Activism, recent

Homophobia and the Modern Trans Movement

Two and a half years ago, I spoke in Vancouver at Q2Q: A Symposium on Queer Theatre and Performance. After I delivered my paper, I became a focal point for criticism—though not because of my the content of my presentation.

The controversy emerged in the Q&A, when I mentioned the fact that I was not only a gay man, but also a drag queen. Members of the audience stood up and opined about the apparently problematic practice of a white drag queen (like me) lip-synching to “appropriated music”—by which they meant music originally written and performed by non-white artists.

It is undeniably true that drag queens (of all races) have a special affection for the work of divas of colour—and pay homage to these idols by lip-synching. It’s also true that gay and drag entertainment culture is centered in large part around pop music more generally. This is an industry that owes much to musicians of colour, who often have had their work used or co-opted without adequate compensation.

But while this was a fair point for debate, the discussion quickly spiraled off into an entirely different direction. When I tried to defend drag queens from the podium, saying that “camp” culture was an important part of our heritage, a trans member of the audience—a person who asked to be identified as “they”—made a statement that still sticks in my mind.

“Remember that the people who died at Pulse nightclub were listening to appropriated music,” they told the room. The speaker was referring to the June 12, 2016 massacre of 49 innocents at a gay dance club in Orlando, Florida, a tragedy that was then still fresh in everyone’s minds. The victims were queers and queer allies. It stands as one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

I asked them, “Do you mean to say we shouldn’t mourn the queers who were murdered at Pulse nightclub because they were listening to appropriated music?” There was no clear response—silence and a shrug. No one in the room said anything about this completely shocking display.

It occurred to me at that moment that, in this room full of LGBT artists, a trans person could say something with open and obscene homophobic overtones, and not a single person would call them on it. Shocking as this was, it was a harbinger of things to come.

In a 2018 interview with The Guardian, RuPaul said, “Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it.” The article was meant to emphasize RuPaul’s progressive ideas, being titled Drag is a big f-you to male-dominated culture. Yet RuPaul’s comments were said to elicit “a wave of disappointed anger” from (among other complaining groups) trans performers. Naturally, RuPaul was forced to apologize—for the crime of (as I see it) being a black gay man and a drag queen whose act generally has been created by, and for, gay men.  

At Vancouver’s most recent Dyke March, in August, 2018, lesbians wore t-shirts with the word “lesbian” printed over a drawing of a uterus. Naturally, they were accused of hate speech by trans activists, and were banned from their own parade. To be a proud lesbian—in the way that word was defined until about 20 minutes ago—now has become a sort of thoughtcrime. Not just among conservative homophobes, but also among ultra-progressives.

The transgender community is as demographically and ideologically diverse as any other community. And militant trans activists and spokespersons do not represent the views of every trans person. But the increasingly common attacks on gay men and women I’ve witnessed are consistent with emerging strains of transgender philosophy—if that is the right word—which now serve to define the movement’s outwardly expressed political goals. And it’s not hard to see a connection between this homophobia-contaminated militancy and the social contagion sweeping North America, by which students are demanding non-gendered toilets, and young children are demanding body modifications and hormone blockers to support their suddenly expressed trans self-identification.

As a drag queen and a gay man growing up in Canada, I have dedicated most of my life to dismantling traditional notions of gender. I have written plays with titles such as Drag Queens on Trial and Drag Queens in Outer Space. Suffice it to say that these productions did not receive funding from The Heritage Foundation or the Family Research Council.

In 2006, I received a PhD from the University of Toronto, with a doctoral thesis authored on the subject of Noel Coward And “The Queer Feminine.” All my life, I have fought for gender equality, and gender instability—for the right of boys to act like girls and girls to act like boys. And until very recently, I fought to achieve these goals in solidarity with the trans movement. But now I’m beginning to wonder if the trans movement has any use for me—or for any gay man or woman who dissents from that movement’s increasingly radicalized demands of society and of children’s bodies.

Kate Bornstein, an early leader in the trans rights sphere, is one of many theorists who has questioned the very idea of gender as a workable binary category. “I’m what’s called nonbinary, which means not man, not woman,” Bornstein told audience members in a Broadway performance. I have always regarded this notion of a gender nonbinary as inherently corrosive of gay identity—and even homophobic in its implications. A gay man loves and desires other men, and a lesbian desires and loves other women. This defines the existential state of being gay. If there is no such thing as “male” or “female,” the entire self-definition of gay identity, which we have spent generations seeking to validate and protect from bigots, collapses. (I am not being stupidly literal here: This is simply the logical conclusion of the campaign to destroy gender classifications.)

Radicalized theories of transgender identity also now serve to promote the idea that gender and sexuality are not only different, but unconnected. In one narrow sense, there is some basis to this: All men are not sexually attracted to women, and vice versa—which is why separating desire from gender is important. But it’s one thing to say that your gender doesn’t predict who you will be sexually attracted to (which is true), and quite another to say that gender has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality, which (as I will illustrate by way of autobiography later in this essay) is false.

The cultural construction of gender—i.e., our idea of what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman—has much to do with not only sex, but also sexuality. Male same-sex desire historically has been associated with femininity. This is because passivity historically has been viewed as a female trait, and it is always assumed that in a gay male sexual encounter, one male plays the passive (feminine) role and the other plays the active (masculine) role.

This fear of passiveness—femininity—in males runs deep, and is unlikely to disappear soon. As acclaimed literary scholar Linda Dowling has written, the “active, masculine” male was relied upon to inseminate the woman—as encoded in all those all-important “begats” in the Bible—as well as to have the brute strength to defend women and family in time of war. The effeminate male, or effeminatus, by contrast, is always “the empty or negative symbol at once of civic enfeeblement and…monstrous self-absorption.”

Even before Oscar Wilde praised his blue china and strutted about wearing a green carnation, feminine men were seen as threatening. And male same-sex desire—in part because of its perceived link to femininity—always has been threatening, too. Same-sex desire among women is less threatening in our culture, but that’s largely because we live in a sexist society where anything women do is devalued more generally. Nevertheless, the idea of women fulfilling themselves sexually without the participation of men is seen as a threat (notwithstanding its representation in pornography). This is but one of many reasons why sex and gender cannot be separated by activist fiat.

I would not be concerned if the application of a theoretical trans activist conception of gender were merely being applied to the self-conception of adults within the transgender community. That’s their choice. In many ways, moreover, the deconstruction of gender that always has been embedded within trans culture historically has offered a healthy counterpoint to gay and lesbian culture. (Notions of gender that accompanied gay liberation in the 1970s, in particular, were too limited, and didn’t represent the full spectrum of human experience.) The world is made up of more than just straights, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals. And before it transformed into dogma in recent years, the idea of a nonbinary gender spectrum did allow sexually active adults the freedom to challenge traditional notions of gender in a playful way. The transsexual (as was then the applied term) theory of “self-identification”—the notion that adults should be empowered to describe their sexuality and gender in a way that felt authentic—represented an important and humane contribution to contemporary culture.

Thinking about the difference (or lack of difference) between sexuality and gender is a coherent exercise for most of us, because most of us already have come to terms with our sexuality and identity by the time we became adults. It’s important for adults to understand, for instance, that a man who dresses as a woman is not necessarily gay. He may be trans, or a drag queen (gay or not), or a cross-dresser, or simply a casual fetishist.

But when it comes to children, that’s another story. The political movements around sexuality and gender that rocked the 1960s—including sexual liberation and gay liberation—were primarily understood as being aimed at adults, in part because sexuality was central to these causes. In their focus on children, by contrast, Trans activists emphasize the conceit that gender has nothing to do with sex or sexuality, and so talking about one’s trans identity is perfectly innocent. Indeed, as soccer-mom chatter on Facebook will attest, straight, bourgeois people often feel more comfortable talking about their kids’ gender dysphoria than about their kids’ homosexuality—because the former is seen as innocent, and the latter is seen as a transference of lust (especially in the case of boys, who still suffer under the stigma of gay males as sex-crazed beasts of the alleyway).

It was only in 1973 that the American Psychological Association (APA) stopped categorizing homosexuality as a mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This was a well-intended step, but it didn’t do as much as one might think to end homophobia—since many homophobes simply expanded their hatred from homosexuals themselves to the liberal elites who, in their mind, were now running the APA asylum.

In 1980, seven years later, the APA officially recognized a condition called Gender Identity Disorder (GID)—defined as “the disparity between anatomical sex and gender identity.” In 2012, GID was replaced by the trans-approved descriptor “Gender Dysphoria,” which was defined as “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender.” None of these semantic changes completely addressed the ongoing pathologizing of feminine boys and masculine girls that takes place in ordinary society. But for many, it did change the nature of this stigmatization. And gender dysphoria gradually has replaced homosexuality as a subject of fascination by clinicians and activists.

Until the latter decades of the twentieth century, if parents caught their son playing with dolls, they might suspect he was gay. And if he grew up to be an adult with same-sex desire, he would go to a psychiatrist to seek help. Now that we have (spuriously) separated sexuality from gender, a parent who catches his boy playing with dolls will take a trip to a psychiatrist—but this time for different reasons: Little he might be a little she. Gender variance was the subject of agitation before 1973, and it is the subject of agitation now. It is just the labels and the way we deal with this agitation that has changed.

In the ’70s, the technique for dealing with adult men who were attracted to other men was behaviourist conversion therapy. This included “Playboy Therapy,” which centered on masturbation. At the crucial point of climax, the suspected homosexual was asked to exchange his fantasies of male bodies with the naked photos of women in Playboy. Such therapy seems totally bizarre to us today, but was quite normal under the paradigm of the old DSM. However, in 1976, Dr. Gerald Davison—the man who invented Playboy Therapy—published an article suggesting that medical practitioners should stop trying to help homosexuals change their desires, and instead should try to help them live with those desires.

In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn wrote: “Under normal conditions the research scientist is not an innovator but a solver of puzzles, and the puzzles upon which he concentrates are just those which he believes can be both stated and solved within the existing scientific tradition.” The psychiatrists who treated young men with Playboy Therapy and other forms of homophobic junk science were trying to solve the puzzle of male-on-male desire inside the ruling paradigm of the time, which presupposed such desire as pathological. But the way we discuss trans people shows that we have not truly given up on the idea of pathologizing effeminate men. The old paradigm presented effeminate men as homosexuals who could be cured of their sexual desires. The new paradigm presents effeminate boys as children who can be cured by declaring them girls. And since we have (falsely) decided that their sexuality is irrelevant because they are children and because gender has no relationship to sexuality, proponents can make their case without discussing the off-putting issue of sexual urges. Each child must be raised according to what the child perceives to be their “true gender.”

In some cases, the phenomenon described as gender dysphoria is real and permanent, of course. But giving children the power to decide their true gender—or allowing them to decide that they have no gender whatsoever—makes little sense to me. Children who haven’t gone through puberty lack perspective on the ultimate consequences—both psychological and physical—of their choices. Moreover, since gender and sexuality are linked in real life, it is difficult for any person to understand their identity as a human being (never mind the more narrow category of gender identity) without first experiencing post-adolescent sexual desire.

Giving children the power to act out their gender self-conception through non-traditional gender play—including dressing up and acting out is fine. Indeed, it makes perfect sense. In most cases, I believe, therapists who treat children with gender dysphoria should simply encourage such gender experimentation, without affirming a diagnoses of gender dysphoria that may or may not still exist when they are adults.

As Canadian sexual neuroscience PhD Debra Soh has written, longitudinal studies of gender dysphoric children show that in a majority of cases, non-transitioning children “desist upon reaching puberty and grow up to be gay.” While there is ongoing debate about what studies should and should not be included in such analyses, the argument for caution—as opposed to aggressive affirmation—needs to be part of the public discussion. And one of the reasons it isn’t, I believe, is that the unspoken homophobia embedded within the most uncompromising strains of trans activism exerts itself on our nominally progressive society. That’s why I will raise my voice when drag queens are attacked as bigots, or lesbians are excommunicated from feminist events for saying the U-word.

*     *     *

I was born a sissy. I was afraid of competitive sports, and afraid of masculine boys. I got into only one fight as a kid, with a boy named Neil Manley (yes, that was his real name) who punched me and gave me a nosebleed. I didn’t fight back. I used to knit clothes for my sister’s Barbie dolls. And I was deeply resentful that she took ballet and I wasn’t allowed.

