June 18, 2013

IconIf you’re going to trash trans people online, don’t be surprised when they kick you out of their club

Last week, the the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, one of London’s most famous gay bars, kicked a woman out of a club night simply because she was a lesbian. This is explicit lesbophobia in the gay community, and proof that London’s LGBT community is deeply misogynistic.

…or so some people might have you believe.

You may have seen a video that’s been doing the rounds on Facebook, of a woman called Cathy Brennan arguing with a bouncer about why she was ejected from Bar Wotever on 11 June 2013. The video shows her repeatedly insisting that her sexuality must be the reason why she was kicked out, and since then she’s tried to persuade anyone who will listen that the Royal Vauxhall Tavern is a sexist establishment which discriminates against lesbians.

The issue here is that Tuesday was no ordinary gay night, and Brennan is no ordinary lesbian. The night in question was Bar Wotever, arguably the UK’s most famously trans-friendly queer night.

And Brennan is a radical lesbian feminist who believes that trans women are really just men in disguise. She trolls trans people on Twitter telling them who they are and who they are not, and she trawls dating sites, taking screenshots of openly trans women so that she can humiliate them on her own website, ‘Pretendbians‘.

Earlier that day, Bar Wotever were alerted to the fact that Brennan was planning to go, and they made the decision to bar her from entering.

“The Royal Vauxhall Tavern management and the Wotever team agreed that because of her history of harassment of members of the Wotever audience, Brennan would not be permitted entry,” explains Dr J, one of the Wotever Crew. “However, she arrived in a group and we missed her coming in. As soon as we were alerted to her presence, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern security asked her to come outside and talk, and she was denied re-entry to the premises.”

The situation has infuriated Brennan. “I went to see the gay cabaret and have a drink with my friends,” she says. “The idea that a dyke and her lady friend can’t go to a gay cabaret, is, to me, so offensive.

“It’s a public establishment, when we went in there were tourists sitting in the front. I have no reason to believe that they were interrogated about their views on gender before they were invited to have a drink and enjoy the cabaret.

“This stems from the fact that you now have a gay movement that has people who formerly identified as heterosexual males and are now lesbian trans women. That has an impact. We have a different background. I can tell you that I would never treat anyone the way that they have treated me.

“If people are being honest, they would say ‘yeah she wasn’t doing anything, she was just sitting there’. And it’s a damn shame what they did, and they should be embarrassed.”

Natacha Kennedy was in the bar at the time, and while she agrees that Brennan didn’t start any arguments in the bar, she spent the evening on tenterhooks, worried that a dangerous situation might arise.

“Somebody had warned me that she was coming,” says Kennedy. “I was thinking, ‘do I really want to go when Cathy Brennan’s going to be there?’

“In my opinion, the only reason she would be going there would be to stir things up and cause trouble, and I didn’t really want to spend the evening being wound up and goaded.

“But then I thought, no. I go very regularly to Bar Wotever, I really like the place. So I said no, I’m not going to be bullied out of a space that is friendly to me and accepting of me.”

Natacha Kennedy felt strong enough to attend an event where she knew she’d be in a confined space with someone who very publicly demeans and belittles trans women, but there were other people who made the decision that Wotever just couldn’t be a safe and welcoming space if Brennan attended.

“I can think of one person who decided not to go that night,” says Kennedy. “I was talking to her a few hours before and she said ‘look I’m just starting to feel stressed already. If I do this, it’s just going to be too much for me.’ And I can understand.”

Brennan is angry that she was excluded from a gay bar; most of the Wotever patrons were relieved that she was excluded from a trans-friendly club with a proud ethos of anti-discrimination. Logically, of course, a bar which is intolerant of intolerance is itself intolerant, but the Wotever crew aren’t losing sleep over that.

“The decision to ask her to leave was based solely on her history of harassment of members of our audience,” says Dr J. “We would do the same for anyone who has a history of harassment of Wotever audience members.”

Brennan claims to be seeking legal advice on how to proceed, which doesn’t faze Dr J. “The decision to ask her to leave was also part of the licensee responsibility to maintain the peace,” she says. “As a promoter, maintaining the peace is my responsibility, in conjunction with the management of the venue.”

Whether she chooses to accept it or not, Brennan is aggressively anti-trans and she makes trans people – and cis people who support trans people – feel unsafe. She’s well known as someone who intimidates and bullies people online, and it’s hardly surprising that when faced with the prospect of the same – or worse – kind of confrontation in a real life encounter, sensible people took the sensible precaution of asking her to leave a trans-friendly bar.

Brennan doesn’t seem to care that her presence at Wotever made some people feel unsafe. What really seems to infuriate her is the idea that in this instance she was denied access to a gay space, while other people – trans people – had full access to it. This time, unlike the countless other times when she has cruelly taunted trans people online, she was the one who was powerless.

“I was talking to a few people afterwards who were quite relieved that she was gone,” says Kennedy. “And it was really really good that the transwoman poet AJ McKenna came on and did a wonderful poem about our identity and who we are. I had spent a week with people like Brennan on Twitter, telling me who I was and who I wasn’t. So to hear AJ McKenna… that was a real breath of fresh air.

“I think Wotever were amazing. They all pulled together and were fantastic. They really do work hard to make sure it’s inclusive.”

Comments on this article are welcome. However, please be reminded that our comments policy states that comments which contain personal attacks or transphobia will be considered offensive, and they will be removed.

134 Responses to If you’re going to trash trans people online, don’t be surprised when they kick you out of their club

  1. Alfie says:

    This is the first I’ve heard of Cathy Brennan but thank goodness she was asked to leave. Everybody is entitled to their views but nobody has the right to make LGBT people feel unsafe in what should be a very safe space. Nor should people be abused on Twitter or any other online forum because of their gender identity/expression. We would not accept that kind of behaviour towards gay people or BME people, so why is it somehow acceptable to some individuals to treat trans men and women in such a disrespectful way?

    • Kate says:

      Cathy Brennan has a long history of posting photos of trans people on her blog and writing vile (and rather immature) things about them. She is currently engaging in a big “hate-fest” against queer people as well. I applaud Club Wotever for asking her to leave. It was not because she’s a lesbian, I know many people who hang out there and identify themselves as lesbians, it was because of her history of hate-speech against queer and trans people. They did the right thing.

  2. JoTheTech says:

    Seems telling that she thinks she was kicked out for being a lesbian. Seems to me that for that argument to make sense to her, being a lesbian must be as much about who you hate as it is about who you love. If that’s what she thinks then I pity her.

  3. L says:

    I was there that evening and Cathy did nothing. She was just sitting there having a drink with her friends. From all that has been said, you’d think she’d marched in with pitchforks and torches loudly asking for the heads of trans people. Whatever she may have done online, she caused no problems at Wotever, and I don’t think she deserved to be kicked out. How we can even begin to have dialogue if we shut people down upon sight?

    • RachelEvil says:

      If Fred Phelps showed up at a gay bar and just sat quietly, you don’t think he’d get thrown out, too?

    • SV says:

      Of course not, big tough internet bullies are cowards when faced with the possibility of getting a well-deserved fist in their mouth the second they open it.
      Of course she should be kicked out. Bigots are not allowed within this community, and that is exactly what she and her faux-feminist friends are.

      • Savannah says:

        Hi there, let’s have this conversation without using any kind of violent metaphors, thanks. (And I’m saying that as a trans woman who has dealt with this myself).

        • Cheryl CC-E says:

          While you may not like the “violent metaphor” [though I don't think it was so much a metaphor,as a definite real possibility if she got wrong], what SV says is true…and I whole-heartedly agree. I don’t see ANY reason WE need to be the ones in anxiety for our safety…and it’s also quite true that online bullies are just that…real life cowards.

