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The ugly return of homophobia Bigotry is coming from the progressive establishment

‘What trans activists call discrimination, most of us call homosexuality.’ Gonzalo Arroyo/Getty Images

‘What trans activists call discrimination, most of us call homosexuality.’ Gonzalo Arroyo/Getty Images


March 11, 2024   6 mins

As a child of the Eighties and Nineties, I remember well that homosexuals were fair game in the mainstream media. One columnist in The Star railed against “Wooftahs, pooftahs, nancy boys, queers, lezzies — the perverts whose moral sin is to so abuse the delightful word ‘gay’ as to render it unfit for human consumption”. After the death of Freddie Mercury, sympathy in The Mail on Sunday was limited. “If you treat as a hero a man who died because of his own sordid sexual perversions,” one writer cautioned, “aren’t you infinitely more likely to persuade some of the gullible young to follow in his example?”

It was sadly inevitable that the AIDS crisis would exacerbate this ancient prejudice. A headline in The Sun declared that “perverts are to blame for the killer plague”. And while a writer for the Express held “those who choose unnatural methods of self-gratification” responsible for the disease, letters published in its pages followed suit. One reader called for the incarceration of homosexuals. “Burning is too good for them,” wrote another. “Bury them in a pit and pour on quicklime.” Someone had been reading his Dante.

I happened to come out in a much less hostile climate. In the early 2000s, we were enjoying a kind of Goldilocks moment, neither too hot nor too cold. We weren’t generally on the receiving end of homophobic slurs, but nor were we patronised by well-meaning progressives. My memory of this time was that no one particularly cared, and I was more than happy with that. Being gay for me has never been an identity, it’s simply a fact, as unremarkable as being blue-eyed or right-handed.

And so it has been troubling to see a resurgence in the last few years of the kind of anti-gay rhetoric that was commonplace in my childhood. Of course, it could be argued that the rise of social media has simply exposed sentiments that were previously only expressed in private. As Ricky Gervais has pointed out, before the digital era “we couldn’t read every toilet wall in the world. And now we can.”

Yet the most virulent homophobia appears to be coming from a new source. Whereas we have always been accustomed to this kind of thing from the far-Right — one recalls Nick Griffin’s remark on Question Time about how he finds the sight of two men kissing “really creepy” — but now the most objectionable anti-gay comments arise in online spheres occupied by gender ideologues, from those who claim to be progressive, Left-wing and “on the right side of history”. The significant difference is that the word “cis” has been added to the homophobe’s lexicon. Some examples:

“Cis gay men are a disease.”

“Cis gay men are truly some of the most grotesque creatures to burden this earth.”

“I hate cis gay people with a burning passion.”

“If you’re a cis gay man and your sexuality revolves around you not liking female genitalia I hope you die and I will spit on your grave.”

“Cis gays don’t deserve rights.”

“There’s so many reasons to hate gay people, most specifically white gays, but there’s never a reason to be a transphobe.”

“It’s time to normalise homophobia.”

Of course, any bile can be found on the internet, but these kinds of phrases are remarkably commonplace among certain online communities. Even a cursory search will reveal innumerable examples of gender ideologues casually branding gay men “fags” or “faggots”, praising the murder of gays and lesbians, and claiming that the AIDS epidemic was a positive thing. Many thousands of examples had been collated on Google Photos under the title “Woke homophobia: anti-gay hatred & boxer ceiling abuse from trans activists & gender-identity ideologues”. The site was taken down last year, presumably because it violated Google’s policy on hate speech — or perhaps because it revealed the toxicity of the ideology the company has spent so long promoting.

If such ideas were restricted to the demented world of internet activism, we might be justified in simply ignoring it. But we now know that the overwhelming majority of adolescents referred to the Tavistock paediatric gender clinic were same-sex attracted. Whistleblowers have spoken out about the endemic homophobia, not simply among clinicians but also parents who were keen to “fix” their gay offspring. And of course there was the running joke among staff that soon “there would be no gay people left”.

And now a series of leaked internal messages and videos from WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health), has revealed that clinicians in the leading global organisation for transgender healthcare have openly admitted in private that some teenagers mistake being same-sex attracted for gender dysphoria. The result of the “gender-affirming” approach has amounted to what one former Tavistock clinician recently described as “conversion therapy for gay kids”. Homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organisation’s list of psychiatric disorders in 1993, and yet here we are medicalising it all over again.

So how did we reach the point where gay conversion therapy is being practised in plain sight by the NHS? Much of the responsibility has to lie with Stonewall, a group that once promoted equal rights for gay people but now actively works against their interests. It has even gone so far as to redefine “homosexual” on its website and resource materials as “same-gender attracted”. It should go without saying that gay men are not attracted to women who identify as men, any more than lesbians should be denounced for excluding those with penises from their dating pools. What trans activists call discrimination, most of us call homosexuality.

“What trans activists call discrimination, most of us call homosexuality.”

Indeed, activists often claim that “genital preferences are transphobic”, or that sexual orientation based on biological sex is a form of “trauma”. The idea that homosexuality is a sickness was one of the first homophobic tropes I encountered as a child. Now it is being rebranded as progressive.

As for Stonewall, its former CEO Nancy Kelley went so far as to argue that women who exclude trans people as potential partners are analogous to “sexual racists”. She claimed that “if you are writing off entire groups of people, like people of colour, fat people, disabled people or trans people, then it’s worth considering how societal prejudices may have shaped your attractions”. It is worth remembering that Stonewall is deeply embedded in many governmental departments and quangos, as well as corporate and civic institutions. Anti-gay propaganda is being reintroduced into society from the very top.

Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service has been meeting with trans lobby groups such as Mermaids and Stonewall to discuss changes to prosecutorial policy in cases of sex by deception. Since these meetings — only revealed after sustained pressure from a feminist campaigner who submitted Freedom of Information requests — the CPS has recommended what Dennis Kavanagh of the Gay Men’s Network has described as “a radical trans activist approach to sex by deception prosecutions that would see them all but vanish”. In trans activist parlance, the barriers to having sex with lesbians and gay men are known as the “cotton ceiling” and “boxer ceiling”. Now it seems the establishment is attempting to support the coercion of gay people into heterosexual activity.

Consider a recent post on X by Stephen Whittle, OBE, a professor of equalities law at Manchester Metropolitan University. In a reply to LGB Alliance’s Bev Jackson, Whittle took issue with the notion that “love is all about genitals” (an argument that Jackson has never made). Having dismissed this straw man as “a very hetero/homo-normative perspective”, Whittle then claimed that “a lot of gay men can’t resist a young furry ftm [female-to-male] cub”.

While it is true that there are some bisexuals who identify as gay, it is simply not the case that homosexual men “can’t resist” certain kinds of women. As Jackson rightly noted in her response, this is rank homophobia, “disturbed and disturbing on every level”. Yet it has been expressed by an individual who has been described as a “hero for LGBTQ+ equality”. With heroes like these, who needs villains?

Another example is Davey Wavey, a popular online influencer, who has encouraged gay men to perform heterosexual acts in a video called “How to Eat Pussy — For Gay Men”. It may as well have been called “Gay Conversion Therapy 2.0”. We are firmly back in the Eighties, where gays are being told that they “just haven’t found the right girl yet” and lesbians are assured that they just “need a good dick”. And yet now these demeaning ideas are being propagated by those who claim to be defending the rights of sexual minorities.

The Government’s recent guidance on how schools are to accommodate trans-identified pupils — in which biological sex will take precedence over identity — has been met with horror from gender ideologues. One of the common refrains one hears from activists is that it represents “this generation’s Section 28”. But this is to get it precisely backwards. Gay rights were secured on the recognition that a minority of the population are same-sex attracted. In dismantling the very notion of sex and substituting it for this nebulous concept of “gender identity”, activists and their disciples in parliament are undoing all of the achievements of previous gay rights movements.

The widespread homophobia of the Eighties, epitomised by Section 28, was based on the notion that homosexuality was unnatural, dangerous and ought to be corrected. Present-day gender identity ideology perceives homosexuality as evidence of misalignment between soul and body. In other words, it seeks to “fix” gay people so that they fit into a heterosexual framework. It is no coincidence that so many detransitioners are gay people who were simply struggling with their sexuality. Gender identity ideology is the true successor to Section 28.

The proponents of this revamped gay conversion therapy dismiss our concerns as “transphobia” and “bigotry”, or as part of a manufactured “culture war”. Worse still, the new homophobia is being cheered on by those it will hurt most. While prominent gay figures continue to feed the beast that wishes to devour them, we are unlikely to see this dire situation improve any time soon. It was bad enough in the Eighties, when gay people were demonised and harassed by the establishment. Who thought we would have to fight these battles all over again?


Andrew Doyle is a comedian and creator of the Twitter persona Titania McGrath

andrewdoyle_com

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Jules Anjim
Jules Anjim
4 months ago

Mmmm, irony. Delicious.

John Murray
John Murray
4 months ago

“Present-day gender identity ideology perceives homosexuality as evidence of misalignment between soul and body. In other words, it seeks to “fix” gay people so that they fit into a heterosexual framework.”
I hadn’t seen it phrased quite like that before, but that does seem to hit the nail on the head. Bloody hell.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
4 months ago
Reply to  John Murray

Yes, this bigotry and downright stupidity has been steaming along for a long while now. Progressives going after gay rights, women’s rights and children’s rights in the pursuit of their own more important rights.