If someone had told me as a child that I could actually be a little girl, I would have jumped at the chance. Anything to escape the pressure cooker of an active boyhood crammed full of sports and rough play.

But what if, as a child, I had decided to take hormones in order to stave off puberty? What if my penis shrank into my body? Imagine how that would affect me as an adult, when my sexual pleasure—an unknown impulse at the time I was knitting those Barbie-doll clothes—became connected with that penis. It turned out my erotic stimulus came in the form of being a man with other men, something I could never have completely understood as a child. As with legions of other gay men and women, the whole arc of my life only makes sense if one acknowledges the connection between gender and sexual attraction.

If I had self-declared as trans, hormones would have stopped the development of my penis, and there would not be enough sensitive phallic flesh to create a sensitive vagina. This would have been problematic even if I turned out not to be gay, or trans, but simply a straight man whose body now was marked by surgeries and powerful drugs. What if, as an adult, I were only turned on by being a man when I was having sex with a woman—but I now had a female body? How would I feel then?

It is interesting that in some countries—some of the most sexually conservative places on earth, as it happens—it is illegal to be gay or lesbian, but perfectly legal to be trans. This year, India decriminalized gay sex; but they have included transgender people in the national census for the last five years. Conservative Nepal has included transgender people in its public records since 2011. In Iran, homosexuality is punishable by death. In fact, the Iranian government pays for sex reassignment surgery—because there is a powerful strain of thought that says anything is better than growing up to be a gay man. Unlike Iran, Canada is not a theocracy. Nevertheless, we are more beholden to such bigotries than we would like to admit.

When I was 12 years old, I was terrified of being gay. I knew the sexual implications of my gendered behaviour. I also knew—even at a time before I experienced real sexual desire—that it was “bad” to be gay, and that being gay meant ending up alone and lonely. My mother took me aside, and quietly reassured me: “You might be gay, you might not be, but I think you’ll have to wait until you are older to think about it, because you’re just too young to think about it now.” I’m wondering if, had all this happened in 2019, she would have instead been persuaded to raise me as a girl.

I have issues with my mother. Don’t we all? I have called her names—to her face and in print. I will not repeat them here. But I want to publicly forgive her, now, for whatever I have accused her of, because she had the kindness and grace to respect my budding sexuality as I then perceived it. And she had enough respect for me to say, “You’re just too young” when I wondered what lay in store for my future. If only we all had the courage to say these same words to our own children.


Sky Gilbert is a Canadian writer, actor, professor and drag performer. He teaches creative writing and theatre studies at the University of Guelph. His new book of “anti-essays,” Small Things, was recently published by Guernica Editions.

Featured photo: Drag queen Sandra Love, photographed in 2013 by Iñaki Queralt.


  1. The author slowly realising that the Left was just using him the entire time. Many feminists are coming to the same conclusion. They don’t give a staff about your cause, only power.

    • Shelley G says

      To a degree, undoubtedly that’s true. However, in my experience, there can also be a component of rage, stemming from hardship & prejudices that can blind & bind people to a cause they feel is justified. Never fails to amaze and sadden me to see people who have suffered through discrimination turn around and treat others in similar fashion.

      To wit – look at the recent turmoil over the catholic children, Native American and the black Hebrew jew issue.

      • Wife of Sinbad says

        Identity politics: an ideological movement which was developed to settle old scores. My definition.

  2. Dan Love says

    This just seems like a skirmish between two movements of the fringe left. Am I expected to give sympathy to either?

    It’s like David Duke and Alex Jones having an argument.

    I will say this. Statistically speaking trans people have it a lot worse than gay people. Homosexuals are, in terms of crime and income, doing better than heterosexuals and much better than trans people. Homosexuals have been milking the oppression utter for too long, evidenced by trying to hide these facts and pretending homophobia is much more prevalent than it actually is.

    All these sad exaggerated stories about how painful it was to come out of the closet is like what every normal teenager feels a couple times a month. And please, don’t tell me about that one guy you know who was hung upside-down and beaten with a belt laden with razor blades when his Christian father found out he was gay. We’re talking about the norm here.

    • ladysquid says

      So a transwoman being murdered because they are found to be male isn’t due to homophobia? They’re murdered because they’re male, not because they’re some magical other definition of a woman.

      There is also no concrete definition of who “counts” as trans therefore any gay man like the other who is a drag queen and wears stereotypically “women’s” clothing could become a stat.

      If you’re talking about well off people then you can look to celebs and ceos (all male) who come out as trans and see nothing other than praise and adoration. It also has a lot to do with the fact that these men are “lesbians” and therefore are not a threat to other men as gay men are.

      • Peter from Oz says

        ”So a transwoman being murdered because they are (sic) found to be male isn’t due to homophobia?”
        No. It has nothing to with sexuality, so it can’t be homophobia.

        • Stephanie says

          I think the motivation for killing MtF trans people is that straight men don’t appreciate being deceived, and are humiliated if the object of their drunken affection turns out to be male. Is that homophobia? I’d say in part.

          • R Henry says

            “Phobia” alludes to fear. A straight deceived by a trans is not fearful, he is enraged and disgusted.

      • YesMa'am I'll Haveanother says

        Not that I condone murder as a response to emotional shock, but are you talking about being “found out” when we have already stimulated a straight man or are already in a straight man’s bed? “They’re murdered because they’re male” They are murdered, many times, because they are guilty of sexual assault.
        Isn’t it exactly like making a woman believe she was getting man “A” and her getting woman “B” and a strap-on instead, without her prior consent? She wouldn’t be “homophobic” to scream RAPE!!! Her problem would be sexual assault, not homophobia.
        What if a woman is tricked into having sex with a man she believes is someone else, and the man can reasonably conclude that she believes he is someone he is not,…is it rape? or is she just a prude for complaining? Maybe she’s slutaphobic?
        No, she was raped. If she found him out in the midst of a passion (aka: assault), she is unlikely to be faulted, for killing him.
        It is not about who YOU think you are, it is about who your partner believes you to be. What they believe matters.
        Calling someone “blahblah-phobic” because he/she is tricked into a sexual encounter, especially one based on an issue that would never be ok with them, is ridiculous.
        I once had a beautiful trans friend. We used to think is funny when “us girls” would all go the the club to pick up men. I know for a fact that my “girlfriend” did not share, with the hetero men we targeted for flirtation, that there was a penis between those gorgeous legs .
        Part of the allure of trans is to BE, is it not? You cannot BE if you are walking around informing people of your genitalia all night. But, you are still crossing a line when the other party does not know something that, you could reasonably deduce, may affect their willingness to participate in romantic activities with you.
        We were wrong for the charade. It was CRUEL to the men and VERY dangerous for my friend.
        Tricking someone into being sexually stimulated under false pretence is assault. You can believe you are in the wrong body but unless your partner is 100% on the ok with who you are both genetically and mentally, you’re manipulating and abusing them.

        • It’s incorrect to say that transwomen generally go around “tricking” men. Many of the men who pick up transgender prostitutes and then murder them know exactly what they are getting. There’s no trick involved. There are men who are guilty about their own sexual desires and then lash out at the objects of those desires, or they want to be seen as tough when their straight male friends discover their fetish for transwomen. And it’s not like every instance of violence against transwomen involves sex. In 2013, Islan Nettles was walking down the street with friends when a straight man started flirting with her. When he realized she was a transwoman, he beat her to death. She didn’t seek him out. She didn’t initiate the conversation. She was simply existing as a transwoman, and she was murdered for it.

          I agree that homophobia is the root cause. After all, Nettles’s murderer likely saw her as a gay man, and he experienced “gay panic” when he realized he was attracted to a male. But it’s still wrong. You don’t have a right to murder someone in cold blood. You don’t even have a right to murder a sexual partner if they don’t live up to your expectations. Taken to the logical extreme, an overzealous Title IX administrator could find a man guilty of sexual assault if he lied to his female lover about his money or accomplishments.

          • Stephanie says

            @ Jay, no one is saying killing trans people is a good thing, don’t be pedantic. Also, no one is assuming every murder of a MtF follows the same formula. Obviously prostitutes of all kinds are disproportionately targeted because it is easy to convince them to go to a private place, and few people are likely to miss them.

            @YesMaam, that makes some sense, if the MtF sought out or welcomed the encounter, that level of deception would qualify as sexual assault. I suppose I didn’t think of it that way because the concept men could get assaulted is foreign to me still. But it’s exactly like in your example.

            I wonder how often these murders happen when it’s gotten to the point of sex? If it’s just flirting, at what point is a MtF responsible for revealing the truth?

          • @Jay. No, you don’t have a right to murder anyone. Nor do you have a right to draw someone into a compromised position by false pretences. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, etc.

        • Sarah B Watson says

          Thank you for this. As a lesbian who has a preferance that I don’t want to date someone trans because I have a preferance to not be sexually active with a penis, trans or not, many people aren’t aware how much we are shamed by the team’s community. Men who come out as trans women and lesbians tell us we are transphobic if we won’t date them. They identify as women and say they are lesbians so why wouldn’t we any to be with them and their “girl penis” (actual words) also. I’m a lesbian, I like just not women but also vagina. You claim you are a girl, ok, but you still jave a oenis which is a turnoff, no I can’t overlook it. And that when they begin to have a tantrum that I’m trans phobic and a TERF (Teams Exclusionary Radical Feminist) what is wrong with a straight man having a preference? Nothing? What is wrong with a lesbian having a preference? Apparently everything. We should all have the right to know who we have sex with and not be shamed for our preference.

          • Stephanie says

            Sarah, straight men are called transphobic for not wanting to date MtF people, as well. It seems like lesbians are on the front line because they are in the same community, and the left requires compliance from its own more than they can dream to enforce it on others. I feel for your situation, know that you have allies.

          • D-Rex says

            I totally accept and agree with your position. The world would be a much better place if everybody was comfortable with their own sexuality and not bothered by anyone else’s. Unfortunately, I feel that trans people are somewhat trapped in a situation where the vast majority of both males and females have physiological preferences that tend not to accommodate their particular bodies whether altered or not. This puts them in a tricky position. Trans people by definition have an extremely small selection pool of people who are prepared to have a sexual relationship with them and so make demands on the rest of us because basically, life just isn’t fair.
            I have a fair amount of sympathy for the trans community but that rapidly evapourates when they start making unrealistic demands on people.

      • Born women are as likely to be murdered by their sexual or would-be sexual partners as often as ‘transwomen’, surely? The issue is not men’s homophobia, but the tendency of some men to react violently when their sexual or romantic or domestic expectations are disappointed.

    • Laurie says

      What do you think it might’ve been like to be a drag queen in the 80’s while your friends are dying of aids and the general public views you with disgust?

      Don’t be so daft to say that homophobia is an ancient thing. Gilbert was there, and those experiences are informing his present critiques.

    • Shatterface says

      *This just seems like a skirmish between two movements of the fringe left. Am I expected to give sympathy to either?*

      The children being put on puberty blockers or given double mastectomies aren’t part of some fringe movement; nor were the women sexually assaulted in prison by the convicted rapist and paedophilie ‘Karen White’ who was sent to a women’s prison in the UK because he identified as female.

      The mothers concerned that their teenage daughters will be sharing tents with teenage boys because the Girl Guides accept boys who identify as girls aren’t part of a fringe group either.

      Nor are the sportswomen who are being thrashed – sometimes literally – by cross dressing cheats who wouldn’t even qualify for men’s competition.

      • Dan Love says


        Yes, they are all victims of a fringe movement.

        But you forgot the people who are gagged, tied to headboards, and have their genetalia torn off, before being burned with cigarette butts until their entire bodies looks like it contracted severe chicken pox.

        Stop with the pathos, start with the logos.

        • That’s facile. Do men belong in women’s prisons? Do men belong in women’s sports? Should children be given puberty blockers and double mastectomies? Do boys belong in girls’ locker rooms? Should lesbians and heterosexual men be harassed when they say they don’t want to sleep with transwomen? Shatterface wasn’t using pathos. The political influence of transgender extremists has devastating consequences for normal people. You should read Ryan T. Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally for more information.

          We can respect the rights of transmen and transwomen to live as they choose without deconstructing sex. The postmodernists don’t have to win.

          • Dan Love says


            Are you taking to me? I disagree with nothing you wrote. Is it supposed to be a response?

            I stand by my thesis. They are all victims of a fringe movement. The trans movement, in its current form of expecting everyone to bend to their will and shoving anti-scientific crap down people’s throats, is ridiculous.

