Two presumably cis women filmed themselves harassing a well known advocate for trans rights, streaming the encounter live on Facebook Wednesday morning.
The video shows the two cis women, whom Gay Star Newsidentifies as Posie Parker and Julia Long, barging into what appears to be a meeting room where Sarah McBride, the national press secretary of the Human Rights Campaign, and an unidentified colleague are discussing something on one of their computers.
"This is Sarah McBride, he [sic] gets paid probably quite a lot of money to lobby the government to try and make sure that women and girls have absolutely no right to have any space anymore," says Parker. "Shame on you."
Parker and Long appear to take issue with McBride's advocacy work in support of the Equality Act, which, if passed, would extend existing nondiscrimination law to cover all LGBTQ+ people in the United States. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi affirmed her commitment to passing the Equality Act earlier this month, so it might seem unclear why Parker and Long would target McBride instead of, you know, anyone who actually has the power to pass this law. But if you listen to what they say in the video, it's clear why they did this: they just hate trans women! And they'll reheat a bunch of Janice Raymond's decades-old, trans-exclusionary talking points about how trans women are men invading women's spaces and trans men are self-hating lesbians tricked into surgery to make their case.
"The sad truth is that this kind of harassment is the reality for far too many transgender people, particularly trans women of color, across the country and around the world," McBride said in a statement to Out. "Throughout the incident, I thought about the trans youth who have to experience their hostility and bullying day-in and day-out in the United Kingdom."
Parker and Long both sound like they're from the U.K., where a debate over proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act that would make it easier for trans people to change gender markers on state documents has enflamed deep-seated cultural hostilities towards trans women.
"We had just concluded a really powerful meeting with parents of transgender youth and members of Congress, and I won't let this incident diminish the love, pride and solidarity that filled that room just moments before," McBride continued.
She is referring to a meeting held between the HRC's Parents for Transgender Equality National Council and members of Congress Wednesday morning where the former told the latter about their family histories and why the Equality Act matters to them.
Olivia Dalton, the HRC's senior vice president, said in a statement to Out that Parker and Long are connected to the Heritage Foundation, according to HuffPost, held a conference in Washington earlier that week to address "the left's embrace of the transgender agenda." On Monday, the right-wing think tank hosted a panel in Washington, where self-identified "radical feminists" from the left discussed the trans "contagion" supposedly threatening women and children, NBC Newsreports.
"It is disturbing but not at all surprising that anti-transgender extremists brought to the United States at the behest of the Heritage Foundation would stoop to harassing a transgender woman and parents of transgender youth," says Dalton in her statement. "That the targeted harassment occurred following a moving meeting between parents of trans kids and members of Congress reinforces the massive gap between our message of love and their agenda of bigotry. No one advocating for their basic human rights should face such hate and hostility, and shame on the Heritage Foundation for fostering this kind of atmosphere."
RELATED | Advocates Feel 'Confident' About Nancy Pelosi's Promise to Pass the Equality Act