Gay Liberation Front at 50: The Art of Protest Exhibition – August 2020

Painting by GLF founding activist Stuart Feather – author of ‘Blowing the lid: Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens’

17-29 Aug – Platform Southwark, 1 Joan Street, SE1
FOR THE FIRST TIME: Exhibition celebrating the art work of Gay Liberation Front and other LGBTQ activists from the past 50 years.

With a wrap-around festival of events featuring PETER TATCHELL, DAN GLASS, artist-led printmaking workshops from EDEN TOPALL-RABANES of RIPOSTE and BROOKE PALMIERI of CAMP BOOKS and UCL URBAN LAB.
Plus more to be announced.
Curated by Dan de la Motte with Associate Curation from Lily Cheetah
ENQUIRIES: @Dandelamotte / dandlmh@yahoo.co.uk / 07725402263

Queer rights veterans celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Gay Liberation Front and reclaim Pride – 27 June 2020

Please find below press links to our 50th celebration protest of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) – to get involved email gayliberationfrontuk@gmail.com to be added to the mailing list. Our regular ‘Think In’ gatherings (physical or virtual) will be updated here.

Gay Star News – LGBT+ veterans from the 70s mark 50th anniversary of UK’s Gay Liberation Front

12 of the activists from the London Gay Liberation Front have marched to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

They took the route of the cancelled Pride in London march on Saturday (27 June) to demand LGBT+ rights in the UK and worldwide.

Moreover the veterans made five demands:

1 For the UK to stop detaining and deporting LGBT+ asylum seekers.
2 Let people define their own gender, not doctors or the state.
3 Mandatory LGBT+ education in every school.
4 For religion to get its ‘hands off women’s and LGBT+ bodies’.
5 Solidarity with Black Lives Matter and LGBT+ people of color worldwide.

The Gay Liberation Front formed in 1970 and ran until 1974. While the GLF wasn’t the first LGBT+ campaign in the UK, it ignited the modern LGBT+ rights movement in the country.

Of course, many of the LGF’s founders have now died. Just 40 supporters joined the dozen veterans to ensure social distancing.

‘Freedom, including sexual freedom, for everyone’

GLF veterans marching.
The veterans are sticking to their ‘radical’ agenda 50 years on.Tris Reid-Smith

The activists, many in their 70s and 80s, emphasized modern concerns, including Black Lives Matter during the protest.

Ted Brown, aged 70, said: ‘GLF stemmed out of Stonewall 1969, which was a riot that took place after centuries of oppression against LGBT+ people.

‘We proved that the authorities will not listen unless we fight back, make a noise and cause a disturbance, as Black Lives Matter is doing now.’

Likewise, Nettie Pollard, 70, said ‘GLF still believes in revolution’

She added: ‘50 years ago, the Gay Liberation Front said “come out, change ourselves and revolutionize the world”.

‘Joining with other oppressed groups is the only way to work toward real change. Rights can so easily be taken away again. Liberation must mean freedom, including sexual freedom, for everyone.’

Meanwhile Andrew Lumsden, 78, emphasised that visibility remains important:

‘We insist on gathering in plain sight every year because for 2,000 years we were told to be invisible.

‘And we walk in honour of the young who are fighting in every country around the world. We think of LGBTs in Hong Kong, Poland, Chechnya, Brazil and Indonesia, who seek the dignities that ought not be denied to anyone.’

And Stuart Feather, 80, described the gay liberation movement as ‘the cosmic big bang beneath heterosexual and gay society’. He said it called on people to ‘to come out – be visible – break the taboo’. 

‘Radical social change is needed now’

The GLF veterans.
The Gay Liberation Front veterans.Peter Tatchell Foundation

Meanwhile Peter Tatchell, 68, remains the UK’s most famous activist and organized the anniversary march.

He said: ‘GLF did not seek equal rights within a flawed, unjust status quo. It campaigned for the transformation of society to end straight supremacism and stood in solidarity with all other oppressed people.

‘A similar agenda of radical social change is needed now, as the UK faces the threats of COVID-19, economic meltdown, institutional racism, climate destruction and the demonisation of trans people.

We support Black Lives Matter and the just demands of black communities and black LGBT+ people, like we did in the early 1970s.’

Likewise John Lloyd, 67, recalled how the GLF had always looked beyond the UK.

He said: ‘From the outset, GLF had an internationalist perspective. In 1973, Peter and myself represented GLF at the World Youth Festival in communist East Berlin, which was attended by over 100,000 young people from all over the world.

‘We spoke out for gay liberation and staged LGBT+ protests.

‘Despite being attacked by members of our own British delegation, our interventions for the first time put LGBT+ rights on the agenda of the left, social democratic, liberal and trade union movements in the UK and other countries.’

Further press links

Gay Star News – LGBT+ veterans from the 70s mark 50th anniversary of UK’s Gay Liberation Front

Openly – OPINION: LGBT+ statues would remind us to fight for freedom – by Dan Glass

GScene – Gay Liberation Front celebrates 50 years of Pride

Pictures – Pride London 2020 Queer rights veterans celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Gay Liberation Front and reclaim Pride – 27 June 2020 – photos by Nicolas Chinardet. More photos by Getty Images and on the Peter Tatchell Foundation website.

BBC News – Veterans walk London Pride route to celebrate 50th anniversary

Guardian – LGBT+ marches from London to New York call for end to racism

Openly – LGBT+ marches from London to New York call for end to racism

Reuters – Pride: London’s Gay Liberation front turns 50 – London’s ‘Gay Liberation Front’ celebrates 50th anniversary

Shropshire Star – Campaigners march in London as main Pride celebrations move online

BBC London News – 50 YEARS OF THE GAY LIBERATION FRONT! And the aim is ‘absolute freedom for all!’ Yes Ted Brown! Minute 16.00

27.06.20 – GLF Veterans March to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the London Gay Liberation Front

Saturday 27 June, 1pm BBC, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA

LGBT+ veterans in their 70s and 80s will march to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the London Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and to reclaim Pride with political demands.

Time – 1pm: Assemble outside BBC, Portland Place London W1A 1AA. We will march down to Trafalgar Square where there will be speeches by the founders of Pride. 

MAP: https://bit.ly/2N5zSmj

Please RSVP to say if you can attend at gayliberationfrontuk@gmail.com – veteran or otherwise – and if you have any accessibility needs. 

Press requests – please email gayliberationfrontuk@gmail.com ASAP.

Facebook event page click here / Instagram – GayliberationfrontUK

See the veteran’s demands and quotes below.

This year’s Pride in London parade on 27 June has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But veterans from GLF, 1970-74, will march anyway on the same day along the same route that the official Pride parade was due to follow. The march is coordinated by Peter Tatchell who was an activist in GLF.

GLF was formed in 1970 and is credited with being the beginning of the modern LGBT+ protest movement in the UK.

The GLF veterans Pride march will take place on Saturday 27 June, starting at 1pm outside the BBC in Portland Place W1A 1AA. 

The veterans and supporters will wear face masks and ensure social distancing. They will follow the planned official Pride route down Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Haymarket to Trafalgar Square, where there will be speeches from GLF veterans.