          It makes no sense at all that she should even WANT to be in the same surroundings of individuals she expresses such disdain/hate for; she could have just been getting more material for her rants…and it was well for her to find that there are gay spaces where gay individuals don’t harbor ill will toward transfolk to such an extent as she.

          • Karen S says:

            I can pretty much guarantee no one makes life any better or easier for trans women by using violent metaphors or threats. I can say that we will all get tarred with a grossly unfair brush as rapey and violent.. This renders my transition meaningless,

          • Sophia says:

            Sorry, I’m new to this site, and I’m trying to respond to Karen S, so forgive me if I’ve done this incorrectly.
            As Cheryl said, it’s certainly not a metaphor, and I would say that it’s not a threat. One of the most vitriolic and vocal anti-trans humans on the entire planet goes to a bar that’s specifically catering to trans people that night. With alcohol. It’s not nice, but if she had staid there’s a very good chance a fight could have broken out (Pure speculation, maybe her reason for being there?), and that would have been seriously bad for everyone. Whether or not the choice to kick her out was right in a grand moral sense, it was certainly the correct decision.

          • Karen S says:

            Sophia…she was ejected. Without violence. Be glad for it! I am. If someone had hauled off and slugged her, you could kiss our progress goodbye for many, many years.. The best way to counter her vitriol is to stand up for yourself as the brave, incredible woman you are, and NEVER, EVER resort to violence. Be there for those she has hurt. She will spin herself as a hero, but she is already looking like a bully, spoiling to hurt others. Ease the hurt, and you render her vitriol impotent.

      • tyciol says:

        Why the “faux-feminist” term? I don’t like Cathy’s discrimination much but it seems to fall completely in line with feminism.

        • There is currently a huge split in feminism, between what is known as ‘rad’ or ‘radical’ feminism (of which Cathy Brennan is an example) and intersectional feminism. Rad feminism has a sad history of telling PoC women their issues don’t matter, attacking anyone who dares to criticize them, demeaning and attacking trans women, and a whole bunch of other shit which basically comes to to (in my opinion) “Only women like us, who have the same problems as us, matter. If your problems aren’t the same as our, you need to shut up, because your distracting from the real issues.”

          As far as rather or not rad-feminism is real feminism…

          Well, as Simone de Beauvoir said, “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” I do not consider a movement that tries to dictate who is an is not a woman, tries to tell other women their problems don’t matter, and responds to criticism and attempts at dialog with bullying, shaming and name calling.

          Saying “women are people too” doesn’t make you a feminist when you are busy trampling on women yourself.

          Again, my opinion, you are welcome to do some Googling of radical feminism and come to your own conclusions.

          (to be fair, those who oppose radfeminism have not always been polite in their attitudes towards radfem, but i think it’s a bit much to expect a person to not being pissed off and done being polite after hearing things like “Your claim that my comments were racist and demean to women of color is an attack to my free speech and you have no right to talk to me that way.”)

          • Gab says:

            Very good explanation! I took a women and gender’s studies class and my professor had a huge focus on intersectional feminism. We also discussed how in the past and even in modern times, feminism had had/has the issues of ignoring/marginalizing trans and other LGBTA people, as well as women of color and women who weren’t middle class.

            However, we never really talked about rad-feminism specifically and I didn’t even know that modern day feminism that wasn’t intersectional feminism had a name. This was an intro-level course that I took and my professor was trying to include as many different experiences from as many different people as possible.

            But anyway, thanks for the explanation and I learned something new today. Team Intersectional Feminism ftw!

        • Crash says:

          There’s nothing more anti-feminist than discriminating against the most victimized group of women in the world. TG women have the highest risk of harassment, bullying, discrimination, violence, rape, and murder.

    • eatingmycake says:

      Actually, CB was kicked out for who she hates on! Not who she loves! Big distinction. And this was no place for dialogue. It was a bar. CB has more than ample opportunity for dialogue everywhere else.

    • See the thing is that it’s Karma. She talked trash and has said vile hateful things about people outside of there but guess what…that bar is part of the community and they have the right to bar anyone like that.

      It doesn’t matter if she did anything at the time.
      Tell her to recant her line of damnating others, apologize to those she’s hurt and yeah then maybe we wouldn’t see her for the person she’s currently showing us.

    • K says:

      Does the phrase, “reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” not mean anything anymore? If someone’s presence is creating an uncomfortable atmosphere in a bar, 9 times out of 10 they will be kicked out…

    • Dani says:

      Dialog! LOL..no seriously. There is NO dialog with her and you know it. Have you seen her OKCupid post on her pretendbians site? Searching out innocent trans women’s profiles and flagging them as scammers. Unsolicited abuse. And all of the women said in their profiles they were trans. She wouldn’t have found them, otherwise. She DOES make hostile environments for trans women. Wotbar has a policy against unsafe environments.

    • Roxanne Andorfer says:

      Some people are not worth dialoguing with.

    • Himteckerjam says:

      Yes, and this is exactly why we should let KKK members like David Duke come party at Black owned/friendly nightclubs so we can have a “dialogue”. Because the oppressed are REAAAAAALLY super interested in the words people who want them to be harmed or dead have to say about their existence

      Such logikz

    • MasquedMan says:

      A business is private property and a business owner can bar any individual they like from entering. No explanation is needed. When you engage in comprehensive discrimination (I.E. that person is black, Irish, homosexual, or left-handed), that is illegal. But just not liking a person? Totally legit.

    • S. says:

      You see, it turns out that being a bully on internet has consequences in real life too. Had she not been a transphobic bully she’d have been more than welcome at the establishment, alas she is and as such was not welcome. Sounds like her intolerance caught up to her.

    • Kat says:

      “From all that has been said, you’d think she’d marched in with pitchforks and torches loudly asking for the heads of trans people. ”

      For all practical purposes, that’s what she online.

      A year or so ago a reality-based restaurant (on the west coast of the US I believe; probably L.A. or West Hollywood) was largely (though not universally) lauded for asking the notorious christianist and female anti-woman psychopath Ann Coulter to leave when someone realized that Coulter was dining there. By all accounts she was simply dining there – but in all media, she whips up countless forms of bigotry. The restaurant didn’t discriminate against her for being a woman or a christian or (allegedly) a heterosexual but, rather, simply held Coulter to account for her hatred of pretty much all of humanity outside of the millionaire Republican pundit class of well-professed heterosexuals that live within the bowels of Fox ‘News’, the National Review and breitbart.com.

      Based on the description of the actions in question, it would appear that Bar Wotever simply acted similarly: holding a disgusting and notorious transphobic bigot to account for her harassing internet trollery and for her advocacy of policies which, if implemented, would lead to the de facto extermination of trans women.

  4. Nic says:

    Some factual inaccuracies here, Millie. I was with Cathy Brennan at Bar Wotever and I also spoke with you on Skupe. We arrived as a pair, not a group, which you were informed on the call. And you also neglect to mention the fact that we are female homosexuals who object to being asked to consider our sexual partners on the basis of their gender identity, not their physical sex so in effect, yes we were kicked out for being lesbians because lesbians are female homosexuals who don’t want to touch dick.

    • Kimber says:

      So just want to throw this out there to you Nic. I am trans woman I consider myself a lesbian I also don’t want to touch dick. That being said I do not expect any lesbian to have a relationship with me. I also don’t assume that anyone is or will be interested in me romantically or sexually as a woman. I would love it if someone I liked and found myself attracted too felt the same about me I do not however ask you to consider your sexual partners on the basis of their gender identity. You have the right to chose your partners on whatever criteria you like and it will not offend me. As for Brennan being kicked out of the bar. I can’t say I know the correct call but I do know that I would be hesitant to go to go somewhere where I felt as though I would be targeted for who I am for whatever reason. Would you like to go somewhere that you knew there would be someone who openly attacked lesbians online? just my thoughts not that they where asked for…

    • karen says:

      Why would you be touching dick if you were on a date with a cis woman? That just doesn’t make sense. But thanks for defining what a lesbian is; I had no idea policing other people’s sexuality and gender identity was part of it.