            I stand by my other thesis. This just seems like a skirmish between two movements of the fringe left. I’m not going to give sympathy to either.

    • D-Rex says

      I disagree that gay people are exclusively of the fringe left, I would suggest that you would find gays and lesbians across the political spectrum with the possible exception of the far right.

      • Dan Love says


        What are you talking about? Where did I come close to implying gays are exclusively of the fringe left? That’s absurd. Trans people aren’t there either.

        If you’re referring to when I mentioned this is an movememt between two fringe left group, I think it’s pretty obvious I’m referring to LGBTQ activists.

    • Sean H says

      How would one even go about compiling reliable statistics on gay people, a status that relies on self ID when the census doesn’t even count them? Many rely on cherry picked anecdotal data that supports whatever point they’re trying to make.

    • The trauma of growing up gay, and also that of developing as a transsexual, are overwrought. On that point I agree.

      But what the Playboy Therapy psychologist determined is the most common-sensical approach to both situations: stop trying to help homosexuals [and transsexuals] change their desires, and instead should try to help them live with those desires.”

      You might care because people are being encouraged to make permanent bodily changes at a time in life when they don’t even know what they want yet.

  3. Andrew says

    Very interesting take on things. I think the implications of the whole radical trans ideology hasn’t been thought through properly, and because they squash any dissent with the force of a million strong Twitter mob, it won’t improve any time soon.

  4. Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

    Once sodomy became normalized it became impossible to prevent every other possible perversion from becoming normalized as well. As the author notes, there is still one thin line that can be defended, and that is the one protecting the kids. Pedophobia is still permitted. But as mentioned, that line is now under heavy assault by the trans and I suspect it will fall.

    • dellingdog says

      @Ray: in case you’re curious, comments like this are why I identified you as part of the “regressive right.” Ugh. Fortunately, attitudes like yours fade away as older generations pass away.

      • Peter from Oz says

        And when the old mores fade away, do you think the gays, the trans people, the blacks, the feminists will be happy? Of course they won’t, because wiithout a grievance these people have no reason for being.
        The writers of ‘Little Britain’ summed up this phenomenon brilliantly in the recurring sketches about Daffyd Thomas ”the only gay in the village” who at every opportunity reminds everyone of his homosexuality in the mistaken belief that everyone around him is grossly homophobic, when in fact his fellow villagers are clearly tolerant of gays.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @Peter from Oz

          True, but more to the point, will the professional Victimologists be happy as the day comes when there is no reason to continue their employment? No, probably not. There must always be another grievance, forever.

        • Chris says

          @Peter I believe the original joke there, when the comedy series was still a radio show, was that Daffyd was not in fact gay at all – only wanting to make up for his banality. At least, that was the joke that I heard. The real radical and shocking act is to be straight, which explains the visceral reaction among the tolerant to Brett Kavanaugh or the Covington schoolkids, people who turn away from the sort of crass self-importance which passes for individuality, to embrace their own normality and put themselves in the service of external truths.

        • “And when the old mores fade away, do you think the gays, the trans people, the blacks, the feminists will be happy?”

          It’s the frequent right wing hate and bigotry that makes me question why I like this site. Oh yes, it’s interesting articles like this one. But damn, I’m not sure I like hanging out with the crazies.

          • I hear you. I never read Quillette’s comments before, only the good writing. There are some nasty men here.

        • “They”?

          You group “the gays, the trans people, the blacks, the feminists” as “they”?

          Where are you living? On the Moon? In 1950?

          I’m in one of those demographics. I’m not “they”. And no, I don’t need a grievance as a reason for being.

          I come to this site for free thinking, not drunk-swaying-on-bar-stool boorishness.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says


        You’re closer to the stereotype there. On economic issues I’m a moderate socialist, but on social issues, pretty old fashioned. As with our previous dispute, I prefer honesty. It seems to me that folks can do what they want with their bodies but I reserve the right to be disgusted by it. I’m not sure why that’s regressive, there are things that each of us disapprove of. What are your thoughts on pedophilia? As older generations pass away perhaps that too will become normalized but I hope not. But then again I’m a self confessed pedophobe. You?

        • dellingdog says

          @Ray, I condemn any form of sexual activity (including rape, bestiality and pedophilia) which does not involve consent. I honestly don’t care what you find disgusting, as long as you don’t support legislation that discriminates against consenting adults on the basis of your feelings. Personally, I’m turned off by the thought of morbidly obese people making love — but I don’t think that chubby chasing should be outlawed.

          @Peter, have you considered the possibility that some subset of activists is actually concerned about the issues they claim to care about? The world looks very different when you apply the principle of charity instead of straw-manning (or -womaning, or trans-manning or trans-womaning) everyone who has an opposing view.

          • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says


            “you don’t support legislation that discriminates against consenting adults on the basis of your feelings”

            That’s about how I see it. Folks should have liberty over their own bodies. Who knows, perhaps something I do might disgust you or someone else, or visa versa — it’s our own business. However I will not be made to feel guilty over what I find disgusting.

            “some subset of activists is actually concerned about the issues they claim to care about”

            It is a very good question how many of them really care, how many are going with the flow — particularly in academia where one is required to go with the flow — how many are making money off of PC, how many are just zombies following our state religion as most people usually do and believing in it as they are told to believe in it. Sure, there are true believers. How many do you think? Mind, we know that the huge majority of people reject PC entirely, but these are not people who make any noise. They mostly have real lives with real concerns and real problems.


          • Peter from Oz says

            I’m sure that just about all the activists are actually concerned about the issues about which they claim to care. This still doesn’t mean that they don’t succumb to the victimist ethos whereby they are enlivened by their grievances.
            Ray wants one set of social rules, the activists want another. Both are free to denigrate the others’ rules. You try to insist that inherently, somehow the activists have right on their side. Ray will no doubt argue that socially conservative values cause society to thrive, whilst too much open tolerance of ”deviancy” does not.
            SOme think that ”deviants” are poisoning the well of public morality. Others are so certain that every gay, trans, black or feminist is constantly suffering harsh and undending violence and harm.
            The funny thing is that the puritans are now mostly on the so-called ”progressive side” and are trying to impose a new moral code that would make a victorian schoolmarm seem like a libertine.

          • peanut gallery says

            At some point it becomes very hard feel like some activists are making arguments in good faith. The amount of narcissism in some left activists is astonishing.Some of them are just high on righteous indignation. Feeling superior is a drug and they need their hit. When someone refuses to accept their fictional reality You don’t try to even “pass” as a gender, then get all upset when everyone is confused about what you are. How very dare they. Is there some fluidity? Yes, but most people follow the male/female nature of our species. Most species operate this way. They get all excited about “gay penguins” but that sort of thing wouldn’t go far in the arctic.

          • @dellingdog. Isn’t “consent” rather at the heart of this? If I “consent” to explore a sexual relationship with someone presenting as a woman, only to find a penis in”her” knickers, has not my “consent” been obtained by deception? Consent, if it’s to mean anything, has to be informed. Whether I’m a lesbian or an ordinary bloke, I can surely reasonably expect not to be conned by someone unwilling to reveal him/her/its/self.

      • Andrew E says

        I’m a middle-aged straight cis white male conservative, (was the “cis” redundant?) and I found his comment reprehsible, FWIW.

    • Lightning Rose says

      It’s already falling. Search the nascent US phenomenon known as “Drag Queen Story Hour.”

      Though the evidence is yet scant, I’m willing to spot the LGBT’s their position that homosexuality is innate, not a learned “choice.” OK; for the sake of argument I’ll even accept their position that “trans” is also innate, not a choice.

      However, “Drag Queen” performance art very much IS a chosen behavior. If one were “trans” and just wanted to pass, s/he could adopt an ambiguous name like “Robin,” wear relatively androgynous clothing styles, and “pass” in most workplaces easily. S/he might even be accepted as the chosen gender in social situations, up to the point of foreplay at least.

      But it’s obvious that “live and let live,” which the Western heteronormative majority (96%) has granted right up through marriage rights, is not the endgame these people will accept. They want nothing less than moral equivalency, and acceptance as “normal,” of every attention-getting behavior they can concoct. We MUST accept it, embrace it, even CELEBRATE it or be socially damned (at least on Twitter).

      I don’t honestly give a flying frack at the moon what the LGBT crowd does, as long as they do it to each other. I thank my lucky stars I don’t have their problems of internal conflict over “gender.” But what they need to understand is we “normies” don’t want to engage with any of their “stuff” AT ALL. It’s not part of our lives. And we don’t WANT it to be. And that should be OK. It isn’t “phobic,” it’s just not our taste. Some folks don’t like opera, bullfighting, or hip-hop, either. THAT should be OK, too!

      Where I draw the line is when they insist on indoctrinating young children. And that is now happening, in both the UK and US, by force of law. If this isn’t grooming, I don’t know what is.

      • dellingdog says

        @LR: although I’m straight, I can guarantee you that the vast majority of gays, lesbians and trans people DO NOT CARE what you think about them and where they choose to put their genitalia (or whether they want to turn their pole into a hole, or vice versa). Rabid twitter activists to not represent the entire GLBT community. If you don’t want your children “indoctrinated” — i.e., you don’t want them taught that some people are gay and some are trans and that’s OK; they shouldn’t be ashamed of who they are and whom they love — you always have the option of sending them to private school, where they can be taught moral wisdom of the kind that Ray propounds. For their sake, I sincerely hope that neither of you has gay children.

        • TarsTarkas says

          The problem is those who do not care are not only being made to care but are supposed to bow and worship anyone who engages in behavior they find disgusting. No one dares contest the rabid twitter mob for fear of losing their job or worse, so they take over. When any and all standards are considered phobic, there are no standards, and it’s every person for theirselves and woe be those who are slow to jump on the bandwagon. I rorsee considerable violence coming.

          • dellingdog says

            @Tars: you think we’re going to fight a civil war over GLBT issues? Seems rather unlikely. Perhaps we should establish a theocratic ethnostate (maybe in Idaho?) and let people who feel threatened by progressive change live in peace. We could surround it with a massive wall to keep out all the Mexicans, Muslims, sodomites, trannies and assorted other dangers to the social order. Sounds like a win-win solution to me!

        • Peter from Oz says

          I think you are missing the point. Lightning Rose was not advocating that children should not be taught that there are gays and trans people in the world. Instead LR was stating that our children shouldn’t be indoctrinated with the political ideology of the LGBT community.
          Activists like to pretend that their cause is morally correct and not tainted by politics. This gives them the right to insist that their cause can be promoted in places where normally the discussion of politics is frowned upon.
          But really the agenda of most of the minority activists is purely political. Therefore, the political aims of the activists should not be preached to school children as non-political moral virtue.
          Another way in which this works is the way that leftists just assume that anyone who has an opposing view is evil and must be punished.

          • dellingdog says

            “Another way in which this works is the way that leftists just assume that anyone who has an opposing view is evil and must be punished.”

            As comments on this website make abundantly clear, the same is true of people on the right. The regressive left and the regressive right feed each other with their equal and opposite forms of extremism. Perhaps we can all agree that some people are gay, others are straight, and they should all be free to live their lives as they see fit as long as they’re not harming others. Conservatives have every right to hold anti-gay views; progressives are entitled to criticize these views and advocate for legislation which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. (Gays and lesbians can still be fired for being gay in over half of U.S. states.) It’s increasingly clear that conservatives are losing this battle in the “culture wars”: the vast majority of young people — including a plurality of under-30 Evangelical Christians — fully support equal rights for gays and lesbians. Anti-gay rhetoric is no longer effective politically, even in fairly conservative states. I think this help explains the strange obsession of people on the right with trans issues; they need a wedge issue to motivate their base. Extremists on the left respond in kind, and the cycle of outrage churns along. This, too, will pass, as more and more trans people come out and are accepted by their co-workers and neighbors. Like the rest of us, they’re just people who are struggling to make sense of their lives and achieve a modicum of happiness.

          • Stephanie says

            @ dellingdog

            “The vast majority of young people — including a plurality of under-30 Evangelical Christians — fully support equal rights for gays and lesbians. Anti-gay rhetoric is no longer effective politically, even in fairly conservative states. ”

            And yet you still think:

            “The regressive left and the regressive right feed each other with their equal and opposite forms of extremism.”

            How could extremism be “equal and opposite” between left and right when the most extreme people on the left are rewarded for it, and those on the right are shunned? You’re bending over backwards to make a false equivalency. It’s popular centrist posturing, but unsupported by reality.

