Advanced search

Lesbian's and the Trans debate

(235 Posts)
DJLippy Tue 20-Mar-18 03:36:37

I was wondering what peoples thoughts were regarding the impacts that transgenderism was having specifically on lesbians and the 'erasure' of lesbian identity. I am concerned that many public debates are ignoring their concerns. I don't think the LGBT 'community' is representing them properly and I think that women need to understand and address the specific concerns they have. Lesbian, bi-sexual and straight women should speak up together because I think that we have an insight that men lack.

If you haven't done so already I would ask everyone to check out Magdalen Berns who speaks so eloquently about the trans debate but it's impacts on young gay and lesbian people.

I think there are two main areas that I have identified are of particular concern.

1) The extremely high (2:1) rates of referrals to gender-dysphoria clinics of girls and young lesbians. Heather-Brunswick Evans work is very interesting here, especially as regards the impact that porn and an overly-sexualised media is having female self-identity. I have heard people express fears that this is in effect 21st century conversion therapy whereby young gay and lesbian children will be effectively steralised and neutered.

2) The encroachment of transwomen on lesbian spaces . I think that Reiley J Dennis is a brilliant example of this. In my opinion he is a predatory and dangerous misogonist who is using the 'trans' cover to bully and intimidate young lesbian or sexuality questioning women. This was really brought home to me yesterday after I had a conversation on twitter with a male lesbian which quickly escalated into a creepy and overtly sexualised interaction. He obviously did not have a 'female' brain - he behaved like a classic misoginist sex pest, who did not respect my boundaries even after I made this clear to him that he was making me feel uncomfortable. It really gave me an insight into how this would impact on lesbians. I think that we take our spaces for granted. I lived in Manchester which is known for it's gay scene but still it only has 1 lesbian bar. It's important that these spaces are protected, especially for young lesbians who need a safe space to explore their sexuality.

This is not meant as an attack on trans people. I am not saying that all trans people are dangerous predators or that they don't exist. However, there is an alarming rise in transgender treatments and a small minority of very dangerous and aggressive autogenophiles. It's right that we should ask questions.

I hope to start a discussion and invite comments from anyone with an insight or any worries. This is just two areas I found of particular concern from my own research I'm hoping other people can share their expertise. I know that I am not a lesbian but it reminds me of that famous line about Nazi Germany.

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one ..."

I think that it would be really helpful if we started to educate ourselves about the threats that lesbians are facing and started to speak out more. Lesbian, Bi-sexual, straight or male: United we stand, divided we fall.

Justanotherzombie Tue 20-Mar-18 03:55:58

My lesbian friends are utterly aghast and baffled at mumsnet using them as a victim in the trans debate.

AnotherQuoll Tue 20-Mar-18 04:26:05

Really, Zombie? Because, as a lesbian, (the real, female kind), I appreciate that Mumsnet is one place I won't be abused by transactivists as a "terf" for being same-sex oriented. Because women here aren't massive lesbophobes. It's nice to have the support.

womanformallyknownaswoman Tue 20-Mar-18 07:28:28

Lesbians on Reddit GenderCritical have been saying for a long time how they have no safe spaces any more - all taken over by TIMs. Same for gay men.

They feel marginalised and alone - again. I know over where I am (OZ) many straight and gay women feel ostracised by men in what used to be single sex spaces. Refuges etc being run by guys in some cases. It really is a mess and no doubt a fight back by MRAs.

ladyballs Tue 20-Mar-18 07:31:15

I peak transed over the cotton ceiling some years ago. Noone should be coerced into sex. That's rape.

I'm bi. I like men to be men and women to be women. It shouldn't be controversial for women to choose our own sexual partners.

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Tue 20-Mar-18 07:56:57

My lesbian friends are utterly aghast and baffled at mumsnet using them as a victim in the trans debate

Just mumsnet?