    • Emily says:

      That doesn’t make sense. No one’s asking you to consider anyone as a sexual partner to come into bar wotever, but bar wotever is a safe place for trans* people and their allies. If you can’t respect that, you’re not welcome.

    • SV says:

      You aren’t ASKED to do anything but judge people based on who they are rather than their body parts. That should be basic human decency. But no, instead you’re just as bad as any misogynist or homophobe. People like you sicken me.
      You were asked to leave because you are a bigot, so is she, and so is any so-called-feminist that treats transpeople poorly. No one is forcing you to sleep with transwomen.
      All that is being asked is for you to stop passing judgment on people in situations you can’t possibly understand, and forcing inaccurate labels upon the people that love them.
      I don’t understand how anyone who has been discriminated against can discriminate themselves.

    • veeronic says:

      you’re opinion was noted and it was defined correctly, as the worst form of hatred due it’s hypocrisy. All the assholes in the world who attack people for who they are, and a group who’s experienced this kind of hate firsthand decides to preach the same kind of evil, adding to the vast amount to be pissed with already. What is wrong with you?

    • eatingmycake says:

      I would say the overwhelming number of lesbians (and gays) aren’t really attracted to trans ladies. That’s not a big deal. You get to set those limits in your bedroom. But turning that preference into an all out assault on a tiny population of people who are already extremely marginalized and powerless is disgusting and extremely silly. And that is exactly what CB has been doing for years. I wish everyone would just completely ignore her and let her fade into obscurity where she belongs.

    • Okay I know plenty of lesbians that ARE lesbians who have no problem with transwomen as real women or as partners. And it’s the intolerance of her past actions and words and behaviors that was being seen as worthy of banning. Not your or her sexual practices.

    • Milly Shaw Milly Shaw says:

      “Some factual inaccuracies here, Millie.” Comedy gold!

    • point says:

      It’s pretty obvious that you two seek to push trans women out of the lesbian community and lesbian spaces. So don’t be surprised when we pre-empt you and kick you out instead.

    • G says:

      Nobody objects to *you* choosing *your* sexual partners in whatever way you see fit – nobody wants to force *you* to sleep with trans women. What people object to is when you try to claim that your definition of your own sexuality is universal, and do so in a vicious and abusive manner. I for one am here to tell you that I am a lesbian, female assigned at birth, a female homosexual, and that I consider trans women to be WOMEN. If I were single and found myself mutually attracted to a trans woman, I would be have no problem with touching whatever parts she happened to have, if she wanted me to, and I would STILL be a LESBIAN. It is certainly none of my business to go around telling other people who they can and can’t have sex with in order to ‘correctly’ maintain their sexual identity, and it is certainly none of yours either.

      You and Brennan weren’t kicked out for being lesbians, you were kicked out for the way that you choose to abuse other people. Correlation does *not* equal causation. You can consider your own sexual partners on whatever basis you want, but NOTHING entitles you to make other people feel unsafe.

    • Carolyn Ann says:

      “We arrived as a pair, not a group” has no factual bearing on whether you arrived at the same time as a group of people or not. (I do wonder if you deliberately timed your arrival in order to enter among a group? So that you stood a chance of not being noticed?) That Ms Brennan chose to attend the event, with her trollish history, her internet behavior and her oft-stated beliefs about gender and her frequent online and not-so frequent in-person denigration of transwomen, implies that she, and by inference, you, were there to troll. I don’t imagine you were there to have a good time! You clearly support her meaningless but spiteful derogation of others; you were there with someone you know delights in deprecating transwomen. Your disingenuous definition of “lesbian”, besides being exclusionary and inequitable, points to your collective motive, does it not? It seems that you have just underscored your motive with your response.

      The fact that the bar and event management knew Ms Brennan planned to attend and took steps to prevent her entry says it all, don’t you think? Even in the US, a bar can toss out anyone they think might cause a problem. I imagine the Royal Vauxhall Tavern has some considerable experience with identifying and preemptively evicting potential troublemakers. That your friend’s motivations were anticipated is no doubt worn as symbol of martyrdom and proof of how “intolerant” the *entire* trans community is toward those who deride and hate them.

      Is the Michigan Womyn’s Festival’s banning of transwomen perceived as reasonable and warranted by you? If so, then neither you nor, by extension and the first paragraph of this comment, Ms Brennan have any basis for complaint and only invidious hate as your basis for celebrating not being able to ruin a fun night out for those you don’t approve of.

    • Christina says:

      Ironically, you were kicked out for transphobia, not for being a lesbian, and you’re continuing to be transphobic here (‘who don’t want to touch dick’ – genital-essentialism right there).

      • Christina says:

        Note that I am a trans woman, and so is my girlfriend. And we are very much lesbians.

    • AngrySparrow says:

      “… we were kicked out for being lesbians … ”

      No you weren’t.

      Cathy Brennan was kicked out because she is a internationally known, extremely vocal bigot, who has a documented history harassing people in clubs, in public and in other places.

      No other lesbians were singled out for being lesbian and consequently kicked-out that night – only her – so you are bull-shitter as well.

      She was ‘blackballed’ by the club management because of her history – so you just need get over it.


    • Himteckerjam says:

      I just find it hilarious that TERFs have the nerve to be offended about facing the consequences of espousing vitriol and hatred. It’s especially ironic when you try to frame it as as being any kind of Phobic when your entire mangled ideology is based around, well, unfounded and bigoted phobias.

      please stop being poisonous to everything Feminism and LGBT stands for, kthanx.

    • Kate says:

      Didn’t it occur to you and Ms. Brennan that the reason she was asked to leave was because of her history of posting photos or trans and queer people online accompanied by vile hateful comments? And had nothing to do with her being a lesbian? How was the management of that bar supposed to be assured that Brennan wasn’t there simply to take photos of their trans & queer patrons for this purpose? Anyone who spends hours looking through dating sites to find photos of trans woman in order to speak ill about them should not be welcome in queer and trans inclusive spaces. This is a privately owned business and they have the right to refuse service.

    • No, you were kicked out because Cathy Brennan has a well-known propensity for making scenes in public.

      Oh, and taking video of them?

      “we were kicked out for being lesbians because lesbians are female homosexuals who don’t want to touch dick”

      Sheesh. With all the trans women there, weren’t you afraid of brushing up against one?

      Get real. This is like a bad joke… CATHY BRENNAN JUMPS THE TRANNY … you’re making yourself ridiculous!

      • hank chapot says:

        “This is like a bad joke… CATHY BRENNAN JUMPS THE TRANNY … ”

        You are too funny!

    • dalmax says:

      Nic – I have interacted with CB and it appears as though she wants it both ways. She has every right to her belief system but when she beats that drum relentlessly about how trans women are just guys in dresses, and trans men are really just women, she is charting a social course back to the 50′s.

      She can be as angry as she desires about the existence of trans women; myself included; but MY message to HER is this: If you are so rabidly against anyone who doesn’t adhere to the gender binary then I wouldn’t want to know you anyway. Your anger is so palpable that I’m surprised you can function in normal society. I wonder………in your daily dealings, you must have to grind your teeth just to be able to conduct anything where a male-born human being is concerned. Oh……and that whole ‘co-opting women’s space’ thing? I wouldn’t want you within 10 miles of MY space. IT is filled with people of all sorts who don’t harbor lunatic fringe feelings, co-exist in harmony, and work towards creating a better LGBT population. Not fomenting hate and disrespect. Boy would I ever love to be on the other side of a legal tangle against you.

