Julia Beck, a lesbian TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), found herself on Fox News this week with Tucker Carlson after she said her transphobic views were ‘silenced’ elsewhere.
That elsewhere is the LGBTQ Commission of Baltimore, Maryland.
In January 2018, Mayor Catherine Pugh created the commission. According to the mayor’s government page, the commission advises the mayor and city council ‘about issues of concern affecting the LGBTQ community’ and ‘recommend policies and legislation’.
Beck, 26, was elected co-chair of the legal and policy committee of the commission last fall.
Soon, however, her transphobic views clashed with other committee members’ views.
‘People who call themselves transgender women are male,’ Beck said according to the Baltimore Sun. ‘People can call themselves whatever they want, but saying something doesn’t make it true.’
She reportedly differentiates between sex and gender, viewing the former as unchangeable, and refuses to use the pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’ for transgender women.
Akil Patterson, her co-chair, took issue with this.
‘You can’t tell other people how to identify,’ he said. ‘They are part of the community. It costs us nothing to say “her” or “him,” or say “they” or “them.”‘
This dispute led to a vote, which ended with Ava Pipitone, a transgender woman and lesbian, taking Beck’s position as co-chair.
Criticism and going on Fox News
‘She couches it in women’s rights, and women’s safety,’ described Jabari Lyles, Pugh’s liason to the committee, of Beck’s opinions and comments.
‘Which we of course support, but not at the expense of transgender women.’
Beck reinforced this assessment of her when she appeared on Fox News with Carlson.
‘When we get down to it, women and girls all share a biological reality,’ she said on the segment. ‘We’re all female. But if any man, if any male person can call himself a woman or legally identify as female, then predatory men will do so in order to gain access to women’s single-sex spaces. This puts every woman and girl at risk.’
Beck’s comments both misgender trans women and provide false information.
There is no evidence of a rise in violence or sexual assault in public spaces in states with nondiscrimination laws. Over 200 sexual assault organizations, as well as research done by CNN, have hit back against the idea Beck presents.
It is especially egregious when transgender women face disproportionately high rates of violence.
In an ironic comment, Beck told the Baltimore Sun she didn’t trust the right wing or Fox News.
‘I do feel kind of nervous about working with the right wing because they have opposed women’s bodily autonomy, and lesbians’ sovereignty,’ she said.
Why she agreed to appear, then, is because she said she is being silenced in other spaces. Her views, she added, have led to death and rape threats.
As for the commission, Beck doesn’t believe she’d be welcome in the future, but hopes it will still do good for lesbians.