merely cerebral process. In order to understand the implications of this process, it is necessary to grasp the fundamental fact that women have had the power of naming stolen from us. We have not been free to use our power to name ourselves, the world or God. The old naming was not the product of dialogue- a fact inadvertently admitted in the genesis story of Adam’s naming the animals and the women. Women are now realising that the universal imposing of names by men has been false because partial. That is, inadequate words have been taken as adequate.”
The problem with established language is that it oppresses. Until recently, Doctor meant man, Nurse meant woman, Scientist meant man, House Keeper meant woman. Semantics is the very root of modern oppression in the western world. We can overcome it by harnessing language and re-writing it for the oppressed. Neo-pronouns allow transgender people to write their own stories without the input of established gender roles. It allows them to break free of the new box society has created. Neo-pronouns do exist, and they are essential.
To find my socials go to iocutmore.com. On my website, you can also find LGBTQ+ support links as well as a list of brilliant (mostly LGBTQ+) creators to who you should go and show some support. I hope you farewell until next time,
I have often been heard to say, “there is no longer a neutral option in politics, it’s either leftist social activism or conservative complacency.” In reality, whenever I’ve said that sentence out loud, it’s never been as well worded as it appears on a page, but I’ve always meant the same thing. The state of neutrality is dead. However, today I am not to muse over the flaws in the so-called “neutral centrism” but instead on the state of modern debate, namely in political circles and how it is used to suspend the ultimate push for total equality for all.
Colloquially, you will often hear a “centre-right” man say something along the lines of, “I don’t care what someone calls themselves or what their sexual preference is; I think that everyone should just be able to do as they please.” It’s often used as a dodge with regards to a question about the rights or freedoms of LGBTQ+ people. Although on the surface, this appears to both the person listening (and sometimes the person who said it), as a position of support, it is a lack of position masked as support; the “do what you want as long as it doesn’t affect me,” position. The “I can’t say that I don’t care” approach. To many, this stance of masking no position as support is favourable because it is easy. This is due to something I call Passive Acceptance Bias, or the “don’t shove it down my throat” fallacy. To the majority of uneducated bystanders, the appeal of passive acceptance is unbeatable due to the minimal amount of work one has to undergo to uphold it. It is a political bystander effect.
To those who took less than a half term of Psychology A-Level, the bystander effect is the social theory that the majority of those will not sacrifice the camouflage of the group to help a person in need of social/medical/financial assistance unless one person in that majority does it first. In short, those with privilege choose to hide behind it until it is beneficial to them not to. The common example placed in most educational situations is a video of actors pretending to be ill outside of Liverpool Street Station in London and then the reactions of bypassers are filmed , demonstrating that the “diffusion of responsibility” is the main factor in diverting people away from the aid of an ill individual. However, I argue that this theory also applies to social justice movements.
In 2016, there was a huge wave of reaction YouTubers who would find left-wing non-binary/gender-queer creators’ videos and make fun of them. Even if they didn’t make it to explicitly make fun of non-binary people, this led to a huge anti-SJW (social justice warrior) movement on the internet where all who stood in support of non-binary identities or believed in the gender pay gap or satirically made fun of “manspreading” found themselves in the firing line of online abuse and harassment. It drove many people off of the online space temporarily only to return recently where now society (especially online) is far more accepting of people with left-aligning political beliefs. Many of my younger readers will remember this time (especially if you’re my age) and if you’re even younger you now deal with the repercussions of this through the even more large community of INCELS that now fester in the dark corners of Reddit and 4Chan.
The anti-SJW surge is responsible now for the “attack-helicopter” jokes and the “woke mob” rhetoric and the newfound popularity of pundits like Peirce Morgan and Ben Shapiro. I’d even argue that Donald Trump found a way to run a successful Presidential Campaign off of this new community of hatred. At the time it barely scratched me because of my lack of self-awareness, however, that was the dangerous part of it. Whilst it was socially acceptable to shit on LGBTQ+ minorities, everyone did it. If you watch a reaction YouTuber that was around in 2015/16 there is an estimated 60% chance that they will have made a dreaded “crazy SJW” video, making fun of radical feminists and genderqueer people. I found myself being indoctrinated into a right-wing way of thinking because of the sheer volume of it I was seeing. Fascists targeted the young and easily malleable so that Queer people are now treated with contempt by cis people because in their head we are just another “crazy SJW.”
This links back to the bystander effect, because only once it was socially acceptable for Queer people to exist in an online space did the majority let them and “support” them in doing so, whilst arguing that because the nature of Qyeer identity wasn’t explicitly being made fun of, that there was no transphobic wave online, but more a utopian time of critique and debate in the political pot of YouTube and Reddit. Unfortunately, though, the majority fail to realise that for most, if not all Queer (especially genderqueer) people, politics is strongly interwoven with our identity. We are forced into left-wing spaces because those are some of the safest places for us to be in. We do not have the privilege to separate our politics and who we are as a person because that online utopia of debate that the cishets love so much ends up just forcing minorities to defend who they are and defining their oppression to every debate nerd who thinks that if our rights haven’t been debated then they shouldn’t be extended to us. To them, “they/them/ey/em” existing in my bio is a political statement.
The debate used to be a tool of academic controlled argument, where scientists, mathematicians and politicians could discuss stuff. The online space has turned the debate into a series of anger-fueled, statistically inaccurate arguments – and in this case – in which the rights of a person to self-determine are thrown about as if that’s a right another individual can take away. This constant debate has changed the definition of politically neutral, moving it from the “I don’t care” position to the “I prefer not to take a side” position. Both are similar, however, the indifference in one is far more damaging than the other, because where the first displays passive acceptance, the second prefers to way up to two positions on minority rights and decide that neither is right. To expand, they look at the argument for equality and the argument against it and decide that neither one is better than the other.
Many of these people like to call themselves sceptics, or sceptical, a claim I always like to dissect. You see, scepticism is a philosophy as old as the ancient greeks. One form of Ancient Greek scepticism was Pyrrhonism, in which the goal was to achieve Eudaimonia – most commonly translated to happiness – by reaching a state called “Ataraxia,” a place of neutrality where neither position is seen as good or bad, but balanced and equally weighted and thus the person will not be tormented by a lack of good or the presence of bad. For example, a self-aware Pyrrhonist on trans rights would say “I am neither for nor against either side of the argument because from my outsider’s perspective neither opinion is good or bad for me,” which in reality would be worded more like, “I think there are good arguments to both sides when it comes to trans rights.” Alternatively, when addressing systematic racism, a Pyrrhonist would say, “I think both sides have taken their arguments too far,” and would disregard non-statistical pointers towards systematic disadvantages against black people and attempt to reason away these stating things like “black on black crime.” The ultimate aim of the Pyrrhonist is to suspend ultimate judgement indefinitely.
Maybe my statement at the start was inaccurate and this article is about centrism, so I guess this begs the question; how can I say this article is about both the centrists and the centre-right when I am talking about one type of person? Well, maybe it’s because I have little regard for the factions and fictions of the modern right, considering they’re a group of people who consistently align themselves with others who want to treat people in sub-human ways, but I’d rather say that it’s because the gap between the “centre” and “right” is much smaller between being “centre” and “liberal,” considering the mainstream right-wing pipeline in the media that has utilised a new wave of political complacency throughout the population.
