April 17, 2024

Cis Women Need To Speak Out In Support Of Trans, Non-Binary And Gender Variant People

Last week Posie Parker, a self-styled British anti-trans activist – who uses a different name than her birth name but fights tooth and nail for others not to have the same right – touched down in Melbourne as part of a self-organised anti-trans “world tour” that nobody asked for. Posie (birth name Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull) began her career in 2018 after being interviewed by police on suspicion of malicious communications after she’d abused Mermaids CEO Susie Green online for supporting her trans child.

Now, the proud TERF is on a tour fighting trans people’s rights and aiming to repeal the Gender Recognition Act. In Australia and New Zealand, as anti-trans protestors gathered, so did trans rights groups and socialist groups in opposition. But then who arrived to support Kellie-Jay and her cause? Neo-nazis.

Holding a single banner that read “DESTORY PEADO FREAKS”, they proudly held nazi salutes on the Victorian Parliament steps and chanted “white power”. Though Parker claimed they were nothing to do with her, they explicitly claimed their presence was in support of her campaign. If you read those last two lines like you would read any other article, you should probably track back and read again; the anti-trans movement is so bigoted, exclusionary and dangerous that Neo-nazi’s feel a strong affinity with it.

Later on in the week, Parker landed in New Zealand to continue her speaking tour (where the script was 80% the word woman and what it means) and was met with an undeniably moving demonstration of solidarity in Hobart; hundreds cheered, sang, blew whistles and drowned out the attempt at a rally coming from the anti-trans group. In Tasmania the rally was condemned by Aboriginal leaders, in Auckland Posie was covered in tomato juice, and eventually she was forced to abandon her Wellington speech.

This new wave of transphobic organising and hate won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has read the British press or been on Twitter over the past five years. As Shon Faye states in The Transgender Issue, ‘The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times between them ran over 300 articles – almost one a day – on trans people’, almost all of which were critical and almost none of which were written by trans people.

The mainstream perception of trans people has been shaped entirely by non-trans – or cis – people in power who refuse to acknowledge trans peoples’ humanity, and instead use them as a scapegoat to distract from real issues that would – had they received even a quarter of the critical coverage trans people do – have us rallying against the ruling class.

That’s exactly why people like Parker feel so emboldened to travel the globe capitalising on moral panic and spreading hate. Their campaign is one of mischaracterisation; they rally against the ‘danger’ trans people pose to cis women, but data on this danger didn’t exist when this discourse started, and still hasn’t materialised almost 10 years later. The strategy by which they aim to finish what they’ve started – which, by any reasonable assumption would be to create a culture that rejects trans people’s existence and therefore removes and refuses them rights – is simple: create a deep social, cultural and political divide between non-trans women and trans women.

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