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Why they hate the LGB Alliance

It is about politics, not about people

Artillery Row

Remember the bad old days when homosexuals had to meet in secret in case they were outed and lost their jobs? If you’re too young to remember those days for yourself, don’t worry. Up and down the country those scenarios from the past are being re-enacted, as gay events are picketed by thugs who hound attendees and try to identify them online in order to get them fired.

It’s not wild-eyed Calvinists doing the bullying now, though. It’s trans activists and their “allies”, usually angry straight men who identify as queer, whatever that means. In the past it meant “homosexual”. Now self-identified queers are often in straight relationships and hate the word “homosexual” as well as, it seems, homosexuals themselves.

LGB Alliance’s crime is to assume same sex attraction might have something to do with biological sex

A prime example of this new but old bigotry was in full view last weekend when LGB Alliance, the only charity in the UK that focuses exclusively on the rights of homosexuals and bisexuals, held its third annual conference in central London. As in the two previous years, an all-day picket harassed and cat called those attending. Loudspeakers blared and placards declared that LGB Alliance was an evil Hate Group. In the days leading up to the picket, the organisers urged protesters to wear masks, no doubt to add to the friendly atmosphere. LGB Alliance’s crime is to assume same sex attraction might have something to do with biological sex. Who knew?

This latest picket isn’t an isolated incident of “progressive” homophobia. A lesbian dating club was recently cancelled after it insisted only women could attend. LGB Alliance supported her efforts. A gay men’s magazine was put out of business after it suggested its readers should keep an open mind about LGB Alliance.

As for the charity itself, from the day LGB Alliance first met in October 2019 —at a secret venue, lest the event be disrupted — the woke left and wider LGBTQ+ lobby have been gunning for it. There have been petitions, attempts to remove its charity status, trolling of journalists who dared to interview its members, and its founders have been defamed as everything from neo-Nazis to … part of a Christian fundamentalist conspiracy. In 2021, the SNP’s John Nicolson MP even claimed LGB Alliance was behind a secret attempt to swing the elections for his party’s national executive. Like anyone would want to sit on that accursed body.

So what gives? Why are people who think of themselves as progressive so unhappy about an organisation that has the audacity to argue for gay rights?

One reason is that around 2014, the worldwide gay movement decided to focus almost exclusively on trans issues. It had been spectacularly successful, winning all the rights gays wanted, and so it needed a new cause to raise money for. LGB Alliance in its very name was a criticism of that approach. In a speech last year the writer Russell T Davies even claimed that by leaving the T off its name, LGB Alliance was killing trans people. Think of that next time you donate to the RSPCA or Childline, who have yet to add the letter T to their names.

That disagreement hardly explains the ferocious tone and the determined attempts to stifle LGB Alliance and anyone else who refuses to parrot the party line about the new-found importance of trans rights.

The radical gay left saw the gay movement as just another vehicle for their battles

The explanation lies much further back, in a defining dispute that has haunted the gay rights movement from the start. Even before the campaign for decriminalisation of homosexuality in the 1960s, two distinct wings had taken shape in the gay rights coalition. On one side were the accommodationists, who merely wanted gays to get the same rights everyone else had so they could get on with walking the dog, doing the garden or having a family. On the other side were the radical gay left, who saw the gay movement as just another vehicle for their battle against what they considered the evils of liberal democracy and capitalism.

Their prophet in the 1960s and 70s was Herbert Marcuse, a brilliant if eccentric philosopher. Like others on the New Left, he had come to the conclusion that the Proletariat had been corrupted by the fruits of the consumer society. They could no longer be trusted to overturn the Western system with the revolutionary zeal Marx had predicted. Instead, crazy as it may seem now, along with ethnic minorities and feminists, Marcuse reserved a special revolutionary place for … homosexuals.

In his Eros and Civilisation Marcuse argued that by their refusal to conform to sexual repression, homosexuals could become a new avant garde that would help release a tidal wave of revolutionary energy. A new era of “polymorphous perversity” would be inaugurated.

It was this sort of “everything goes” philosophy that explains why the gay left in the 1970s was so indulgent towards paedophilia, the very definition of polymorphous perversity. Luckily for all involved, the sensible accommodationists took control of the movement, threw out the paedophiles, and kept both polymorphous perversity and talk of revolution where it belonged — under lock and key.

The problem was, 40 years later after the accommodationists had helped gay people gain all the rights they could possibly need, they switched off the lights and headed for their Tuscan second homes or finally got to enjoy their Opera Season Tickets. The radical left promptly moved back in. They were still desperate to destroy what they saw as the irredeemably wicked Western way of life — rooted in exploitation, environmental damage and colonialism, naturally — but since homosexuals, like the Proletariat before them, had been so enthusiastically assimilated by liberal democracies, they needed another cause that was more provocative. One that could disrupt the family, academia, scientific enquiry, and all the other institutions and modes of behaviour which the far left has always argued are the ideological props of capitalism.

An extreme version of the trans rights agenda has now become an unchallengeable cause celebre for the far left and the LGBTQ+ movement it now controls. Arguing the rights and wrongs of this strategy is as welcome as questioning the left’s love affair with BLM or Hamas. This is why when LGB Alliance disputes the LGBTQ+ lobby’s promotion of gender identity ideology, its opponents don’t see that as merely a rational disagreement on policy prescriptions. It is viewed as an existential threat to their entire world view, which tries to weaponise gay and trans rights as a revolutionary force to overturn social norms and the liberal democracies that these activists endlessly disparage. The irony, of course, is that in no other society at no other time would such idiotic and dangerous ambitions have been tolerated. It’s time the accommodationist, assimilationist lesbians, gays and bisexuals took back control of their movement and consigned the bullies and the fruitcakes to the fringes of politics where they belong.

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