I would argue that even traditional conservatives should be worried about this new concerning political complacency, even though it usually leads to an increase of votes for their party. Let’s compare the Labour vs Conservatives scene in 2010 and 2021 – the period between which I argue contains an unprecedented increase in this political complacency. In 2010, there was a traditional conservative, with a neo-liberal social stance who promised an innovative approach to conservatism in the years to come and the Labour Party was run by a man who promised higher taxes for the wealthy and an increase in social services. In 2021, there is a far-right man with the Conservatives, who have repeatedly lied in the house of commons and thus clearly holds no respect for the political traditions of this nation. Moreover, he is anti-immigration, pro-deportation, hyper-nationalist, anti-LGBT and a denier of systematic disadvantages facing black people in a nation that still fails to teach hairdressers how to properly look after the hair most commonly held by people of colour. However, in charge of the Labour Party is a neo-liberal lawyer who promises to reverse corporation tax cuts since 2010 but has no plans to increase them, platforms TERFs and listens to their transphobic points of view, wishes to increase the powers of law enforcement to make his lawyer friends richer and ultimately stands where the conservatives stood in 2010. Conservatism is not an ideology of regression, and yet we are moving backwards and it’s not due to a neo-conservative take over of the party, but the public’s political unawareness that has allowed these near-fascists to claim the electoral dictatorship we call a political system. The “centre” has moved in the past 11 years, making what was right-wing appear central. This is the new age of neo-conservatism.
I would argue that part of the reason for this is the BBC. National media is meant to provide an unbiased perspective of politics through both debate and critique, most importantly by holding MPs to account. If this doesn’t occur, then national media becomes less of free service and more of a propaganda machine for whoever’s in charge by not recounting the full reality. Before 2019, there was never really the need to fact check MPs because most of the time any who were found guilty of lying would be called to amend the record by the speaker of the house. However, since the resignation of John Berkow, there has been a publically noticeable increase in lies spewed by important members of the house, even the Prime Minister himself. The speaker has made no effort to correct these lies in any way and has permitted the continual misrepresentation of statistics and deliberate attempts to mislead the public. In this event, one would turn to the national media to hold the PM to account, but for some reason, the BBC has decided it’s not in the public’s interest to hear their elected officials lying in the House of Commons.
Take Peter Stefanovic’s continual pressure on the BBC as an example. On the 31st of August 2021, the lawyer posted a video that shows the Prime Minister lying and subsequently corrects him , the point being for the BBC to show this video on national television. However, rather than correctly informing the public about this deceit, the BBC would rather remain deafeningly silent. Unfortunately, calling someone a liar is now a political position and thus, to remain neutral, the BBC are more than reluctant to show Stefanovic’s video. In other words, to them, showing the Prime Minister lying and being proven wrong would be too much of a political stray from what they see as neutral to be admissable for public consumption. Now, considering that there is no neutral political position, just different ones (because politics isn’t limited to four points on a compass), that raises the question, “what is the political position of the BBC, considering they have to have one?”
In the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines (Section 4.1) , it states that “The BBC is committed to achieving due impartiality in all its output … taking account of the subject and nature of the content, the likely audience expectation and any signposting that may influence that expectation.” To the untrained eye, this is positive, impartiality in news media and is desirable to some because it puts them in the position to draw their conclusions from the media they consume without feeling too guilty about potentially stepping on anyone’s toes in the process. However, journalists are placed in a position of power when they are given the editorial goal of “impartiality” because the BBC states in that same exert that “In applying due impartiality to news, we give due weight to events, opinion and the main strands of argument. We may produce content about any subject, at any point on the spectrum of debate, as long as there are good editorial reasons for doing so,” ultimately saying that as long as the BBC see it profitable or editorially permissible they will publish work from any political stance that does not call for the disruptions of “fundamental democratic principles, such as the right to vote, freedom of expression and the rule of law.”
In short, the BBC carefully words their guidelines to say that all opinions are permissible, but we will present them as impartial. This first came to my attention when they published Caitlyn Jenner’s opinion of trans people in sport without any scientific debunking. To them, it is permissible to publish Caitlyn Jenner’s opinion on trans people in a sport without balancing it with any trans-affirming science that says there is no unfair advantage for trans women . If the BBC sees it as politically impartial to prioritise the opinions of a celebrity over the facts published in academia it raises real issues with its ethical standability. To put it into context, consider this: Caitlyn Jenner lived her years as a sportsperson as a man. She hadn’t realised she was trans yet so she wasn’t receiving HRT or affirming surgeries of any kind. To her, trans women in sports are the same thing. As an active member of the Republican Party and many pundits’ favourite “pick-me” trans women, her perception of herself has to match up with the views she had of trans people before her transition ie just men who think they’re women. This is why she doesn’t mind misgendering or deadnaming because she doesn’t see it as a misrepresentation of herself but as a misunderstanding. Despite being a trans woman, she is exceptionally privileged and is surprisingly forgiving of anti-trans sentiment. She’s never had any reason, therefore, to educate herself on rebuttals to conservative talking points. She doesn’t need to know that after 2 years of HRT strength differences between AFAB and AMAB women vanish  and speed differences reduce exceptionally  and instead sees trans women’s ability as equal to AMAB men.
Knowing this, however, the BBC treat her as a key source in the debate surrounding trans women in sport. The worst thing about Jenner’s position is that it isn’t targeted at professional adult athletes, it’s targeted at children. Young people who are trying their best to find their feet in a world that is already stacked against them have to sit and listen to someone who didn’t transition until she was in her 60s tell them that they shouldn’t be allowed to play sports in the group that fits them because it’s “not fair.” If Jenner had been talking about world-class athletes (this happened at the same time as the media storm about Laurel Hubbard’s place in the Olympics) then she would have been wrong, but it’s worse to think that she believes the medical history of a child means they shouldn’t be able to do Physical Education with people who are the same gender as them. This is the source that the BBC chose, the person whose opinion they thought was valuable in the needless, endless debate over the rights of women. This opinion is permissible.
You may have heard the phrase, “being neutral is still a political position,” and it’s true. The BBC’s idea of neutrality doesn’t match the Pyrrhonists (although their statement on impartiality would suggest that this is the goal) but the idea of neutrality platforms negative viewpoints on human rights to appear balanced.
Ben Shapiro first came onto my radar when he went out of his way to deadname and misgender Caitlyn Jenner on a TV show in 2015. Posing as a “facts and logic” debate lord, he proposes alt-right conservative views as the “logical” step forward from the insane musings of the modern liberal scum. I’m sure he wouldn’t like that introduction, considering he’s very focused on protecting his image. In short, he’s the internet’s favourite nice guy (who also denies systemic racism, trans equality, questions same-sex marriage and adoption, makes fun of trans celebrities and is just a downright winey shit). His approach to neutrality is to seek out seemingly crazy opinions that some liberals have and then, without context, will break these opinions down with no consideration for any solid un-debunked evidence because he knows that his fans won’t bother to fact check him. This way, he can cleverly pin one argument as insane, whilst posing himself as the equal and opposite rationality that his fanbase is looking for. Unfortunately, his rationality tends to be derived from alt-right talking points making him an extremely valuable member of their propaganda machine.
The BBC is similar, but their political leaning usually sways with whoever is in power, because as a publically-funded service they have to bootlick their bosses. The BBC is ultimately financially indebted to the government in charge because they are responsible for securing public funding. This means, over the past 11 years, the BBC has transitioned from liberal conservatism to downright anti-democratic fascist sympathy. They’re overly forgiving towards Boris’ conduct and lies and they ignore the public call for governmental accountability. It appears clear to me that no longer can the BBC call itself impartial without having to defend the poor editing decisions it’s made and the prolonged silence about the PM’s worrying relationship with the truth. We don’t even know how many children he has.
This has crossed the line. Of course in other areas of the BBC, it is possible to find sufficient trans-affirming information, but that choice of who to place on a podium, who to make the face of the BBCs perspective on trans people in sport whose opinion was blasted on national television, national radio and boldly on their website speaks volumes. It should have been a researcher. However, the BBC has a responsibility to make sure that no individual or organisation attempts to mislead the public in the way that both Johnson and Jenner have. Arguably, the BBC has become an organisation that misleads.
