Gendered Intelligence Training Session for Teachers at ‘Kiss My Genders’

Gendered Intelligence co-hosted a teacher training session at the Hayward Gallery last night for teachers of primary, secondary and higher education. The aim of the training was to “explore ways of talking about gender and identity, using Hayward Gallery’s Kiss My Genders exhibition as a discussion starter” and to “build skills to discuss key topics of trans awareness and gender identity, drawn from the exhibition, in the classroom.”

Kiss my Genders showcases the work of “more than 30 international artists whose work explores and engages with gender identity.” The show comprises over 100 artworks by artists “who employ a wide range of approaches to articulate and engage with gender fluidity, as well as with non-binary, trans and intersex identities.”

Gendered Intelligence has been delivering training in schools, including primary schools, since 2008. In itself, confusing young children about biological sex and eroding boundaries between the sexes through pretending that sex is not real, should be something that rings alarm bells for anyone concerned with safeguarding and child protection.

This exhibition though, and Gendered Intelligence’s involvement with it, is yet more evidence that ‘gender identity’ ideology is queer theory, which normalises kink, BDSM, fetish, porn and extreme sexual practices. In practice, this means that many young people who identify as part of the queer community, are being pressured to accept kink and paraphilia through fear of being accused of ‘kink shaming’ if they don’t. Once children are trained not to trust their intuition and to believe that having sexual boundaries is ‘bigoted’ they may be more easily manipulated into accepting further erasure of boundaries through a lack of confidence in their own judgment and a fear of being ‘non-inclusive.’

When you disable the function to recognise and name reality throughout society, this is the result: a children and young people’s charity involved in an exhibition of kink, fetish and violent porn passed off as an ‘exploration of gender identities’ which is suitable for all ages.

The following report of the Gendered Intelligence session for teachers was written for us by an anonymous attendee who wants to be known only as #lesbianonachair. We reproduce her report here just as she sent it to us last night, with no editing, so it is an undoctored, immediate response to the session. We are very grateful to her for attending this teacher training with Gendered Intelligence and for offering us her report of the event to publish here. 

 

The Training Session with Gendered Intelligence

On 14 June 2019 I attended a training session held by the Hayward Gallery with the help of Gendered Intelligence for school teachers.

‘Teachers’ Twilight: Talking to Pupils About Gender’ was billed as a training session, to explore ways of talking about gender and identity, using Hayward Gallery’s Kiss My Genders exhibition as a discussion starter.  

The session was led by Southbank Centre’s Creative Learning team, a curator from Kiss My Genders, and a representative from trans support organisation Gendered Intelligence.  Teachers from the primary, secondary and higher education sector were invited to participate.  

Firstly the schools manager gave an intro and wanted to know how many teachers were from primary schools, etc.  She looked surprised when most put their hands up for primary, and so was I, but on reflection perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising.  She explained that the exhibition was very timely as it is now the 50th anniversary of the Pride March and that the exhibition was informing their summer schools programme.  She asked if anyone in the room had any students who would be particularly interested in attending workshops being held in tandem with this exhibition, which we had been given flyers about.  

Then the curator, who was later to show us around the exhibition, talked a bit about how the exhibition pushed at the boundaries of gender.  He showed a photograph of the opening night, which some of the artists attended, one looked as it they were wearing S&M gear, another was a man in drag who has featured on BBC news about being Muslim and trans.  The curator praised the plurality of the art.  

Finally it was the turn of the Gendered Intelligence representative to train us on what it means to be trans.  He introduced himself as Dex and that he uses “they/them” pronouns, because he is non-binary.  He said growing up he had a very tough time because people always asked if he was a boy or a girl and that had led him to identify as non-binary, which means, in case you don’t know, that he is neither male or female.  He is from “generation Tumblr”.  

He personally found words to describe his trans experience “helpful” and they gave him “confidence”.  Gendered Intelligence achieved charity status only a month ago and their stated aim is a world “where people are no longer constrained by narrow perceptions and expectations of gender, and where diverse gender expressions are visible and valued”.  

A ‘working agreement’ slide was put up, and Dex explained that there would be no time to unpack issues around sport (too difficult), no time to explain what the actual law means in terms of single sex provision (inconvenient). “We can do more than that by discussing best practice” he boasted.  And then, a bit off topic, he said confidentiality about the history of trans lives needed to be respected.  

