Comedy writer and gender critical activist Graham Linehan has announced a Gender Critical Coming Out Day, to take place on Dec. 19, two years from the day that JK Rowling posted her now famous tweet supporting women's right to exist. "On December 19th," Linehan writes, "let's make it safer for women to say 'no.'"
The Gender Critical Coming Out Day is meant to be a day where everyone who holds gender critical beliefs, meaning that they think that biological sex is real and immutable, and that men and women cannot become women and men simply through the application of medical science, can speak out at once.
The idea behind it is that if everyone opened their mouths and stated their beliefs at once, it would be clear that it is only a small minority of people who believe in trans ideology. Those who have been cowed into submission by this small but vocal group could find community in each other.
"We want to make it safer for people to speak up," Linehan writes. "At the moment, there is a false consensus that has been achieved through a combination of bullying and misinformation. There are many, many more of us who believe in biological reality than those who believe in gender identity ideology. As the series of recent conferences and events by different GC groups have shown, we’re not alone and we need to let others know we’re here."
How to "come out" as gender critical
Linehan suggests actions to take to speak out and support the day. 1) Post on your social media accounts using the hashtags #GenderCriticalComingOutDay or #SexNotGender and #IStandWithReality. 2) Use your real name and photo. Don't be anonymous, engage, take a stand. 3) Change your email signature, "Especially if you are 'encouraged' to have pronouns in your signature or your video call name, you can change to a form of words that shares your views," such as "My pronouns are based on my biology."
Linehan suggests that you 4) Be the billboard/buy some merch, to show that you believe women are real. 5) Buy gender critical books and give them out, such as Abigail Schrier's Irreversible Damage, Kathleen Stock's Material Girls, or Linda Blade's Unsporting, among other gender critical titles. 6) Ask friends and family what they think and if they've heard of "gender critical." 7) Bring it up with HR at work.
In response to the formation of this day, trans activists at publications like Pink News have spoken out against it. It seems to be of concern to them that many people who hold gender critical views could find each other all at once and realize that they are more than lone voices in the darkness but a brethren of like-minded people.
And of course, trans activists on Twitter expressed their displeasure with the day, and called Linehan, and anyone who agrees with him that men aren't women, Nazis, fascists, and the like. Some people with pronouns in their bios even posted pictures of angry cats.
Why December 19?
On Dec. 19, 2019, Rowling posted: "Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?"
She used the hashtag #IStandWithMaya to state her support of Maya Forstater, a woman who was forced out of her job for stating her belief that women are different from men, are not interchangeable through the application of medical procedures, and that biological sex is a real and immutable human condition.
That tweet has been "liked" hundreds of thousands of times and retweeted, though many have retweeted it and liked it only to find that they have to do so again when those likes disappear.
The tweet was seen by many as hateful and transphobic for staying that "sex is real." This is perceived of by trans activists as being anti-trans, or transphobic, because it indicates that sex is not simply a mental condition, but one with matter in the physical world.
This, of course, used to be a completely normal position to hold, and was widely accepted by virtually everyone on earth. Now, it is offensive to trans activists who believe that there are endless numbers of genders, as many as one can imagine, in fact, and that surgery intended to change external sex characteristics is actually an affirmation of an individuals true gender.
Despite it being a pretty normal perspective to believe that biological sex exists, many are afraid to speak out for fear that being gender critical, as it is known, could have negative implications. And this fear is not without merit. Forstater was forced from her job and had to take the case to court to prove that she wasn't offensive in stating that men aren't women.
JK Rowling has been mercilessly tarred and feathered in press and on social media. Though her Harry Potter empire is still too big to cancel, that hasn't stopped trans activists from trying. Dave Chappelle, who recently said in a comedy special that he is "team TERF," meaning he, too, believes that men aren't women, was protested by Netflix employees and in the press for making this very plain statement.
Linehan was permanently banned from Twitter a year ago. It was, according to Twitter for "repeated violations of our rules against hateful content and platform manipulation."
Linehan said "men aren't women tho." This was a permaban offense. Linehan, posting under @glinner, had been very vocal in his critique of trans activists and trans ideology, who he believed were using their platform of grievance to target women and to say, essentially, that the condition of being a woman is nothing more than a feeling. He was additionally contacted by the West Yorkshire police for harassment when he was accused of using a trans person's pre-transition name.
That trans person, Stephanie Hayden, also targeted Kate Scottow, who was arrested after calling Hayden "he" on Twitter. Scottow was arrested in front of her 10-year-old son and 20-month-old daughter. Hayden, who uses female pronouns, told the court that she had been involved "in a fair few" legal cases involving similar issues.
While the concept of a Gender Critical Coming Out Day is likely intended to generate solidarity, it will likely be used by trans activists as a means to further target those who believe men aren't women. Many of the tweets currently making use of the #GenderCriticalComingOutDay hashtag are about trying to find and harass those who may end up using it to bring attention to the fact that men aren't women.