More recently, live on air, Thérèse Coffey was asked about the Universal Credit cut of £20/week. She claimed that to make the difference you only have to work an extra 2 hours. Not only did she seem to be unaware that the minimum wage is £8.91 (for people over 23), not £10, but the Conservative government has planned to increase national insurance in a tax bracket that already loses 32% of its income to tax. Under the current system and according to the government’s estimates, someone working minimum wage loses £15.80 of their pay from a 30-hour workweek to tax, but for most, their workweek could look more like 35-48 hours. Some companies even have clauses to bypass the 48-hour work-week limit in their contracts. The Torys now expect the working class to work, not two, but three extra hours a week because they don’t want to pay their universal credit. Compare this with the salary of the man who wants to cut this lifeline. Boris’ base salary is £157,372 a year, on top of which he can claim up to £648,485 on work expenses. This means, in his position, the maximum he could pull in every week is £15,497.25 . Understand that this is if he claimed every possible expense for work, including accommodation both in and outside of London. Despite knowing this, the BBC not only let Coffey lie blatantly live on air, but they also allowed her to misrepresent the damaging effects this cut will have on working-class families as if it is insignificant.
This is the politics of the BBC.
This is not impartial, this is bootlicking. Allowing the ruling party to get away with knowingly making poverty worse in this nation without critique isn’t impartial. The BBC demonstrate Passive Acceptance Bias to the Conservative Party because they ultimately have a choke-hold on its public funding. The BBC are being forced into silence through ignorance and complacency but also because the government is its employer. Lacking accusative function against the governments allows debates to be suspended without conclusion, postponing the public’s knowledge of the government’s true intention whilst pipelining positive reviews like flattened curves and protest crackdowns. This is a propaganda machine.
We have backed ourselves into a corner with neo-conservatives and reversal is going to take a lot more than a traditional conservative posing as a liberal in charge of the opposition. The people need to hear the truth. Below, in my bibliography, you can find the link to Stefanovic’s video (in bold). The more watches it has, the more likely the BBC is to cave and finally do its job. The least we can do is educate ourselves. I think this new wave of Tory rule will spark a long reign of regression both socially and economically and whilst there is no accountability in the media, they will continue to get away with anything.
To find my socials go to iocutmore.com. On my website, you can also find LGBTQ+ support links as well as a list of brilliant (mostly LGBTQ+) creators to who you should go and show some support. I hope you farewell until next time,
Preface: I was asked to write an article for a school magazine. This was my first attempt but I was told I was sending the wrong message. It was an unrealistic recount of the school’s approach to LGBTQ+ inclusion and too negative for parents and closeted LGBTQ+ children to read. I wanted to tell my story and call for support in an overwhelmingly homophobic and toxic environment and rather than support that, I was told I was being too angry. I agreed to re-write it but I was told the deadline was in the distant future and was not warned before I missed it. Now no LGBTQ+ story will be told, no closeted kids will see a message, no homophobia will be called out. I decided that I will publish the article here, the original, but for legal reasons, I will not include the name of my school. This is a school magazine article for its LGBTQ+ Society.
Hello, I’m Io Cutmore and none of you will ever know me. All things considered, I started my social transition very late into my time here, so most of you will know me as someone who I thought I was. A character I played. Being Non-Binary in a Boy’s school was always gonna be an interesting experience, to say the least, but I never knew that a mixture of my politics and my identity would allow me to lead an LGBTQ+ society and, ultimately, write this article.
I think that’s a fun concept to play with, considering how things could have turned out differently. Looking back at the unravelling spool of life left behind you and thinking “What if I’d made this one life decision? How would that have changed my life?” It raises the question, how much are we actually in control? We all tend to feel in control of our own lives, for example, I chose to have the coffee that is currently sitting next to me as I’m writing this and I felt in control of that decision; but it is undeniable that there are factors of our lives that we aren’t in control of. Genetic factors play a role in how our life turns out along with aspects of our childhood before we could even comprehend the difference between a plane and a helicopter beyond the abstract shapes we did not yet understand flying through the great blue expanse.
We can choose, but we also can’t. One thing people don’t choose is who they are and who they love. As you navigate life, people will try and tell you differently but I can assure you that if people could choose their identity and who they loved, they would not choose the identity that got them bullied, teased, subject to hate crime and (sometimes) kicked out of their home. This is the life of members of the LGBTQ+ community, stuck in identities that we did not choose.
The fights of old are over. Same-sex marriage is legal, being transgender is legal and laws warranting Queer discrimination are nearly completely eradicated in the UK and yet we still get used as talking points and political pawns in the end goal of society. We do not have equal representation with straight people, we don’t have the same freedoms to self-identify as cisgender people [it’s a long process to transition your gender identity in the UK which doesn’t even include non-binary people] and socially we are now more at risk of hate crime than has been seen in recent years [hate crimes against transgender people quadrupled between 2015-2020].
The question of how we deal with this inequality all comes down to small acts of representation. Those are the key to creating a society where all people can feel equally treated and represented, because right now not enough is being done to make people feel seen, let alone included.
I always knew that it was going to be a challenge setting up an LGBTQ+ society so late in the year, however, I decided it was important to have that space there for you, the students. Generating interest for it was so much more difficult than I ever anticipated, with the smallest uptake I have ever seen, however, I don’t think that this year was a total failure for the LGBTQ+ community at this school.
As a non-binary person, I know that the UK isn’t a safe or accepting place for me. Legally, I am not recognised at all under the Gender Recognition Act and socially my identity is always up for debate. I am never allowed to just exist as myself. Setting up LGBTQ+ society this year forced me to come out on a massive scale using the Google Classrooms of every year group to publicise it, which was terrifying. However, one of the teachers who helped me run the society pointed out that it was important to let people know that an area where all can be included was there. Visibility is the easiest form of activism and I realise now that running an LGBTQ+ society and writing this article will mean more of you are exposed to new terms and concepts that otherwise would completely skip your radar because of the enforced heteronormativity of 2021 Britain.
The problem lies in the fact that the ghost of Section 28 – the law that prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools – has very much worked its way into the wood of the rafters that hold up the roof of any educational institution. For that reason, support and validation from teaching staff can still feel very forced with regard to Queer people however, I don’t think it’s unfair to assume that some amount of misunderstanding comes from the ever-changing and growing community of people who exist outside of society’s expectations, constantly re-defining what it means to be human. If the change happened too quickly, the metaphorical roof would surely cave in.
This year at LGBTQ+ society, we have pushed the message that we’re proud to be different and unafraid to be ourselves. There is a trend at this school of toxic masculinity which inspires ignorance through fear of association. In other words, students can feel reluctant to be around queer people because of what their friends will think. The fear of other opinions is the main cause of ignorance in students because being ignorant is safe. A student won’t have to defend themselves, their opinions or their actions if they’re not seen to have any that stray from the norm – even if that ends up at the expense of other students. We chose the message “Proud to be different” because we, as the LGBTQ+ Community, shouldn’t have to live in fear anymore.
I remember living in fear when I first came out in year 10 because, despite the mixed response, the negative aspects always stood out to me. Friends cut me out because they couldn’t associate with me, others would treat me with contempt, others would shout slurs at me in the corridors and a minority would throw food at me and my Queer friends. Those fears arose again when I came out for the second time at the start of this year and even though the response was better there were still negative repercussions. Coming out as non-binary makes people feel entitled to an opinion of who you are – as if your gender identity is up for debate or a talking point. This is the main issue I have faced because the media perpetuate the idea that LGBTQ+ identities are debatable issues when in reality we are who we are whether you agree or disagree with the “politics” surrounding us.
After going through all I have, the message I want to leave at this school is a message of empathy. Empathy with those who are going through a similar situation to the one I experienced. Unaccepting friends, intolerant peers and an identity that doesn’t match the “norm”. I hope, also, that you reading this article will go forth and be a better ally to the community, knowing full well that the experience of a Queer person in a same-sex school is unequivocally difficult.
