How do you know when things have become really, really bad?
When you see neo-Nazis out in the clear light of day.
On March 18 this month, about 30 self-identified neo-Nazis of the far-right National Socialist Movement (NSN), uniformly dressed in black with face coverings, donning a sign reading: “destroy paedo freaks” were witnessed marching down Spring Street in the state capital of Victoria, Australia.
They were attending the “Let Women Speak” event, a transphobic event masquerading as a feminist one, hosted by notorious British Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) campaigner, Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, better known as Posie Parker, on her Australia and New Zealand tour.
About 400 people were in attendance, however, LGBTQ+ counter-protesters are estimated to have outnumbered them by double.
It was to these counter-protestors that the neo-Nazis aimed slurs, all whilst chanting “white power” and throwing Nazi salutes in front of Parliament House in Melbourne, spurring the Victorian government to propose a law banning the gesture in the state of Victoria.
Nazis marched through Melbourne yesterday (my new home) in support of a transphobic rally spearheaded by a British transphobe who I won’t name.
I repeat, NAZIS are saluting and marching the streets -protected by police- in aid of transphobia, and Britain is the catalyst
— Gina Martin (@ginamartinuk) March 21, 2023
Parading neo-Nazis appear to have been shielded by police protection who instead restrain counter-protestors belonging to the marginalised groups who were victims of their fascist rhetoric and gestures.
Nazis down under, police in Melbourne offering nothing but the best security while they march around taunting people. pic.twitter.com/8zFIWFcP24
— 🥀 Imposter 🥀 (@Imposter_Edits) March 19, 2023
A neo-Nazi who attended the Melbourne event discloses that the Nazis’ presence was co-facilitated by Parker and the police. He refers in the video to Thomas Sewell who is an Australian neo-Nazi and the leader of the National Socialist Network (NSN):
Melbourne Neo-Nazi CONFIRMS:
1 ) TERF organisers facilitated Nazi entry behind the police line. They did NOT gate crash.
2 ) Nazi and TERF views on trans people are aligned.
3 ) They arrived to support the TERFs, with prior collaboration ahead of time. pic.twitter.com/VB3auUSdgQ
— Amy Sargeant 🏳️⚧️ (@amy_sargeant_) March 27, 2023
However, the tour came to an abrupt end last weekend due to counter-protestors in the thousands drowning out Parker’s anti-LGBTQ+ rally in Albert Park in Auckland, New Zealand (with more neo-Nazis on the margins throwing salutes).
Parker reportedly chose to leave the country to head back to her home in the UK. Having been doused in tomato soup by a protester, she said she had “never been as frightened,” fearing for her life.
A celebration broke out in the park on her departure.
Albert Park is now a trans joy dance party 🏳️⚧️🏳️⚧️🏳️⚧️ pic.twitter.com/hT8ZTTOb0m
— Max (@max_tweedie) March 24, 2023
This tour does not mark the first time Posie Parker has been affiliated with fascism.
The Slippery Slope of Transphobia
In an event on January 15 in Newcastle, UK, Parker hosted another anti-trans event at which one “gender critical” speaker, identified as UK Guild of Hypnosis Practitioners (UKGHP) Chair Lisa Morgan, quoted Adolf Hitler’s 1924 manifesto “Mein Kampf.”
Further, on a 2019 trip to a Norway conference, Parker took a “selfie” with Hans Jørgen Lysglimt Johansen, a Norwegian neo-Nazi and a Holocaust-denier who has been investigated by the police for anti-semitic comments.
In 2019 Kellie travelled to Norway to speak at a conference alongside Hans Jørgen Lysglimt Johansen a Holocaust denialst whom she took a selfie with afterwards. pic.twitter.com/amHR7pGTAG
— Lilah TheyPG 🌻💚 (@LilahRPGtt) January 19, 2023
Parker has also willingly associated herself and shared platforms with white supremacists, notably appearing in a video alongside Jean-François Gariépy, a far-right YouTuber who advocates for a “white ethno-state.” Other guests on Gariépy’s show include former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
The self-proclaimed “feminist” also threatened trans-inclusive women with eliminative rhetoric associated with Nazism in a video broadcast on Twitter the next month. Falsely and maliciously comparing trans women to sexual predators and serial killers, she claimed she was being “persecuted” for “trying to stand up for women and girls”:
“Each and every one of you women who stand in my way … will be annihilated.”