Arthur King
Arthur King
4 months ago

And progresses also abandoned the working class. Notice how DEI excludes class from their inclusion categories. People from working class backgrounds notice.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
4 months ago
Reply to  Arthur King

I listened to a very good interview with German anthropologist Susanne Schröter yesterday. It wasn’t related to this topic, but she made an excellent point about how the Left has completely abandoned the working classes and instead embraced globalisation. In their perpetual search for victims with whom they can engage in the classic paternalistic style of the Left, they have now focused on the workers of colour, migrants, Islam, etc. in the developing world. The old clients were demonised, whilst the new ones were lionised.
It’s the same pattern with women and lesbians/gays. As these groups gained rights and acceptance, they became not just uninteresting for the Left, but something to be fought and demonised. They are utterly predictable and will repeat their behavioural patterns over and over again.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
4 months ago
Reply to  John Murray

It’s a form of conversion therapy that’s hiding behind a “progressive and tolerant” façade. Of course, there is nothing progressive, tolerant, or even science-based behind it, but that was clear to those of us who haven’t surrendered our brains and independent thinking abilities from the very beginning.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
4 months ago
Reply to  John Murray

If one is walking in a circle, one shouldn’t be too surprised to wind up back where one started. Identity politics is a reaction to perceived or actual discrimination but almost invariably tries to use the same tactics to reverse the process, tactics like public shaming, institutional control, standard setting, media influence, etc. It’s just a revolving door of anger, recriminations, and finger pointing that never ends. The way to break it is to stop complaining about discrimination and leave well enough alone. We had a sort of ideal point a couple of decades ago for homosexuals but it probably didn’t feel that way for the people who had overwhelmingly voted against gay marriage nearly every time it came up in the 1990s. Now we’ve come full circle and the gays are on the receiving end of the trans rights mob. So are people who advocate for parental rights and women’s rights. A couple decades from now somebody else will be in the crosshairs of some new movement. The solution is to ignore these people who preach tolerance while enforcing conformity and rigid dogma, accept that people are not perfect and neither is anything they build and create, correct the worst and most extreme abuses, and do one’s best as an individual to not make it any worse by trying to force everybody to get along with each other. I’ve long since given up on most of humanity ever realizing that.

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
4 months ago

It’s almost like a cartoon that would be funny if it wasn’t true…

The Hard Left just desperately wants attention and will eat its own tail to get it…

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

Is it ‘hard left’ though? Isn’t it extreme liberalism? The corporations in bed with the post-modern academics, technocrats, NGOs and government bureaucracies in order to commodify ‘gender’, fragment family and community groupings and isolate us as atomised consumers floating in the metaverse as ‘self-created’ units of identity?

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
4 months ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

I guess it is a qualitative assessment as I would call such Hard Left but perhaps your interpretation is more precise (and “inclusive”)

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

It can’t be extreme liberalism when it’s so blatantly illiberal. Sincerely a classic liberal.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Well it can’t be classical left because it’s being promoted by billionaires and corporations and hates the proletariat; it can’t be classical right because it’s undermining nation home and faith; so, because it flies under the flag of tolerance (even though as you say it is the reverse) and is pushed by global capital and academy I call it extreme liberalism. Having said that I can appreciate your objection. Perhaps we need a new term to define this phenomenon? Just not ‘w*k*’. Any suggestions?

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
4 months ago

What the heck is “cis-gay”? And all the other bizarre peculiarities?
I would prefer not to know that they existed but if, as Doyle says, these oddities are now embedded in all the organs of government, I suppose we do need to be aware of them.
And how did that embedding come to pass

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
4 months ago

According to the trans activists, cis gay means you are a born sex gay opposed to a trans gay. If you see the word ‘cis’, you know there is some effed upness going on.

Martin M
Martin M
4 months ago

Ah. Thanks for clearing that up. It is good to be across all these terms.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
4 months ago

There’s no such thing as a trans gay. A ‘trans gay’ is a heterosexual trans person who continues to prefer the opposite biological sex as sex partners. Hence trans-identifying males who call themselves lesbians.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
4 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I’m am merely trying to explain. For example, if you are a male and transitions to female and wants to date female and call yourself ‘lesbian’…. we are saying the same thing.

Paul T
Paul T
4 months ago

Its a term used to dehumanise people. I have been dismissed – to my face – as “just a cis white gay male”. Everything wrong with progressives in one sentence.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

They’re trying to bully you into accepting your obvious transness! Everyone is trans, they just don’t know it yet!

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Thank you for that Paul. Lesley’s explanation partially clarified my confusion but Judy’s counter-explanation deepened it again. Now I have to contend with “cis white”! I give up.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Normativity is the key give away word that indicates that you are scum for being normal.
I am all for increasing tolerance and understanding towards those who do not fit societal norms. I strenuously oppose attempts to put all the norms which have served our society well for millennia on the bonfire and call it progress.

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

You think homosexuality is a new phenomenon?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Ten minutes ago, we were told that ‘cis’ was a stand-in for straight. It’s amazing how easily language is mangled so that perpetually miserable people can feel better about themselves.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

cis is, and always has been, a made up tautology for people who are not “trans” ie you cannot have women and trans women you have to have cis women and trans women because both are women, according to the ideology. However “trans” is a very broad term in itself – an ambiguity the activists exploit. Do you really want to force someone who has had the full surgical transition and lived as a woman (living as a woman does not make them literally a woman) for decades into a male changing room? Maybe not. But equally you do not want male bodied people who just say they are women to be in the same changing room as your wife and daughter.
cis has become a term of abuse. If any word is needed to distinguish between women and trans women, the word “real” should be used in my opinion – it is so much easier to say and write than “biological”

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago

What the heck is “cis-gay”? 
It means you are not a lesbian trapped in a man’s body, like this bearded freak!
https://www.buzzfeed.com/patrickstrudwick/this-transgender-woman-has-a-full-beard-and-she-couldnt-be-h

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Trans lesbian = straight dude in a dress

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
4 months ago

Stonewall.

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
4 months ago

Imagine a twenty-something gay bloke who back in the mid-teens was unlucky enough to be groomed by some misogynist, self-loathing, closeted-gay trans ‘woman’ into believing himself to be a trans ‘woman’, too, and so allowed himself to be coerced into having his healthy, gay, functioning young tackle surgically cut off, and his healthy, gay, functioning young body pumped full of chemicals it didn’t need to stay healthy and functioning.
Imagine him contemplating his orgasm-less, infertile, increasingly side-effected, life-long medicalised and forever-unattractively-male-featured ‘womanhood’ of today.
Imagine him contemplating the craven, tyre-kicking, flippantly delusional ‘defence’ of the life-changing choices he ‘consented’ to in his uncertain, awkward, but dynamically-clarifying sexual adolescence…as mouthed today by the Mighty Progressive Intellectual & Gender Affirmation Therapy Advocate, Professor Stephen Whittle OBE, of MMU.
Bad enough to know you’ll have to live the rest of your life in an unnecessarily-self-castrated sexual, gender and identity wasteland. Worse to belatedly recognise that you were led there solely by cowards, frauds, opportunists, tyre-kickers, bullies, weaklings and mediocrities.
Let the lawsuits commence. The leaders, enablers and functionaries of this Insane Misogynist Homophobes’ Cult need to pay.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

That’s a lot of imagining…

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

There’s plenty of real detransitioners out there you don’t need to imagine them. Total nightmare for all of us. Watch Andrew’s free speech nation from last night on GBNews if you don’t believe me. Deeply deeply disturbing.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Once the lawyers are done and the legal/financial fallout has worked its way through the courts, we won’t have to imagine much of anything. It will all have been debated and discussed by the talking heads of the media in more detail than most of us would prefer.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

I have been saying for years that this will go down in history as the 21st century version of lobotomies performed in the 1930s-1950s. If I were a lawyer, I would be placing adverts left and right to find the victims of these cult ringleaders. It’s already beginning, but I too hope that they will pay.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
4 months ago

It is worth remembering that Stonewall is deeply embedded in many governmental departments and quangos, as well as corporate and civic institutions. Anti-gay propaganda is being reintroduced into society from the very top.

It is worth remembering, Andrew, that Stonewall was embedding your particular wing of the social revolution in those same government departments, quangos, corporate entities and civic institutions many years before ‘trans’ was a public thing.
You are complaining – just like Julie, Kathleen and Eliza have been complaining – that the Revolution did not stop with your minority in 2013. The trans wing are merely demanding the same social acceptance and celebration granted to you and your fellow travellers after years of activism. You wielded the same language against your critics to establish social dominance as they now wield against you. ‘Pride’ was your thing, before they took it over. Queer Theory and its demand for the overturning of social norms so that nothing is deemed ‘normal’ came from the earliest days of gay liberation and now that your lot has respectability, you run from it because it’s being taught to children and the normies are starting to make noise.
You can’t rewind back to 2013. You just have to live with them, as the rest of us have to live with them – and you.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
4 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

There’s a big difference though in that the original gay rights movement simply wanted for the gays to be left alone. They wanted to change the law so that you couldn’t be arrested or discriminated against for it. The trans movement on the other hand wants special rights over and above the norm such as wanting biological men to be able to access female spaces. Their wants clash with the accepted norms of society
The gays getting equal rights didn’t affect your life, whereas the trans lobby would directly interfere with the lives of biological women.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I’m starting to understand why the G*d of the Old Testament told us not to go there. It’s like the ancients had been down this path before and were forewarning future nations of the societal splits this would eventually lead to.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
4 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

This would be the same God that murders over 2 million people in the Old Testament? I may as well take moral advice from Pol Pot!

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Oh, Billy Bob, and to think all this time I was nearly convinced you weren’t really just an emotionally volatile 14 year old girl.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
4 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

In short the Ancients* ‘got there first and did it best’. Or as they put it so modestly “Dives in Omnia”.**

(*Only Classical Greece and Rome.)
(** Riches in everything”!)

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It stopped being about simply wanting to be left alone a long time ago.

Their wants clash with the accepted norms of society

Yes they do – as did those of the gays when they were on the fringes, too.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
4 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Tell me, how does two men enjoying a bit of bum fun in the privacy of their own home affect you? Why does two women being able to marry each other clash with any rights you have?
It’s completely different to women losing their single sex spaces, or having to compete against men in sports as is happening with the trans arguments. It’s a world away from giving teenagers puberty blocking drugs or surgery

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

‘Tell me, how does two men enjoying a bit of bum fun in the privacy of their own home affect you?’

Our local police force can’t afford to paint their cars with CR logos , 18 months after Queen Elizabeth died, but can afford to paint them all kinds of rainbow colours.

