I’ve been going to Pride for many years and really loving it. Sure, the festival has become more corporate-sponsored and less political all the time, but I still enjoyed being in a group of gay people announcing to the world that we are proud of who we are. This year I didn’t go, because Pride is no longer about gay and lesbian people. Pride is about trans people and the gays and lesbians are secondary.
For the last couple of years I’ve been reading blog posts by lesbians in different cities, in different countries, who are actually bullied by Pride organizers. We are told we have to accept trans women in lesbian spaces, and if we don’t, we are bigots. When we protest our comments are deleted and we are harassed. It’s gotten to the point now where I don’t believe that Dyke Marches are actually for dykes anymore, and I have no real interest in the main Pride parades since they were always mostly about men anyway. Essentially, the entire Pride festival is about men.
I knew something was wrong when I read about the misogynist heterosexual male who was the keynote speaker at London’s Dyke March last year. Then I saw a screenshot recently where a woman told another woman that if she objected to trans women marching in Toronto’s Dyke march she should go someplace else. That was the last straw. What kind of dystopia do I live in that actual lesbians are told to go somewhere else if they object to the presence of men in a march that is supposed to be for lesbians? Now that the Dyke marches in every city are explicitly anti-lesbian, I really do not feel I can attend.
Older lesbians are boycotting Dyke marches or protesting the inclusion of males but younger women are showing up and seeing this situation as normal and “inclusive.” I really feel bad for these young women who are being gas-lighted and forced to accept men in their lesbian community. I feel as though I should do something, maybe show up and protest, show younger women that they don’t need to put up with this shit, but I’m scared because I know if I protest I will be harassed and probably filmed and put on Youtube. I know I have to be prepared for that to happen before I plan something. I am a non-confrontational and sensitive person and I don’t know if I’ll ever have it in me to accomplish that.
There are trans marches in many cities now, and I’m okay with that. I see nothing wrong with trans people having a march to show their pride in being who they are. And I respect that space enough not to insert myself in it. I wouldn’t march in a trans march because I’m not trans. I think trans people should show lesbians the same respect. Lesbians are women attracted to other women, and we have the right to our own march. We have the right to our own spaces without being told we’re bigots. This is all about men getting to do whatever they want. Men do not respect women and they cannot respect boundaries and stay out of spaces where they are not invited. Even a group that is explicitly MRA marched in an Ontario pride parade this year. Pride is no longer about gay and lesbian pride, it’s about penis pride.
This year when my city had our Pride festival I did not go. Instead I hosted a small group of feminist women and we had a lovely meal and visit together. We actually spent a lot of time talking about the politics and biology of transition, because transgenderism is all over the news and all over everything right now. We feminists understand transgenderism very well. We are constantly told to “educate ourselves” by internet trolls but we are very highly educated on it and that is why we object. One of us had actually watched videos of sex change surgery and she explained to us in detail how surgeons invert a penis to form a fuck-hole and how they mutilate the vulva to create a fake phallis. She knew the approximate cost of different surgeries. I think feminists know way more about transgenderism than the trans activists do. Feminists also understand PTSD very well. We talked about how the body remembers trauma and when people wake up from surgery their bodies know they have been mutilated. Trans people are often in situations where they are unhappy with who they are the instead of providing therapy they are put under the knife, a process which is itself traumatic. No holistic healing is given to these people. Several female-to-male detransitioners have stated that they were abused as children and their doctors were willing to perform surgery on them without ever dealing with the emotional impact of their abuse. We want more for these people, we want real healing, and when we say we want more for them we are told we’re bigots. That’s the world we’re living in.
It is powerful when feminists come together as a group. It is powerful speaking openly without fear and supporting each other. It is very healing when we laugh together. We are not allowed to say that the penis is male in public anymore but when you get a group of women together who can laugh together about the concept of a female penis, that is powerful. We laughed, and it was healing. There is also a lack of power we are experiencing though because we have to meet in secret. We cannot advertise for new members, we cannot meet in public venues. When women do that we get harassed. So we meet in each other’s living rooms. Trans activists like to imagine that feminists are their oppressors and taking away their rights. Meanwhile, we are meeting in secret, crowding into small apartments for our events, and they have taken over the public spaces that used to be ours. It is we who have been excluded.
If any young lesbians or feminists are reading this, please understand that it has not always been this way and it doesn’t need to stay this way. Women used to advertise women-only events without being called bigoted or exclusionary. What’s happening right now is not right and it needs to change. It is a backlash against feminism. It is ancient, thousand-year-old misogyny dressed in a new outfit and pretending to be new.