Putting politics back into Pride, the five demands of the GLF Pride march are:

1. End UK detention & deportation of LGBT+ asylum seekers

2. Let people define their own gender, not doctors or the state

3. Mandatory LGBT+ education in every school

4. Religion! Hands off women’s & LGBT+ bodies

5. Solidarity with Black Lives Matter & LGBT+ people of colour worldwide

Some of the other GLF veterans who will join the march commented:

Ted Brown, aged 70, said:

“GLF stemmed out of Stonewall 1969, which was a riot that took place after centuries of oppression against LGBT+ people. We proved that the authorities will not listen unless we fight back, make a noise and cause a disturbance, as Black Lives Matter is doing now.” 

Nettie Pollard, 70, said:

“50 years ago, the Gay Liberation Front said come out, change ourselves and revolutionize the world. Joining with other oppressed groups is the only way to work toward real change. Rights can so easily be taken away again. Liberation must mean freedom, including sexual freedom, for everyone. At Pride 2020, GLF still believes in revolution.”

Andrew Lumsden, 78, said:

“We insist on gathering in plain sight every year because for 2,000 years we were told to be invisible. This is the 50th calendar year in which we’ve walked the walk in London. We who were there in 1971 and 1972 walk now on behalf of our contemporaries who are too unwell, locked-down or far away, to join us. Many have already gone to LGBT+ heaven. And we walk in honour of the young who are fighting in every country around the world. We think of LGBTs in Hong Kong, Poland, Chechnya, Brazil and Indonesia, who seek the dignities that ought not be denied to anyone.”

Stuart Feather, 80, said:

“Gay Liberation was the cosmic big bang beneath heterosexual and gay society with its call to come out – be visible – break the taboo. From revolutionary chaos emerged two driving issues: misogyny and feminism. And two questions: what does it mean to be lesbian or gay, and how do we liberate ourselves? Based on the English revolution and the Quaker idea that ‘my word is my bond’, LGBT+ liberation will be the work of generations before there is general acceptance that without harm to others, my sexuality, my chosen gender, is my bond with society and no-one’s business but mine own.”

John Lloyd, 67, said:

“From the outset, GLF had an internationalist perspective. In 1973, Peter and myself represented GLF at the World Youth Festival in communist East Berlin, which was attended by over 100,000 young people from all over the world. We spoke out for gay liberation and staged LGBT+ protests. Despite being attacked by members of our own British delegation, our interventions for the first time put LGBT+ rights on the agenda of the left, social democratic, liberal and trade union movements in the UK and other countries.”

Peter Tatchell, 68, said:

“GLF did not seek equal rights within a flawed, unjust status quo. It campaigned for the transformation of society to end straight supremacism and stood in solidarity with all other oppressed people. A similar agenda of radical social change is needed now, as the UK faces the threats of Covid-19, economic meltdown, institutional racism, climate destruction and the demonisation of trans people. We support Black Lives Matter and the just demands of black communities and black LGBT+ people, like we did in the early 1970s.”

The march expresses its solidarity with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Intersex (LGBTQI) people in the UK and worldwide. Oppression for none. Liberation for all.

‘Absolute Freedom for all Party – Gay Liberation Front 50th Birthday Party @ LSE’ Pics, video and where next?

Dear all Gay Liberation Front and friends, thank you so much for such an amazing ‘Absolute Freedom for all Party – Gay Liberation Front 50th Birthday Party’ held at the London School of Economics (LSE) – where it all began on 12th March – it was so much fun!

For the video click here – Absolute Freedom for all Party – Gay Liberation Front 50th Birthday Party

Read the full article in QX here on page 18 🙂 Thank you to Joseph Wilson for the film, Holly Buckle for the photos and Ifan Llewelyn and all at QX for the article 🙂

Since our magical night obviously the world has changed dramatically and I hope you are all ok and getting the support you deserve. Understandably so many couldn’t make it on the night itself. There are many amazing groups being set up in response such as Covid-19 Mutual Aid UKa group of volunteers supporting local community groups organising mutual aid throughout the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK. We focus on providing resources and connecting people to their nearest local groups, willing volunteers and those in need. Many movements are mobilising for  A Basic Income for all citizens during the coronavirus crisis months and the London Renters Union are calling for rent and mortgage freezes. Here’s a template letter to send to your landlord too. 

Our events and action programme for 2020 will be continuing but likely a lot of it online until the virus is over – if you would like to be involved in organising online meet ups and strategising the year then please get in touch!  We need all the revolutionary love, radical community organising and support for our community in these trying times because 2020 brings the 50th anniversary of the start of Gay Liberation in London, the moment everything changed in Britain by giving us Coming Out, Gay Pride and the first Gay Pride March in 1972, making 2022 the 50th anniversary of that political demonstration and celebration – 

GLF stands for liberation: the choice is always there – liberation or slavery.

Join Us! http://www.gayliberationfrontuk.home.blog. Please do get in touch with any ideas and to be added to the mailing list if you are not already on it at  gayliberationfrontuk@gmail.com. if you are not already on it at  gayliberationfrontuk@gmail.com and sign up to our facebook group here.


ALSO! Here’s some exciting related news …

GLF AT 50: THE ART OF PROTEST (WORKING TITLE)

Dan de la Motte is curating an exhibition at Platform Southwark, 9-24 July. This will be an exhibition and celebration of GLF artwork; posters, badges, photos, banners, paintings and the like. Artwork relating directly to the GLF as well as artwork by GLF members themselves, from whatever era. To submit ideas or offer contributions for loan or potential sale, please email Dan dlM on dandlmh@yahoo.co.uk / 07725402263. The deadline for ideas/submissions is Thursday 30 April – after this time Dan and a committee will start planning the curation and get back to everyone to sort out logistics.

THE ROAD HERE – Queer activism podcast series

James came to the birthday party and he has been working on an amazing podcast series which documents the history of queer activism within the UK. In Peter Tatchells speech on the 50th birthday he mentioned that the world needs to hear more of our stories – and that’s exactly James’ intention with the podcast: to shine a light on the parts of our history which are largely unknown, told first-hand by the people who lived them. If you’re interested, the series website is https://www.theroadhere.com/ – it’s currently available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Contact James on theroadherepodcast@gmail.com if you are interested in sharing your story!

For Immediate Release – 03.02.20 – Night Pride (is a protest) demonstration announcements – Out of the clubs & on to the streets.

For Immediate Release – 03.02.20 – Night Pride (is a protest) demonstration announcements – Out of the clubs & on to the streets. 

The launch demonstration of ‘Night Pride – is a protest – Out of the Club and onto the streets’ will take over the streets in Hackney on the evening of Friday February 7th in response to the massive rise in hate crimes. Currently in London there are 55 attacks a week. Since BREXIT took place on January 31st ordinary citizens are already witnessing horrific assaults on marginalised populations and far-right politics have emboldened a new era of fascists. Homophobic hate crime reports soar but charges fall. Fewer prosecutions despite rising number of complaints, police data shows The number of homophobic hate crimes reported to police have more than doubled in the past five years – yet only 8% result in prosecutions, figures show. Reports of homophobic abuse recorded by UK police forces soared from 5,807 in 2014-15 to 13,530 in 2018-19, according to the data. But the number of prosecutions dropped from 1,157 to 1,058 over the same period – from 20% of all reports to 8%. 

