Email to Lucas Grindley of The Advocate in support of Victoria Brownworth

American journalist Victoria Brownworth @VABVOX has been subject to a number of concentrated campaigns on Twitter by a number of individuals and organisations who have attempted to discredit, smear and destroy her career.

At the beginning of this year, this campaign was extended to seek to remove Victoria’s position as an op-ed on US-based national gay and lesbian news magazine The Advocate on the basis these individuals consider Victoria to be transphobic (you can find an excellent piece on what is/is not transphobia here).

I believe these attacks are unmerited and unjust so I emailed the Editor Lucas Grindley to offer my support for Victoria.

Here is the (slightly modified, and spell-checked) text, which I threw together during a 10 minute break from work. Opinions, mistakes, inaccuracies etc. are my own.

7 January 2014

Hello Lucas

I feel compelled to write in support of your contributor Victoria Brownworth whom, I believe, has been subject to several protracted and co-ordinated campaigns of harassment and abuse on Twitter and the internet generally, in particular seeking to smear Victoria’s name with accusations of transphobia. These campaigns have been orchestrated by a number of individuals, including bloggers connected to www.TransAdvocate.com

I, myself, am a transwoman. I live in the UK and I publish an extreme music publication called Terrorizer which you will find in your local Barnes & Noble as well as online here:

www.Terrorizer.com
www.Facebook.com/TerrorizerMag

You can find out more about me here:

@TerrorizerMir

I do not believe Victoria to be transphobic. I have been in correspondence with Victoria for around 6-8 months. We have talked about feminism, civil rights, music, literature and American history, and at no point has Victoria ever said or alluded to anything I would have considered offensive. I have instead found her to be a fascinating correspondent, someone who has freely and generously shared knowledge and experience.

I would like to emphasize that before Victoria knew me to be a transwoman, we had discussed contentious issues relating to the meeting of the interests of women and transwomen, and had these discussions both in public and in private. I believe if Victoria were ‘guilty as charged’, such views would have manifest then. Suffice it to say, based upon the contents of this email, it didn’t.

I believe Victoria is an ambassador for the interests of women and lesbians and other gay people, and is an advocate for transwomen, people of colour and people living in poverty and those disadvantaged other ways. I believe that the work Victoria has done is of enduring value, and to have her platform at The Advocate threatened would not be in the interests of anyone, in particular transwomen.

Here are some pieces published on sites other than The Advocate which I believe demonstrate clearly Victoria’s compassion for transwomen, I would also remind you of the support Victoria has given Chelsea/Bradley Manning:

Barbra Casbar Siperstein – Breaking Ground in NJ Nationally
Victims of the Night – Stories of Trans Sex Workers
Obituary as History – The Lost Lives of the Queer Dead

I am fully aware of the fundamental difficulties some branches of feminism have with transsexualism, I am neither ignorant to this nor in denial of the philosophical differences. I believe there is much discussion to be had between both sides, which have become polarised. I do not, however, believe that Victoria holds an extreme position, as an example her position on ENDA sees her at odds with Radical Feminism. I certainly do not believe that removing Victoria’s voice from the Advocate will achieve anything positive.

I am not going to attempt to discredit Cristan Williams or TransAdvocate, as I do not believe this to be either constructive or necessary, and anyway it’s not my style: I hope instead you will see through these events as being at best, symptomatic of someone caught between two sides of an argument who are talking past each other, at worst an orchestrated campaign of harassment calculated to cause financial and psychological damage.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you’d like to discuss any of these matters with me. Please note I am in the UK which is Pacific Time -8.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this, and best wishes to you for the New Year.

Miranda Yardley

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