Should the T leave LBG?
Debate Rounds (3)
If you agree to a debate you agree to these conditions: No religious views, no emotional pleas, and please cite your work when you say something that should be fact checked, example being saying that fish find their home via electromagnetic waves they sense, I expect you to cite it, though you needn't cite everything.
To start, LGB regards sexuality while T regards gender identity. These are clearly distinct issues. The problems that transgender people face are serious, but are not related to the gay community, as a gay man wants to use the bathroom with the words "Men" on it and a lesbian woman wants to keep her genitals the way they were from birth.
Many people say that since transgenders were the ones who fought in Stonewall, but they forget that the majority of the bar were white, gay, cis-gendered males. I mean sure, it's possible they were cowering while the transgenders went out and kicked butt, but how likely is that when they regulated how many transgendered people were in there? And even if the transgenders were the only ones who ever fought for LGB it raises the harsh question... So what? If Stonewall was a white supremacist gay bar you wouldn't see us saying, " Well we should take a closer look at what these guys have to say."
Next point, separate issues are separate. If you go to a PETA meeting, and you are a feminists, you don't spend 20 minutes ranting about the gender inequality in our country, because that's not what that group is for. Unless the transgender person happens to be gay, they do not really belong the LGB any more than the metrosexuals do.
Finally, this separation may actually be beneficial to both groups. Think about it, the LGB can focus on things that are actually related to the LGB and the transgender get to focus on transgender problems. I'm not saying leave the transgenders to fend for themselves, we can still back them, we just need the freedom to focus on what applies to us and they need to focus on what applies to them. It may sound selfish, but many gays resent having to wait longer because certain bills won't include transgenders in their anti-discrimination laws, and some transgenders resent that there isn't enough focus on their problems. Transgenders are three times more likely to be assaulted by a police officer, and yet this isn't reported enough. Too many gay men don't recognize that words such as "tranny" and shows such as "RuPaul's Drag Race" are very damaging to transgenders. Separating the groups will allow transgenders to raise awareness. I truly believe that this is the best course of action, for everyone involved.
I am a pansexual transgender woman from the UK. I was elected Bi+ Rep at the NUS Wales LGBTQ+ 2016 committee, and am now currently serving in that role. I have been designated a "Top Contributor" in the LGBT section of Yahoo! Answers. I am an admin of an LGBTQ+ support group on Facebook. I have been involved in various LGBTQ+ groups in real life, including "Breaking The Binary" and my university's LGBTQ+ society.
Before I start my arguments, I would ask that my opponent refrain from using the terms "transgenders" and "gays", and instead refer to "transgender people" and "gay people", as the former are considered derogatory by some members of our community.
Okay, my initial arguments will be as follows:
1) A lot of transgender people are also LGB anyway, and therefore are included in the LGB label by default.
2) It is commonplace for transgender people who are still in denial to first come out as LGB, and to later come out as trans.
3) LGB and transgender people experience a lot of the same issues, and therefore should co-operate as part of the same community.
4) The current inclusion of "T" in the LGBTQ+ acronym does not hinder the movement from focusing on the few issues which do exclusively affect one demographic within out community.
"Unless the transgender person happens to be gay, they do not really belong the LGB any more than the metrosexuals do"
A large portion of transgender people consider themselves to be LGB in their own right, with as many as 38% of transgender women identifying as bisexual, while 35% identifying as lesbian.
Though no parallel statistics were available for transgender men, my source does also claim:
"Upon beginning testosterone treatments, some trans men report an increase in both their libido and their desire for sex with non-trans men".
Therefore, with at least 73% (not including less common identities, such as pansexual, demisexual and so on) of transgender women identifying as LGB independently of their gender identity, and similar statistics seeming probable for transgender men and non-binary people, most transgender people are LGB anyway, regardless of their gender identity. Therefore, it makes sense to keep the "T" in "LGBTQ+", as transgender people represent a large portion of the LGB community, and a large portion of the transgender community are LGB.
A large number of transgender people who are in denial or closeted about being transgender first come out as LGB. In my own experience, I came out as pansexual a long time before I came out as transgender, as I was less in denial about this. My experience in this area does not seem atypical, either, as just speaking to a few transgender people almost always yields similar stories.
