Comparisons like these will inflame the already raging debate around trans rights
The decision by the Charity Commission to register the LGB Alliance as a charity outraged its detractors. The main complaint against the LGB Alliance is that it is concerned exclusively with the LGB, without the T.
But that furore paled in comparison to the news over the weekend that Twitter has awarded the LGB Alliance with a blue tick. The tick means that Twitter has verified the account as genuine, so users can be confident it is run by the actual LGB Alliance and not by some spotty 15-year-old in his bedroom.
But those ticks also confer credibility — authority even — and so they are coveted. There was apoplexy. Most of it came from anonymous accounts, but some came from people with verified accounts and significant followings.
One such person was Jack Turban, a verified account with over 30,000 followers. A doctor and a fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry at Stanford University, Turban tweeted the following:
Even though Turban’s tweet was completely false (the ‘T’ is not ‘missing’ because the group hates trans people, nor does it ‘exist to oppose civil rights’), it was shared over 1000 times within 24 hours.
Then out of the woodwork stumbled John Nicolson. Nicolson is the SNP MP Ochil and South Perthshire and an outspoken critic of the LGB Alliance, which he has described as “nasty” and “sinister“. Last night he jumped onto Turban’s Tweet and compared the group to the BNP, which he has since deleted (screenshot below).
Notice the blue tick — Twitter has verified his account too. This is a member of parliament likening an LGB charity — formed by Lesbian women with long and distinguished campaigning records — with a far-Right organisation.
How does he imagine that this outrageous analogy will possibly help trans people like me? Numerous organisations focus purely on the T, so why can’t LGB people have the same for lesbians, gays and bisexuals?
So-called “trans allies” like Nicolson can walk away when it suits him; we can’t. To make comparisons like these will only serve to further inflame the raging debate around our rights and risks alienating yet more people. It needs to stop, and stop now.
* This article was first published by Unherd on 7 June 2021: Why are politicians comparing the LGB Alliance to the BNP?