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.

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