Political activism is a very unstable area. With no need to seek a middle ground there is little stopping you from jumping hell-for-leather into your chosen field of focused discontent, and polarising anybody who disagrees. Nobody demonstrates this better than self-fashioned LGBT activists who, in recent years, have taken to turning against anybody who doesn’t toe the line. Thankfully not all of them are like this…but they are the ones who get the headlines.
A good example is the NUS trans conference making the decision to bite the hand that feeds them, and passing a motion vowing not to work or collaborate with the police. That’s the same police, by the way, who will work as hard as possible to protect them from unjustifiable acts of violence. Bluntly put, they have shot themselves in the foot, and should be ashamhed of themselves.
This is not, however, the first time that certain members of the LGBT population (I refuse to call us a community) have turned against the police. Last July, the Toronto Pride march was halted for roughly half an hour when the self-aggrandised Black Lives Matter demanded that there would be no uniformed police marching in future pride parades. This January, Pride members voted in favour of the motion. Presumably because certain LGBT activists think that there are no gay or transgender police officers, Pride events across Canada are considering doing the same.
Something is going seriously wrong, seriously quickly. It is undeniable that the police were, in enforcing the law, heavy-handed towards LGBT people in the past. It is also undeniable that, for the most part, such attitudes have been eradicated in the modern police force. Transgender people especially need to work with the police, not against them, if they want to feel safe and secure.
Whilst they’re at it, they might want to give persecution of those they disagree with a rest. Almost a fortnight ago, Dame Jenni Murray wrote an article in which she politely argued that she does not believe that transgender women are real women. (for transparency, I disagree with this assessment on the grounds that what exactly a ‘real woman’ is eludes me.) The backlash was swift and savage, most notably from the transgender journalist India Willoughby who called her piece a “patronising, nasty and bitchy attack on the trans community.” Intellectual arguments, it seems, are in short supply. In absence of them, personal and baseless attacks take the foreground.
|NUS Trans conference 2017|
It is not just transgender activists who deserve criticism. Take, for example, the gay activists who are so swift to denounce Camille Paglia. Despite being a lesbian, they are not happy that she refuses to endorse the view that people are born gay. Rejecting genetic determinism, she argues that it is our upbringing – as well as our own choices – that lead us to being gay (for further transparency; I agree.) She nevertheless sings the praises of homosexuals and – for her troubles – she is tarred with the same brush usually reserved for the most viciously anti-gay.
None of this should be what LGBT activists focus on. We live in a world where gay and transgender people are executed in an area of the Middle East, where homosexuality is illegal in several Commonwealth countries, and where gay asylum seekers are threatened with deportation from our country because they cannot ‘prove’ that they are gay. It has never been more necessary to go global with a message of acceptance rather than resorting to bitter in-fighting, which helps nobody but the narcissists who perpetuate this nonsense.
This stupidity does not help the LGBT cause. If anything it poisons people against us, forcing us to be seen as illiberal hysterics. Rejecting those who ally with LGBT people, just because you happen to disagree with certain elements of what they say, is reckless and counter-productive. The sooner everybody can accept that, the sooner we can start focusing on the real issues.
Daniel Clark is a writer by Student Voices. Read his articles here >
LGBT Activism Has Taken a Wrong Turn, and it Isn't Helping the Movement | Daniel Clark Reviewed by Student Voices on 21:19 Rating: