Oslo Shows the Anti-LGBTQA Terrorist the Force of Rainbow Power!
As I reported the Oslo Police asked the Pride committee to cancel the Pride Parade on Saturday, as they could not guarantee the safety of the participants after the night to Saturday attack on the London Pub.
I am pretty sure this advice was based on standard policing procedures. What they did not understand, though, was the following:
1. Allowing a terrorist to succeed in cancelling the Pride Parade gave people the impression that the terrorist had succeeded.
2. Cancelling the parade gave LGBTQA-people no place to share their grief, fear and frustrations.
3. By turning this into a security issue, the real problem here – the homophobia and transphobia that led up to the attack – did not get the attention it deserved.
So, on Saturday, thousands of queer people and their friends, marched through Oslo anyway.
Yesterday the Pride organization and the municipality of Oslo arranged a gathering in downtown Oslo, and thousands of people showed up. There was sun. There was rain. And in the end there was even a real rainbow in the sky.
It was a place for healing and a show of strength.
The police recommended that people stay away from this event as well. The people ignored them.
“More of it I'd say. Rainbows everywhere, rainbows until people stop bothering. Until people aren't shot for being in a gay bar, rainbows until ppl feel safe holding hands, rainbows until we don't have to feel grateful for a basic minimum that many of us don't even have anyway.”
Terrorist attack leads to Oslo Pride being cancelled
Tonight, shortly after 1 AM, a man attacked London Pub, a popular place for queer people in Oslo, with an automatic weapon. The police arrived quickly on the scene, and apprehended the man in collaboration with civilians at the scene.
Yesterday I posted an article on a new Norwegian survey shows increased public support for LGBTQ+ people, trans people included. Today we woke up to the news of what most likely is a terrorist attack against LGBTQA+ people in Norway.
So, was I wrong about my rather positive view of Norwegian attitudes towards queer people?
No, it this truly was a terrorist attack, which seems very likely, it is rather a sign of how some transphobes and homophobes try to pour petrol on the bigotry that does exist, gaining more support in the process.
Ironically, this attack is more likely to increase the support for queer and trans people in Norway.
Here is what we know
This is what we know in the morning of June 25, given newspaper coverage and the Oslo Police press conference:
Tonight a 42 year old Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin attacked two pubs in the center of Oslo, Per på hjørnet and London Pub. London Pub is a queer watering hole. Per på hjørnet lies side by side with London Pub. The shooting took place outside these pubs.
The man fired into the crowd, killing two persons in the process. Ten persons are seriously wounded, 11 less severely so.
The police appeared within minutes. In collaboration with private citizens at the scene, they stopped further carnage, and – again in collaboration with civilians – they apprehended the suspect.
The police contacted Oslo Pride and recommended that today's Pride Parade should be cancelled, due to security reasons. The organizers of Pride Parade agreed. All Pride arrangements have been cancelled today.
New Norwegian survey shows strong support for queer and transgender people
Over 70% of Norwegian women think it is OK to share a locker room with a transgender person.
Over 60% support gay, lesbian and bisexual people, while some 50 percent express support for transgender people. The support for queer people is increasing. That is not bad, the current anti-LGBT activism considered.
In the article linked to below I argue that in many countries the current upsurge in anti-LGBT and transphobic activism has not created more hostility towards queer and trans people in the population at large.
Homophobic and transphobic activism creates a lot of noise and a lot of suffering, but in many countries it is not changing the underlying trend towards greater acceptance of those queer.
Go to: New Norwegian survey shows increased public support for LGBTQ+ people, trans people included
Protecting marginalized groups like transgender people is what democracy is about.
Hillary Clinton apparently thinks that is is more important not to offend transphobic people like J.K. Rowling than protecting transgender kids against violent extremism.
In an interview with the Financial Times she is asked about the way the Democrats are “losing elections by elevating activist causes, notably the transgender debate, which are relevant only to a small minority” according to the journalist.
“We are standing on the precipice of losing our democracy, and everything that everybody else cares about then goes out the window,” Clinton replied.
“Look, the most important thing is to win the next election. The alternative is so frightening that whatever does not help you win should not be a priority.”
I guess that is what some people said about the Jews too, back in Germany, before Hitler won the 1932 election.
