JK Rowling appropriates Lesbian Visibility Week to promote trans-exclusionary group in social media fail.
25 April is the beginning of Lesbian Visibility Week , marked annually between 25 April and 1 May to coincide with Lesbian Visibility Day (founded 2008), with the aim of increasing awareness of all lesbian identities and the issues they face.
JK Rowling, who is heterosexual, decided to mark Lesbian Visibility Week 2022 with a tweet encouraging her followers to support Allison Bailey, a lesbian and co-founder of LGB Alliance, a trans-exclusionary group of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the UK.
The LGB Alliance is often referred to as an ‘anti-trans hate group’, positioning itself as a charity aiming to “advance the interests of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, and stand up for our right to live as same-sex attracted people without discrimination or disadvantage”.
All sounds nice, right?
However, while doing so, the Alliance actively seeks to exclude (ironically, therefore, discriminating against) trans individuals and, in turn, only segregates a community that has fought side-by-side for decades.
The LGB Alliance denies being a ‘hate group’ despite its anti-trans position, instead claiming, “It perfectly possible to disagree with a person’s view or opinion without hating them”. Which, of course, would be perfectly fine if we were talking about ‘the WIFI dropping’ or a ‘late delivery’ or any of the other trivial comparisons drawn on their official website, but we’re not. We’re talking about human lives and their right to exist.
“Lesbian Visibility Week starts today in the UK. A good moment to salute the resilience and courage of my inspirational friend. #IStandWithAllisonBailey”, Rowling’s initial tweet read, including an image of Alison Bailey marching for LGB rights in San Francisco in 1991.
Bailey, a lawyer, is currently in the process of suing Stonewall, the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ (emphasis on the inclusion of T) charity, along with her former employer Garden Court Chambers, in a discrimination action where she claims to have been ‘silenced’ for her views on transgender issues. The action claims Stonewall are “policing free speech via its Diversity Champions scheme”, a workplace-inclusion scheme that employers use to ensure they have LGBT+ friendly workplaces.
Bailey has ‘put together a formidable legal team’ with which to sue the charity, and is now asking the general public for money to pay them, with donations being received via a crowdfunded page.
In a follow-up Tweet, Rowling confirmed her contribution to the campaign, saying, “If you believe in freedom of speech and/or think lesbians’ careers shouldn’t be imperilled by a lobby group whose CEO says same sex attraction is akin to ‘sexual racism’, you might fancy helping Allison out. (I’ve already put my money where my mouth is).
If you believe in freedom of speech and/or think lesbians’ careers shouldn’t be imperilled by a lobby group whose CEO says same sex attraction is akin to ‘sexual racism’, you might fancy helping Allison out. (I’ve already put my money where my mouth is).https://t.co/dtC4WZNwtq
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 25, 2022
Stonewall, one of the biggest and most successful LGBT+ human rights organisation in Europe, was formed in 1989 and has since been instrumental in landmark LGBT+ events such as the repeal of Section 28, ending the ban on LGBT people in the armed forces, equalising the age of consent, extending adoption and IVF rights to same-sex couples, and helping introduce civil partnerships… to name just a few.
The comment section of the donations page to sue Stonewall features contributions, many from the day of JK’s Twitter endorsement, along with notes such as “we’re with you against the Wokes”, and “Thank you for standing up for women”.
However, one woman who wasn’t so keen on JK Rowling appropriating the name of Lesbian Visibility Week in pursuit of an anti-trans agendas was – wait for it – THE LITERAL CREATOR of Lesbian Visibility Week.
Linda Riley, LGBT+ campaigner and founder of Lesbian Visibility Week, clapped immediately back with a retweet condemning JK’s invocation of the cause, saying:
“Wow! I certainly did not create #LesbianVisibilityWeek so that people like @jk_rowling could use it as a vehicle to stir up more hate within our community. This is a perfect example of #HowNotToBeAnAlly #IStandWithStonewall –#LWithTheT”
Wow! I certainly did not create #LesbianVisibilityWeek so that people like @jk_rowling could use it as a vehicle to stir up more hate within our community. This is a perfect example of #HowNotToBeAnAlly #IStandWithStonewall –#LWithTheT https://t.co/yrUEKIPHrf
— Linda Riley (@LindaRiley8) April 25, 2022
Riley introduced Lesbian Visibility Week during a 2020 edition of Diva magazine, which is under her publishership, with the aim to “both to celebrate lesbians and show solidarity with all LGBTQI women and non binary people in our community”.
Rowling responded to Riley’s tweet by posting an image of Alex Drummond, a trans woman and a lesbian, calling her a ‘white, bearded, Stonewall-approved lesbian’. Classic shaming, along with a bit of good old-fashioned gaslighting, in the form of “Apparently it stirs up hate to post pictures of black lesbians marching for their rights”.
Apparently it stirs up hate to post pictures of black lesbians marching for their rights, so here’s a picture of Alex Drummond, white, bearded, Stonewall-approved lesbian, plus an interview: https://t.co/EUYLLSYyZF. #IStandWithAllisonBailey pic.twitter.com/HCL1M5cw1F
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 25, 2022
Which, of course, it does and should not. That image should be inspirational. That image alone should not ‘stir up hate’.
However, what does tend to stir up hate, is relentless attacks on trans people by Rowling via her Twitter and by members of the LGB Alliance, which Bailey later in life co-founded, such as the video (below) of one of its members attacking a bisexual trans woman and calling her “a mentally ill, autogynephilic pervert” during one of their events.
Unfortunately, as we have seen, it is perfectly possible to be both a champion for equality in some areas and an instrument of discrimination in other – the two are not mutually exclusive.
Controversially, the LGB Alliance was granted official charity status by the UK Charity Commission back in April.
In June 2021, trans youth charity Mermaids, announced that they would appeal the decision to give the anti-trans pressure group its charity status with the support of their own CrowdJustice page and basically the majority of the LGBTQ+ community.
A full hearing of the appeal will take place in May this year.
FINALLY. Video footage surfaces (recorded by the perpetrator) of me being harassed at LGB Alliance conference. Am I a liar now, Graham Linehan, Rob Jessel, Bev Jackson etc. Look how long it takes QE2 security to get involved. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/ZoXyL14Tcr
— Jen Ives (@jenivescomedian) March 23, 2022