Feminists have finally begun to clash openly with the transgender movement, and the strongest attacks have come from lesbians. A lesbian Army veteran with an impressive pedigree has joined the charge, denouncing the transgender movement for erasing women.
Miriam Ben-Shalom, an LGB activist and teacher, was honorably discharged from the military for homosexuality in 1976, but she challenged her discharge in court and returned to military service in 1987. She reached the rank of Staff Sergeant. In 2016, she was invited to be the Grand Marshall of the Milwaukee Pride Parade, but the parade rescinded the offer after discovering “transphobic” comments on her Facebook page.
This notable lesbian activist recently spoke out about transgenderism, which she denounced as an assault on women and girls and an “erasure” of women — and lesbians in particular.
“Transgender activists’ erasure of women is horrifying,” Ben-Shalom wrote in The Federalist. “Women, especially lesbians, should not be told they are haters if they refuse to sleep with males who identify as trans. Women and children should not be forced to deal with males in their spaces, whether it be locker rooms or bathrooms.”
Ironically, the transgender movement is so strong on the Left that this lesbian activist resorted to The Federalist — a socially conservative publication — to publish her charge against transgenderism. This is particularly ironic, as Ben-Shalom is a notable lesbian activist.
“I have spent every day of my life since that time advocating for the marginalized and oppressed, especially sexual minorities,” she wrote. “I’ve organized rallies, shown up and stood up wherever injustice was allowed to flourish. I’ve twice chained myself to the White House fence and engaged in non-violent civil disobedience to protest the ban on LGB people in the military. I’ve risked jail time and criminal charges on behalf of my brothers and sisters in the LGB community.”
Ben-Shalom declared herself a firm believer in civil rights, and insisted that “the current law regarding bathrooms in Massachusetts, which allows transgender people to use opposite-sex facilities, is not a matter of civil rights.” Instead, “it’s a matter of unspeakable oppression against females.”
This lesbian activist called on all people to stand up against transgenderism and “loudly declare that the emperor has no clothes.” Ben-Shalom insisted that a person may wear whatever clothing he or she prefers, a person can self-identify as he or she sees fit, and a person should not experience discrimination.
“But I ought not to be expected to believe that by some magic and lots of surgeries and chemicals that a man can be a woman and a woman a man,” the lesbian powerfully declared. “I, and all women and children, should not have to put up with the shenanigans of those who insist that biology is ‘a social construct’ but gender is ‘innate in a person’ when the exact opposite is true.” Preach!
Ben-Shalom denounced different kinds of transgender “oppression.” First, she declared that “children should not be experimented upon by infusing them with puberty blockers to keep them from growing up,” and they “should not be operated upon and have body parts removed because they ‘feel’ they are something other than what they are.”
Ben-Shalom then pivoted to the central issue for lesbians. “Women, especially lesbians, should not be told they are haters if they refuse to sleep with males who identify as trans,” she declared.
This is a particularly interesting issue, because activists tend to lump lesbians in with transgender people in the “LGBT” acronym and its many, many offshoots.
Indeed, earlier this month, a group called “Get the L Out” marched against transgenderism at the London Pride Parade. This group claimed that the transgender push for “the social transition of lesbians” is actually a form of conversion therapy, because it turns lesbian women into straight men. The group also warned — rightly — about the long-lasting damage transgender “therapies” can wreak on healthy human bodies.
Most importantly, “Get the L Out” attacked transgenderism for “erasing” lesbians by socially forcing them to be open to having sex with men. If a biological man with a penis “identifies” as a woman, lesbians will be attacked as transphobic for refusing to have sex with him for that reason.
Like “Get the L Out,” Ben-Shalom insisted that lesbian women should have the right to refuse to have sex with “transgender” males, and should not be shamed for their sexual preferences.
Her last charge may prove most salient, however. Ben-Shalom claimed that “women and children should not be forced to deal with males in their spaces, whether it be locker rooms or bathrooms.”
In this, she echoed a claim long associated with the Right — that women and girls should not be forced to share private spaces with biological men who “identify” as women. Men have indeed presented themselves as transgender in order to spy on women and girls, a voyeur phenomenon that has been documented at Targets across America.
To her credit, Ben-Shalom clarified her concerns. “It’s not that all males identifying as trans are violent, but that laws currently allow any male who self-identifies as a woman to be admitted into female-only spaces,” she wrote. “The rate of violence against women is rising around the word.”
Concluding her column — which, again, appeared in The Federalist, of all places — Ben-Shalom warned against the “Degenderettes,” a self-described anti-fascist militant group. She warned against transgender activists who call for death to those who disagree with them, and the removal of children from parents who refuse to confirm their children’s transgender identity. Finally, she warned against activists who suggest “that women who disagree with trans ideology be used, quite literally, for body parts for males who identify as trans.”
“Do you understand now why this is not about trans human beings being discriminated against, but is about something much more horrible and revolting: the chemical sterilization of children, the denial of basic human rights to women and children, and the erasure of women?” Ben-Shalom asked.
This lesbian activist brings up excellent points that should unify Americans against the radical demands of the transgender movement. Americans should not be forced to deny the reality of biological sex. Lesbians should not be socially condemned for refusing to sleep with men. Women and girls should not be forced to share bathrooms and locker rooms with biological men, whatever their identity.
These are commonsense concerns, not “transphobic slurs.” The very fact that a lesbian activist can publish them in a conservative publication should send an important message — both the Right and the Left can agree that transgenderism is radical and dangerous. When lesbians are in lock step with conservative Christians, these concerns demand to be taken seriously.