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“Blocking you” AfterEllen tweeted in response to Pink News Posting a photo stating “Transphobia Has No Place in Pride.”
PinkNews endured a barrage of transphobic abuse after covering the alleged attack that Anti-Trans radical activist Julie Bindel claimed had occurred outside Edinburgh University last week where she had participated in a panel discussion. Bindel took to twitter to tell the story, back-peddling on several key details which led some to question the accuracy of the events she detailed. When PinkNews reached out to Bindel to seek clarity for the purpose of reporting the incident via their website, she responded to the inquiry by saying, “I despise your woman-hating, anti-lesbian rag, and would rather give Donald Trump a massage than speak to you.”
The individual that Bindel accused first of physically attacking her before redacting the statement and changing it to a verbal attack with a “lunge” identifies as transgender. Of course, Bindel was less concerned over having been attacked, be it verbally or physically, and more invested in amplifying the message that it had been a trans person who did it. This inevitably resulted in an onslaught of transphobic attacks across social media from her followers and fellow Trans exclusionary radical feminists, many whose common practice is harassing, bullying, threatening and degrading non cisgender people online. Bindel’s story was a dog whistle.
As Bindel’s audience unleashed a relentless barrage of insults toward the entire trans community and Pink News, Pink News responded first by explaining that their intention was not to offend Bindel, but to report factually on her attack.
Today we published a story about Julie Bindel. We wanted to clear up some misconceptions: PinkNews looked into an alleged attack on Bindel by a trans person. Bindel tweeted she was “physically attacked,” but later said she was not physically harmed.
Rosa Freedman, who was with Bindel, too tweeted Bindel was "violently attacked" but later said she was "not physically hurt." PinkNews made routine journalistic inquiries to fact-check the story. Bindel, a fellow journalist, misrepresented our inquiries as "calling me a liar.
PinkNews wrote a factual article about the incident based on several sources. This has been misrepresented as defending the trans person involved in the incident. Needless to say, we don't condone violence or threatening behaviour towards anyone. We merely relayed the facts.
The PinkNews article, for posterity, is here: https://t.co/u91V9dHbbJ
After offering up the explanation to quell Bindel’s legions of angry fans, PinkNews then posted the meme in support of the trans community.
This is when the popular website, AfterEllen.com, a once powerful media ally that reported issues across the spectrum of gender and sexuality and promoted tolerance and inclusion although their core mission- undeniably one of vital importance- was to signal boost the issues effecting lesbian and bisexual women, decided to respond to PinkNew’s trans supportive tweet by blocking them.
I have followed AfterEllen.com for years, as well as it’s companion site for gay and bisexual men, AfterElton.com. The former has changed ownership multiple times in the past few years, and it appears evident their values have changed also. AfterEllen has come under fire multiple times for pushing a dangerous anti-trans agenda. LGBT Nation even dubbed the site a “Transphobic Haven.” In December of last year, a collective of women from other publications, both writers and editors alike, broke ranks with AfterEllen to condemn their transphobic stance. In February. OUT magazine ran a piece that summed up the reckless and irresponsible reporting conducted by AfterEllen.
“AfterEllen was once a behemoth in the queer media space, focusing on lesbian and bisexual women’s representation in film and television, but it has recently moved into a new sphere. These days, the site runs articles about the vagaries of “girl dick” (in other words, the genitals of some trans women), claims that young cisgender lesbians are being bullied online for not wanting to have sex with trans women, and makes calls to separate the “L” from the larger LGBTQ+ initialism out of a desire to no longer be associated with trans people. The new AfterEllen has made its stance crystal clear: Trans people are not welcome.” — OUT Magazine
Founded by Sarah Warn and Lori Grant in 2002, AfterEllen was a pioneer in media that centralized it’s focus on LGBT issues, both culturally and politically. Along with AfterElton, in a package deal, the websites were acquired by the LogoTV in 2006. In 2014, Evolve Media purchased AfterEllen from the parent company of Logo, Viacom Media Networks.
