In 2019, having decided that the transgender movement represents an existential threat to gay men and women, five veteran gay activists in Britain founded a group called the LGB Alliance. “LGB,” of course, stands for “lesbian, gay, and bisexual,” and conspicuously omits the now familiar “T” for transgender.
What made them consider it imperative to divorce “LGB” from “T”? Well, they were alarmed that sissy boys and tomboys, who once would have been recognized as future gay adults, were now being given puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery. Young men who called themselves women were winning athletic medals and scholarships that would otherwise have gone to real women. And adult males identifying as lesbians were accusing real lesbians who refused to sleep with them of transphobia.
When I spoke to Bev Jackson a couple of months ago about her group, I expressed enthusiasm for its goals, and even though she didn’t know very much about me other than that I was a gay American writer who shared her concerns about transgenderism, she invited me to take part in their annual convention, pending what she described as routine approval by the organization’s board. Given her hard-left history, I was pretty certain that the invitation would be withdrawn as soon as she or one of her board members looked me up. That suspicion was heightened by the fact that Bev, during our conversation, had expressed revulsion for Tucker Carlson and Ron DeSantis: how disgusting that such awful men should be on our side!
Sure enough, a few days later Bev wrote to me withdrawing her invitation on the grounds that she wanted “a range of ethnicities” on the “international panel.” She added, apropos of my writings about Islam, that some members of her team “felt that we cannot afford getting embroiled in a possible row about Islamist extremism.” Yes, heaven forfend that a gay organization platform somebody who’s criticized a religion that preaches the extermination of gay people. A quick search of Bev’s social media history, in fact, showed that she was proud of her active opposition to “anti-Muslim bias.” Nowhere on her Twitter feed, however, did this crusading lesbian ever breathe a word about the Islamic “grooming gangs” that have raped thousands of English girls.
Not promising, to say the least. Still, I held out hope for the LGB Alliance, whose founding I’d applauded: an organization, after all, is more than its founders. So When I noticed last weekend that videos of the group’s 2022 convention had been posted on YouTube, I checked them out. First up were the keynote addresses by Bev and another co-founder, Kate Harris. Still not promising. Bev boasted proudly of her “days in gay liberation.”
Liberation! Yes, back in the 1970s and 80s, before the reactionary likes of moi came along, that’s what the gay movement was all about. It wasn’t until their dumb, counterproductive rhetoric about the evils of capitalism, the family, and Christianity was supplemented by moderate and sensible language about social acceptance and legal equality – until, that is, the goal of liberation became replaced with the goal of equal rights – that the movement began to get anywhere. In her speech, Bev even quoted the fourth-rate Marxist poet Audre Lorde. Kate, in her speech, used the word “revolutionary.” Groan.
Then there was a multimedia presentation entitled “Social Media: How Did We Get Here.” Two young lesbian “content creators” and “feminist activists” – Shay Wulahan, who writes for the feminist website Reduxx, and Hannah Berrelli, who runs a “radical feminist and Marxist blog” – told the audience that the enthusiasm of young people for the concept of gender fluidity, and for such labels as “asexual,” “demisexual,” and “genderqueer,” arose on Tumbler in the early years of this century as a reaction to “gay liberationists,” who “saw their sexual orientation as a innate, unchanging, unchosen part of their romantic and sexual lives.” No. Gay liberationists, especially lesbians, routinely asserted that they’d “chosen” to be gay: such a conceit was part and parcel of the idea that gayness was, above all, not a matter of sexual orientation but a form of political revolt.
Another video showed Eileen Gallagher, a TV producer, interviewing Simon Fanshawe, an LGB Alliance co-founder who used to run Stonewall (the UK’s major gay organization, now devoted to promoting transgenderism). Fanshawe is also a “diversity adviser” to corporations – that ridiculous shakedown of a profession – and the panel, entitled “Celebrating Difference: What’s Next for the Workplace?”, consisted of a lot of platitudes on the topic of diversity. Oh, and he also name-dropped Ian McKellen. None of which seemed to have much to do with the LGB Alliance’s professed raison d’être.