‘how does two men enjoying a bit of bum fun in the privacy of their own home affect you?’
Good question. I think it is supposed to make me feel proud every single time it happens. Isn’t that how it is supposed to affect me?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
4 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

The incompetence of the police is in no way related to anything in the article. And no you don’t have to feel proud, in fact it would be rather strange if you did. The answer most of us would say is we feel indifferent as it doesn’t affect us

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Why the Pride marches then? Marches which, btw, ‘celebrate’ every testosterone-filled sexual niche with the exception of boring ‘heteronormativity’. Marches where what should be confined to the privacy of the bedroom spill out onto the pavement.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
4 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Well, it started as a political march but over time, like all things, morphed more and more until we have the drug-fuelled party of today.

As for inclusivity for those poor marginalised heterosexuals; the average Pride march today is majority corporate sponsors and straight fellow revellers.

Maybe it’s time to add a symbol to the dreaded flag for ‘heteronormies ‘?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

I think all the colors have been taken already.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Of course, it does affect us all, as a society in a multitude of ways, perhaps not initially, but as the trans. movement shows, inevitably.

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Changing marriage to include same sex marriage was a major cultural change. It came from Supreme Court in the US, all 9 judges Ivy League. Led right to Trump, who got 3 new judges, moving SCOTUS to 6-3 republican. Obergefell was huge motivator for evangelicals.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Carpenter

It was a cultural change, but it didn’t clash with any rights you had was my point. You weren’t prevented from doing anything because a couple of lads could walk each other up the aisle.
That’s not a euphemism by the way

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Won’t hold, I am afraid. Trans women do not prevent any cis women from doing anything either. They can still to the loo, go to a rape crisis centre, or do sport just like before – they just have to share with some fellow ‘women’.

Before gay marriage there was registered partnership, which gave essentially the same rights. It was never consistent to say that the change from registered partnership to marriage made a huge difference to gays – who were now seen as no different to straights – but should make no difference at all the the straight – who were now seen as no different from gays. That question is settled – by popular consensus, which is the only argument that really holds – but let us not pretend that it was all winners and no losers.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“They can still to the loo, go to a rape crisis centre, or do sport just like before – they just have to share with some fellow ‘women’.”
Every trans women on a medal podium is there at the expense of a real woman – the biological advantage they have is reduced, but not eliminated by hormones. At the moment it is a zero sum game, but left to continue, it will become negative for all as real women give up even bothering to compete and spectators tune out from watching competitions between mediocre men.
About half of the trans women in prison are there for sexual offences. Real women deserve to feel safe and preserve their dignity in spaces assigned for women and not have them invaded by male bodied people. It is fairly obvious the harm to real women now, but if we let it go unchecked. Ie make it easier for men to be classified as women and for those “women” to access women’s space and every pervert from flashers to rapists will be in the local swimming pool changing rooms with your wife and daughters.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

I actually agree with you. My point was – did you miss it? – that if extending marriage to include gays ‘did not clash with any rights’, then neither does extending women’s rights to include trans women. The two are equivalent. In both cases we have two groups with conflicting interests who are fighting over which group should have their interests dominate the social arrangements. You can argue over how to set the compromise in each case – indeed you should – but you cannot pretend that the groups you like have an automatic right to get their way and that those opposed do not have a case too.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
4 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

We’ve changed “marriage” from a term of distinction (exclusion) to a term of description (inclusion), yes?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
4 months ago

No. All definitions are ‘terms of distinction’ – they distinguish those who fit into the definition from those who do not. We have changed the definition so it includes and excludes different groups, that is all.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
4 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

And by so doing, the distinction itself is disappearing.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“that if extending marriage to include gays ‘did not clash with any rights’, then neither does extending women’s rights to include trans women. The two are equivalent. In both cases we have two groups with conflicting interests who are fighting over which group should have their interests dominate the social arrangements.”
I did not miss your point and as you agree with my point, it is clear that there is a very important difference between the 2 and they are not equivalent.
Put simply, gay marriage does no real harm to anyone else (some people may still object to it, but they are not being harmed by it), whereas some aspects of affording trans women the rights trans activists (not all trans people agree with the activists and not all activists are themselves trans) claim they want, does harm real women and therefore reasonable boundaries need to be put in place that achieve a fair balance. The discussion needed to find that fair balance cannot even begin whilst there is #nodebate. Ultimately the intransigence of the trans activists will cause more transphobia and do more harm to trans rights.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

No, here we do not agree. You could perfectly well argue (I am sure that trans advocates do) that there is no reason that women should feel unsafe or hurt in their dignity because they have to share their bathrooms with trans women, any more than if they had to share them with black women, or lower-class women. Seen that way, the problem is one of unreasonable bigotry, and the solution is for the bigots to get over it. I do not agree with that, as it happens, but what does ‘real’ harm to others is all in the eye of the beholder. There is nothing inconsistent in defending gay marriage while being against (many) trans rights, but ultimately it comes down to which groups you want to support and which you do not. Claiming that gay marriage does no ‘real’ harm to anyone is just your way of saying that you privilege the feelings of gays over the feelings of the straight in this particular case.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“but what does ‘real’ harm to others is all in the eye of the beholder”
Sorry being raped or being terrified of being raped by a man who is exposing himself to you is real harm and most certainly not “in the eye of the beholder”.
Alan Baker aka Sarah Jane stood in front of a rally and received applause for saying “if you see a TERF punch her in the F**king face”. Would you want him in a changing room with your wife / daughter / grand daughter? I would not and no amount of word twisting would ever change my mind.
I agree that being offended is something all people just need to grow a thicker skin about, so that we can focus on protecting the genuinely vulnerable from real harm. It is the various “social justice” warriors who twist words to equate offence with genocide and claim offence is in the eye of the offended.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
4 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

But why does allowing gays to marry impede anything you may want to do? Does them marrying exclude you in any way (such as transgender in women’s sports), or put you in physical danger (transgender in women’s prisons)? I fail to see how you can equate the two to be honest

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

The level of hormones is irrelevant if the trans woman has gone through male puberty.

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

That ignores the political costs of the massive cultural change that was made from the Bench, which is least democratic part of government. The republicans had an angry base and that enabled Kentucky McConnell to feel free to block the appointment of Merrick Garland at the end of Obama’s term. It also made the evangelicals willing to overlook Trump’s moral failings because they knew that the Manhattan elite hated him and they wanted a troll. Hillary was calling them deplorables and going all in on the identity politics, which wasnt smart politics at the time.
This narrative regarding costs of Gay marriage became taboo in the media after Trump won because DEI forbids blaming a loss on a marginalized community, so all Blue narrative was that Trump people are racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, etc.
But gay marriage cost the democrats alot. We can barely win elections anymore because we are divided since some of the deplorables in swing states used to vote democrat. Republican s have much more power than they would have had without Obergefell. But it takes some imagination to understand that and it is not in progressive left’s interests to entertain that narrative. That’s why it is so easy to dismiss the costs of it, but it’s not intellectually honest to pretend that Gay Marriage isnt a massive Cultural change with deep implications for traditional and religious people. And that people vote on these kinds of things.
Here’s an example of the costs. Expanded medicaid is a godsend for lower classes, who used to be represented by dems, but now ACA is being used by progressive Gender affirming care activists to fund gender transitions like crazy. This is one of major reasons why Republicans feel okay about blocking ACA in red states, that happen to mostly have been Jim Crow states and is where the greatest proportion of poor people and also Blacks live. I know because I grew up in Texas but now live in Blue State. It is night and day being poor in those two places, mostly because of Obamacare expanded medicaid only applying to Blue areas.

John Lammi
John Lammi
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Carpenter

Trump always supported same sex marriage. Maybe that us what you were referring to. Of course Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is also a supporter of same sex unions

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter
4 months ago
Reply to  John Lammi

It’s how it was done. It should have gone state by state like marijuana legalization is doing and civil rights did, until enough support to do it via congress. But having an all Ivy league court do it was inflammatory and a real set back for moderate politics on both sides of the aisle.
It makes no sense for pols to be against gay marriage at this point. It’s a done deal. But it does to be against GAF. And the fact that it came out of the same ivy league, legalistic, identity political activism as Gay marriage is well understood.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Not quite true. The BDSM people really *did* just want to be left to do their thing in peace. They did not ask for slave contracts to be officially recognised, for schoolchildren to be taught about safe whipping practices, or for kindergarten books like ‘Mummy just bought a new whip for daddy’.
Gay people wanted to be included in the mainstream, which is a much bigger demand.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

There is no real issue including trans people into the mainstream, there just needs to be some reasonable boundaries – places preserved, for good reason, for real women. The same boundaries would not apply in most cases to trans men – they really are not a threat – if they really want to go in a smelly men’s toilet then let them. If they really want to undress in front of men in a men’s changing room then let them. If they really want to go to a male prison, then they probably do need to be stopped for their own good and not the male inmate’s good. There do need to be some reasonable boundaries for gay people around public decency, but they are exactly the same reasonable boundaries that apply to straight couples.
There is a massive issue with “gender affirming care” because it is not evidence led but is ideologically and consumer led and is doing immeasurable harm to young people particularly young girls.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

We do not mean the same thing by ‘including in the mainstream’. You can make some room for people who deviate from the norm, but that still leaves the people needing extra room outside the mainstream – as exceptions. The question is who are the abnormal people who need special exemptions. Is it the trans people, or is it the women who do not feel comfortable undressing in front of biological males?

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It is impossible to accommodate every persons every desire all the time. Sacrifices are required to make society work.
It is possible to make a very good case for minor attracted people (paedophiles) not being marginalised and victimised in the way they most certainly are, but that does not mean we should change the law and let them molest our kids.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The “original gay rights movement” certainly did not want gays to be “left alone”. Fortunately for them they’re nearly all dead so no-one can confront them regarding their vociferously expressed desire for the total abolition of the age of consent (something they share with the pronoun brigade).

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Once the trans issue is resolved, the next “victims” to benefit from the woke treatment are indeed most likely to be the “minor attracted” aka paedophiles.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

who’s more marginalised than a MAP?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
4 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Medical Aid for Palestinians?

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Exactly, but is topping the victim points league a good reason to change the law / bend over backwards to accommodate someones difference? I would suggest that the rights of children to grow up unmolested trump any rights adults may feel they have to molest them.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Children must be liberated from the oppressive conditions of patriarchal capitalism (in English, the perverts must have access to your kids, bigot).

