At a Los Angeles show last month, standup comic Paul Elia poked fun at the new Pride flag, which in recent years has replaced the traditional rainbow flag at many LGBT events in the U.S. “It has like six additional colors that represent the transgender and nonbinary community,” Elia exclaimed, adding that the new flag “looks like the gay confederacy.” He posed the comical question, “What if there’s a gay civil war?” The audience chuckled but Elia may be onto something. There is a movement underway on both sides of the Atlantic to separate the alphabet soup that has grown to be known as “LGBTQ+.” Many feel that the “T” and “Q” don’t necessarily have much in common with gays and lesbians.
The LGB Alliance was established in Britain to advocate for the specific needs of LGB people, separate from trans and queer individuals. The movement, increasingly referred to as “LGB Without the T,” is pushing back against gender ideology and aims to address the unique concerns of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual individuals. Activists believe the prominence of transgender and queer issues has led to a loss of focus on traditional gay and lesbian political wins, such as marriage equality and parental rights.
The increasing attention to transgender issues has resulted in a backlash against “middle-of-road” gay and lesbian political gains, and this has caused a shift in public opinion about same-sex relationships and transgender-related topics. The rise of transgender and queer issues has led to a polarization within the larger LGBT community, and many are advocating for the separation of transgender issues from the broader gay rights movement.
Those who want to separate the transgender movement from the larger LGBT community have faced backlash, with many receiving threats and experiencing violence. Despite this, the movement continues to gain traction, with an increasing number of activists and individuals rejecting the notion that transgender identity is inherently linked to the traditional gay rights movement. There is an ongoing effort to reclaim the focus on traditional gay and lesbian rights and a push for LGB-specific advocacy and support.