Imagine I had turned out to be exclusively attracted to men, and would therefore be a straight transgender woman. While in denial, I would likely have come out as a gay cisgender man- I would likely have gotten quite heavily involved in LGB activism and community before later coming out as trans. Why should my status as transgender alienate me from a community I have done large amounts of work for and become an integral part of?
Closeted transgender people make up a significant portion of people who are out as LGB. It therefore makes sense to include the "T" in LGBT, as it allows those people to meet, and work with, others who may have gone through what they are currently going through, without having to come out prematurely.
LGB and transgender people experience very similar kinds of problems- from religious bigotry, to coming out to family members, to straight and cis people asking inappropriate. intimate questions: "how do lesbians have sex?" "how do trans people have sex?" etc. We face the same struggles, both on a political level and on an individual level, so it makes sense for us to work together as part of the same community.
The fact that transgender people experience issues which LGB people do not experience is irrelevant to this discussion. Take the bisexual community, for instance- they experience issues that purely homosexual or purely heterosexual people do not experience either, such as bi erasure. This difference between the bisexual community and the gay community does not provide warrant to separate the two from each other. The same is true in the case of the transgender community- yes, we experience issues which do not affect LGB cis people, but we are still made a part of that community by the overlapping problems that DO affect us all.
I would like to develop that into my last point, which is that the presence of transgender people does not prevent the LGBTQ+ community from discussing issues which do not directly affect the trans community- discussions about bi and ace erasure, stereotyping of gay men in media, objectification of lesbians in media and so on, are still issues which are discussed and dealt with by the LGBTQ+ community, and these would be done no more efficiently were the trans community removed from it.
In conclusion to my initial post:
A majority of transgender people are also LGB anyway.
A large number of people who are currently out as LGB are actually transgender and in denial.
We face the same struggles, and so we should work together.
The fact that we also experience different struggles is not sufficient warrant to separate transgender people from the LGBTQ+ community any more than it would be to separate bisexual or lesbian people for the same reasons.
The LGBTQ+ community is made stronger and run more efficiently with the presence of transgender people. We are an asset, not a burden.
"1) A lot of transgender people are also LGB anyway, and therefore are included in the LGB label by default."
I had already addressed this-
"If you go to a PETA meeting, and you are a feminists, you don't spend 20 minutes ranting about the gender inequality in our country, because that's not what that group is for. Unless the transgender person happens to be gay, they do not really belong the LGB any more than the metrosexuals do."
Just because two groups share many of the same members doesn't make them the same group. For example, say you were in a woman's club and a fishing club. Now, most of the woman's club was in the fishing club, but most of the fishing club wasn't in the woman's club. The fishing club wasn't where you spend your time discussing the woman's clubs business.
"2) It is commonplace for transgender people who are still in denial to first come out as LGB, and to later come out as trans."
Aye, but again this is irrelevant. Many atheists first "come out" as agnostics to their families, especially if they were in a religious family. However, this doesn't mean atheists and agnostics are one and the same.
"3) LGB and transgender people experience a lot of the same issues, and therefore should co-operate as part of the same community."
Feminism and civil rights both fight against discrimination and both suffered similar issues. However, as they were at the core, different, they were addressed separately.
"4) The current inclusion of "T" in the LGBTQ+ acronym does not hinder the movement from focusing on the few issues which do exclusively affect one demographic within out community."
Now that you read it, I have to say I don't agree with him leaving out transgender people, but transgender people told the LBGT leaders and they refused the bill because it left out transgender people. While it is admittedly a nice moment of togetherness, this is, by definition, hindering the movement. Could have accepted the bill and keep pressuring him regardless, or tried to negotiate to integrate transgender people into the bill, but no, it was flat out rejected. ( I don't think the article covers the LBGT leaders rejecting it, but I couldn't find the article that described it well enough. At best I found one that was vague about why it was rejected).
"Therefore, with at least 73% (not including less common identities, such as pansexual, demisexual and so on) of transgender women identifying as LGB independently of their gender identity, and similar statistics seeming probable for transgender men and non-binary people, most transgender people are LGB anyway, regardless of their gender identity. Therefore, it makes sense to keep the "T" in "LGBTQ+", as transgender people represent a large portion of the LGB community, and a large portion of the transgender community are LGB."
If most of the KKK were LBGT members ( I am aware they are not, this is an example), would we then consider letting it being LBGTQKKK+? Probably not.
