December 18, 2018
Autostraddle is proud to add our name to the list of publishers who stand in solidarity with this statement on the importance of trans inclusion in our communities. We were invited to participate in this declaration by the editor and publisher of UK’s DIVA Magazine and I participated in consulting on the letter’s content.
As I recently discussed on twitter, Autostraddle isn’t perfect, but we have been and remain committed to trans inclusion, highlighting trans voices and listening to ways we can do better. (P.S. Please pitch us! We are especially interested in pitches from LBQ trans women, particularly trans women of color!) Trans women are women, and trans people have been at the forefront of so many LGBQ activist movements over the years. Advocating for rights, freedoms and representation for trans women does not take away from the work we are committed to for all lesbian, bisexual and queer women — many of whom are also trans.
Following further vitriolic attacks on trans people in our media, the world’s leading publications for lesbians are coming together to send 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. 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.
We strongly condemn writers and editors who seek to foster division and hate within the LGBTQI community with trans misogynistic content, and who believe “lesbian” is an identity for them alone to define. We condemn male-owned media companies who profit from the traffic generated by these controversies.
We also strongly condemn the current narrative peddled by some feminists, painting trans people as bullies and aggressors – one which reinforces transphobia and which must be challenged so that feminism can move forward.
We are really concerned about the message these so-called lesbian publications are sending to trans women and to young lesbians – including trans lesbians – and we want to make in clear this is not in our name.
As the leading publications for queer women, we believe it is our responsibility to call out scaremongering conspiracy theories levelled at the trans community, and make it clear that DIVA, Curve, Autostraddle, LOTL, Tagg and Lez Spread The Word will always be safe spaces for the trans community.
Forty years ago, to be a lesbian was to be questioned and persecuted. Today things are better for cis lesbians but there are still places where to be a lesbian is difficult or impossible.
So it is for trans men and women, as well as non-binary people, many of whom identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay or queer. We know something of these struggles. And just as they and other allies have supported us, so we must support those among us who are trans, or risk ending up on the wrong side of history.
The sooner we stop focussing on what divides us and instead focus on our commonalities, the stronger we will be to confront the other injustices imposed on us.
We won’t be divided.
Editor, DIVA magazine
Publisher, DIVA magazine
CEO and Editor-in-chief, Autostraddle
Eboné F. Bell
Editor-in-chief, Tagg Magazine
Founder and publisher, Lez Spread The Word
Anita Dolce Vita
Owner & Editor-in-Chief, DapperQ