Dex also said that we shouldn’t repeat anything else that anyone said in the room, or take photographs, but that he was “happy to have his own words passed on”.  Phew, so that’s okay then Dex, I can quote you. 

What does ‘trans’ mean?

We had to discuss in pairs what we thought this meant.  Then Dex told us that “it’s about change” and that when a pupil in a school transitions, “the whole environment has to transition”.  No-no’s are saying things like someone “wants to be something” or that someone “used to be a girl”.  

Dex also observed that terms get out of date so so quickly nowadays, why even the young people he works with (and I judge that he was probably late 20s, at a push early 30s but I doubt it) think he’s such a fuddy-duddy because he uses such archaic terms.  Words get out of date in a year now.  

Also that sex is “assigned at birth”.  

What is the difference between sex and gender? 

Again we discussed this in pairs and then had corrections from Dex.  Dex explained that doctors “diagnose sex”.  

Then a slide which stated “only male and female” is a key cultural assumption and that 1 in 100 people are intersex and that 1 in 100 people are under the trans umbrella.  It also said in brackets “statistics are indicative”.  

Intersex people experience a lot of violence from doctors on their bodies (it is also a common trans activist trope).  

Dex started to talk about the exhibition and he said that his absolute most favourite thing in the exhibition was a candle made out of synthetic testosterone.  

Misgendering

If you misgender someone, just apologise and move on, it doesn’t have to be a big deal.  Also, there are just so many new things coming up these days, there will always be new words and terms.  New words and identities are very exciting.  They give you choices and autonomy.  Even older people might enjoy having the opportunity to use these new words to describe themselves.  

Safeguarding issues

Did you know that a pupil presenting as trans is not inherently a safeguarding issue?  (Although on one hand one can quite agree with this, surely one would come from a perspective that it might be a safeguarding issue). 

Anyway if a pupil tells you that they are trans, respect their confidentiality, especially as they may not have made up their mind yet, although Dex knows of a 15 year old who posted it all over Instagram because they just wanted it out there and for everybody to know.  

Access to gender neutral spaces.  

Did you know that transgender pupils are not peeing at school due to lack of gender neutral facilities? Their bodies are literally being damaged by this and it is a form of violence on them.  

Dex then related that he is currently mentoring a 9 year old child in a school, following the school requesting help from Gendered Intelligence.  Dex has 1-to-1 sessions with the child as the child said they wanted someone to talk to.  Dex had recently asked the child if they wanted to continue the sessions in the new term, to which the child said that they were “confused” about how to answer this.  Which was an answer which Dex clearly was disappointed with as his voice dropped a note, though in a moment of rare self-reflection he did also acknowledge that some kids do change their minds.  

Q&A session

Dex came into his own in the Q&A session.  During the teaching session there was all the time in the world to listen to him, speaking about the matter closest to his heart, queerness.  However, when the Q&A session started he began to look at his watch and exclaim “there might not be enough time” and also took a deep inhalation of breath signalling to us that he was very nervous indeed.  

Someone asked a question about safeguarding.  Yes, this person said, being trans is not de facto a safeguarding issue, but what if there is?  What do you do?

Well, Dex advised us to ask that trans person, who has told you that they are trans “who else knows?”  Dex also said that the “needs of the trans person” might be in conflict with the “needs of the family”.  He said it a couple of times, as if “needs of the family” was automatically something bad.  

I asked about the source of the statistic for “1 in 100” people being born intersex.  Dex said he had no idea where that statistic had come from and that it would all be in the PDF pack that was going to be emailed out later. 

I retorted that my understanding was that intersex was an extremely rare condition and that the figure was likely closer to 1 in 100,000, and that the figure they had given was grossly inflated.  

Dex snapped back that the figure was from the intersex community themselves and that it was their statistic.  

And that was that.  

The ‘Kissing My Genders’ Exhibition 

After the training session we went to look at the exhibition with a talk from the curator.  Even before we entered the room we were informed that the exhibition might not be suitable if you have a latex allergy, so my red flags were already raised.  No warning was given about the content of the exhibition, i.e. that there was be extremely graphic depictions of adult sexuality.  

The latex allergy warning was given because there are two huge curtained off areas, made out of latex, and I have to say I felt a bit wheezy around it.  