The right wing extremists are right in one respect. This is a culture war, and they declared it. Now is the time for all good people – socialists, liberals, moderates and sane conservatives - to unite against them.
The transgender cause is not about a minority only. This is about defending the fundamental principles underpinning an open, tolerant and democratic society.
If you compromise on those principles the message to the rest of society is that the principles are not important. And if they are not important, then what are we fighting for?
[IMAGE with text:
"Oh God, the Fascists are taking over! We have to do something quick!”
“Oh yeah, I know, let us not talk about things that might offend their voters!"
When liberals and moderates stop caring about marginalized groups, the Fascists have already won.]
US soccer star Megan Rapinoe is supporting trans people’s participation in sports 100%
United States soccer star Megan Rapinoe says that she is "100% supportive" of trans inclusion in women's sports.
In an interview with Time she also touches upon her role as a queer advocate and the role of trans people in sports.
Rapinoe is an American professional soccer player who captains the United States national team.
Frankly, I think what a lot of people know is versions of the right’s talking points because they’re very loud. They’re very consistent, and they’re relentless.
At the highest level, there is regulation. In collegiate sports, there is regulation. And at the Olympic and professional level. It’s not like it’s a free-for-all where everyone’s just doing whatever.
And I think people also need to understand that sports is not the most important thing in life, right? Life is the most important thing in life.
And so much of this trans inclusion argument has been put through the extremely tiny lens of elite sports. Like that is not the way that we need to be framing this question.
We’re talking about kids. We’re talking about people’s lives. We’re talking about the entire state government coming down on one child in some states, three children in some states. They are committing suicide, because they are being told that they’re gross and different and evil and sinful and they can’t play sports with their friends that they grew up with. Not to mention trying to take away health care. I think it’s monstrous.
She points out that trans women are not taking everyone’s scholarships, are not dominating in every sport, or winning every title. We need to get a grip on reality and take a step back.
See also: US Soccer Star: Bills to Ban Transgender Kids from Sports Try to Solve a Problem that Doesn’t Exist
In her new book Sexed Up, transgender thinker, activist and author, Julia Serano, discussed the role of misogynistic slurs in culture, and how they aim at making kids adhere to the hyper-masculine ideals of a traditionalist binary society.
Literary Hub has published an excerpt from the book, which you can read here.
If adolescent girls’ expressions of gender and burgeoning sexualities are largely policed via the threat of slut-shaming, then the policing of boys’ genders and sexualities is often centered on a different “s”-word: “sissy.” I heard that word all the time in elementary school; it implied that the worst thing that a boy could be was “girlish” in any way. During my teen years, “sissy” was largely supplanted by other feminizing slurs that had more sexual overtones. The word “pussy” was often used to shame boys and men by comparing them to female genitals.
Then there’s “f*ggot,” which people nowadays tend to view in strictly homophobic terms (it denigrates gay men), but when I was growing up, the brunt of this insult was its implication that you allowed other boys and men to dominate and “use” you sexually, much as a woman would....
For me, one of the most stifling of these pressures stemmed from the presumption that being emotional, sensitive, and affectionate are all feminine qualities, and thus should be avoided like the plague for fear of facing the aforementioned feminizing slurs. So, like most teenage boys, I cultivated an outwardly aloof veneer, trying to come across as rational and dispassionate as possible.
But at the same time that I was actively working to repress my emotions, I was dealing with the raw intensity of my first teenage crushes. While my female peers sometimes spoke freely about the feelings they had for certain boys, it felt entirely unsafe for me to do the same, so I once again kept it all to myself.
My male peers also seemed cognizant of this potential for sissy-shaming, because whenever the subject of girls came up among boys, the conversation was typically restricted to sexually evaluative quips such as “I think she’s hot,” or “I’d do her.” This type of comment allowed boys to maintain the position of dispassionate observer rather than revealing any emotional investment or interest they may have felt for the girl in question.
It turns out Brits are much more transgender-friendly than the public debate may lead you to believe
The More In Common initiative asked 5,000 Brits for their opinions on various gender identity-related questions. It turns out the British people is very much in support of transgender people. Most agree that a trans man is a man and a trans woman is a woman.