"While in denial, I would likely have come out as a gay cisgender man- I would likely have gotten quite heavily involved in LGB activism and community before later coming out as trans. Why should my status as transgender alienate me from a community I have done large amounts of work for and become an integral part of?"
Reminder that straight people also get involved in the LBGT community. Reminder that men support women's rights. Reminder that white people support civil rights. You don't have to be gay or bi to be involved, it's just that the issues are different.
"LGB and transgender people experience very similar kinds of problems- from religious bigotry, to coming out to family members, to straight and cis people asking inappropriate. intimate questions: "how do lesbians have sex?" "how do trans people have sex?" etc. We face the same struggles, both on a political level and on an individual level, so it makes sense for us to work together as part of the same community."
Yes, but this is irrelevant. Atheists face religious bigotry, coming out to family members, religious people asking inappropriate questions, (i.e. "You know you're going to hell, right? So... Do you worship the devil? How do you go through life being so unhappy?") and yet we are not integrating atheists into the community. Hell, muslims face bigotry to, and people ask questions like, "So is masturbation like a sin to you? Do you keep harems?"
"Take the bisexual community, for instance- they experience issues that purely homosexual or purely heterosexual people do not experience either, such as bi erasure. This difference between the bisexual community and the gay community does not provide warrant to separate the two from each other."
Bisexuals still experience same-sex attractions, and their problems are due to their sexual orientation, not their gender identity.
"The LGBTQ+ community is made stronger and run more efficiently with the presence of transgender people. We are an asset, not a burden."
I've never said LGB should abandon you. They can still provide financial and political backing. However LGB should be free to pursue their own problems, as should transgender people. Some people are assuming all trans people are gay and vice versa, but if we separate the sexuality and gender identity issues, people will realize these aren't synonymous.
To sum up, my original argument still stands.
These are separate issues and should be treated as such.
Attending a PETA meeting and derailing the main proceedings by talking over it about gender inequality would indeed be an atypical way to behave. An argument could be made for doing it, by the way, if, for instance, it could be shown that the organisers' hiring policy was complicit in sexism.
But yes, my opponent's point that for the most part, it would not be appropriate to behave in this way, stands. However, that has absolutely nothing to do with the inclusion of "transgender" in the LGBTQ+ label. We are not talking over the main proceedings as the analogy suggests, but rather we are part of the rest of the proceedings in our own right, and our issues are part of the main proceedings.
A better analogy would be that you turn up to a PETA meeting in which people are currently discussing how best to advocate veganism, and, once they're finished, you start talking about the factory farm which was recently set up in your local area- It is relevant to the issues already being discussed, it is necessarily part of PETA's agenda, and you allow other issues which are completely unrelated to yours to be discussed.
This is currently what the transgender community is doing- at LGBTQ+ events, we discuss issues which affect all kinds of LGBTQ+ people, not just transgender people. We do so in a way which is respectful, that does not disrupt other issues from being discussed, and which benefits the community as a whole.
I had initially dismissed my opponent's analogy as being poorly-phrased and tangential to the point he was trying to make, but not he has reiterated it I see that was not the case- he means to propose that transgender people are derailing the LGBTQ+ community's discussions by talking about issues which only affect them. While it is true that we do, when it is our turn to do so, talk about issues that only affect us, this is not anywhere near as disruptive or derailing as the analogy my opponent put forward. Instead, just as bisexual people do when they discuss bi erasure, we politely wait our turn, and then address an issue which is genuinely important and it is in the whole community's best interests to resolve, even if it only affects us directly.
My opponent's fishing club vs. womens' club analogy is also extremely flawed, fallacious, and tangential to this issue. Fishing is an activity- it is something anyone can do without fundamentally changing any aspect of themselves. Being a woman, however, is an identity integral to oneself. It is illogical to combine an identity with an activity, because there is absolutely no considerable overlap between the two- yes, there are women who like fishing, but so too are there men and nonbinary folks who enjoy it.
This is extremely different to the issue of relating a minority gender identity to a minority sexuality- both are identities, and therefore are linked through intersectionality (http://everydayfeminism.com...) . We experience the same issues through a hetero-patriarchal society's flaws: erasure, violence, religious bigotry, employment discrimination, and so on. It is also worth noting that being transgender and being LGB are both epigenetic (https://www.youtube.com...) and most probably share a common epigenetic root. Sexuality and gender are necessarily intertwined in this way, whereas being a woman and liking fishing clearly are not, and hence my opponent's analogy is once again flawed.