Everyone is welcome to join to protest against the new wave of brutal attacks against marginalised communities across London. This is the first of three Night Prides, the second one being in Vauxhall on the 6th of March and the third in Soho 2 Southbank on 3rd April.

We will not tolerate the hate speech & violence inflicted upon us and the murder of our lovers, friends & our LGBTQIA+ families /communities. There has been a rise in hate crimes committed against LGBTIQA+ and other marginalised people in the UK. One attack is One too many! In the UK the battle for legal equality for Lesbians, Gay Men and Bisexuals has made great progress yet this is not the reality for our Trans & Non-Binary family. The equality fought for and legislated by the usually white, cis heterosexist establishment has not delivered true safety or liberation to many of us. Black people, People of Colour, Disabled people,Homeless and Vulnerably Housed LGBTQIA+, Women, Trans, Non-binary, Gender non-confirming, Butch Dykes, Femmes, Drag Queens and Sissies and Fags are often at the front line of attack.  Shamefully, this is not only from society at large but sometimes within our communities.

The reality is we are under attack, Femme to Masc. WE FIGHT BACK. FIGHT BACK

NIGHT PRIDE (Is a protest). Not a demand for equality. Not a demand for better policing. Not a demand for mere tolerance and acceptance. We are revolting, and we will have true liberation! We will hold hands, share affection, kiss our friends and lovers wherever we want. We won’t be confined to the safety of our homes, clubs and community spaces. We will express our gender identity in any way we damn please. We will not hide the many ways in which we express our sexuality/ies. We are unapologetic and unashamed. We are authentic and real. We are many and We will no longer be attacked. FIGHT BACK!’ Queer Night Pride collective organisers

With the rise of Neo Conservative politics in the world, marginalised communities are a risk of being denied equality, financial security and justice.  ‘Hate Crimes’ born out of bigotry and ignorance must be fought at every turn. As we come together for this Night Pride march we are visible opponents of those whose myopic and traditional revisionary views seek to oppress us with vitriol and fear. Hackney and in particular Dalston has a rich history of opposing and defeating fascism, racism, capitalism and xenophobia it is important that we who live here fight this new wave of homophobic and transphobic hate crimes. Together we are stronger.’ Lyall Hakaraia / Owner of Queer community arts space and venue VFD / Has lived in Dalston for 27years 

Under the eclipse of the wolf moon. A pack of young oppressed adults, created a hate crime against a beautiful drag queen. Filmed in a shop and hurled abuse while she took cash out. Cackled and created a school bully playground scene. Walking out taking a stand and standing up for herself she said her piece. Then she was struck from behind her blind spot in the face. An open gash split the eye and bleed for the whole night. The police are not seeing it as enough and moving along to the next case they will dismiss too!’ Camile Leon

There is no LGBTIQ+ housing pathway in the UK and NASS accommodation is often terrifying for LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum. The identity responsive services for those of us who are more marginalised or have higher needs are few and underfunded. The result of such systemic oppression is an over representation of LGBTIQ+ homelessness and the most vulnerable members of our community sleeping on the streets, sofa surfing, survival sex working, looking for safety but being targeted by abusers. We are joining Night Pride as a Community Centre bloc in solidarity with our homeless siblings, calling for more identity responsive services, community space and housing.’ The Outside Project’ Carla Ecola, Outside Project

‘We can be hurt. But we will heal. If the powerful refuse to share its resources, we will use every political means to force them to do so. We will not allow multinational corporate industries to exploit the LGBTQI to create wealth for its shareholders. We will not stand idly by and allow ANY political party to ride roughshod over the poor, the weak in spirit, the marginalised and those who see no hope for their futures. Our hopes, our dreams and our aspirations can be realised only if we refuse to allow ourselves to be divided. We are not shadows of the past, hiding behind curtains of shame and fear. We are not a dream of a future that can never be realised. We are here, now, and with love, support and sheer determination, we can create a safer and more equal society where none of us have to live in fear. With love to you all, Sarah Jane Baker’ C.E.O TRANSPRISONER ALLIANCE.CO.UK

Our day to day being and physical safety in reality is not protected by equality legislation. We do not need the tolerance or acceptance of cis heterosexual society to validate who we are. We validate ourselves. We see each other. Night Pride is just this a validation for ourselves and of ourselves. You can look but you can’t touch.’ Jack Ash

‘2019 was the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprisings that gave birth tot he Gay Liberation Front in 1970 who started Pride in 1972. These few years create a critical opportunity to learn from the founders of Pride to continue the struggle for ‘Absolute Freedom for All.’ Our movement was born out of rage and riots. We will not be driven back into the closet. We will meet all attacks with resistance and protest.’ Dan Glass, Gay Liberation Front UK. 

I work in and call Hackney my second home. I have however noticed a difference and a different aura towards the LGBT+ community at night. I have queer friends who have been surrounded and followed in the area and I am shocked that beautifully inclusive and welcoming queer venues now have to clearly warn their patrons to be safe as they leave. London needs to stand up! London’s queer community is real and diverse! London needs to fight back! London we are better than this!’ Danny

Contacts 

Email queernightpride@gmail.com

Tel – 07717811747

Notes to Editors

Timings – 

21:00 Assemble at Riviera Bridge, 283A Kingsland Road, E2 8AS London, United Kingdom

22:00 Mince to Dalston Superstore, 117 Kingsland High St, Dalston, London E8 2PB

23:00 Arrive at Dalston Superstore, 117 Kingsland High St, Dalston, London E8 2PB

Speeches and performance on the street.

00:00 Disperse

We will be holding an open meeting before the demonstration at 19:30 in the basement of The Glory – 281 Kingsland Rd, Haggerston, London E2 8AS – for anybody that wants to get involved in Night Pride and other Queer Activism. The Glory is not accessible. If you want to get involved but can’t make the event because of accessibility please contact us and we will arrange to meet you. The majority of our meeting spaces are accessible.

facebook event page here – https://www.facebook.com/events/2476123155935175/

Friday 7th Feb – Night Pride (Is A Protest)

21:00 Assemble at Riviera Bridge, 283A Kingsland Road, E2 8AS London, United Kingdom
22:00 Mince to Dalston Superstore, 117 Kingsland High St, Dalston, London E8 2PB
23:00 Arrive at Dalston Superstore, 117 Kingsland High St, Dalston, London E8 2PB
Speeches and performance on the street.
00:00 Disperse

Access statement to be added and posted to this page 4/02/2020 – facebook event page here

Press release – For Immediate Release – 03.02.20 – Night Pride (is a protest) demonstration announcements – Out of the clubs & on to the streets.

queernightpride@gmail.com

Night Pride (Is a protest)

Out of the clubs and on to the streets.

We will not tolerate the hate speech & violence inflicted upon us and the murder of our lovers, friends & our LGBTQIA+ families /communities. There has been a rise in hate crime committed against LGBTIQA+ and other marginalised people in the UK.
One attack is One too many!

In the UK the battle for legal equality for Lesbians, Gay Men and Bisexuals has made great progress yet this is not the reality for our Trans & Non-Binary family.
The equality fought for and legislated by the usually white, cis heterosexist establishment has not delivered true safety or liberation to many of us.