The thing is, we are here to stay. Whether you look at Sappho, King James I of England, Nikola Tesla, Silvia Rivera, Marsha P Johnson or David Bowie – LGBTQ+ people have been around for centuries. Regardless of any political discourse surrounding the rights that are extended to them in 2021, it’s reasonable to think that the political belief that some people don’t deserve rights despite the countless contributions of Queer people to the modern world is abhorrent. We are not equal yet, but we deserve to be in the same way you do. In the same way that everyone does.
LGBTQ+ society, in my eyes, marks the beginning of a more accepting school. We’re not tearing down the rafters or imposing a “woke” agenda, we’re just existing and I hope it can continue to exist for students in years to come.
I will go forth now, from this school and continue to work and fight for the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in the UK and you’ll be able to find my work online on my blog and maybe one day on the news or in the House of Commons. What you have to decide, as students, is whether you want to stand with us as we fight for the equality we so rightly deserve.
To find my socials go to iocutmore.com. On my website, you can also find LGBTQ+ support links as well as a list of brilliant (mostly LGBTQ+) creators to who you should go and show some support. I hope you farewell until next time,
The Conservative party’s rules enforcing political neutrality only aims to make it easier to red pill impressionable teens.
This week, I have received some disturbing news in regards to a “social justice” assembly that my headteacher gave. According to inside sources, he was addressing women’s issues and problems with systematic racism and then countering those points with the “opposite” such as facts like women get more degrees than men or the women in the FTSE 100 are more successful etc.
Now, I do understand that from a “neutral” perspective, this may seem to be the best way to present a “neutral” viewpoint, but this sort of comparison allows the two issues to be comparable, so let me break it down.
In regards to systematic sexism, women have spent their whole lives being disadvantaged by both conscious and unconscious sexism, harassment and abuse in the workplace. They get paid statistically less than their male counterparts and have always had to face this disparity from school age. Although I can’t back it up, I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume that a group who is forced to work harder to achieve the same as their male counterparts will go further in academic achievement because that work ethic has to be developed at a much younger age. My point here is that you cannot measure systematic issues with statistics presented without any context to children and then directly compare it with the violence and harassment that women face daily as if they’re comparable issues because it will end up justifying the treatment that they receive, especially if these comparisons are presented to them from a person in authority.
Children deserve to know how it is, not how the centre-right see things. Systematic sexism is a common belief across all political opinions. The difference between left and right is that the right try and justify it whilst the left actively fight against it, so the neutral position here is not balancing, but trying to accurately teach children about the systematic challenges against women.
Now, I don’t want to spend time taking the voice away from women here, I am simply trying to point to the stupidity in this perceived “neutrality” because political neutrality in this form isn’t in fact neutral. It’s funny because the people who try and spend time deconstructing feminist arguments (in this way) aren’t the far right because to them, systematic sexism is a good thing. The only people who attempt to approach systematic issues from a “neutral” standpoint are the centre and centre-right, neither of which are neutral positions. However, I know what you’re thinking, “Io! My favourite charismatic right-wing pundit tries to deconstruct the idea of systematic sexism all the time and he is never centre-right” – to which I would agree, but alt-right individuals use this argument as propaganda to red pill the centre to listen to their Nazi influenced rhetoric.
This is what concerned me about the news about an assembly like this within my own school because my first thought was – why is there all of a sudden a space for alt-right politics in my (fairly liberal) school?
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just an openly right-wing headteacher because the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has stressed the need for teachers to be politically neutral, after releasing his legislation against the expression of “extreme political stances” in the classroom. In other words, he ruled against the correct learning of “extreme” opinions such as the systematic sexism facing women. He said, “Political impartiality in our education system is … not just a matter of opinion, it’s also a matter of law. We must give pupils the context for them to be able to learn and form their own opinions. They should not be influenced improperly.”
The problem here is that Williamsons’ perception of “impartiality” is actually just the politics that the alt-right use to indoctrinate impressionable minds through pundits such as Ben Shapiro or Jordan Peterson. He wants teachers to use the “facts and logic” argument rather than actually addressing issues from a neutral perspective. The way schools are now addressing this is by presenting both sides of the argument on whether systematic issues against women exist, rather than accepting that they exist (which they do) and then presenting the different opinions on how we should deal with it eg. the left say we should implement systematic change to eradicate unfair treatment of any minority and the right say we should embrace it and go further but the moderates on both sides agree that small changes like equality quotas (liberals) or token women on boards within companies (self-labelled libertarians on the right). That way we don’t constantly disavow the experiences of women by saying, “yeah, but women get more degrees than men”.
Under Williamson’s current policy, schools are forced to use alt-right rhetoric presented as the neutral perspective on systematic issues rather than actually presenting a neutral argument that only aims to undermine oppressed groups like women because it teaches children that the “neutral” approach is just rattling off where women do well rather than actually being able to decide where they stand. In other words, Williamson is using schools in the same way that Ben Shapiro is using Daily Wire, to red pill impressionable teenagers into alt-right ways of thinking.
The scary thing is that this “I’m going to look at this neutrally with facts and logic” approach has been used by the alt-right to indoctrinate people for as long as there has been significant opposition to their cause and it works. When Hitler presented stereotypical differences between white Germans and Jews and said that those differences made white people superior, but from a neutral perspective, it was successful in red pilling people into his antisemitism. When the media made cisgender men play most if not all trans women in film, it successfully red-pilled a large number of people into thinking that trans women are just men performing womanhood – more like drag queens than actual women. When Mussolini used evolution to show that gay people are inferior even though animals have been observed to have homosexual tendencies for generations, he successfully red-pilled a generation of people into believing in right-wing evolutionary superiority. These are the same techniques being used by Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro and other right-wing pundits and now, by extension and law, every school in the UK.
Neutrality- to be truly neutral – has to come from a place that assumes the true experiences of minority groups, rather than assuming that they face no systematic issues because “they have more university degrees”. For example, if my school started saying – “trans people deserve the right to be listened to and treated as their correct gender, but they shouldn’t go into the correct toilet because cisgender men will abuse that right by saying that they’re women” – then I’d obviously have a massive issue with that, because if there were criminals in toilets (women’s and men’s alike) then I’d hope our legal system would be good enough to deal with them appropriately. That argument is either saying that men would get off easily for predatory behaviour or that trans people are treated unfairly by the criminal justice system and either way that sounds like a systematic issue where cis men are treated disproportionately well.
Schools aren’t telling the full story of these issues and then expecting students to fill in the blanks to stay neutral, but in the process, they are allowing the alt-right propaganda project now instilled in our schools to go even further than it did before.
Hypothetically, let’s say that the stereotype that blonde people are less intelligent has been the defining factor for generations. Blonde people hadn’t been able to vote without restriction for even 100 years, had been forced by the education system into custodial roles and not taught STEM or other “academic” subjects, unlike their brunette counterparts. Then about 50 years ago, they were starting to get taught science, but their brunette science teachers couldn’t understand why they were teaching physics to blonde people and that now in the modern-day all legal restrictions had been removed on blonde people’s ability to participate in education. Now they were treated (legally) as equal to brunette people, but ginger people were still considered to be defective and people who change their hair delusional. Now, considering all that, blonde people start outperforming brunettes in academic subjects, do you think that that symbolises the end of any hierarchy of hair colour? Are blondes and brunettes equal now, despite the generations of brunette people who still have reaped the benefits of systematic disadvantages facing blonde people and wish to maintain those disadvantages? What about across the board, are people who dye their hair blonde treated as blondes, or do people just see them as brunettes pretending to be blonde and vice versa? I guess I’m asking, just because all legal and structural policy doesn’t outright disadvantage blondes anymore, does that make them equal? The correct answer is no, it doesn’t.