The first photo still that I looked at was of, I guess, a drag queen.  A drag queen wearing a pair of handcuffs.  I kind of rolled my eyes a bit and wondered how much worse it was going to get in the latex rooms. 

The curator talked a bit how the show was all about different gender identities and how they are expressed, blah blah blah. Victoria Sin is one of the artists featured.  Sin is a Canadian woman who identifies as non-binary and the curator explained that her work explores femininity (of course religiously referring to her as ‘they’).  Still photos of her are projected onto curtained material, so that the image of her ‘tantalises’ the viewer.  You can look up images of Victoria Sin for yourself if you like.  She isn’t exploring femininity, she’s depicting a blow up sex doll.  I thought to myself, there would be no way in hell they could get away with displaying that if they were projecting that onto a flat screen.  

Then there was a section of more traditional portraiture photographic stills.  Some were of faces, but some were in my opinion leaning towards soft porn (for example, a pair of long ‘sexy’ legs ending in a pair of very high stilettos).  

More blooh blah bley from the curator as he talked about one of the photos which depicted a body covered in blown up condoms.  According to the curator this artist was experimenting with the ‘hybrid’ body, by covering himself with blow up condoms.  At which point I mentally asked myself, “is it that, or a rubber fetish?”

We moved upstairs to an area displaying mixed media art.  Here there was a very large photo of an African woman, with what looked like to me lots of like black rubber gloves.  The blurb besides the photograph described that the artist was exploring black identity.  I do sincerely hope that the Hayward Gallery is not transing ethnic experience, but it does seem like that, especially as I felt that the image lacked any sexual charge whatsoever, and was simply a black woman being as black as she could (it’s a beautiful photograph). 

On the floor in that area there was an absolutely huge rabbit suit, probably five metres long.  I asked the curator what it was and he explained that the artist in question likes dressing up in them, but that this was one that he probably doesn’t use for performance.  The curator said it was known as “the big one’ and then smirked.  So that was the furries tick box checked then. 

The curator also talked about a series of photos, again “exploring gender identity”, which were actually nothing of the sort, unless you think that looking like an alien, or having your face covered in fruit, is somewhere on the gender spectrum.  Again, the curator used the word “masking” to describe this family of photos.  Another red flag (‘masking’ is a rubber fetish).  

Oh and there was also the candle made out of testosterone, which was Dex’s favourite.  It was about 4 inches high and unremarkable.  

Then we moved to an area where things are ramped up a bit.  There were several more photos which were really depicting various BDSM practices, and incredibly a very close up photo of an erect penis.  This is when I really began to think there must be an age restriction on this show of at least 15, and if so what was the point of bringing a bunch of schoolteachers to look at this.  What age of kids are they thinking about?  Higher education surely?

So I approached the school programme manager and asked her, was it age-restricted?  She said ‘no’ it wasn’t but that parents were given an advisory warning.  

I’ll just repeat for emphasis: 

THE SHOW IS NOT AGE RESTRICTED.  

I explained to her that that some of the exhibition material was actually pornographic in nature, and that in particular rubber fetish was a theme.  She said that “parents know their kids best” and I pointed out that actually parents are the most likely demographic to be involved in the abuse of a child.  

Then she went all corporate on me and told me how invaluable my opinion was and that she would feed it back, and that the Gallery had “consulted LGBTQ+ groups” in the process of vetting the show.  

I said I didn’t understand how the Gallery could put a fully erect penis on display and think that it was okay for potentially young children to see such an image.  I pointed out that the Gallery are failing responsible parents by not making clear that there are explicit images on show.  

Then the school programme manager invited the curator to join the conversation.  I explained my position to him that it wasn’t appropriate for children to see it at all.  I pointed out that even in a 15 certificate film you wouldn’t be able to show a fully erect penis, and the same standard needed to apply in this situation.  

He started to fob me off with the excuse, that all people who don’t give a shit about safeguarding give, namely that kids can look up anything on their phones these days, but I wasn’t having any of it.  He tried it again and finally I told him, “you’re responsible for the content of this show, and you’re responsible for making sure that children aren’t exposed to inappropriate material, now I’m going to look around the rest of this show to see what’s here” and dismissed them both.  

At which point I am genuinely going to give a trigger warning about what I saw next. 

I walked up a little ramp to what I had already pointed out to both the Hayward Gallery staff members was reminiscent of a peep show booth.  It was draped in blood red velvet, and had a phallic symbol – a Devil’s tail.  

