In recent weeks I have seen a lot of really poor content coming out of LGBTQIA publications and so I’ve made the decision to start blocking them. If you feel the same, feel free to drop this article in their comments sections before you do.
The last LGBTQIA publication I blocked was Out Magazine and it was for a piece they didn’t even publish, just retweeted. That’s how serious I am about this whole thing. The piece they retweeted was actually in The Advocate and was the second piece from The Advocate with essentially the same format in less than a month.
“<insert bigot name> says <bigot thing>”
Specifically The Advocate’s pieces were about two well established transphobic celebrities saying they think trans women are men. The articles are careful to avoid calling these celebrities transphobic and instead use phrases like “comments that were widely perceived to be transphobic”.
Martina Navratilova Says Transgender Women Can’t Be Lesbians https://t.co/o31vfiQDJh
— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) November 30, 2023
Alongside that the content of the pieces is, well… minimal. There’s a couple of paragraphs about the celebrity being a bigot, a quote from someone who isn’t a bigot, perhaps a tweet embedded in the body and that’s all you get! No more for you!
LGBTQIA publications should know better. There is absolutely nothing of value here for anyone and in fact platforming the bigoted rhetoric of established losers every time they open their mouth to puke up some more garbage is whatever the opposite of value is. It serves no purpose at best and at worst is active participation in the harms our communities face.
A lesson which has been demonstrated via my decision to start blocking the LGBTQIA publications who engage in this behaviour. I posted a tweet stating my intentions which has been flooded with anti-trans sock accounts coming along to be transphobic at me. These are the only people who benefit from articles like this! It helps them find trans people to harass, it helps them feel like their rhetoric is more popular than it is, and it generally puts trans people on the backfoot of once again having to defend our existences.
This isn’t unique to The Advocate sadly. Many of the largest LGBTQIA publications have fallen into this trap of endlessly amplifying the rhetoric of bigots because it generates clicks. Pink News for example ran almost identically the same piece as The Advocate. Right down to including the jabs at another celebrity this celebrity bigot made!
Martina Navratilova says trans women cannot be lesbians in social media outburst https://t.co/66jZLxr3yv
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) December 3, 2023
The biggest difference between the two pieces covering the same topic is that The Advocate reused an old interview they did with Rodney Wilson for their trans inclusive quote. Whereas Pink News were marginally better for having reused a Pink News interview from 2016 with Katie Cornhill, the trans woman said celebrity bigot was celebrity bigoting about this time.
Is that really the best we should expect from major LGBTQIA publications and their writers?
Speaking of writers… I don’t want to assume they’re all cisgender but its hard not to when they’re all openly queer enough to work for LGBTQIA publications and put rainbow flags in their social media profiles. Yet not one of them mentions being trans in any capacity at all! Not that it makes a huge difference with the corporate structures of largely cisgender people calling all of the shots behind the scenes at these LGBTQIA publications anyway. Either way this isn’t trans writing.
So to summarise what we have is potentially cisgender writers led by definitely cisgender coorporations who are endlessly platforming the bigoted rhetoric of established celebrity transphobes irrespective of the harms it does to our community and with very little actual pushback on the bigotry within the content itself. Which, to top it all off, is so formulaic that multiple different major LGBTQIA publications are doing the exact same articles as each other with only minor swaps.
This is absymal. We deserve better than this and we shouldn’t just put our support behind LGBTQIA publications just because they are LGBTQIA publications. Organisations like Pink News, The Advocate and indeed hopefully one day Trans Writes are here to serve the community – not harm it, not try to milk outrage out of it to line our own pockets with. The LGBTQIA publications who are engaging in this lazy and honestly transphobic style of reporting should be ashamed of themselves.
In the mean time I am personally going to be blocking and refusing to engage with their content. I welcome anyone who wants to join me in this. As a smaller sidebar I also think as a community we in general need to be better about not engaging with bigoted rhetoric or bigots on social media too. LGBTQIA publications should know better, yes, but lets be honest – they got the idea that bigots are great content from somewhere…