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

There is really good evidence (unlike the whole born in the wrong body nonsense) that they really cannot help themselves and cannot be cured.
To me that is a good argument for castration.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

They need to be permanently removed from society. Some American states (rightfully) keep them in a kind of legal limbo where release is an illusion. Castration, chemical or otherwise, doesn’t stop them from doing other things.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The other huge difference is that, initially at least, gay people just wanted to be treated as basic equals and not targeted by the law and broader society (although later mission creep led some people to be dissatisfied with ‘mere tolerance’).

Gay people (especially when younger and more vulnerable) may be adversely affected by society’s attitudes but once they have accepted themselves, don’t really need everyone else’s affirmation to exist. They are what they are in any case.

Whereas for a trans person to even exist in the world, it requires everyone else to buy into their idea of what they are and, despite their own views, pretend they are convinced by the performance and play along with it. This is a completely different social dynamic and almost requires far more from the rest of society than from the individual themselves.

David Morley
David Morley
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I think most of these movements start as simple calls for tolerance, which absolutely should be supported. But they then suffer scope creep. This is evident in the language they use, whether it is “heteronormative” or “cis”. Both terms seek to problematise (their word not mine) things that had hitherto been considered both normal and ordinary. That’s about major social change, not tolerance. Feminists did similar things by “problematising” the nuclear family.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
4 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Gay men pose no threat to me or, more importantly, my daughters. Trans women are a different matter.

Ian_S
Ian_S
4 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Wait, you’ve put words into Doyle’s mouth. He particularly says, it suited him fine in the days after outright gay-bashing wound down and before gayness attracted the woke saviour set. You’re accusing him of being into Gay Pride, when he says he wasn’t.

To quote him at length, the relevant section is “In the early 2000s, we were enjoying a kind of Goldilocks moment, neither too hot nor too cold. We weren’t generally on the receiving end of homophobic slurs, but nor were we patronised by well-meaning progressives. My memory of this time was that no one particularly cared, and I was more than happy with that. Being gay for me has never been an identity, it’s simply a fact, as unremarkable as being blue-eyed or right-handed.”

In this regard, the difference between old-school LGB activism and Trans activism, is the former wanted the right to be left alone but with equal legal standing; while the latter demands that you at all times affirm their rights should be a priority over yours, and that these special unequal rights should be enforced by law.

Ian_S
Ian_S
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Oh I see I’ve made much the same point as Billy Bob, who I can’t actually ever recall agreeing with before. There you go.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

‘Wait, you’ve put words into Doyle’s mouth.’

My criticism was collective. Pride belonged to the gays before the trans and others took over, regardless of whether Doyle was into it or not.

Pat Thynne
Pat Thynne
4 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Oh thank you – let’s blame gay people – again! As identified elsewhere the trans activist movement has grown out of academia and philosophy and the taking the notion of subjective experience as being valid and interesting way too far and instead replacing the notion of fact and reality with subjectivity. Blame Derrida and Judith Butler. But also blame Stonewall for not recognising that they had done their job and should cease to exist; blame lazy politicians who wanted someone to tell them what to think; blame education systems that are failing to teach kids how to think and question dodgy ideas; blame covid for depriving so many of effective challenge; blame in the internet for allowing the dissipation of daft ideas and for so many taking them seriously. And blame the medical profession, especially in the USA for seeing this as a new =way to make lots of money by mutilating thousands of children. The leading challenge to trans activists is actually coming from lesbians and gay men and feminists and not from the rest of you.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
4 months ago

The world is a mess. As I’m reading this, I tuned into the latest season of what used to be my favourite reality TV program. There are about 20 contestants, representing every shade and hue under the rainbow. There are a bunch of gay people, and black and brown people, totally out of sync with their proportion in society. One of the contestants mentions the diversity in their group – a white, male law student from Harvard of all places.

I’m looking at the cast and see zero diversity – other than superficial colour and sexual orientation. There is not a single blue collar worker in the group – no plumber, electrician, construction worker, factory worker. Not one. There is no one from a rural community. Not one mom. With about half the cast being male, there is one strong male character. There are probably four strong male cast members who are female.

End of rant. Woke Hollywood has killed what used to be the one reality TV program I enjoyed.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

When people started talking about the need for diversity, or at least when I first noticed it, it did include all kinds of differences such as those you mention. The idea being that people from different backgrounds often had different ways of thinking, and so brought different things to the table. It was a way to break group think.

But that idea seems to have fallen by the wayside and replaced with a much less diverse form of diversity. The people on the reality show are all ‘diverse’ and yet all very similar.

An example would be the drive to get more women into boardrooms, as that would supposedly introduce different perspectives. But what is missed is that a woman who gets into a boardroom is going to have much the same attitudes as a man who is already there. So it doesn’t bring about the changes people think it will. Not that that’s any reason to be against more women in boardrooms, it’s just that it won’t bring about the expected benefits.

R Wright
R Wright
4 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Roberts

I believe advertising has caused more racial tensions than anything else. When black people, who make up barely one-twentieth of the population at most, make up one-third of the characters you see in advertising, of course it was going to encourage people to believe in so-called ‘white genocide’. I would love to hear from someone in marketing as to why this is a thing. Is blackness that high prestige in consumer circles?

Monica Kelly
Monica Kelly
4 months ago

N

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
4 months ago

lesbians are assured that they just “need a good d**k”.
Except now the lesbians are being told the good d**k they need is their own.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
4 months ago

I’m not sure who at Unherd thought it was a good idea to publish this article. The torrent of homophobia that will follow is utterly predictable from the relics who post here (and undoubtedly loved the Daily Star and Mail on Sunday articles from the 80’s and 90’s).
Let’s watch me being proven right!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
4 months ago

Anyone who calls themselves the antiquated term ‘champagne socialist’, is a relic themselves.

Martin M
Martin M
4 months ago

Champagne Socialist might be using the term ironically.

Vesselina Zaitzeva
Vesselina Zaitzeva
4 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Oh no, like most (if not all) leftists, he is completely devoid of any sense of irony, let alone self-irony.
This speaks volumes in itself, as it’s well-known that the sense of humour is proportionate to the level of intellectual development. The more intellectually advanced a person is, the more developed (and sophisticated) is their sense of humour.
Q.E.D.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
4 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

CS is not known for his irony, but nice try…

Vesselina Zaitzeva
Vesselina Zaitzeva
4 months ago

I think that the use of the word “champagne” in this specific case is highly aspirational and hardly has anything to do with the reality of poor CS. Kind of wishful thinking, I believe.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
4 months ago

Ah, I was looking forward to Titania McGrath‘s thoughts on the article.

Jason Smith
Jason Smith
4 months ago

With, I think, one or two exceptions, you appear to have been proved comprehensively wrong.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
4 months ago

Surely you are not advocating censorship, are you CS. Personally I find both the article and comments interesting and informative. It is not a world that I am particularly knowledgeable about, so the comments additionally inform.

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
4 months ago

You can hope, little buddy. The likelihood of an illuminating discussion about homosexuality here or anywhere else in 2024 is around nil.

Rowland Harry Weston
Rowland Harry Weston
4 months ago

Thanks Andrew. I’m 61. Always thought I was left-liberal. But the world has abandoned me.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
4 months ago

Don’t feel badly. I used to think that I was a liberal, too, and I still am in the classic political science way. What the left practises has nothing to do with classic liberalism. It’s the exact opposite.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
4 months ago

Shed the label but don’t self-radicalise–in any direction. But when it comes to the terms we seem unable to get beyond so far: Liberal should not be made interchangeable with Woke-progressivist, nor Conservative with Populist-nationalist.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

I’m not ceding the term liberal to these illiberal control freaks! Sincerely a fellow classic liberal

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
4 months ago

Also that picture at the top: who is Don, and why should he be freed?

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Well spotted, I suspect that is a bit of Titania showing through.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
4 months ago

Was blaming gay men for AIDS (a disease which struck down mostly gay men in the West) any more prejudiced than blaming unvaccinated people for COVID deaths?

John Riordan
John Riordan
4 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Yes. In the case of the gays, the implied expectation was that they should have been desisting from having sex permanently, while in the case of COVID it was over a refusal to have an injection.

Both are wrong, to be clear, but the expectations heaped upon the gays in this context were more onerous and less reasonable.

Of course, we now know that the dangers of vaccination were understated, and that it’s quite possible that the vaccines, which suppressed symptoms but not transmission, may in fact have extended the pandemic by helping create a continuous pool of healthy-but-infectious people walking around – the exact thing that the lockdowns were implemented to avoid. And gay men, of course, in retrospect could have used condoms to protect themselves. But we’re describing the attitudes at the time before the facts were fully known.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
4 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

‘In the case of the gays, the implied expectation was that they should have been desisting from having sex permanently….’

No, the expectation at the time was that they would use condoms, to avoid contracting a fatal sexually transmitted disease, which gay people at the time were telling straight people would also be passed to them as the disease would soon spread to them (which indeed happened in Africa)

‘in retrospect could have used condoms to protect themselves ‘ – gaslighting us, I see.

Posters of the time featured gay men saying ‘You won’t believe what we like to wear in bed.’

John Riordan
John Riordan
4 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Not so, as my initial reply makes clear: the fact that HIV transmission could have been avoided with condoms was not the basis of the original anti-gay backlash when AIDS first became a controversy. It was very clearly based upon a negative moralising attitude towards gay sex itself. The article itself lists the headlines at the time, and I was just old enough myself then to remember what it was like: that component of the official reaction to AIDS is undeniable, in my view.

Safe sex came a bit later once people realised that simply displaying a dislike of gay men wasn’t going to solve any problems.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
4 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

‘t was very clearly based upon a negative moralising attitude towards gay sex itself.’
Yes, it was based on a negative moralising attitude to gay orgies in San Francisco bath-houses.

‘In the early 1980s, as AIDS began to decimate the gay community of San Francisco, a battle broke out over the role that gay bathhouses might play in the spread of HIV. On one side of the battle stood Mayor Dianne Feinstein and other politicians, Dr. Mervyn Silverman, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, journalist Randy Shilts, Larry Littlejohn and a handful of anti-sex crusaders who wanted the bathhouses shut down permanently. On the other side stood the gay bathhouse proprietors, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, a handful of politicos, the gay press, and most — but certainly not all — of the gay community.
To understand the deeply felt antagonism to closing the baths….’

