Gender Identity

Defending Lesbian Rights

27th November 2017, Author: Lesbian Alliance

A statement from the Lesbian Rights Alliance This briefing represents the position of a number of lesbian groups and lesbian individuals concerned about the impact of current political and legislative developments on lesbian rights, freedoms and visibility. This includes in particular the government proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act (2004) 1. Introduction 1.1 What is a Lesbian? A lesbian is a woman who is sexually attracted to and has sexual relationships with other women. Recent years have seen an increasing pressure on lesbians to use more ‘inclusive’, generic terms such as ‘queer’ or ‘gay.’ However, these terms are not specific to women and therefore render invisible the specific experience of lesbians and the specific discrimination faced by lesbians, who of course share experiences of sex discrimination with heterosexual women as well as discrimination based on sexuality. 1.2 Lesbian Rights, ‘Sex’ and ‘Gender Identity’ The normalisation of the concept of ‘gender identity’ has particularly serious implications for lesbians. It has meant that the rights of any male who claims he ‘feels like a woman’ are given precedence over those who are actually biologically female. For example, the use of the term ‘self-defined woman’ means that lesbians are under pressure to accept male-bodied individuals within their communities and indeed as sexual partners. Given that 80% of men who transition retain their male genitals1, the once absurd notion of a ‘lesbian with a penis’ is being promoted and normalised within LGBT communities, with the attendant pressure on lesbians to accept this notion […]

Gender Identity, Lesbian Erasure, Political Representation, Transgender, Womens Rights

Transgenderism and Lesbian Erasure

3rd May 2018, Author: Lesbian Alliance

Lesbian Rights Alliance Tuesday, 22 May 2018 from 19:00 to 21:00 What are the implications and consequences of transgenderism for lesbians? The acronym ‘LGBT’ suggests a common interest between lesbians and those identifying as transgender, but is this really the case? Recent developments such as the dramatic rise in young women presenting at Gender Identity Clinics, the erasure of women-only spaces and the pressure on lesbians to accept male-bodied individuals as sexual partners, tell a different story. Why are so many young lesbians identifying as ‘queer’ or ‘trans’? What is the impact of practices such as breast-binding, hormone regimes and surgical interventions on the healthy bodies of young lesbians? What roles do schools, the media / social media and the medical profession play in this? Is the language of lesbian liberation being supplanted by the language of gender identity? Can transgenderism in fact be understood as a form of conversion therapy for lesbians? Speakers Anne Ruzylo Linda Bellos Julia Long Lynne Harne Dovile Lapinskaite Chair Elaine Hutton Buy Tickets

Gender Identity, Political Representation, Transgender

Lily Madigan: I want to be Labour’s first transgender MP

1st December 2017, Author: Lesbian Alliance

Lily Madigan is the Labour Party’s first transgender women’s officer but her appointment has ruffled some feathers. The 19-year-old was elected to the position in Rochester and Strood earlier this month. “I come from an under-represented section of womanhood,” Lily tells Newsbeat. “I thought I was the best person for the role. I’m pretty happy other people agreed.” Lily’s appointment, and her application to be part of the Jo Cox Women In Leadership programme, has angered some parts of the press and (reportedly) members of the Labour Party too.   Read Full Article in BBC News

Gender Identity, Womens Rights

When Women’s Rights Are #NotaDebate

28th November 2017, Author: Lesbian Alliance

Its ‘Not The Tide That is Turning’ the tsunami of illegal appointments has started with regard to replacing women in parliamentary and local government seats, let alone any other aspect of life , femicide in all aspects of civic , social, political, sports, health, science and personal spaces. None of these are up for debate. Helen Saxby says : When Women’s Rights Are #NotaDebate (reproduced here with kind permission from Helen Saxby) When there is conflict between trans rights and women’s rights (such as whether toilets and changing rooms should be segregated by ‘sex’ or ‘gender’) an open debate should be encouraged to ascertain how best to accommodate the rights of both parties. This hasn’t happened, and it hasn’t happened in a big way, so it’s worth looking at how and why the debate has been stifled. The Gender Recognition Act 2004 gave trans people a right to be legally recognised as the opposite sex. The Equality Act 2010 gave the characteristic of ‘gender reassignment’ a protected category status. At that time ‘gender reassignment’ essentially meant ‘sex change’ – the language used in the Act refers to transsexuals, and people understood ‘trans’ to mean a transition of some sort, usually (at that time) from male to female. The Act was for a person who was ‘…proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex’. Although biologically impossible, sex […]

Gender Identity, Political Representation, Womens Rights

Trans teenager Lily Madigan applies for Jo Cox women’s leadership scheme

28th November 2017, Author: Lesbian Alliance

  The transgender teenager at the centre of a Labour Party row has applied for the Jo Cox Women in Leadership programme, angering and dismaying party members. Female Labour supporters said the decision to open the mentoring scheme to all “self-defining women”, such as Lily Madigan, 19, who was born male but now identifies as female, was a “monstrous insult” to women in the party. Ms Madigan became the party’s first transgender women’s officer last week, in Rochester and Strood, Kent. She had demanded that Anne Ruzylo resign as women’s officer in Bexhill and Battle, East Sussex, accusing her of transphobia. Ms Ruzylo quit, saying that she had been harassed by transgender campaigners. Read More in The Times