In the last change of ownership, Lesbian Nation, a multimedia company owned by Memoree Joelle and business partner Gaye Chapman, purchased AfterEllen, but not it’s companion website, on March 1, 2019.
No one expected that Joelle and Chapman would use the platform to promote divisive and damaging rhetoric, especially encouraging trans exclusion and erasure from Pride events and campaigns for equality. Unfortunately, it seems that was exactly what Joelle intended to do- cause further harm to the trans community leveraging her readership.
The backlash against AfterEllen.com and Joelle was swift as once supportive readers of the website and social media users refused to co-sign the proselytizing of intolerance and discrimination, especially today, when the climate toward the entirety of the LGBTQ community is not just hostile, but deadly.
afterellen is like the log cabin republicans of lesbians but somehow more conservative and less fashionable
Just when I didn't think AfterEllen couldn't get any lower... they have. Blocking PinkNews just because they stood against Transphobia.
Just incase you needed reminding that AfterEllen got taken over by TERFs
All of this comes on the heels of AfterEllen, just last week, endorsing a film called “The Lavender Scare” which is a virtual re-imaging of the Stonewall Riots and told from a revisionist perspective that explicitly washes any Trans involvement from the historic movement that led to the first all-inclusive Pride- a campaign that was spearheaded by transgender women, including Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Miss Major, the latter who was in the Stonewall Inn meeting with a girlfriend when the bar was raided. Rivera and Johnson were also undeniably formative in the Pride events we celebrate today according to archivists, historians and testimonies from those who were directly involved in the violence on that pivotal night in Greenwich Village on June 28th, 1969. The film, advertised as a documentary, can best be described as a intentional distortion of the facts to serve the purpose of reducing trans visibility and their impact.
The fight for gay and lesbian rights was about homosexuality, not gender identity. This documentary is a vital reminder. 'The Lavender Scare' Documents a Chilling Witch Hunt Against Lesbian and Gay Americans - AfterEllen https://t.co/5YlxzifetL via @afterellen #PrideMonth
According to The Smithsonian:
“This first generation of Pride marches were more inclusive than any before. Participants donned big wigs and kissed their partners. Whereas transgender people were excluded from the Reminder marches, the Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR), an early transgender organization launched by Stonewall protestors Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, formed a significant contingent on Christopher Street Liberation Day. A new era had begun.”
Two trans women of color were instrumental in Pride as we know it. We cannot let hate delivered from within our own community suppress the facts in an effort to justify their prejudices.
To preserve history and honor the two remarkable transwomen to whom we owe so much, New York City is erecting a monument to these trailblazers which will be unveiled in 2020.
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Model Munroe Bergdorf Sees Partnership with Children’s Service Ruined by Transphobic Times Journalist
Janice Turner campaigned to have the transgender model removed from the campaign advocating child safety by falsely claiming she is a porn star.
I’ve had my fair share of dueling with The Times over their blatant and aggressive transphobic views that they place into circulation. Debbie Hayton, a transgender woman who opposes transgender women —
you probably need to read that again, I’ll wait….
Debbie Hayton, a transgender woman who writes weekly columns for The Times in which she declares her loyalty to hate groups like Mumsnet, accuses transgender women of being violent and argues that we should not be allowed to self-ID, medically support transgender children or be allowed in women’s spaces is the tent-pole of The Time transphobia. They use her to validate their hate and believe if transphobia comes from Hayton instead of a cisgender writer, more people will consume it. Of course, Hayton has been hailed as a “Common sense” trans person, although the fanbase she has aggregated still loathe her existence but merely tolerate her as long as she continues to espouse hatred from within her own community.
Sadly, Debbie is just one weapon in their arsenal of journalists whose bias is evident on every page. In April, The Times was slammed by Trans activists for publishing four extremely transphobic articles, back to back, targeting transgender youth. One such article deemed trans children an “Experiment” just days after a trans child had been beaten and left with a concussion.