Luke Tryl of More in Common writes over at twitter:
“Today @Moreincommon_ we have published Britons and Gender Identity. Based on polling of over 5,000 people and focus groups across the country. We found the current divisive online debates simply don't reflect the way the public think about trans and gender identity.
Why is More in Common interested in this discussion? Because we don't think the current debate is serving anyone well and a conversation dominated by extremes risks leaving people feeling fearful, alienated, isolated and resentful.
What did we find? Firstly perhaps unsurprisingly for most people trans issues are not a top issue facing the country - just 2% say that. But that doesn't mean that they are ignorant about the issues, most have thought about them. A quarter of Brits know someone who is trans.
And people's starting point in every conversation we had - from Bury to Blyth to Long Eaton - was one of kindness & compassion. People recognise struggling with your gender identity is hard & they want to accommodate. This clip gives you a flavour of people's thinking. [Clip embedded at the end of this post,]
Most people are comfortable calling people by the pronouns they want to be called by (though some didn't want to display their own). Some were worried about being shouted at for making mistakes/using the wrong pronouns and wanted more space to understand the language.
Most agree that a trans man is a man and a trans woman is a woman. In focus groups its clear most think being trans means someone who has gone through gender reassignment surgery or who has lived in their expressed gender for a long time. For a minority it is about self ID.
On sport the public do have concerns. Most think that trans women should not participate in women only sporting events. The public recognise this seems unkind, but for most it is an issue of sporting fairness. Most want to find new events to allow trans athletes to compete.
Again here - for the public this isn't about definitional concerns 'whether someone can call themselves a woman or not' but worries about level playing fields. This clip gives you a flavour for how the public grapple with issues around trans people in single sex sport. [Clip 2 below].
The public want schools to be safe spaces that support pupils who might be questioning their gender identity. The public want schools to talk about trans people and the teachers we spoke to told us how they tried to make trans pupils feel comfortable.
Where the public have concerns is a worry young people are making irreversible decisions without proper advice + support. Most say the physical process of transition, incl cross-sex hormones shouldn't start until adulthood, although there is more split on blockers.
When it comes to single sex spaces, most distinguish between people who have and haven't been through gender reassignment surgery. Many are happy/indifferent about the introduction of more unisex toilets in the workplace, but are less comfortable with them in schools.
I should add when we talked about some single sex spaces many other issues - unrelated to trans people came up. Turns out for instance lots of Brits (women and men) don't like communal changing areas as is & one of the biggest objection to unisex toilets is mens hygiene.
None of this is to say that we think issues of rights and where they might conflict should be decided by majority public opinion, rather that listening to the common ground starting points of the British public provides a basis for a better discussion going forward.
See also: Forget toxic Twitter debates: the UK isn’t as divided on trans rights as you think and Britons not bitterly polarised over trans equality, research finds.
Finally there's a whole lot more in the full report - including some recommendations for how we might move forward. For me the number one is to remember that this is fundamentally about people, not abstract concepts.”
See also: Transphobia and anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes are waning fast in Britain
Cisgender lesbian: “I noticed she was transgender, and remember thinking she seemed sweet and shy”
The Guardian has published a sweet queer love story about a cis lesbian meeting a trans lesbian.
Raya, the cis one, had been invited to roller derby match in Melbourne, Australia, where she saw Kate.
Lizzie Kernik of the Guardian writes:
Raya was immediately smitten with Kate but her feelings confused her.
“I was attracted to women and women’s bodies. I had never really known any trans women before and I wondered if I was still a lesbian if I was romantically attracted to someone who had been assigned male at birth. I worried I could hurt her.”
She decided to follow her heart and keep an open mind. The following week, she went to another roller derby event to get to know Kate a little better. “I had no idea she liked me,” laughs Kate. “But I did wonder why she seemed so nervous.”
After they chatted, Raya sent Kate a Facebook friend request, followed by a message asking her out. “I’m shy, so I was nervous too, but I think we both felt we’d regret it if we didn’t give it a chance,” says Kate.
They waited until 2018 to move in together.
“Our children are all supportive of our relationship,” says Raya. “We bought a really big house so there’s room for everyone.”
According to Outings they hope to get married next year.