Despite a 100% fatal sexually contracted disease, which we were told would soon be also circulating among straight people (because it was not a *gay* plague) , gay people refused to countenance even cutting down on gay orgies , where safe sex was not practised.

John Riordan
John Riordan
4 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

“Yes, it was based on a negative moralising attitude to gay orgies in San Francisco bath-houses.”

Firstly, nonsense, how would that have affected the public response in the UK and secondly, even if it did, it’s still a matter of lots of people making moral judgements about something that’s none of their business. It is important to remember that it wasn’t just gay men refusing to use condoms in the 1970s, straight couples too weren’t using them because women were on the pill – the only common concern for straight couples was avoiding pregnancy, not disease. Yet the promiscuity in question for straight couples never attracted large-scale censure while that of gay men did. The difference is down to homophobia.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
4 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Refusing to take an untested gene therapy mis-described as a ‘vaccine’ to protect yourself from a disease which is relatively harmless to healthy young people is wrong? Wrong? Jeez.

John Riordan
John Riordan
4 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I didn’t say it was wrong. I was comparing the two different unreasonable expectations and deeming one worse than the other, that’s all.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

There are a lot of very key differences between HIV and SARS Cov2, so trying to draw comparisons between the attempts to stop the spread and prevent people who caught them getting sick are going to be flawed. Even comparing moral attitudes between the 80’s and early 2020s is going to be a confounding variable for the analysis.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
4 months ago

I recall, perhaps a decade ago, talking about why people would want to (pretend) to change sex; I really had no idea why someone would to do this (still don’t really). Anyway, she said, it’s because they don’t want to be gay.

I thought that absurd; gay marriage was common, anti gay prejudice seemed to have more or less disappeared.

Andrew Doyle makes the argument most cogently but my wife figured it out years ago.

jane baker
jane baker
4 months ago

When you base your whole persona,your raisin d’etre almost,on being oppositional it’s very deflating when your outrageous demands get quietly and with minimum fuss granted. By the early 2000s ,it seems to me, (in UK at least) gayness had been accepted and made legal room for and in another contentious case,black people of.whatever ethnicity who educated themselves,worked hard and did whatever job it was.got on OK,mostly. Because it was about then that all sorts of difficult CG ulties started kicking off,almost as of being normal and.”unremarkable” was NOT what the Campaigners REALLY wanted.

John Riordan
John Riordan
4 months ago

“As for Stonewall, its former CEO Nancy Kelley went so far as to argue that women who exclude trans people as potential partners are analogous to “sexual racists”….”

Most people ARE sexual racists though. It’s one rare area where personal preferences about race are actually legitimate – I for instance, find women who are white, black or latina especially attractive, but tend to find women from the rest of the world somewhat less so.

It’s called having a “type”, it applies to pretty much everybody whether gay, straight or anything else, and nobody up to now has tried to delegitimise it.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
4 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Obviously the penny dropped when they realised that very very few people have “trans” as their type. Coercing people into relationships with people who are not their type is also creepy and, dare I say, r a p e y. Which really says a lot about these people and none of it good.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
4 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Bullseye ! The idea of a gay man going out with a ‘transman’ with a micro p***s is I’m afraid one for the absolute fantasist.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

I am heterosexual, and have been married to the same man for two decades, and I agree with you. These people live in a dystopian fantasy world.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
4 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Yes, yes, and yes, again. I shan’t ever be coerced, and I certainly won’t ask some Nancy Kelley for permission, or anybody for that matter, about whom I find attractive. The gall of these people is unbelievable! The backlash, which will happen, and it will be forceful, is absolutely deserved.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
4 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

The idea that you don’t have full agency regarding who to have a relationship with is the most startling part of this whole debate. It’s extraordinary that a group of people think they can demand that others have to include them as potential partners.

As a man I’m perfectly aware that a woman can decline to have a relationship with me on whatever basis she chooses. She might be lesbian and so not find men attractive. She might think I’m too old, too poor, too short, wrong race, wrong religion, that my nose is too big, doesn’t like my politics etc etc.

Some of these reasons may be reasonable, others may be ridiculous, but they are entirely the other persons choice. It’s almost as though other people are viewed like an employer that has to give equal opportunity to all.

John Riordan
John Riordan
4 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Roberts

I recall making an almost identical point a few months ago here below an article which described how trans-activists were trying to deem lesbians as sexist for not wanting to have sex with trans-women. The demented stupidity of it all is shocking.

Skink
Skink
4 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

The one who guilt-trips the most wins. Or so they seem to think….

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
4 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Roberts

But you see, Dennis, this whole agenda is – whether useful dimwits like Kelley know it or not – all about diminishing personal choice and agency, for the greater good, for we selfish eaters just don’t know what is good for us and can’t see beyond the tragedy of our little mammalian horizons, trapped as we are in harmful, unsustainable irrational belief systems (you know, like the primitive belief that locking a convicted rapist into a women’s jail might not be such a great idea). This is what western liberal democratic norms, or “cultural lock-ins” as some prominent climate cultists like to call them, being “tested to breaking point” look like. Yes, to the point of making rape OK again.

Time for those in positions of power and authority to get the Big Boy & Big Girl Pants on now, and start to say what they, like so many of the rest of us, can see in plain sight. They wouldn’t want to be caught with them down around their ankles when the herd turns, in a fury, and charges straight at them.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
4 months ago

What this article strikes at is notion of ideology. When ideologies clash then the struggle is over which dominates in a world where rights rule supreme.
Herein lies society’s moral quagmire.
Government departments having quietly accepted the ideology of Stonewall are now in a quagmire of their own making.

There are no easy answers to any of these issues. Whilst it’s clear that we all treated gay people very poorly in the past & there’s a genuine desire by most of us not to repeat those mistakes with trans people, it’s obvious there’s something very illiberal at the heart of the trans ideology promoted by Stonewall.

Ultimately (like the extreme corners of religions) it’s about “I know I’m right, so you must be wrong”
The reality of life is that very few things are absolutely black & white. Grappling with the shades of grey is altogether more difficult.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
4 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

This is the double-bind of identity politics; you can’t use group identity as a lever to ‘break down barriers’ without unwittingly re-inforcing and often policing the barrier around your particular group.

Plus, people never want to criticise their group and rightly fear ostracisation if they dare to do so. Nor do they want to give up gained advantages that later accrue to members of the group from their status as supposed victims.

That’s where things are at at the moment and in the meantime, a new group with supposedly stronger claims to sympathy and attention is busy dismantling the rights of any other group whose interests they perceive as disadvantageous to their own.

The only way forward seems to me to grow up, drop all the categories and try and just live as human beings and not vectors of group identity and privilege/victimhood.

But we are at heart herd animals, and who’s got time for all this ‘work’ anyway so I’m not holding my breath.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
4 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

Actually it’s really simple. No human (or other mammal) can change sex. Cosmetic surgeries and hormonal treatments are only superficial and also medically dangerous creating life-long medical patients, how very lucrative….always follow the money!!

Satyam Nagwekar
Satyam Nagwekar
4 months ago

This article was a touch, too, frivolous for me. The writer couldn’t articulate the scale of the problem well enough. As a reader, I am interested in understanding the prevalent trends and not so much the packaging of sporadic instances that are unlikely to have a huge bearing on the culture wars.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
4 months ago

Well then, you must keep up with the prevalent trends, at least to some degree! We can’t all wade through this over and over again.

Satyam Nagwekar
Satyam Nagwekar
4 months ago

Will endeavour to, your great majesty.

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
4 months ago

‘…….one recalls Nick Griffin’s remark on Question Time about how he finds the sight of two men kissing “really creepy”……’
That’s probably a majority viewpoint. But it does not justify condemning those for which it is not.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davie

It also does not make it right to label the majority who do still feel that way, despite all the efforts by MSM to desensitise them (us) to it, as Homophobes. People must be allowed to feel what the feel, believe what they believe and talk about it without being vilified.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
4 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davie

A number of ‘X”s give me unavoidable gut-churning disgust: not an irrational fear but a real irritation, meaning that I am not a ‘X’ophobe. I simply try to steer clear of ‘X’, but when ‘X’ is ‘in my face’ I naturally get very belligerent.

Rob N
Rob N
4 months ago

Personally I think the problem started when we were told by the Elite to not just tolerate homosexuality but praise it. That demand for our applause and support gave the trans lunatics the idea that they could also demand our acquiescence.

I find homosexuality disgusting, just as I do drug taking, violent sex (of any sort) etc, but it is as natural as any other human weakness or foible and I can tolerate it between consenting adults.

Trans is different as it demands my collusion and active participation in their delusions and degeneracy and clearly is anti-reality and insane.

Arthur King
Arthur King
4 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

I don’t find homosexuality disgusting, but I do find people who demand affirmation disgusting. If you want to be affirmed go do something worthy of affirmation, like volunteer for charity or accomplish something. Respect is earned not demanded.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
4 months ago
Reply to  Arthur King

Bravo. The idea of people deserving some kind of acclaim for what they do for their own pleasure is absurd and more than a little patronizing. I’ve got nothing against gay/lesbian/bisexual people, just understand that it’s your thing and the rest of us have the right not to give a shit about what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
4 months ago

The richer and more powerful governments become the more parasites they attract. Eventually the parasites will take over the host. Stonewall is just one among many examples.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
4 months ago

At the very heart of the progressive mania and viral mental derangement lies a pathological terror of any form of discrimination. Any. This excellent essay shows that this now nihilistic ‘equality’ mania was bound to trigger chaos and division in the realm of sexuality/homosexuality where the ‘evil’ of choice in favour of one thing and not another is expressed. Resist Labour’s Orwellian plans to deepen the twisted Equality Laws and to strengthen the violent progressive grip on our throats.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

“At the very heart of the progressive mania and viral mental derangement lies a pathological terror of any form of discrimination.”
Nope you have completely missed the point. It is absolutely all about discriminating against the “oppressor” in order to support the “oppressed”. It is all about who can claim to be the biggest victim and drawing authority from victim-hood – bend the knee sinner!
The sheep’s clothing that this wolf hides in is indeed about being kind to everyone and not discriminating, but their actions and words give them away every time.
The purge of DEI at Florida University defines DEI as:
“any program, campus activity, or policy that classifies individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation and promotes differential or preferential treatment of individuals on the basis of such classification.”
Yes you could be forgiven for thinking that DEI was supposed to prevent that happening.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

You are correct in expressing HOW the mania goes on to express itself, which is of course to direct hatred towards those Diskriminators in the ‘wrong’ privileged sections of society (those at the base of their inverted hierarchy of victimhood and identitarian entitlement. My point about the core nature of the derangement – a now obsessive internalised terror of any form of discrimination, fortified by groupthink – is not wrong, does not contradict your argument and still stands.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Again you have missed what is really going on: The issue is never the issue, the issue is the revolution. Gays were useful to the revolution for a while, they are no longer useful so they have been discarded. Radical feminists were useful to the revolution before gays and they have been discarded. One day trans people will no longer be useful to the revolution and they will be discarded.
Worth a watch as it explains very well how it is standard Marxist methodologies at work.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol0HmwGH4VM

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
4 months ago

Andrew Doyle has it spot on ..
“Being gay for me has never been an identity, it’s simply a fact, as unremarkable as being blue-eyed or right-handed.”
How sensible is that ?

