Lesbian activists attack Stonewall for “erasing” them

Lesbian rights

Lesbian campaigners say they are being disregarded in favour of transgender people 

17th July 2018 by Robert Armour 8 Comments

A spat has broken out between a lesbian rights group and the country’s leading LGBT organisation.

The Lesbian Rights Alliance (LRA) is claiming Stonewall is negating lesbians by recognising that "male-bodied people with penises" can be lesbians.

In an open letter, the alliance says this claim is “absurd” and erases lesbians from society at the expense of promoting a “trans agenda.”

The letter states: “Stonewall has rarely represented our interests. Now in your single minded policy to promote the trans political and ideological agenda you not only fail to represent us but you actually promote lesbian invisibility – and lesbian erasure.”

All 135 signatories of the letter say lesbians are biological women who are sexually attracted to, and have sexual and emotional relationships with, other biological women only.

They said: “If we refuse to accept these men as lesbians you label us transphobes and terfs, unleashing a torrent of hate speech upon us from your supporters.”

Terfs – trans-exclusionary radical feminists – is a group of feminists which maintains trans women aren't really women.  

However lesbian activists have long accused LGBT groups of accusing lesbians of transphobia when they raise this issue.

Julie Amons on Twitter wrote: “We’re lesbian and proud. We are women. We agree with all walks of life but don’t sacrifice us because you (Stonewall) want to promote trans people as the next big thing.”

A Stonewall spokesperson said: "We stand in solidarity with those who are calling out the hate that is trying to divide our community. There are groups in the LGBT community who have been pushed to the side-lines, particularly trans and non-binary people. We’ve been working hard to bring forward the voices that for too long have been silenced or shouted down. What we cannot abide is these under-represented groups being blamed for erasing another, simply because they have finally been given a platform. History has shown that extending equality to one group does not negatively impact others; it in fact strengthens everyone’s equality.

"We’ve recently seen a welcome outpouring of support for trans equality, particularly from cis lesbian, gay and bi people. A movement of lesbians is currently using the hashtag #LwiththeT to reject the views of a small but vocal minority who are determined to create division. What this movement shows is the power of solidarity and why it’s so important to stand up against hate. We’re encouraging everyone from across the community and beyond to be fierce allies. We have a responsibility to raise each other up and to stand united. Together we are stronger."

17th July 2018 by logan

Seriously? This a bunch of reactionary nonsense and has no place being publicised on this site. To say that Trans women aren't women is continuing the erasure of their existence. In no way does the increased recognition of Trans folk actually affect lesbians in any way. They say that being labelled transphobic is hate speech - surely denying someone's identity is more hateful than describing something as it is? The editor should never have let this imbalanced piece run - where is the trans voice here? Shame on you TFN.

17th July 2018 by Gary Wilson

I agree with the other comment on this site. This is disgusting and blatant trans phobia. To those women who deny trans women are women I say you are bigots and hate mongers. Shame shame shame on you. Stonewall stick to your guns and don't give in to these morons

17th July 2018 by Brian Dempsey

These reactionary types are neither radical nor feminist - they reduce women to their biology and in doing so line up with right-wing politicians who would do harm to lgbti people. Their reductive approach is rejected by many women's organisations in Scotland.

17th July 2018 by Marie

It seems weird not to wait for Stonewall to give you a comment before publishing this. Journalism usually tries to report both sides of an issue?

18th July 2018 by Heather P.

I am amused by the comments here which only show the reason why lesbians feel as if they are under attack. (Hint: because they are.)When you have to call lesbians reactionary for refusing to sleep with men, you've lost the plot. Moreover, you've lost the right to call anyone but yourself reactionary.Good job, ThirdForceNews!

18th July 2018 by Brian Dempsey

No one, but no one, suggests that lesbians should be criticised for refusing to sleep with men. Supporting the human rights of trans people is not an attack on lesbians - though it might seem like an attack to those lesbians who are opposed to rights for trans people. The fact that TFN is being praised by "Heather P" who uses these blatantly false statements should make you rethink your decision to print such a one sided report.

18th July 2018 by Sahra

Do they all also carry DNA, hormone and ovary test kits with them to confirm that they are all 'biological women'?Or do they just assume that if someone 'looks like a woman' and says that they are a woman, then that's good enough?Because if that's what they do, if they *don't* test a person's biology to confirm their biologically essential nature as social constructed scientific artifce of 'woman' that was developed by white and western men from the Enlightenment period onwards to justify their pseudo-scientif exclusion from politics and agency (just like they did with people of colour and gay/bi/trans people), then this article is based on a big pile of doggie poop.Also, there's nothing feminist about basing your identity on your genitals.

22nd July 2018 by Logan

And now an updated article with no mention that it has been updated? Surely that's bad practice too! You'd expect at least an editors note...