Not reddit or twitter or anything

Just mumsnet

TallulahWaitingInTheRain Tue 20-Mar-18 08:03:26

My lesbian friends are utterly aghast and baffled at mumsnet using them as a victim in the trans debate

I saw a variant of this one on twitter recently - something like 'as a survivor of sexual violence I'm aghast at being used by terfs to bolster their arguments'

We're not using you, you numpties. We're using us.

NannyOggsKnickers Tue 20-Mar-18 08:06:04

Zombie Are they those kind of people who believe Mumsnet is populated just by het women? Because that is quite obviously not true.

WiggyPig Tue 20-Mar-18 08:06:42

I'm a lesbian. I'm gender critical and also have a lot of trans friends (large LGBT friendship group). None of them would ever or have ever suggested it's transphobic to be a lesbian, that seems to be something that comes from "cis allies"

Of all the things which I find to be critical about with regards to gender and ideology, this is a long way down the bottom of my list. Young women need to be taught about constructing and maintaining their own boundaries and TBH straight girls seem to be having a lot more problems with that at the moment than young lesbians.

Datun Tue 20-Mar-18 08:14:51


This is a recurring theme. Here is a thread where the OP has set out exactly how lesbianism is being erased, from her point of view.


You do realise, don't you, just how many of the women on here are lesbian, or bisexual?

If your lesbian friends are not affected by this issue, then like absolutely everything else, it doesn't apply to them.

I get really fed up with people saying we'll that's not happening to me, so don't talk about it.

If it's not happening to you, ignore it.

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Tue 20-Mar-18 08:48:21

On another thread there is a link to Pink News and a reboot of Buffy the Vampire slayer

They are talking about the lesbian relationship and 'willow' said that its a beautiful story about two people identifying as female in a relationship (very paraphrased)

How would it go down if a series advertised itself as a sory of lesbian couple if one was actually a 'women' born male with no surgery

Which could happen

Its funny what's considered groundbreaking

LangCleg Tue 20-Mar-18 09:02:17

Young women need to be taught about constructing and maintaining their own boundaries

Yes, they do. And you don't think the entire transactivist ideology is antithetical to this? In particular, the hostile environment lesbians, particularly young lesbians, find themselves in? But also the way in which young girls are expected to educate themselves about the presence of "girlpenis" in their changing rooms? And all the rest of the long list?

Because if you don't, I suggest you take a peek out from the rock you've decided to live under.

Try this thread on Twitter, by an Australian lesbian:

slug Tue 20-Mar-18 10:14:32

A fair few of us are also mothers to lesbian daughters <<raises hand>>

aRespectableBureaudeChange Tue 20-Mar-18 10:31:10

A lot of us are concerned about the gender stereotyping pressure teens are under - kids that aren't sexually interested in anyone (some may be emotionally young for their age and just not interested in anyone yet) are being pressurised into identifying as something/anything and nailing a flag to the mast. In some cases leading to potential infertility.

Issue will ultimately affect all females - and also men that care about females should be looking at this pressure to invade female identity.

Men should be listening not telling women what it is like to be female. We are not speaking on behalf of lesbians - lesbians (should) only be women and their safety is same as for any woman. Not sure why your friends would find that odd.

aRespectableBureaudeChange Tue 20-Mar-18 10:36:55

To clarify: lesbian women are the first adults bearing the main brunt to date from trans pressure.

All our children are being taught to accept gender fluidity via peer pressure/internet and sometimes through schools. What may now look like something 'just affecting lesbians' is not true - they have flagged up where we are heading and all women are educating themselves on wider implications.

Stillscreaming Tue 20-Mar-18 10:46:27

If you ask twenty lesbians anything, you'll get twenty different lesbians views and that's great and valid, then a number of bisexuals and straight women will join in, drowning out the views of the lesbians, which is more problematic but we're well used to it. grin

This lesbians has no problem with young people attending gender clinics. I understand that of those presenting under a certain age, the overwhelming majority will turn out not to have life long gender dysphoria and that's fantastic. I think that not being trans is easier than being trans although I'm aware, for some, that's a contentious view. Those presenting later, are far more likely to be trans and more likely to go on to have some kind of treatment. Clinicians seem to have a good handle on sorting out who needs what and I wouldn't presume to know more than them.