    • Karen S says:

      I take it respecting the intention of a “Safe Space” is a limited concept, then?

    • MR says:

      Don’t fret, Nic – None of us transwomen are actually interested in you.

    • As a target of Brennan’s hate site, and a lesbian, I’d like to take a moment to note that humans are a sapient species with some sexually dimorphic neurology that is non-neuroplastic at birth. Sex doesn’t get more physical than that and your obsession with genital morphology is impressively childish. Secondly, no self-respecting trans womon is asking to sleep with you. The extent of trans feminist sexual politics is not having you enforce your preferences, regardless of their genesis* on the lesbian community as a whole. That this is the case is made obvious since Brennan makes it a point to humiliate OPENLY trans women, women who have often disclosed the shape of their genitalia. There is no danger of someone being bait-and-switched as they are by your clearly misrepresented politics.

      *Again, numerous women have come forward with stories of attraction being expressed until their trans status is revealed. Forgive me for saying that doesn’t sound like something hard-wired.

    • kat says:

      I am a cis woman and a lesbian. I don’t define my sexuality by what I don’t like, but rather by the positive qualities of women that I enjoy and prefer to have in a partner. I would happily date trans or cis women alike providing they have those qualities I enjoy in another human. I would not date men. Your definition of lesbian and transsexual implies that you would, in fact, date a trans man. This is utterly bizarre.

      You were obviously not kicked out for just being lesbians, but because your partner in crime has a history of antagonizing other women using the resources she gets through her work as a lawyer. It is wise to note, also, that her work assists in upholding some strong institutions of patriarchy. This in some respects makes it even more disgusting what she does. While on the one hand she is attacking a group, on the other she is working to uphold an even stronger group which supports social oppression.

      One would not let a known racist in to a club with a high number of people of color, so I don’t see why one would allow someone who has openly targeted trans individuals in to a club on a night that is meant to be for trans individuals. Yet, you seem to think it’s perfectly fair to run a website mocking and ridiculing other people. You seem to think it’s perfectly fair to lie about other parties. You also seem to think it’s perfectly fair to uphold the patriarchy while yelling at a less powerful group. Perhaps this is projecting?

      I would also like to note that the terms you use, “female homosexual”, etc, are often used by bigots or people who want to dehumanize and objectify women and lesbians, especially when contrasted with how casual the rest of your language is. It sounds as if you’re referring to us as scientific experiments. Next thing you know a ferengi will be popping out of the corner screaming about females.

    • Raquel says:

      No, you were kicked out because your partner’s made herself famous for outing and harassing and advocating violence against the women who that club is meant for (yes, the shit CB pulls results in violence against us).

    • Becca says:

      What a joke. I’m a trans woman, and speaking on behalf of myself and all the other trans women I know, I’ll say this: none of us would consent to having sex with you or Cathy Brennan in a million years. We’re not asking you to consider us as potential sexual partners. Please, don’t do that. We want nothing to do with you. We disgust and repulse you? Believe me: the feeling is mutual.

  5. Calliope Redmond says:

    Interesting choice of picture on this article. It’s exactly the sort of transphobic imagery that the bigots use against trans women.

    • Emily says:

      that’s just a symbol/logo that bar wotever uses.

    • Emily says:

      * I should add, not specifically relating to transwomen, but in general

    • Kai Monster says:

      Your response to the picture interested me, because the moustache/lipstick combo has a positive connotation for parts of the genderqueer community. We see it as an acknowledgement of who we are, proof that we are seen; in that context, it is transphilic, rather than transphobic. For binary transfolk, I can understand that it’s a reminder of wrong ideas society holds. The genderqueer community is routinely lumped in with the binary trans community, and it’s good to have a reminder that, in some ways, our needs and priorities are very different.

  6. S says:

    Excellent to see Lesbilicious quite calmly opposing transphobia, and highlighting online bullying / harassment as a genuine cause for concern within the lesbian community. The recent Rad Fem article did similarly, but perhaps more important is your simple, consistent inclusive approach that features stories on transgenderism, as well as those on bisexuality. It’s normailising work, and I appreciate it as such.

    Even though the words of Cathy, and Nic here above seem to me to be self-evidently prejudiced and hateful, unfortunately many think its acceptable or, more worryingly, a justified crusade. I’m glad that cis writers, and even more so commentators are sticking their heads above the parapet to forcefully disagree. I hope it continues, here and elsewhere.

  7. Rebecca says:

    A queer woman in Baltimore is fundraising for a lawyer as Cathy Brennan is taking her to court for typing her name on Twitter. Please see: http://www.gofundme.com/fightcbrennan

  8. Serena says:

    I am not a fan of preventive justice but this is absurd. Are we really discussing why CB was thrown out? I mean she’s very public about her statements and actions and she’s never apologised for the harm she has caused. We would never allow into a women’s shelter one of the perpetrators of violence (even if it was just verbal violence) just because they are sitting there and doing nothing (this time). Irrespectively of CB’s targets (which incidentally appear to be trans and queer women) she is actively engaged in making dissident’s lives miserable (and now I hear she’s taking to court a student) in order to get a bit of attention. Don’t feed the troll and don’t feel the need to justify why you want to keep at distance someone who behaves like this. She’s not her behaviours but she’s accountable for them. If she’s so weak that in order to state who she is she needs to deny who others are, then Wotever is not her place to be and she can stick with RadFem.

  9. Dani says:

    Cathy Brennan thinks that being a lesbian means you have to reject trans women. That is what she was thinking when she was kicked out of the bar for “being a lesbian”. What is concerning is I think she really believes this. She wants to control everyone else’s identity. She will call lesbians who have relationships with trans women heterosexual. She robs everyone of their own identities. And she claims to be a feminist! Feminists do NOT tell other women who they are or are not.

  10. disposable_identity says:

    good riddance to brennan, -Comment edited as it was a personal attack-

  11. Laura says:

    L: CB doesn’t “do” diaglogue – she taunts and harasses people online, often screenshoting their personal sites, Facebook pages and notoriously, dating profiles, posts them on her own page (and makes complaints to said dating sites accusing them of being “scammers”). So I don’t see why she entitled to be treated courteously offline. It is a bar night that explicitly welcomes a very much persecuted community, and I think they have very, very few places like it to go to. In contrast, despite CB and others whinging, there is lots and lots of “women only” events that few transwomen attend – you only hear about the ones that aggressively make an issue of deliberately excluding transwomen.

    Anyway, her comment “people who formerly identified as heterosexual males” says it all for me. Basically, she’s pissed because these “people” got access to a bar and she didn’t. BW were quite right to ask her to leave and I can’t really see why in London, where there are dozens of gay bars, she chose this one to drink in.

    • Chrissy J says:

      My first question, on reading the article, was ‘on what grounds was the person excluded: as a homosexual barred from a homosexual venue, or as a transphobe barred from a trans-friendly event?’ You can guess which line of protest CB is taking, but which takes priority: the venue or the event?

      “…I can’t really see why in London, where there are dozens of gay bars, (CB) chose this one to drink in.”

      Because there’d be a better chance of picking a confrontation or even a fight with the clientele, perhaps.

      • L says:

        But that is exactly my point. She didn’t do that. It’s not like she was looming over the audience menancingly with heavies. Let’s be honest; if Natacha Kennedy and the Wotever crew hadn’t had her kicked out noone would have even known she had been there.

        So much of this just feels like getting revenge to me. This gloating feels petty.