Inside a film played.  A man fully encased in a rubber suit is lain prostate on the floor, surrounded by other men, he obviously can’t move, and then there is a cake.  A cake which is just like him, the blue and white icing mirroring the colouring and striping on his suit.  The men rip into the cake with their hands and inside there is lots of red jelly-like substance, as if it’s his innards, which they pull out and then they get the cake and then pretend stuff it in the mouth of the rubber figure on the floor.  The metaphor is clear.  This is a gang rape scene.  The camera focus is all over the place, giving you the sense of movement in the scene, and of the confusion of the man being raped.  A close up of a head fully encased in rubber being stuffed with cake.  Complete dehumanisation and degradation. 

Between all this happening there are flashes of men tied and bound up, crouching, with what look like actual metal spikes up their arses.  

I couldn’t have been in there more than a minute so I didn’t even see the full thing.  Just to repeat.  

THE SHOW IS NOT AGE RESTRICTED.  

And needless to say, nothing in that rubber fetish film had anything whatsoever to do with gender identity.  Zero.  No one can argue that.  That was real pornography right there.  You could take your kid to this exhibition and they could wander off up into the little room and you’d have no idea that they were going to be watching that. 

So yes, that’s right, the Hayward Gallery and Gendered Intelligence looked around all the media on display, and in particular that film, and decided that they make this the springboard for the conversation with kids about gender identity.  And that they didn’t need to age restrict it. 

Even as an adult, I think I deserved to know that I was going to be exposed to a rubber fetish pornographic movie depicting a gang rape – who wouldn’t?  

I could easily have left just then, gone home.  I had seen enough to utterly destroy any notion that this is an exhibition exploring what is now fashionably known as ‘gender identity’, rather than fetish, but I went downstairs to look into the latex rooms (don’t worry the worst bit is now over). 

In the pink latex room, you have to take your shoes off because the artist has chosen white carpet and doesn’t want people to get their dirty shoes on his lovely white carpet.  I watched two minutes of the artist mincing silently into the camera and left.  

The black latex room, is a film about gay male sexuality and Tom of Finland features.  A camera rovers over a scantily clad man, avoiding the obvious area, and yes I kind of got the idea of where that was going, so decided to leave after a couple of minutes.  

So in conclusion, no one at the Southbank or the Hayward Gallery has done any due diligence whatsoever looking at safeguarding issues.  They have completely failed parents, kids and anyone who goes to see this exhibition expecting that it will explore how sexist stereotypes impact on us, and how we try subvert them.  There wasn’t even one exhibit that I would say genuinely challenged a sexist stereotype.  Not one.  

Heads need to roll.  

 

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Karen

    Shocking!
    Gendered intelligence is not charitable.
    The idea of “gender fluidity” is based on evil influences .

  2. Marcus Grant

    Blimy! What a mash-up between a fetish art exhibition and a discussion on gender identity and how to handle the issues in school. Yes – serious blurring of boundaries. Mirroring the societal problem and conflicting agendas. Whether deliberate or unconsciously unaware (as some kind of pathology), this is disturbing for safeguarding issues – children, women but also through them – men also.

  3. Dajve

    Gendered Intelligence have form – they seem to utterly lack a safeguarding culture. Here’s an account of their youth conference from someone in her 30s who decided to attend a youth group, and who says that children call her ‘Dad’ when she gets their packers, binders and hormones: http://archive.is/6pHIX

  4. Laila Namdarkhan

    It seems the Haywood Gallery are seriously crashing the Overton Window with this exhibition and session on gender ideology. While the exhibition sounds vile, it will be enabled as Art, I am ok with that, but it should be restricted to 18yrs and over. It also seems to have escaped all the organisers that rubber fetish is not a ‘gender’ or strictly a ‘gay’ issue. Many straight people enjoy participating in rubber/ latex fetish. It is exclusionary of the Curator et all to present the rubber fetish as a gay/gender thing’. I am sure all the straight people will have their feelings hurt by being excluded. But who ever is in this fetish world, it is not a gender issue, at all. Utterly mis-leading to even pretend it is such.

