New Zealand MP Attacks Lesbians On Twitter — A Disturbing Trend — AfterEllen

New Zealand’s government, led by the same party who brought us same-sex marriage legislation in 2013, is now playing an active role in dismantling lesbian rights. Human rights are human rights and they serve to protect us all from oppression, however, as powerful people and organizations erase the meanings of “sex,” “women,” and even “homosexuality, ”protected classes come under attack. Our government is ignoring the outcry of the lesbian community.

This week alone, I personally have been called “creepily obsessed with genitals”, a “dumbass Palangi bitch”, “one of those lesbians that hates dick”, “truly disturbing and creepy”, “perverted freak[s]” and “terfy trashfire” (to name just a few). And a NZ parliament member hopped right on board, and took sides with the activist shouting slurs. There’s an abundance of hostility towards lesbians online, but when government officials start joining in, it’s a scary time to be a lesbian.

The gender identity politics rule-book seems to be under constant revision. Not only does that make it difficult for allies to know how to support the trans community, but it also makes it hard for women, and in particular lesbians, to keep track. We are being defined out of existence and this week I experienced what happens when a lesbian says “no”.

In response to a coercive tweet aimed at lesbians I wrote, “I’d never date a transwoman. I’m a lesbian. I’m same-sex attracted,” This shouldn’t be controversial. It shouldn’t be difficult for people to understand. However, by asserting my boundaries, as a lesbian, I outraged a local Trans Rights Activist, Bex, and they wasted no time telling their Twitter followers.

It was ugly. But for lesbians, it’s become routine. Our existence offends ‘activists’ regularly. However, when Golriz Ghahraman, a New Zealand Member of Parliament and Green Party Spokesperson for Human Rights, waded into the attack, she effectively sanctioned the homophobic rant. I really woke up. I realized that our people in power, our institutions, our government, have all been guzzling the Kool-Aid.

The next day, the situation became much more concerning when Bex tweeted the following: “according to someone who just retweeted my photo, being racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic is not an issue, it’s simply setting boundaries.” Ghahraman, NZ parliament member and Green Party Human Rights spokesperson, tweeted an enthusiastically supportive reply, and by doing so, Ghahraman invalidating the real concerns of lesbians.

“Yeah until those boundaries mean almost 1/3 of our Rainbow community young people are made homeless when they can’t come out to their families….just boundaries tho,” Ghahraman wrote.

A member of New Zealand’s Parliament blamed homelessness on lesbians… For expressing and taking pride in our innate same-sex attraction.

The conversation carried on between the two. Bex wrote, “Just boundaries. A woman said that. I don’t get how people can be so keen to keep marginalized people down. I guess because they then themselves will have to make an effort, not just thrive purely because they’re mediocre and white.”

To which Ghahraman responded, “of course they’re always the first ones to get offended if any of those boundaries are prejudice against them…say if anyone points out privilege. That’s unforgivable”

The “effort” Bex is demanding from lesbians, is the “effort” to set aside same-sex attraction and ‘allow’ themselves to be coercively raped.

It’s currently in fashion for politicians to support homophobia that targets lesbians. Women from all over the world have watched this exchange in horror and reached out to me. Many of them have implored me to seek legal advice and talk to the Human Rights Commission, but in New Zealand, it is not that simple.

Our nation prides itself on topping the anti-corruption lists year after year. The problem is the corruption indicators don’t take everything into account. Our population of just under 5 million, giving us a much smaller pool from which to select public servants, government officials, and the like. There is a lot of cross-contamination between the executive, judicial, legislative branches of government, as well as the media. It’s difficult to challenge, question, or even debate ideologies and policies because once they’ve taken hold in one area, they’ll be protected throughout.

MP Ghahraman is a Human Rights Lawyer. She’s worked for the UN and is on the boards of Action for Children & Youth Aotearoa (NZ), NZ Criminal Bar Association, NZ Centre for Human Rights Law & Policy and Super Diverse Women (Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business).

Clearly, the human rights of lesbians have been compromised. Lesbians are actively being abused. But when an MP is involved in those attacks and is on the board of the NZ Centre for Human Rights Law, it’s much harder to get people to listen.

