How Militant Left Wing LGBT Student Extremists Are Destroying Free Speech, Freedom of Expression and the LGBT Movement
There’s a situation that has been brewing for some time. Something dark, nasty, and disturbing that is threatening free speech and the LGBT movement. It’s a movement that genuinely concerns me as someone who has dedicated my life to equality campaigning.
This worrying militant left wing LGBT student extremist crusade ruining free speech, freedom of expression and the LGBT movement first caught my eye when the National Union of Students (NUS) banned gay men from behaving like black women and dragging up in case it offends people of colour and trans people. After that it was the news that Edinburgh University has banned cross dressing and camp costumes at Halloween in case such costumes offend people. Thirdly, we move on to the rising prevalence of universities no-platforming speakers who hold views that some could deem offensive.
Two such examples of this are Germaine Greer and Milo Yiannopoulos. Personally, I do not agree with Greer or Yiannopoulos’ views on trans people. I feel their views are outdated and offensive. However, I do not believe that they should be silenced due to their views. As long as they are not inciting violence or hatred of trans people, their right to free speech should be maintained. Attempting to silence people because their views do not align with yours is not the way to go about things. Surely it is better to allow those people a platform and challenge them with reasoned debate than to behave in a way that infringes on the precious free speech that many of these militant left wing LGBT student extremists claim they want to have and preserve.
I’ve been on the receiving end of it myself in recent times. As leader of an LGBT charity and director of Warwickshire Pride, I’m used to enduring a bit of trolling online from time to time. However, nothing had prepared me for the torrent of harassment and abuse I received from Warwick University students at the tail end of last year.
In response to a rise in hate crimes against LGBT people in my local area, I organised the Leamington Spa Equality Rally. Its purpose was to highlight the issue of hate crime, the problem of hate crime under-reporting, and to bring the community together. Local politicians and the Police were invited along to support the rally, which they did. It was well attended by local people and achieved what it set out to do.
Unfortunately, there were a number of local university students who objected to the police being allowed to attend the rally. They claimed that the police actively murder trans people and aggressively insisted that I ban the police from all local LGBT events.
My belief is that it’s important for police to have an active, engaging presence at Pride festivals and LGBT events. Rather than it being about policing the events and harassing the LGBT community, it’s actually about positive community engagement and solidarity with LGBT people.
Sadly, that’s not something the university students were willing to accept and they embarked on a hate campaign against me. The campaign included many untruths about me written online and a statement released on their university LGBT society website that claimed I am not fit to run an LGBT organisation because I am white and not trans. The statement came with a list of demands, but unfortunately for them I do not bow to demands and do not negotiate with extremists. Reasoned debate is more my thing.
Another individual who has recently had difficulties with extremists is legendary human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. He believes in free speech, even when people’s views oppose his own. Like me, he feels that it is better to challenge people with debate rather than act to silence them. Due to Peter Tatchell’s views, the NUS’ LGBT representative, Fran Cowling, refused to attend an event unless Peter Tatchell was banned.
She claimed that Tatchell is racist and transphobic. Having met Peter and being well aware of his work, I don’t believe for a second that is true. Looking at his record of campaigning will tell you all you need to know about him. Sadly, Tatchell did not speak at the event and said that it was an example of “a witch hunting, accusatory atmosphere” that is indicative of a decrease in “open debate on some university campuses”.
I entirely agree.
So what’s the solution? I really don’t know. Seeking to silence the militant left wing LGBT student extremist movement is not the answer, but it is a cause for concern and I sincerely hope that the NUS begins to see sense at some point in the near future. Freedom of speech and expression must be protected and cherished.
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