As expected, the launch of the SNP’s LGBT+ manifesto has upset the worst kind of people.
Among them is the anti-trans pressure group Women Make Glasgow, which is followed by a who’s who of anti-trans people in Scotland including many prominent names from the pro-independence movement and mainstream journalism. The group copied in SNP politicians Joanna Cherry and Joan McAlpine into their response to the manifesto announcement because they believe they are kindred spirits.
The group is predictably outraged about proposed gender recognition reform. But it’s interesting to see what else it’s upset about: improving the treatment of LGBT immigrants, and providing PrEP medication for gay men.
This is homophobia straight out of the 1980s. It’s saying that HIV is your own fault and the NHS shouldn’t give you medicine.
So far, none of the account’s 3000+ followers appear to have a problem with that.
PrEP can prevent HIV infection and can be life-saving for men and women who have HIV. It’s a very safe and very effective public health measure – and prescribing it has absolutely nothing to do with the manufactured panic over gender recognition. It is purely about saving people’s lives.
Anti-trans activists generally try very hard to hide homophobia. The party line is that they are not homophobic (“I support equal marriage!”) and are purely concerned with women’s safety. That way you can reuse every bigoted argument once used against gay and lesbian people and link arms with the US anti-abortion, anti-LGBT religious right while claiming that you disagree with everything they stand for but support their stance on “gender ideology”.
But many anti-trans activists are in full agreement with the religious right on much more than anti-trans issues. The columnists who rail against trans people frequently expose themselves as racist, islamophobic, anti-semitic or islamphobic, or use “reasonable concerns” about trans people as cover for fundamentalist beliefs that are anti-LGBT and against women’s reproductive rights. The bloggers who are absolutely, definitely not homophobic rail against inclusive education in primary schools and abuse lesbian women who disagree with their bile. And groups claiming only to campaign about women’s rights argue that the lives of people with HIV aren’t worth saving.
It was never just about trans people.