is the petition to ‘drop the t’ from ‘lgbt’ transphobic?
An anonymous change.com petition argues the all-inclusive acronym is ‘regressive and actually hostile to the goals of women and gay men.’
Seven days ago an anonymous man claiming to represent "a group of gay/bisexual men and women," launched a change.com petition asking GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, and media outlets like Advocate and OUT to "stop representing the transgender community."
He explains that his "group" believes the trans community's ideology "is not only completely different from that promoted by the LGB community (LGB is about sexual orientation, trans is about gender identity), but is ultimately regressive and actually hostile to the goals of women and gay men."
The petition then outlines the ways in which the ideologies of the trans and gay and lesbian communities supposedly diverge. On the author's list of complaints: "the vilification" of gay and lesbian people who disagree with trans ideology; "men claiming to be transgender demanding access to bathrooms [...] and other such spaces reserved for women"; the appropriation of gay culture (with specific reference to the telling of Stonewall); and the diagnosis of young children as transgender -- the author argues "90 percent of children who express 'gender dysphoria' at a young age grow out of it by adolescence."
Advocate reports that the president of GLAAD, Kate Ellis, has already responded to the petition, saying, "GLAAD stands firmly with the transgender community and unequivocally rejects the outrageous and destructive idea that the 'T' be removed from LGBT."
The Human Rights Campaign has also issued a statement condemning the campaign: "The bullies at school aren't just harassing the gay kids, they're harassing the transgender kids. [...] We are one movement, stronger in our unity. We are one community, period. And the Human Rights Campaign will not be done working until equality reaches every single one of us."
A counter-petition called "We stand with trans people - Reject 'Drop the T'" launched five days ago, and already has over 4,000 supporters -- at the time of writing 'Drop the T' only has 1,884. So, thankfully, it looks like the T isn't going anywhere. In the words of Kate Ellis, "At a time when anti-LGBT activists continue to attack the basic rights and protections essential to all of our lives, we must stand together, rather than succumb to the ruin of divisiveness."
T for togetherness!
Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Image of Stonewall Riots via Wikipedia