          • Cassandra says

            I think you would need a bigger state than Idaho, old love. And I think you would find that a lot of ‘ Mexicans ‘ and ‘ Muslims’ would be queuing at the gate to get in.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says


          “For their sake, I sincerely hope that neither of you has gay children.”

          I have a borderline gay nephew, I think you’d call him ‘bi’. I love him very much, he has that feminine side that makes him almost as enchanting as a sweet girl. He has been chatted up several times by homosexuals starting when he was quite young. He is, frankly, beautiful. However, insofar as I can influence him, I hope he does not become a sodomite.

          Did you know that of all identity groups that can be named, promiscuous gays are, man for man, the most powerful disease vectors known? No race, religion, culture, or sexual group spreads more disease and is more likely to cost the tax payer a million bucks each. See, the anus is not actually a sex organ and it has built up no defenses against infection. It is also not designed to have things shoved up it. It should be discouraged. It should be discouraged in very much the same way that smoking is discouraged. See, the lungs were not designed to inhale smoke and doing so is very hazardous to your health. I have the same attitude toward buggery. My moral wisdom is that one should avoid deadly behaviors.

          • dellingdog says

            @Ray, thanks for sharing the info about your nephew. I’m glad you can appreciate his positive qualities despite your concerns about his sexual orientation. My 19-year-old niece recently came out as a lesbian. I just hope she’s happy, and I’m very glad she came of age in a society that’s much more tolerant of homosexuality than it was in the past.

          • XCellKen says

            Sorry about those several women who let me have anal sex with them over the years . See you on Facebook

        • ga gamba says

          I can guarantee you that the vast majority of gays, lesbians and trans people DO NOT CARE what you think about them and where they choose to put their genitalia

          Your guarantee and £349 will get me that Diana Ross wig I’ve had my eye on. Nothing says progress like destitute Indian women selling their hair so I may play dress up.

          Given the demand has shifted from tolerance to embracing and celebrating this suggests to me many do indeed care deeply what others think about them. So deeply that incessant indoctrination is required. Where are we at now? Oh yes, celebrating a young boy shaking his drag bootie and pole dancing in nightclubs. So brave! So amazing! So much to celebrate.

          • dellingdog says

            ga gamba: I’m not sure which websites you’re frequenting, but “incessant indoctrination” seems like hyperbole to me. I live in Minnesota (a relatively liberal state) and have asked my students what they’re taught about homosexuality in high school. It’s very mild, along the lines of “some people are attracted to others of the same sex, and they deserve to be respected.” In more conservative (rural) school districts, the issue isn’t addressed at all. Is this message really so toxic that the foundations of Western civilization are threatened? Was society healthier and happier when gays and lesbians were forced to live in the closet and many entered into loveless, opposite-sex marriages which usually ended in divorce? I acknowledge that the most extreme GLBT activists are deranged, but the same is true of anti-GLBT activists on the Christian right. I don’t see any evidence that these outliers reflect the majority opinion on either the left or the right.

          • ga gamba says

            I’m not sure which websites you’re frequenting….

            You might think it’s twogirlsonecup dot com, but it’s not. Huck is a bit of an outlier, but is CNBC deviantly mainstream enough?

            Queen Lactacia, the lad’s drag name, has been featured in Teen Vogue, Elle, Advocate, Huffington Post, CBC, and even appeared in the Guardian and the New York Times. Mainstream fare, though several are of a fashion or LGBTQ+whatever bent.

            I understand your preference to shift focus to the closed environment of the education sector, yet children are exposed to the wider world in the innumerable ways. It’s isn’t 1978 anymore. Of course, you knew that, didn’t you?

          • hail to none says

            I appreciate dellingdog’s and ga gamba’s contributions to the discussion. They are both very erudite and make me think more deeply and carefully about issues. Philosophically I agree more with ga gamba, but dellingdog provides a very useful counterpoint.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

        @Lightning Rose

        Well said. Agree to all. Yes, I was ok with it all when the agenda was essentially ‘leave us alone and we’ll leave you alone’. I supported decriminalization. But as you say the agenda now is mandatory acceptance and grooming of children. Sorry, I do not support that (bigot that I must be).

        • dellingdog says

          @Ray: In the U.S. we have the First Amendment; people are free to hate homosexuality as much as they like. No “mandatory acceptance” here. Many churches (and mosques) still teach that homosexuality is sinful and celibacy is the only viable option for people who experience same-sex attraction. They can ever refer to gays as “sodomites” and gay sex as “buggery”! (Please see the Westboro Baptist Church for an especially outspoken example.)
          True, there may be negative consequences (e.g., losing your job) for individuals who express unpopular views publicly, but that’s an unavoidable feature of at-will employment.

          Your reference to “grooming” is a homophobic slur which reflects your ignorance of sexuality. Pedophilia is a disorder which is distinct from homosexuality. Most Americans now understand this fact despite the efforts of conservative culture warriors to link samesex attraction and child molestation. As I wrote in a previous post, views like yours will fade away into irrelevance when older generations pass away. In thirty years, I can confidently predict that panic about gay marriage will be seen as baseless and antiquated as previous generations’ condemnation of interracial marriage. You’re clearly on the wrong side of history — but if fighting what you regard as the “good fight” brings you satisfaction, I completely support your right to hold your views.

          • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says


            Pardon to all, this is personal: I’m starting to like you, Dawg. You are enveloped in your virtue, you take it as beyond question that your viewpoint is the only possible good one, and that all people to the right of you are evil monsters. (Exaggeration for effect). That’s ok, most people believe that theirs is the One True Religion and that all outside are in darkness. There are no doubts, there are no difficulties, there are no other points of view. My faith answers all questions perfectly.

            But you seem to be trying to be honest. As a student of logic I can tell you that honesty in debate is extremely difficult, it is so easy to fall into all the standard techniques of denigration, deviation, avoidance — these are the skills we learn, not the skills of honest discussion which do not permit us to ‘protect’ ourselves but demand that we strip naked to the blizzard.

            If you want to be honest, the first thing to do is to let go of your Saved status and to realize that folks like me are not monsters, we, too, want a better world. Shocking tho it may be to say it, even the Left can make mistakes and fall into excess and even evil. ‘Progress’ sometimes backfires. Not every change is a change for the better. It might be the case that some social norm that has existed in every society since the dawn of history might just have some merit to it after all.

            Proceeding in a didactic spirit:

            “In the U.S. we have the First Amendment”

            Indeed you do. I’m Canadian, here and in probably most of the rest of the Western world that bulwark is not there. Even in the States, the 1st is under sustained pressure. I hope you keep it.

            ” and gay sex as “buggery”

            Why not call it by it’s name? Look it up in the dictionary. Why the need for a euphemism? If it is good, normal, healthy, and to be celebrated, then how can any word for it be bad? Oh, and who decides these things? Who decides what words may and may not be used? Is fellatio still OK or must I say ‘male-receiving oral sex’ only?

            “Your reference to “grooming” is a homophobic slur”

            Unfortunately not. Here we get back to the question of honesty. I too would rather Imagine that there were no dangers there, but that is not the case. Now, I test you here: it will be easy for you to say that because I disagree with you, my motive is Hate and Bigotry and … so on. But labels are not arguments. I put it to you that my motive is honesty and the protection of children. What if your sanitized view is simply not correct? Should we Imagine it to be correct, or face the fact that it is not correct and act accordingly? Just using anecdotes, my nephew as been hit up more than once. A gay teacher tried to groom me once in high school.

            “Pedophilia is a disorder which is distinct from homosexuality.”

            I risk arrest here. If the Canadian authorities read this, I’m in trouble: No, that’s not correct. If the legal age for buggery is 18 and I bugger a 17 year old, I am a pedophile, yes? But supposing the legal age is dropped to 16 (as various activists have attempted to do). Am I still a pedophile or am I now a homosexual? Men who use prostitutes sometimes tend to like them young. If most of my prostitutes are over 18, but one is 15 tho she says she’s 18, am I a heterosexual or a pedophile? What is the magic test which puts me, absolutely, in one category or another? Or, if I just take sex holidays in Cambodia, where there is no legal protection, am I safely heterosexual tho hiring a 12 year old?

            “You’re clearly on the wrong side of history”

            In the short term, I agree — I’m on the loosing side right now, but will that continue? Or will society recover from the current sexual/moral anarchy and rediscover values that work? It is interesting that some of the most conservative people I know are under 25, they are disgusted by what they are supposed to believe. I know only one young woman who is a radfem, the rest have an attitude of rolling their eyes at it.

            Thanks for the link. It is so political as to be nothing more than propaganda. Hard to find anything that isn’t biased tho, one way or the other. The best data I’ve seen would suggest that males who are attracted to males are about 13X more likely to abuse a child than are males who are attracted to females. Honest data always welcome tho. I have no particular desire to sustain my views on this, were it mistaken that would be very good news.

          • Daniel says

            “Views like yours will fade away into irrelevance when older generations pass away.” It is not unlikely that traditional views of morality will continue to fade. However, the Bible will still say the same thing in future generations, and Christians will continue to believe it. They may be marginalized and persecuted for it. But they will continue to find sexual sin “morally disgusting” because they get their moral standard from God’s Word.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

        @Andrew Thompson (CurlyHeadedSkeptic)

        Technically it should be, however by the same logic homophobia would be fear of human beings.

        • umbratile says

          Technically one should know the Τέχνη before splitting hairs with what others write. “Homo-” in “homophobia” has nothing to do with “human”. It comes from the Greek suffix ὁμο-, from ὁμός, which means “the same”. Just like “homogeneous” means means “from the same origin” and not “of human origin”. Homosexual therefore means something like “same-sexual”, not “human-sexual”.

          • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says


            Yup. I wondered if anyone would catch that. Correcting myself then, ‘homophobia’ is fear of anything the same (presumably as oneself).

            The pedantry is fun, but using the language as we in fact use it, we all know that ‘homophobia’ is a word built on ‘homosexual’ and that were we to invent a phobia against pedophilia that word would be ‘pedophobia’. Funny how languages work tho. We ‘should’ have the word ‘pedosexual’ but for some reason we don’t. But we do have pederast, which, again would give us ‘pedophobe’ or ‘pedephobe’, perhaps.

        • dellingdog says

          @Ray: “You are enveloped in your virtue, you take it as beyond question that your viewpoint is the only possible good one, and that all people to the right of you are evil monsters.”

          Interesting — that’s how I see you, substituting “right” with “left.” I suppose we’re all the heroes of our own stories. Fortunately, I don’t really care about how anonymous commenters view my Quillette persona (I’m sure you don’t either). I’m much more concerned with how my students view me, and according to their anonymous evaluations the vast majority regard me as open-minded and fair to all perspectives. Admittedly, my exchanges with E. Olson have become increasingly deranged. Probably time to retire the “dellingdog” identity and start fresh.

          @Daniel: you’re right that conservative Christians who insist on interpreting the Bible literally (parts of it, at least — i.e., those parts that coincide with a conservative political agenda) will become more and more marginalized. However, other Christians will interpret the Bible more flexibly and conclude that homosexuality can be tolerated or even affirmed. That is, of course, already happening, and several denominations are facing the likelihood of schism over the issue.

          • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says


            “Interesting — that’s how I see you, substituting “right” with “left.”

            I’ll take that as given. Well then, I’m not communicating effectively. I see the Right as always in danger of sliding into pure evil, with the one grace that they tend to know they are purely evil, what with their doctrine that it is right and proper for the rich to eat the poor. I see the Left as having too much faith in their skills as social engineers — but usually meaning well. I will certainly never insinuate that you are evil or deluded as you have insinuated I am. That’s par for the course tho. I’m a centrist, always looking to muddle thru with what seems to me to be the most workable compromise. I tend to have socialist ideals but conservative notions of how to get there.

            “Probably time to retire the “dellingdog” identity and start fresh.”

            What’s your real name if I might ask? Of course you can retain anonymity as you choose. E.Olson, who I deeply respect, is far to the Right of me, let’s gang up on him 😉

          • dellingdog says

            Funny, I see myself as a centrist (center-left) as well. I suppose everything’s relative — I’m in academia and I’m definitely centrist compared to most of my colleagues. I may have wrongly lumped you in with E. Olson (who’s defending the Pinochet regime over in the Venezuela article — ), Stephanie, and some of the other anti-SJW ideologues. Your views on homosexuality are pretty far to the right, so that probably distorted my view. Sorry about that. I’m puzzled by your respect for Olson — he’s prolific and erudite, but most of his posts read (to me) like a perfect distillation of hyper-partisan ideology. I’m sure he sees himself as objective, open-minded and reasonable, just like I strive (but often fail) to be. Hopefully I’ll come closer to that goal with my new, less combative persona. Take care.

