With about 50,000* followers on Twitter, transwoman India Willoughby is one of the most well known transgender people in the UK. But she’s just plain WRONG on a fair few issues. It’s time to set the record straight.
I’ve followed India on Twitter for ages. I’ve never found her an inspiration, and I hate her views on non-binary people, but I always thought she scrubbed up OK and I liked some of her tweets, such as those defending transgender children.
But in recent days, she’s caused quite a bit of offence among the trans community by stating things as fact – when they’re pure fiction. Fake news from a journalist.
So I thought I’d respond to one or two of her tweets – and help her with a few facts. Here they are, in chronological order.
India seems to think there’s a difference between transwomen and mtf transsexuals. That’s transsexuals with a double-S in the middle. She repeatedly spells the word wrong.
The fact is, there is no difference. They’re the same thing. In fact, most people in the trans community prefer not to use the term “transsexual” these days because this is all about gender – and not “sexual”-ity.
It’s not just me saying it. Check the dictionary, India.
As well as noting the spelling, look at the example given. Yep, pre-op. Being a transwoman (or transman) doesn’t depend on surgery. It’s a state of mind.
It does NOT matter at which stage in your transition you are – whether you’ve just been referred to the gender clinic by your GP or whether you had surgery ten years ago.
Then there’s this…
Hate to say I told you so, India.
As a transfeminine non-binary person, I also find it deeply insulting that someone who claims to be representing transgender people sees people like me (no surgery, not even on HRT yet) as “not trans enough”.
I’m just as trans enough as you are, lady. I just realise that gender’s not about little pink boxes and little blue boxes, with nothing in between.
Just because you’ve had the op doesn’t make you any better than me or anyone else who’s transgender.
India wrote a few months ago that pre-op trans people shouldn’t be allowed to use the public toilets of their choice. That’s just Jenni Murray TERF-ism, plain and simple.
Then there’s this beauty:
Here, she was replying to someone asking her what “cisgender” means. “No gender issues”? What planet are you living on?!
Once again, let’s let the dictionary speak for itself:
So in another words, it’s the majority of people out there – those who aren’t trans. So people who were assigned male at birth happy with being boys or men. Or people assigned female at birth happy with being girls or women.
What it does not mean is “someone with no gender issues”. I’m terribly sorry, India, but just because you’ve had surgery to create a vagina from your old penis, that doesn’t mean you’re now cis.
The following day, she wrote this:
I’m really not sure how India as a transwoman can say that being trans is temporary. You’re not cisgender, honey. You never will be. Be proud to be trans, for heaven’s sake!
India’s been getting a fair bit of abuse from the trans community and has responded by deleting some of her more controversial tweets, blocking people and threatening legal action.
Instead of making an enemy of some very influential people, she’d do far better to get her facts right and start representing and fighting for them – no matter what label under the transgender umbrella they choose to apply to themselves or how far they are (or plan to go) in their transition.
PS OK, maybe not 50,000 followers after all. Maybe more like 4,500!
PPS Well, that didn’t take long, India, sweetie! Thanks for the badge of honour!