Black people, People of Colour, Disabled people,Homeless and Vulnerably Housed LGBTQIA+, Women, Trans, Non-binary, Gender non-confirming, Butch Dykes, Femmes, Drag Queens and Sissies and Fags are often at the front line of attack. Shamefully this is not only from society at large but sometimes within our communities.

The reality is we are under attack
Femme to Masc.
WE FIGHT BACK.
FIGHT BACK

NIGHT PRIDE
(Is a protest)
Not a demand for equality.
Not a demand for better policing.
Not a demand for mere tolerance and acceptance.

We are revolting, and we will have true liberation!

We will hold hands, share affection, kiss our friends and lovers wherever we want. We won’t be confined to the safety of our homes, clubs and community spaces.
We will express our gender identity in any way we damn please.
We will not hide the many ways in which we express our sexuality/ies.

We are unapologetic and unashamed.
We are authentic and real.
We are many and We will no longer be attacked.

FIGHT BACK!

We will be holding an open meeting 19:30 in the basement of The Glory for anybody that wants to get involved in Night Pride and other Queer Activism.
The Glory is not accessible. If you want to get involved but can’t make the event because of accessibility please contact us and we will arrange to meet you. The majority of our meeting spaces are accessible.

This is the first of three Night Prides:
Vauxhall
Soho 2 Southbank

The oppressed minority is always right.

We, the Gay Liberation Front, apologise to any and all trans people who were rightly offended by the horrific, disgusting, anti-trans tirade “Genitals = Gender,” shared in support of the religious fanatics of the LGB Alliance, and posted throughout our Facebook group, without our permission or knowledge, by Don Milligan.

In his book The Politics of Homosexuality published in 1973, Milligan states under the heading “Masculinity versus Femininity”:

Homosexual relationships generally parody those of heterosexuals with ‘butch’ and ‘fem’, active and passive. But implicit in homosexuality there is a challenge to this division between men and women, and consequently, to male supremacy. The handing out of male or female characteristics among homosexuals is of course not related to the genitals of the individual but rather to one’s personality, mannerisms and sexual preferences. This fact alone makes homosexuality subversive. Most homosexual relationships deny the genital basis of our individual characteristics, our roles and our status in society: women can be ‘butch’ and men can be ‘queens’ – women can be male and men can be female. Gay relationships imply that the adoption of male and female roles is arbitrary, and that the supremacy of men is founded upon myth and not biology.[1]

The capacity to menstruate, bear children and breast-feed must affect the psychology of an individual. However, the recognition of physical and psychological differences between men and women cannot justify the acceptance of the social concepts of masculinity and femininity. The biological differences between the sexes historically resulted in a special division of labour between men and women, and in the social subordination of women to men. The concepts of masculinity and femininity that have arisen out of this relationship of domination and subordination, are used today to defend the continuation of male supremacy.[2]

The attribution of particular roles and forms of behaviour to individuals simply because they have male or female genitals is largely arbitrary. It has little to do with muscles and nothing to do with the intellectual abilities or emotional make-up of either sex. Yet the division between masculinity and femininity remains a basic feature of human sexual relations. This tyranny, the tyranny of gender, is so intense that people who identify completely with the other sex become members of the opposite sex psychologically – they become transsexual. It becomes imperative for some transsexuals to undergo surgery and other treatment in order for them to bring their physiology into line with the way they think of themselves and want to be thought of in our society.[3]

Don Milligan in 1970 was an outrider for the International Socialist (IS) Party within the Lancaster University Gay Liberation Front student’s group.

The IS are a Marxist-Leninist party with a hierarchic structure where members’ thinking is strictly policed and their L&G members not allowed to influence others or think for themselves. They see anarchy as a severe threat to their hidebound, sclerotic organisation, that in a rapidly moving revolution will lose control of the situation and like the French communist party did in the Events of Paris in May 1968, betray the working-class in order to save its own skin.

IS are the polar opposite to the Gay Liberation Front, whose lack of organisation, mirrored the positive anarchy of joyous lesbian, gay and trans sexuality, and by that means saved the movement from being infiltrated and taken over by the organised left who tried, but failed to find a structure they could undermine.

Don Milligan was at one with the London GLF gay Maoists who plotted at a National GLF meeting in Lancaster, organised by him, to denounce the lesbian feminists and purge them from the movement so that it could become a gay male only liberation front. They did not succeed in that until the women decided that the politics of GLF was no longer revolutionary enough for them and split of their own accord to form Women’s Gay Liberation Front.

In 1973 Milligan published “The Politics of Homosexuality” probably in an attempt to persuade IS to back an LGBT wing of the party. What I held against his article at the time was that he only wrote of homosexuals attacking the police at Stonewall. He made no mention of drag queens, lesbians or that the majority of gays fighting the police were effeminate, black and Puerto Rican. But, that aside, as you have seen from the above quotations, there were some things that we could agree with in his analysis. He ended his article by listing 8 Demands. This is number 3:

Full recognition of the individual’s right to change sex and the right to all necessary medical treatment free.

So, what has happened to change Milligan’s mind over the last 47 years? The answer is I don’t know beyond the idea that it was hubris. He had tried to undermine GLF, he caused havoc when he joined the Brixton Fairies for a while, organising one demo after another where all the Fairies were arrested time after time, but not him. Everyone on the left knows he met his nemesis in the shape of the bigwig of IS who expelled him on the grounds that Lenin outlawed anyone who had belonged to an unaligned political party. That was in the 1990s after which he began to re-evaluate his political beliefs. Not only had he lost out with the IS, but also his revolutionary credentials as an IS and a Trotskyite.

Let’s cut to the chase. In March 2018, The Inheritance opened at the Young Vic, a play by the American playwright Michael Lopez that later transferred to the West End. It is the story of a group of middle-class gay men in contemporary New York who survived the Aids pandemic and look back at their relationships in the 1980s and 1990s. Don Milligan who saw the show was moved enough to write a critique of the production:

An extraordinary achievement which explores the camp absurdity, the gripping challenges, the necessity of suffering – death by suicide, by disease, by neglect – redeemed finally by the recognition that care must be taken in all our dealings with the past, with each other, and the future … sharply drawn sexual hedonism of the gay milieu, dominated by cocaine, crystal meth and GHB – the misuse, and disregard of each other –a powerful evocation worthy of the Inferno of Dante. It is a world in which prostitution, brutality, and desire is allowed to run riot without regard to the wreckage left in its wake … The haunting by those lost to the plague in the eighties and early nineties is depicted seamlessly and with unnerving skill. Wherever and whenever this play is staged I will make every effort to see it again and again.[4]

The play was also an outrageous piece of gay misogyny, part of what Sarah Schulman refers to as the gentrification of AIDS.

There was not one female character in the play to represent all the compassionate, loving lesbians, who in their thousands turned out to care for and nurse, and mourn the loss of their gay male friends. Not one woman to represent their emotional and political struggle with other lesbians who couldn’t forgot the way gay men had treated them in the 1970s. It was Silence = Never Existed. Silence = Never Happened.

The show was straight bourgeois theatre for the straight bourgeoise male, slick and soulless. How many times did Milligan see the play and remain totally unaware of what he was watching?

