Stonewall calls lesbians 'sexual racists' for refusing trans women as their partners

A leaked email has revealed that Stonewall tried to suppress an investigation into claims that some trans women have been pressuring lesbians for sex


                            Stonewall calls lesbians 'sexual racists' for refusing trans women as their partners
Stonewall had initially been appreciated for its work after it started as a campaign group for gay rights (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A leaked email has revealed that trans lobby group Stonewall tried to suppress an investigation into claims that some trans women have been pressuring lesbians for sex. The email shows that the body tried to suppress the investigation even before it was published, later claiming that debating the issues was equivalent to ‘sexual racism’.

Stonewall has been widely appreciated for its work after it started as a campaign group for gay rights. It is, however, now dominated by the campaign for trans rights. They promote, rather controversially, ‘gender identity’ -- according to which people are whatever gender that they claim they are, ahead of biological sex. 

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BBC followed various high-profile bodies, including Whitehall departments, earlier this month, while it dropped ts membership of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme. The scheme allows employers to pay the lobby group to help ‘embed LGBTQ+ inclusion’ in the way they work. Two week's before the BBC's announcement, the Corporation published an investigation by journalist Caroline Lowbridge. In the investigation, some lesbians said that they felt pressured into having a sexual relationship with trans women -- people who, according to them, are men who say they are women, but have still retained their male genitals.

Among those who revealed their fears were three lesbian women who claimed that they were afraid they would be labelled "transphobic" and threatened by the gay and trans community if they refused to have trans women as their partners. The women told Lowbridge they felt under a bizarre form of pressure to "accept the idea that a penis can be a female sex organ". One of them even claimed that she was described as a ‘genital fetishist’ for only wanting to have relationships with biological women. " "I was told I owed it to my trans sisters to unlearn my “genital confusion”," one woman said.

The BBC was applauded for its investigation, following which some lesbians expressed their distress and anger at hoe they were treated for wanting  to form relationships only with women. Campaigner Kat Howard wrote that she was "incredibly grateful to Caroline Lowbridge, and the BBC for this article", adding: "We need help protecting young lesbians everywhere from an LGBT community that would rather see them silenced than stand up to the male perpetrators of assault."

It has now appeared that several months before the article was published, Stonewall’s chief executive Nancy Kelley wrote to the editorial director of BBC News, saying that the BBC article would be labelled "transphobic" because it represented trans women as "sexual predators", which was a "central anti-trans argument". She also suggested that the "highly toxic" cotton ceiling issue was "analogous to issues like sexual racism". 'Cotton ceiling' basically refers to the difficulty trans people have to face when seeking lesbian and gay relationships. Acknowledging that "consent is paramount and we all want who we want" in sexual relationships, she said that "structural oppression can influence who we want". 

Although Stonewall has reportedly confirmed that there were changes to the original piece, it is not clear whether this was directly a result of the leaked email. It is neither clear whether Kamal Ahmed, who was the editorial director of BBC News at the time, took actions based on the the concerns Kelley had raised. 

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