Katherine O’Donnell, a former editor of the Scottish edition of the Times, sued the publication for discrimination. O’Donnell, who worked for The Times for over 14 years, had recently transitioned when she suddenly found herself the subject of bullying and harassment while refused access to promotions and pay increase opportunities. She disclosed to Buzzfeed the terrifying rhetoric toward transgender subjects of their reporting, including blaming victims of murder for their “Lifestyle choice.”
This is echoed in how The Times has given seemingly infinite column space to anyone willing to characterize the transgender community as dangerous, oppressive, threatening to women or the rights of others. It is hate-speech parading as legitimate news.
This is just a modest sampling of the content that The Times publishes.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise when transphobic Times journalist Janice Turner, attacked the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) for enlisting the help of Munroe Bergdorf, a leading activist with an enormously successful career, to join their awareness initiative. Bergdorf, the first trans model to grace a L’Oreal campaign, speaks openly, honestly and without apologizing. To have a transwoman of color possess such a platform and use it to speak truth to power is vital in this era of rampant racism and deadly transphobia. Across the UK recently, trans children have come under attack by many high profile commentators across social media. Pseudo celebrities who accrue millions of followers by creating social discord that encourages violence toward their target, usually a minority. Graham Lineham spearheaded a movement that cruelly attempted to block £500,000 in funding by the British National Lottery to Mermaids, a charity that helps trans children and their families. We need people who will contrast this hatred. Munroe Bergdorf is the perfect candidate
She’s a role model.
Except, Times writer Janice Turner would prefer you to believe she is a “porn model” instead.
Janice Turner also dedicates much of her own social media to fostering intolerance toward LGBTQ people and disparages corporations or companies that support the community:
When the NSPCC solicited the help of Bergdorf to create a campaign that broadened the scope of their efforts to visibly include LGBTQ children in their services and messaging, it seemed like the perfect fit. According to Bergdorf, they filmed and photographed promotional material which NSPCC had published…
… Until they unceremoniously severed ties with the model after Turner blew a dog whistle that resulted in waves unnecessary outrage. She achieved this by lying. Bergdorf has never done porn and defended herself on on twitter;
I’m so sad to be writing this. Yesterday a Times journalist @victoriapeckham decided to launch a transphobic hate campaign on Twitter, calling me a ‘Porn Model’ & suggesting that if @NSPCC didn’t stop working with me they would be urging people to cancel their direct debits.
Firstly I have never shot porn in my life, secondly demonising those who do isn't okay either. This Pride Month Childline had the opportunity to lead by example and stand up for the trans community, not bow down to anti-LGBT hate and overt transphobia.
But instead they decided to sever ties without speaking to me, delete all the content we made together and back-peddle without giving any reason why.
My role with Childline was not paid, I accepted their request to become their first LGBT+ campaigner because I care about the wellbeing of all LGBT+ kids, but especially trans kids who are consistently targeted by British media outlets.
My heart goes out to all the LGBT+ kids who have contacted me over the past week and the 6000 LGBT+ kids who contacted Childline for help in the past year. Pride is about resisting this kind of hate, not giving into it.
In response, the NSPCC wrote a scathing statement regarding their relationship with Bergdorf, assuring critics that “She will have no ongoing relationship with Childline or the NSPCC.” They go on to say that they “Do not support, endorse or authorize any personal statements made by any celebrities who contribute to campaigns.”
Bizarrely, they make it sound as if Bergdorf committed some horrible trespass or somehow brought shame or embarrassment to the campaign and organizations involved. Except she didn’t. Their entire rebuttal is framed as damage control while throwing Bergdorf under the bus… and all this because of The Times journalist and her public transgender tantrum.
To be clear, the safety and security of children is paramount, including those kids who don’t fit into the personal world view of Janice Turner, Debbie Hayton or The Times, but that seems to be the only ones who NSPCC is willing to readily serve for fear of risking retaliation by these bigots with a byline. But, central to this issue isn’t the bigotry demonstrated by the Times. That’s been ongoing relentlessly for years. It isn’t the grotesque, humiliating treatment of Munroe Bergdorf whose intentions to support the campaign have been distorted and her involvement maligned.