  5. Tersitus says

    Sky— you write with sensitivity and understanding about things outside “the norm” that I, as a straight white aged male, will never know. But— and much to Mark’s point (and you may know this already better than either he or I) —we share a present time in which “the identity political” has become an all-consuming blob. It is inherently othering, and like all revolutionary movements, even the most necessary, it will consume a great many of its own before we return to some semblance of common humanity and shared understanding. In the meantime, keep your balance, sing whatever you wish, and as loud and as proud as you wish, honor your mother and your father beyond their desserts, and teach your children well.
    “Cultural appropriation” is concocted bullshit. Music is among the very greatest of our common treasures. Those who would deny it you are little better than malignant beings who lock “different” children in closets. Long live blues power!

    • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says


      Reasonable! You know, I’m as guilty as you of jumping to ideological stereotypes. Nuts, I hate to admit it. Bad style.

      “I’m puzzled by your respect for Olson”

      He’s intelligent and I believe he makes honest observations. I think he too wants to live in a better world. What he says needs to be listened to. The leftists really have gone a bit nuts, they are chasing people way. People of all persuasions have valid points to make, we should listen to all of them. If you’re going to create a new alias, I hope it’s not too hard to figure out who you are, we’ve got a bit of work done, and more to do, I’d hate to start again from scratch. If you want, get in touch privately, I’d like to know more about your situation, particularly as you’re an academic.

      • E. Olson says

        Ray – thank you for the kind words and I believe the same about you and even dellingdog when he doesn’t delve into personal attacks. The interesting and “in the news” issues that are the topic of so many Quillette articles and the multiple points of view of the commentators is what makes it interesting to come here to read and contribute to the discussion. I also believe most Leftists want to make the world better, but my problem with their situation analysis and solutions is usually that they are inaccurate and therefore don’t work (or even make problems worse).

        For example, there is zero evidence supporting the blank slate that all people of every race, ethnicity, and gender are absolutely equal at birth and it is only socialization differences that determine life outcomes, yet virtually all Leftist policies are based on this discredited hypothesis, which is why affirmative action, gender and racial quotas, head-start, free college, etc. never work because they can’t fix genetic differences in IQ, gender, and personality that are the primary driving forces of life outcome inequalities.

        Another example is provided by Dellingdog, who brings up my defense of Pinochet from another thread, but as typical misses the underlying point. Dictators of the Left such as Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Chavez have killed many millions of people and destroyed the economies of their countries, never give up power peacefully, steal money by the billions, and yet are celebrated as heroes by many on the Left around the world. Pinochet, the only dictator on the Right in modern times killed 2 to 3,000 political opponents, but put the Chilean economy on the fast track by reducing government interference and size, peacefully gave up power to free elections, and Chile today is the freest and most economically successful country in Central/South America. Thus Pinochet had by far the lowest body count, and by far the best political and economic results, and yet he is the only dictator of the bunch that is routinely vilified in academia and the media. This is why I often write that the key difference difference between the Left and the Right is that the Left evaluates outcomes almost entirely on whether the instigator had “good intentions”, while the Right evaluates outcomes almost entirely on whether the instigator efficiently achieved good results.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @E. Olson

          “For example, there is zero evidence supporting the blank slate that all people of every race, ethnicity, and gender are absolutely equal at birth and it is only socialization differences that determine life outcomes”

          It comes back to my thesis that the Marxist-Lennonists believe — they don’t know they believe it, but they believe it — that they can Imagine their way out of trouble. If only every Identity would have equal outcomes but for whitey’s Oppression! All that’s needed is for you and me to stop Oppressing, and voila! utopia. Dellingdog is happy to share in the guilt too. He has White Privilege and he’s sorry. Alas, all our efforts to cure this social cancer are not working because the patient has TB. We’ve got to get real.

          What keeps me going is that you and I and Dellingdog are slowly figuring out that we aren’t enemies, we all want a better world. I could lay off the caricatures, and Dellingdog could lay off on the idea that you are some evil Nazi plutocrat. Me too, tho I am in fact a retired mailman and onetime union activist: “Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains.” … and so on.

          As my dad used to say: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

  6. Maureen says

    I’ve read other articles on the Trans or gay question and I thank you for writing about it. It’s a valid concern that more people need to know about. Please keep speaking, Sky.

  7. Sky, your analysis might also consider that there are three concepts involved, not two. You discuss, primarily, sexuality and gender. I suggest reconsidering, as sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

    I had never given these ideas much thought until a successful and articulate trans advocate several years ago explained to me that sex and gender are not synonyms: “Your sex is what you have between your legs, your gender is what you have between your ears.” On that view, sex is biological, gender is psychological. For most people, whether homosexual or heterosexual, their gender and sex largely coincide, at least post-adolescence. The difference between homosexual and heterosexual, or bisexual, therefore, is sexual orientation, the sex or sexes to which you are sexually attracted.

    Gender is not a necessary part of the sexual orientation distinction. Conceptually, a trans person could be homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual.

    When someone’s gender identity varies from their biological sex the issue for them is not homosexuality or heterosexuality, not sexual orientation at all. It is about their identity — who they think and feel they are mentally and emotionally — rather than what they are genitally. The variation between one’s gender identity and one’s sex may be completely opposite, or may be fluid between male and female.

    The APA’s definition of Gender Dysphoria could use correction when it refers to “assigned” gender. Sex is assigned at birth. Gender identity is not assigned at any time. What we think and feel about ourselves, including our gender identity, develops as we grow from childhood to adulthood and thereafter. What the APA means to say, I think, is that gender dysphoria may arise if (i) someone’s gender identity differs markedly from their assigned sex, and (ii) if they are for that reason in a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life. Whether a trans person feels dysphoria, and if so, the degree of it, may be affected, in part, by the acceptance or rejection of their gender identity by parents, friends, and the social and cultural environment they live in.

    In Canada, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has been illegal for a long time, and also, socially unacceptable. Same sex marriages have been performed here by both clergy and civil officials for years. Mistreatment of homosexual people has not been totally eradicated, of course, but greatly reduced.

    However, discrimination on the basis of gender identity has only recently been legally prohibited, so the details of what constitutes unlawful discrimination on this basis have not yet been worked through. I expect to see this happen over the next 20 years or so. Then, with better acceptance and mutual understanding, much of the militancy of the trans activists will become passé.

    • Lightning Rose says

      Before “unlawful discrimination” laws are applied to “gender identification,” someone needs to sort out whether in fact this is a mental illness (the “Gender Dysphoria” listed currently in DSM-5) or a genetic, hormonal, or socially-contagious (arguable right now) condition. As a business owner, I have to both serve and hire all races, sexes, and religions. The law does not, however, force me to hire (or allow in my establishment) an emotionally disturbed person exhibiting psychotic delusions.

      It is considered ethically unconscionable to encourage a person suffering anorexia nervosa to starve herself; no licensed physician would condone cutting off the arm or leg of an individual suffering body dysmorphia syndrome; therefore, why in cases of gender dysphoria alone (if this is in fact an “illness”) is it not only accepted, but MANDATED, that everyone in this individual’s sphere must honor their delusional break with reality, up to and including physical alteration by medicine to feed the delusion? Never mind that this is now being done to children more than a decade short of truly understanding the ramifications.

      In what way is a person of the male SEX who believes he is a female any different than a male who believes himself Napoleon, or a Golden Retriever for that matter? Can he demand to be called His Excellency, or treated by a veterinarian? What if you “identify” as a billionaire, do they have to rent you Trump Tower for a hundred a month?

      Or is this “problem” involving roughly .04% of the world population being USED by some agenda that will be advantaged by increasing social cognitive dissonance?

      • Andrew Thompson says

        Well…there is a significant difference in those cases

        I mean, for one, someone could claim the name Napoleon, but that wouldn’t make them the famous Napoleon, unless we are introducing laws where no two people are allowed to have the same name. And even if they mean the historical Napoleon (which I assume you meant) that is a specific individual person, whereas females make up…yeh according to my notes roughly 50% of the population

        Also, arguing species transition is inherently fellacious as it would imply pseudospeciation between the sexes

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @Andrew Thompson

          Inherently fallacious you say? You know you are triggering a dolphin when you say that? Denying my right to exist? What is the test? I have male genitals and XY chromosomes. I am a male. If I can imagine that I’m female, why can’t I be a female dolphin, too? And, in all honesty, I have never identified with being an ape. I hate apes. But I could swim before I could walk. I’m a freediver and an ocean swimmer. I identify with …. no, sorry, I AM a dolphin.

          • ga gamba says

            Well snookered, Ray. Yes, it’s fallacious only because Andrew sez so. Yet, when it comes to thinking about identity and identity politics, transracialism has been found to be as logically consistent as transgenderism (Rebecca Tuvel’s “In Defense of Transracialism” in the peer-reviewed Hypatia journal, based on a study funded by Rhodes College), so why not transspecieism? We’re at the point now that a simple assertion of identity is taken and accepted as one’s truth. Okie dokie, those are the cockamamie rules; so be it. Let’s hope they enjoy the nonsense they brought forth. The painful contortions they’ll subject themselves too will be a delight to behold.

            In fact, if an essay such as “In Defense of Transracialism” that openly supports any type of trans identity does violence, and defence of open debate causes PTSD, then by what name shall we call the actual real McCoy physical violence inflicted on trans people? Violence violence?

            FWIW, to assert transsexualism is totally legit whilst transracial and transspecie identities are not can only be justified using convoluted essentialist metaphysics.

            I for one welcome and enjoy my online conversations with my dolphin acquaintance and embrace and celebrate his identity. Dolphin pride oceans wide.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

        @Lightning Rose

        By Jove she hits the nail on the head every time. Yes, that’s my question too. Who benefits from have the whole of society stirred up over the mental illness of 0.04% of the population, especially when we know that most of them outgrow it eventually? How small does some group of disturbed people have to be before the Victim industry considers them not worth redesigning society for? What about the poor, damned normal person? What rights do they have to live in a world designed for normal people? None, it seems.

        • peanut gallery says

          Because they don’t actually care about helping people. Just about feeling righteous. IMO, the scary thing is that when the left stops eating itself, it will come for the rest of us. I consider “The Purge” movies a projection of what they really want. YMMV.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @ga gamba

          Thanks ga, you are on the side of Progress, and that might just get you a pass, should it be that you suffer from whiteness and/or are cisnormal. Welcome to my world.

          You know, your attitude is instructive. Perhaps I should stop worrying and just kick back and enjoy the show. It is delightful in that shadenfreude sorta way watching the trans Victims and the radfem Victims and the homosexual Victims try to destroy each other. Each appealing to reality in their own way while having in fact repudiated reality a long time ago. It’s sorta like the Napoleon in the institution demanding that the Wellington down the hall be given a dose of reality. What makes it hard to laugh, tho, as that these people will soon have complete power over us.

    • Stephanie says

      Andrew, your “successful and articulate” trans advocate fed you a platitude. What you have between your legs is tied directly to what you have between your ears. By your genetics.

      Not that there is such a thing as a “female” or “male” brain, or we wouldn’t have to rely on self-identification. We could diagnose transgenderism with a brain scan. But we can’t, and trans activists are hostile even to the concept. I suspect they suspect it would drastically reduce the number of “real” trans people.

      How does someone know what it feels like to be a male if they are a female? Or vice versa? How do we know even what it’s like to be another person of the same sex, age, race, and socioeconomic status? We can’t. We are only ourselves, and only know what it is like to be ourselves. Saying you’re the wrong sex is impossible for you to know.

      Your patronizing response to the author ignores his point: trans ideology is based on the premise that if you do not behave in a manner traditionally appropriate to your sex, you must be the wrong sex. This ignores individual differences, particularly homosexuality. That is why homophobia is so rampant in the trans community. This was explored in the article. But of course someone who thinks Bill C-16 is a good idea thinks anyone who doesn’t buy into this trans ideology must simply be informed of the correct opinion.

      • Asenath Waite says

        Great comment, @Stephanie. A nice succinct summary of the illogic at play.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says


        Superb. I wish we could score comments here.