However, the government in this scenario has just mandated that schools present both sides of the argument in the name of impartiality, so rather than being able to accurately teach about the systematic hardships blonde people have faced, they are forced to say “yes blonde people have faced systematic disadvantages, but they are now outperforming brunette people in academic circumstances,” which teaches those brunette kids to question the true level of hardship that blonde people have faced, moving them away from a progressive policy that makes it easier to overcome the remnants of an actively oppressive system. This is how women’s issues are being treated by the Conservative Party right now, in this country.
In fact, this is how they are mandating schools to teach students about political issues. Rather than enforcing true neutrality, they are compelling schools on a legal basis to teach the side that says “there are systematic issues against minority groups” versus the side that says there aren’t. This is alt-right red pilling because it makes systematic issues seem like an equally valid opinion to thinking they don’t exist – painting liberal (not to mention left-wing) politics as “extreme.”
What can be done?
Other than lobbying the government to change the policy and gritting your teeth whilst you vote for the leading opposition in your constituency we need to lobby schools. Even small acts like sending this blog to heads in your school or talking about politics with teachers can help them understand how to be effectively neutral rather than regressively neutral as the current policy suggests. I would also recommend that you commend any teacher that accurately portrays the struggles of minority groups despite the legislation because that sort of activism is more powerful than you think. I would also watch and listen to the creators that I have listed on my website, which will allow a better, more well-rounded perspective of politics rather than just an alt-right view. On top of that, encourage your friends to do the same so that they too don’t fall for this indoctrination technique. We need to stay positive, vocal and on the right side of history because if we let the Conservative Party win over our peers, it will cause irreparable damage for years to come.
To find my socials go to iocutmore.com. On my website, you can also find LGBTQ+ support links as well as a list of brilliant (mostly LGBTQ+) creators to who you should go and show some support. I hope you farewell until next time,
This has to be the final nail in the coffin for all LGBT+ Conservatives
The lack of substantial modern evidence that the Conservatives are an anti-LGBTQ+ party in 2021 has been one of the many sticking points of members of our community who support the Tories. Obviously, the prime minister called Gay people “tank-top wearing bum boys”, but you will hear many trying to justify that behind the ever-growing wall of ignorance that is bad satire.
The fact of the matter is, any self-respecting Queer person has known that the Conservative Party is not for them, does not support them and will not support their needs for years now. Section 28 was the only beginning of Tory bigotry’s long line; however, I would argue that Parties who have more practice covering bigotry will always do a better job. This is why, about Gay and Trans rights, the Tories had always seemed too clean since they took credit for the excellent work of the Lib Dems in the coalition when “Same-Sex” marriage was legalised, especially in comparison to the leading opposition.
I have made it abundantly clear about the problems of the Labour Party under Keir Starmer on both this platform and on my Twitter. Still, frankly, the only reason I think he’s slipping up is that he forgets that “progressives” over time become “conservatives” if they don’t adapt and change. In other words, he’s a living, breathing example of why Conservatives tend to be either old or rich, and he’s verging on both. He slips because he’s not used to being the bigoted one, whereas the Conservatives’ whole thing is opposing positive change for the minority (unless it’s the minority of wealth holders). They are much better at hiding it.
This is why it has been so impossible to adequately substantiate the leading Party’s Queer-phobia in recent years because rather than changing, they’ve got better at hiding it from the average person. Finally, however, the mask has cracked. It came into the public eye that, on March 31st, the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel was disbanded due to a series of resignations from key members due to the “hostile environment for LGBT+ people among this [the current] administration.” Those words, spoken by Jayne Ozanne when she left the panel on March 10th, marked the first of many comments from that board as they left because the government seemed to be “digging its feet” in over the issue of conversion therapy – a torturous practise of attempting to turn Queer people “straight” through religion, despite it having no religious president whatsoever [if Jesus had said “thou shalt commit the torturous act of gay conversion therapy to free my children from sin” then I would’ve understood].
Jayne Ozanne works to ensure the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ Christians at every level of the Church of England. As an essential religious figure on that panel, it was a huge blow to the Tory shell to see her go first, but I think it sets an essential precedent. A precedent which almost immediately began to show, with two more appointees resigning in the following weeks, one of whom was James Morton.
Before we break down what he said, I would like to quickly add some food for thought addressed to anyone who’s got this far and has begun to feel offended by this Tory Slander. Whistleblowers are an essential part of any working society. Without them, we wouldn’t know about the atrocities in the USSR, Maoist China and Iraq. We wouldn’t be able to point out the wrongdoings of the USA in Vietnam as they committed war crime after war crime, killing innocent civilians with chemical weapons. We wouldn’t know about the trend of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party under Corbin or the weak leadership of May. The fact is, whatever side of the political spectrum you may be on, whistleblowers are essential in establishing who we do and do not support and when there is a trend of whistleblowers, they’re more likely than not going to be telling the truth. This isn’t Tory slander; this is what every regressive or repressive policy the Tories have stood with has led to, from not standing with their policy to reform the Gender Recognition Act to include Non-Binary people to electing a Prime Minister who has been openly homophobic with hard-right fascist influences. There were three open resignations from this board before it was quickly disbanded, and I am sure that there would have been more if they had been left to it.
In a letter of resignation to Priti Patel, James Morton said, “The lack of engagement that you, minister Badenoch and the Government Equalities Office civil servants have had with us as a panel, coupled with the rhetoric used in ministerial statements, leaves me with no confidence that the UK government wishes to protect the existing quality of life and human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people,” concluding that, “The UK government does not seem, through words or actions, to have any desire to build a country in which trans people are among those free to live their lives.” The transphobia in this government is so rampant, and frankly, I think it’s the only part of the government that accurately represents the people. They would much rather hold on to the transphobic voters than create real change in this nation, but we already know that, considering they are, as I said, the party opposing positive change for minorities.
It’s got so bad that even MPs who have dedicated their lives in support of the community are openly transphobic. A member of the committee against Conversion Therapy, Dean Russel, said to me when I asked him why the Conservative Party was so against reforming the Gender Recognition Act that, “there is a much wider debate to be had” about who has the right to go into the correct bathroom, whilst stumbling and mumbling over his words finishing off by deadnaming Elliot Page in a sudden bout of “support”. Regardless of his motives, when asked about the GRA, his first thought was “spout transphobic lie to a bunch of children and then incorrectly name drop and deadname a public figure”. He’s declined to comment any further on this time and time and time again when I have asked him to on social media, but he’s not my MP, so I am not of his concern.
The Tories are festering a “lack of engagement” and the “rhetoric used in ministerial statements” paired with the whistleblowers who think that “The UK government does not seem, through words or actions, to have any desire to build a country in which trans people are among those free to live their lives” and are more interested with the maintenance of “the existing quality of life” for Queer people, despite rising hate crime numbers. It appears to me, dear reader, that the Conservative Party are “digging their feet in” on a lot more than just Conversion Therapy. In fact, it appears they wish to repress any acceleration of Queer rights and protections across the board, to the point of maintaining a policy that stops people like me from being legally recognised as who I am. All cis people can have their gender on their passport, live their life as their gender identity, go into the correct toilet and enjoy a significantly lower risk of violent crime than any queer person, especially trans women and non-binary people.
New Conservative legislation aims to remove many public gender-neutral toilets. That means every time I need to have a piss when I’m out with my friends, I am forced to out myself to everyone around me as AMAB. Lies in the Conservative manifesto would have meant that I could have put my gender identity on my passport, but now I am stuck with having an “M” on it. I had to live 18 years of my life lying to myself about who I was, only to find out that who I was wasn’t accepted on any legal level in my country. I could walk down the street and be attacked or worse for just living as who I am. Rather than protect me and the thousands of others like me, the Conservatives think they have done enough, think they’ve gone far enough, think that there’s no need to give Queer people any more protections, let alone the right to be themselves. These things that may seem insignificant to you are everything to me, and I envy every single cis person who gets to live their life without question or debate.