    As for the gender intelligence presentation, what can be said of the Queer Butlerism proffered as something ‘children’ need to know about. The fact intelligent teachers are listening to this ideology is extremely worrying, having said that I thank the person who made this report possible by bringing it into the public domain, what tremendous fortitude to sit not only through this ‘training session’, but to witness the exhibition and then challenge the organisers about its suitability for ‘all age groups’ of children. Nothing but admiration for your candid actions. More teachers need to resist taking on board such dangerous , ill researched information. Encouraging teachers to dismiss the need to speak with parents and advancing that ‘safeguarding policies’ are irrelevant is a worrying trend, regarding children questioning this sex.
    On the matter of ‘inter-sex’ time and again intersex women and men utterly refute trans ideology being applied to them. Most who have spoken our see no connection with or to the trans movement. The idea that some crime has taken place against inter-sex individuals at birth, is a matter for them to discuss, no those knee deep in Queer Foucauldian ideology , trying to advance transgender propaganda towards young impressionable minds and adults who have been warned mightily that to disagree is to incur the slur ‘transphobia, a slur, that could cost a teacher their job. I do not recall any other ideology being given such public space to inculcate Nursery/Infant/ Junior school children and their teaching staff.
    Advancing the notion ‘that a doctor’ assigns the sex of a child at birth, is just crazy. Most human female births do not have a doctor present, biological sex characteristics are the markers and determinate of ones sex, not a doctor.

    Very depressing that the Charity Commission have sanctioned Gender Intelligence as a Charity…..what next, will be acceptable on the Queer agenda

  5. Franz Moritz Wilhelm Marc

    No one could do better than the author at expressing the disgust and concern the depravity of Gendered Intelligence elicits. My comment is directed therefore simply at the malfeasance of the once-respectable Hayward Gallery in discharging its fiscal and social responsibility. A show such as “Kiss My Genders” is incredibly expensive to produce. Each of the abundant number of artworks requires substantial insurance riders, and often must be transported by first-class flight in the company of a courier. (Obviously local rubbish like Cheeseburgerz doesn’t come with an actuarial table, but, for example, Juliana Huxtable is quite well-known and a current collection and market favourite).

    The Hayward gets money from the national Art Fund which is turned supposedly governed by the Royal Charter. The Hayward has an operating budget of £11m PER YEAR of which £1.5m is unaccounted for (it likely goes to salaries and typical art world graft). These funds are supposed to be devoted to “[a]cquiring works of art and new collections.” However, the Hayward does not have a permanent collection, instead operating as a Kunsthalle with series of rotating exhibits.

    Therefore it is the public who has paid for this depraved, non-age-restricted display. They Hayward needs to be held accountable for this malfeasance.

    By way of comparison, by the way, assistant curators at the Tate make about £24,360 a year – these are people with PhDs who speak several languages and have a track record of publishing and curating, who, like much of the population, cannot reasonably exist in the city on such wages. To say nothing of the artists, art educators, and zero-hour-contract contingent art historians who, without generational wealth, simply leave the field

    Finally, it was Robert Mapplethorpe’s (canceled) show at Washington, D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery that opened the door for decades of *true* censorship – in the sense that the government used Mapplethorpe’s work as a fulcrum to withdraw funding from the National Endowment for the Arts for decades thereafter (continuing to the present). It is ironic that the Gender Culters who seek to have feminists and child welfare advocates silenced, may, with the helpful irresponsibility of the Hayward, have begun to usher in a new era of curtailment of funds for the arts.

    Because people are fed up with this nonsense, as they should be, and when the tide turns – and it will – things are going to get ugly. And I don’t mean Cheeseburgerz’ hideous pantomimes.

  6. John

    You would have to kill me before I allow these mentally diseased deviants and their perverted delusions anywhere near my children.