      • @Stephanie – I’m not quite convinced of that. The studies of children who were forced to undergo gender reassignment due to botched circumcisions are on point. Some of those assignments were (relatively) successful, but some were immediately not, with the children themselves refusing to identify as their assigned gender from a young age. There may well be some innate physiological basis for gender identity, although it does seem that some people are much more flexible than others in that respect.

        Likewise with intersex children – it used to be standard practice to assign them the gender they most resembled, but eventually there were too many cases of doctors assigning the child the “wrong” gender, which they would furiously reject. Now the decision is left up to them.

        • Stephanie says

          @Bab, of course if you raise a boy to be a girl, he’s not going to be happy with it. Please don’t take my comment to mean people are blank slates. Simply that we are the sex we are depending on our genes. That doesn’t seem to manifest in consistent, detectable differences in the brain, because men and women’s brains have a huge amount of overlap in all aspects. That said, if we ever got to the point we could conclusively test for gender dysphoria, I’d be in favour of applying that test as a precondition to transitioning to prevent the abuse of children.

          With intersex people the picture is bound to be more complicated, because babies look like babies no matter the sex.

    • ga gamba says

      Sex is assigned at birth. Gender identity is not assigned at any time.

      Bingo! Now, knowing that the activists assert “Your sex is what you have between your legs, your gender is what you have between your ears,” we ought to wonder why there so much hullabaloo by them about assigned gender when what the doctors were in fact doing was recording observed sex.

      What underlies the on going deception? These activists attach great significance to the power of words, so their protests about assigned gender aren’t an accident.

    • Asenath Waite says

      @Andrew Roman

      In the sense that you describe “gender” here, it is a very ill-defined and even fluid concept. So it doesn’t make sense to try to attach discrete labels (man/woman, he/she) to a person’s “gender identity.” It seems to me to make vastly more sense to use these labels to indicate the much more concrete and practically relevant categories of biological sex, while allowing people the freedom to express their gender identities without the need for labeling these.

  8. Sky, great article. It is insane that we are trading one type of homophobia for another.

    PS: Give “conservatives” a chance. You might find quite a few of us were left of center just a few years ago and haven’t changed. Rather, the left has gone insane and I prefer sane disagreement over insanity.

    • dellingdog says

      @Tim: the right has gone insane as well. For evidence, you need to look no further than the comments on this article.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says


        Indeed, it seems that many if not most of the chattering class has gone insane, and that applies to the right as well as the left. We need to rebuild the center, and fast. Join us there! That means abandoning your own illusions however. Scary thought. Reality is a very messy place, and there are no easy answers to anything. Some things we wish were true are not true. For 60 years we have tried to Imagine our way out of our difficulties. It hasn’t worked.

  9. Both homosexuality and transsexuality are (for want of a better phrase) an attack on the sexes, because both seek to ‘queer’ (ie: break) the definition of the sexes. The fact that the sexes are fundamental to life itself, across countless billions of creatures, seems to escape them…

  10. Great article. Heads up typo in paragraph five, first line. “Them” -> “the”.

  11. Brian says

    The evidence seems clear that both cis and lesbian TERFs, in addition to gay men, are locked in an existential ideological war with trans peoplekind just for survival and to keep their letters of identity and their bars on the rainbow flag.

    They appear to be losing mainly because they have a lower Intersectional Victim Score in this progressive splittist civil war.

    As the Roman historian Livy, said: “Dum Romae consulitur, Saguntum expugnatur”. While they busy themselves talking in Rome, the enemy takes the city.

    The Islamofascists will throw the whole lot off the tops of buildings, including, I’m sure any self-identified dolphins or other transpecies.

    I suppose the cis TERFs might be allowed to live. If they convert and cover, of course.

    • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says


      You have a point there. Although I can’t say I’m looking forward to the caliphate, it should be the case that they do indeed throw most of the freaks off the tops of buildings. As for me, I’m two-spirited however, and I’ll revert to being an ordinary human should that become expedient. God is Great.

  12. George G says

    Can anyone explain to me why Drag Queens are not thought of in the same terms as black and white minstrels / blackface?

    • ga gamba says

      Some people more privileged than others. They assert they aren’t, but this is to give them carte blanche to do as they please.

      They’re our new aristocrats.

      • George G says

        @ ga gamba,

        I’ve seen you on here before. Wading in with your reasoned, sensible thoughts….. and very welcomed they are too.

        the new aristocracy is an excellent point…

        (brief aside I wish quillette comments tracked or notified about responses as there no guarantee you’ll see this and if you do then I may miss that reply. Plus articles are flying in thick and fast and quickly get forgotten.)

        … so I think I seen the new aristocracy point come up before in a comment section before , days or a few weeks ago, I cant find it now. It may have been you who made it. I think the gist was that “woke” whites are really using their support of identity politics to signal the difference between themselves and low status whites, very interesting stuff, not sure if there’s any studies or evidence on it yet but it rings true with what I’ve seen, unfortunately as a white cis male my lived experience can be immediately discounted.

        keep up the good work Ga Gamba your an asset to these boards.

        • ga gamba says

          Thanks for the nice words, George. I embrace and celebrate your lived experience. The parade kicks off at 4. Culturally inappropriate costumes are mandatory.

          I used to live in Thailand where lese majeste laws exist and are enforced. Reading and hearing demands for special protections for the people of the people of (e.g. people of the rainbow, the people of the colours, the people of female genitalia, the people of the malfunctioning abilities, the people of the wrong genitals or wrong brains) and their allies reminded me of the king’s court’s pleadings.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @George G

          “the new aristocracy is an excellent point…”

          But whereas the aristocrats of old did not pretend to be anything other than aristocrats, the new aristocracy runs upside down, that is, in order to move higher, you must style yourself as more Oppressed that the group you are trying to jump over. IOW to move higher you must move lower. It’s a bit like a group of spoiled children, each trying to attract mom’s attention by throwing a more convincing tantrum than the other kid. Right now the trans are crying the more bitter tears.

      • Farris says

        I compare it to a caste system. Part of the author’s complaint is that trans have ascended above gays on the PC totem pole.

    • George, you’re spot on. The author is accused of cultural appropriation for using a song, but everyone ignores the more obvious appropriation of gender. Frankly it’s all garbage – sing what you want, wear what you want – but if you’re going to call the kettle black, two can tango. (Apologies for the mixed metaphor.)

  13. Hand up! says

    Thanks for the article Sky. Very interesting. I think some of the heated comments above show what an incredibly divisive issue the trans debate has become. Ideally, we should all just not care about what another person looks like or does as long as it does not limit our own freedom to act and think. Live and let live! But the identity debate is different because those who choose a particular identity are also demanding – forcing – us to behave in particular ways. We now MUST use their language (e.g. pronouns) or MUST NOT adopt some aspect of their “culture” (cultural appropriation). We MUST allow penises into female change rooms and MUST allow children to harm themselves instead of preventing them from possibly mistakenly making premature changes to their bodies. That is how trans is different from LGBQ – it is not live and let live. It is “live my way or else”!

    • Lightning Rose says

      The operative words are, “incredibly divisive.” Cui bono?

    • Asenath Waite says

      @Hand Up!

      I agree. Trans is a fundamentally different situation than homosexuality. In addition to the things you said, it also requires one to believe in inherently irrational concepts, or at least to lie about believing in such, as one can’t really change their beliefs at will. Use of “she” in reference to a male person, for example, implies a belief that that person is a woman when in fact they are not so by any coherent definition of the word. Therefore in order to even speak to or about a trans-identifying person without causing offense, one must declare adherence to their ideology. It’s sort of as if one had to denounce evolution publicly in order to avoid being labeled as anti-Christian.

  14. E. Olson says

    This article interestingly brings up two Leftist “causes”, but doesn’t connect them. Cultural appropriation is seen by Leftists as very bad. I know I certainly get very angry every time I hear Nat King Cole’s version of The Christmas Song written by Russian Jew Mel Torme, or Yo Yo Ma playing Beethoven without a drop of Germanic blood in his veins, and I wanted to scream in pain when I visited China and saw all those orientals going into KFC to eat the secret recipe of Colonel Sanders. Similarly, transphobia is seen by Leftists as very bad, because men should have a right to be women and vice-versa without getting any grief for their preferences/behaviors. Yet isn’t a man wearing woman’s clothing and singing songs popularized by female divas cultural appropriation? Isn’t a woman who wears male clothing and tries to emulate male behaviors and perhaps even getting surgical alternation to emulate male physiology also engaged in the sin of cultural appropriation? After all, in either case they are not actually changing their x and y chromosomes and hence are still their original sex, which should mean they are definitely “stealing” behaviors, habits, and even physical characteristics that don’t belong to them. Why isn’t the Left angry about this type of cultural appropriation? Why doesn’t the Left tell these transgender thieves to get back to their own gender (and bathrooms) and stop stealing stuff they don’t understand, didn’t contribute in making, and cheapen by their misapplication just like they do when a white guy wears a sombrero or a white girl wears an “Asian” dress?

    • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

      @E. Olson

      Stopit, Stopit, Stopit! You are going to trigger someone with your cis-logic.

      • E. Olson says

        Ray – I hate to break it to you, but your dolphin persona is also cultural appropriation, and I’m pretty sure Leftist dolphins around the world are very upset about it.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @E. Olson

          Well that’s a rotten thing to say. We mustn’t appropriate, so does that mean I hafta go back to being a primate? No, no NO! because I AM a dolphin so I didn’t appropriate anything. Ha! And I know what you’re going to say but you’re wrong … I didn’t become a dolphin, I have always been a dolphin even tho I didn’t realize it before. It’s time for my first narcissistic display: I’m going to go down to the cetacean pool at the local aquarium and jump in.

      • Chad Jessup says

        Speaking of which! Between ga gamba and E. Olson and others, there is not much to add other than to ask, “Doesn’t any of those folks understand the concept of hypocrisy?”

    • Dan Love says

      @E. Olson

      As you already know, it’s all bullshit. It begins in bullshit, it ends in bullshit, and it’s bullshit everywhere in between.

      But please use paragraphs when you write! I would have missed out on a good laugh if I did not read your comment.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

        @Dan Love

        What can we do but have some fun with it? We’re having a food fight, but with BS. I’m actually worried sick about the BS, but E. and ga and a few others at least give me some comic relief. As the saying goes you can laugh or you can cry. May as well laugh.

  15. Tarrou says

    Soo…..the author has built a career on identity politics weaponizing his own sexuality against wider society. And he is now angry that other elements of his own movement now consider him fair game as well. My outrage will have to wait on my schadenfreude.

    • Dan Love says


      Bingo. Exactly my thoughts.

      It’s like when a gang of robbers rob a bank, and while they’re celebrating, another gang of robbers robs them using the same strategy. Am I really supposed to feel bad for the robbers that got robbed? It wasn’t their money in the first place.

      I revel in the irony and poetic justice too much to have any sympathy for the author.

      The left always eats itself up in the end.

      • That doesn’t make sense. Homosexuality isn’t a left or right issue. Gay people fall on every point of the political spectrum. Unlike a transsexual, a homosexual doesn’t require any medical intervention to be a homosexual. A homosexual can be celibate, for Pete’s sake. Homosexuality doesn’t attempt to deconstruct biological sex; it relies on it.

        Most importantly, homosexuality doesn’t rely on any postmodern claims. “Some men have romantic and sexual relationships with other men; some women have romantic and sexual relationships with other women.” That’s it. That’s far more commonsense than “transwomen are women,” which makes no sense.

        • Dan Love says


          Are you trying to misunderstand to defeat an easy straw man? Please don’t conflate homosexuals with the homosexual activist agenda. I agree being homosexual is not really a right or left issue, in itself. No one came close to implying that.

          What I and I’m confident Tarrou are referring to is the homosexual or LGBTQBSHT&% activist agenda. All these people, including the LGs, sucked the teat of postmodernism dry and spat it in the face of anyone who questioned them. Need I remind you of Foucault?

          They were fundamentally identitarian and were some of the original architects of identity politics.

          LG activists continue to act as if every homosexual is in a concentration camp. They argue exclusively with pathos, orchestrating the public obliteration of anyone who dare tries to point out the irrationality of their arguments and the empirical evidence disproving their claims.

          Those who try to have an honest conversation about the current state of homosexuality in society are ad hominem destroyed.

          People piss themselves in fear of daring to argue against LG crap no matter how extreme and zealous it becomes. I’m supposed to believe gays are victims and heroes?

