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A Member of the Gay Community Responds to my Open Letter to Stonewall - Sarah, The Bringer of Tea
28th January, 2014
12:04 pm

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A Member of the Gay Community Responds to my Open Letter to Stonewall

Originally published at Sarah Brown's Blog. You can comment here or there.

In the interests of transparency and airing a diversity of views, I publish the following email exchange, with permission. I have changed the name of the person who sent it, referring to them as “Mr W” throughout. His text is otherwise unchanged. This was sent to me shortly after yesterday’s post went live on Pink News, and here. For clarity, I present Mr W’s comments in mauve.

On 27 Jan 2014, at 15:30, Mr W wrote:

I don’t see why you want the support of stonewall for transsexual people.  I am a gay man and stonewall is for gay men, gay women and bisexuals in same sex relationships. I don’t feel that I have anything in anyway as an insight to offer to a transsexual . As far as I am aware from speaking to some of my trans friends, most believe that they are the sex that they wish to be transitioned to and they want usually to date people of the opposite sex. Its rare a man changes to woman and then dates a woman and the same goes for women wishing to do the same. Most trans people do not believe that they are gay and therefor I fail to see what the gay scene can offer them. It is about time some one with your influence created an established advice line for trans people run by trans people, so that the right information can be given and when problems need to be talked over there is an adviser who will understand more closely  what experiences the person have been through.
Stonewall and other gay charities raise most of the money through the gay, lesbian and bi volunteers collecting money and in this austere time it does not go far,  they need that money for its intended purpose i.e to counsel and advise people in same sex relationships and safer sex. Please stop having a go at the gay scene and try to create something  good for the trans community instead.

On Monday, 27 January 2014, 15:34, Sarah Brown wrote:

Dear Mr W,

You have written to me using my council email. Can I ask, are you one of my constituents seeking help on an issue?

Kindest regards,
Sarah

On 27 Jan 2014, at 16:13, Mr W wrote:

no i am just making a general point about your  attack on stonewall  …..

On Monday, 27 January 2014, 16:15, Sarah Brown wrote:

I wasn’t aware I had attacked them. In the interests of transparency and debate, may I publish your comment as a rebuttal of my piece? I won’t use your name.

Kindest regards,
Sarah

Sent from my iPhone

On Tuesday, 28 January 2014, 11:15, Mr W wrote:

you can use it if you wish yes

oh and by the way if you are using your political position to try to pressure gay charities to do more for the trans community  I think that is a form of attack.
Thank you  

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
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From:beckyc
Date:28th January, 2014 12:15 pm (UTC)
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How very generous of them to tell you that they have no insight to offer and then go on to offer their extensive insight.
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From:meepettemu
Date:28th January, 2014 12:23 pm (UTC)
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Wide it is indeed. Not to mention well-thought out and with much research to back up their spurious claims. *sigh*
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From:auntysarah
Date:28th January, 2014 12:27 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I feel truly blessed.
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From:geekette8
Date:28th January, 2014 01:46 pm (UTC)
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I particularly like the way they tell you that trans people are not usually gay. Oh, sorry, it's not "trans people", is it, it's "a man changes to woman" as he so nicely puts it. Fleh.
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From:auntysarah
Date:28th January, 2014 02:06 pm (UTC)
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It's actually about 50% of trans people are not straight, but I wasn't able to tell him that because I had a long standing commitment to pick some crud out of the corner of my eye in my diary that occupied me instead.
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From:jessie_c
Date:28th January, 2014 05:28 pm (UTC)
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And sadly such deep ignorance, entitlement and defensiveness is alive and well in the GL community. They're getting theirs so too bad for the rest of us.
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From:darkfox_uscm
Date:9th February, 2014 11:59 am (UTC)
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I gave up on the LGB community a *long* time ago. I'll be in real trouble when I get to a point where I need some help, but luckily I've managed to stay on my feet throughout my life so far. The support of the LGb community is a joke. The members themselves are *more* hostile to my trans status than the 'straight' community are. I've had a gay man at work use the word 'abomination', and another use nearly as colourful language, to describe trans people, and I'm unable to raise it as a disciplinary issue, because HR thinks that gay people accept and support trans people, and can't possibly have meant it as offense because they're from the same LGBT community.

I think you're hitting on a very truthful issue with your open letter to stonewall, but I'm unsure whether the solution is to build bridges. I'd personally, perhaps, rather see a public disavowal by stonewall, so that we can start to make it clear to the UK population that trans people are not automatically by gay people, because it's this understanding of support from straight people that makes it so difficult to get heard. If people want to talk to trans people, they ask the gay community, and thus our voice never gets heard.

Edited at 2014-02-09 12:03 (UTC)
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