An anonymous gay man has started a petition that aims to exclude trans men and women from the LGBT rights movement. Using the phrase “Drop the T,” the petition’s author demands that transgender rights be henceforth considered a separate issue from the rights of gays, lesbians and bisexual people.
In an interview with the right-leaning magazine The Federalist, the man — who the piece identified as “Clayton” — said that transgender individuals should no longer be considered a part of the LGBT movement.
In a Change.org petition addressed to U.S. LGBT rights organizations, Clayton wrote, “We are a group of gay/bisexual men and women who have come to the conclusion that the transgender community needs to be disassociated from the larger LGB community.”
Clayton — who asked to remain anonymous because he fears reprisal from the trans community — complained that the LGBT community at large heartily rejected director Roland Emmerich’s film Stonewall because it cast white, “straight-acting” fictitious characters in place of the trans women and people of color who actually participated in the historic 1969 Stonewall riot.
Clayton repeatedly asserted to the Federalist that the “majority of rioters were young, gay white men,” but offered no historical evidence to support his claims, while LGBT activists who have done extensive research on the riots are in agreement that Emmerich “whitewashed” the events of June, 1969.
Emmerich himself has admitted to creating a fictional, straight-acting, blond, blue-eyed Midwestern protagonist named Danny for Stonewall because it tested well with audiences.
“I kind of found out, in the testing process, that actually, for straight people, [Danny] is a very easy in,” Emmerich told BuzzFeed. “Danny’s very straight-acting. He gets mistreated because of that. [Straight audiences] can feel for him.”
Clayton and his “Drop the T” supporters have decided that version of events is more palatable than the reality and have made this their hill to die on.
“It’s difficult for me to say why gay media has allowed this history to be re-written this way,” he told Federalist, “we always acknowledged the role of the drag queens and the lesbian who called out for help for everybody else to fight back—but it seems as if this aspect has become the predominant theme, the story ends there and the fact that the white gay street kids DID start fighting back gets underplayed or thoroughly ignored.”
Clayton went on to say that trans men and women would be more welcome in his vision of the “LGB” movement if they weren’t so angry and irrational.
“Any attempt to rationally discuss issues that gays/lesbians/bisexuals are concerned about regarding the trans movement is met with unparalleled vitriol, harassment, death threats, and silencing,” he complained, “demanding that the person commenting contrary to the trans narrative be banned from forums, for example.”
Plus, he said, they’re unnatural.
“Gay/bisexual men and women just ARE — we don’t need medicine or surgery to help us become who we believe we are, which is the case with the trans community,” he asserted.
“This is why I think the two groups should separate and fight for our respective rights on the more sure footing of our own ideas rather than conflating two divergent concepts.”
As of press time, Clayton’s petition has gathered more than 1,300 signatures. In addition to asking the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Human Rights Campaign and five other LGBT groups and publications to “Drop the T” from their pro-rights agendas, the petition echoes right-wing antitrans tropes that were used to defeat Houston’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
The petition said that trans activists are pushing for the “infringement of the rights of individuals, particularly women, to perform normal everyday activities in traditional safe spaces based on sex; this is most pernicious in the case of men claiming to be transgender demanding access to bathrooms, locker rooms, women’s shelters and other such spaces reserved for women.”
The argument echoes nothing so much as Fox News and Breitbart.com’s scare tactics regarding trans identities, which say that there is no such thing as transgenderism, which they describe as mental illness.