I know that the number of children seeing help for gender related issues has risen exponentially over the last decades and I also know that the numbers of children seeking help for all kinds of distress and mental health problems has risen exponentially too. I think that children getting professional help for their distress and mental health problems is an overwhelmingly Good Thing and that funding needs to increase in all areas to meet these needs.

I'd like to see a world that was much more open to butch women and presentations of female masculinity. As someone who is attracted to, and has had relationships with, non feminine women, I'm aware of how difficult everyday life can be for them. There seems to be a bit of a squeeze on acceptable types of gender presentation from some sections of the feminist movement and I think that non conforming women, will continue to be a victims of that. I don't see any of them being 'pushed into being trans' but those who favour masculine names, masculine clothes and masculine pronouns, can, on occasion, be made uncomfortable by the 'biology is everything' stance. I do see them hanging with the trans men, although they are perfectly happy with their own bodies.

As for the view that trans women will take over the lesbian community, I don't have much truck with it. I remember when the very same arguments were made about bisexual women; that they would arrive with their straight privilege and tell us what to do, while spreading sexually transmitted infections. It was vaguely annoying to be occasional asked to have a threesome with a man. However, I think that overall lesbians did more to change the views of the bisexual women who wanted to hang out with lesbians, than bisexual women did to change the lesbian community.

That debate did a lot to solidify my view that penises aren't powerful enough to overwhelm the lesbian community and to imagine that they are, is a form of submission to the patriarchy.

As for the ongoing 'cotton ceiling' thing, I find it distressing. The objectification and sense of entitlement over women's bodies isn't unique to lesbians. Straight and bisexual women are also told constantly, that they should be allowing themselves to be used for the sexual pleasure of anyone who asks. We should be loudly and insistently rejecting this on all fronts, raising our voices in unity to shout 'fuck off' at every predator. There is nothing about being a lesbian that has made me less able to tell people I don't want to have sex with, that I don't want to have sex with them, if anything, it might have given me a tiny bit more practice in saying 'no'.

(NB, this post is what I understand is know locally as a 'plop', I'm not going to read any replies or come back and argue my position. I'm finding the aggression of those who disagree with me a tad wearing and very time consuming. I'm supposed to be working today.)

Beerincomechampagnetastes Tue 20-Mar-18 10:55:03

I think Magdalen Berns is a great role model for all young people. My 15 yr old dd was on some questionable feminist boards before I pointed her in the direction of Magdalen who she adores. Dd is heterosexual.
Gender identity is big news for young people and Riley and people like him exploit that. I see it as a variation of grooming without a doubt.
As far as my lesbian sisters are concerned (I’m heterosexual), I’m actually incadensant at how they are treated by the trans ideology. I don’t see them as victims as a fellow woman I don’t see my self as a victim, but I think we both suffer under the violent Rhetoric of aggressive males.

aRespectableBureaudeChange Tue 20-Mar-18 11:00:45

I came to the trans sexual debate as I wondered if anyone had noticed the link between a sub-set within autistic people and anxiety with gender confusion. Yes, found out lots had been researched so my observed correlation was borne out.

I have diagnosed DC and meet lots of others at support groups etc for over 20 years now. It is a subset of autistic people - but they are vulnerable and emotionally very young for their biological age - usually catch up mid 20s. I think early encouragement to transition is worrying.

Dysphoria is overly represented by diagnosed people with autism - probably lots of undiagnosed too.

aRespectableBureaudeChange Tue 20-Mar-18 11:02:10

Exploit is a word I think is very appropriate in the gender debate.

