Andrew Sullivan: Transgender ideology targets gays, lesbians
11/19/2019 // News Editors // Views

Transgender activists are increasingly smearing gays and lesbians as ‘transphobic,’ says Andrew Sullivan, the partway conservative gay author at New York Magazine.

(Article by Neil Munro republished from

“Slowly but surely, the term ‘sex’ has slowly drifted in meaning and become muddled with gender … that has major consequences for what homosexuality actually is, consequences that are only beginning to be properly understood,” Sullivan wrote November 15, adding:

If a gay man doesn’t want to have sex with someone who has a vagina and a lesbian doesn’t want to have sex with someone who has a dick, they are not being transphobic. They’re being — how shall I put this? — gay.

Transgender advocates argue that men who say they are women really are women, each complete with a “woman’s penis.” They also argue that heterosexual men who refuse to have sex with a man who says he is a woman with a penis are either “bigots” or are mentally ill “transphobes.” Similarly, these activists claim that lesbians are “transphobes” if they refuse to have sex with men who say they are lesbian women.

Sullivan pushes back, saying:

Of course, anyone can and should like whatever they like and do whatever they want to do. But if a gay man doesn’t want to have sex with someone who has a vagina and a lesbian doesn’t want to have sex with someone who has a dick, they are not being transphobic. They’re being — how shall I put this? — gay. When Rich suggests that “it’s not just possible but observable and prevalent to have ‘preferences’ that dog-whistle bigotry,” and he includes in the category of “preferences” not liking the other sex’s genitals, he’s casting a moral pall over gayness itself. Suddenly we’re not just being told homosexuality is “problematic” by the religious right, we’re being told it by the woke left.

That’s the price of merging gender with sex. It’s time the rest of us woke up and defended our homosexuality.

This gender-trumps-biological-sex message is being taught to children, Sullivan writes:

In these [pro-transgender school] lesson plans, here’s the definition of homosexuality: “a person’s sexual identity in relation to the gender to which they are attracted.” Homosexuality is thereby redefined as homogenderism. It’s no longer about attraction to the same sex, but to the same gender. I’m no longer homosexual; I’m homogender.

Sullivan’s argument has two levels: He is pushing back against the transgender ideology while also promising to treat individual transgender people “with the respect and dignity they deserve in every context.”

Many conservatives and biology-focused lesbians have noted the growing health dangers and civic costs which are imposed by transgender ideology. For example, the right-of-center Concerned Women for America and the Woman’s Liberation Front are cautiously working together to showcase the danger of allowing men to grab women’s identity. The costs are showing up in sports, civic awards, bathrooms, schools, and other cultural events where women and men have equal, different, and complementary preferences. These two groups agree with each other on the ‘gender identity’ ideology — but sharply differ about abortion and government policy towards marriage, homosexuality, and the different roles played by the two sexes.

But Sullivan is one of the first gay advocates to publicly recognize the transgender ideology’s threat to gays and lesbians.


In the United Kingdom, aggressive transgenderism has fractured the leading gay advocacy group — Stonewall — into two pro-transgender and pro-homosexual groups. The new LGB Alliance opposes the expanding definition of “gender,” saying:

Very few men who are trying to live as women actually undergo genital surgery. A Pentagon report commissioned by former Defense Secretary James Mattis said: “rates for genital surgery are exceedingly low- 2% of transgender men and 10% of transgender women.”

Lesbians groups say their members increasingly find themselves being pressured to accept sex with self-declared “women” who have male sex organs and who describe themselves as lesbians. Many anecdotes of sexual pressure are provided in a survey report by an U.K.-based lesbian group, Get The L Out:

[Lesbian] women who were in groups that were not “women-only” reported “feeling silenced”, “intimidated”, “unable to speak freely”, “uncomfortable” with the group policy and wishing the group was for women only but “dare not say it”. Several reported how “transwomen derail” and monopolise the discussion to be solely about their issues while shutting down discussion about women’s or lesbians’ issues by calling it “transphobic”. Group dynamics are described as “toxic”. Several women explain how “transwomen are behaving just like men”. Lesbians constantly report being told their sexuality is “wrong” if they openly state they are solely attracted to women. Women reported “threats”, “intimidations” and “abuse”, by “transwomen” and allies.

50 percent of the respondents reported being pressured or coerced to accept a transwoman as a sexual partner. Much of this pressure happens online. Lesbians are routinely harassed for stating that their sexuality excludes males regardless of their “gender identity”. Most respondents reported being subjected to such rhetoric directly or indirectly, and have experienced it as a form of “psychological coercion” with the general feeling that it is “online everywhere” and “relentless”.

Many lesbians reveal leading a double life where their lesbianism is toned down. Many have no social life or meet underground and explain how difficult and dangerous it has become to meet other lesbians. Lesbian dating sites are infiltrated by men who pose as lesbians (whether they identify as transwoman or not and whether they “pass” as women or not), leading many lesbians to feel unsafe at the thought of unknowingly going on a date with a man. Both in groups and dating sites, the presence of men who identify as transwomen acts as a threat, leading to self-policing and silencing.

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