It is the children.
The children who deserve protection and advocacy whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, questioning or transgender. These are the most vulnerable to social violence and family abuse. Equal representation of all types of people in this diverse world gives these children a reflection of themselves. The value of having access to someone who looks like you, has shared similar experiences or simply gives a word of encouragement is valuable to those who feel alone, isolated and alienated, often having been vilified even before puberty by the Janice Turners and Debbie Haytons of the world.
I appreciate the support NSPCC provides to children, but after this, I cannot, with any confidence, give the many families, teenagers and parents of trans children that I interface with any assurance that they will not experience discrimination while in their care. How they have misrepresented a transgender woman, their relationship and withdrew their support when challenged by perpetrators of hate provides no service to kids. Or anyone.
But it certainly makes clear where they stand.
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Julie Bindel has made a successful career of demonizing transgender women across the entire United Kingdom.
In fact, she has previously been banned from speaking at the University of Manchester due to the hateful rhetoric that she routinely espouses toward the transgender community, mostly transwomen who she aggressively opposes their participation in the feminist movement and refers to as “Men disposing of their genitals.”
It was after a speaking engagement at Edinburgh University that Bindel alleges the sudden and violent attack on her person took place by a transgender woman, Cathy Brennan. Bindel characterized the altercation by saying: “He ran right at me, was inches away from me. His fists were raised and his face was twisted with hatred and anger,” Bindel told The Londoner.
However, problems immediately arose regarding the credibility of Bindel’s story. First she alleged the attack happened at the airport. She did leave the speaking engagement 10 minutes early, according to several accounts, to catch a plane. However, she corrected that later, claiming it happened outside the University, not the airport, and her initial tweet had been a typo.
Bindel claims crowds had gathered outside the building to protest her participation in the event. Even prior to her arrival, members of the student community and staff had circulated a petition that amassed nearly 1,400 signatures condemning it as transphobic. Despite the controversy, the event took place at the Edinburgh University Moray House on June 5th. Bindel appeared as scheduled but asserts that the protesters had mostly cleared except for Brennan; “He was obviously waiting for me.”
Bindel alleged that she had been “Physically attacked” by Brennan, but walked that back later, reframing it as a verbal assault and a “lunge” instead.
Cathy Brennan told a different story on twitter, confessing that she indeed “Lost her sh*t at JB (Julie Bindel)” and says that Bindel filmed her during the altercation. “She filmed me. I’m safe.”
A film has not yet surfaced.
Both Brennan and Bindel agree that Edinburgh University Security intervened but Brennan maintains she “…Did not raise a fist,” as Bindel accused. Brennan also admits she attempted to confront Bindel by “….push(ing) past security so I could speak face to face with a person who has caused great harm to trans people across this country.”
Bindel wouldn’t say whether she opted to file a report with authorities, telling Pink News, a popular LGBT News outlet instead, “I despise your woman-hating, anti-lesbian rag, and would rather give Donald Trump a massage than speak to you” when they sought clarification on her allegations.
Bindel did, however, take the matter to twitter, where she blew her dog whistle and sent the throngs of Anti-trans radical feminists who consume her hatred on a days long warpath against transgender women. They proceeded to harass, misgender and even declare transgender women responsible for ALL violence toward women.
The problem here doesn’t seem to be violence, as it appears none occurred. It does seem that Bindel was shouted at and verbally accosted- just like most transgender women are every single day, both in person and on social media. This observation is not to excuse Brennan, who, according to past tweets alleged to belong to her, has advocated for violence toward TERFs.
There is an ironic commonality between Bindel and Brennan.
