First of all, I was asked to express these thoughts on behalf of a group of Lesbian friends and associates. Some of them belong to an organisation of “quiet activists,” women of some professional prominence who use their networks of friends and associates to lobby for or to influence policy. While some of these concerns I do share, I do not share all of them.
These thoughts concern the trans war, trans rights, transgender vs transsexual, and what constitutes transgender for the purpose of defining a group of people covered by protections.
Amongst these Lesbian identiied women, the first and foremost concern is “who is or is not transgender for purposes of public accomodation protection,” and how far should such protections extend. By and large they are clearly opposed to individuals with male-associated anatomy being in locker rooms or shower rooms that are labelled as being for females.
I know the arguements pro and con on this issue; I am simply reporting upon the concerns of the group of middle aged Lesbian activists of my aquaintance. Given the loose definition of who is covered by the trangender umbrella, accomodation protections are feared by these Lesbians, with the spectre of the occasional crossdreser who is “alice” today or a “misogynistic *sshole gay drag queen” demanding to enter and being entitled to enter the showers or locker rooms.
A clear understanding of who is or is not protected by accomodation laws would be helpful to them; open ended “gender identity or expression” coverage is objectionable to them. Some of them are opposed to changing the gender marker on the driver's licenses' of male-genitaled people for this reason as well.
The “Trans Wars” are a major concern of these Lesbian activists, Any trans issue develops a degree of acrimony and divisiveness so intense as to make trans activism appear, in the eyes of these women, akin to a badly scripted Three Stooges episode, particualrly the heavy handed attempts to silence opposition; “so who is the trans 'Moe' this week” came up at a coffee klatch recently. There are a number of these Lesbian activists unwilling to back any trans rights position for fear of antagonising another group to a white hot insensible fury. There does not seem to be any realistic attempt at dialogue or reconciliation by the components of the trans community visible to their eyes, only a struggle for dominance that more than a few Lesbians have described as “alpha male behaviour“(Don't shoot the messenger, please!) The vindictive, prolonged feuds, on both sides, are anathema to these women brought up on the concept of supportive sisterhood and peaceful negotiation of differences in an attempt to find commonality rather than differences.
There is a concern that their rights as women are being trampled without consultation, or at least abridged without their consent or support. There are concerns that the T is not ready for activism or equality as there is no vision of what that equality entails that is universal, and that some of those visions are at the expense of Lesbian women. And to their eyes, there seems to be no movement towards addressing any of these concerns. Further, they are afraid of the silencing tactics that are being used on opposing viewpoints by trans-advocates later being applied by the T community, perhaps in alliance with the G or the B, upon Lesbian viewpoints and concerns.
Again, I am just “being a journalist” and reporting these things.
Discuss amongst yourselves, and please come up with a solution.