Original article from Kent Live
Rosie Duffield has come under scrutiny after she was seen to 'like' a number of Twitter posts offensive to the LGBTQ+ community.
The Canterbury MP has made her Twitter account private after some users noticed that she had publicly 'liked' posts that compared transgender people to 'cosplayers', and called trans women 'male predators'.
LGBT+ Labour, the party's lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer rights group, have called for her whip to be removed stating her social media presence is in breach of Labour's membership policies.
The faction has called for the party to have a policy of "zero tolerance towards transphobia and homophobia, including from its own MPs."
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A statement from the group said that Duffield has displayed, “a pattern of LGBT-phobic behaviour culminating in the endorsement of tweet from a person arrested on terrorism charges which accuses members of the LGBT+ community of being ‘cosplayers'.”
KentLive has reached out to Rosie Duffield and her team for comment on this issue multiple times, but received no response.
Warning: this article contains language some readers may find distressing.
The original post, made by musician Kurtis Lemaster, disagreed the use of the word 'queer' as an umbrella term by members of the LGBTQ+ community, saying that it was being used by people 'cosplaying as the opposite sex'.
Lemaster, who goes by the stage name Kurtis Tripp, was arrested in 2018 after threatening to kill two men and commit a mass shooting, and was released on parole in 2019.
He has also joked about the alarmingly high rate of trans suicides, saying he thinks the often reported statistic that 41 per cent of trans people have attempted suicide is "funny".
Duffield has come under fire for liking tweets before, having had multiple female staffers quit over her views on gender identity, the most recent of which left her team in October 2020.
In fact, this came days after KentLive was made aware of another allegedly transphobic tweet that had been liked by Duffield, and reached out for comment on the matter.
Duffield did not respond to the initial request for comment.
The tweet in question pictured flyers that had been posted around Canterbury with the phrase "gender ideology only benefits men and male predators".
The specific claim that trans women – or women who have transitioned having been assigned as male at birth – are a threat to women in any meaningful sense has been proven untrue by studies.
The studies have indicated that that allowing trans women or gender nonconforming people into so-called 'single sex' spaces poses no threat, and being inclusive of trans women is not correlated by a higher level of assaults or violence.
A study carried out on behalf of Stonewall also found that being trans-inclusive would not pose any greater risk to women using facilities like rape and sexual assault shelters.
In fact, figures published in 2020 by anti-abuse charity Galop found that in a survey of more than 200 transgender people, 80 per cent of respondents had been victim to a form of transphobic hate crime in the last 12 months.
A further 70 per cent said their daily routine had been altered by transphobia, with five in 10 respondents feeling unsafe when leaving the house.
A quarter had been threatened with, or had been a victim of physical assault; 20 per cent of respondents had been threatened with or experienced sexual assault.
A spokesperson for Kent Pride said: "Kent Pride is an organisation for the entire LGBTQ community, and so we are saddened when trans people in Canterbury say that at best they feel unrepresented by their MP, and at worst they feel rejected by her.
"A lack of support for the trans community is a lack of support for the LGBTQ community.
"Rosie Duffield’s comments on gender and her support shown for those who have made hateful or threatening comments about trans people are unacceptable and based on a lack of understanding and education.
"We hope that Ms Duffield listens to all of the LGBTQ community, in particular those whose lives are made worse by transphobia, and those in her party who are unconditionally supportive of transgender rights.”