On December 19th, let's make it safer for women to say 'no'
Gender Critical Coming Out Day 2021
December 19th 2021 will be the second anniversary of JK Rowling’s tweet in support of Maya Forstater. The fall-out from her tweet made Rowling the target of vicious, sustained abuse, and it showed the world what happens even to the most powerful women when they dare say no to men.
We want to mark the date by encouraging as many people as possible to “come out” and declare their support for the reality of biological sex, and stand against a dangerous, incoherent, homophobic ideology that says gender identity is more important than sex.
And that’s as complex as a ‘gender critical’ position is, at its core. The many different groups lining up on this side of the debate will have different and expanding areas of focus, but the aspect common to us all is the fact sex is real, immutable, and mustn’t be conflated with, or replaced by, gender identity.
Gender Critical feminists have been proved right on several key matters.
Children are being put on a medical pathway due to social contagion, homophobic bullying at school and at home.
Trans-identified males—many of whom are simply crossdressing men—are coercing lesbians into sex.
Men are identifying as women and dominate them in their sports. No fewer than three women have now been beaten up by men in MMA bouts. This cannot be allowed to continue.
Women are being harassed and silenced for discussing these issues.
As the reaction to JK Rowling’s tweet has shown, we’re in a war for the acceptance of reality and basic truths. Far from being isolated to a corner of the Internet—like Qanon and Holocaust denial—gender ideology has captured organisations all over the Western world.
Stephen Nolan and David Thompson have revealed that after their podcast series on Stonewall, they were contacted by “dozens of people from within the BBC, almost all women, who contacted us to say, thank you for doing the podcast, I felt that I couldn't read some of these issues. I couldn't report on some of these issues”. Many of those who wrote to him were from within the LGBT community.
So women and lesbians within the most powerful media company in the UK are frightened to say what they really think. Even someone as powerful and respected as Terry Gilliam had a production cancelled because of authoritarian bullies on staff at the Old Vic.
While the situation is better than it was even two years ago, many people still hold gender-critical views only in secret; reluctant to say openly what they really think, or to challenge the ideology of gender identity for fear of the implications for their livelihoods and professional lives.
We want to make it safer for people to speak up. At the moment, there is a false consensus that has been achieved through a combination of bullying and misinformation. There are many, many more of us who believe in biological reality than those who believe in gender identity ideology. As the series of recent conferences and events by different GC groups have shown, we’re not alone and we need to let others know we’re here.
The idea of Gender Critical Coming Out Day is simple: just be as open about your gender-critical views as it’s possible for you to be. For some, there is still the real possibility that “coming out” as gender critical will put their job, or their friendships, at risk, so we want to encourage people to only be as open as it is safe for them to be.
Luckily, there are many ways you can ‘come out’. From simply using your real name and photo on social media, to opening conversations with trusted friends on the issues, right through to challenging your HR department about the wording of policies or their participation in things like the Stonewall Diversity Champion scheme.
The Gender Critical Coming Out Day website has a list of suggestions of what you can do on the day, with links to information about your legal position at work, links to other sites with GC merchandise, and to other sites/groups with information that can inform conversations you might have with friends and family.
Gender Critical Coming Out Day is simple, but it’s just the beginning. There will be a series of activities coming up as we head into 2022, but the first step is letting everyone else know what we think and where we stand.
Text by James (@HumanGayMale) who has been involved in LGBT activism for decades, including being project manager of a regional Pride Festival, Chair of Trustees for LGBT Consortium, a Stonewall volunteer, running gay professional networking events in London, and most recently helping LGB Alliance with different projects.
Also participating are filmmaker Karen Actually, Jen Baker and Helen Staniland.