You may have seen or heard some wild rumours about us and our supporters. Most of them are simply daft but the amplification of misinformation, especially on social media, can hamper our ability to do our work effectively. But we believe facts matter so we have compiled responses to some of the most commonly cited myths and untruths we’ve spotted.
Remember that we take an evidence-based, factual approach to all of our work and we follow the International Fact Checking Network’s code of principles. For any fact related content on the website (and in our social media posts) we will seek to provide source links so you can find out more yourself. If something we’ve said is incorrect, we will not only correct it but also explain what we got wrong.
Fact: LGB Alliance is funded by individual donations
We receive no government grants or funding from big business or and our income is derived from individual donations, often of £10 or £20, which we receive through our website. As a registered charity we are required to declare certain sources of income and our accounts are publicly available.
Fact: LGB Alliance is non-political
Our volunteers and supporters come from the left and the right or have no political affiliations. We do not endorse any political party and only seek to do what’s right for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
Fact: LGB Alliance is run by LGB people
We are a group of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, volunteering in a range of ways to build the organisation and deliver for lesbians, gay men and bisexual people. Many of us have a lifetime of LGB activism behind us and look forward to continuing our work.
Fact: Disagreement does not equal hate
It is perfectly possible to disagree with a person’s view or opinion without hating them or the group they are part of. Where disagreement exists it’s important to be able to have open and honest discussions; especially when it comes to human rights. So, we’re always happy to talk. In fact, that’s something we love.
We are a charity registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales (number 1194148) and would not be able to be registered if we promoted hatred. You can read the Charity Commission’s evidence-based decision to register us here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lgb-alliance/lgb-alliance-full-decision
To read more about what we’re all about, go to: http://lgballiance.org.uk/about
Fact: LGB Alliance supports trans rights
We fully support trans people in their struggle, for dignity, respect and a life lived free from bigotry and fear. We believe that the issues and priorities for people who are attracted to the same sex (homosexual/bisexual) are different from those of transgender people, and so, with a number of organisations focused on trans people and trans issues, our focus is simply on lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people instead.
Fact: Sex is binary
Sex in human beings is binary. Male biology supports the production of small gametes (sperm), and female biology supports the production of large gametes (ova or eggs), whether or not they produce them at any point, or ever.
Homosexuals are people who are sexually attracted to people of the same sex as them. Bisexuals are people who are sexually attracted to people of either sex.
Fact: Sex is observed at birth
Our biological sex (female or male) is determined at conception. When we are born, our sex is observed and recorded, and is often observed before we are even born. In 99.98% of cases, our primary sex characteristics, ie our genitals, will clearly indicate which sex we are. In a very small minority of some, but not all, people with Differences in Sex Development conditions (or “intersex”), the sex of a newborn is not obvious.
The term “sex assigned at birth” is only correctly applied in these circumstances where it is not possible to observe and record the sex with certainty. For the rest of us, our sex is not assigned. It is observed and recorded.
Fact: Homophobia still exists
Despite changes in society over the last 50 years, the repeal of laws against homosexuality, the possibility for same-sex couples to marry or become civil partners, and other signs of greater acceptance, homophobia (including lesbophobia and biphobia) is still very much present in the UK. Many people believe it is rising. In many other countries, discrimination is overt and legal, and homosexuality is even punishable by death in some places.
Fact: Gender transition can be the result of homophobia
Very many children, and quite possibly adults, enter the process of gender transition as a result of the homophobia of their parents, peer group, or their own internalised dislike of their sexual orientation. Young gay men or lesbians are being sold a myth that they can be straight, that lesbians are really straight men and that gay men are really straight women. This is homophobic conversion therapy.
Fact: LGB people who don’t include trans people in their dating pool are not transphobic.
Most of us would agree that finding love or a partner is one of the best things in life. The choices we make about which individuals we open to dating are, by definition, exclusionary. Just because a woman is a lesbian it doesn’t mean she is open to dating ALL lesbians. Just because a man is bisexual it doesn’t mean he is open to dating anyone and everyone.
We all have preference or ‘a type’ but it is important not to conflate these preferences with sexual orientation. Lesbians are females attracted to other females. Gay men are males attracted to other males. Homosexuality is not a “genital preference”. It isn’t transphobic to be clear about which sex you are attracted to. No one is under any obligation to date someone they are not interested in, or to have to explain why.
Fact: There is uncertainty about the long-term effects of puberty blockers
So-called puberty blockers are drugs that prevent the release of chemical signals which stimulate the production of oestrogen and testosterone, halting the natural changes of puberty triggered by these hormones. They are intended for use when children start puberty too early and they have not been clinically trialled for use in gender transition. Not enough is known about the reversibility of puberty blockers, and the NHS acknowledges that little is known about the long-term effects, in particular concerning the development of the brain, the health of bones, and psychological impact.