          Homosexual activists became the very authoritarian cruelty they set out to fight.

          • I apologize; I meant to respond to your reply to Benita, in which you argued that conservatives and libertarians shouldn’t make alliances with homosexuals who have been alienated by the contemporary progressive movement. My comment might make more sense in that context. She didn’t mention anything about L.G.B.T. activists. She just said that gays in general were walking away from leftism. In my own personal experience, this is true. The gay men I know aren’t doctrinaire conservatives in terms of policy, but they are often scathingly critical of the postmodernists’ views on gender, race, “cultural appropriation,” and cultural relativism.

            There’s no use reaching out to the L.G.B.T. academics or activists. Their meal tickets require that L.G.B.T. people remain permanent victims, which is why they’re committed to finding more offenses. But there are an increasing number of sensible L.G.B.T. media figures who are walking away from leftism—Dave Rubin, Chad Felix Greene, Guy Benson, Chadwick Moore, and Blaire White are just some examples—and I think they should be encouraged. If we agree about this, then I apologize for misunderstanding your comment.

          • Dan Love says


            No problem. It all seems like a big mess.

            Ever since I was a child I believed the sex of the one you love does not matter.

            So it’s disheartening for me to see so many activists use the same cruel tactics that were once used by authorities to oppose equal rights for homosexuals.

            “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

  16. I see the toxicity here stemming from two major sources:

    1. Mentally disturbed men who are motivated by hate wanting power, driven by male aggression — it is significant that female to male trans is almost never represented in the grievance; and

    2. The overall toxicity of the grievance/pseudo Marxist culture which sees power as the only motivating impulse of humans, sees it as a zero sum game and only on one node (group identity/victimhood), and uses social media with the mystifying (to me) cooperation of corporate media and the eager cooperation of politicians who see this as a convenient short cut to their own power.

    I do see it as homophobia as well but only insofar as it falls under the umbrella of the Victimhood Hierarchy in which randomly determined groups are higher or lower (as determined by wealthy Western intellectuals). So a gay guy is lower on the Victimhood hierarchy than trans simply because the gay guy is successful. Their view is that if you are successful (excepting themselves) you must be an oppressor. They excuse themselves with a magical thump on the chest; that is, if they say “I am a sinner!” it is ok for them to continue to reap the benefits of their ‘oppression.’ This is not ok for anyone else, just for the upper class intellectual/political class.

    So gay guys are clearly more privileged simply because they are more successful and *obviously* you can’t be successful without evil manipulation of ‘privilege’ on the hierarchy since everyone is exactly equal and all cultures and lifetsyles are exactly equal (except white western Christians who are clearly evil unless they thump their chests).

    The homophobia stems from this—they literally see people as not human, but as a representative of their group identity and as definable entirely as that. So it’s natural, given that they are racist and sexist, that they will use these tools as soon as necessary to jostle on the victimhood hierarchy. Hence the vicious homophobia. In the same way, I as a Jew am supposed to be ‘white and privileged’ entirely because my group is successful, even though I myself am “brown’ and am descended from slaves – Holocaust survivors – and am a member of arguably the most persecuted group in human history.

    My suggestion to the author is to flee the “liberal party” for the time being. It is being poisoned by this ideology, which is not only dangerous, but extraordinarily hateful and irrational (as the author has experienced). Here in the States, I used to be a straight-ticket Democrat for decades. I am now moderate “Republican” and will stay there as long as the Democrats continue in this dangerous and vile insanity.

    I’m sorry you’ve gone through this and thank you for the article.

  17. Good article. I think many gays are coming round to the idea that they have more in common with heteros and capitalists than with trannies and marxists. The #walkaway movement is just one example. It’s a time of shifting alliances.

    May you live in interesting times.

    • Dan Love says


      I don’t find it wise to ally with the original architects of identity politics and identitarianism. In fact, I kind of admire the trans movement in so effectively using identity politics and postmodernism against the original architects. It was more effective in a few years than anything conservatives or libertarians did for decades.

      The cultural Marxism prevalent in the gay community is no less than that in the trans community.

      Gay activists are better than trans activists in the same way Ebola is better than cyanide.

  18. Vivian Darkbloom says

    Always amusing the hysteria your articles trigger. Lots of protesting too loudly in these comments.

  19. Nate D. says

    For two paragraphs the author boasts that he’s dedicated his life to the role of pulling up the anchor (i.e. the “traditional” norms concerning sex and gender):

    “I have dedicated most of my life to dismantling traditional notions of gender. […] I received a PhD from the University of Toronto, with a doctoral thesis authored on the subject of Noel Coward And “The Queer Feminine.” All my life, I have fought for gender equality, and gender instability”

    Then he spends the rest of the article lamenting that the ship seems lost at sea. It smacks of naivety to fight for “instability” but then to be grieved about the ideological chaos that follows.

    Like saying, “Let’s celebrate confusion, but let’s do it in an neat and orderly fashion. Okay?”

    I just find it utterly baffling.

  20. northernobserver says

    This is an important essay. I want to thank the author for taking the time to contribute.

  21. John Gaiser says

    Well thought and well reasoned. Thank you for your thoughts.

  22. Raging sexist (due to anatomy, not thoughts/beliefs) says

    “Same-sex desire among women is less threatening in our culture, but that’s largely because we live in a sexist society where anything women do is devalued more generally.”

    Wait… What? You can’t just slip that in there as if it’s fact and then casually move on… How did this get past the Quilette editors? That’s a bold claim that is backed up by ZERO evidence in this article.

    I’m sick of the idea that the fringe activists of the LGBTQIA+ movement are now easily summed up by calling them ‘The Left’. Why don’t we call them them the Alt-Left? Seems to suit them pretty well to me.

    • @Raging sexist, I read the same thing and also objected.The author puts an opinion as fact. Same sex desire among women is less threatening – maybe. But if it is, where is the research that shows why? Is it different in other cultures or is there a more universal acceptance of female same sex as opposed to male? Perhaps there is a biological reason, for instance. As far as ‘iiving in a sexist society” – define. Women are ‘devalued more generally’ — by whom? What are the metrics?

      I’m a woman by the way . I just prefer reason to hysteria, facts to unsupported assertions, and individuality as opposed to permanent victim status that is decidedly anti-Western in that it pretends that the West is unique in its sexism when in fact we are the freest we’ve ever been in history. Obviously that doesn’t mean we’re a utopia. Shouldn’t have to say that but unfortunately in this climate…

  23. Asenath Waite says

    Under the currently popular definition of “gender”, everyone is non-binary because the cultural practices commonly associated with masculinity and femininity are not binary in nature. In this sense “gender” is in fact a spectrum (or bimodal distribution or whatever) of cultural practices and doesn’t lend itself to division into distinct categories. For this reason it seems to make little sense for anyone to be labeled as having a particular “gender.” On the other hand, it makes far more sense to label people based on biological sex, which is highly binary and also a person’s anatomy has far more practical significance than their fashion choices. The discrete biological categories of males and females are extremely important to recognize for numerous reasons, both medical and sociological. So I would propose labeling people as men and women based on anatomy and genetics (a radical notion, I realize), while at the same time accepting that everyone is free to engage in whatever cultural practices they prefer, regardless of sex.

    • david of Kirkland says

      True, though gender and sex have always been the same, though gender also applies to grammar.
      I guess you can redefine any word into meaninglessness, but what’s the point of making words have increasing ambiguity?

      • Asenath Waite says

        @david of Kirkland

        I’m trying to meet them halfway. I’ll concede them “gender” as an amorphous concept as long as “men and women” are a separate concept with an objective definition reflecting the biological reality of our species. Seems OK to me since “gender” mostly only came to be used in place of “sex” because “sex” came to be used in place of “sexual intercourse.” So we can go back to just saying sex when we mean sex.

  24. Kristina says

    As an amateur actor myself, I always understood drag through the lens of theater and art, rather than through the lens of gender/sexuality studies. Drag is a specific style of performance with a specific style of costuming and makeup, with that style being particularly non-realistic. Anybody can do drag performance, just like anybody can do Shakespeare or melodrama or noir. And in that non-realistic performative style, the performance can make powerful comments about gender and sexuality without regard to the identity of the performer themselves.

    I think it would be remarkably helpful if all of the “woke” commenters on Twitter or anywhere else would participate in a community theater drag show–learn what it is like to play a non-realistic character and see the freedom that provides.

  25. Amira Eskenazi says

    It’s nice that a white gay male is finally supporting lesbians, now that his own homosexuality is being attacked. Better than nothing I guess.

  26. david of Kirkland says

    I’m offended by all non-English “race” speaking English, a clear appropriation of culture.
    All who love multiculturalism but hate when cultures interact amuse me. They love culture so long as it’s “minority” culture, but you can’t enjoy the culture because to do so is appropriation, not just the reality of an expanding culture due to mixing of cultures.

  27. When I read this piece, I was reminded of a piece written by Leftist academic Adolph Reed in which he critiques the notion of “cultural politics” and argues that it detracts from a politics that helps improve material circumstances:

    There’s nothing remotely Leftist about the politics outlined in this essay. It is quite simply a bourgeois politics of elite brokerage that is comfortably situated within neoliberalism – a politics that does nothing to challenge the status quo of deepening economic inequality, high incarceration rates, exorbitant health care costs, unregulated capitalism, and unmitigated US militarism and imperialism. It is the “lesser of two evils” game that the Democrats have been playing for decades in which they claim to celebrate diversity but relinquish any effort to make a more equitable society for all people…by embracing Wall Street excess, deregulation, and privatization.

    Easier to shout “Impeach Trump” than it is to acknowledge their contribution contribution to the status quo. Or how about we red bait Bernie Sanders and brand him a “white supremacist” for insisting that *gasp* candidates should be evaluated on the basis of their policy ideas and not on the basis of identity categorizations?

    This is all absolutely nutty to me…and all the more nutty because I used to subscribe to the anti-politics outlined above. Holding out hope every day that this will turn around, and we will see a resurgence of the Left and a displacement of this nonsense.

  28. The thing that puzzles me about the trans movement is how it seems to contradict itself on the nature of sexuality. A trans person is said to be born a male physically but a female mentally. But what does it mean to be a female mentally? Women have been making the case for decades (and longer) that there is no distinction between men and women mentally. There is no reason that a woman cannot do any man’s job, and vice versa. Moreover, we have been told repeatedly that the whole concept of “feminine” and “masculine” is a social construct. Men can have historically “feminine” traits and still be just as male; we shouldn’t push children into a gendered path by giving them gender-specific toys to play with or inculcating them with gender-specific roles. If that’s the case, how would a person even *know* he was born with the wrong physical sex?

    Let’s grant for a moment that it is somehow possible to be born one sex and a different gender. What would be the point of transitioning? The only thing that distinguishes you from the other sex is your sexual organs, which are, after all, secondary to your mental sexuality. If your sex organs don’t define *you*, why change them? It seems like it would be more consistent to treat them as one of the accidents of birth, like being right or left handed, and going about in spite of them. To go through the expense and risks of hormone therapy and surgery suggests that physical sexual makeup is more important than trans people want to acknowledge.

    • Asenath Waite says


      Transgender ideology is extremely regressive thinking with regard to the idea that men and women are required to act in certain ways appropriate to their sex. It takes this concept so far as to hold that if a man has a desire to act differently from prescribed male behavior it must mean that he is actually a woman. Maybe that’s part of the reason there is such vocal opposition from some radical feminists.

      If logic were a knot in a rope, transgender ideology would be a tangle that superficially resembles a knot, but which comes completely undone if one pulls on the end of the rope.

      • Sarah B Watson says

        I agree. If you hold their thinking of ‘this gender acts this way and this way only’ up to the real logic of anyone can act anyway (like a tomboy) because your xx and xy chromosomes don’t dictate behavior and personality it will fall apart. The world is becoming tired of the bow down to me philosophy of the trans movement. Lesbians are being shamed for not wanting to be with a trans woman because they beleive they are women so lesbians should have no problem overlooking their girl penis. If you dont ignore it you are transphobic. Straight men arent held to the same standard. If anything feminism itself is being set back by this ‘i act this way so I must be a girl’s way of thinking. Men in skirts are infiltrating womens prisons to sexually assault them. Womens sports because a woman has no chance against a man, women’s domestic violence shelters (survivors with PTSD be damned). Women have no more sacred places and even womens marcher are kicking out women who have uteruses painted on their shirts because it ‘h yet the feelings of the trans women who don’t have a uterus’ give me a fucking break. I got one am fed up with this shit.