Milligan’s viewpoint reads like that of a misogynist. A bisexual in a binary marriage, how could he not be an authoritarian as well. I thought it was his Marxism and membership of IS which gave him his air of authority, but now I realise it is weakmindedness; the failing powers of an old cis male, who for his article “Genital = Gender” needed to call upon god and holy scripture in order to bolster his betrayal and denouncement of those in the trans community who wish, naturally enough, to be seen and respected as women.

I have long thought the failure of the 1970s male bisexual’s political movement was, as Milligan has shown above, a refusal to examine their own misogyny: that in 50 years he and they have never stepped away from supporting male supremacy.

***

From what Milligan writes in Gender = Genitals, if those he now supports don’t presently look down on camp queens, rebel dykes and feminists anymore, they can sure as hell beat the shit out of trans people. But this is just the start, make no mistake, they’ll come against all of us too, for the ultimate aim of the LGB Alliance with its cis membership and religious activists is the enforcement of compulsory heterosexuality. Moreover, they have the funding and we suspect they may be providing finance for this:

A landmark test case to see if children can give informed consent to medical treatment for gender reassignment begins in the high court this week.

Lawyers acting for Susan Evans a former psychiatric nurse at the Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust, which runs the UK’s only gender identity development service (Gids) and “Mrs A”, the mother of a 15-year-old autistic girl who is on the Gids waiting list, will file papers to commence proceedings in a judicial review brought against the Trust and NHS England.

“We are essentially seeking to say that the provisions at the Tavistock for young people up to the age of 18 are illegal because there isn’t valid consent,” said Paul Conrathe a solicitor for Sinclairlaw which is representing Evans and the mother.

Providing puberty blocking cross-sex hormones to any young person who wants them requires, he argues, “a specific order by the court on a case-by-case basis. [The treatment] cannot be delivered as a matter of general approach.” Conrathe suggested the legal action would be “pressing the Gillet[5] case to the breaking point.”[6]

Such is Christian love for their own. And it won’t stop there. Soon the religious right will be calling for an age limit on the purchase of contraceptives, a disaster that will see the birth of more unwanted children and a high risk of increased sexual diseases including the resurgence of HIV infection. 

It is authoritarianism and misogyny which prevents Milligan from accepting that gender, like sex is performative. Gender is playfulness. Playfulness is everything he and the lesbian misandrists he supports in the LGB Alliance – have never had and never will have. Like them he’s got religion. Like them he’s seeking vengeance. Like them he will punish the transgressors. Like them he is no longer a renegade. Like them he has been saved.

Milligan has crossed the narrow line dividing extreme left from extreme right, where people have no empathy with the trans position, are too lazy to do any kind of deep thinking on gender, and inclined to seek the easy way out in moral indignation, where so called Biblical opinions turn into facts. He has made friends with the dogmatist, which for an authoritarian like him was always on the cards.

***

The current hysteria over trans people appears to revolve around one particular trans person, who was allowed by the police to self-identify as a woman, and despite a criminal record and known mental disorders, was then placed by the police in a woman’s prison, where the individual then attempted to rape a female prisoner.

Well firstly, authorities do make mistakes and secondly, they are also well known for putting a bit of stick about.

Tragic as the matter is, GLF does not believe it right to legislate against a whole community on the basis of one case, especially when it involves the behaviour of one person with known mental health issues, who would obviously say anything and do anything to get their own way, particularly if that involves the opportunity for sex.

***

Milligan’s life is a classic tragedy, the trajectory of young communist to ageing conservative, revising and compounding the damage done in his competitive rage to be the man of the left.


[1] The Politics of Homosexuality, Don Milligan, London: Pluto Press, 1973 p.4. https://donmilligan.net/articles Gay Liberation: a brief moment in turbulent times. http://www.studiesinanti-capitalism.net/SIAC_HOME.html

[2] Ibid. p.4-5

[3] Ibid. p.5-6

[4] https://donmilligan.net/articles review of The Inheritance. Last accessed 14:00 09/01/2020

[5] “In 1983, Victoria Gillet, a Roman Catholic mother of 10, challenged the right of doctors to prescribe contraception to girls under the age of 16 without their parents’ permission or even knowledge. Two years later the House of Lords affirmed the doctors’ right, ruling that ‘“the parental right to determine whether or not their minor child under the age of 16 will have medical treatment terminates if and when the child achieves sufficient understanding and intelligence to fully understand what is proposed.”’

[6] Jamie Doward, High court case to decide if children can consent to gender reassignment, Observer, 5 January 2020.

The LGB Alliance: A Hopefully Helpful Fact Sheet

by Andrew Lumsden

The following notes were prepared for the GLF think-in at LSE on 8th January 2020.

The LGB Alliance describes itself as: “A group of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals who resolved at a meeting in Central London 22 Oct 2019 to set up a new LGB Alliance to counteract the confusion between sex and gender which is now widespread in the public sector and elsewhere.”

They are seeking £50,000 by crowd-funding and already claim to have exceeded £25,000 from (apparently) about 1,000 people. The founders are arranging an official launch at a so-far undeclared location towards the end of this month.

A test-case has begun in the High Court seeking to make illegal to administer puberty blockers or allow gender reassignment to begin on under-16s.

The launch-site for the Alliance, which supports the court move, offers a 7-point plan:

  1. Lesbianism and homosexuality is same-sex attraction (not same-gender) attraction.
  2. Lesbians are biological women who are attracted to other biological women.
  3. Sex is not ‘assigned’ at birth, but observed.
  4. It is not transphobic for lesbians to have their own spaces and institutions which exclude male-bodies people.
  5. There is often a link between transgender ideology and the suppression of lesbianism and homosexuality.
  6. Telling children who do not confirm to gender stereotypes that they are born in the wrong body is damaging and regressive.
  7. The soaring numbers of teenage girls suddenly presenting as trans is evidence of social contagion and discomfort about lesbianism. 

For further information, lgballiancefuture@gmail.com or Facebook LGB Alliance UK.

A Possible Historical Parallel

Our friends – friends in other circumstances – and no doubt we ourselves – do occasionally get carried away. We who were in GLF in 1970 remember “the Betty Friedan insult”.

In 1969, at a meeting of the National Organisation for Women” in America (NOW) as it prepared for a “Second Congress to Unite Women” due to be held in New York City on May 1, 1970, the brave pioneer Betty Friedan of Illinois (1921-2006), a straight woman, described lesbians as a ‘Lavender Menace’.

She said that “outspoken lesbians were a threat to the feminist movement” and argued that “the presence of these women distracted from the goals of gaining economic and social equality for women.”

An “informal” group of American lesbian “radical feminists”, including lesbians from the US Gay Liberation Front, cheerfully adopted the insult and in the early months of 1970 – just before Gay Liberation Front (Europe) was launched here at LSE – they formed a temporary “Lavender Menace or Revolution” to protest against the attempted exclusion of lesbians from the 2nd Congress to Unite Women.

Friedan’s has not become the majority view of feminist women.

Michael Dillon and Roberta Cowell

Roberta Cowell (1918-2011) was the first known British assigned male person (as Robert Cowell) to obtain sex reassignment surgery, performed on 15 May 1951. She was friends with Michael Dillon, (1915-1962), assigned female at birth as Laura Maud Dillon and the first-known British man (other than men castrated in war) to undergo a ‘phalloplasty’. The term “transsexual” dates in this country to only two years before Cowell’s operation and draws on work by Magnus Hirschfeld in 1923. 