She has gone so far as to encourage cis men to enter women’s bathrooms, armed with guns in a since-deleted Youtube video:
not kellie-jay keen-minshull inviting men with guns into the women's bathroom to protect cis women from transgender women.
this is incitement of violence. pic.twitter.com/DF1OqOQaua
— the lesbian project (@notCursedE) January 28, 2021
Parker’s assertion of cisgender women’s victimisation by trans women does not hold up in studies that have found that there is no evidence to support the claim that trans women are more likely than cisgender women to sexually assault women in women-only spaces, nor is there evidence to suggest trans women are “deviant” or “predatory.”
In fact, the research has found to the contrary that sexual and gender minorities are themselves at a higher risk of physical and sexual assault, as well as harassment, bullying and becoming victims of hate crimes throughout their lives.
Transgender people in England and Wales are twice as likely to be victims of crime as cisgender people, despite making up only 0.2% of the population.
According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association Europe’s (ILGA-Europe’s) 2023 report, 2022 was “the most violent year for LGBTI people” across Europe and Central Asia specifically with transphobic hate crimes increasing by 56% in England and Wales.
Whilst in the US, it has been found that transgender people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to experience violent victimisation.
The Trans Day of Remembrance Campaign (TDoR) reported that there were 327 reported murders of trans and gender-diverse people in the world in 2022 as a result of anti-trans violence, with 96% being trans women or femmes.
However, these numbers may be just the tip of the iceberg; the report emphasised that most trans murders still go under-reported.
Stop Hate UK found that despite the 2,630 victims of Transgender Hate Crimes reported in 2021, 88% of transgender people did not report the most serious crimes with 48% of those who did, reporting dissatisfaction with the police response, who did.
This is no wonder considering the ingrained institutional discrimination of marginalised groups that is continually being exposed in law enforcement.
Angela Saini, award-winning British journalist based in New York and author of “The Patriarchs: How Men Came to Rule” (released just this month), reminds us how “the fight for transgender rights and non-binary rights is an anti-patriarchal fight,” explaining:
“… the bargain that patriarchy offers women is a level of protection and safety … we will offer you power and seniority within the family as long as you follow this system …”
Kravitz Marshall, writer for Medium adds to this the racist and colonial history of the imposed gender binary that was used as a genocidal tool, intended to erase the diverse ontological views held of gender and sexuality by the many peoples whom Europe colonised:
“Gender variation is not unusual or historically unknown in the slightest, and implying otherwise contributes to the violence that forced these notions on so many people.”
Despite this, HOPE not hate’s “State of Hate 2023” report shows that anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, particularly in its transphobia, is becoming “increasingly vocal and aggressive” amongst the far-right.
Parker is singled out in the report as a “leading voice” which the far-right in Western countries is amplifying, using as a way to reinforce “traditional values” and tactically distract from their corrupt inept governance.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is now tracking a rising 435 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the US, including over 124 bills banning gender affirming care.
Current state of bills and policies banning gender affirming care. 34 states have introduced over 124 bills banning gender affirming care.
11 states have enacted outright bans
3 states have injunctions on bans/policies
2 states have enacted restrictions pic.twitter.com/90L2QsaG4J
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) March 23, 2023
The gravity of this legal situation came to light earlier this month when the coded genocidal intention of these laws was explicitly voiced by American conservative political commentator, Michael Knowles:
Michael Knowles tells CPAC that "there can be no middle way in dealing with transgenderism. … Transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely." https://t.co/57hJF4frgq pic.twitter.com/szvnC1qWrP
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 4, 2023
The Toll This Is Taking on Trans People
The panicked hate towards trans people, largely stems from a mainstream public ignorance that has been filled with malicious falsehoods perpetuated by the media designed to bait outrage, and therefore, clicks.
The Spectator’s description of the LGBTQ+ counter-protests in New Zealand exemplifies how the media narrative erases the vulnerability of the transgender community and ignores the calls for their eradication:
“We glimpsed the iron fist of authoritarianism that lurks in the velvet glove of ‘Be Kind’. The misogynistic streak in trans extremism is undeniable now.”
Neglecting to report her fraternisation with fascism, they instead frame Parker as “persecuted,” calling her being doused with soup, a “modern day stoning.”
