September 10, 2022 |

Analyst Aoife Gallagher challenges anti-trans rhetoric in op-ed

ISD Analyst Aoife Gallagher wrote an article for about the mainstreaming of anti-trans rhetoric, its inherent roots in far-right ideology and why science isn’t on their side. As a researcher who monitors extremism and misinformation, she is often tagged on social media for her investigations— most recently relating to anti-trans social posts surrounding the Enoch Burke contempt of course case.

In this op-ed, Aoife challenges those that defend gender as a black-and-white topic, with only two options as man or woman, to think about the differences between sex and gender.

“The majority of people are assigned either male or female sex at birth, based on the presence of certain genitalia. But approximately 1.7% of the world’s population are born intersex – almost equal to the number of people with red hair. Intersex is a term used to describe people with variations in their reproductive or sexual anatomy which can include variations in genitals, sexual organs or chromosomes. Sometimes these differences are visible at birth, but other times, they don’t become apparent until puberty,” she writes.

She also outlines the origins of the moral panic among the radical right-wing and Christian evangelicals when it comes to trans people and the larger LGBTQ+ community, and how its being weaponised as a far-right recruitment tool.

“They believe the very existence of queer people will make other people queer and they see LGBTQ+ people as a sign of ‘degeneracy’ that threatens their ultimate goal – maintaining the white birth rate. The mainstreaming of this kind of belief has led to a moral panic that children are being ‘groomed’ into becoming queer through LGBTQ+ inclusive teaching in schools.”

The full article is available here.