        • Rebecca says:

          Honestly, L, I think you’re wrong on this. CB uses her own funds to aggressively pursue lawsuits against anyone she doesn’t like. I’m glad Wotever asked her to leave before she provoked a confrontation with trans women that left more in our community criminalised, destitute, or forced to detransition in prison.

          It’s okay to want to be a martyr – but in this situation there’s a risk of vulnerable trans and queer people having their lives ruined.

        • C says:

          You seem to be assuming that she absolutely would not have caused a confrontation with any of the regular clientele to the club if she hadn’t been ejected.
          Once again, considering her history as a bully and a bigot, you can’t just overlook the fact that she could’ve easily decided to cause some trouble herself.
          I don’t think it’s gloating, (even though it seems to me, the most oppressed deserve a little sometimes) rather a defense against a false claim from an angry closed-minded person who just happens to be a lesbian.

        • Dani says:

          L: Can you imagine what a trans woman would feel like with Cathy Brennan in a supposed safe space for trans women? I would be horrified and terrified. Stop ignoring what she has done, and continues to do, to our community. Being in denial doesn’t help anyone. She has publicly shamed and humiliated countless trans women on her many sites. She actually needs to go see a therapist to deal with her issues and I am not saying that to make fun of her. Her hate is affecting her life and others around her.

        • Danielle says:

          Quite a few people knew and Bar Wotever were already on alert for her. Further, CB is known to go to extreme lengths cause problems for trans women, from using her access to legal document systems to learn the time and date of a trans woman’s hearing (I do not recall if it was name or gender change order) and suggesting other RadFems attend the hearing to protest it, to outing trans women to their employers and, in at least one case, schools. Her lengthy history of behavior has made it clear that a trans woman having any contact with her in whatever capacity is inherently at risk of having such actions taken against her.

        • K says:

          Let’s suppose she had been allowed the run of the place all night and never harmed anyone or even made a scene. Let’s also suppose I were there and didn’t even learn who she was until afterward. Would I then say, “Oh well, nothing happened so I’m safe now”? No, I would have to worry about whether my photograph was now being spread all over the uglier parts of the web with captions saying “look out for this predatory man”. I’d probably be forever trying to remember if I’d seen anyone hold up their phone, and if hypothetical-me were _me_ I might get back in the closet and stay there for the rest of my life.

        • Himteckerjam says:

          who the hell cares? If a guy in a KKK hood showed up to a rap concert would he too should be ousted. Get over it.

        • JoTheTech says:

          Not revenge but precaution. Any idiot knows she was there to cause a problem, either by looming or by outright making a scene and spoiling the night. The crew took the decision to bar her pre-emptively in order to maintain the peace and I think it was exactly the right line to take.

  12. Sarah says:

    No one should be discriminated against whatever their sexuality and bullying people.
    There is enough people and especially young people being bullied because of who they are and what sexuality they are. People that attend the establishment should not feel intimidated because of one persons attitude and personal view of them. Even though she didn’t cause any trouble at the time her views and attitude towards certain sexuality imposes on people basic right to feel safe. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion but it depends on how they use it or try and influence others that is the danger !!
    There is enough young people struggling with their sexuality either being bullied for it or living in fear of the consequences from others who do not understand not educated or open minded people. They should be allowed to live freely within the law without prejudice or harassment. Sadly many have taken their own lives because of harassment and bullying. Could she stand living with herself if she found she had caused someone to take their own life because of her. I think the establishment did right they have a duty of care to all their customers and safety is paramount.
    I am a lesbian myself but I don’t condone what she does and her opinions live and let live if she wants to do anything decent then stop bullying and harassment for all sexuality.

  13. lloyd says:

    Ok to start i am neither a transwoman or a lesbian (unless you count that silly male joke). I am, however, slightly confused over this. Mainly because I cannot for the life of me understand why someone would go to a place that is frequented by the very people that she quite obviously hates and actively discriminates against. To me that seems like Nick Griffin going to a mosc because they happened to have a bake sale on. In the final analysis she knew that her very presence in the bar would make people uncomfortable and i suspect that was the reason for her going. Any bar or club has the right to refuse entry or remove anyone and in truth they can do so just because they want to.

    • C says:

      This is her MO. She goes out of her way to show up at events where there are trans women in the hopes of creating an incident, so she can use that as “proof” of how mean/evil/destructive/etc. trans women are. And even though nothing happened, she’s trying to spin it to make it seem as though she’s the victim.

  14. ShadowSistar says:

    This makes me incredibly happy to know that Brennan is running into some consequences for her behavior. Last year a transwoman took her own life because Brennan posted a screenshot of her facebook. She constantly calls them “he” or “violent men” I know about all of this personally b/c my partner has sparred with her online and has since had to remove all of her personal info from the web just in case Brennan wanted to lash out at her. So yeah….awesome that she was kicked out.

  15. Carolyn Ann says:

    “Logically, of course, a bar which is intolerant of intolerance is itself intolerant…” I’m not convinced of that. :-) While you are semantically correct, that particular meme plays up its apparent paradox without actually addressing it. The other side of the coin, so to speak, is that by tolerating the intolerant, intolerance is encouraged. In this case, however, not tolerating the presence of those who seek to ruin a perfectly good night is not intolerant, no matter what the logic says. It is prudent and wise. :-)

  16. Iba says:

    “Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.” -Ayaan Hirsi Ali

  17. Cassandra says:

    Way to go Wotever!

  18. Joelle says:

    I stand and applaud the decision made by this London club. This is a great case of karma. A hate-monger like Brennan does not deserve the right to enjoy the company of trans-affirming queer community. If that is what she wants, she should cease and desist her endless harassment of trans women!

  19. Kathy says:

    To deny her the opportunity to ogle and objectify women she says she finds repulsive is just hateful.

  20. Drew says:

    I’m a straight white male, just to preface.

    I think what they did was pretty damn impressive! Equality and non-discrimination should apply to EVERYONE, and a trans-person should not have to feel intimidated. -Remainder of comment removed as it was a personal attack-

  21. Craig says:

    All I can really say about Cathy Brennan is that she’s no different from a pro-lifer, in that she seeks to police what other people do with their bodies and make their choices for them, while shaming them for not conforming to her narrow-minded views about how they should live their lives.

    As a woman, she should know better. As a lesbian, she should know better. I’m a straight, white, cis male, and *I* fucking know better, so she has no excuse for her inability to check her own privilege. Cathy is a disappointment to feminists everywhere, no matter their demography.

    Kudos to Bar Wotever for making the right decision, and shame on Cathy for her pathetic and inept whinging about her being “discriminated” against.

  22. Karen S says:

    It’s curious how someone who gets all wrapped up about respecting the intention of women’s spaces doesn’t respect them herself when they are trans women. The word I’m thinking of rhymes (very closely) with hypocrite.

  23. anotherwoman says:

    Nic, it is shameful of you to purposefully misconstrue the intention of your disbarring. If you truly believe with all your heart that you and Cathy were asked to leave this establishment based on your sexual orientation, please take some time alone to think about the idea of “rigorous honesty”, both with yourself and others. I also need to urge you to start taking responsibility for your actions and beliefs.

    Your friend Cathy Brennan may be a very strong woman, lord knows we have to be strong to be this visible in this world. Her actions cause harm. Because she is a bigot, and proud to be, she has dedicated her life to dismantling the lives of others and to making this world less safe for anyone other than you and her. This isn’t even a matter of the nature of her or your beliefs.

    I would never ask you to change your beliefs for me or anyone else. This is a matter of personal responsibility and the consequences of your actions. You and Cathy are welcome to your feelings, you deserve to believe in yourself and each other. You deserve to celebrate whatever it is that you find familiar or beautiful about your own identity, sexuality, gender…When your beliefs are structured around causing harm to other people, I can imagine it would be challenging to feel satisfied just keeping those thoughts to yourself.