  7. sly fawkes

    The “doctors diagnose sex” twaddle is really tiresome.
    People with XX chromosomes generally have female genitalia, and people with XY chromosomes generally have male genitalia. This is simple biology, not “hatred of trans people” or anything else.
    It is necessary for medical professionals to know a person’s chromosomal makeup because certain medications which may be helpful to a person with one set of chromosomes can be harmful to a person with the other set of chromosomes.
    Yes, intersexed people exist. Yes, there are some people with an XY chromosome pattern who present with the secondary sex characteristics associated with an XX chromosome pattern. These people have been raised and socialized as women, and there’s no reason for them to identify otherwise.
    I’ve honestly never hated trans people and always respected their pronoun choices. Trans people deserve the same opportunities as other people. They deserve to be treated with common decency.
    However, the TRA agenda goes way beyond this. Not only do TRA’s demand that trans women be given equal opportunities as XX women, they insist that trans women are better, more important, and way more oppressed than XX women. They put themselves into the Invincible Victim position.
    I don’t mention trans men because the TRA brigade hardly mentions them either.
    You don’t see people carrying signs saying “trans men are men.”
    You don’t see the TRA’s insisting that words like “penis,” “scrotum,” and “father” are “violence against trans men.” TRA’s very vehemently insist that words such as “vagina,” “uterus,” and “mother” are violence against trans women. They insist on woman-erasing terms such as “menstruators,” “pregnant people,” and “non-men” being used because the word woman is offensive to TRA’s. As, I daresay, is the existence of women.
    In any case, I hardly see how a fetish display and disturbing pornographic videos are appropriate for viewing by children. I never much cared whether consenting adults wanted to tie each other up and spank each other in the privacy of their own homes, but this goes far beyond that sort of thing. These people are attempting to normalize extreme kink and to present it to children as a normal part of human sexuality. That sounds an awful lot like grooming to me.
    People these days worry far too much about things like “kink shaming.” Consenting adults can do as they please with one another. This sort of information is completely inappropriate for children and I really don’t care who feels “shamed” or put out by my saying that.

    1. anonymous

      Exactly, it’s very curious indeed how TRAs focus so much on taking away women’s spaces and even words to give them to males who demand women cater to them. Meanwhile, the same thing is certainly NOT happening with trans-identified women and actual males. TRAs don’t care that non-trans identifying (“cis”) males exclude “trans men”. It’s all about taking away women’s rights and safety for the benefit of a few men. And then they have the nerve to draw comparisons between real women asking for their rights to be respected and white people in times of racial segregation… The thing is, these trans “women” that are supposedly being oppressed by real women’s existence are actually male, who even TRAs have to agree are the most privileged between the two sexes, but they refuse to acknowledge that trans “women” aren’t actually women.
      Using their own logic, wouldn’t it make more sense that a trans-identified female, both trans and born and raised female, would be the more oppressed one? TRAs know their oppression points system it’s pure BS, they only listen to the trans “women” who are the ones leading the trans rights movement. As always, everybody listens to the men in power.

  8. Dd

    You should organise a your of the gallery for parents at these schools so they know what their kids are seeing. Also contact MP s.And the media.

    I’ve read dodgy stuff about “Gendered Intelligence” before and the people involved in it.

    I’m not sure but is “Pips Bunce” associated with them? I’m not sure if he was doing a speech at one of their events

  9. Carol

    Very worried about the proliferation of porn and fetish images. Any argument to normalise is highly suspect. Like why would that be a good thing? And not age restricted!! Seemingly no warnings about graphic material. I wonder at the reactions of other teachers there. How was the session promoted to teachers? Absolute horror and outrage needed. Tragic.

  10. Julie

    What is the body that oversees charitable status in the UK? Maybe a word is needed.

  11. Miri

    I hope the police will inspect the show and close it down

  12. Polly MacDavid

    “Pride Week” has been “celebrated” here in the US & most of it has been centered around trans-women (men) & increasingly, boys who are tricked up in flashy, sparkly, rainbow clothing, with lots of make-up & being promoted as “girls” … this is no more than child abuse. For years, many of us concerned parents have fought the sexualization of girls in the “baby pageants” & now it’s boys who are being turned into “girls” & sexualized. Our entire culture is sick sick sick. Let kids be kids!

  13. Feminist Artist

    Sounds like the only thing approaching art in the whole thing is, bizarrely, the candle even if decidedly Pomo. There’s a lot of thought gone into the symbolism on that one.
    The rest sounds like a selection of utter trash and base pornography pretending to be art.