If the Tories were doing enough, I wouldn’t have to write this article or any of the others about similar issues on my blog; I probably wouldn’t even be as politically minded as I am because I would have the freedom of not having to worry every day that my identity could come into question. This is not a country of LGBTQ+ equality, nor is it a country of LGB equality. This is a country of White, Conservative G man equality, the only member of the LGBTQ+ community who can revel in his freedom whilst the rest of us suffer, despite the reality that the very rights that they enjoy were handed to them by transgender and gender-non-conforming women of colour, throwing bricks on the streets of New York. The privilege of the White Conservative Gay Man is not an accurate representation of the rest of the LGBTQ+ community, but it is clear that our government thinks that it is.
Feeling a bit melancholy. In 2021, there have been over 80 anti-trans bills passed in the USA. From banning trans girls in school sports through to banning gender-affirming healthcare to under-18s, the States are on a transphobic streak, so I thought I’d open up a blog and just talk about it, edit it and post it just so I can get it out of my skull and translate it over to you, my reader. How are you by the way? Are you okay? I hope you are 🙂
Transgender women in sport. One of the biggest debates in all of the social spheres on all sides of politics regardless of party affiliation. The main argument is, yes gender identity exists separate from sex, but you cannot deny that people born “male” will have significant biological advantages over people born “female”. When put on the spot, usually I would find it hard to answer this. I’ve suggested that we change the form of separation in sport from gender to ability or just let them compete and live with the consequences that sometimes people have biological advantages. After all, trans women ARE women, so why should their perceived biological advantage be any less valuable? I say usually because the other day, I discovered a fact that will forever change my argument when approaching this discussion.
Transgender people have been allowed to compete under their correct gender identity on an Olympic level since 2004. You can look it up if you don’t believe me. Obviously, there are conditions regarding surgeries and the legal recognition of their gender but ultimately all transgender people can compete under these restrictions. Athletes must have undergone gender-affirming surgery (both top and bottom), must show legal recognition of their gender and athletes must have received hormone therapy for an appropriate time before participation, with two years being the suggested time. Since 2004 this was the norm until 2015. Now all transgender men can compete without restriction. So, in short, it’s not even a debate because, despite fears of imbalances in physiology and biological performance, not one medal has been won by a transgender person since it was legal for them to compete. Not one.
With this knowledge, it’s impossible not to beg the question, “why do politicians care, considering they surely know the rules laid out by the Olympics and their implications?” In other words, why are we even talking about this when it’s shown to make absolutely no difference to the success of cis women? I think it’s simple. As long as the people are debating the validity of trans people being seen as their correct gender, the government can get away with not progressing trans rights.
It’s similar to that bathroom myth about how cis-men will abuse any law that allows trans women into the correct bathrooms to take advantage of women and girls. I’ve already debunked this argument in another blog, but in short – every country that has implemented bathroom bills have had no raise in perverse crime since its passing (excluding Canada where there was 1 case of someone abusing this law). It’s also similar to the self-id argument “if we don’t regulate people’s ability to transition then there will be a higher rate of detransitioning” – even though studies have shown that children as young as 5 can recognise their gender identity correctly so there is no reason to doubt a child if they decide they are transgender. The real question is why someone who might present this argument thinks that transgender children can’t know their gender identity, but cisgender children can? The argument is deliberately incongruent because it has to create a discussion It’s meant to elicit a reaction, if it didn’t then the argument’s purpose would be lost.
Arguments like this, so often debated in the media, aim to undermine trans affirmation and distract the public from giving transgender people the support they need. Nothing more, nothing less. My claim here is proven by the lack of scientific backing for any highlighted transphobic argument. Trans people should be able to live as their gender without question, that is a human right. The best piece of evidence for this is that trans people allowed to live as their correct gender have significantly better mental health than trans people that aren’t. The question shouldn’t be, “what level should trans people be allowed to exist as themselves at?” but rather, “why is society still willing to discuss how well we should accept trans people as who they are?”
For example, there are current political leaders who sit in prominent positions of the opposition to the Conservative government who are still willing to agree with the Tories on their approach to trans people, not because they necessarily agree with it (although some definitely do) but because it isn’t the message they want to demonstrate. They know it’s bad for optics to stand with trans people because of the rampant transphobia within the UK.
For example, in an interview with Sky, the leader of the opposition inferred that he believed that trans rights are human rights, but there still needs to be restrictions on who needs access to women-only spaces, like domestic abuse shelters. He sat there and blatantly inferred that he thought trans women are a lower class of women and clearly ignored that the domestic abuse rates among trans women are some of the highest of any group. He knew that standing with the complete inclusion of trans people was bad for his brand and whether he believes what he said or not, he is personally damaging the lives of transgender people all over the UK because he won’t use his voice, he won’t support us, he won’t listen to us or the science.
I criticise him more because as the individual who is meant to be representing the voice of the majority of the nation he is doing a very bad job of listening to the LGBTQ+ people in his own party, let alone the nation. He evidently thinks that the Tories are doing enough for trans people. He isn’t an opposition, he is an ally to them.
This is why those 82 anti-trans bills have been passed in the US. This constant debate only serves to hinder trans people. Discussing inclusion in sport, affirming medical treatment for teenagers, ability to self-identify are all just tools to distract us from enacting change. They would rather we talk about ethics than pay attention to the regressive approach to trans rights so many government officials are taking. We need to stop discussing how and why and to what extent we should include trans people and start to just do it, regardless. Let them compete as their correct gender as you would a cisgender child, let them express their gender as they wish as you would a cisgender child and most importantly, question why the government continues to treat trans people like they are lesser than cisgender people.
We live in unprecedented times, dear reader, and not just due to COVID-19. It seems that yet again, the world has it in for trans people – but I have been told I can get a bit negative in these posts so I’m going to sprinkle a little bit of positivity here as I am this brief post to a close.
I changed my name. Finally, one of the key parts of my social transition has been completed. My name is Io, I am the same non-binary blogger that you knew before but [deadname] is no longer with us. Shame that that’s the only positive for me as a trans person this week, but it will do. Let’s keep pushing for a better society, one where everyone is free to truly be who they are without restriction, without question and with the love, support and understanding that I have been so lucky to encounter on this journey.
To find my socials go to iocutmore.com. On my website, you can also find LGBTQ+ support links as well as a list of brilliant (mostly LGBTQ+) creators to who you should go and show some support. I hope you farewell until next time,
Being non-binary in a school that calls itself a “boys” school is going to have its issues, how has it affected me?
I remember the childish behaviour in Primary school; students telling me that going to a single-sex school was “gay” or would “turn me gay” because obviously, all a child knows is that straight people are only straight because they’re around girls every day. I tried not to let it affect me, considering it’s all I was told from the age of 8 by students my age and older. Back then, being gay was a bad thing because that’s all we knew.
Infuriatingly, they were kinda right. I’ve turned out more LGBTQ+ than I could ever have imagined in primary school. I’m sure year 6 Io would have been horrified at the prospect that they would have turned out “one of the gays” and I’m sure they would diagnose that as a direct response to going to a single-sex school. Of course, this notion is preposterous, one cannot turn Queer, and it is definitely not the fault of my school that I’ve turned out the way I have, but it has affected my perception of myself and the haste at which I’ve managed to discover who I am.
I see bigotry spread in three forms. Ignorance, Unintelligence and Inheritance. The latter is the most common amongst children since we are surrounded by all sorts of information and people, that to be bigoted due to lack of education is virtually impossible compared to the concentrated groups we end up associating with later. The responsibility of schools is to give people a wider world view because we know it increases empathetic ability. Obviously, on LGBTQ+ issues schooling falls very short – but being around all kinds of people online and in real life ought to bring a small amount of tolerance into someone’s life. The main form of bigotry in children comes from inheritance whether from parents, friends or religion. Bigotry can be learnt.
