Little Mix, the allies we need and deserve, give ringing endorsement to trans author Shon Faye

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British girlband Little Mix have endorsed bestselling book The Transgender Issue by trans author Shon Faye.

Asked by a fan on Twitter what they were reading, Little Mix replied: “The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye. Everyone should read this”, adding a star emoji.

Liked almost 5,000 times, the shout-out from the UK’s favourite girl group did not go unnoticed by Shon Faye. One hour later, she tweeted: “Endorsements from Judith Butler and Little Mix. It’s called range.”

In recent years, Little Mix, and especially band member Jade Thirlwall, have been vocal in their support of LGBT+, and particularly trans, rights.

In a May interview with HUNGER magazine, the British girl group explained why trans allyship should be the bare minimum.

“I always find it strange when people ask me why I’m an ally because it doesn’t really take a lot to do it,” Thirlwall said.

“We have a huge fanbase and, within that fanbase, we have a lot of LGBT+ fans. We’d be doing them a disservice if we were benefiting from their loyalty to us but didn’t speak up for them.

“I really hope that, in doing that, we encourage other artists and other people in the public eye to do so, too.

“Unfortunately, there’s still so much hate and transphobia in our country politically and us posting about it and talking about it hopefully helps things move forward.”

Thirwall’s point about the volume of transphobia in the UK was immediately and sadly demonstrated by some of the responses to Little Mix’s tweet about The Transgender Issue, with the dozens of positive comments marred by a few trans-hostile responses.

“I read it. Full of errors, factual inaccuracies and illogical arguments. Totally agree everyone should read it so they know that,” said Lorelei, a Twitter user who says they are the editor at a feminist quarterly magazine.

Challenged by another Twitter user to “point to specific parts of the book” that evidenced those claims, Lorelei did not reply.

Little Mix endorse immediate bestseller The Transgender Issue

A Sunday Times bestseller, The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice was released on 2 September.

The non-fiction book, Faye’s debut, has been met with a huge response, including reaching the number one spot at her publisher Penguin Press.

In the process Faye knocked Jordan Peterson – the self-proclaimed “professor against political correctness” – from the top of the chart with his controversial Beyond Order.

The Transgender Issue was also the most widely-mentioned non-fiction book in the British press in September, garnering reviews in the Observer, Evening Standard, Sunday Times, the Financial Times, Private Eye, and New Statesman, among others. While the book has been widely praised by LGBT+ people and allies, The Bookseller has described it as having received “mixed reviews” in the press.

Responding to this, Faye wrote on Instagram: “Obviously a left wing pro trans book was going to receive mixed reviews in the British media lol and I largely don’t care about the content.

“That these publications have felt compelled to acknowledge the book at all is significant.”

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