All we ask is the right to redefine everything

Now there’s an argument for you. Trans woman Gemma Stone has always leaned Labour but there’s just one problem: all this here transphobia.

A number of transphobes retain their membership despite using the hashtag #ExpelMe to ask to be expelled for transphobia. Many of them support hate groups which almost exclusively push for trans exclusionary policies. While Keir Starmer himself refused to sign a pledge condemning these groups stating he doesn’t want the issue to become a “political football”, two of his fellow contenders in the Labour leadership race did.

The fourth contender who didn’t sign, Emily Thornberry, spoke out in support of trans rights after the event, but said we should be careful about calling things hate groups. Whereas I do agree with the sentiment, I don’t think there’s any difficulty in applying “hate group” to organisations who invariably espouse what many trans people like me perceive as hatred.

There it is: the top class argument. Yes, we should be careful about calling things hate groups, but first we have to stipulate that “hate group” means any organization that espouses what we perceive as hatred. That’s careful enough, surely, and not at all circular.

It doesn’t take much to look at some websites or social media and see they are single-issue lobby groups and nothing else. We are being told to tolerate intolerance just because they themselves say they aren’t bigoted when they clearly are.

A compelling point. All we have to do is look, and we see what I see. They say they aren’t bigoted but THEY CLEARLY ARE I tell you. What more do you want?

Meanwhile, the hate groups themselves are becoming more and more emboldened. This, of course, results in more and more harassment and abuse of trans people online. Every day that politicians dither on the issue, trans people, like me, are forced to face bigotry down on our own.

I wonder if Gemma Stone is aware of abuse of women online and off.

Starmer is right that the issue shouldn’t become a political football but has seemingly failed to understand that the political dithering is itself what’s making it a political football. We need strong and robust support for the human rights of trans people, we need to put the bigots back in their box and tell them they won’t be tolerated.

But what human rights? What are the human rights of trans people that need strong and robust support? Do trans people not already have the human rights that other humans have? There is no “human right” to force other people to accept your counter-factual claims about yourself. That’s not a human right and never can be, because it would make a hash of everyone else’s human rights.

They need to be told they don’t have reasonable concerns because right now the lack of clearly and pointedly telling them “no” is leaving them the open window to assume a “yes” is still on the table somewhere. They need to know it isn’t. Otherwise they’ll just keep coming and trans people will continue to be degraded, abused and harassed. Labour is no place for transphobia. Say it.

Telling them “no” in reply to what? What specifically is Gemma Stone talking about? Why can’t he say?

9 Responses to “All we ask is the right to redefine everything”