An open letter to Eddie Izzard from a transwoman
Andrea, a transwoman from Dorset, asked me to post this on my platform, which I am very happy to do.
I’m writing to you to congratulate you on your proposed candidacy for the Sheffield Central parliamentary seat, to discuss some of the things you are reported to have said in recent interviews, and to invite you to form a new movement inspired by your past bravery.
Two things caught my eye recently – one was an article featuring yourself in the guardian here https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2022/oct/27/eddie-izzard-rules-out-appearing-on-all-women-labour-mp-shortlist. The other was a tweet from British Transport Police Berkshire who are looking for a “person” who exposed their genitals and masturbated in front of two teenagers.
Your long standing commitment to the Labour Party is admirable, and I am pleased for you that you feel it is your political home. Unfortunately, many of us no longer feel that way, especially as the leadership seem unable to define what a woman is.
The Guardian reports that you had this message for Rosie Duffield:- “She has got to join the 21st century. She’s got to catch up with the rest of us. The vast majority of the world is now moving forwards … The millennium has happened and we’re 22 years into it. So come and join us in the 21st century.”
Later in the article you talk about an incident where you were photographed using a women’s toilet. “You said: “You’ve got to question people’s sensibility, if they’re going around taking photographs of people going into toilets. I go to the loo to go to the loo. I don’t know where other people’s imaginations are going.”
I am not quite sure what you mean but in the part of the 21st century where I live women are still assaulted, raped and murdered. By male people, because of their sex, because they are female. The turn of the millennium hasn’t made a blind bit of difference. Surely you can understand why women are reluctant to give up their spaces? And if somebody as high profile as yourself uses female facilities then are you not encouraging anybody that it is their right, just because of what clothes they are wearing, to use female facilities? Are you not encouraging the flasher from Theale?
In many ways you are a role model. Your wit is unique, as was your bravery in standing up as the person you are. You were certainly important to me in my own journey. I am a gender conforming trans woman – I simply conform to the gender norms of the opposite sex.
I suggest that you no longer need to be scared of which loo you use. People know who you are and know which sex you are. Instead of expecting women to move over because you are in “girl mode”, why not ask men to move over, because you are male. “Men move over” would be a ground-breaking moment in the gender wars.
If you were to take such a stance, I would feel like I was watching the brave, almost revolutionary Eddie Izzard of the 80s and 90s.