Graham Norton’s Twitter account has been deactivated following transphobic backlash due to comments he gave during an interview regarding the ongoing “trans debate.”
In an interview for Times Radio Graham Norton touched on things such as cancel culture, John Cleese and free speech. He said that it must be very hard for someone who has been used to being able to say whatever they like suddenly having to face consequences when other people don’t like the things you’ve been saying.
The interviewer then pivots this conversation to JK Rowling suggesting one insurmountably rich straight white able-bodied cisgender person is a much easier target than the other by +- way of a chromosome (we assume). John Cleese being a turd and joining GB News is totally different to mithering over the GRA like JK Rowling; whose opinions are often celebrated on GB News.
It appears that Graham Norton has been hounded off Twitter following a very famous person accusing him of supporting ‘rape and death threats to those who dare disagree’ with trans rights.
This is all that he said. 💜pic.twitter.com/xKMAZ7ycwm
— Matthew Hodson (@Matthew_Hodson) October 17, 2022
Graham Norton responds; “when I am asked about it then I become part of this discussion and all I am painfully aware of is that my voice adds nothing to that discussion. I’m sort of embarrassed that I’m somehow drawn into it. If people want to shine a light on those sorts of issues, and I hope people do, then talk to trans people. Talk to the parents of trans kids. Talk to doctors, psychiatrists or someone who can illuminate this in some way.”
Which I certainly have some criticisms of; namely that it’s LGBTQIA+, not just T. Cisgender allies really do make a lot of difference, not just in helping to convince cisgender fence-sitters, but also in helping us feel safe and included. The facts are that right now – and especially over the last 5 years – we have been fighting anti-trans campaigning alone without the massive media & financial support transphobes have enjoyed.
We are running on fumes not just financially but also mentally and emotionally. We’re scared and a little bit of “I support trans people’s equality” goes a really bloody long way.
That being said I agree with the overall message. Graham Norton continues; “I am very aware that as ‘bloke off the telly’ your voice can be artificially amplified and once in a blue moon that can be good but most of the time it’s just a distraction. It’s just for clicks; you can put my name in a headline ‘Graham Norton slams…’, ‘Graham Norton defends …’ ‘Graham Norton weighs in on…’ and actually Graham Norton shouldnt be in your headline.”
“If you want to talk about something then talk about the thing. You dont need to attach a Kardashian to a serious subject, the subject should be enough in itself.”
On the whole, many in the trans community are applauding this statement. We’ve been saying for years that if you want to understand trans people and the things trans people are fighting for then you should talk to trans people. Instead we are talked over and about by cisgender people constantly and often only allowed to give our side of it when contrasted against a transphobe.
He’s right, Graham Norton shouldn’t be in your headline; except today he is because I cover transphobia and transphobia means Graham Norton’s Twitter account has been deactivated. In the 5 days since the clip of the Times Radio interview was uploaded; anti-trans activists have deluged Graham Norton’s Twitter account with abuse. He even featured in a ranty blogpost from the creator of a comedy show he guest starred in.
One user, angry that Graham Norton said “talk to trans people” and “I don’t want to comment on JK Rowling”, dug through Norton’s history. She found that the LGBTQIA+ icon has indeed supported LGBTQIA+ causes for many years; including donating money to a trans man for top surgery. She is angry at him acting as though this is inconsistent with what he said above, but it just isn’t. He said he doesn’t want to get in a pissing match with celebrities, not that trans lives aren’t important to protect.
Another user put together a 21 tweet thread, primarily of images attempting to associate transgender people with violence. Notably the thread tags in Graham Norton’s Twitter account into every tweet writing “Accountability according to @grahnort”. The images appear to date back at least as far back as 12 years ago and primarily include tweets from accounts which have long been suspended or deleted.
Other examples that I assume are supposed to prove trans people are bad include the obvious link to a Karen White related story and by far my favourite of them all; the infamous “die cis scum” image. This is the image of a trans woman with a half shaved head carrying a baseball bat with “die cis scum” tattooed visibly on her bicep.
— Navn Navnesen (@Chris_P_B_Acon) October 16, 2022
The image and tattoo came about because of Transgender Day of Remembrance. It was a form of protest meant to confront cisgender people with the kind of violent rhetoric and abuse transgender people face. I’m sure you can think of the slur that is usually in place of “cis” here without me having to type it.
In a month’s time this image will officially be 12 years old. 12 years and they this is the best they can find that proves how dangerous we are; a protest against the violence transgender people face.
In a bid to prove him wrong for ever so slightly criticising the idea of cis celebrities weighing in on transgender lives and the idea that if you’re currently being interviewed by mainstream media you have hardly been silenced; transphobes appear to have forced the deactivation of Graham Norton’s Twitter account. An irony which I am sure is extremely lost on them.
What’s fun to note is that it took less than a week of becoming public enemy number one to transphobes for Graham Norton’s Twitter account to be deactivated. As much as I love and appreciate the things Norton has said in support of trans people previously, it must be pointed out that the ability to simply just walk away from this abuse is part of cisgender privilege.
People like me simply don’t have that ability, we have to stick it out no matter how many times the comedy writer rants about and posts photos of us as children. We have to keep on fighting because clearly no-one else will do it for us.
Anyway here’s one of the many cool threads sparked by Graham Norton’s comments listing a bunch of neat trans people to go check out;
🧵Graham Norton went viral for asking that people listened not to him on trans issues, but to experts, to trans kids, and to our families. Then everyone started talking about him, and wizard lady. What a distraction!
To honour Graham's original suggestion, here's some pointers:
— Ruth Pearce (@NotRightRuth) October 14, 2022