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They do not speak for us

Many lesbians in Aotearoa New Zealand are very disturbed at the recent publicity given to a group calling itself Lesbian Rights Alliance Aotearoa, and in particular that group’s opposition to moves to make it easier for people to change the gender on their birth certificates.

This group does not speak for all lesbian women in our country. As far as we can tell, it does not even speak for a majority of lesbian women.

Many lesbian women support our transgender sisters and brothers. The lesbian community is as diverse as any other but overwhelmingly those that are part of it support the move to allow people to identify as the gender they are, whether that be the same or different from their biological sex at birth.

We believe this “alliance” is using the myth of “endangering women” to hide an agenda of hatred towards transgender people.

We believe the media should be very cautious about producing stories based on media releases from groups that have no visible contact details or information about membership, while purporting to represent a community.

A quick survey in our group this morning (NZ Lesbians Social Group on Facebook, a group of almost 1500 members) showed the vast majority had never heard of Lesbian Rights Alliance Aotearoa, and didn’t believe it spoke for them or reflected their values. If the media truly wants a genuine lesbian perspective on issues that may affect their community, there are several excellent groups, well-regarded and long-standing, who would be better placed to make comment rather than an anonymous “alliance” started in the last couple of months, and hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.

Belinda Howard, Rachel Green on behalf of NZ Lesbians Social Group

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