Biographies of both Dillon and Cowell are on Wikipedia. Dillon wrote of his personal battle to comprehend himself in Self, published in 1946. It’s on Kindle and Amazon.

A Personal Comment

I don’t think that temporary difficulties in legal, Parliamentary, and our own comprehension of a world transitioning from the strictly binary are well addressed by the founders of the proposed LGB Alliance. I believe their claim entirely, that there are women who have experienced violence from physical males who define themselves as women, whether it has been verbal, or by invasion of a women’s space, or most rarely a physical assault.

And I don’t doubt their claim that there have been occasional disastrous interventions in the lives of young people. I know too that trans-exclusionary feminists have been prevented by students from speaking on campus, and for myself I wish that students would merely not turn up, if they wish to show disapproval. I had a friend who when invited to speak on live BBC TV in the early 1960s on behalf of homosexual equality before the law with straights as a representative homosexual was told that he could only be shown in silhouette.

I don’t like censorship. And I believe that there will be more instances of the offences described by the Alliance, though not, I pray, of physical assault. But a Transectomy, as we might call it, seeking to cut the word ‘T’ and all its historical significance from the ‘LGBT’ definition we arrived at in the 1980s, seems to me foolish in the Betty Friedan way. In any language the Alliance uses in the future, or at its launch later the month, it might remember that ‘LGBT’ was an acronym created during the fight against AIDS. Transitioning men were alongside the lesbians who in hospitals around the world set aside very real political grievances to nurse gay men.

What Do the Young Want?

I should have thought the last thing any young person wants in the intimacy of interior change is angry adults and the tone of the Alliance towards trans people seems to me – so far – ill-tempered. No doubt the founders feel they are responding to anger of others. But Michele Obama and our own historic commitments to peace and non-violence and open affection tell us “when others go low, go high”. Hostility to some trans advocacy and to some trans activity ought never, it seems to me, to be carried to the height of publicly recommending to national media that lesbians and gay men and bi’s disassociate themselves from the trans people, the ‘T’s’ who as far back as the French 16th century are known to have campaigned for a freer world in an entangled DNA movement with LGB (and I and Q people).  

The LGBA website says that over 1,000 people have signed up to its principles as so far declared.

We are told that includes our friend Bev Jackson, who has a daughter, and therefore every reason to be concerned for the long future. She together with gay male students Bob Mellors and Aubrey Walter co-chaired, as an out lesbian, the first meeting in October 1970 of the Gay Liberation Front (Europe) here at the LSE. We haven’t heard from her colleague Aubrey, and can’t from Bob, a pioneer of anti-binary activism, for he died in 1996.

Get your glad rags on! Gay Liberation Front ‘Think In’ Calendar 2020

2020 brings the 50th anniversary of the start of Gay Liberation in London, the moment everything changed in Britain by giving us Coming Out, Gay Pride and the first Gay Pride March in 1972, making 2022 the 50th anniversary of that political demonstration and celebration. Read all about it here ‘These are the Radical Roots of British Gay Pride’

GLF stands for liberation: the choice is always there – liberation or slavery.

‘Think In’s are the space for all Gay Liberation Front (GLF) Activists and new friends to connect, celebrate and plot for the upcoming significant anniversaries –

2020 – 50th anniversary of GLF UK
2022 – 50th anniversary of Pride

We are having monthly ‘think in’s’ to develop our demands and action plans. Everyone new or old to the movement and who is committed to ‘LIBERATION FOR ALL’ is very welcome. We are a community consisting of and accepting of all genders and sexual orientations.

‘Think In’s’ are a concept which the GLF activists first used to have a space, a sanctuary in which to make sense of the world away from the pressures of homophobia and how to effectively respond. 50 years on there is still so much work to do to complete the ultimate aim of ‘freedom for all’.

If you wanna get involved and /or be added to the mailing list please email gayliberationfrontuk@gmail.com with a few lines of who you are and your committed to radical (getting to the root) queer freedom. Thanks to everyone who is making this happen!

Meet at LSE Library Reception, Portugal Street, WC2A 2HD
Nearest Tube: Holborn

#Weareherewerearequeer
#Gayisgood
#Wearethepeopleyourparentswarnedyoubout
#ComeTogether!

GAY LIBERATION FRONT ‘Think In’ CALENDAR 2020

Wednesday 8th January THINK-IN: KEEP THE LGB WITH THE T! – facebook event page here

January 2020 will mark the launch of the recently formed anti-trans organisation, the LGB Alliance. Despite denying allegations of transphobia, their online manifesto and social media output betrays vicious and divisive anti-trans sentiment that seeks to pit the interests of cis and trans queer people against each other. A detailed rebuttal of their manifesto can be read here: https://gayliberationfrontuk.home.blog/2019/11/22/a-response-from-a-gay-liberation-front-activist-to-the-lgb-alliance/

We are calling upon queer freedom fighters of all stripes to join us at our January “think-in” at LSE to discuss how we can counter the rise of this transphobic faction, and club together in joyful solidarity with our trans siblings. Everyone new or old to the movement and who is committed to ‘LIBERATION FOR ALL’ is very welcome. We are a community consisting of and accepting of all genders and sexual orientations. Further details of our collective commitment to trans liberation can be read here: https://gayliberationfrontuk.home.blog/2019/11/04/lgb-with-the-t-a-statement-of-solidarity/

Wednesday 5th February – facebook event page here

Wednesday 4th March – facebook event page here – on Thursday 12th March we have our ‘Absolute Freedom for all Party – GLF 50th Birthday Party’ sign up for tickets here – email gayliberationfrontuk@gmail.com to RSVP.

Wednesday 1st April – facebook event page here

Wednesday 6th May – facebook event page here

Wednesday 3rd June – facebook event page here

Wednesday 1st July – facebook event page here

Wednesday 5th August – facebook event page here

Wednesday 2nd September – facebook event page here

Wednesday 7th October – facebook event page here

Wednesday 4th November – facebook event page here

Read more about the GLF history here – Gay Liberation Front – Come Together 1972 courtesy of the British Library archive

“Surviving Gay Liberation Front activists were sidelined by a London Pride Committee on our 40th anniversary in 2010. Mayor Johnson and his bodyguards – he never spoke to us – were put in front of us on the July march, though we invented such marches. And we were allowed 15 minutes to speak from the Trafalgar Square stage, cut at the last moment to 5 minutes.

Young people ask us, what was Gay Lib like, and they love Stuart Feather’s 2016 book about it, Blowing the Lid, Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution & Radical Queens.

We’d like things to go better for the 50th anniversary in 2020 even if we’re all in wheelchairs. We invented things before and can cheerfully do it again, with the help of friends like you – so get involved to . highlight campaigns today and celebrate the Gay Liberation Front”

‘Where do our rebellions lie now? How can we best tie them into our shared history?’ Andrew Lumsden, GLF activist / Gay News founder (1971)

A response from a Gay Liberation Front activist to the LGB Alliance

Content note: The following address was written by a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, in response to the recent emergence of the anti-trans group, LGB Alliance. Their statement of intent will be cited at length in this article, and therefore a warning is raised for transphobic content.

As Madonna declared after consulting Karl Marx, “We’re living in a material world.”

