How Trans Ideology Hijacked the Gay Rights Movement

Many veteran gay rights activists and gay men and lesbians in their 50s and 60s are fed up with the so-called LGBTQIA+ movement. Some are beginning to see it as a hostile takeover of a gay rights movement by straight people. Worse yet, it is now considered by many to be one of the most regressive social movements of the last century. The reason lies in the growth of that acronym, with the forced union of various groups that have divergent and even opposing interests.

Forty years ago, there were no acronyms. A ‘gay community’ existed, implicitly covering both homosexual men and women. Except that lesbians rightly demanded some visibility, which is why it was changed in the early 1980s to ‘lesbian and gay’. Then it became ‘lesbian, gay and bisexual’ (LGB) in the middle of that decade when we discovered bisexuals as well. And there we are as LGB, happily (and exclusively) attracted to people of the same sex. That is, until the ‘T’ in trans appeared some 15 years later.

In the 1980s and 1990s, there was no ‘trans’ or ‘transgender’ community. There were two very different groups, transvestites and transsexuals. The only thing they had in common was the need to be able to discreetly get women’s clothing in men’s sizes. Transvestites were overwhelmingly male and heterosexual, and liked to wear women’s clothing from time to time. They did not believe themselves be women, nor did they want to make a physical transition. These transvestites outnumbered the much smaller group of transsexuals by 10 or 20 to one. Transsexuals at the time were mostly male, mostly homosexual, and suffered from such severe gender dysphoria that they voluntarily underwent the pain and risks of ‘sex change’ surgery. (At the time, there were only a very small number of biological women who identified as cross-dressing or transsexual.)

The public knew very little about transvestites, apart from the occasional problem-page letter (“Dear Deirdre, my husband has started wearing my best dress”), or anonymous newspaper articles, in which they always seemed unusually willing. to emphasize that wearing women’s clothing did not mean they were homosexual. In general, the public was more sympathetic to transsexuals than to transvestites and homosexuals at the time.

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But sometime in the late 1990s, transvestites and transsexuals merged into a new group: ‘transgender’ people. The public for the most part thinks that transgender people are the same as former ‘transsexuals’, that is, gender dysphorics who have already ‘changed sex’ or at least intend to. But more than 95 percent of transgender people do not ‘change sex’. Most trans women are biological men who still have full adult male genitalia and do not wish to change that. Many are still sexually attracted to biological women like the straight men they are and always were. So we come to ‘LGBT’. This is how a collective identity for homosexuals came to include many straight men who wanted to be seen as anything. but straight men.

Then it was just a short wait before the Q. Q for rare was added. The n-word for homosexuals. Maybe “trolling gays” wasn’t the reason the Q was added to LGBT, but it seemed that way to some of us. Certainly LGBTQ now included even more straight people who didn’t want to be seen as straight, because that’s just too… boring? In any case, another group of heterosexuals had gotten into our acronym, literally queered our tone, not bothering to ask the boring old-fashioned LGB if he wanted to forcibly associate himself with even more non-gays. Most LGB people just kept their mouths shut. Others, afraid of being left behind, began calling themselves ‘non-binary’. No one seemed to understand what it meant, other than maybe having pink bangs and big glasses.

Then came ‘I’ for ‘intersex’. Not a sex, not a gender, but a medical condition this time.

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Then it was ‘A’. For ‘gay’. Boy George once said that he would rather “have a nice cup of tea and sit down” than sex. Fair play! But that hardly justifies launching a human rights campaign.

And so we come to LGBTQIA, which was then immediately superseded by LGBTQIA+, with the plus sign indicating there would be no limits to expansion. If that’s a bit confusing, just remember, LGB is the gay part, TQIA+ is the straight part.

First they kidnapped our initials and then our flag. In 2018 our beautiful and simple rainbow flag was scrapped and replaced with the ugly ‘progress pride flag‘, with added triangles signifying trans and non-binary people, as well as people of color. Apparently a rainbow, the very definition of inclusion, is not inclusive enough for our new queer world.

The next place for an acquisition was the crown jewel of our community, Stonewall. What was once a model lobby group has been hijacked and effectively turned into a consulting firm for companies looking to put a tick in the ‘corporate social responsibility’ box. We should have seen this corporatization coming years ago, when ‘Lesbian and Gay Pride’ was first stripped down to just ‘Pride’.

But what can be done with all this? Is it time to get divorced? Well, according to the TQIA+ narcissists, LGB people are nothing without them, and they will never let us leave them. Meanwhile, all those lovely progressive ‘allies’ keep telling us ‘let’s give the relationship a chance, you were meant to be together!’

Unsurprisingly, some lesbians have come to the conclusion that they just need ‘Take out the L‘ from LGBTQIA+ and organize separately as lesbians. Good luck with that. All lesbian groups and dating apps are currently besieged by trans women claiming to be lesbians and demanding to be considered valid sexual partners. Other lesbians (from the Gay Liberation Front of the 1970s and the original Stonewall) have created the LGB Alliance, a charity to once again focus on the needs of homosexuals. Shamefully, Stonewall and others have tried to prevent this organization doesn’t even have charity status.

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All of this may sound to you like a grumpy old man complaining about a TERF war between the different stripes of an ugly flag. But what began 25 years ago, with the blurring of the distinction between transvestites and transsexuals and the addition of a fourth letter to the acronym LGB, has today left a whole catalog of problems, some with devastating consequences.

Perhaps less important, but intensely disturbing, is the Stalinist rewriting of LGB history to center trans people, when in reality they were absent or only present on the margins.

More seriously, the progressive view that, while biology is real, gender stereotypes are mere social constructions, has collapsed. LGBTQIA+ ideology reverses this, downplaying sex and putting ‘gender identity’ on a pedestal. Dressing in the wrong color or playing with the ‘wrong’ toy is now considered a diagnosis of a ‘trans’ identity, and anyone who dares to question this identity can be charged with ‘conversion therapy’.

The issues of trans women’s unfair advantage in women’s sport and the potential dangers of their presence as biological men in women’s shelters, prisons, locker rooms and bathrooms are becoming apparent. The social contagion of rapid-onset gender dysphoria among adolescent girls and the ‘transformation’ of sissy boys and tomboy girls deserve much more attention. They are a physical and mental health time bomb waiting to explode. Decades of progress on women’s rights, lesbian and gay rights, and even children’s rights are being reversed or jeopardized.

This is not the gay rights movement of old. It’s time for a divorce.

david allen He was chairman of the Tory Campaign for Gay Equality (TORCH) from 1996 to 1999.