Bindel, and others like her that have invested years challenging the existence of transgender women, dehumanizing them, accusing them of being impostors or sexually threatening toward women and even attempting to erase lesbianism are responsible for radicalizing those fighting against that grotesque characterization and who experience trauma as a result. The rise in transgender targeted harassment and vilification has eroded the mental health of many trans people who feel defenseless against the lies and misinformation espoused by radicals who aggregate large audiences that consume their bias and bigotry as gospel. It results in transgender people feeling isolated, unsafe and angry- Bizarrely, the same emotional consequence that Bindel claims to have had as a result of transwomen existing in her space… and even cisgender men who she has said she wants to see locked away in concentration camps…
Bindel wants to encourage her base to deny transgender women the right to thrive as they are.
Transwomen want Bindel to leave them alone instead of launching a constant barrage of baseless, unprovoked attacks that impact their safety and health as she tours the country in an effort to weaponize the law and influence greater society against them to suit her narrow world view.
Bindel also weaponizes her sexual identity to malign transgender women who also identify as lesbian by denying them the right to declare their own orientation. She dubs any critics and those who accept transwomen as lesbians as “Lesbian hating” and postures herself as a representative and defender of all lesbians while convincing them that they’re all at risk or in immediate danger due to Transgender women having equal rights. She incites unnecessary panic and inevitably causes more transwomen to be harassed and abused.
Let’s be clear, Bindel was not confronted because she is a lesbian and those who make inquiry into her claims are not misogynistic or homophobic. Her sexuality is altogether irrelevant. The truth of what occurred is, since violence is a crime, is massively relevant.
Contrastly, so is her dangerous rhetoric that incites violence toward transwomen — because they are trans — that is relevant. The fact that she was attacked, if indeed she was must be addressed. But, that she so heavily emphasizes her own sexual orientation or the gender identity of the transwoman she accuses demonstrates a greater agenda than simply holding an assailant accountable for violence. Bindel was attempting leverage this, true or not, as an opportunity to stir even more ire toward the transgender community.
While violence is never an acceptable means of resolve, it would be negligent to pretend that we don’t know how we got to this place of such discord. According to Reuters, hate crimes against the LGBT community have risen 28% since 2017. Despite pushback from a younger, more progressive generation, paragons of anti-trans hate keep rising to national attention.
In Washington D.C., British Anti-Trans activist Posey Parker stormed into the offices of Sarah McBride, the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign. They intimidated her, accused her of atrocious acts and forced a camera into her face. McBride responded;
McBride’s attacker is still campaigning across the UK and Ireland to encourage others to reject transgender women — and even worse, to deny trans children access to medical care.
The rhetoric is not new, but instead, sadly, more amplified than ever before. Bindel is not alone, entire organizations like Womens Place UK devote large sums of money to anti-trans initiatives and frame their efforts as protecting women against abuse and sex discrimination… by manufacturing the myth that it is perpetuated by transgender women. Their primary target and exhaustive talking point is discrediting transwomen as women and, like Bindel, claiming the existence of transgender people threatens them or makes them vulnerable to sexual assault. It’s a reach, certainly, but they’ve scared enough women into aligning themselves with their mission by misleading them into the belief that Transwomen want to rape them.
This is our sad reality as transgender women. While I will never defend violence and am given hope by the fact that I am fortunate enough to have many kind, accepting lesbian friends who I celebrate, I know that far too many transwomen are afraid of TERFs, afraid of being labeled misogynist if they defend themselves against hatred, afraid of being deemed homophobic if they reject ideologies that impair their ability to seek positive, consensual relationships, afraid of the dog whistling that results in a culture of pile on mentality that pushes them further into isolation and depression.
Bindel is not a victim.
Bindel is staring in the face of the consequences of her own actions and words that have created a toxic environment for transgender women for years. That accountability was not a violent pursuit, but an uncomfortable confrontation in which she seems to have sought justice on the lawless social media rather than a court of law.
Edinburgh University’s entire LGBT committee has resigned due to threats by the University leaders of revoking their rights to mailing lists if they protested the event despite their stance being one of defense of the trans identifying students who would endure the direct psychological and emotional implications of their very own school hosting such a contentious figure. In a committee resignation letter submitted to school administrators, they stated:
“We must be able to advocate for our membership, especially when one Group appears to be targeted.”
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