From Ryan Butcher, web editor of Pink News. (My answers are in bold):
I just wanted to give Graham Linehan the right to reply to a story we're writing about – you guessed it – his tweets. At 1am today, Mr Linehan tweeted in support of Suzanne Moore, who this week attacked Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran over her pansexuality, adding that pansexuality is 'bollocks'.
Yes, it is bollocks. Bisexuality covers it as there are only two sexes. Also, Suzanne didn’t ‘attack’ anyone. That’s the first lie.
This is a good joke from someone who knows what they’re talking about. But Pink News don’t like her because they hate women who stand up for themselves.
In subsequent tweets to his followers, Mr Linehan has defined a pansexual person as someone who'll 'just shag anyone', (2nd lie) denounced (3rd) the pansexual identity saying 'bisexual covers it' and says that pansexuality is for people who believe there are 'more than two sexes'.
Good faith questions, as always. Protected characteristics become meaningless if they are so vaguely bounded as to potentially include anyone, at their word alone. This is not limited to the protected characteristic of sex, but sexual orientation, which should concern Pink News but, for some reason, doesn’t. Lesbians all over the world are wearily familiar with straight men who identify as women harassing them for kicks and Pink News has betrayed its readership by never calling that out. Lesbians hate you. It’s why every lesbian I know calls you either ‘Penis News’ or ‘Prick News’.
This is, of course, incredibly offensive to the wider LGBT+ community and the denunciation of a valid sexual orientation is nothing short of discriminatory.
Pink News is incredibly offensive to gay men and women because of its support for a belief system that says biological sex is a social construct. How can they support same-sex attraction, while supporting the view that biological sex isn’t real? This is hugely offensive to my gay friends and colleagues. The despair at the turn that LGB rights has taken is reflected in the comments to this petition to Stonewall, which has now been signed by over 10,000 people.
Is Mr Linehan going to apologise for these flagrantly offensive and discriminatory statements?
I'll be instructing my solicitor to convey the answer to this one.
As Mr Linehan calls himself a 'feminist' and a 'defender of women', I would also be interested to know how attacking a woman in a loving relationship with another woman over her sexual orientarion (sic) fits in with his 'feminism'?
As for my role in this debate (and thank you for breaking the 'no debate' rule to have this conversation, by the way, I do appreciate it), the fact that countless female activists (including scores of lesbian women), scholars and journalists have been ignored, ostracised, demonised and de-platformed for speaking up about issues that are vital to their rights is a scandal. If my lending my platform to their voices was what it took to get this issue heard (and I make no such claims, although I am often accused of being some kind of ringleader), then I would be delighted. Or at least I would be if it was not evidence of how sexism is so deeply entrenched in society.
Can I also ask if Mr Linehan also thinks homosexuality is bollocks? Or bisexuality? Or being a lesbian?
Why would I think anything of the sort about homosexuality/bisexuality? I'm not the one encouraging gay kids to take experimental hormones and undergo surgery. 35 psychologists have left the Tavistock gender clinic in three years, with whistleblowers saying that they encountered openly homophobic parents who wanted to ‘fix’ their gender-nonconforming children. That's openly homophobic. From the Times piece:
Examples of cases in the report include a girl from a family with a history of abuse of females. The mother’s anxiety about having a daughter was transmitted to her child, who resolved to change gender. Another girl felt “deeply guilty” after her brother died tragically, so she decided to give her parents “their son back” by changing gender. Some openly homophobic parents sought transition for their children because they were gay.
Pink News and the rest of the corporate LGBT movement has abandoned these kids and one day your magazine’s title will be associated with a very dark time in LGBT history.
What does Mr Linehan think of asexuality – does he believe that to be bollocks too?
People, who aren’t interested in sex? I wasn’t aware of it until now but I bow to your superior knowledge.
And how about the queer identity?
As with protected characteristics, 'queer' has become, for commercial reasons, embraced by people who are not same-sex-oriented (or bisexual). The criticism of this phenomenon has a broad base within the LGB community, with many blaming it for watering down the original goals of Pride and LGB activism. Once this diffusion of bounds to protected characteristics enter law, there are more serious consequences that require serious consideration. Gay men are still the demographic group that is most exposed to violence. Lesbian women are at higher risk of violence than straight women. If heterosexuals can identify into the LGBT+ umbrella, how will you protect these groups? Whose interests do you serve?
He also suggests there are only two sexes in his rant about pansexuality. (rant! remember, this is all about a SINGLE TWEET). Could I also ask if that means Mr Linehan believes that intersex people – who are born with several variations of sex characterists, including sex hormones and genitals – do not exist?
Intersex is an umbrella term for 40+ rare, complex medical conditions. Those who have them face gross human rights violations around the world. This includes being classed, inaccurately, as a "third sex", which leads to systemic violence against the bodies of intersex babies and a denial of their right to autonomy and self-definition. The Darlington Statement and Malta Declaration explicitly reject this framing of them as "other", yet Pink News continues to do this and weaponises their condition to attack ideological enemies. My friends with intersex conditions despise you almost as much as my gay friends.
Thanks for this opportunity, Ryan. Fred Sargeant, founder of Stonewall Veterans, I'm sure, sends his love too.