Other panels were better. A discussion among several politicians representing the major British parties was impressive: they all understood the trans issue and recognized how trans ideology threatens women, children, and gays. In another session, “The Detrans Perspective,” barrister James Esses had an illuminating exchange with Richie Herron, who has sued the National Health Service because staffers there pushed him into undergoing “bottom surgery.” On the table, said Herron, he “nearly bled to death”; during the four years since, he’s lived “with incredible pain.”
A panel called “Science Under Attack: How Doctors ailed Gay Teens” was downright fascinating. LGB Alliance co-founder Malcolm Clark moderated a discussion between Az Hakeem, a psychiatrist who worked with children at the Portman Clinic, and Michael Biggs, a sociology professor at Oxford. Hakeem talked about his experience with “transsexagenetic mothers” (his coinage), also known colloquially as sufferers of “transhausen by proxy,” who, having always wanted a son rather a daughter, or a daughter rather than a son, decide that their toddlers are trans. When Hakeem told a colleague that this sort of thing was “mad,” the colleague replied: “Any more mad than if they were gay?”
That wasn’t all. When he asked a doctor who transitioned young people why he didn’t do any follow-up, he replied: “You don’t do follow-up when you’re turning caterpillars into butterflies.” Like Herron, Hakeem touched on the “sanitizing of language” by the trans medical community: when you give a child the innocuously named substances known as “puberty blockers,” for example, “you’re castrating a child chemically.” Hakeem also noted the high level of hostility toward homosexuality among pro-trans therapists: there were, he asserted, “generations of institutional homophobia” at the now-defunct Tavistock clinic, which had “never knowingly employed any therapist who’s gay.”
Finally there was the panel that I’d been invited to join, which had been given the title “Fighting Homophobia Worldwide.” It was chaired by Bev, and the participants were all young professional activists who spouted leftist jargon. Faika El-Nagashi from Austria likened homophobia to “racism,” “Islamophobia,” and “nationalism” and complained about “the demonization of LGBTIQ people” by right-wing European leaders who also “attack Muslims.” Isaac Mugisha from Uganda identified as an “LGBT+ health-rights activist.” Why, I wondered, were people at this convention, of all places, using the bogus LGBT label? Why didn’t Bev comment on it?
Finally, Derek Turner, a Democratic Party operative, gave a thoroughly misleading overview of recent news from the U.S., claiming that “the right to an abortion” had been “overturned” and slamming Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law – the very model of the kind of legislation that the LGB Alliance ought to be celebrating. In fact, if its leaders were seriously focused on what they claim to be seriously focused on, they’d have set their egos and their ancient political loyalties aside and asked Ron DeSantis to give their keynote speech.
At least Derek criticized Rachel Levine, the “trans woman” who is Biden’s assistant secretary of health. But he called Levine “she” – because, he said, “I believe it’s common courtesy to call people by the pronoun they prefer.” When some people in the audience booed him – good for them – Bev rushed to his defense, saying “this is what respectful disagreement looks like.” But why have speakers at your conference who dissent from one of your founding precepts? Derek went on to say that he hoped Pete Buttigieg, whom he respects, would talk Biden into replacing Levine with someone better. What? Sheer idiocy. But Bev praised him – and, apropos of his précis of stateside developments, expressed revulsion at President Trump’s appointment of three Supreme Court justices, an action she summed up, bemusingly, with the word “shenanigans.”
Britain needs an organization like the LGB Alliance – or, rather, a group of the sort that the LGB Alliance professes to be. But its leaders’ hard-core leftism, their fossilized gay-liberation mentality, their reflexive hostility toward potential allies on the right, are massive liabilities. These are the kind of people who, back in the 1970s and ’80s, made a lot of noise and made a lot of enemies but never made a difference. They loved the sound of their own voices and never got tired of churning out – to the cheers of their cozy cadres of followers – the same stale rhetoric about revolution and patriarchy. They pretended to want to overturn society, but they had every intention of posing forever at marginality, shaking their fists at The Man. Which raises the question: are the women at the top of the LGB Alliance sincerely determined to vanquish transgenderism, or have they just grasped onto it as an excuse to return to the phantom barricades of yore?