Don’t Look Now, But The Enemy is Over There

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It seems like a lot of people are busily promoting the disturbing notion that only certain people are permitted to speak on certain topics. The rest of us – especially us cisgendered older white males – are told to shut up.

Much effort is being expended trying to establish who has it worse than whom. Cisgender or transgender women? Or trans men? Or ‘the forgotten’ bisexuals? Gay men, or lesbians? What about transgendered bisexual men of colour? And so on and on it goes, like a postmodern pansexual edition of Monty Python’s Yorkshiremen. Without the humour.

Ageing British enfant terrible Julie Burchill stomped into this toxic swamp with a trans-bashing piece in the Spectator.

Dodging the flying clumps of exquisitely crafted ordure – subject matter aside, this is a masterful (or should that be misstressful?) piece of word-smithing – I found myself agreeing with her on one particular point.

This constant dispiriting sniping and hacking and chucking grenades around our own back yard isn’t getting the job done. It’s an exhausting pointless cannibalistic waste of time. It’s stupid, it’s selfish, and it drains away all the creativity and energy that we ought to be directing where it can do some good.

I do not care if your skin is black, brown, yellow, orange, pinkish-grey or snowy white (please note, I mean no disrespect to green or blue or any other colour persons, should they happen to exist). It is of no interest to me whether you are male or female, cisgendered or transgendered, gay, straight, bi or poly.

I have no interest in whether you have a standard set of genitals, or both, or neither, nor whether said genitals came to be as they are in the womb or under the knife or in a prosthetics factory.

As far as advancing our rights is concerned, all I want to know is, can you sell the story? Can you persuade the open-minded and plant doubt in the minds of opponents?

Will you put your name to petitions and public letters? Will you lobby MPs? Will you ask a question on Q&A? Talk on radio and TV?

Will you attend fundraisers? Will you financially support community organisations? Will you volunteer time every week?

Have you come out? Have you helped others out? Are you out to your family, you co-workers, your employers, your employees? Because nothing is more important.

If you can get the job done, welcome aboard. Lord knows we need all the help we can get.

If you want to bitch and whine and moan because there’s aren’t enough transmen/intersex/women/indigenous/(insert your own label) involved in running this organization/presenting TV shows/fronting up to Senate enquiries/(add your own activity), do us all a favour.

Quit throwing tanties, banish your inner toddler to the naughty corner, and offer your skills, experience, wisdom, wit or whatever else you got, to whichever organization needs you.

And let’s just get on with it.

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. And now he's been nominated for LGBTI Journalist of the Year 2017, which is great news, as he hasn't won any of these things for years! If you want to nominate him too - the more the merrier - you can do it here http://www.australianlgbtiawards.com.au/public-nominations.html "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)