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Gay Rights Was About Accepting Differences, Trans Rights is About Denying Them
The fundamental conflict between the gay and trans movements
A major reason for the success of the “trans rights” movement has been the efforts of activists to paint the movement as the successor of the fight for gay rights.
To the casual observer, this might seem to be the case but, in reality, the two movements could not stand on two more different philosophical underpinnings.
The fundamental conflict is this: gay rights and the fight for gay acceptance hinged on the idea that same-sex attracted people are different but still worthy of the same rights and respect as everyone else. Trans rights, in particular the right to self-identify as the opposite sex, demands that we completely ignore human differences as stark and basic as physical anatomy.
The above flyer perfectly encapsulates the argument that led to the widespread acceptance of homosexuality that we see today. “Homosexuals are different,” it proclaims, “but…
we believe that they have the right to be. We believe that the civil rights and human dignity of homosexuals are as precious as those of any other citizen… we believe that the homosexual has the right to live, work and participate in a free society.
The flyer was created in 1960 by the Mattachine Society, one of the earliest gay rights organizations in the United States. It sits in direct contrast to the rallying cry of the gender identity movement: trans women are women.
Imagine where we would be today if the trans movement had actually followed in the footsteps of the gay movement and said “trans women aren’t women… and that’s okay.”
Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Instead, trans activists performed a glorious bait-and-switch that many people still haven’t wised up to.
First, they got everyone to nod along to the idea that “sex and gender are different.” They also positioned “man” and “woman” as descriptions of “gender” (variously defined) rather than sex. Ta-da! A male could now be a woman.
However, it didn’t take long for trans women to lay claim to single-sex female spaces by virtue of their “gender.”
And it didn’t take much longer after that for activists to throw the whole ruse out the window entirely and start using phrases like “trans female,” before diving headfirst into the denial of sexual dimorphism altogether.
Now, we find ourselves in a situation where men are pretending to have menstrual cramps caused by a non-existent uterus and PMS symptoms caused by a non-existent female hormonal cycle.
We have a situation where men are pretending that messing with their endocrine system makes their bodies “female” enough to compete alongside actual women in sports.
In fact, many sporting organizations, including (ironically) the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, have tossed the hormonal requirement out the window altogether in favor of pure, unbridled self-ID.
If a man says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman, and you better ignore your lying eyes, bigot.
Imagine if, instead of fighting for the right to marry as two men or two women, same-sex attracted people had argued for the right of one member of the couple to simply identify as the husband or the wife.
How antithetical this would be to the whole argument that we should be accepted for who we are, even though we are different. Not to mention that wider society would have simply laughed at such a ridiculous notion.
And yet, this is exactly the “right” that the trans rights movement has fought for and won—the right to lie and change sex markers on government documents, often based on nothing more than self-declaration.
Imagine, as well, if the argument for gay marriage was that two men or two women could actually make a baby and should therefore be allowed to marry.
This seems patently absurd, but it’s no different than arguing that a man is actually female because he declares himself to be and that he therefore should be welcome into women’s spaces, sports, and prisons.
In fact, sex self-ID is far worse than pretending that two people of the same sex can make a baby together because it has very real consequences for the women whose spaces, sports, and prisons the men are invading.
What’s particularly depressing about all of this is that there was one area in which same-sex attracted people did claim similarity to our heterosexual peers, and that is the idea that our love for each other is the same as theirs.
“Love is love” the slogan went, and it was a successful one. But it has been co-opted and perverted by gender ideologues who now apply it to Drag Queen Story Hour and the sterilization of children.
It is not uncommon to see “love is love” and “love wins” signs held aloft at Drag Queen Story Hour counter-protests, but I can’t seem to figure out what that has to do with a grown man dressed up as a garish caricature of a woman reading to children.
President Biden also appealed to “love” in the speech he gave upon signing the Respect for Marriage Act, which requires all states to recognize interracial and same-sex marriages. This would make sense if Biden hadn’t gone off on a strange tangent about “transgender children” near the end of the speech.
“We need to challenge the hundreds of callous, cynical laws introduced in the states targeting transgender children, terrifying families, and criminalizing doctors who give children the care they need,” Biden declares, to applause. “We have to protect these children so they know they are loved and that we will stand up for them.”
“Racism, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, they’re all connected,” he continues. “But the antidote to hate is love.”
Disastrously, we have gone from “love is love” to “love is transitioning children.”
The gay rights movement was remarkable in its success. It helped usher in an acceptance of different forms of expression and greater tolerance and respect for men and women who didn’t fit perfectly into their prescribed sex roles.
An honest trans movement that continued this tradition could have continued to fight for tolerance and acceptance of people who are different, whether they are gender dysphoric or simply prefer to dress or express themselves in certain ways.
It could have genuinely fought for gender dysphoric people and been open to debate and discussions about the real issues that society does face when trying to accommodate individuals who don’t fit the norm.
The gay rights movement would have done a massive disservice to same-sex attracted people if it forced society to play along with legal fictions and other lies. In the same way, sadly, the modern “trans rights” movement has left behind many of the people it claims to fight for.
Accepting each other’s differences is one of the most beautiful acts of humanity. Forcing people into denying what they see and know to be true is one of its ugliest.
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