Anti-Trans Literature at the LGB Alliance Conference 2021
Wed Feb 9, 2022 · 1151 words · 6 min

Editor's note: On Thursday 21st October 2021, the LGB Alliance held their first conference, in the UK Government owned QEII Conference Centre. We are publishing here a summary of marketing and anti-trans propaganda material that was on offer at the conference, for the benefit of public interest and other researchers investigating narratives and actors in the anti-trans sector.

Despite supposedly being about advocacy for LGB people, a majority of leaflets, flyers and other material shared at the LGB conference was explicitly anti-trans, and there were almost no mentions of LGB people.

Transgender Trend

One booklet, entitled “Transmission of Transition”, printed by anti-trans group TransgenderTrend, proposes that Youtube plays a “causative role” in the increase in trans people registered female at birth being referred to gender clinics. Apparently writing for an audience unfamiliar with Youtube, the booklet defines terms like “vlog” and “vlogger” for its readership. Inside, short articles like “Template of a lonely teenage girl” and “The love for Youtube Vloggers” paint a picture of vulnerable, isolated young people entranced by the power of Youtubers. Parasocial relationships are conflated with online friendships to portray the latter as a sinister source of influence. Under the heading "Transgenderism goes mainstream" concerns are raised about smartphones and trans people being portrayed in the media. On the same page, transition is compared to anorexia and described as contagious.

A longer article, entitled "Key messages of Youtube transition logs" starts by explaining that Youtubers do not take on the role of clinician, and instead "offer generalised advice". These Youtubers are described as "self appointed experts" whose claims are "unaccredited". No suggestions are made for what accreditations trans people talking about their own experience should have, but TransgenderTrend describe trans Youtubers as inducting children into "trans ideology". Trans people sharing their experiences and offering support and advice to young people are described as giving advice that "could draw young viewers into transitioning behaviour" and their transmasculine audience as "girls" who are "incited to obtain testosterone and get surgery".

When discussing the effects of testosterone, effects such as alopecia (male pattern baldness) and increased cholesterol are described without mentioning that the effect of testosterone is simply to move trans masculine people from the typical female range towards the typical male range with the associated health profile. Trans people talking about their experiences with depression are used to oppose the strawman argument that transition is a "cure all for childhood or adolescent distress", a claim they present no evidence of anyone making. Trans people discussing how transition saved their life is taken simply as a way to pressure people into transition, and claims that not affirming and supporting a child's transition increases their risk of suicide is dismissed with a link to a post transgendertrend's blog. The link, as all in this article, has a citation, but the references turn out to be mostly blogs, newspaper or magazine articles, with only the occasional academic paper. One reference is to a blog (The Velvet Chronicle), to an article that describes the present day as "this crazy period in time — Where the medical field is lying, the so-called “LGBTQ” is gaslighting".

Sex Matters

A sheet of printer paper with the bank details for the organisation Sex Matters (not, as the leaflet clarifies, a registered charity) was available. Sex Matters also put up a poster decrying "the public policy of gender self-identification" and claiming it has been "brought in without legislation and without public debate". The manifestations of "self-ID" they describe include:

  • Trans women being allowed to play women's rugby
  • Women's refuges losing funding for excluding trans women, and
  • Non-binary people being allowed on women's wards in the NHS.

There was of course considerable debate and consultation both before and for 2 years after the Equality Act 2010, which is the legislation governing the provision of single sex spaces. As was recently clarified in court (AEA vs EHRC), service providers can be trans inclusive if they choose, and the circumstances in which they can exclude trans people are limited and must be objectively justified and proportionate.

Free Speech Union

The Free Speech Union handed out a leaflet offering support to anyone being no-platformed or investigated by their university.

The organisation Women Uniting handed out a flyer calling on Liz Truss to ensure sex not be replaced with gender identity and demanding legal definitions of 'woman' and 'sex'. They also demand clarity on single sex exemptions, along with assessments of the impact of all new laws, policies, and amendments on women and girls.

Liberal Voice for Women

Liberal Voice for Women is an organisation of members of the Liberal Democrats who do not appear to be officially affiliated with the party. However it does list two Lib Dem councillors (Iris Walker and Alison Jenner) as members of the steering group. At the conference they handed out a flyer inviting people to get involved and explaining their aims, which include promoting understanding of the protected characteristic of sex, and "open, respectful debate about issues that affect women".

Bayswater Support Group

The Bayswater Support Group, an anti-trans group for parents of transgender children, offered a leaflet explaining that they are "wary of medical solutions to gender dysphoria" and that "prematurely adopting identity labels and medical solutions may crystallise the situation".

Women's Human Rights Campaign/Women's Declaration International

The Women's Human Rights Campaign (recently renamed Women’s Declaration International) had a flyer with the nine articles of their Women's Declaration, and a picture of women playing rugby, next to the quote "The inclusion of men and boys who claim to have a female gender identity into competitions and prizes set aside for women and girls, including competitive sports and scholarships, constitutes discrimination against women and girls."

The Women's Declaration being marketed in this flyer has been criticised by International Human Rights Law expert Sandra Duffy, who said of it:

The intended and actual harm of the Declaration, being a call for the removal of transgender persons from public life – including the repeal of gender recognition legislation, the removal of trans persons from politics and sport, a ban on trans women using ‘women’s spaces,’ etc – should be incredibly obvious to anyone reading the Declaration.


Acknowledgements:

We would like to express our gratitude for materials being supplied to us from the LGB Alliance Conference for further review by outside researchers. This included photos of some documents taken by researchers from the Blood and Terf podcast, who themselves did two long episodes breaking down narratives at the conference and strategic directions the LGB Alliance appear to be undertaking. Part1 Part2