On the set of Ru Pauls Drag Race, Devina de Campo spoke about the effects of Section 28 on her time at school. It was British law prohibiting the “promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities, introduced by Margaret Thatcher, and was in effect from 1988 to 2000 (in Scotland) and 2003 (in England and Wales). It caused many organisations such as lesbian, gay and bisexual student support groups to close or limit their activities or self-censor, even impacting the way teaching staff dealt with bullying. De Campo described that teachers felt that they couldn’t intervene in homophobic bullying because the clause “promotion of homosexuality” was so ambiguous. This led a generation of kids to grow up thinking that making fun of LGBTQ+ people is okay, entitled to say what they want and if anyone takes offence to their “jokes”, they’re snowflakes or something. This is the lasting impact of inherited bigotry, individuals upset because no one’s ever questioned their “right” to make fun of minorities before, and just like inheritance passing this on to the next generation.
Section 28 was still legal when I was born, for a short while, meaning I am very much living in a world still experiencing lasting damage from Conservative “neo-liberalism”. The education system has got better, I can now run a small LGBTQ+ society in my school and talk openly about my identity and ask the teaching staff to respect my pronouns, but the children are still extremely stuck in the 80s. It’s always worrying that I hear middle age religious people more easily adapting to my pronouns quicker than my own friends and peers.
I came out for the first time in the summer after my 4th year at high school. Year 10 was a really tough year for me. I was so insecure in myself, always doubting everything because I was so unsure of who I was. Pansexuality was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to wrap my head around. I first came out to a room of my friends in a Youth Hostel in Belgium. Ypres, a place of loss and hurt after the tragedy of the Great War and, for me, where I lost one of my closest friends – because his personal views couldn’t match my identity. I came out as bisexual because allowed me to live as myself without having to really think about who I actually was because it meant I could date whoever I wanted without it changing who I was and I was very open about that with them, but he still couldn’t let me live as myself. He cut me out.
That was where the paranoia started. Always looked over my shoulder, whipping my head around whenever I heard someone laugh because I thought they were laughing at me. Sometimes they were, sometimes I couldn’t tell. I got so unsure of anything in regards to my sexuality that I forced myself into a relationship that I wasn’t ready for so I could somehow validate something I didn’t even know was real. He was a kid in my year and we pretended to love each other for two months, but in reality, we could barely touch each other in public – not even hold hands, because we were too scared of who we were. Insecure and unsure and in permanent fear of being attacked for just publicly showing who we were. An accepting country does not make its children feel that scared of who they are.
I’ve learned to live with the fear now. I know that I’ll feel terrified whenever I leave the house because someone could see me and decide that I am subhuman, even before I realised that I’m transgender. Whilst I was in my first relationship, I came out as bisexual to my parents and I started the worst summer of my life. It’s fair to say that my grandmother on my mum’s side is “old fashioned” if you catch my drift and I was so used to people’s bigotry being inherited after my friend cut me out that I projected that onto my mum, thinking she was rejecting me too, even though she was just adjusting. In trying to diagnose my mum’s bigotry, I showed my own. I had been taught by everyone around me that religion was the almighty homophobe and that learnt fear was perpetuated through the way I treated my mum that summer. I shut her out. I shut everyone out. I felt that no one in my home life could possibly understand what I was going through. But they did. They might not have been able to know exactly, but my parents have mental health too. They’ve had low times too. I was too short-sighted to see that.
Forgetting your parents are people is the worst thing a person can do when they need their support.
When I decided I’d had enough of faking our relationship, I ended it with my boyfriend and I faced school on my own. I was surrounded by a group of supportive friends, but it was so hard to demonstrate the paranoia I was living with being at school. I was constantly being teased and pushed and made fun of to my face. The bullies thought they were smart by never outright bullying me. They would patronise me, pretend to be kind to my face so they could get something out of me to laugh at. It meant I could never go to anyone about what I was experiencing, because any time I tried to talk to a teacher about it, the bully would just say they were being genuinely kind and that it was my problem if I took offence to what they were saying. It was always my fault.
TW/: Sexual Harassment (skip the paragraph)
That was when online sexual harassment started. There was one person in my year who was out at the time and he would mask his predatory urges through games like truth or dare, trying to convince me to take pictures of myself and send them to him. He even tried to get me to video call him and do stuff to myself. One time, I answered one of his video calls by accident and he was just sitting there naked. I ended that call as quickly as I could, but not before the words “you will fuck me” left his lips. I felt disgusting. Like I had violated myself by simply picking up the phone and I couldn’t do anything because it was my choice not to block him, my choice to keep talking to him. I thought he liked me. After that video call, he asked “are you even bisexual, you don’t seem interested in men at all?” and blocked me.
After that, I couldn’t stop questioning myself. He had successfully got into my head to the point that I felt that I was lying about who I was just because I wasn’t attracted to him. I still can’t get him out of my head. He’ll constantly be sat there, teasing me. The identity crisis he caused lasted for months, until the latter part of 2019.
I understand that this has come off-topic. This has nothing to do with being trans in a same-sex school, but I think that the reader cannot fully comprehend how hard it still is to be LGBTQ+ in modern schools until I set up the groundwork. This is my story, condensed into one blog post because I am tired of pretending that it’s been easy to live. It’s been easier than if I’d come out 10 years ago or 20 years ago or 30, but my experience as an LGBTQ+ person hasn’t been a walk in the park. It hasn’t been for anyone. I was so uncertain and paranoid about who I was that I let myself be harassed online because I felt like it would validate me in myself. That’s what the bullying did to me and I have to live with that.
I lose recollection after that point. After it happened I wrote in my diary for a few more months and then lost all motivation to do it. From March to December of 2019 I spiralled, as anyone would after such an experience and I won’t lie it nearly killed me. I started smoking in the summer because it was a light relief from what was going on in my head. Love got me through it. I met my girlfriend at the end of that year and we’ve dated ever since. 2020, although a living hell, was a welcome break for me. Years prior, I was hounded by a constant onslaught of work and doubt and identity crisis. In 2020 all I had to think about was my work and my relationship. I quit smoking and I was finally ready to hear myself think again.
Then the universe blessed me with a gender identity crisis. I’m convinced that if I had been in school, my trans identity would have been a lot harder to come to terms with, but being at home meant the person I was spending the most time with was my girlfriend on facetime. I was so ignorant to myself I didn’t even realise that half of my body issues came as a result of dysphoria, not low self-esteem. The question came with how my school would react. How am I going to live authentically as a non-binary person in a single-sex school?
The whole telos of this article was to demonstrate why I was so anxious to come out for a second time. Attending a school whose students I already knew weren’t kind to LGBTQ+ people, where food was thrown at me for being out, where the student who sexually harassed me used to attend, where I have a history of feeling unsupported.
Funnily enough, when it came to it, I wasn’t that anxious. I told my parents the day before my birthday and on my 18th I just went ahead and changed all my bios to add my pronouns and told the remaining friends who were yet to find out and that was that. I was just lowkey about it and to be fair the response has been a lot kinder than the first time. I am more sure of myself now than I ever have been because for once, I have the means with which I can defend myself. I know the facts, I know the science and although hate crimes are still on the rise, I am less paranoid than I was the first time. Or that’s what I thought. The thing is, this time I’ve been more low-key. I haven’t gone around telling people, coming out on public platforms (other than my Twitter because no one my age has Twitter) or dating anyone to prove it to myself. I realised that the reason the response was better at school was that I approached my coming in fear of a negative reaction, not because it was necessarily valid, but because I was insecure about who I am.
