The provocative BBC article mentioned a report by the lesbian group 'Get the L Out' that found 56% of 80 respondents said they were "pressured or coerced to accept a trans woman as a sexual partner." In a chat with other gay and transgender community members, lesbians reported getting death threats, rape threats, and verbal abuse for "questioning the trans doctrine" and were selected as TERFs, an acronym for "trans-exclusionary radical feminists."
The report faced mixed responses, accused of demonizing transgender women by some critics while praised by others for bestowing the women's stories.
The article collected approval from lesbians on Twitter, many have long thought that the broader movement for gay and transgender rights no longer serves their interest.
It also drew criticism from those who saw it as promoting the discrimination of transgender people and denouncing them as predators.
The article included citations from several lesbians who were slammed or attacked by gay and transgender people, even a partner in one case, for saying they were not sexually attracted to people with male bodies.
"[They] threatened to put me as a TERF and risk my job if I refused to sleep with [them]," one woman said of a trans woman she went on a date with. "I was too young to argue and had been brainwashed by queer theory, so [they were] a 'woman' even if every fiber of my being was screaming throughout, so I agree to go home with [them]. [They] used physical force when I changed my mind upon seeing [their] penis and raped me."
Though some transgender women said physical inclinations were expected, others discredited "genital preferences" as unfair..
"If you find that when dating, you are writing off entire groups of people, like people of color, fat people, disabled people or trans people, then it's worth considering how societal prejudices may have shaped your attractions," Nancy Kelley, the president of Stonewall U.K., a gay and transgender rights group, told the outlet in a statement.
Celebrities have brought similar criticism in recent weeks. Comedian Dave Chappelle, who drew criticism for jokes he made about the transgender community in his new Netflix special, has refused to withdraw his comments, saying he'd meet with the angry parties but only on his conditions.
"To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me," Chappelle said Monday. "I am not bending to anybody's demands."