The BBC is facing backlash from a portion of the trans community over a recent article that highlights how lesbians are being pressured into sex with trans people who identity as female.

The opening paragraphs of the petition letter cite a study done by "Get The L Out" which gathered testimonies from respondents who shared their personal confrontations with transgendered people while dating.

Other parts of the letter say those that author Caroline Lowbridge quoted and heard from are bigoted and prejudiced. The letter does not mention how the BBC attempted to reach out to people with differing points of view to get their perspective.

The letter also accuses the LGB alliance of being a hate group, describing a transgendered person mentioned (Debbie Hayton) as someone who stands with the "anti-trans community," and being selective about who they focus on.

In an admission by the petition signed by over 4000 people, the letter says:

"We do not dispute the claim that there are likely isolated cases of cisgender lesbians who have been pressured in the past into sex by transgender women who viewed their genital preference as transphobic, however to paint this as a widespread occurrence, or the norm, is incredibly dangerous. It is obviously a tragedy any time any person is coerced into sex and their consent violated, but the answer to that is not to paint an entire minority group as potential rapists."

Here’s a breakdown of things the BBC story talked about, but the petition doesn’t bring up.

The BBC story in question, titled "We're being pressured into sex by some trans women," discusses at length the stories of lesbians being pressured into having sex with MTF trans people.

From the onset, Caroline Lowbridge explains how she was alerted to the dilemma after a previous piece about legal consent. People contacted her to say lesbians were being pressured to "accept the idea that a penis can be a female sex organ."

Despite what the petition alleges, Lowbridge describes the backlash from the trans community being a vocal minority when it comes to activists shouting down any and all discussion.

However when it comes to relationship situations, personal testimonies are shared:

  • Amy: 24-year-old woman who was dating a bisexual woman. The two got into an argument once her partner suggested having a threesome with a trans person. It’s said that the trans person was identifying as female but didn’t have surgery yet. While the petition highlights a quote about the "physical realities" of female on female attraction, it doesn’t mention how the BBC article discussed Amy breaking up with her partner. "I remember she was extremely shocked and angry, and claimed my views were extremist propaganda and inciting violence towards the trans community, as well as comparing me to far-right groups," she said.
  • Chloe: a 26-year-old lesbian who was pressured into "penetrative sex" with a trans person at their school after previous rejections. Alcohol was involved in Chloe eventually giving in, and she doubts proper consent was given. "I felt very bad for hating every moment, because the idea is we are attracted to gender rather than sex, and I did not feel that, and I felt bad for feeling like that," Chloe said. They were worried this experience would've alienated them from the trans community if they came forward.

Lowbridge talks about how the co-founder of the Get The L Out lesbian activist group tried surveying the movement. Out of "the 80 women who did respond, 56% reported being pressured or coerced to accept a trans woman as a sexual partner."

It’s stressed that the sample "may not be representative of the wider lesbian community."

The BBC article both shares the results from respondents (including testimonies from more women pressured), Lowbridge also mentions the report as being labeled as "transphobic" by opposition.

One example of a recognizable pattern of impartiality, or at least attempts at it, seen throughout the piece.

Caroline Lowbridge also highlights how the trans community turns on their own. In the case of Trans YouTuber Rose Of Dawn, she was willing to speak with the BBC. Rose personally saw cases where her lesbian friends were pressured by trans people.

"People like me receive quite a lot of abuse from trans activists and their allies," she said to the outlet. "The trans activist side is incredibly rabid against people who they see as stepping out of line."

Lowbridge describes the position of the LGBT group Stonewall turning to cater to trans equality in 2015, a shift from the original mission established in 1989.

Chief executive Nancy Kelley gave a quote saying that not wanting to date trans people is like choosing partners on weight, disability or race.

"Nobody should ever be pressured into dating, or pressured into dating people they aren't attracted to. But if you find that when dating, you are writing off entire groups of people, like people of colour, fat people, disabled people or trans people, then it's worth considering how societal prejudices may have shaped your attractions," Kelley said in calling it a prejudice.

In the petition complaints this is not mentioned whatsoever. The BBC article talks about how the LGB Alliance is forced as a response to Stonewall’s shift in focus. However the petition gripes about how the group’s focus is seemingly on transgender related issues.

The LGB Alliance co-founder responded about it to Lowbridge: "This word transphobia has been placed like a dragon in the path to stop discussion about really important issues. It's hurtful to our trans supporters, it's hurtful to all our supporters, to be called a hate group when we're the least hateful people you can find."

Despite declining to speak to Caroline Lowbridge, she included the viewpoints of YouTubers like Riley J. Dennis and Danielle Piergallini. They’re YouTubers who condemn dating preferences as a discriminatory practice when it comes to trans people.

The petition doesn’t mention whatsoever the efforts made on the part of the article’s author to get other points of view on record. However, Lowbridge makes it clear the effort was made in the BBC write-up.

The demands set forth in the petition are that BBC: publish an apology, make "amendment of the article" itself whenever an apparent falsehood was perpetrated, and the petitioners want the broadcaster to recommit to their original mission statement.

Over in the United States the issue of gender identity is at the forefront of attention with the ongoing Loudoun County scandal. It was only recently that the public was made aware of the school board covering up a rape between a "genderfluid" person and a female victim.

Dave Chappelle recently refused to apologize for his jokes about the transgender community in his Netflix special "The Closer." The comedian stipulated that he’d meet with Netflix staff who were offended by his jokes, but on equal terms. He rejected the notion of bowing to "anybody’s demands."

It was last week that protesters (and counterprotesters) staged a demonstration outside Netflix headquarters over Chappelle’s most recent work.