For many, it was a brave and long-overdue airing of an important and distressing subject: a painstaking investigation into claims that predatory trans women have been pressuring lesbians for sex, published on the BBC News website.
But a leaked email shows that the influential trans lobby group Stonewall attempted to suppress the investigation before it had even been published – and made the extraordinary claim that debating the issues was equivalent to ‘sexual racism’.
Sadly for Stonewall, this doesn't hold the 'third rail' keep off cachet it once did, given how racism claims are unravelling left, right and centre.
...she (Stonewall’s chief executive Nancy Kelley) acknowledged that in sexual relationships ‘consent is paramount and we all want who we want’, she added that ‘structural oppression can influence who we want’.
I'm pretty sure that's not true. After all, isn't conversion therapy now being banned because you cannot influence desire, and it's wrong to try?
Corporation executive Rhodri Talfan Davies refused to confirm whether Stonewall had ever successfully swayed its journalistic output.
Oooh, I think we can guess, boyo!
But speaking to Radio 4’s Women’s Hour last week, Kelley was open about her group’s intentions. ‘I want Stonewall to have more influence on the editorial policy of the BBC,’ she said.
Clearly, the Beeb thought long and hard about that, and said 'Nope!'
The Corporation’s decision to abandon ties with Stonewall – and publish the article – suggests the BBC is taking a much more robust approach.
Good, long may Stonewall's influence continue to shrink.