I like to think of myself as an unequivocal supporter to the LGBTQIA community in their striving to be treated just the same as any other community, be accorded the same rights, and be free of discrimination and harassment. But I am also aware that I am not well versed in all the issues and nuances involved in that struggle and there is little real value that I can add to that discussion. Fortunately, there are other bloggers on FtB such as Crip Dyke who know much more about these issues so apart from giving general support, I tend to ‘stay in my own lane’ (as the kids say these days) and stick to topics that I know at least a little about or are greatly neglected by other FtB bloggers. In the greatly neglected category I mean, of course, cricket.
But there is something that puzzles me that maybe some blog readers can enlighten me about and maybe Crip Dyke may even think worthy of a post if it is not something blindingly obvious that I am missing.
The puzzle arose because, as those of you who read PZ’s blog will know, yesterday he announced that the blog The Atheist Experience (AXP) had strayed into dubious territory and had been suspended from the network. He gave the reason.
There are many things we will not tolerate on any of the blogs here: racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia are all grounds for ejection from the network. The ACA is guilty of the last.
So here’s what’s puzzling me. I do not follow AXP much (though I have seen some of their videos with Matt Dillahunty) and do not know exactly what happened but according to PZ’s post, they seemed to have a problem specifically with the transgender community but not apparently with the gay and lesbian community.
I would have expected that anyone who supported any one of the subgroups under the LGBTQIA umbrella would be accepting of all the other subgroups, because they all face a common adversary in those who discriminate against all those who do not fall under the gender—binary, heterosexual umbrella, though some are treated more harshly than others.
Of course, it is always possible to find distinctions on which to differentiate discrimination. It is the case that on other issues such as xenophobia, some people may view some immigrant minorities as ‘worthy’ and others as ‘unworthy’ and favor the former over the latter, so one cannot have a blanket expectation that people who accept one subgroup of minorities would be equally accepting of other minorities. Indeed, it is not uncommon for some immigrant communities to discriminate against other immigrant communities. But in that case, one can identify reasons for that discrimination such as race or nationality or politics or historical antipathies, factors that can arouse such great passion that they overcome the sense of solidarity that one might expect the different groups to have.
In this case too one might simply say that some people are comfortable accepting different sexual preferences but cannot accept nonconforming gender identity and presentation and that is just the way they are. But I find it hard to understand what factors exist that are so strong that they can overcome the natural desire for solidarity with all the communities under the LGBTQIA umbrella.