      • Dan Love says

        @Asenath Waite

        Out of the frying pan and into the fire? No thank you, I’ll have neither.

        As regressive as transgender ideology is, it’s nothing compared to the “math is a social construction made by white men to rape black lesbians” you get from radical feminists.

        Trans activists have nothing on the anti-rational, anti-intellectual, and anti-scientific hysteria of radical feminists, and couldn’t approach the level of histrionic hatred if they tried.

        • Asenath Waite says

          @Dan Love

          I’m not saying the radical feminists have it right, either. They tend to hold the opposite extreme view of blank slatism where all differences in personality and ability are a result of social conditioning by an oppressive patriarchal system. Whereas the trans people seem to be mostly driven by mental illness, the radical feminists seem to be mostly driven by hatred of men. So trans people are the more sympathetic group overall, but it doesn’t mean that their ideology has any reasonable basis.

    • Vivian Darkbloom says

      Yes, yes and yes! I have the same confusion. How does the trans movement … at its fundamental core … not posit a kind of massive, mythical abstraction of the ABSOLUTE MALE and the ABSOLUTE FEMALE … charges as objective and inexorable as the charges of protons and electrons … essential natures that lie far, far, far beyond having a penis or a vagina? Full-out platonic forms of the male and female. And if I’m not accounting for my dysphoria in terms of evolutionary biology … if I’m not saying biology and chemistry makes me a different gender on the inside, how would I not be arguing for something utterly mystical? And if I’m NOT arguing for absolute, platonic genders … if that’s not my dialectical philosophical position … then isn’t the protest somewhat more flat-footed? I would be just asking the world to apply a different but fixed social construct to me? I would be demanding the right to enjoy the full experience of a different social construct. And which one? Do I want you to apply Burundi’s female social construct or Korea’s?

  29. RadixLecti says

    Minor point, but I think it says something about the victim complex:
    The author ‘forgives’ his mother for the things of which he’s accused her, not the things she’s actually DONE.

  30. Itzik Basman says

    I find Gilbert’s reasoning impeccable.

    Can someone point me to a flaw in it, something, so to say, that’s “peccable.”

  31. Winston Smith says

    I’m so tired of hearing about queer shit. Why do these people always have to be the center of the attention. Bang whomever you want in whatever hole you want whilst wearing whatever you want. But shut the fuck up about it.

    • Itzik Basman says

      So there shouldn’t have been, and shouldn’t be, efforts to get equal gay rights?

      There should be no standing up to homophobia?

      After years and years and years and years of vilification of and violence towards gays, and now where in certain regimes being gay is punishable by torture and death, there shouldn’t be expressions of pridee and international efforts to vindicate gays’ fundamental humanity?

      “Queer shit”?


      • Dan Love says


        Winston says

        “Bang whomever you want in whatever hole you want whilst wearing whatever you want.”

        You say

        “So there shouldn’t have been, and shouldn’t be, efforts to get equal gay rights?”

        I have no words.

  32. Winston smith says

    @itzik I support their rights and they shouldn’t be persecuted. I’m just tired of hearing about it all the god damned time. You can’t turn on a TV, open a magazine or go online without gay LGBT trans non-binary whatever else the fuck bullshit being rammed down your throat. In NY, where I live, they now have subway ads for some city sponsored program for queer teenagers featuring testimonials from “gender non-conforming, pansexual and gender null” fourteen year olds. What the fuck does gender null pansexual even mean, and how does a fourteen year old know they are one? It’s all “look at me I’m special and marginalized” narcissistic bullshit.

    • @Winston – I think you’re right to perceive that it has become less about securing non-discrimination laws and more about performative politics. 29 states are lacking full legal protections for LGBTQ people in employment, public accommodations, et cetera. I fail to see how the performative politics helps people living in those states.

      As a gay person myself, I have witnessed this performative politics spiral into something that is all about “individuality” and less about civil liberties. Dressing in drag, performing in a club, performing for an audience and developing a fun cultural politics are all quite fun, but none of these change lived realities for the majority of LGBTQ people. It doesn’t improve access to health care, it doesn’t secure a living wage for all people, it doesn’t mitigate the exorbitant costs of higher education.

      The LGBT paradigm has become less about securing civil liberties for LGBT people under a universalist umbrella of human rights and more about “queerness” as performance, commodity, et cetera. “Let me try on this identity to see what type of cultural capital it can bring me.” “Queer” has consequently had this curious effect of crowding out lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who support anti-discrimination efforts but feel alienated by the performative excesses. I would count myself among those who feel alienated.

      Dr. Adolph Reed has written about how cultural politics are worse than no politics at all – he writes in the context of black politics in the United States, but I think the analytical framework applies here as well. You can certainly draw some parallels between “queerness” and “blackness” and see how they are utilized to attain cultural capital in the current discourse.

      There’s a huge difference between primarily seeing one’s self as a “gay/transgender/et cetera person” and seeing one’s self as a human who happens to be “gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual.” I’m not denying the existence of homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, et cetera; but we have to stop confining ourselves to these cultural ghettoes and join the true Left in fighting for disadvantaged people from every background. It is the best way forward.

      • Lightning Rose says

        The chances are enormous that LGBTetc.’s would experience NO “discrimination” if they stopped wearing their sexuality on their sleeve saying “Make something of it.” Just do your thing PRIVATELY, like most heteros do! We don’t go around all day every day announcing our hetersexuality to the world as a political position–we just live our lives. Right now I have two good clients and a longtime friend who are “confirmed bachelors.” Are they gay? I have no idea. I don’t ask because it’s none of my business. Whatever stripe they may or may not occupy on the rainblow flag affects our business relationship not an iota, because it is PRIVATE behavior. As in, “not performed in public.” Gay, hetero, or swinging from the chandeliers, in most ordinary daily situations it SIMPLY DOESN’T MATTER. So if someone’s “oppressing” you, perhaps your behavior is at fault.

    • Cassandra says

      I’m with you, though without the swearing.

      The love that dared not to tell its name was less boring than the love that goes on, and on, and on and on about it.

      And it’s a sin,,or a crime , to put your fingers in your ears.

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  38. I ran out of attention after about 50 comments, so this point may have been made before. (How does a site like this get so many traditionalists?).

    There’s a good reason places like Iran are supportive of trans ideology while women who merely would like to stop wearing hijabs are tortured in jail.

    Trans thinking has morphed into support for stereotypes while considering yourself woke.

    The history of enthusiastic support for anything that enables patriarchy is long. So the strange and rapid rise of adherence to the coercive tenets of trans activism actually follows the usual pattern.

    It’s really anything but woke. It hurts all the usual groups: women, gays, gender nonconformists.

    Fitting bodies to stereotypes is not a good goal. It’s the stereotypes that need smashing.

  39. markbul says

    Once YOU accepted the T on the end of LGB, YOU brought this on yourself. Now, when you try to stand up for yourself and get shouted down – by your own people – WE;RE supposed to be sympathetic? Tough tittie, gender warrior, you’re getting your just desserts.

  40. Joseph Jones says

    I’m a gay man who supports same-sex marriage, is mostly pro-choice, cares about the environment, thinks there should be reasonable restrictions on guns, opposes the death penalty, and feels there should be a balance between capitalism and socialism. But because I reject the more excessive demands of the transgender ideology, and insist on the freedom of speech to discuss these issues, I have been labeled an “alt-right bigot” on Twitter and Facebook.

    Such extreme discourse is alienating many gay men and lesbians from both traditional gay/lesbian organizations such as Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD, as well as from liberal politics. It is a frustrating, and likely dangerous, path to follow.

  41. Author says: “your gender doesn’t predict who you will be sexually attracted to”

    Actually it does, with about 97% accuracy, which ain’t bad odds. Not perfect, but good enough for the survival of our species.

    • Lightning Rose says

      Aw, c’mon, the gender-benders don’t believe in “natural law.” Silly me, I was taught that sex is actually something to do with reproduction . . . /sarc.

  42. Karl Ellis says

    ‘Children who haven’t gone through puberty lack perspective on the ultimate consequences—both psychological and physical—of their choices. Moreover, since gender and sexuality are linked in real life, it is difficult for any person to understand their identity as a human being (never mind the more narrow category of gender identity) without first experiencing post-adolescent sexual desire.’

    I heartily agree with this, and worry greatly that Stonewall/Amnesty International/Girl Guides’ support of fundamentalist TRA ideology is hugely damaging to gay children’s chances of (relatively) normal development. Growing up gay is difficult enough without encouraging pubescent teenagers to consider whether their confused feelings are in fact the result of being in wrong body. There seems to be a sort of evangelistic delight amongst TRAs in the fact that there is an increase in the incidence of trans identification amongst teenagers. One only has to watch the video produced by
    Pique Resilience Project to wonder if there isn’t a problem here.

  43. M. Clark says

    @R Henry: the suffix phobia or phobic is routinely used in science to indicate not just fear but aversion to or avoidance of something. Consider the tern hydrophobic for molecules that avoid masses of water or materials that shed it and will not absorb water.

    Homophobia can be used to mean fear of homosexuality or homosexual people, but the way it is used is usually more consistent with aversion to or avoidance of. This use is well within the bunds of the way the suffix has been used historically.

    • Lightning Rose says

      If you delve back into evolutionary biology and the realm of instinct, you’ll find most animal species have “aversion” or “avoidance” behaviors as a way to protect the species. Instinct tells us, “That-thar just ain’t riiiight . . . ” Tell me YOU don’t beat feet away from some meth-addled homeless psycho making a grab. You don’t hang around to debate theoretical “otherness,” you just do it.
      That’s called “self-preservation,” see also “nature.”

      I’d place a large bet that about 85% of society doesn’t care one iota what any of the Rainbow Coalition want to do in their private lives. But we STILL have the right to determine our own comfort levels with various behaviors across the human spectrum. Me, I’m uncomfortable with deception (think you’re talking to a girl, but it’s actually a guy) which about covers “trans.” I’m equally uncomfortable with loud sloppy drunks, the sexually aggressive, juvenile acting adults, exhibited mental illness and those high or stoned on drugs. Does this make me a bad person?

      Stop thrusting your “lifestyle” in everyone’s face, every minute, and let other people’s kids seek out your “lifestyle” when they come of age if they so choose. “Problem” Over.

  44. The author has to their rue discovered that a tiny group of narcissists have declared themselves spokespersons for all trans, and have hijacked the LGB activism and bent it to serve their narcissism. Those among Left, in their scramble to prove themselves the ‘most woke of all’, shamefully coddle & pander to these attention-seekers, in the process callously throwing under the bus any & all groups they once supported.

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  46. Pinkot says

    Thanks to the author for the small autobiographical note at the end of the article.

    When I think back on my childhood and teens, if the trans movement would have been as glorified as it is now, would I have thought I was trans? I’m male, and as a child I played with my sister’s dolls a lot. As I got to teens, I really didn’t like what was expected of a boy to be. I rebelled against those gender norms by partaking in the goth scene. I even remember wishing to being female, because I found them to be so beautiful and pristine, and tried on some of my sister’s clothes. I wanted to be pristine too. But then I found a girlfriend, my present wife, and found the joys of being male. Now it’s all good, and I’d rather be more masculine. But I wonder how my life could have been, if I was a child now, and not in the 00’s.

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  48. Aiming to eliminate “oppressive” gender stereotypes, feminism has usurped trans advocacy to push their agenda of gender erasure.

    Being attracted to men or women is obviously not a mental disorder.
    In the same way femine or masculine is not a disorder either.
    Relating these things to our own sex with terms like “homosexual” and “heterosexual” is the problem for trans people: e.g. is a trans woman who fancies men straight or gay?

    Gender dysphoria however, regardless what the APA says,is a mental disorder like all other forms of depression. This is why it justifies medical intervention to transition, which I myself found to be a cure for the depression. :o)

  49. Barney Doran says

    Is it just me in my un-woke unawareness, or is this whole business getting a bit confusing?

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  51. Shannon says

    Thank-you for this article. Two years ago, when I first became aware of the rise of transgender identity in youth, I wondered about those little boys or little girls who might be encouraged by their parents & therapists to switch genders in order to fit traditional gender roles. And my default was to wait to hear what the gay community had to say – that I was no position to judge and that, if this was an attack on the validity of being gay, the community would make it be known.

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