LGB Alliance to Form as “Stonewall can’t defend lesbians”

Simon Fanshawe, co-founder of the gay rights lobby group Stonewall, has revealed possible plans to form a breakaway group. The LGB Alliance was announced in a letter to The Sunday Times, signed by 22 lesbian and gay rights advocates:

“Last October a group of LGB rights supporters asked Stonewall to ‘commit to fostering an atmosphere of respectful debate rather than demonizing as transphobic those who wish to discuss, or dissent from, Stonewall’s transgender policies. Since then, Stonewall has refused repeated requests to enter into any such dialogue.

“The government continues to treat Stonewall as if it represented the views of progressive thinking in general, and specifically LGB opinion. It does not. We believe it has made mistakes in its approach that undermine women’s sex-based rights and protections.”

This split is a response to Stonewall’s focus on gender replacing acknowledgment of sex. Fanshawe commented that “you can’t self-ID out of female genital mutilation. Your access to abortion and getting pregnant — that happens because you are a woman.”

Stonewall’s failure to advocate for women means that one letter in LGBT is invariably sidelined: Lesbians.

This is a key factor behind Fanshawe’s intention to form the LGB Alliance: “If Stonewall can’t defend lesbians then we will have to look at setting up an organization that will.”

Beatrix Campbell, author and activist, signed the letter because she believes that Stonewall has stopped representing lesbian or gay interests:

“I’m a lesbian because I love and desire women – but gay desire seems to have evaporated from Stonewall propaganda. Lesbians are, once again, politically homeless. I passionately support Simon Fanshawe and the Stonewall founders’ challenge to its current approach – Stonewall has refused to engage in any debate; its position no longer seems to have anything to do with being gay.”

Stonewall’s main focus has shifted towards gender identity, which they define as “A person’s innate sense of their own gender, whether male, female or something else (see non-binary below), which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth.” They describe homosexuality as ” romantic and/or sexual orientation towards someone of the same gender.” This approach erases same-sex attraction and protections. The LGB Alliance challenges Stonewall’s denial of lesbian and gay sexuality.

Along with a growing number of lesbians, Campbell is concerned that Stonewall treats gender as an innate and fixed quality:

“I’m very worried that girls who don’t want to be “girlie,” and girls who desire other girls, are being encouraged by some transgender advocacy into thinking that maybe they’re not girls at all; girls are under such sexualized scrutiny, that you could understand some of them wishing to run for cover; instead of their protest and their desire being affirmed, they are being pushed into hugely traditional and sexist ideologies.

The trans idea that you might have been born into the wrong body, that you have a female brain but a male body, or a male brain trapped in a female body, is a) not sustained by any science, b) hugely conservative – it reproduces essentialist ideas about bodies, and reactionary ideas about gender and what it means to be either sex.”

Julie Bindel, author and co-founder of Justice for Women, signed for similar reasons: “The fault with Stonewall is twofold: ignoring the plight of women under patriarchy, and doing it for financial gain. This taps right into the image of Stonewall – representing rich, white, gay men.”

“I know from my own personal dealings with Ruth Hunt that she doesn’t hold with the trans ideology – that trans women are women. But she went along with the millions of pounds that it gave Stonewall at a time when their job was done. Equal marriage passed, along with legislation to end discrimination against same-sex couples and lesbian and gay individuals. So Stonewall followed the money – millions of pounds to promote transgender ideology.”

Bindel’s vision for the LGB Alliance is radical rather than reformist. Whereas Stonewall has become increasingly focused on celebrity endorsements and corporate partnerships, Bindel advocates liberation politics:

“Lesbians need to join forces with political gay men and start demanding liberation from our oppression, by which I mean look at the bottom of the pile. We need to look at those on the street, homeless; lesbian and gay young people who are being prostituted and sexually exploited. We need to address what’s happening with working-class, Black, and homeless kids that will never, ever be on Stonewall’s posters.”