A few weeks ago, a new political lobby formed in the UK, The Lesbian Project, with the stated goal of representing the “sex-specific interests” of lesbians. Now hundreds of lesbians have signed an open letter condemning the group as trans-exclusionary and standing in solidarity with trans and nonbinary lesbians.
On March 9, The Lesbian Project was founded by Kathleen Stock and Julie Bindel. Stock made headlines in 2021 when she voluntarily resigned from a post at University of Sussex over students protesting her “gender critical” views. She then went on national television to make the claim that she had been “canceled.”
The Lesbian Project describes itself as “a new initiative that highlights and champions the experiences, insights and sensibilities of lesbians in all their diversity.” The group also states, “By definition, only females can be lesbians, in virtue of their biological sex.”
In response to The Lesbian Project’s formation and media tour, Trans/Lesbian Solidarity has penned an open letter in protest. “Your advocacy does not reflect our lives, needs, and community,” the group writes. “We do not believe that advocating for lesbian ‘wellbeing’ can be done when it is rooted in transphobia.” Within a few days, the letter has received hundreds of signatures.
The letter goes on to address how The Lesbian Project’s goals are undermined by trans exclusion. In regards to procuring more accurate data on lesbians, Trans/Lesbian Solidarity writes, “You are concerned that trans people ‘obscure the data about numbers of lesbians,’ and recommend that this be taken into account in data collection. Your recommendation would leave straight trans men in the same category as cisgender lesbians, and lesbian trans women in the same category as straight cisgender men.
“Collecting data in this way would not only strip trans people of their right to be known as themselves, but it would also lead to inaccurate results.”
The letter concludes with a powerful picture of what true lesbian diversity looks like: “You claim that the word ‘lesbian’ has been ‘replaced’ by more ‘vague terms’. But we write this today as lesbians – whether or not you see us as such. Our community is beautiful precisely because it is made up of gender non-conforming lesbians, trans lesbians, non-binary lesbians, butches, studs, femmes, lesbians of all kinds who make up a tapestry more vibrant than you can imagine.
“Our community is beautiful because it is held together by love, not hate.”