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‘Gay rights has been swallowed up by trans’

Gareth Roberts on how a mad, homophobic ideology disguised itself as a civil-rights movement.

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Topics Identity Politics UK

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Trans activists have fashioned themselves as the heirs of the gay-rights movement. It’s common to hear that their crusade to hand out experimental drugs to kids and let men into women’s toilets is the same as the fight for decriminalising gay relationships or repealing Section 28. But, as Gareth Roberts lays out in his new book, Gay Shame, nothing could be further from the truth. The so-called trans-rights movement has colonised – and deranged – the institutions that were set up to defend LGB equality, turning them into mouthpieces for a homophobic cause. Thanks to gender ideology, groups like Stonewall have deemed ‘same-sex attraction’ to be a ‘hateful’ idea. Butch women and effeminate men are encouraged to transition, rather than accept themselves as homosexual.

Gareth joined Brendan O’Neill on the latest episode of The Brendan O’Neill Show to discuss how this new homophobia became so rife. What follows is an edited extract from their conversation. Listen to the full episode here.

Brendan O’Neill: How did the gay community transform into the LGBTQ+ movement?

Gareth Roberts: The change happened very, very quickly. It was less of a long march through the institutions and more like a sprint. The strangest part is that you can almost narrow it down to a few weeks in 2014. That was when the LGB community suddenly became the LGBT community. Shortly afterwards, all these other letters and numbers and symbols were added into the mix. Without any kind of consultation or thought, gay institutions were swallowed up by the gender movement.

Stonewall was the foremost gay-rights institution in Britain. But that all changed when Ruth Hunt took over in 2014. Hunt apologised for not including T in the LGB and immediately began transforming Stonewall into an LGBTQ+ organisation. This happened without anyone really thinking about it, and without any real discussion. Other institutions, such as the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (now called BFI: Flare), also started preaching about trans inclusion. Everyone went along with these incessant buzzwords. Progressive institutions, as they always do, accepted these ideas purely because they were new.

I remember writing an email to someone around this time and instinctively starting to type out the initials ‘LGBT’. I thought I better put the T at the end, because everyone else was doing it. But then it occurred to me that this was all a bit odd. Did I know and understand everything trans entailed? Had anyone actually discussed this?

A certain kind of person – in particular, gay men who aren’t trans – really took up this new ideology. They picked up a cudgel and went for it. And anyone who stepped slightly out of line was lept on and criticised. A few years ago, David Bridle – then managing editor of Boyz magazine – came under attack because he encouraged people on Twitter (now X) to give LGB Alliance a fair hearing. Activists immediately began campaigning against Bridle and advertisers severed ties with Boyz as a demonstration of fealty to genderism. The magazine, a gay-run business going back decades, has since closed.

It seems that there’s a section of the gay population that really enjoys putting people in their place and enforcing strict rules. That’s true about life in general. There is a certain distribution of people with that punitive personality. It just comes out more obviously in gay men. Perhaps because there’s a greater desire among us for revenge of some kind.

O’Neill: What do you make of the monstering of gender-critical voices?

Roberts: It’s been very, very strange. I think a lot of it is coming from actors and people in the media world. Now, I have a lot of time for actors. I’m even friends with some of them. But I do think that you can divide them into two categories. One group contains the most fun people in the world, and the other contains the stupidest people you’ll ever meet. The latter category are the ones driving quite a lot of genderism.

Most of them just follow the herd. It doesn’t help that the media world is also mostly populated by the gay geeks – the upper-middle-class, creative, gender-non-conforming types. These people in particular have fallen for trans.

At some point, it began to feel like Stonewall was sending out signals to gay celebrities to monster against all gender-critical voices, particularly LGB Alliance. These leading gays all suddenly started tweeting and speechifying against it, as if they were following a script. This was utterly crazy, because LGB Alliance was effectively acting as the pre-2014 Stonewall. Yet there’s all this nonsense about it being a ‘far right’ group.

In general, madness seems to have captured our politics. People can’t cope with listening to arguments against their worldview, so they dream up imaginary Nazis. Just look at how trans activists treated Allison Bailey. Bailey is a black lesbian barrister, who has worked for decades on domestic abuse and racial equality. But when she became involved in LGB Alliance in 2019, she was mercilessly attacked by gender ideologues. She was even pushed out of her job because of her gender-critical views.

This insanity used to be nipped in the bud by the media and society in general. But nowadays, with genderism and other social issues, mad ideas get a foothold. In a sane world, nobody would entertain the idea that someone like Allison Bailey is far right or a Nazi. The people saying as much should be laughed at or dismissed. But today, they are encouraged – even though it’s all obvious nonsense.

Gareth Roberts was talking to Brendan O’Neill on The Brendan O’Neill Show. Listen to the full conversation here:

Picture by: Gareth Roberts.

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Topics Identity Politics UK

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