Graham Linehan has once again caused a stir online with his views on the trans community. Earlier this year, Linehan faced a public outcry over his inclusion in an episode of RTÉ’s Prime Time discussing transgender identities and Irish law regarding gender recognition for trans young people. He also likened trans activism to Nazism and was given a police warning over harassment on Twitter.
In the latest incident, Linehan tweeted about the appointment of Ruth Hunt, the ex-CEO of the UK LGBT+ charity Stonewall, to the House of Lords. He shared, “Is Ruth Hunt the first MRA peer?” The MRA, or Men’s Rights Activist, movement is very much anti-feminist.
It could be read that Linehan considers Hunt anti-feminist for her support of the trans community. He followed with, “Ruth Hunt is why lesbian pride marches are being booed on the streets of the UK in 2019.”
Linehan’s opposition to mainstream trans activism, he says, is not transphobic but merely stems from his objection to the belief that trans women are literally women. He previously shared, “I think trans women as women as a courtesy is something that I’m fine to follow. But trans women as literally women, is something I object to.”
Pinknews contacted Linehan regarding his Tweets about Ruth Hunt with a series of questions. Linehan then shared his responses on social media.
Firstly Pinknews asked – “Graham’s comparison of Ruth Hunt to a Men’s Rights Activist suggest he thinks transgender women are men. Is that his position?”
He replied: “First of all, I’m not sure what you means by ‘transgender women’. Do they mean transexuals? Or just any male who ‘identifies’ as a woman..?” He then lists examples of folk he doesn’t believe are trans women.
"We’re delighted @Ruth_Hunt has been granted a peerage. She’s an inspirational and dedicated leader who transformed Stonewall’s culture […]. I know that her collaborative and intelligent approach will add huge value in the House of Lords."-@Jan_Gooding https://t.co/2mwHKGkNyj pic.twitter.com/Gj3Cnx5plt
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) September 10, 2019
Secondly Pinknews queries, “Has Graham made these comments because of Ruth Hunt’s work – in her time at Stonewall – defending transgender rights, and particularly transgender women?”
Graham Linehan responded: “Ruth Hunt has betrayed lesbians by stating that fully intact men are, in fact, women. I think she has done immeasurable harm not only to lesbians but also to trans people. I think she has set LGBT rights back by years.”
Lastly they asked, “Graham’s comments about Ruth Hunt being an MRA are being perceived as him being anti-transgender people, and anti-trans rights. Are these perceptions correct?”
To which Linehan stated: “No, I am anti MRAs. I believe that gender ideology mostly benefits men, who are currently destroying women’s sports, closing rape crisis centres and assaulting vulnerable women in prison.”
Want to help us support trans and gender variant kids and their families?
Donate up to £20 via your phone by texting "Mermaids £20" to 70085 📱
— Mermaids 🧜🏻♀️ (@Mermaids_Gender) September 10, 2019
While Linehan has insisted he is “not transphobic”, earlier this year he sought to block funding for the UK trans children’s charity Mermaids. But in spite of a lengthy campaign from anti-trans activists, the National Lottery announced that Mermaids would receive £500,000 over the course of five years.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.
GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.