“We joke between us that Kate only agreed to get married so she can wear the white dress. But in all seriousness, it would be amazing for Kate to be able to do those things that she couldn’t do when she got married the first time,” says Raya to Outings.
Fox News presents a transgender supportive segment. (Really! And it is worth watching...)
Fox News has played an extremely important part in the current anti-democratic backlash in the US, and they and other pseudo-conservatives are using systematic attacks on transgender kids and adults to mobilize their supporters.
This is why it is a little bit hard to understand the recent trans-positive segment on Fox. But it is important. The extremist bubble was, for one instance, broken and Fox viewers were presented with a humanizing story about a trans kid.
Fox News presented the story of Ryland Whittington, a transgender teenager from California, part of a series called “America Together: LGBTQ+ Pride Month.”
Fox News correspondent Bryan Llenas talked about the “courage” it took Ryland to share his story “particularly at a time when trans gender issues have been politicized.”
Needless to say, right wing extremists activists like Ben Shapiro and Matt Walsh went berserk, as they immediately understood how threatening the truth is to their cause.
Media ITE has more: Fox News Airs Lengthy Interview With Trans Teen’s Family For Pride Month: ‘I Would Rather Have a Living Son Than a Dead Daughter’
The Whittington family has published a book about Ryland and their journey called Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached.
Jack Molay: The rigid biological notion that ‘a man is a man, a woman is a woman’, is central to how the far Right mobilises across Europe in order to enforce heterosexual norms.
Teri the TERF: So, trans 'women's' rights are more important than a biological woman's rights? A man is XY. A woman is XX. That is the reality. Anything else is make-believe. You are your DNA and no blocker or surgical procedure can change that.
Jack Molay: I am most certainly more than my DNA, which I have never seen. I am happiness and grief, calm and curiosity, poetry and prose. I have been shaped by history, my loving friends and those who have tried to hurt me. I am not a molecule. I am a whole world. And so are you.]
“The TERFminator:” Lesbian feminist defends trans people against “gender critical” transphobes
The lesbian feminist and LGBTQA-activist Brita Møystad Engseth feels no fear of going up against transphobic "gender critical" feminists.
In an interview published in the print edition of the magazine Blikk she is presented as "the TERFminator", because of her relentless campaigning against Trans-exclusionary Radical Feminists.
The Dark Women and the Dark Men
She recently attacked the Norwegian TERF Tonje Jevjon and her fellow anti-trans activists in an article in Dagbladet.
"My rage came as much from their open transphobia as the fact that they are using cancel culture as a shield. The transphobes say that we must defend the freedom of speech, but they have no freedom of speech problem. What they are really trying to do is to stop others from telling their story."
In the Dagbladet article Brita described TERFs as "mørkekvinner" (dark women), referring to the previous generations of bigoted "dark men". In Norway the term was often used to describe sexist and homophobic priests.
"I cannot remain silent when I see that we are starting all over again, 30 years after we fought against the dark men," Brita says.
Do not be a "drittsekk"
"These lesbian TERFs are now using the same moral arrogance against trans and non-binary people and others who belong to the big queer family.
"It is good that you are fighting for the rights of women, but do you really need to hit someone else in the head at the same time? Can't you just not be a 'drittsekk' [Norwegian slang for ‘a bag of sh*it’]."
She points out that for a long time the anti-gay rhetoric was about morals and values. If gay men and women were allowed to marry, the argument went, the traditional family would disappear. This time the argument is that the family must be protected against trans persons, nonbinary people and "the extreme gay".
This is the exact same argument, but this time it is used by lesbian TERFs who should know enough about queer history to understand the evil nature of such tactics.
For the original article, with more quotes by Brita, go to "The TERFminator – Lesbian feminist LGBTQA-activist puts transphobic TERFs in their place.”
The quotes are from the interview "Det skeive patriarkatets barnevakt" (The Babysitter for the Queer Patriarchy) written by Caroline Ugelstad Elnæs and published in Blikk No. 5 2022. Our translation. Photo Reidar Engesbak and Blikk.
See also: Lesbian activist unmasks the bigotry of transphobic TERFs in must-read rant
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More Americans identify as transgender or nonbinary than ever before, and 44% know someone who is trans
About 5% of young adults in the U.S. say their gender is different from their sex assigned at birth, according to a new study made by The Pew Research Center.
