The publishing industry is saying “hell no” to this TERF network

A new network in the UK creating an anonymous hub for publishing professionals “who recognise the material reality of sex” has chosen Pride month to launch. Publishing houses, authors, and literary agents are pushing back in full force.

The SEEN in Publishing group announced its launch on June 21 through X (formerly Twitter). In a screenshot statement, the group said its members are “concerned about the impact of gender ideology on our sector and wider society” and “value diversity of thought and freedom of expression.”

“We believe that everyone in publishing should be able to express legally held views on sex and gender, including where these views relate to publishing-sector decisions, free from fear, harassment, discrimination, and negative career repercussions,” the statement read.

The group currently has social media accounts on X and LinkedIN along with a Substack where members describe lost professional opportunities over transphobic rhetoric.

Although the group’s announcement initially flew under the radar, industry outlet The Bookseller reported on the launch earlier this week, raising awareness among publishing professionals. Many in the publishing industry responded to the news by condemning the group and reiterating their support for the trans community.

“To reassure trans and other LGBTQ+ authors – this network does not speak for the vast majority of clever, kind and brilliant people in publishing,” literary agent Lydia Silver wrote. “We are here for you and want to hear your stories.”

Publishing house SRL Publishing said, “Just a quick statement to say we are NOT part of this ‘annoymous network’. We welcome trans creatives in this industry with open arms. We hear you, and we love you, and we will continue to fight for you.”

“As a ‘publishing professional’ personally I would much rather show any trans, non-binary or gnc colleagues/authors/anyone I meet the respect they deserve, welcome them into the industry and always try make it an inclusive, supportive place,” wrote Tom Noble, campaigns director at Orion Books.

Due to their anonymous nature, the size of the group cannot be confirmed. SEEN in Publishing has previously launched similar groups in other industries, including Police SEEN UK and SEEN in Schools.

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