    I understand that Cathy, and you perhaps, feel that you are responsible to women and that you need to expose trans women in order to protect “real” women. I urge you to think about the idea of humility. The moment we start to control other people’s realities, especially when the purpose of doing so is to validate our own, we have actually lost any real control in our lives. You don’t need to tell anyone who or what they are, and you don’t need to try and desperately cling to the fantasy you constructed about trans women and trans lesbians anymore. I know you want trans women to be this thing you’re ilk have imagined them to be, I know you think you’ve figured it out.

    I don’t spend my time invalidating other people, but I do know that TERF logic is wrong. I know that Cathy Brennan has hurt a lot of people because of her fear, and her self indulgent hate. Do you know what that means? That she hurt a lot of people?

    I hope your eyes don’t glaze over when you read that in these comments, I hope a wall doesn’t go up between what the women here are saying and what you need to believe in order to feel ok about yourself. To hurt someone means to cause harm, it means that she took something away from someone else, that she tried to take it. It means that she purposefully tried to make another person be ashamed of who they are, fearful of their existence in this world, and she tries every day to reduce their access to life sustaining resources.

    When you write pages and pages of hateful filth, when you out teenage trans kids to their school, when you stalk trans women online and harras them, when you profile individual women with hateful propaganda – you are no longer someone who has a contrary belief, you are a predator.

    There are real people who don’t have the mental or personal foundation to support themselves from an psychological/social attack from someone like Cathy Brennan who has herself countless resources to provide herself with comfort and care. She is responsible for the way her actions affect the world around her, what she has done and continues to do is not worth critiquing – it is a history of violence. She can never escape the hard truth that her own indignation has taken over her life, and transformed her into a slave to her own fear, and the self-centered hatred she has built her life around. She can not escape that, all she can do is choose to live in denial about it – to believe herself and her lies, and to suffer from the dishonesty, loneliness, isolation, and other worldly consequences of living a life of self obsession and fear. You can’t escape that either.

    Being barred from this establishment is the smallest and most gentle way that those who have been victimized by Cathy, and those who support transgender women, can protect those women from the damage she is committed to cause.

    You are living in a fantasy world if you believe that this was about anything other than her history of violence, and the commitment of that bar to providing and maintaining a safe space for LGBT people. Shame on you for being so selfish and irresponsible to other people. Shame on Cathy for allowing her own fear to envelope her, and for lying to herself and everyone else about what she thinks happened at Bar Wotever.

    You both know the reason you were removed, we’ve all seen the video and we all know that Cathy is intentionally lying and manipulating, as she always does. People like her, and you, need to take a long time to think about what you’ve done. You need to stop talking, and start listening. You need to swallow your pride and consider for one moment that you might not know everything about this world or other people’s realities.

    You need to practice humility, try and imagine that you don’t determine anyone’s reality outside of your own – where did you learn that ego is more important than other people’s wellness? It is hard to admit you were wrong. I am sure neither of you will ever do so, and I am not asking for assessment of your needs to be strongly considered – I know you will do exactly whatever it is you think you ought to do.

    The comparison drawn between Cathy Brennan and Fred Phelps is not an exaggeration – I hope you’re not rolling your eyes at it. If you are finding yourself embaressed all of a sudden that you and your friend have allowed your bigotry to get this out of hand, if you are upset that your friend, and you by association, are being recognized as the perpetrators of hate crime, and are correctly identified as bigots and abusers – please know that acceptance is the answer, denial will only hurt more in the long run, and the cost of that denial is a lot of other people’s wellness and sometimes even their lives. Have no illusion about that. And next time you comment on an article like this, show yourself and others some respect.

    • Dani says:

      This was an amazing comment! Thanks so much for posting it. People who abuse others usually never realize they are actually being abusers. And abusers always tell the abused they are not being abused. This group shames and humiliates a VERY vulnerable group and they are in denial about this. Even the right wing hate-mongers don’t seek out trans people to victimize them. This group is much worse and yes, Fred Phelps is a perfect comparison.

    • Carolyn Ann says:

      That was brilliantly said, anotherwoman! Loved it! :-)

  24. Wysiwyg says:

    I fully support the stand that Wotever took with Cathy Brennan. Ms. Brennan is a sexist bigot that should take a long hard look at what one of the ‘core’ of feminist values, that of equality. She is not a Feminist but an oppressor of another gender through her own bigotry.

  25. SensitiveThug says:

    Hi All, interesting discussion. I’ve never posted on lesbilicious before but I’m wondering why not! More seriously, I don’t know if this has been said by anyone above me, but surely it’s possible that Cathy Brennan deliberately chose Bar Wotever, which I also know nothing about, hoping to get thrown out?

    It seems very strange that she’d pick this particular event given her well-known views on trans people. It seems strange that she’d inform the organisers (and possibly others?) beforehand that she was going, although I suppose she could claim she was checking it was OK in light of her well-known views.

    I wouldn’t be surpised if she wanted all this to happen so she can claim to be the marginalised and victimised one. Maybe she’ll write about it or use the story at future cis-women-only events. For the record, I’m glad she was kicked out. We can also write and talk about it!

  26. L says:

    Yeah, I’m done. I appreciate that people have their problems with Brennan based off her online behaviour, but this really does just seem like people gloating in getting their own back. Whatever, fine, but I was there (unlike practically all of you), and she wasn’t threatening anyone, not taking sneaky photos, not making a scene. Everyone is convinced she was there to kick up a fuss – but I saw no evidence of this. I don’t think she was aware it was a ‘trans night’ either, just a gay bar with a cabaret act. Nobody noticed her when she came in – but apparently this incriminates her as well as if she had loudly announced herself – because she was ‘sneaking’. This is a kangaroo court tbh. No wonder this hostility between radical feminists and the trans community is only getting worse.

    • Dani says:

      It is absolutely amazing that you still don’t get it. Her very presence is abusive to trans women. Oh, but she wasn’t abusing them at that moment. Tell that to a woman who has suffered from verbal abuse from a spouse. Think about how unsafe she would feel if her spouse walked in. That is what we are talking about.

    • Karen S says:

      I know so many radical feminists who spend very little time concerning themselves with her antics, who certainly don’t troll OKCupid to humiliate people, or out teenage transitioners, who simply want to bust down patriarchy by attacking patriarchy and not individuals, that I wonder why she’s even relevant to the real struggles going on. But why should trans women, who were doing nothing permicious that night, feel safe with a known active troll in their midst. Respecting intentions is a two way street.

    • Wendy says:

      See ya! Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on your way out.

    • scott says:

      Ok im writing this as a straightforward hetro white male ( you know in ms brennans eyes the truly evil overlords of the world who are so blessed with privilege etc ), i became aware of the tactics of this particular radical feminist several years ago talking with a girl i worked with who turned out to be trans , discussion over time and getting to know her and become close friends ( to such an extent if i am ever daft enough to tie the knot she will be my best woman ) I have seen the harassment she goes through, i have had to go to the hospital as her emergency contact after she was brutally attacked one night , i have also simply through friendship endured the moronic chatter of of some. Anyone who goes through what she has just to find peace, to find happiness in who they are , who faces bigotry in day to day life and who doesnt have the protections in employment and society that ms brennan and her ilk enjoy should not have to feel unsafe , should not have to be around people who have proved, not because of how they were born ( and to radical feminists male = evil ) but by there very , very well documented actions over an extended period of time. The club took all the steps required to ensure that its patrons were in an enviroment where they were safe , they deserve commendation for this. I have never understood , and maybe its part of the reason i could never claim to be any sort of feminist , why a woman that has by her claims faced discrimination on two fronts ( being a woman and lesbian ) is so intent and so hatefully focused on her desire to attack and make suffer those who are different to her .

