October 27, 2021 - 10:46am

‘I had to pinch myself to check I wasn’t dreaming’ is a cliché — nobody actually pinches themselves — but it’s hard to know how else to react to the publication of this BBC report

For years, lesbians (and to a lesser extent gay men) have been voicing their concerns about the gender movement encroaching on their definitional sexual boundaries. But the cultural establishment has either dismissed them as bigots or tried to cancel them. 

And now suddenly, the BBC, which until five minutes ago was one of the worst offenders in this regard, so utterly captured that it recently erased the very concept of homosexuality from its style guide, produces 4,000 words on the subject. 

So yes, unexpected, but also for me strangely familiar. I remember in the early 90s feeling that the world had turned upside down when the BBC joined a youth campaign against homophobia, just after one of its top Radio 1 DJs had been cracking AIDS gags on air. Is this a similar shifting of tectonic cultural plates, or just a blip that the establishment will shut down as soon as possible?

The wider situation is very different from thirty years ago. With astonishing rapidity, almost every major corporate and public sector body has fallen to gender ideology, often led by the very same institutions that were originally created to defend and advocate for lesbians and gay men. An organisation with the sheer heft of the BBC allowing even minor critique on one aspect of it feels significant. 

It’s always fascinating to watch the same people who routinely exhort us to listen to women when they speak up about sexual abuse saying ‘yeah, but not those women, the hateful bigots’. My lived experience is sacrosanct; your anecdotal evidence is flimsy ‘hate speech’. 

Unlike most of the morons tweeting yesterday that the LGB Alliance (quoted in the article) is a ‘hate group’, I have been physically attacked by members of an actual hate group, the British Movement, in the mid-1980s. And they weren’t lesbians in their sixties, oddly enough. 

Perhaps the BBC has realised, at long last, that minorities hold a wide variety of contesting viewpoints, rather than being a monolithic rainbow ‘community’ speaking with one corporate-sanctioned voice. 

A lot of very powerful people in the cultural establishment have sunk enormous costs into gender ideology and made a very public allegiance to it. It’s a high-status shibboleth across the modern western world. Simply acknowledging that sex is immutable and that people have the right to be same-sex attracted carries a huge risk of ostracisation, such as losing your livelihood. 

Now that the BBC has finally shown a willingness to take on this shibboleth, albeit with one report so far, is a promising sign. This is a time for brave hearts. How brave is the BBC’s?

Gareth Roberts is a screenwriter and novelist, best known for his work on Doctor Who.