This Is How LGBT Women’s Media Is Fighting Back Against An Anti-Trans Movement

From Buzz Feed:

A group of publications for queer women is speaking out against anti-trans rhetoric in media.

Lauren Strapagiel
December 18, 2018

The editors of many of the world’s top publications for lesbian, bi, and queer women released a letter Tuesday with an “unapologetic message of support and solidarity to the trans community.”

DIVA, Curve, Autostraddle, LOTL, Tagg and Lez Spread The Word believe that trans women are women and that trans people belong in our community,” the letter states. “We do not think supporting trans women erases our lesbian identities; rather we are enriched by trans friends and lovers, parents, children, colleagues and siblings.”

The letter is signed by the editors, publishers, and founders of the listed publications.

It’s a strong message of solidarity from the biggest names in queer women’s media, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. Although the website is not named directly, AfterEllen has recently come under fire for articles and tweets with anti-trans rhetoric.

For 14 years, AfterEllen was a queer-owned-and-operated platform for entertainment and lifestyle news directed at LGBT women. The site is not associated with Ellen DeGeneres. In 2014, it was sold to Evolve Media. According to a note posted by former editor-in-chief Trish Bendix, the staff was given two years to improve AfterEllen’s profitability. In 2016, Bendix and other staffers were ousted by Evolve, and many of the site’s mainstay writers left with them in solidarity.

Evolve then hired Memoree Joelle to lead the site in November 2016. Since then, there’s been a shift in AfterEllen’s tone. Neither Joelle nor Evolve has responded to requests for comment from BuzzFeed News.

It started with small mentions, like articles that perpetuated the anti-trans myth that trans women are trying to force lesbian-identified women to sleep with trans women who haven’t had bottom surgery. That’s a common refrain from a minority of lesbians who do not see trans women as valid or as able to identify as lesbians.

There have also been several articles in this vein on AfterEllen, such as one defending the exclusion of trans women from a women’s music festival, or another that was critical of trans inclusion in lesbian spaces. One recent article, written by Miranda Yardley, who identifies as transsexual, decries what she calls the “anti-lesbian idea which had wedged itself into the heart of transgender ideology.”

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Alice Walker’s Anti-Semitism

Over the weekend, Alice Walker revealed a disturbing side to her political views.

In a New York Times article: Alice Walker: By the Book she was asked “What books are on your nightstand?”

One of those books of which she spoke highly is a rabidly anti-Semitic screed cum conspiracy theory.

“And the Truth Shall Set You Free,” by David Icke. In Icke’s books there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about. A curious person’s dream come true.

This touched off an immediate negative reaction in the Jewish community, particularly since it is coming on the heels of the Women’s March Inc. leaders admiration of the vicious anti-Semite and notorious anti-LGBT bigot, Louis Farrakhan.

The Tablet was among the first to weigh in:

The New York Times Just Published an Unqualified Recommendation for an Insanely Anti-Semitic Book

The book, recommended by author Alice Walker, repeatedly cites the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ dubs the Talmud ‘among the most appallingly racist documents on the planet,’ and says Jews funded the Holocaust and control the KKK

By Yair Rosenberg
December 17, 2018

Over the weekend, the New York Times Book Review published a full-length interview with Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple. The very first question: “What books are on your nightstand?” Walker replied with four, the second of which was:

“And the Truth Shall Set You Free,” by David Icke. In Icke’s books there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about. A curious person’s dream come true.

This passed without comment from the New York Times interviewer, and the publication passed it on to readers without qualification. This is rather remarkable because the book is an unhinged anti-Semitic conspiracy tract written by one of Britain’s most notorious anti-Semites.

A former soccer player turned professional hate peddler, Icke is one of the most influential conspiracy theorists in Europe, and certainly in Britain. Today, he has over 777,000 followers on Facebook, and speaks to audiences around the world. Like many conspiracy theorists, Icke claims that a secret conspiracy controls the world. And like many conspiracy theorists, Icke claims that this secret conspiracy happens to be Jewish. In And the Truth Shall Set You Free, the word “Jewish” appears 241 times, and the name “Rothschild” is mentioned 374 times. These references are not compliments. Indeed, the book was so obviously anti-Semitic that Icke’s publisher refused to publish it, and he had to print it himself.

In the book and elsewhere, Icke draws liberally upon the infamous anti-Semitic pamphlet, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion—a Russian forgery about an alleged global Jewish cabal that is widely considered one of the most influential anti-Semitic works in history. Magnanimously, Icke calls the hate tract by a different name. As he writes in the book promoted by Alice Walker:

In the very late 1800s, a controversial document came to light called the Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion. I call them the Illuminati Protocols and I quote many extracts from them in The Robots’ Rebellion. Some say they were a forgery made public only to discredit Jews, and I use the term ‘Illuminati Protocols’ to get away from the Jewish emphasis. If they were a forgery, something that is quite possible, what were they a forgery of, and by whom? The authors of the best-selling book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, conclude that the original Protocols were indeed authentic.

Realizing that this may not convince readers of his good intentions, Icke attempts to head off charges of anti-Semitism by casting himself as a moderate in the reasonable debate over whether a Jewish conspiracy does in fact control the world:

I believe that researchers over the years who have blamed the entire conspiracy on the Jewish people as a whole are seriously misguided; similarly, for Jewish organisations to deny that any Jewish person is working for the New World Order conspiracy is equally naive and allowing dogma or worse to blind them to reality.

So, is Icke anti-Semitic? Well, here are some other things that he says in the book:

 The Talmud is “among the most appallingly racist documents on the planet.”

 B’nai Brith, the world’s oldest Jewish service organization, was behind the slave trade (an anti-Semitic canard popularized by Louis Farrakhan) and controls the Ku Klux Klan: “B’nai B’rith means ‘Sons of the Alliance’ (Ed: Actually, ‘Children of the Covenant’) and was established in 1843. Many of its speakers openly supported slavery during the American Civil War and it covertly supports and controls the Ku Klux Klan.”

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