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
4 months ago

Hence the large number of parades, full of people saying how unremarkable their sexuality is.

Ryan Scarrow
Ryan Scarrow
4 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

I think the argument, from older members of the gay and lesbian movement, would be that pride parades served a purpose in days before gay rights and marriage equality of expressing that they were not ashamed of their orientation and also showing just how many people were naturally born that way, which had the function of helping to make the LGB community become more mainstream in order to achieve those legal and political goals… But that nowadays the parades are 1) mostly ‘spicy straights’ trying to claim the status conferred by an identity that doesn’t belong to them and 2) co-opted by corporations that have realized they can make a few extra bucks by putting a rainbow on their logo

jane baker
jane baker
4 months ago
Reply to  Ryan Scarrow

But being acceptable and normal,even run of the mill is boring.

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago

With respect, it’s not very sensible at all.
That’s because it entirely depends if the writer considers same-sex attraction to be genetic (blue eyes), behavioural (sexual congress) or environmental (dexterity) which I understand to be quite a fraught and fractious question indeed.
So, interestingly, the mere framing of the question in the terms given contains the fatal germ of it’s own dissolution.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

It is just one aspect of his personality, nothing more nothing less. All the gender stuff is the same, but gender ideologues blow gender (whatever that really means these days) out of proportion and make it the overriding factor.

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

I suppose in that case it hinges on what one means by ‘personality’. In the context of this discussion terms like personality, gender, sex, even ‘fact’ have both specific and more general meanings. Gay is both a collective noun and an adjective. It is this ambiguity in terms which has allowed ‘Gender Ideologues’ to stake out their claims on the same grounds that Gay Rights pioneers did theirs. It’s all language games.
The writer of this piece needs to recognise this before any meaningful response can be drawn out.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

Whether ‘the writer considers same-sex attraction to be genetic (blue eyes), behavioural (sexual congress) or environmental (dexterity)’ seems wholly irrelevant to Doyle’s claim that his being gay ‘has never been an identity, it’s simply a fact, as unremarkable as being blue-eyed or right-handed’.

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

I can only speak for myself but I am not persuaded.
Mr Doyle asserts that it is a ‘simple fact’. But what sort of fact?. And in what way is it simple? It sounds incredibly complex to me, if it is a state of being at once as physical and innate as eye colour and yet as mysterious in its genesis as right or left handedness. The latter being a textbook example of a really-very-complex-fact. One can learn to write quite easily with the opposite hand, over time. One cannot alter ones eye-colour one tittle using the mind.
Of course what Mr Doyle has done is ironically what his antagonists in the Gender Queering movement are doing. They are getting confused by the ambiguity in the English language. Mr Doyle confuses a simple and observable fact – eye colour, with a compound fact his ‘being gay’. The meaning of the latter statement is far from unambiguous. Especially so in that Mr Doyle has formally rejected its utility as an identity.
And yet, as much as he would like to resist it he must eventually fall back on it being more than a behaviour and less than a genetic inevitablity. And so he is left with an ‘identity‘ and must take his part and place in the ranks of a culture war he is so tired of.
Of course this all must sound like nonsense and word-games, and it is, but it is the field on which this contest is fought.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

Nonsense or not I enjoy your reasoning.

Jeremy Sansom
Jeremy Sansom
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

Thank you for this. I’ve been long aware that language is the battle-ground on which identify politics and the culture wars are being fought, but have been struggling to clearly articulate it. Your contribution has been very helpful.

jane baker
jane baker
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

But who wants to be “unremarkable”

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

How so? I’m sorry to have given that impression. My reservations about the consistency of Mr Doyle’s logic are quite sincere. It’s something I’ve seen elsewhere and find puzzling.

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

William … you are a knob !

jane baker
jane baker
4 months ago

Is the the only gay in the village. Or is he just ugly and charmless.

Point of Information
Point of Information
4 months ago

“One of the common refrains one hears from activists is that it represents “this generation’s Section 28”. But this is to get it precisely backwards”.

To try to be fair and objective on a culture war issue – this is not Section 28 (or what Section 28 was perceived as) or its opposite.

This is a case of the protected rights of one group clashing with another which wants the same.

Presumably if trans activists are successful another group will rise up in future, whose required protection will clash with the legal protections won by trans activists as the playbook on how to achieve this is now well-worn.

This will continue until some adequately intelligent population realises that rights have to be the same for everybody – with no protected classes – or protection by law becomes a privilege not a right.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago

Fannie Fanshawe, one of the founders of Stonewall, accurately describes (decades after the event) section 28 as the Tories attempting to get a grip on loony left local councils and never really being the big deal it was made out by his organisation to be.
It is all just part of the rhetorical bombs each side in this tiny minority Vs tiny minority want to throw back and forth. It would be nice is some grown ups just separated the squabbling kids made a reasonable decision and told them to shut up and get on with it. But with our society the way it is today, real grown ups with the courage and ability to do that are sadly in short supply.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
4 months ago

There are gay hookup / dating sites which actually have “trans” as a category. There are hardly anybody using these areas. However I notice it’s become somewhat fashionable to claim a “trans” identity even on such sites – although in every respect the people in question look like and are – biological males

Dillon Eliassen
Dillon Eliassen
4 months ago

If a trans person successfully bullies someone into having sex with the trans person, does that not erode consent? A huge portion of the Western population immediately tries to prove they are not bigoted when being accused of bigotry. I’m not going to get hyperbolic and say it’s sexual assault or rape to guilt trip someone into sex with you because everybody needs to know what their orientation and preferences are and remain true to themselves and be able to stand up for themselves and not fall for this bullying…but so many people are so afraid to be perceived as bigots that I wouldn’t be surprised if people engage in sex acts they don’t want to in order to prove they are not transphobic.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
4 months ago

I don’t know about the chances of that. I suspect it occurs in rare cases.

But it is true that to go on Grindr as a transman is dispiriting.

Users only have 100 profiles they can click on as a free member. So they block anyone they’re not going to be interested in.

So, before a trans person could even think about coercing – if that was their aim ?- most of their grid disappears.
You can’t coerce people you can no longer contact, because they just blocked you.

Ian_S
Ian_S
4 months ago

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
4 months ago

Being gay is not an identity. If it’s the most interesting thing about you, you probably aren’t very interesting.

The ideal outcome to decriminalisation when I worked on it, was in the main, to be left alone.

Some kind of ability to be considered a couple for legal reasons & to inherit, seemed proportionate, since others have always had similar.

Police showing commonsense around cruising areas would be a plus. Provided beat users are being discreet, no kids around etc. Keeping an eye on the real criminality that sometimes occurs along with it. But that world is now mainly gone. And the police where I came from were pretty commonsense in their approach to cruising, even when the sodomy law was in place.

That was about it. But people couldn’t just let it go. The unspecial looking for the commodity of specialness . . .

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
4 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Actually they should have abolished legal marriage altogether no longer necessary because it was designed to attach men to the children they gathered and DNA testing does that far better than a piece of paper…..Set up your own pension property and inheritance arrangements it’s much much more equitable.

David Morley
David Morley
4 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Interesting idea.

I’ve sometimes thought that we should introduce a kind of “marriage light”. This would be an agreement between two people to have children and to support them. It has the advantage of giving some reproductive rights to men – they don’t end up supporting children they didn’t choose to have, or losing children they wanted – and would encourage women to take responsibility for their actions.

jane baker
jane baker
4 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

That’s a laugh. As if. Most of those pramfaces at my local shops see the progenitor of their sprog spawn as a cash machine. Whatever dead old feminists may have preached decades ago. You’ll never change that.

David Morley
David Morley
4 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

In principle, men should be given reproductive rights in as far as this is possible. Given that we now have contraception, the morning after pill and abortion, there is no reason for men to be supporting children they did not agree to have. Some sort of contract (marriage or something else) would allow men to agree beforehand to a pregnancy.

The resistance, obviously, will be to the fact that if the man does not pick up the bill, the state will probably have to.

jane baker
jane baker
4 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Sounds like too much hard work to me.

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago

“`Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice”.
The plaintive tone of this sort of piece smacks of the Girondin’s Lament. ‘The Revolution has gone too far this time’.
Surely it was palpable to the point of sheer obviousness that ‘Gay’ cold only ever have been be a holding position in the ongoing deconstructionist Jihad against all meaning? Can we now really stand aghast because “Chaos umpire sits/ and by decision more embroils the fray by which he reigns?”
If language must precede meaning and if social norms are merely formal prejudices upholding Derrida’s Violent Hierarchy, if we are compelled to concede the impossibility of ‘unmediated expression of something non-linguistic’ – which is the Great Commandment of Critical Theory – then the idea that the discrete collective plural noun ‘Gay’ could be left alone as a ‘simple fact’ was always a foolish fond hope.
These potent ideological weapons were left on the battlefield after the first and second stages of the Sexual Revolution and have now merely, predictably, been taken up again.
The Genii cannot, at this late stage, be returned to the bottle. Once the hierarchy of truth and meaning is taken way, all that remains is force.
“Take but degree away, untune that string,
And hark what discord follows. Each thing meets
In mere oppugnancy”
Perhaps the coarse and vituperative letters quoted in the pages of the tabloid papers, abusive and unacceptable as they were and are, were the instinctual responses of people who ‘heard that sound first amidst the festival – and marked its tone with death’s prophetic ear’.
Material to the moment, however, is that if ‘truth is a function of power’, as Nietzsche wrote when this ball was set rolling, then all that remains to Girondins such as Mr Doyle is the naked exertion of power. A conceptual 18th Brumaire of sorts.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

I think it might be nice to cite your quotes.