    • Marti386 says:

      “she wasn’t threatening anyone, not taking sneaky photos, not making a scene.”

      Cathy Brennan threatens by her mere EXISTENCE. She has a LONG history of harassing trans women. She also likes deliberately going into trans friendly spaces in order to intimidate and cause a scene. Just like when she went to a trans inclusive dyke march, proudly brandishing a sign listing Sheila Jeffreys (an anti-trans radfem) as her “dyke hero” (and her friend made sure she carried a sign listing Cathy Brennan as HER “dyke hero” so EVERYONE would know she was there. Of course she became the subject of a rather vocal discussion, that she tried to portray as “violence”. No one bought it then, and we’re not buying it NOW.

      You CAN’T have it both ways. You can’t demand that trans women be excluded from women’s spaces for your “safety”, and then whine when you get thrown out for making trans women feel unsafe. Sorry we’re not sorry.

      Grow UP.

    • Sarah says:

      Guess you’ve been supporting CB all along, ‘L’. http://pretendbians.com/2013/06/21/endangered-species-actual-lesbians/

    • Lithp says:

      Why does it even matter if she had an argument? The club is perfectly within its rights to kick someone out. This is England. They’ve barred people from their COUNTRY for being hate-mongers. Why didn’t she just go to one of those “real lesbian only” spaces that she’s always harping about?

  27. Young Tash says:

    Young Tash wrote this on her video wall: Seriously, give it up, -comment edited as it was a personal attack-. The whole way though you forced your opinion of why you got kicked out, and storm troopered your voice all over the bouncer.This video has been created from a bias point of view, there is no balance in argument, and it is no where near enough of anything for the audience to make a fair and informed opinion. Before you put it up, you should present the other side of the story. And you are in London, is there no where else to go? Its not like you are in Wagga Wagga Australia mate, lighten up and learn to fight the fight effectively.
    Personally I think the Bouncer needs a pat on the back.

  28. Chad says:

    Cathy co-authored a letter to the UN asking that they remove trans* people from human rights protections. She has also outed trans* teens to their parents, schools, and employers. Most recently, she posted the personal information of a 16 year old trans* kid who lives with their single mother in Oregon because the kid prank called her. This resulted in both the kid and their mother being harassed over the phone by a bunch of “radicals” and even some people coming and throwing rocks through their windows.

  29. Richard says:


  30. Cathy Brennan says:

    If you’re going to lie about women online, don’t be surprised when they sue you.


    • Barbarella says:

      Is this your answer to everything? Using your privileged position as a lawyer within the patriarchal law system in order to silence those who oppose you? The irony being, of course, that if your detractors had as much money, influence and privilege as you do, you would be embroiled in numerous court cases for hate speech and persecution. In crying ‘sue!’ at the vast number of people who find your hate speech and tactics intolerable – many of them lesbians – you reveal yourself to be a coward of the highest order, and a hypocrite to boot. As a lesbian, I am ashamed at your use of this word.

    • Dani says:

      You have said in the past that supporting trans women’s rights is supporting corrective rape against lesbians. I would feel abused simply being within eyesight of you. You don’t seem to get that. I hope one day you do some soul searching!

  31. Karen S says:

    So, who’s getting sued?

    • Grell says:

      Everyone I think…

    • Dani says:

      Everyone on the Internet who mentions Cathy Brennan’s name. Oh, crap! I am screwed now.

      • Karen S says:

        “The more room you give yourself to express your true thoughts and feelings, the more room there is for wisdom to emerge.” Marianne Williamson

        “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. (Or Goddess, in my book-Karen S) Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

        Why should any person live their lives afraid of their own truth? Live your life for yourself and for the love you share with others. I don’t waste my time looking over my shoulder about this or that person. Such a person can’t dish out anything I can’t take, because I love others, and that sustains me. To try and poison love creates a sickness in the poisoner’s heart only.

        Upon reflection, the safest space is the space in your own heart for love.

      • Lithp says:

        Cathy Brennan Cathy Brennan Cathy Brennan Cathy Brennan Cathy Brennan.

        How will you respond to my temptations, Fate?

  32. Doloresdaphne says:

    I have followed Cathy’s work over the last couple of years, and I’ve got to say, a lot of the comments above are not consistent with what I know of her. There is a lot of emotion in the comments here, but not a lot of truth or fact. The sweeping claims about her seem to be a combination of lies and twisting of events, conveniently omitting key facts, so as to make them sound worse. To make the dramatic claims you are making, I recommend including links, so your claims can be verified.

  33. Jenni says:

    Wow CB, sucks to be you huh? Looks like Karma is coming back around to bite you in the butt. You reap what you sow. I think you and Fred Phelps should find a straight bar and go have a chat over some fine wine about the finer points of hatred and bigotry. You two would make a fantastic couple.
    I think the Wotever bar did an exemplary job of creating a safe place for trans women and other gay/lesbian/bisexual/queer people who can co-exist with one another. They certainly did not need to have a hatemonger with them to stir things up.

  34. Willow says:

    I have had personal experiences with Brennan. she is a vile person. she has outed minors on her blog and instructed her drones to attack them(a 16 year old queer boy). She deserves no quarter in feminism and has no place being let in a place full of potential victims for her. that would be like letting a pedophile run free in a daycare.
    good for you, wotever, for kicking her out.

  35. nema says:


    I’m am a trans* nonbinary person. What I have in my pants has NO impact on my gender, but people like Cathy Brennan would have you harass me for not agreeing with an arbitrarily assigned gender i was given at birth. Eugh, transphobic people are awful.

  36. Kara C says:

    As a trans woman and lesbian(@KaraConnor on Twitter) I am constantly heartened by the support we get from the vastly overwhelming majority of lesbians. The love and acceptance is awesome, and very much appreciated.

  37. Crash says:

    Let me make a few things absolutely clear. Some of these were already mentioned by others, but for the sake of expressing agreement with them, I’ll repeat them anyway.

    1) Brennan was the only lesbian kicked out. No other lesbian was ejected, despite the bar being full of them. If she’d been kicked out for being a lesbian, she wouldn’t have been the only one.

    2) Brennan was an honored guest at RadFem 2013 the previous night, where they discriminated against transgender women. Why should she expect to be welcome in a trans-inclusive place when she’d just participated in that asinine show of bigotry?

    3) She has rightfully earned a reputation as the “Fred Phelps” of feminism by harassing anybody who doesn’t hate transgender women. Fred Phelps is asked to leave from most places where he shows up. She told blatant lies in the interview when she denied the behavior that earned her this reputation. She has even stalked minors and contacted their schools’ officials to out them. She brags about it on her own blog.

    4) Part of her infamy is for taking note of transgender people in places where she goes, and then outing, defaming, stalking, and harassing them. Because of this, she cannot be trusted in safe spaces.

    5) She Posted on Twitter implying that she was looking for an argument. That makes it absolutely clear that even if she had no prior reputation at all, she could not be trusted to remain peaceful in a trans-safe space.

    6) She was preemptively banned from the premises by staff(as you can see in the previous image) in response. It was far enough in advance that she could reasonably be expected to have received the message. By showing up after having already been banned, she should have been arrested for trespassing.

    7) She recorded the interview with Milly Shaw, and I did not hear any indication that she informed Milly of the recording. In the State of Maryland, that is illegal.

