Ally Sh*t

Graham Norton Showed Trans Allyship and He Was Bullied Off Twitter

It’s another great day to be trans on the Internet! Wait…hold on, that’s not a thing.

What is undoubtedly a thing is logging on to Twitter dot com to find the phrases “TERF”, “JK ROWLING” or “GENDER CRITICAL” trending. And after years of trans folks bearing the brunt of transphobic abuse online, a few prominent cis allies are now feeling the backlash as well.

Last week, Jon Stewart released a special episode of his new show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” where the host took on transphobic policies and anti-trans laws in a way that leaves absolutely no doubt as to how utterly made up the right wing’s “research” on gender-affirming care truly is.

Shortly afterward, British talk show host Graham Norton spoke on Times Radio about newly-conservative comic John Cleese’s new show as well as JK Rowling’s anti-trans campaign. And, quite predictably, he was bullied off of Twitter for it.

But there’s something specific that Norton did that people are taking issue with: he suggested that folks not ask him about trans issues, but seek out actual trans people on the matter.

“If people want to shine a light on those issues then talk to trans people,” Norton said. “Talk to the parents of trans kids, talk to doctors, talk to scientists. Talk to someone who can illuminate it in some way.”

Unforgivable! How dare he suggest that people take us seriously! As a result, transphobes and right-wingers flooded his replies, effectively forcing the host off the platform.

This is what gets to the heart of the problem of trying to be heard as a trans person in any kind of public arena: we’re still seen as a little bit crazy.

It’s understandable that allies have kept silent for so long: when they speak out in our defense, they’re bullied, just like we are.

It takes a lot to bully someone of Graham Norton’s stature off Twitter. That said, we need more allies. When cis people do the work of standing up to anti-trans rhetoric, we can at least get a little bit of breathing room in before the next battle.

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