I would like to comment on your recent Facebook announcement which include these aims:

  • [To] assert the right of lesbians, bisexuals and gay men to define themselves as same-sex attracted.
  • Gender is a social construct.
  • Counteract the confusion between sex and gender which is now widespread in the public sector and elsewhere.
  • [That] former employees and supporters of the lobby group Stonewall, plus doctors, psychiatrists, academics and lawyers with expertise in child safeguarding agreed a foundation statement centring biological sex rather than the gender theories which they regard as pseudo-scientific and dangerous.
  • [A] refusal by Stonewall, which was originally set up to fight legal discrimination against gay men and lesbians, to respond to a petition asking it to acknowledge the range of valid viewpoints around sex, gender and transgender politics.

Your legal adviser knows, I hope, that Stonewall is a charity; charities do not campaign. Politically they don’t take sides. Also, the tone of your announcement is somewhat threatening, it makes me wonder whether you were setting a trap that would, if Stonewall responded to you, have lost them their charitable status. But I don’t think you wanted a response, that way you could heap blame on them for non-cooperation, point the finger, and make them a target. Why? Revenge for the lesbian who previously headed Stonewall, who took a political stance against trans and was consequently sacked for playing politics. I think LGB know very well that their range of “valid viewpoints around sex, gender and transgender politics,” are as you describe them, political issues; a matter of sexual politics where we are on the safe grounds of material facts, rather than opinions which create confusion and division, the very things you wish to counteract.

Fortunately, there is an epistemology, an LGBT history of materialist ideas and beliefs from the late 17c. onwards. For instance, there is an equivalence between class and sex, or class and gender, that enables the political and social sciences to classify the position of men, women and LGTBQIA+ people within society. The rule forms the basis of sexual politics, which has been used since the 1920s by LGBT+ creatives and activists with never failing success.

Sexual politics, of course, has its limits, as materialism cannot determine any value in sex roles or gender roles. Love also does not exist in the material world. Love, love-making, sex and gender only exist in what the Japanese call the floating world, a world beyond material classification, a place where sex collapses into gender and gender collapses into sex. The only way to make sense of the floating world is to interrogate the literature.

***

Among the lesbians who joined London GLF in 1970 was the sociologist Mary McIntosh who specialised in criminology and founded the Deviancy Symposium. In GLF McIntosh became part of the GLF Counter-Psychiatry group and also the Manifesto Group who published the GLF Manifesto in 1971.

Earlier, in 1968 McIntosh had published her ground-breaking article titled The Homosexual Role in which she condemned the psychiatric and medical professions’ obsession with searching for the causes of homosexuality in their attempts to find a cure. McIntosh pointed out that to make such a study they would first need to find out what causes heterosexuality, before they could find out what causes homosexuality.

One strand of her research led McIntosh to read the letters of prisoners in English jails from 1533, the year of Henry VIII Buggery Act to the death of Victoria, and in so doing discovered the 17th c. London Mollies whom she posited were the first group of men to appear in English history as recognisably homosexual.

Other strands to her research were the modern scientific studies on anthropology, ethnology and homosexuality in the societies of ancient Greece, Rome and the near East, pre-Meij Japan, top echelons in Nazi Germany, the berdaches of N. America, Chuckchee shamans, the Cubeo of the N.W. Amazon, the Aranda of Central Australia and the Siwans of N. Africa among many others. Mary McIntosh summarised her findings thus:

The current conceptualization of homosexuality as a condition is a false one, resulting from ethnocentric bias. Homosexuality should be seen rather as a social role. Anthropological evidence shows that the role does not exist in all societies, and where it does it is not always the same as in modern western societies. Historical evidence shows that the role did not emerge in England until towards the end of the seventeenth century. Evidence from the ‘Kinsey Reports’ shows that, in spite of the existence of the role in our society, much homosexual behaviour occurs outside the recognized role and the polarization between the heterosexual man and the homosexual man is far from complete.

Mary McIntosh, ‘The Homosexual Role,’ Social Problems, 16.2. (1968).

The article kick-started a change in the way in which homosexuality were perceived. It initiated the change from a medical to a social model of same-sex relationships, which GLF spearheaded with its attacks on psychiatry. This put an end to the mental sickness category and its supporting mythology of martyrdom and suicide. It meant that same-sex relations shifted in meaning and practice according to historical and cultural circumstances. That sex is a social construct. That there is no universally fixed homosexual, just historically shifting categories and linked experiences. It became the foundational argument for the contemporary sociology of homosexuality, a bench mark for historical research, and from it flowed lesbian and gay studies and contemporary queer theory. McIntosh gave a historical and fully social meaning to the idea of same-sex relations.

It should also be recognised that Mary McIntosh was eight years ahead of Michel Foucault in this regard; her social role being his species.

The English Revolution was the Renaissance sodomites last stand. No sooner had the early modern era begun than along came the working-class Molly, followed by the middle, and upper-class Macaroni. A hundred years later at the commencement of the modern era – the modern homosexual that we all know, love and understand appeared.

***

Reading the LGB Alliance Statement of Intent, I really wonder why they think we LGBT people who have been asserting, demanding and defending our rights for over 70 years, and with such a rich, living history behind us, needs an organisation to do it for us?

Why should LGB think that we need to be defined as “same-sex attracted” which is not a word but a label, and one made up by a committee, when what we are about is so much more than just sex?

The phrase, I image, must have been made up by a heterosexual male in LGB because they are the only ones so fixated on our sexual acts, that they cannot see us beyond it.

Do they also want us to return to calling ourselves by the medical term homosexual, destroy the social model of our relationships and return us to the sick bay and mental asylum?

In the 1920s in America and a decade later over here, we called ourselves gay. And gay we were, and gay we are, and in Gay Liberation we identified as gay – back then we were gay women and gay men.

We cannot be reduced to a cypher by the LGB Alliance. Their attempts to neologise suggests an appalling lack of imagination, and that’s a serious mistake to make when they are attempting to reorder a LGBTQIA society as smart and advanced as ours, one based on loving relationships, mature attitudes towards sex, compassion, empathy, understanding, creative endeavour, Camp playfulness and drag queens who hold their mirrors up to nature, sex and gender

We’ve had an electrical revolution, a sexual revolution and a digital revolution. Power has moved to the margins. Morality was found out over a century ago, when Oscar said “Morality is simply the attitude we adopt to people we personally dislike.” Telling other people what to do stinks of androcentric elitism and worse.

“Gender is a social construct.” Yes! Here I can agree with LGB Alliance. The passing away of gender norms, the recognition by the many of homosexuality has reshuffled identity and caused a proliferation of genders that undermine the “normal, natural,” narratives of compulsory heterosexuality and taken away its power of prohibition. The consequent reaction by religiously inspired heterosexuals to their loss of power, has been to turn gender into identity politics and lifestyle choices, using social platforms to dehumanise and belittle trans people, in the hope of regaining what they think, with their assumed power, is their right to control gender recognition.

If sex is a social construct then gender is a social construct too, because sex and gender are one and the same. Sex and gender are indivisible, one is the expression of the other, both are subject to time and place, both are mutable, both can be shaped by deep feelings and strong desires. Sex is the expression of gender, and gender expression is sex.

