Chiyo Gomes, the first transgender Mr Gay England finalist, received an outpouring of support from the LGBT+ community after being criticised by the anti-trans campaign group, the LGB Alliance.
The 24-year-old drag artist became a finalist for Mr Gay England 2020, one of the top beauty pageants in Britain for gay and bisexual men, in August. Recently, he appeared on the cover of Attitude magazine to discuss his success, and said that “TERFs genuinely want to destroy the trans existence”.
“The people who take issue with me being visible in this space will tell you exactly how I am shaking things up. I am a trans man. I am also mixed-black African. I am not on hormones and I have no intention of getting any procedures done that may impact my WAP,” he continued.
“Every time I achieve greatness there is a herd of TERFs waiting to try and kill me. I say kill me because TERFs genuinely want to destroy the trans existence.”
Perfectly on cue, the LGB Alliance tweeted a photo of Chiyo, which they’d taken from his Instagram account, with the caption: “Gay men deserve their own spaces.”
The LGB Alliance added, to immediate backlash: “It’s not disrespecting someone’s existence to state that someone who is female can’t be a gay male. Those who buy into this are harming LGB rights — and ultimately they’re not helping the person concerned.”
Gay men themselves were swift to respond, and their condemnation of the LGB Alliance and its trans-exclusionary stance was brutal.
“I’m a gay man and I say f**k you, you ignorant piece of s**t,” was one succinct response.
I’m a gay man and I say fuck you you ignorant piece of shit.
— Kev & Trev (@WipeHomophobia) October 12, 2020
“Excuse me!?” another said. “I’m a gay man and my spaces include trans gay men… because they are, in fact, gay men.”
Drag Race UK’s Crystal also weighed in, telling the LGB Alliance: “You’re wrong. And you’re lucky access to our community isn’t actually opinion-based, or your card would be revoked.”
“Gay trans men exist. Not all cis gay men are into trans men and that’s fine — nobody’s forcing them to have sex with us — but we have every right to exist in gay spaces and participate in community,” another Twitter user replied, adding: “FYI: I’ve seen plenty of gay cis men show interest in dating my trans man friends.”
Excuse me!? I’m a gay man and my spaces include trans gay men… because they are, in fact, gay men.
— Davy Sabourin (@DavySabourin) October 12, 2020
You’re wrong. And you’re lucky access to our community isn’t actually opinion-based, or your card would be revoked.
— Crystal | Black Lives Matter (@crystalwillseeu) October 12, 2020
Gay trans men exist. Not all cis gay men are into trans men and that’s fine – nobody’s forcing them to have sex with us – but we have every right to exist in gay spaces & participate in community.
FYI: I’ve seen plenty of gay cis men show interest in dating my trans man friends.
— Isaac |🏳️⚧️ Ⓥ (née Elliott) (@ExhaustedIsaac) October 13, 2020
A second attack on Chiyo Gomes came from Malcolm Clark, the LGB Alliance co-founder who in January insisted that “99 per cent of the Scottish public” would agree with him that LGBT+ clubs in schools shouldn’t exist because of “the risks of predatory adults exploiting this situation”.
Clark, whose bio on the LGB Alliance website says he makes science documentaries for the BBC, was seemingly offended by Chiyo’s Attitude interview in which he talked openly about experiencing periods as a gay man.
“The trans project to destroy the very meaning of the word gay steps up a gear,” Clark tweeted on October 10.
Clark went on to ask: “Was it only me that missed the memo that said gay men can now have periods”?
“Here’s an idea,” one person replied, “why not just get on with your life and let others do the same, I’m a middle aged gay man and I support [Chiyo] to be whoever they want and I know a lot of lesbians who feel the same. As a youngster I suffered bigotry did you? Because you haven’t learnt.”
We don’t give a shit and a lot of us are cheering for Chiyo, terf
— BG (@btgolder) October 10, 2020
Brian Sims, a civil rights lawyer and state representative in the US, told Clark his take was “absolutely garbage”.
“Hey trans gays, we’re happy to have you and this steaming pile has virtually no say in ours, or any other community,” Sims added.
It would be so much easier if you could just start your sentences with: “I’m an aggressively weak person, who’s scared of everything and everyone so I lash out because I’m pathetic.” It’d be such a time saver from having to figure it out when you speak.
— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) October 13, 2020
Mr Gay England’s organisers have previously taken to Twitter to respond to criticism of Chiyo’s success with a powerful and clear message: “The Mr Gay England cooperation are proud to welcome any gay man to compete for one of our national titles.”
Shared alongside a picture of the progress flag, they added: “In regards to welcoming a trans man into our finals, if you are a trans man you are a man. Simples.”
The Mr Gay England cooperation are PROUD to welcome any gay man to compete for one of our national titles.
In regards to welcoming a trans man into our finals, if you are a trans man you ARE a man.
— Mr Gay England 🏴🏳️🌈 (@mrgayengland) September 17, 2020
Alongside those taking hateful critics to task, messages of support for Chiyo Gomes have been flooding the internet.
A cis bisexual here telling you that @PrinxChiyo is a blessing. A sexy af trailblazing Trans babe. We are lucky to witness and experience Chiyo, send as much love and support as you can and make sure you tag @mrgayengland 💞
— aimee (@aimeemthompson) October 12, 2020
— Nick Finn (@NickFinn1985) October 9, 2020
And Chiyo himself also spoke out, telling the LGB Alliance to stop using his face to “launch your hate campagn”.
Chiyo described the LGB Alliance as a “hate group equivalent to nothing less than a steaming pile of hot s**t,” later adding: “Do you know how hard it is for trans folk, especially Black and Brown trans folk, to find genuine joy in life? I am happy. I will not let you take this away from me. ”
Stop using my face to launch your hate campaign.
You are literally directing people to my personal profiles.
You’re a violent hate group equivalent to nothing less than a steaming pile of hot shit https://t.co/DM6XLoPOO5
— CHIYO (@PrinxChiyo) October 12, 2020
Do you know how hard it is for Trans folk, especially Black and Brown Trans folk, to find genuine joy in life?
I am HAPPY. I will not let you take this away from me.
Massive fuck you to @ALLIANCELGB and it’s minions 🖕🏽
— CHIYO (@PrinxChiyo) October 12, 2020