Frightened woman hiding behind a closet door

Where LGB fear to tread

Stonewall programmes stifle the very people they pretend to protect

Artillery Row

This article was originally published on Graham Linehan’s substack and is reproduced with kind permission.

I work in England for a government body (part of the civil service). You’ll understand why I can’t say more than that. 

Despite calls from central government to leave Stonewall’s various programmes, my organisation are still very much still a part. This is due to a combination of factors: a tiny minority who want in, a majority who couldn’t care less and a cringing (white middle-class male) management eager to appear diverse.

My department talks a lot about “inclusivity”, where everyone “feels safe to bring their true self to work”. This is a nice idea, but unfortunately not one that works out in practice. I am bisexual and believe in the biological truth of two sexes. It would be unthinkable for me to bring my true self to work. 

The definition of my sexuality has now changed

It was Bisexual Week a couple of weeks ago, and a cheerful post went up unilaterally informing me that the definition of my sexuality has now changed. I am no longer someone attracted to men and women, but one of a whole load of new genders all under a purple umbrella. The only comments under the post were positive. Bringing my true self to work, I would have challenged this. But I can’t. 

There is an LGBTQ group, which a few years ago I would have joined but now cannot. When I looked them up, thinking about joining, I saw the thread crowing about the fact that my organisation are still a member of Stonewall, and that “transphobia” had not triumphed. Since I do not adhere to queer theory, it is clear I would not be welcome, despite the fact that they are supposedly designed to represent my interests. 

As a result of being part of Stonewall’s programmes, we are encouraged to add our pronouns (25-30 per cent current uptake), often accompanied by a link to a statement of Stonewall propaganda about how gender is a continuum, etc.

I am paralysed to speak out against it

To put it in terms Stonewall may understand: every time I receive an email like this, I feel the microaggression. It is profoundly “unkind”. It is an ideological stab, right to the centre of my working life, forcing onto me something I know not to be true, but which I am paralysed to speak out against. It is undermining my biological sex by presenting being female as something you can select as an email signature. It is linguistically and philosophically corrupting, virtue-signalling crap. 

The deepest irony of all, is what this nonsense has done to my relationship with transsexual people. 

Ten years ago my mother’s (elderly male) piano teacher suddenly turned up in frock with a new ladies name. We were thrilled for him (now her) that she’d had the confidence to find happiness so late in life. Nothing so exciting had ever happened in the village. 

It would be like being homosexual a century ago

Now if someone trans-identifying were to join my team I would be terrified. Not (as Stonewall would have you believe) because of my transphobia or visceral disgust — but because of the power they would hold over me. I would no longer feel “safe” at work. If I were to say anything that could be construed as transphobic (by the beholder) or give the slightest indication of my “true self”, I could lose my job. My life would become constantly policed as I tiptoed around their “right” to self-expression at all costs, my own identity and biological reality crushed into the corner. It would be like being homosexual a century ago. I may have to move jobs. 

Well done, Stonewall. In destroying us all, you have also destroyed the one thing you were trying to do: you have changed me from someone who was supportive and positive towards transsexuals to someone terrified of anyone calling themselves trans. 

Wins all round, wouldn’t you say?

Enjoying The Critic online? It's even better in print

Try five issues of Britain’s newest magazine for £10

Critic magazine cover