Activists rise up against lesbian group trying to host “born female only” event

Author: Molly Sprayregen

A trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) organization called the Lesbian Action Group applied for an exemption from Australia’s anti-discrimination act so it could hold a lesbian event that excluded trans women.

The group’s application reportedly sought permission to exclude anyone who was not a cisgender lesbian, naming “Heterosexual, Bisexual and Gay males, Heterosexual and Bisexual females, Transgender people and Queer plus people.” The application also stated that it hopes to continue holding private lesbian events “to avoid any more challenges by the Transgender community.”

AHRC has asked for public comments regarding the application, and LGBTQ+ activists are speaking up.

One letter signed by 15 LGBTQ+ organizations, including the Melbourne chapter of Dykes on Bikes, the Trans Justice Project, and the Parents of Gender Diverse Children, proclaiming it is “not appropriate or necessary” for bisexual and trans women to be banned from lesbian gatherings. The letter also pointed out that any method for enforcing these rules would result in privacy violations, GCN reports.

A statement from Dykes on Bikes Communications Officer Kieran Cavanagh called the application “Nothing more than dangerous transphobic rhetoric and hate, causing harm and creating division when we should be united.”

“Our lesbian community is extremely vast and diverse, and that is a pillar of its strength. Without our trans sisters or queer elders, we would not have the freedoms and rights we celebrate today or the insight and knowledge for the challenges ahead.”

“We stand proudly with our trans sisters and nonbinary family. And we’ll continue fighting against LAG’s discriminatory and inflammatory transphobic exemption request. There is space for all of us. Nobody needs to be excluded.”

The term TERF applies to individuals who don’t see transgender women as real women or transgender men as real men and use the language of feminism to justify their transphobia.

Many TERFs prefer to be called “gender critical,” and some identify as “second-wave feminists” who see cis womanhood as an inborn “essentialist” identity determined by one’s biological sex, including the physical and psychological differences between cis women and cis men. Some TERFs claim that rights and visibility for trans women create tension within the lesbian segment of the LGBTQ+ community.

Trans advocates also note that trans women have long been excluded, ridiculed, and demonized in media, politics, and the public, resulting in a rising tide of violence, hate speech, and transphobic legislation that harms their overall well-being. Trans-inclusive feminists say that similar hatred has been directed at cis women and that cis and trans women should unite to fight all forms of misogynist oppression, including legislation that dictates women’s bodily autonomy.

Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: Molly Sprayregen

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