Originally published: 20.08.18
In November 2017 Ruth Hunt, the Chief Executive of Stonewall, the national LGBT human rights organisation in the UK, stated in Huffington Post that butch lesbians are all woman. Rightly defending trans rights, she did so with reference to the differences between trans people and butch lesbians like her.
“I have never – regardless of the way I present who I am – questioned my gender identity. Dressing‘like a boy’, wearing a suit, having short hair, is my way of being a woman” (Hunt, 2017).
Skip forward to the tinderbox Summer of 2018 and everyone is in love with comedian Hannah Gadsby and her outstanding show ‘Nanette’, screened on Netflix and quickly becoming something of a sensation. Part way through her show, Gadsby recalls appeals from audience members who contacted her to urge that she declare herself to be transgender; she recounts that this was news to her. Clarifying that she is not trans, she explains that she is a different kind of woman, and seen as such, often to the detriment of her own personal safety as many lesbians will unfortunately recognise. …
Finn Mackay: My area of research is contemporary British feminism and feminist activism. I am particularly interested in changes in this social movement from the Second Wave of the 1970s and 1980s to the present day. I have been involved in feminist activism for twenty years, founding the London Feminist Network and revived London Reclaim the Night in 2004. Prior to returning to academia, my professional background was in education and youth work, where I worked on domestic violence prevention and anti-bullying. I am still proudly involved with the women’s sector, conducting work and research for organisations such as Women’s Aid. I am passionate about all social justice issues and equalities. Other research interests include gender studies, animal rights, lesbian and gay studies and particularly gender identity, definitions, expressions and borders within the LGBT community. @Finn_Mackay