Awful “Drop the T” Petition Seeks to Divide the LGBT Community and Isolate Trans People

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In a stunning and complete lack of self-awareness and history, an anonymous group of gay/bisexual men and women have formed a petition asking three LGBT advocacy groups (Lambda Legal, the Human Rights Campaign, and GLAAD) to drop the T from LGBT. They believe that the transgender community should be removed from the LGB community for … reasons. Really silly, nonsensical ones, too.

The petition opens with the following:

We are a group of gay/bisexual men and women who have come to the conclusion that the transgender community needs to be disassociated from the larger LGB community; in essence, we ask that organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal and media outlets such as The Advocate, Out, Huff Post Gay Voices, etc., stop representing the transgender community as we feel their ideology is not only completely different from that promoted by the LGB community (LGB is about sexual orientation, trans is about gender identity), but is ultimately regressive and actually hostile to the goals of women and gay men.

Sorry, I didn’t realize being trans was getting in the way of your goals.

Their points vary, and to be quite honest, read like the talking points of a GOP rally.

For starters, they point out that “simple disagreements” about trans ideology have resulted in threats and insults from the trans community. Fair—nobody should be threatened or insulted for disagreeing. However, this point loses a bit of meaning when it brings up examples of RuPaul and Germaine Greer, two people who’ve made headlines before for their issues with the trans community. RuPaul was criticized for her constant use of the “T-word,” and Greer has consistently proven to be transmisogynistic with comments that are often to the effect of “trans women are not women.”

Moreover, Greer doesn’t believe transphobia exists, which these petitioners must obviously also believe.

The second point is where we go beyond the pale, because I swear, it’s something right out of Fox News’ own rhetoric.

It argues that associating with trans communities violates safe spaces, citing the example of women going to the bathroom and risking running into a “man who claims to be transgender.” Yeah, you read that right. They’re using the bathroom argument. The really misinformed, incredibly ignorant, and age-old argument about bathrooms being unsafe due to transgender individuals asking to use the bathroom aligned with their preferred identity. As we’ve said, time and time again, all we want to do is go to the freaking bathroom.

There hasn’t been a single reported incident of a trans person assaulting a cis person in a bathroom, nor have there ever been any cisgender individuals masquerading as trans in order to assault others. Ever. In fact, politicians have assaulted people in bathrooms more than trans people have. Think on that for a second.

The third point says that trans people are appropriating gay and lesbian history, and cite Stonewall as an example, saying that gay white men were the majority of rioters that night, not trans people. What this point misses is that the argument wasn’t over who was the majority but rather who started the riots and was involved with activism from the beginning. People of color were erased wholesale, having their contributions attributed to others.

Finally, the last point says they take issue with trans children being diagnosed as transgender, saying that they have “considerable research that shows that more than 90 percent of children who express ‘gender dysphoria’ at a young age grow out of it by adolescence and, in most cases, grow up to be well-adjusted gay men and women,” and that the existence of trans individuals is regressive to LGB goals as a whole, since we apparently codify and reinforce ideals of what is masculine and what is feminine.

I just cannot even with this. The language comparison between trans individuals and “well-adjusted gay men and women” speaks volumes to the petition’s true beliefs. This last point also sounds like something you’d hear on Fox and Friends, complete with pearl-clutching and hand-wringing. The only thing that’s missing from this petition are the blatantly misogynistic hosts tearing down women, too.

This entire petition is completely ignorant of the fact that trans people disproportionately face insults, infringements on their rights, abuse, harassment, and murder on a daily basis. Asking advocacy groups and the media to stop sharing these stories is akin to casting trans people out into the cold to fend for themselves. How can it be that these people, who undoubtedly have faced much of the same in history, can be so callous and unfeeling towards a group of people who’ve shared the burden of their struggle for so long now?

This petition is the manifestation of a worry trans people have had for a long, long time now: that after being thrown under the bus countless times by LGB folks, there’s still a subset of people who are working hard to make sure that we don’t get up again. The fact that this call is coming from inside the house makes this all the more terrifying.

If there’s one ray of sunshine about this story, it’s that the counter-petition has twice the supporters: 5,110 to 2,076. It’s titled “We stand with trans people – Reject ‘Drop the T’,” and it’s joined by all the organizations named by the original petition in renouncing the “Drop the T” petition and its signers.

(via Jezebel, image via cherezoff on Shutterstock)

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.