The idea that sex and gender are different can only be pursued by people who wish to create, for their own nefarious purposes, a binary where none exists. If it were possible to separate the two, it would produce a clash of power on the one hand and violence on the other, which is not the way sex and gender work, but the way capitalist society works in its mode of production. The LGB Alliance’s thinking has confused the way sex and gender work, with the way society works, but they’ve had to, in order to acquire the funding, or power, that allows them to afflict their violence on trans people and on other sexualities they don’t like.

Another point to note is the absence of intersex and asexual people in LGB’s theories on sex and gender. Why have they ignored nature and the human genome, forever creating new combinations of genes to protect our species future should new conditions threaten survival?

Centring biological sex has nothing to do with LGBT people and everything to do with religion, heterosexuals and heterosexuality. LGBTQI are into love making and recreational sex and I believe it would be very dangerous to give any kind of credence to the centrality of biological sex. That would allow religious sex law prohibitions to once more dominate our lives and our culture. It seems that LGB Alliance are trying to turn the clock back with these outdated ideas and clunky aggressive jingo.

LGB Alliance must keep up with political and social science in these matters, otherwise they are going to go terribly wrong and end up as cranky dogmatists – believing that their opinions are facts. How, for instance, do they view epigenetics in the development of trans?

As a matter of urgency our community must closely examine the credentials and beliefs of these experts in child safeguarding that LGB Alliance have on their board. (From my experience of today’s activism, safe places are always occupied by the bullies they were designed to keep out). Are trans parents and their offspring to be judged by these safeguarding experts? What institution teach and licence these people? This is particularly dangerous if any of these experts are heterosexual, because heterosexuals believe that homosexuals are all paedophiles, when we know, and the police prove, time after time, that paedophiles are always found within the family unit, or close to the family unit of the children they target.

We should also find out if these child safeguarding experts are motivated by Christian beliefs, because if they are, their methods of mentoring will employ bullying, deprivation, corporeal punishment, and attempts to separate children from their parents. All in the name of heaven, and to hell with here on earth, as the Irish well know. LGB Alliance’s statement also claims the following:

A new charity has been formed recently to support young people (of both sexes but mainly girls) who have changed their mind.  As teenagers they started on the path of transition only to find that as young adults they come to realise that a terrible mistake has been made. Some have had puberty blocking drugs; others have had healthy breast removed. This is a very sad phenomenon which is growing in number.  We want to offer support to this group through mentoring schemes, meetings, practical advice and social events.

It could be true that when some children reach puberty, they change their mind, it may be expected, but there are many more who don’t, and again LGB offer no proof for these claims. I also believe that the only people fit to mentor children to whom trauma of this kind occurs should be those who have had the same experience. Anyone else would frighten them, and it’s easy for adults to frighten children, isn’t it?

LGB Alliance also claim that: “Stonewall brands same-sex attraction as transphobic.” Are LGB sure they have this wording, right? There was a problem between Stonewall and the trans community a while ago, (as mentioned above) but that was just one individual and it has been sorted, indeed she is now part of LGB, so why does that make LGB unhappy? Why are they raking up old history when the matter was settled by Stonewalls’ board? Is it to create trouble?

lesbianism and homosexuality is same-sex (not same-gender) attraction;

No, it is both. The question is (ignoring the grammar) who would this rule protect? Is making eyes at straights to be forbidden by law? Is belief in our own queer experiences, so painfully acquired, to be dropped in the face of hair-splitting? Gender and sex cannot be divided. Think of a quantum particle that can be in two different places at the same time.

lesbians are biological women who are attracted to other biological women;

Women have never had control over their bodies – why are LGB trying to impose quibbling elaborations on them? What is meant here, so obviously, is that trans women are not real women, whatever LGB lesbians think real means. Indeed, you could just as well say, if that were true, that gay men and lesbians are not real men or women either. Straight men have been saying that of us for centuries. It is playing with words to put trans people down.

Sex is not assigned at birth but observed;

But gender is assigned at birth, so is that to be forever and unchanging? Is that the hidden connotation in this word play? It is after all clear that LGB do not want to see trans gender recognised, but why, why do they never say what it is about trans people that they object to? Is it that they don’t know any? Or is it the power of trans that they do nothing, yet thousands of authoritarian bigots can’t wait to crawl out of the woodwork to give them what’s what?

it is not transphobic for lesbians to have their own spaces and institutions which exclude male-bodied people;

Of course, it’s transphobic when what you call male-bodied people refers to trans people. It is deliberately insulting. It is political correctness – the language of the privileged gone mad.

there is often a link between transgender ideology and the suppression of lesbianism and homosexuality;

Where is the proof of that, when trans people, lesbians and gays have been supporting each other for centuries? Trans suppressing lesbians and gays is wholesale paranoia!

telling children who do not conform to gender stereotypes that they are born in the wrong body is damaging and regressive;

Are you sure you mean gender stereotypes, isn’t it gender norms, or do you choose to be deliberately misunderstood? Either way, children work these things out for themselves, they don’t need to be told by anybody; they are not stupid. Neither are parents going to push their children into definitive positions. Parents give their children a range of options. If you do that, this might happen … You are dealing with parents and children here, not cardboard cut-outs. Heterosexuals and those who allow religion to guide them when mentoring trans children – that would be damaging and transgressive – not parents who mentor with love.

the soaring numbers of teenage girls suddenly presenting as trans is evidence of social contagion and discomfort about lesbianism

Again, where is the evidence for that conclusion. What is more likely is a teenage girl’s discomfort with heterosexual men. After all it is heterosexual men who are in charge of this world and the ones who have brought us to the edge of extinction. That is the real contagion of our times. LGB’s conclusion of blaming it on lesbians is precisely the misogynist answer elite heterosexual men and heterosexually identified gay men would reach.

If everything LGB says about trans people was directed at lesbians and gays, who in social terms occupy the same position, they would be seen for the alt-right that I suspect they are.

LGB’s need for financial backing can, I think, mean only one thing; the broadcasting on social media of heterosexual transphobia, through the willing agency of right-wing lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. Are LGB woke and trending with Amerikan politics and Christian fundamentalism, people who are themselves asleep, dreaming the dream of white supremacy and straight biological sex that they dug up in the ruins of 1945? Do LGB in this sad and bitter alliance know they’ve actually chosen to work with people who hate them?

***

The trans position is the hardest call to make. Far harder than any anyone else has to face in our diverse community. If a person, male or female, whether sexually attracted to the same sex or the opposite sex, feels deeply and over time that they are not of their rightful gender, who would deny them the opportunity to be the person they feel they are, and know they are, and want to be?

LGB is the mischief of self-appointed, self-entitled, over privileged, heterosexually identifying extremists who claim the right to control what other people wish to do with their own body. It is clear to me that the LBT Alliance has targeted the trans community not in a spirit of respect or scientific enquiry, but with lazy assumptions, forgone conclusions, prejudice, lies, and false unscientific claims, with the clear intention of creating controversy, and to sow doubt, in order to destroy the Gender Recognition Bill.

We call on all lesbians and gays involved in LGB to walk out. There is enough trouble in the world as it is without creating divisions within our own community. Alternatively, get rid of the heterosexuals within your organisation, so that we can be sure you are speaking from a solely lesbian and gay point of view, and of course, as long as you stick to material facts.

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