DjunaBarnes Tue 20-Mar-18 11:34:18

I’m a lesbian and the assault by transactvism in the last 10 years has been destructive in a number of ways.

Our spaces have all but disappeared, certainly outside a couple of large cities. There are pretty much no lesbian bars left and no lesbian nights, there area generalised ‘queer’ spaces - which are dominated by hetro-queers and trans - and there are mens spaces. Ironically the men’s spaces have really prospered in areas like Manchester and Brighton. But the spaces we used to have to ourselves have mostly gone and are used by male lesbian cosplayers to validate their identities. Trying to keep them out simply doesn’t work. I spoke to someone recently how was organising lesbian events in secret now, the problem of trans males altering the events had got so bad. I'm sure some of the few spaces will survive but for lots of women the option of just staying out of 'lesbian' spaces becomes much more attractive.

There’s the creepy, boundary-pressing “male-lesbians”. It’s really difficult to describe how not like lesbians men who transitions are and what a profound alterations to what remains of the culture of lesbians this is, they are straight men and we shouldn’t be expected to accommodate them. And for us as women who in so many cases have been punished by society for a refusal to perform femininity to be told by our previous allies that they are women because of this performance is really fucking insulting. It implies, as we’ve heard all our lives, that we’re not women because we’re not playing patriarchy’s game, there’s far too little push back about “cis” in general, but the idea - even if you accept it - that there can be such a thing as a ‘cis lesbian’ is insane. It’s really the deepest area of betrayal by gay rights and mainstream feminism of lesbians.

The impact on young lesbians is destructive. Many young lesbian women are deeply gender non-conforming, it’s really hard growing up female with the endless assault by society and media on what you should look like, how you should behave, made to make yourself smaller, less bold, less confident in order to fit being a woman. There’s a whole load of added stuff that happens when you are also gay in a society that is so profoundly anti-lesbian. Your ugly and uncool and unfuckable, mannish and revolting and mostly have no one to talk to - that goes for more gender confirming young lesbians but it’s most pronounced for butch-er women. It’s no wonder that the option of being medicated out of homosexuality is so appealing. I and most of the lesbian women I’ve talked to, experienced the fantasy of being ‘really male’ but thankfully grew into ourselves before the normalisation of homophobic medicalisation, but that growing into yourself takes a long time and it’s hard. Responsible gay and lesbian organisations, children’s services and therapists would be helping these young women come to terms with themselves instead of affirming a fantasy about opting out of their own bodies and the reality of being lesbian. Places like the tavistock are respectable here, but there’s a growth of other clinics and off-label drug prescription for those who organisations like mermaids persuade with their dodgy stats that it’s affirm or suicide. But this is one of the long tail effects of clause 28 - we chose to fail young gay people rather than fight the argument that we ‘recruit’ children. Our organisations chose to fail young gay people. I don’t know how we come back from this, part of this really is our fault.

Ekphrasis Tue 20-Mar-18 11:37:05

Actually, the first whiff of all this I got was from a lesbian colleague a couple of years ago who mentioned in passing they'd been to a local new lgbt meeting but it seemed to be mostly dominated by the T part and she didn't feel any of her issues or thoughts or concerns were represented, considered or even cared about.

Beerincomechampagnetastes Tue 20-Mar-18 11:47:17

Excellent post djanu

Datun Tue 20-Mar-18 11:51:38


Really moving post.

WiggyPig Tue 20-Mar-18 11:53:25

There's no need to be cunty about it Lang, I don't have to share your EXACT list of gender-critical priorities in your EXACT order to qualify as not living under a rock thanks hmm

For clarity, pressure on GNC young lesbians to describe themselves as trans does worry me - but the idea that lesbianism is inherently transphobic is not one which I have seen in actual real-life LGBT circles, only amongst "cis allies" on Twitter.

Pratchet Tue 20-Mar-18 11:57:57

The 'I'm aghast at being used as a victim in feminist arguments..' is an argument from the trans mothership. I agree with you OP.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: