Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Publications for lesbians and bi women stand up for trans people

by Fred Kuhr

Leaders from eight of the leading publications targeting lesbian and bisexual women have joined together to issue a statement in support of trans people.

The open letter was signed by Curve and LOTL publisher Silke Bader, DIVA Magazine editor Carrie Lyell, DIVA publisher Linda Riley, Autostraddle co-founder and editor in chief Riese Bernard, Curve editor Merryn Johns, Tagg Magazine editor in chief Eboné F. Bell, Lez Spread The Word founder and publisher Florence Gagnon, Dapper Q editor in chief Anita Dolce Vita, GO Magazine editor in chief Amy Lesser, GO co-managing editors Dayna Troisi and Corrine Werder, and GO senior writer Zara Barrie.

The statement, which was released last month, is entitled, “Not in our name.”

It states, “Following further vitriolic attacks on trans people in our media, the world’s leading publications for lesbians are coming together to send an unapologetic message of support and solidarity to the trans community. [We] believe that trans women are women and that trans people belong in our community. We do not think supporting trans women erases our lesbian identities; rather we are enriched by trans friends and lovers, parents, children, colleagues and siblings.”

They then went on to condemn writers and editors “who seek to foster division and hate within the LGBTQI community with trans misogynistic content, and who believe ‘lesbian' is an identity for them alone to define. We condemn male-owned media companies who profit from the traffic generated by these controversies.”

Carrie Lyell of DIVA
They also “strongly condemn the current narrative peddled by some feminists, painting trans people as bullies and aggressors – one which reinforces transphobia and which must be challenged so that feminism can move forward. We are really concerned about the message these so-called lesbian publications are sending to trans women and to young lesbians – including trans lesbians – and we want to make in clear this is not in our name.”

Lyell of London-based DIVA told Gay Star News, also based in the U.K., “I hope the LGBTQI community can move past these toxic ‘debates’ about what it means to be a woman or to be a lesbian and to actually get down to tackling the structures and systems that really hurts us. We can’t do that if we aren’t united.”

As Gay Star News points out, lesbian protesters halted the London Pride parade last summer, in part because they alleged some “younger, butch lesbians were rushing to identify as trans men instead of embracing their lesbian identities.” They also reportedly objected to trans women gaining access to female-only spaces. Subsequent reporting on this and the U.K.’s recent inquiry into altering gender recognition laws were seen as problematic.

In the open letter, the signatories state, “As the leading publications for queer women, we believe it is our responsibility to call out scaremongering conspiracy theories levelled at the trans community. … The sooner we stop focussing on what divides us and instead focus on our commonalities, the stronger we will be to confront the other injustices imposed on us. We won’t be divided.”

IN THE NEWS
Volume 20
Issue 10

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