Gender Identity

Men and women do not have different brains, claims neuroscientist

27th November 2017, Author: Lesbian Alliance

Neuroscientist Prof Gina Rippon claims male and female brains only differ because of the relentless ‘drip, drip, drip’ of gender stereotyping The idea that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, with male and female brains wired differently, is a myth which has no basis in science, a professor has claimed. Neuroscientist Prof Gina Rippon, of Aston University, Birmingham, says gender differences emerge only through environmental factors and are not innate. Recent studies have suggested that female brains are more suited to social skills, memory and multi-tasking, while men are better at perception and co-ordinated movement. However, speaking on International Women’s Day, Prof Rippon will claim that any differences in brain circuitry only come about through the ‘drip, drip, drip’ of gender stereotyping. “The bottom line is that saying there are differences in male and female brains is just not true. There is pretty compelling evidence that any differences are tiny and are the result of environment not biology,” said Prof Rippon. Read Full Column In The Telegraph

Gender Identity

Lesbian women’s constituency officer for her local labour party is forced to resign by trans-activists

27th November 2017, Author: Lesbian Alliance

All Labour officials on local committee resign Every member of a Labour Party executive committee in Bexhill and Battle quit. They resigned to support a colleague who was allegedly bullied by a campaigner the unnamed male activist is said to have harassed women’s officer Anne Ruzylo. Every member of a local Labour Party executive committee has quit in support of a colleague who was allegedly bullied by a transgender rights campaigner. The unnamed male activist is said to have harassed women’s officer Anne Ruzylo for months after they disagreed over ‘gender identity’ issues. Miss Ruzylo, 52, claims the fellow party member carried out a smear campaign against her. A leaked letter revealed the committee all resigned over what they believe to be Labour’s failure to deal with ‘disciplinary complaints’ regarding the reported abuse. Read Full Column In The Daily Mail

Gender Identity

Meet Alex Bertie, the transgender poster boy

27th November 2017, Author: Lesbian Alliance

More girls are changing their gender from female to male than ever before. And it’s YouTube star Alex Bertie’s example that they’re following. What’s behind the surge in numbers? Janice Turner investigates The little girl who was once Alex Bertie liked action figures, toy cars and Lego. Above all she loved video games: her favourite times were sitting beside her father, Paul, a postman, while he played Nintendo and Dreamcast. Consequently at primary school her friends were all boys. “The guys were like, ‘I can’t believe I’ve found a girl who likes video games.’ And to them that’s like gold, isn’t it?” Read Full Column in The Times

Gender Identity, Political Representation, Womens Rights

Transgender Law meeting

26th November 2017, Author: Lesbian Alliance

Transgender Law Concerns Meeting House of Commons 31st October 2017 Chair: David Davies T C MP Keynote Speakers Judith Green Miranda Yardley Stephanie Davies-Arai, Transgender Trend James Caspian, UKCP  [mks_button size=”medium” title=”Pdf” style=”rounded” url=”http://lesbianalliance.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Transgender-Law-Concerns.pdf” target=”_self” bg_color=”#e04a33″ txt_color=”#FFFFFF” icon=”” icon_type=”” nofollow=”0″] Judith Green Equality Act 2010 Exemptions Should Be Retained, Strengthened And Extended. In thanking David Davies, I have a small confession to make. I’m a card-carrying member of the Labour Party and David’s party won’t be winning my vote, but he has won my gratitude for giving me this platform. The current law sets out that being discriminating is not discriminatory where it is a proportional means of achieving a legitimate aim. This is a good law. It permits distinctions to be made that are vital for women. For example, women-only shortlists as a way of increasing representation in parliament are perfectly legal under the Equality Act. The same law permits a distinction to be made between those of us who are women by virtue of our sex and those who have a legally recognised gender under the provisions of the Gender Recognition Act. [1] I’m here to talk about why this principle is absolutely vital to women, but also about some of the problems in the application of the law and how it could be strengthened. One of the reasons I feel so strongly is my own experience of using women-only services. Due my experiences of male violence, I was a justifiably angry and traumatised teenager. I left home and moved halfway across the country at sixteen. An organisation for […]

Gender Identity, Political Representation, Transgender, Womens Rights

If trans activists truly cared about feminism, they would respect women’s spaces

24th November 2017, Author: Lesbian Alliance

Shon Faye claims to be in solidarity with women, but if that’s true, why doesn’t he respect our autonomy? by Meghan Murphy In The Guardian this week, lawyer and writer Shon Faye claims “trans people in Britain have recently been subjected to a media onslaught” — an almost laughable irony, if it weren’t so dishonest. The truth is that, while indeed many women and journalists in the UK have been covering and speaking out about questions surrounding the transitioning of children, proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, potential conflicts between gender identity legislation and women’s rights, and the attacks on those who question gender identity ideology, these articles and that activism do not by any stretch constitute an attack on trans-identified people. Read the Full Article in Feminist Current