  14. Petuniacat

    This is both very disturbing and makes me say “typical“. Typical of efforts to gaslight people into thinking porn and in particular perverted porn/BDSM stuff is normal. Disgusted with the Hayward but not surprised. What’s amazing is Gendered Intelligence thinks people will fall for this being part of what they supposedly do. I’m imagining them being asked “so you’re part of the porn & kids charitable sector, what the fuck is that?“

    A niggling historical point: somebody at this event is quoted saying the “the 50th anniversary of the Pride March“. 1969 was the Stonewall RIOT. What’s politically important about that is it later became a symbol of gay people in a gay bar pushing back when the cops came to shake them down. Gay bars existed and the police demanded bribes from them in that era. And periodically they’d have a raid where they mass arrested people and published their names in the paper. Destroying their careers. 1969 was physically defying the police. Throwing rocks and hitting them and getting arrested. The actual gay rights movement started later and involved activism, petitions, public relations and regular office work type activism. And as for a “pride march“ that was invented even later. The Stonewall riot was used as the date for the marches. One could argue that since then the riot has been, I can’t say fetishize because now that has a sexual meaning, made into a kind of shrine. And then it blocks out all the real activism. The real activism that was so so different from the transactivist behaviour today. In 1973, so after 1969, gay rights activists working with one psychologist in particular presented evidence in order to persuade the people who make the DSM (that psychiatry thing) to remove homosexuality from a list of disorders. The Stonewall riot is a symbol. Trans activists want us to think it’s the only thing that happened, gay people were ‘given’ rights because they had a riot! Fits their transgression as activism ideology.

  15. Lilith Tordenvaer

    Did anyone else notice how the school programme manager said “parents know their kids best” when challenged on the age restriction, yet somehow that concept does not apply when it comes to children being confused about their gender and insisting on harmful and irreversible medical and surgical treatments?

  16. Kay Warner

    I needed to have another look at this, after my first reaction. Had a long chat about it with my daughter for another, younger, viewpoint and read the article again. I wasn’t clear whether this was preparation for taking kids to this exhibition or whether it was an information and consciousness raising session for teachers to learn more about the subject. On reflection, although it’s not explicit in the article, which states more than once that there is no age restriction, I think it must be the latter. I looked up the reviews for this because I didn’t think the author had given enough information. Just a couple of reviews was enough for me to decide this wasn’t “my cup of tea” but fine for consenting adults, teachers, art students, probably six formers, and other interested parties. Definitely not for younger viewers. The Gendered Intelligence training session is another matter. As my daughter rightly said there’s no harm in teachers being exposed to the exhibition and discussing a subject they may not be familiar with, but which may possibly be raised by pupils. They need to be prepared and better able to deal with it. But even here, with adults, there was some material presented that wasn’t factual. I’ve read some of the material GI provide to schools, along with that provided by Mermaids, and I think it’s totally unsuitable because it isn’t based on science or fact and to me is taking us backwards because it plays on gender stereotypes that we fought for years to overcome. My daughter rightly said that the author went into that session with preconceived ideas and a determination to challenge, and I’m not criticising because I would fee the same, but I think it would be valuable to see an unbiased report by someone who went in there with a completely open mind, to compare viewpoints. I do believe that all the training material provided to schools by these organisations needs to be seriously scrutinised because what we teach children in schools needs to be based on facts and science, to be age appropriate and to be, above all, true.

  17. V

    I went to this show and I can tell you that the workers at the gallery asked several times if I had a latex allergy. Also the film Looners, violence fetish film, which was graphic as described, but was in a closed off area from the rest of the exhibition and was manned constantly, so that only 18+ people were allowed to view it. While I did not find that the show was all about gender, as I thought it might be, there were other aspects ie outside of the hetero/cis vanilla sex mainstream that are important to be able to exhibit, to show the variety within life. It is also important to allow a space for trans/non-binary artists to be able to show their work, just as you would allow equal opportunity for artists of different races and ethnicities to show theirs. I think that this #lesbianonachair is extremely transphobic for consistently using he pronouns for ‘Dex’ considering the first thing that they told their audience at this conference is their pronouns. “he uses they/them pronouns” really makes my blood boil in way nothing else does. The same goes with the review author’s treatment of Victoria Sin’s pronouns. How on earth does the author think that they possibly know better than Sin themself regarding their own pronouns? I think that the author choosing to remain anonymous is a coward’s move, wanting to spread their transphobic opinions online without accepting the inevitable backlash that comes with having such opinions. I agree that parts of Kiss My Genders should not be part of a discussion for primary school and most of secondary school ages children but LGBT identity does not start on your 18th birthday and it is important to show young LGBT people about artists who are proud of this identity and use it to inform their artwork.