Here are some highlights:
5% of adults under 30 are trans, including 3% who are nonbinary.
1.6% of the 30- to 49-year-olds are trans/nonbinary.
0.3% of those 50 and older are trans/nonbinary.
These numbers reflect other research, which shows that older younger people are more likely to see themselves as trans, as they have – relatively speaking – more access to trans supportive people and spaces.
The survey shows that found about 1.6% of all American adults over age 18 are trans or nonbinary. That might not seem like much, but it represents a significant increase compared to previous research.
79% of all Americans have heard “at least a little” about people not identifying with a binary gender.
25% of American adults said that they knew “a lot” about nonbinary identities.
42% of adults younger than 30 say they have heard a lot about being nonbinary.
44% say they personally know someone who is trans.
27% say they have a transgender friend.
13% have a coworker who is transgender.
10% say they have a transgender family member.
20% know someone who is nonbinary.
Here is the reason the right wing extremists and the transphobic TERFs are intensifying their anti-trans activities right now. They know that it is only a matter of time before trans people, like gay and lesbian people before them, are accepted as a normal part of society. The only way of stopping that process is by making more people hate those trans and nonbinary.
See also them: More Young Americans Identify as Trans or Nonbinary Than Ever Before, Survey Finds
Hi! I know this is sudden, and I'm sorry for bothering you with a question, but I have something that I've been struggling with for a while
I have trans friends. I'm nonbinary myself. I tell myself and other people that there's nothing wrong with being trans. Except, I think, despite that, I still have biases against it
To be clear, I don't Want to be biased against trans people. Yet, I still have hesitations and I think I get uncomfortable with the topic sometimes. I've been trying to change my thinking to avoid this, and I'm really worried that my biases are going to hurt people I really care about
I want to become the most supportive person I can be and I don't want to become someone who works against the community. Is there any recourses I can look into to be more open and more loving towards trans people? What can I do to prevent these biases from occuring?
"I don't want to be biased against trans people"
Prejudices, biases and stereotypes are essential parts of what it means to be human. We cannot know everything, so we use stereotypes and biases as shortcuts to navigate the world.
That is simply a fact of life.
The problem is that if these biases are born out of a social system that aims at excluding some types of people, they will be oppressive and destructive.
Many grow up in social settings where misogyny, racism, homophobia and transphobia have become essential parts of the dominant mental maps of the people in power.
Included or excluded
These prejudices are reflected in the stories people tell each other in order to determine who are "in" and who are "out", who are considered "normal" and "safe" and who are considered a threat to the existing social order.
Social progress is normally a process whereby these implicit prejudices are made explicit. By holding up mirrors, we can make people see their own prejudices, so that the biases are no longer are considered given or self-evident.
What happens is that for them those excluded become included. They now see queer and trans people as people instead of "The Others".
You have already been through that process. The rest is easy compared to this.
Remnants of disgust
Why is it that some still feel some hostility or even disgust after having understood the destructive nature of their own biases?
It is mostly because we have internalized these prejudices when young. Our hostility is not intellectual, it is emotional. It is anchored in our bodies.
Homophobic and transphobic parents and peers often punish kids for gender transgressions and express disgust when they see or talk about queer people. That disgust becomes part of the emotional systems of those children.
The cure is to be around queer and trans people long enough to feel your common humanity. To see that we all are people, with out joys and our suffering, with our good sides and bad sides.
Again: You are already aware of all of this. Cut yourself some slack, and give yourself some time to adapt to this view of the world. And you can talk to other queer, trans and nonbinary people about this. You are, after all, already part of the LGBTQA family.
Mother expresses her unconditional love for her transgender daughter
Sebella Anne, transgender woman, shared the following instagram-post published by her mother. There is support. There is love!
I have a transgender daughter. She is the love of my life, we share a soul, losing her would destroy my heart forever. I would not be able to go on with life without her. She doesn't even realize how much she means to me.
I fight the urge to call her every day to ask her if she is okay & offering to whoop anyones behind that made my baby sad. I admire her courage & count myself lucky that my heart understands and accepts her.
I love her unconditionally. I support her & the rest of us. And wish all of us a beautiful life. I'm proud of your pride.