ERG Statement: Standing in Solidarity
The Expert Reference Group at We Are Survivors stands in unity with all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
We therefore strongly condemn the recent upsurge in labelling members of the LGBTQ+ community, often aimed at trans men and trans women, drag queens and allies of LGBTQ+ people as “groomers” and “paedophiles”. These hateful and discriminatory claims, no different than the repugnant and homophobic rhetoric from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, have absolutely no basis in fact and are being revived by the media, conspiracy theorists and the far right for political gain.
Shocking data published in the last few weeks confirms a record increase in LGBTQ+ related hate crimes in the U.K. for the year 2021-2022. Homophobic hate crimes increased by 32% from the previous year and transphobic hate crimes increased by 59%. These are the biggest yearly increases ever recorded and highlight that the LGBTQ+ community needs far greater protections in society than they are currently receiving. To blanket label the LGBTQ+ community as “groomers” and “paedophiles” is untrue, hateful and we feel not only directly contributes to this record increase in LGBTQ+ related hate crime but is also creating a society that now feels unsafe for so many of us.
The recent transphobic/homophobic and quite frankly ridiculous protests at Drag Queen Story Hour events, in front of young children who are just trying to listen to a story, is one example of the unjust demonisation of sections of the LGBTQ+ community. The art of drag has been used to tell stories to children for many years, including every Christmas at a Pantomime! This recent activity feels as if the protest organisers are attempting to in some way attack the trans community by attacking Drag Queens (it makes no sense).
Data shows that trans people are between 2x and 4x more likely to be the victim of sexual abuse, assault and rape than other members of society and incorrectly labelling the trans community “groomers” and “paedophiles” only adds to the pain and suffering of our trans brothers and sisters.
We Are Survivors carries out essential, life-saving work supporting all male and non-binary victims/survivors of sexual abuse, violence and rape, and the Expert Reference Group believe it abhorrent that the words “groomer” and “paedophile” are continually being taken out of context and weaponised to attack the LGBTQ+ community.
As a collective of male victims/survivors of actual groomers and paedophiles, we find these damaging attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, in which many of our fellow survivors identify, disgusting. The far-right, media hacks and conspiracy theorists do not get to minimise our actual experiences of being groomed and abused by sexual offenders and predators, or hijack society’s understanding of these actions that we have fought so hard be seen as victims of, as part of their continued agenda to inflame hatred and demonise the LGBTQ+ community and perpetuate violence against them.
The Expert Reference Group at We Are Survivors asks everybody to please stand with us in wholeheartedly condemning these actions.
Chair of LGBT+ Sub Group
Expert Reference Group