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

Sorry, i only include them as a shorthand for certain ideas which I cannot elegantly express myself – Lewis Carroll, Milton, Richard Rorty, Shakespeare, Byron and Nietzsche in that order.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
4 months ago

The revolution is never over and will devour its children.

One interesting difference between the new trans agenda and the gay one is that the latter was largely grassroots and from the bottom up (lol), whereas the former has been mounted by a few very rich and influential men, and spread like wildfire through the Internet (turbocharged during lockdown).

Please watch YT video by Jennifer Bilek ‘Who is behind the Trans agenda ?’ and the sheer speed of the takeover and infiltration into so many big organisations all starts to make sense.

Whatever your opinions about the rights or not of the Trans lobby, this is first and foremost a top-down power grab to flatter the fantasies of a few seriously well-connected AGPs.

Ian_S
Ian_S
4 months ago

A strong essay. Some of these points, e.g. that trans ideology enforces binary gender stereotypes, have been made from a GC feminist perspective. The best work in countering gender ideology has been by UK feminists. What has been missing has been the g*y male critique of gender ideology, which Doyle provides so well here.

Hey, and just how f*sh are the trans mob and their oh-so-right-on “allies”? Not just their addiction to bizarre g*nital-mutilating conversion practices to rid the world of g*y people, but their terrifying street rallies calling for total ethn*c cle*nsing as a solution to conflict in the Middle East. Really these people, the Guardian set, are the new f*scists.

Edited: whoops, forgot to asterisk-isise the verboten word at the end. Tsk tsk. Comment put on hold by the censorbot. Edit 2: needs more asterisks to pass.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago

Homosexuals, in particular men, are victims of their own success in the topsy turvey world of woke. As soon as they won their battle for equality before the law, they were immediately deducted 3 victim points. Since then all the efforts the media has gone to to over represent them in soap operas and reality TV has just removed more points – they are normal aren’t they so why should they be seen as victims. Arguably white gay men are now on a par with white straight men, who are only propped up at the bottom of the victim table by Jewish men. One day, when we have had all we can take (for now we do seem to just man up and take it), the brothers of the world will unite!
Is it any surprise that the rainbow of the alphabet soup brigade is a complete sham? The trans community have misappropriated a lot of the arguments used by homosexuals to overcome the “pervert” label and win equality before the law. They were born that way, they can’t help it, it was due to an excess of hormones in the womb – none of which holds all that much water with homosexuals and even less with trans, but does not really need to when all they want is equality that does not impact anyone else, it does matter when keeping male rapist out of female prisons. The Irony of the LGB Alliance engaging in a tug of war to reclaim the rights to “conversion therapy” and “Section 28” should not be lost. Personally I see “gender affirming care” as conversion therapy regardless of whether the victim would have turned out gay or straight. Where is the “sexual orientation affirming care” that homosexuals need to be gay?

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
4 months ago

I suspect that a lot of the trans cr*p is pushed and paid for with Chinese money. Just as the CCP has fentanyl factories in Mexico, and Confucius Institutes on college campuses, and is buying up farm land outside American military installations, the Chinese consider it in their interest to foment social incoherence on Western societies.
As for the comments Andrew cites, who knows where they come from or who is disseminating them – a Russian bot farm? Chinese AI? All in service to keeping us at each others’ throats whilst the truly terrifying takeover is put into place before we even notice. That’s the transformation we should really be worried about.

Oliver Ellwood
Oliver Ellwood
4 months ago

Day by day The western world is sliding into lunacy.

James McKay
James McKay
4 months ago

“Gay rights were secured on the recognition that a minority of the population are same-sex attracted.” Citation needed. Wasn’t it just as much on the recognition that same-sex attraction isn’t wrong or harmful, so it doesn’t matter how many people experience it?

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
4 months ago
Reply to  James McKay

I don’t think so. Homosexual rights were secured only after the Pill changed people’s conception of sex altogether. Sex was no longer inherently reproductive and therefore no longer essentially about family formation. It was now simply about scratching an itch. And once it was just about scratching an itch, the question arose, why not everyone’s itches? At that point, the battle between ‘disgust’ and ‘courtesy’ was on… and courtesy won – and keeps winning. We are still in that phase of the battle, and these internecine battles between more and more trivial deviants embody it. The funny/not funny irony is that now the winning soldiers are turning against one another. You may find XYZ sexual practice disgusting, but we must be ‘kind’ to the people who don’t, and who want to normalize it and persuade others to engage in it.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
4 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Nice point. I hadn’t thought of it that way.

Susie Bell
Susie Bell
4 months ago

I have thought for a while now that kids who ‘need’ a new sexual identity just really need non homophobic parents and now Andrew has done the research and confirmed it. Of course a whole lot of other parents are narcissistic monsters who want to have the attention of a sex change ‘struggle’ in their lives. I am always amazed that the trans crowd and the clinicians never mention the attitudes of parents, even with very young kids, in the formation of those children’s ideas about themselves.
I’m in Phillip Larkin’s corner on this one

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
4 months ago

 the most objectionable anti-gay comments arise in online spheres occupied by gender ideologues,
Some of us warned about this but were called phobic. There were suggestions that the ‘same sex’ designation would come under fire, with attempts to replace it with ‘same gender’ which would be a matter of how someone identified. We suggested that the Ts had no place in the alphabet community and that they were subversive to the cause.
These are the people who deny that the norm for boys and girls who deviate from stereotypical gender norms is to become men and women, straight or gay. They promulgate idiocy about one’s sex being “assigned” at birth as if people are widgets rolling off an assembly line.
I’m sorry to see it happen. In some ways, it is reminiscent of the Covidians and their demand that vaccine skeptics be treated like the Jews of 1930s Germany. When the reality of the vax became impossible to ignore, it was too late to restore fractured relationships.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
4 months ago

“Gay,” “homophobia,” “cis,” “gender affirmation,” “gay conversion,” “sexual racists,” “Mermaids,” “cotton ceiling,” “LGBTQ+,” “trans-identified pupils,” . . . Oh, yes, and most of all, “progress.” There is, however, one word that never gets mentioned. Not, mind you, because we’ve forgotten it, but rather because it has become second nature to us: “decadence.”

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

History seems to prove that extremists in general end up dehumanizing, and by natural extension, exterminating a lot of people.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

“Cis” is a demeaning word, overtly bigoted, anti-scientific, and used to censor/control discussions. No free person should submit to being labeled as such.

Tom More
Tom More
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Exactly. Its part of the ideological takeover of this cult in our culture. And there is no “natural” dimension for combining spermatozoa and fecal matter. Its disgusting for a reason. Let’s all stop lying. Over a million dead young men in the west from sodomizing and we’re railroading a new generation while pretending we’re so accepting and nice.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
4 months ago

“Andrew Doyle is a comedian and creator of the Twitter persona Titania McGrath” That’s a bit of a put down. He holds a doctorate in early Renaissance poetry from the University of Oxford, and was previously a visiting research fellow at Queen’s University, Belfast. He is also a champion against woke and for free speech, using the GB News ‘Free Speech Nation’ to support both causes. An intellectual of great intelligence.

jane baker
jane baker
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

They’re the worst.

D. Gooch
D. Gooch
4 months ago

One thing we can all do is to stop using the term “LGBT” (or any of the other LGBT+ versions that activists have been pushing on us).
As a gay man, I can still remember when discrimination was legally sanctioned in most of the west.That has changed. There was a time when gay and transgendered people had much in common when it came to our interactions with the state and society. That also has changed.
It’s not that I have a problem with trans-gendered people. I’m happy to see tremendous advancements in trans-gendered rights in western societies, but it really has nothing to do with me. I have no interest in being lumped in under an “LGBT umbrella” with the work of trans-activists, whom I often don’t agree with on matters of government policy — and I am hardly alone.

Jeff Dudgeon
Jeff Dudgeon
4 months ago
Reply to  D. Gooch

Revive the word gay. It covers all corners and serves well even if removed surreptitiously from the front of Pride.
Resist queer.

Adoptive Loiner
Adoptive Loiner
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Dudgeon

I am always horrified by the way supposedly respectable titles like the Grauniad use the word Queer to describe gay men and women (and make a point of complaining to them every time they do). Would they really use the N-word to show their ‘solidarity’ with black people?

Reclaiming a term of abuse for self-identification is one thing, being thrown about by intellectuals to show they’re ‘down with the minorities’ is just down right bloody offensive.

NB. I realise expecting The Grauniad to be thoughtful and considerate about anything is probably an exercise in futility, but I’m just a hopeless optimist.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

Ricky Gervais nailed the whole ‘queer’ thing in his latest show. It is usually attention seeking middle class tools who refer to themselves as queer, not as a queer because that would be a slur.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Dudgeon

Revive the word gay … yes! …it’s an English word meaning light-hearted and carefree before it was appropriated and ruined my dance!

David Morley
David Morley
4 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

The Gay Gordon. Got it!

Tom More
Tom More
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Dudgeon

But it so very obviously IS queer. Developmental disorder. Help the kids for God’s sake.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
4 months ago

Much like UnHerd’s feminist authors arguing against transgender ideology, now we have an UnHerd homosexual arguing against transgender ideology. As a non-feminist non-homosexual non-transgender ideologue, I can’t help but laugh in a sad way at articles like this.
The exact same social changes and theories that underlay (first) the sexual revolution’s sweeping march across the West, and (then) homosexuality’s sweeping march across the West, are now leading transgender ideologues’ sweeping march across the West.
There is such a thing as “natural,” and it is *not* defined by feelings. It is just so painfully ironic to see a soldier in one wave of the “I feel it, therefore it is right” army, be shocked and dismayed when a fellow soldier in a different wave, “feels” something contrary to his feelings.
At some point we’ll realize that human feelings are a very poor guide to human flourishing.