Many NZ lesbians doubt the Human Rights Commission will listen to lesbians. Especially since the recent alumni of their organization includes Ghahraman’s Green Party colleague Marama Davidson, NZ Labour Party MP Louisa Wall, and co-founder of Action Station Marianne Elliot. Despite being co-leader of her party, Marama is famous for berating “TERFs” (a slur often used to denigrate lesbians) on Twitter, while Louisa Wall has received recent media attention after being recorded saying she didn’t want any “fucking TERFs” at the Auckland Pride Parade.

Marianne Elliot’s credentials as a Human Rights Lawyer are just as impressive as Ghahraman’s however, the activist organization she co-founded, Action Station, clearly supports gender ideology (evidenced by campaigns and media).

The systemic abuse of lesbians by New Zealand government officials is disturbing.

Lately, the persecution of lesbians in NZ has increased. Earlier in December, MP Ghahraman Twitter-shamed internationally respected NZ lesbian activist Charlie Montague.

Ghahraman was offended that Montague’s list of NZ women killed by men were women. MP Ghahraman wanted trans women included on Montague’s list. One trans woman has been murdered in NZ in the last decade. Instead of applauding Montague for calling attention to violence against women, Ghahraman publicly chastised yet another lesbian.

Why does my government hate lesbians so much? Why are government officials openly attacking citizens on social media for the ‘crime’ of challenging Orwellian newspeak and gender ideology?

There’s a worldwide anti-woman, homophobic campaign to erase “sex” and all the protections that go with it. “Gender,” a social construct based on stereotypes, is being promoted to replace the material reality of the biological term “sex.” If “sex” is legally abolished and replaced by “gender,” women and homosexuals will lose all sex-based protections set up in law.

Because gender allows anyone to identify as the opposite sex, terms like “lesbian” and “woman” are already becoming meaningless.

The popular definition of “trans woman,” has shifted to mean any bearded and be-penised individual who claims womanhood, but has zero intention to ‘transition’ in any meaningful way. As the definition of who can be “trans” has loosened exponentially. No longer do people need a medical diagnosis or even suffer from dysphoria to be considered transgender. The demands to accommodate these ‘Stunning and Brave™’ individuals have heightened.

Whereas in recent years, extremists have denied that lesbophobic rhetoric like the ‘cotton ceiling’ is even real, in 2018 it seems the curtain has dropped, and open advocacy for anti-lesbian sentiment is rife. The mere existence of lesbians is an affront as our sexuality and innate attractions are “exclusionary” by nature.

The rules, it seems, are very clear: lesbian means absolutely anyone. The only kind of lesbian that’s ‘acceptable’ is a silent lesbian. Or one who’s willing to vocally accept that transwomen (80% of whom have male genitalia), are “lesbians” who they’d consider as sexual partners.

Lesbians and gay men experienced a brief moment of acceptance with the campaigns for same-sex marriage laws and a societal understanding that we were “born this way,” but seemingly, in the blink of any eye, homosexuals have become ‘deviant’ once more. We can “unlearn” our same-sex “preferences.”

Organizations and media claiming to represent the LGBT community tell lesbians that we are gross and “bigoted” “vagina-fetishists” for being solely attracted to female bodies. Lesbianism, they argue, must be based on an attraction to “gender” rather than sex. Despite the fact that its subjectivity makes it impossible to detect until someone announces it.

Simply put, if a man declares himself a woman — bearded, be-penised, and all — a lesbian must consider him a viable sexual partner or else she is labeled “transphobic” for “reducing him to his genitals.”

If this homophobic BS was contained to the increasingly bizarre confines of the internet, maybe this all wouldn’t be as scary. We could put it down to a small, but vocal group of entitled individuals. However, these ideas and encroachments on lesbianism and womanhood are no longer theoretical. We were called hysterical and hyperbolic when we foresaw the legitimizing of this misogyny, but here we are, in 2018, with real-world politicians and influencers parroting the gender ideology party lines.

All over the world, women’s groups are fighting legislation that will compromise our rights. Gender ideology is saturating the Western World in particular. A brief look at the cataclysmic dismantling of the British Green Party at the hands of gender politics is enough to show where this is all headed.

If lesbians have all of this so-called ‘cis privilege,’ then why do we have no voice? Why are we unrepresented? Privilege is supposed to be rooted in systemic advantage, and oppression in the inability to be heard. When every government agency and NGO group seems to be singing from the gender ideology hymn book, and no one wants to listen to lesbians, they might want to re-examine their hierarchy of oppression.

Ani O’Brien is a New Zealand journalist who specializes in marketing.

Originally published at on January 4, 2019.