    1. anonymous

      Pornography is not normal and should not be part of anyone’s identity, no matter your sexuality or biological sex. Pornography turns people (ESPECIALLY females and especially for the pleasure of males) into dehumanized objects and promotes violence and unhealthy relationships and behaviors. Being a porn addict or a practitioner of BDSM is not a “gender identity”, nor are those things exclusive to trans or gay people so I don’t know why you think it has anything to do with LGBT identities; pornography and violent, degrading fetishes are not synonymous with sex or sexual orientation, and shouldn’t be.
      Ask yourself why so many trans people, male (“trans women”) and female (“trans men”), but especially the former, cannot seem to exist without being addicted to porn and constantly publically talking about genitals and their favorite deviant sexual preferences. It’s because the normalization of pornography has led to more males than ever fetishizing misogyny and more vulnerable girls (trans “men” are often younger than trans “women”) hating being female due to the implications but still associating their self-worth to how much they objectify themselves (again, due to the normalization of porn).

      By the way, this has nothing to do with conservatism, fascism, puritanism, being a prude, or religion. It’s common sense that not everything that is presented to you as “progressive and revolutionary” is actually progressive, or beneficial to society. We aren’t progressing, we are regressing. It used to be that thinking a woman’s role was only to be a sex slave to her husband and to take care of the kids, cook and clean, and thinking that only men could wear pants and engage in “masculine” activities, was seen as horribly sexist and oppressive. Now, people like you are promoting those regressive ideas when you say that being a woman is not about your reproductive system but about wearing stereotyped clothing such as skirts, stilettos and pink sexy dresses, that women are sluts and stupid, that porn is totally normal and it’s a good thing to promote violent and degrading media where women are depicted as dumb, useless whores and living sex dolls. You’re promoting these ideas when you say that trans women are women because they “feel like women”, and they only feel like women because their disgustingly misogynistic idea of what a woman is, fits the porn description I just wrote. You’re promoting these regressive ideas when you say adolescent girls must be men or something other than female, just because they feel disgusted by the way the world around them treats girls and women and do not identify with those gross stereotypes. That girls wanting to cut their breasts off in an attempt to get rid of their femaleness but then posting their selfies on places like r/ftmspunished is completely notmal, healthy even.

      You’ve seriously got to think more critically about this whole trans and porn thing, and whether it’s doing more harm than good. Here’s a little hint, it’s harming people, but especially girls and women. Instead of uncritically medically transing those who are insecure and hate their bodies and the unfair way they’re treated for not fitting into sexist stereotypes associated with their sex, why don’t we get rid of so-called “gender” so women are free to express themselves and live however they want, and get rid of porn so men stop promoting their harmful, dehumanizing fetishes to other men? Wouldn’t it be better to teach gender non-conforming youth to accept that which they can’t change (their sex), and to support them instead of bullying them for not being like others of their sex?

    2. anonymous

      P.S. I forgot to mention that the normalization of porn has led to an increase of child-on-child sex crimes (mostly committed by male children). Pornography is not a good representation of real-life sex and relationships. Not because it’s unrealistic, but because it promotes the same sociopathic attitudes of its sadistic, sociopathic male directors. Ask yourself whether porn and fetishes really are as positive for children as the TQI+ says… Or why so many of the biggest trans activists (all male) are known to have ties to pedophile groups.

  18. Stephen Wilson

    I went to the exhibition and I am a teacher in a secondary school. I really liked the exhibition. It combined echoes of the past with up to the minute voices speaking about today. The image of Candi Darling on her death bed is heartbreaking. Lots of the faces from the past convey the isolation of the artists and the horrific pressures internal and external that they were living with. I like the idea that their work is seen . . . now. I got a lot as a trans person from this exhibition, but as a teacher I wouldn’t want my pupils to visit it.

    Knowing that I was not unique or a freak when I was a child would have been helpful in growing up without shame. However, the way that I, as child, should have been introduced to these issues is not represented by ‘Kiss My Genders’. I don’t believe it was ever intended to. Young adult fiction like David Williams’ ‘Boy in a Dress’ would have been a good starting point. The difference between sex and gender can be taught and exemplified in a way that is age appropriate. ‘Kiss My Genders’ is too sexual for children; trans children deserve childhoods too.

    I’d be interested to hear how others think we could teach children about trans issues in a way that is supportive and sensitive.

    Just to be clear, I loved the exhibition.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.