My opponent's statements regarding atheists and agnostics are also incorrect. This issue is very much tangential to the motion, so I'll try not to spend too long on this: Theism and atheism are all-encompassing and mutually-exclusive. This means that everyone is either a theist or an atheist. There is no middleground. Some people take the cop-out of labelling themselves "agnostic", but the agnostic statement "I am not sure whether god(s) exist(s)" is not mutually exclusive with the atheist claim "I do not believe any gods exist". In that regard, most people who use the label "agnostic" are actually atheists, as, in admitting they do not have a belief one way or another, they do not believe in the existence of any gods. Atheism is lack of a positive belief in the existence of a deity. It is not positive belief in the lack of existence of a deity- that would be antitheism.
Though the above point is completely tangential to this discussion, it is worth noting that yes, even if it were commonplace to be an agnostic but not to be an atheist, the fact that many people who are "out" as agnostic would be very good cause for atheists and agnostics to co-operate and work together as part of the same community- they experience the same kinds of issues in society as a result of their atheism/agnosticism, and therefore it makes sense that they work together as part of the same community. This analogy then extends back to the original case of inclusion of transgender people in the LGBTQ+ community.
The link is a perfect example of why transgender people needed to remain included within the LGBTQ+ movement. If a bill does not serve the needs of all of the members of a community, it should be amended until it does. Imagine there were a law which made it illegal to discriminate against white women in the workplace. Yes, is absolutely should be illegal to discriminate against white women in the workplace, but such a law necessarily needs to be amended to also make it illegal to discriminate against women of colour in the workplace, too.
Likewise, yes, the bill being proposed was good in that it stood up for gay rights, but dropping transgender protections in order to make the bill more likely to be passed is a despicable example of cowardice and treachery, and is akin to proposing a bill making it illegal to discriminate against *white* women as outlined above.
An LGB movement which completely neglects the needs of transgender people would necessarily be hindered in that it is no longer inclusive or progressive. The failure of one bill does not change that.
That KKK analogy is ridiculous, and akin to breaking Godwin's Law. (https://en.wikipedia.org...) I therefore do not feel that any refutation of such a fallacious, illogical point is required.
The fact that we experience the same discrimination in society is absolutely relevant. Atheists experience *similar* issues, and there's no doubt that parallels can be drawn as my opponent just did, but they don't face *the same* issues we do, or at least certainly not in the same way.
"However LGB should be free to pursue their own problems, as should transgender people."
LGB *ARE* free to pursue their own problems, and transgender people help them do this. Likewise, transgender people are free to pursue our own problems, and LGB people help us do this. The same logic you use to say "well that issue only affects transgender people so it shouldn't be something LGB people have to pursue" could just as easily be applied to say: "well that issue only affects bisexual people so it shouldn't be something LG people have to pursue", and then to say: "well that issue only affects lesbians, so it shouldn't be something gay men have to pursue".
United we stand, divided we fall. This motion seeks to divide us. Therefore, it is problematic and should be voted against.
It is worth noting that the burden of proof necessarily rests upon the proposition- if neither side offers sufficient evidence or reason, any motion necessarily fails. So far, my opponent has produced nothing more than fallacious, tangential analogies in a futile attempt to refute my own points. He has not offered any convincing argument as to why the transgender community should be separated from LGB that couldn't just as easily be used to divide LGB itself. Please keep this in mind, voters.
The main point of my argument is that gender identity issues are different from sexual orientation, and thus must be dealt with separately. Are you deliberately ignoring this?
I'm not even going to bother posting a lengthy rebuttal. The burden of proof lies on both of us. I give reasons for "why" and you give reasons for "why not." You've failed give any good reasons for why transgender people should stay within the LGB. Similarity is hardly a good reason.
And as for Godwin's law, let me quote the same wikipedia page.
"Godwin's law itself can be abused as a distraction, diversion or even as censorship, fallaciously miscasting an opponent's argument as hyperbole when the comparisons made by the argument are actually appropriate."
Clearly it is not some perfect, infallible law, and the point is still up for debate.
" We experience the same issues through a hetero-patriarchal society's flaws: erasure, violence, religious bigotry, employment discrimination, and so on."
You say this, and then you said...