Unbeknownst to anyone, I started this blog anonymously at first, a closeted non-binary person attempting to make sense of their own identity and publishing diary entries because I was scared. I walk around school checking my back because I am scared. I don’t correct people when they misgender me, because I am scared. I’m scared because I know that not everyone knows gender theory to the same level as me and will have less educated views of what gender is. I’m scared because I know that I am part of a group of people who are considered jokes and targets by the media. I’m scared because politically I am considered less worthy of being myself than people who exist within the binary genders. I’m scared because I know people in my school have inherited bigotry. I’m most scared because my problems aren’t seen as the problem of a group but the problem of an individual. To most, I am an isolated incident, a blip on the chart, an incongruent piece of data. Is it too much to want to exist as me?
Being trans in a single-sex school on its own is okay. Manageable, especially knowing that the school seem to be trying to support me in any way that they can. It’s the people that make it hell on Earth. I don’t mind going to a same-sex school and occasionally being included in the collective of “boys” or “gents” because they are the majority, even though I’d argue that we shouldn’t address people as a collective gender because of the experience is so vast a diverse. I don’t mind having to wear suits and ties and look traditionally masculine for the remainder of my time there even though the dress code should be a bit more inclusive to keep people who don’t want to present masc comfortable and happy. However, I do mind having to go to a school with a group of people who have systematically judged me for being who I am and others who have overlooked my problems as if they aren’t there. I do mind being referred to as “him” by people that are supposed to be some of my closest friends. I wish it could change overnight. I’m sure that by the end of the year, no one will slip up with my pronouns anymore and no-one will misgender me and no one will make me feel scared to exist. Right now, though, I can’t even begin to say I’ve reached that point.
I know that the people who I want to read this won’t and people who I’d prefer didn’t will but I want to tell my story. I need people to know that they’re not alone. School sucks for everyone and I wish that I could take that away, but I can’t. Just know, if you feel alone and scared and unheard that you’re not. So many people have gone through it too, and we turned out okay.
Is this a new way to be transphobic or just a harmless way cisgender heterosexual men can feel like they’re opressed too? I dived into the dumpster fire of 4Chan to find out.
If you have access to an internet connection you have likely heard about this new trend sweeping the ranks of heterosexual men all over the western world. To be Super Straight is, according to a TikTok spokesman, a “new sexuality” that allows men to say with pride that they would not date a transgender woman, purely on the basis that she is transgender. They claim it is a new way to define their preference not to date anyone who has at any point had a penis because that would bring their heterosexuality into question. Now before I move forward, I need to put a trigger warning in place. In this document, I will include screenshots direct from 4Chan that include slurs such as the f-slur (referring to gay people), t-slur (referring to transgender people) as well as Nazi imagery. If any of this may affect you, I strongly recommend clicking off this blog and referring to my Instagram or Twitter where you can DM me and I’ll send a summary of the article edited to be less triggering. There may also be references to sexual assault, INCELS and the objectification of women. This is an article meant to inform to equip allies with the correct information to appropriately combat any Super Straight individuals who may harras them, this is not in any way a call to seek out people to change their mind, by all means, do your best to avoid engaging with any Super Straight individuals, because they have a Discord server where they out “superphones” to send cyberbullies towards those they see as the enemy.
The roots of the movement
Transphobia has been around for generations. It is a common theme in the media to mock the disclosure of someone’s trans identity in the case of intimate relationships, painting it as something to be disgusted by. You can see this in films such as Ace Ventura where there is a 2-minute sequence of Carrey’s character being physically sick after being intimate with a trans woman. The idea that no matter how attractive a man may have found a woman, finding out that she was born male is one of the most disgusting things has been perpetuated by media and can be pointed out as early as some of the first moving pictures we have on record.
In that sense Super Straight is nothing new because all this identity aims to point out is that this behaviour by straight men is justifiable through the concept of preference – and therefore because the LGBTQ+ community put labels to their “preferences”, so can cisgender heterosexual men.
I decided to trace this movement to its source which, like most cishet men’s victim complex, can be found on 4Chan, a website where pornography addicts, weebs and neo-nazis can co-exist in a cess-pit of ignorance and hate for anyone outside their tight nit hive of sweaty basement residing conservatives and dangerous skin headed thugs. This way I could read their own definition of “Super Straight” for myself, so I wasn’t getting it misconstrued by the overwhelmingly left-wing media I consume. So, here’s the Super Straight definition direct from the source:
So as we can clearly see, this idea of Super Straightness is rooted in an overwhelming sense of heterosexual superiority, not mere preference. They see cisgender heterosexuality as superior to all other forms of sexual and romantic attraction and equal to “preference”, not real identity – which is why they can say that their “preference” is equal to that of the LGBTQ+ community – despite sexual and romantic identities existing not as a preference but as who we are.
Reducing the sexualities in the LGBTQ+ community to preference is to say that being gay and liking men is equal to a heterosexual man liking women with brown hair – which it is not.
It may seem a tenuous link to state that the ideas of cishet superiority are suspiciously similar to the views of the Nazis, but that line of thought may not be as fabricated as it first may seem. The first instance of the Super Straight identity was posted on 4Chan 05/03/21 (the post has since been removed), posted by an anonymous user and it stated:
This was posted under a Neo-Nazi threat and it describes how that group intended to use impressionable kids on TikTok to create new a sexuality to push Nazi propaganda into the limelight and divide and conquer the transgender movement by separating them from the LGBTQ+ community. These Nazis want the propaganda around transgender people to get so bad that their own community will no longer accept them and they can drive transgender people into social extinction. It sadly appears their plan is working.
Super Straight is setting up to be the most successful Nazi movement in the Western World since 1933.
TikTok has platformed this Nazi movement and allowed it to spread exponentially all over the world and, as more and more cishet men decide they are super straight, the more work the trans community has done since ’69 gets reversed along with the progression we’ve made as a society.
Not only did this movement start in Neo-Nazi circles, it (for a time) adopted Nazi imagery, until the point that it was bad for publicity. They adopted the logo of Hitler’s Secret Police – the SS – on one of their original flags. More recently, their flag is just symbolised by the combination of black and orange, because most people wouldn’t adopt blatant Nazi imagery.
What we need to do
Instead of focusing on people who have already been indoctrinated, we need to spread this information to as many people as possible. Even if we remove the transphobic aspect of Super Straight, this is still part of one big Nazi Propoganda Machine in the 21st Century and the more people we can get to understand that the better. We need to educate people who are most vulnerable to this type of propaganda so they too are prepared to combat new-wave Nazism in our modern world. The reason we need to focus on those who haven’t yet encountered it is to ensure that the Nazis don’t get to them rather than spending time on those who won’t accept the Nazi routs of this identity.
There is nothing wrong with having a preference and I have nothing against straight men not wanting to date transgender people, although I cannot speak for trans women, however trying to define this way of thought in the way those who are Super Straight aim to do is from its routs attempting to push transgender people to the fringes of society, and that is why it is transphobic. This has no place in our world and we mustn’t let it take hold as it so perversely wants to.
A Note from the Author
To write this article, I went on to sites like 4Chan to access the information required to properly argue against the concept of a “Super Straight”. I won’t lie, I have taken the tamest screenshots I can to include here, some of the things I have read have made me sick to my stomach. From the constant use of slurs to planning hate crimes and murders. I strongly recommend that no one goes onto these spaces at all regardless of whether you think you can change people’s minds. Please. This movement is dangerous and aims to popularise hate crimes of violence against transgender people and it will be better for you that you don’t expose yourself to what these people are saying.
I haven’t cited any sources on this document because I don’t want to encourage or platform any of the people I have talked about here. That’s why I’ve included screenshots. I will have to ask you as a reader to go to my other blogs and see that I always cite my sources and the only reason I haven’t here is for your best interest. I hope this has helped educate you on the latest threat to trans rights. Please share this blog to get it to as many people as possible. This movement is too dangerous to just let happen.
If you don’t share it, thank you for reading anyway.