Tony Price
Tony Price
4 months ago

This may already have been said but I ain’t about to trawl though 114 (so far) comments – nowhere in the article does it use the word ‘progressive’ or indeed ‘establishment’, so why does the sub have to use them in the headline? It seems that ‘progressive’ has just become a right wing trope all purpose insult; strange as I was always given to believe that process was a good thing!

John Riordan
John Riordan
4 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

This view must assume that radical transgender ideology is not in fact radical at all, and is instead a general consensus everywhere except on the reactionary Right.

Do you actually believe that?

Tony Price
Tony Price
4 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Whose view? Not mine!

John Riordan
John Riordan
4 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

It’s your name above the comment.

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

…nowhere in the article does it use the word ‘progressive’ or indeed ‘establishment’,

If you direct your attention to the 5th paragraph –

but now the most objectionable anti-gay comments arise in online spheres occupied by gender ideologues, from those who claim to be progressive, Left-wing and “on the right side of history”

And from there to the 13th paragraph –

Now it seems the establishment is attempting to support the coercion of gay people into heterosexual activity.

Tony Price
Tony Price
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

OK my bad! But ‘claiming’ to be progressive? Putin claims to abide by the democratic process!

David Morley
David Morley
4 months ago

Cis gay men

This will all stop when we come up against the cognitive limits of human working memory. I already have to think for a moment what this actually means. Add a couple more terms, chuck in a load of new pronouns and only AI will cope.

ralph bell
ralph bell
4 months ago

Lets just go back to LGB and let other form their own special interest groups

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
4 months ago
Reply to  ralph bell

… and drop the L who are G … and drop the B who are just greedy heterosexuals … leaving ‘straight’ and ‘gay’ as is all that was ever needed.

William Cameron
William Cameron
4 months ago

As a straight male I find the quantity of stuff focussing on Homosexuality and Trans LGBTETC ETC surprising.
I would expect it to be in line with its proportions in society. If I can lump all the world into two parts -straight and non straight- I would expect Straights to be at least 90% . But the media and debate would appear that Non straight is around 50%.
Something doesnt add up?
However my view let adults do what they like in private . But dont complain if folk ridicule those that insist on flaunting their sexuality- whatever it is.
And to the folk that criticise others (like the Trans extremists) remember tolerance cuts both ways.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
4 months ago

This is a bit like being surprised that criminals and football stars compose a tiny fraction of the population but hog all the media attention. People at the sexual extremes are a tiny proportion of the population… but they represent the essential debate that has defined (and now paralyzed) our society. Namely: just how important are your personal desires? Does it matter the effect they have on society? Perhaps it’s OK for you not to have children, but what happens when you argue that society’s mores should favor not having children? Sure it’s OK if you do something gross in a closet with a friend, but what happens when you insist society’s laws should publicize and celebrate it?
Or to put it differently, the line between collective flourishing and individual freedom runs right through the sexual revolution. So of course the most extreme voices of the revolution will be the ones which draw the most attention.

William Cameron
William Cameron
4 months ago

anyone who refers to another as Cis is being aggressive and unpleasant and should be made to apologise.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

All this porn type discussion of genitalia makes me feel ill.
As for people being born in the wrong body, show me the soul and I’ll believe you. I don’t just take someone’s word for it.
I too preferred the time when gays were just people who were attracted to the same sex rather than the other sex and nothing to get upset about.
Oh and I’m not surprised the ceo of stonewall is a woman.
Like their male counterparts, as soon as women started to get a route into power, unfortunately the scum rose to the top.
The sort of women who did the real fighting were never in with a chance.

David Morley
David Morley
4 months ago

parents who were keen to “fix” their gay offspring

I really struggle to buy this. There is an issue with this within Islam, but that aside I see absolutely no reason why a parent would prefer their child to be trans rather than gay. I’m sure plenty of parents would prefer their child to be neither, but on what basis would anyone prefer trans to gay?

Douglas H
Douglas H
4 months ago

Great article that really lays it out. Thanks.

David Morley
David Morley
4 months ago

Any chance we could renormalise normal. Sorry all but this stuff is starting to drive the rest of us up the wall. At this rate we’ll end up with a small band of white, cis, heterosexual men standing peacefully on the sidelines, while the rest of society tears itself to bits.

David Morley
David Morley
4 months ago

I didn’t think this was Andrew’s best piece. He’s far better when he maintains some comedic distance. Here it felt more like he was being drawn into the hysteria. Please no – we have enough of that already, while genuine comedic talent is rare.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
4 months ago

Ah, yes, the oh-so-tolerant “progressive” crowd reveals their true selves. I have some good friends who are homosexuals. We don’t talk about what we do in the privacy of our bedrooms/homes between consenting adults, but we do talk about how the gender ideologues hate everything and everybody who doesn’t buy into their belief system. It’s about time we expose them for who/what they are: arrogant and ignorant bigots with sociopathic tendencies. Transgenderism is essentially a form of conversion therapy whereby homosexual children and teens are told that by changing their gender (a ridiculous and antiquated notion) they can become, or pretend to be, heterosexual. I am so glad to see more and more people stepping up, and pointing out that the Emperor is naked. No new clothes to be found anywhere; only old misogyny and contempt for those who disagree.

Mark Vernon
Mark Vernon
4 months ago

If they had read Dante, they’d have spotted that same-sex lovers are on their way to paradise, alongside opposite-sex lovers, high on the slopes of Mount Purgatory. And then that apostles Peter, James and John greet each other like love birds in the heavens.
Way back, in medieval times, Dante saw that the quality of your lovin’ is what counts.

Betsy Warrior
Betsy Warrior
4 months ago

Love and sex are only coincidental. Love isn’t about genitals – sex is about genitals and sometimes the two overlap. Parents love their children I love my mother. What’s sex gotta do with it.

Susan Scheid
Susan Scheid
4 months ago

Andrew, thank you so much for this. You go from strength to strength, now this hot on the heels of your brilliant program on the WPATH files. So grateful for your sane, smart voice.

Brian Thomas
Brian Thomas
4 months ago

What percentage of the population are “same sex attracted”? What percentage of media attention is given to these individuals?What percentage of media attention is given to the plight of one-legged Stamp Collectors with a speech impediment?
I think we should be told.

William Miller
William Miller
4 months ago

At the risk of being called out – my observation is that homosexuality is truly celebrated in the U.S. Am I missing something??

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
4 months ago

Why has the question of who one would or wouldn’t get it on with become an issue of such individual-yet-public importance? Along with thought-tribe affiliation (at their current extremes: “I’m on the right side of History–the far-far left!” or “History had no business moving beyond 1965, and must now be rewound!”) these serve as key markers of individual identity for many. Yet they are group markers, and tend to tell you very little about a given individual so labelled or cloaked. Not as much as we like to pretend anyway.
Perhaps most of us can agree on this: What a shallow and misguided cultural moment!
[tangentially related movie response: I just watched the Oscar-nominated film Poor Things. Some brilliant acting, scenes, and many clever lines of dialogue. But the whole think is sick in the head and heart; utterly cynical, hedonistic, and lewd. A Clockwork Orange meets Eyes Wide Shut in a mad scientist’s laboratory, with cinematography and decor borrowed from the sensibilities of Wes Andersen and Terry Gilliam.
A clever, demented, self-amused mess. It might prove to be an enduring kind of twisted, because it is so outrageous and obscene. Like the writing of Aleister Crowley or the Marquis de Sade. Should be rated X. Except that would only make more people want to subject themselves to this dreadful spectacle. I watched it through and kind of wish I hadn’t. The first half had some laughs and held out false hope of redeeming value.
One the whole it reminded me of something my late grandmother said about The Grand Budapest Hotel: “It’s the kind of movie you want to talk about with people because you’re just not sure what the point is”. Don’t watch it yourself. But if you have already: Any thoughts?]

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
4 months ago

“…Who thought we would have to fight these battles all over again?”

Well actually, we all did. Just about the time that you added the T to LGB.

You were well warned. But you invited the tiger into your home. Now you’re going to have to deal with it. Enjoy that.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
4 months ago

Now it seems the establishment is attempting to support the coercion of gay people into heterosexual activity.” There is a counterpart though: the coercion of heterosexual people into homosexual activity. Because it happens too, like to a young man in our larger family, who opined on one of the bathroom walls of the interwebs that he could never be attracted to a trans woman, only to women born as women, and he was branded transphobic and treated accordingly in the toxic swamp that is today’s college culture.
So, author of this article, please see it as part of a larger problem, not simply homophobia. Biophobia?

jane baker
jane baker
4 months ago

Why have I got to like everything,everybody. I’m fed up with the tyranny of it. And it’s not even reciprocal. Just because you “accept” this,”accept”that,say nothing,it won’t stop THEM jeering at ,well not you,ME because I dont fit THEIR criterion of acceptability. I’m fed up with being told I have to “LOVE EVERYBODY” but if I join a march against people having bombs dropped on them from a great height in order to exterminate every last one of them – then I AM AN ENEMY TO HUMANITY. A radio phone in caller gave the game away the other night. As an offhand remark he said,”it’s boring being gay now it’s acceptable”. The radio host did try to pick up on this remark.but the caller in,even though stupid,had enough.sense to realise it was not a good idea to follow up on this give away.

jane baker
jane baker
4 months ago

Oh and another thing. This was very.funny.a few years ago. Animal rights versus Faith. It had been long established in our British culture that animals to be killed for us to eat should be subjected to as little pain and terror as possible. Laws had been.passed.
Whether the measures in place did much to ameliorate the pain and terror who knows.
Jewish people had their own places where the form of slaughter they prioritised was carried out. But they did it discreetly out of the public eye. But then in town areas that had or have become majority Muslim animals were being slaughtered in the street,over drains,in full public view. Of.course this o