"Atheists experience *similar* issues, and there's no doubt that parallels can be drawn as my opponent just did, but they don't face *the same* issues we do, or at least certainly not in the same way."
Replace atheists with transgender and that's my whole point. Transgenders face *similar* issues, but not the *same*.
But anyway, the whole point is that gender identity is different from sexual orientation, and thus must be treated as such. I started this debate to give people the chance to refute this. You have failed to do so so far.
Please keep this in mind voters.
As of right now, the main point remains valid.
I will ask my opponent not to simply nitpick but to actually refute the main point (sorry I keep repeating myself, but I want to make it clear the point I am hoping to get a response from will actually get a response.)
If I were to propose "THB 'transgender' should be added to the LGB acronym" (in a world in which it is not already part of said acronym), then the burden of proof would be on me to substantiate this position. However, the status quo is that transgender *is* part of the acronym, so the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that it should not be, and you have failed to provide sufficient proof.
Yes, it may be appropriate to mention Nazism or Hitler in a debate if it is relevant to such a debate, and yes, it is possible to abuse Godwin's Law to unreasonably dismiss an argument in this way, but there was absolutely no need for you to invoke specifically the KKK in this situation, when a less controversial organisation could easily have filled the same gap, and therefore it is not fallacious to label such an argument as a hyperbole. It is also worth noting that I did not suggest that Godwin's Law is "some perfect, infallible law" and that therefore to suggest I did is a strawman fallacy.
My opponent's "main point", which he has failed to argue thoroughly, seems to be that different issues should be addressed separately. This seems reasonable, but fails to be a convincing argument in this case for two main reasons:
1) Some of the issues experienced by LGB people and by transgender people are *THE SAME*. Specifically, erasure, fetishization, coming out, religious bigotry, violence, and so on. These issues are not "similar", they are identical. Therefore, as a community of individuals who have identical problems to face, and therefore identical goals, it is reasonable to work together as part of the same community.
2) This argument necessarily divides the LGBTQ+ community entirely. If the fact that *some* of the issues experienced by the trans community and the LGB community are different is enough to warrant removing transgender people from the acronym, so too must we remove bisexual people from the acronym, as they experience bi erasure, which gay and lesbian people do not. We should also remove lesbian people from the acronym, as they experience fetishization from straight men which gay men simply do not experience. This argument is not an argument against having transgender people in the LGBTQ+ community, it is an argument against having an LGBTQ+ community at all.
I would like to point out to voters that my opponent failed to respond to any of the following arguments I made in my previous post:
1) The divisive nature and consequences of the motion he proposes.
2) That all of the analogies he has presented are tangential and fallacious.
3) The epigenetic root of LGBTQ+ identities meaning they are necessarily intertwined in a way he fails to grasp.
4) That the bill he mentioned was flawed in its exclusion of transgender people, and that allowing such a bill to pass would necessarily hinder the LGBTQ+ community more than the delay required to amend such a bill would.
"I started this debate to give people the chance to refute this. You have failed to do so so far."
I would like to ask my opponent how he feels I failed to do this, given that he himself failed to address any of the above points which were, in fact, very thorough counterarguments to the motion he proposed.
I would also like to, once again, ask that my opponent refrains from using the term "transgenders" as he did in his most recent post, as this is considered derogatory by large numbers of our community.
So, in summary:
1) The epigenetic link between gender identity and sexual orientation means that gender and sexuality are necessarily intertwined in a way my opponent seems to fail to grasp.
2) The divisive sentiment in my opponent's only coherent argument- "different issues should be separated" would, if taken to its logical extension, result in the complete disestablishment of the whole LGBTQ+ community.
3) Most transgender people are LGB in their own rights, anyway. Removing our name from the acronym would not remove most transgender people from the community in the way he seems to hope it would.
4) The presence of transgender people in the LGBTQ+ community does not prevent LGB people from discussing their own issues, and in fact helps them do so, and vice versa. We are stronger together.
5) We experience a lot of *THE SAME* issues, not similar ones. We are necessarily united by our struggle against identical issues.
6) My opponent's flawed, tangential analogies are irrelevant to this discussion, as outlined above.
It is for the above reasons, and my opponent's failure to convincingly refute them, that I urge the reader to side with the status quo of transgender people remaining in the LGBTQ+ acronym. Thank you for your time.
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.