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The mental, physical and emotional toll that transphobia is taking on trans, queer and gender non-conforming people is crushing.
Skyanna Butterfly, who is neurodivergent and a trans femme who goes by she/her pronouns, speaks to Impakter on the effect the anti-trans news cycle is having on her life and her mental health:
“…it’s really hard … everyday … being afraid to use the bathroom when I’m in public, being afraid to dress how I feel in public, having to deal with transphobia … sometimes it’s really hard to want to stay alive … because every day, a little more is a nod away from the reason why I should stay alive, chipping away at us slowly.”
Being trans, non-binary or gender non-conforming is not “a phase” (although everyone has a unique and valid journey to realising their gender identity); it is not “attention-seeking,” nor is it part of an “ideology.”
Peppermint, US actress, singer, songwriter, television personality, drag queen of Rupaul’s Drag Race fame, and activist testifies:
“being transgender is very real and there is no separating trans identity from the individual … we are who we say we are.”
I’ve known @Peppermint247 since 1998. Over the past 25 years I’ve witnessed in awe & admiration how she’s defined the words integrity, authenticity, respect, courage, love, compassion, complicity, empathy, grace & talent. Listen to my sister, she’s got important things to say. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/e8Xo10ISsi
— Mauricio Martínez (@martinezmau) March 15, 2023
This is also reflected in scientific studies that show, contrary to the commonly held simplistic binary presumptions of biology:
“Sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place before sexual differentiation of the brain, making it possible that they are not always congruent.”
A 2022 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that trans teens were 7.6 times more likely to attempt suicide than their cis peers.
However, Casey Pick, director of law and policy at The Trevor Project notes how the odds of suicide risk “lower significantly” when young transgender people feel supported and believed by their parents and families.
Munroe Bergdorf, English model and activist explains further:
“I wish I connected the dots that a lot of my dysphoria was attached to being ashamed of my transness. Once I started seeing my gender identity as something that was beautiful, complex, and unique to me, rather than trying to subscribe to appearing super binary and feminine all the time, my gender dysphoria alleviated slightly.”
Speak Up For Transgender People.
Gender diversity exists within nature which humans are a part of and has existed throughout humanity since the dawn of time:
“Any system trying to sort people into clear cut groups will have its fair share of outliers. The outliers aren’t subhuman. Much like evolution occurs on a gradual scale with no clear distinction as to where one species ends and the next one begins, humanity cannot be sharply defined, and punishing ambiguity will not eradicate it,” writes Kravitza Marshall.
In order to change the dangerous trajectory of overt and insidious fascism that is being enabled and leveraged for populist power-grabs, it is crucial to follow New Zealand’s example and drown out the voices spreading hate against the LGBTQ+ community.
Skyanna reiterates the danger of silence in the face of genocide:
“There was a political commentator who called for the … eradication of trans people. Where is the outcry? People need to speak up.”
Her concerns are shared by the Lemkin Institute, whose mission is global genocide prevention, founded in the name of Polish lawyer, Raphäel Lemkin, who coined the word “genocide” in 1944:
“The Lemkin Institute believes that the so-called “gender critical movement” that is behind these laws is a fascist movement furthering a specifically genocidal ideology that seeks the complete eradication of trans identity from the world.”
In fact, the Lemkin Institute reminds us of how the Nazis advocated for a strict gender binary in their racial politics and genocide of which trans people were victim and are still being terrorised by to this day.
It is therefore disturbing to see a trend in Holocaust revisionism on social media and even enabled in politics:
This is Rosie Duffield, a Labour MP, liking a tweet that contains Holocaust revisionism. Trans people and gay people were sent to die in concentration camps by the Nazis.
This is a historical fact, and it is disgusting that a sitting Labour MP would approve of its denial. pic.twitter.com/mbBPtrrrRQ
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) March 24, 2023
Skyanna recites the 1946 confessional poem “First They Came…” by the German Lutherian Pastor Martin Niemöller that speaks to the regrets of silence by German intellectuals, select clergy and by Niemöller himself during the holocaust:
First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me
Listening to and speaking up for (but not over) marginalised voices in the face of fascism is the only way we can cast Nazism and its counterparts, back into the shadows of history where they belong, to never emerge in the light of day again.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: The transgender flag. Featured Photo Credit: Alicia Jane Ryder