This week, various outlets gave yet more publicity to the LGB Alliance, a single-issue anti-trans hate group that purports to be about LGB people’s rights but has no policies about, er, LGB people’s rights. This hasn’t stopped Scotland’s press and BBC Radio Scotland giving them uncritical coverage and endless opportunities to scaremonger about trans people.
It’s incredibly one-sided. The LGB Alliance’s co-founder and director got to rabbit on about supposedly dangerous trans people all week – BBC Radio Scotland’s John Beattie programme even had him on as an expert in biology to question whether trans women were “women or (merely) trans women”, because who better to talk about the complexity of biology than a film director? – but when he also claimed that predatory gay teachers would show children gay pornography and prey on them in LGBT school groups not a single mainstream news outlet picked up on it. They don’t seem interested in the LGB Alliance’s full-page newspaper ads promoting organisations that are against life-saving treatment for gay men and organisations that were founded by anti-semitic conspiracy theorists, or the fact that they are linked to the US right-wing heritage foundation which campaigns against women’s rights and LGB people’s rights.
As far as the Scottish media is concerned, if the LGB Alliance says they represent the views of the LGB community, then they must clearly represent the views of the LGB community.
They don’t, and Scotland’s LGB people are getting pretty sick of it. So today, over 70 Scots LGBT groups large and small and their allies have published an open letter stating their support for trans people and gender recognition reform.
Signed by sports groups, health charities, independence-supporting groups, Pride organisations and police-affiliated LGBT groups, the letter goes on: “We have been concerned by attempts by some to isolate the trans community from the wider LGBT community; this goes against everything we stand for. Trans people are the women, men, and non-binary people that they say they are.”
I don’t expect this to change the uncritical support our press is giving the LGB Alliance. Our press continues to pretend gender recognition reform is not supported by women’s groups, even though every major women’s group in Scotland supports GRA reform; they continue to misrepresent anti-trans hate groups as representative of feminists or women generally.
But it’s important to realise that when the LGB Alliance claim to be speaking on behalf of LGB people, the Aberdeen LGBTQ+ Forum, Amazing Gracies, Auld Reekie Roller Derby, Ayrshire LGBT+ Education Network, Ayrshire LGBTQ, Ayrshire Pride, Bute LGBT+, Bute Pride, Caledonian Thebans RFC, Colinton Squashers, ConnexONS Fife, Dumfries & Galloway LGBT Plus, Dundee Frontrunners, Dundee Pride, Dundee University LGBT+ Society, Dunoon Pride, Edinburgh Frontrunners, Edinburgh Racqueteers, Edinburgh STRIDE, Edinburgh University Staff Pride Network, Equality Network, Four Pillars, Free Pride Glasgow, Glasgow Alphas RFC, Grampian Pride, Hebridean Pride, Highland LGBT Forum, Highland Pride, HIV Scotland, HotScots FC, LEAP Sports Scotland, LGBT Health and Wellbeing, LGBT Unity, LGBT Youth Scotland, LGBT+ Conservatives, LGBT+ Labour Scotland, Moray LGBT, NetworQ Orkney, Oban Pride, Orkney Pride, Out for Independence, Out On Sundays, PCS Proud, Perth Parrots Floorball Club, Perthshire Pride, Pink Saltire, Pride East Kilbride, Pride Edinburgh, Pride Glasgow, Pride in the Borders, Pride Proms Project, Pride Saltire – East Lothian, Queer Ephemera, Queer Napier, Rainbow Glasgaroos, Rainbow Greens, Saltire Thistle FC, Scene Alba Magazine, Scene Radio, Scottish Borders LGBT Equality, Scottish LGBTI Police Association, Sisters Scotland, SQIFF, Stirling University LGBTQ+ Society, Stonewall Scotland, SX Health, Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland, Time For Inclusive Education, Vale Pride, Waverley Care, West Lothian Pride and Winter Pride Scotland have made it very clear that they do not.