Cathy Brennan is a long-time radical feminist lesbian activist working for equal rights for gay people, trans people, and women. Mark Angelo Cummings (FTM transman) and Jessica Lynn Cummings (MTF transwoman) interviewed Brennan for the July 24 episode of Transition Radio TV. Despite her work in the real world to protect trans rights and end male violence against women, children, and gender noncomforming people, Brennan has become a popular target of what the hosts term “keyboard warriors” who attack and tear down potential allies. These “transactivists” have threatened to rape and to kill Brennan and many other radical feminists expressing their analysis of gender. Brennan and the Cummings explore this radical feminist analysis that one can not simply “identify” out of this oppressive caste system, and the irony of heterosexual men who identify as women bullying and threatening actual women with whom they disagree.
Brennan speaks with clarity on the history of gay, lesbian, and queer culture; ongoing homophobia and male violence; why the interests of lesbians don’t always align with the goals of others in the GLBTQ movement, which she says has become a men’s-rights movement; and why women need women-only space to meet and organize.
The interview is an excellent antidote to the smears across the internet about Cathy Brennan and her supposed “hate speech” or “transphobia.” Brennan’s long-time experience with queer culture and human rights activism, and her resultant wisdom, is a breath of fresh air if you’ve ever wallowed through the trans hostility online.
By giving Brennan a platform to discuss these important issues, and by calling out abusive individuals and behavior within the trans community, the Cummings model what we all need to do in in our various environmental and social justice circles. We can’t build a healthy movement while being undermined by aggressive or mentally ill individuals sabotaging relationships by fostering horizontal hostility. We need to identify and expel such people from our communities, with zero tolerance for abusive behavior. Besides damaging our internal dynamics, such individuals make our movement look childish and non-serious to outside observers, potentially discrediting the goals towards which we work.
Watch the video interview below, and check out the recently featured Meghan Murphy interview for more on how horizontal hostility and labels like “transphobic” are used to silence women.