    • Crash says:

      I’d also like to point out another blatant hypocrisy. She claims that making a bunch of people in the bar uncomfortable is not an indication that she’s a bad person or should be ejected, even though she recently said, “Also, always trust your intuition. If someone makes you uncomfortable, there’s a reason. And they usually reveal themselves.” https://www.facebook.com/bugbrennan/posts/476921162382648
      Why does she think she can get away with making up entirely different sets of rules for herself and the people with whom she disagrees? She tries to paint other peoples’ interactions with her as heinous, and then tries to make her own extremist versions of similar acts look totally reasonable. For example, when I followed a link on twitter to find her Facebook page and commented on it, she called it “stalking,” in spite of the fact that she invited readers to come; then she went and scoured the internet looking for information about me and posted what little she found as a weak attempt to intimidate me. When that didn’t work, she threatened to call the police to tell them about my “interest in firearms” because I’d spoken in support of the right to defend one’s self with force against physical attacks. This is the “law enforcement action” she talks about. She calls the cops and tells lies when she doesn’t like somebody.

  38. Gab says:

    The bar made the right call. Considering that Cathy Brennan trolls tans people on twitter and tries to humiliate out trans women on dating sites with her website, she is nothing but a bully. Considering how much she seems to dislike trans people, the only reasons I can think of for her to attend what she knows is a trans-friendly event are:

    1.) Because she wants to start shit.

    2.) Because she wants to makes the trans people attending one of the few events where they can freely express themselves feel unsafe. (As in more bullying.)

    3.) Because she wanted to secretly take pictures of the trans people attending the event so she can humiliate them and out people who are not out, which can be a serious risk to their safety.

    Considering her track record of bullying trans people, it was a smart move on the part of the management to kick her out. Hopefully everyone at the bar had a fun time once she was gone.

    Also, her saying that they “kicked her out because she’s a lesbian” personally pisses me off because it’s a blatant lie. No, I’d say that they kicked her out because she has a track record of bullying trans people. I seriously doubt that the bar would have any problems with any cis-gender lesbian who didn’t bully trans people on the internet.

  39. Alice says:

    I think it’s a sad day when it’s not safe for Queers to question Queer Theory. And that is exactly what this is about. One lesbian’s presence in one of the largest gay bars in the 15th largest city in the world – arguable THE largest city in the Free World – is not a threat to anyone in any way. Even if she is armed with a mobile.

    Females ARE an historically oppressed class. The social construct of “gender” is one of the primary tools for enforcing this oppression. All females should be questioning how gender is being reintroduced and reinforced through current Queer Theory, as it has dramatic impact on their lives, and those of their daughters. As should all gays, lesbians and bisexuals, since their sexual orientation represents THE most egregious departure from gender norms. I saw the Lesbilicous headline and read the article, then listened to the interview transcript, which, by the way, appears to have barely been used in the article itself, and finally, read through the resulting comments.

    My comment is this, “Same on you!” Shame on you, Queer Community, for allowing bullies to run amuck. Shame on you for shouting down intelligent and reasonable discussion on sociopolitical arguments which effect ALL of us, male and female alike. And shame on you, RVT, for making queer spaces unsafe spaces for Lesbians.

    • Dani says:

      Here is a sample of your “questioning queer theory”.


      “Trans critical”, blah blah. All of it named to make yourself believe you aren’t a transphobe. Proof of actual harm is in the link above. Critique? *puke*

    • Marti386 says:

      Ummm, NO. It’s not about you at all. Stop with the “questioning queer theory” bullshit. Trans women’s LIVES and experiences are NOT a “theory”. We are NOT some sort of academic exercise for you to play with. You wanna deconstruct gender? Do it on your OWN life, away from trans people.

      “Females ARE an historically oppressed class.”

      Yeah, thanx for the memo. I’ve lived full time as a woman for about 12 years now, and I NEVER knew that. Oh, WAIT. I did. Know who ELSE is a historically oppressed class? TRANS women. Even MORE than you. Don’t lecture us on oppression. We get WAY more than YOU. And to top it OFF, when we’re done dealing with the misogynists and rapists and abusers just like you, we have to put up with transphobic lesbian asshats who spend their every WAKING moment harassing trans women.

      “Shame on you for shouting down intelligent and reasonable discussion on socio political arguments which affect ALL of us, male and female alike”

      Sorry, but CB and her radfem hoards are NOT capable of having “intelligent and reasonable discussions”. She’s proven it time and time again. When trans women provide thoughtful responses to her baloney, and the best she can reply with is “sorry about your dick”, there’s not much intelligence going on, IS there? I’ve tried to have a “dialogue” with her several times on her gaggle of web pages. Her response? Block my comments (even though I honestly TRIED to have a real discussion), call me a “creepy stalker” (even though I only commented TWICE) and provide personal info about me including my birth name, email address, and IP address. And I’ve had the SAME reaction from pretty much EVERY radfem I’ve tried to engage. Does that sound “reasonable” to you?

      The FACT is, radfems AREN’T interested in a “discussion”. Of ANY sort. Because they can’t ACTUALLY debate. Their “logic” just doesn’t hold up to any real scrutiny.

      They just want to hate on trans people.

      • Lithp says:

        What she said. I made a comment on her blog pointing out that the OK Cupid crap fit her definition of cyber harassment & asking a few probing questions about her “criticisms of queer theory,” such as “if you think that transsexuals are homosexual men, why would you believe they can ‘just date straight women’?” At no point did I ever resort to insults.

        Her response: REDACTED.

        “I saw the Lesbilicous headline and read the article, then listened to the interview transcript, which, by the way, appears to have barely been used in the article itself, and finally, read through the resulting comments.”

        That really only does Brennan a favor. Her responses were bizarre & had virtually no correlation to the questions she was being asked.

    • Kate says:

      “intelligent and reasonable”? I’m not sure if you’ve read much of Ms. Brennan’s writings. Most of it comes off as sounding like childish school-yard bullying. Even when she tries to write in an “intelligent” manner (re the letter to the UN that she co-authored) the logic and wording is rambling and incoherent in my opinion. When I once attempted to question a “lesbian time line” she posted on her blog and pointed out that she had omitted the important role that lesbians took during the early years of the AIDS crisis in her timeline she 1) called me a “man (btw, I’m not a man.), 2) found a photo of me on the internet, posted it on her blog within moments, 3) wrote that I was a “handmaiden of the patriarchy” and 4) threatened to contact my employer to tell them that I was “pissing all over the rights of women.” I’m not sure how including lesbians in the history of the important role of women in HIV activism = “pissing on the rights of women”. After all, it was the women of ACT UP (many of them lesbians) whose activism forced the CDC to change the definition of AIDS so woman could receive medical treatments and social benefits that they had been excluded from previously, but this is just one example of Ms. Brennan’s “intelligent and reasonable” method of discussion.

  40. Darren says:

    Straight white male here. I know the assumption is that i’d be homophobic and transphobic, but I’d like to say I’m sorry to hear that a group that desperately needs support from hate is being persecuted by another group who would logically make great allies. I read about some of this on twitter, and thought I should learn more about it.

    I’ve witnessed some very horrible transphobic comments and other horrible things near home, and it makes my stomach sink every time. I’m really sorry I haven’t had the courage to speak up against people like that when i see it. Seeing the current abuse transgendered people are subject to makes me feel quite ashamed of my own inaction. Kudos to you for realizing who you are and being it.

    All the best to you. Darren in Vancouver

    • Darren says:

      Just a side note. Upon further reading I have found that many people prefer the term transgender to transgendered. Please realize it was out of ignorance not disrespect that I used that term

      I’m an old guy but I still try to learn

  41. Cyd says:

    I’ve worked in bars for years, and people get ejected for this kinda shit all the time. The last place I worked at ejected a bloke who was apparently ‘doing nothing’ because he was known for stalking and harassing several of the women regulars online and was most likely in the bar to cause them discomfort. I’ve also seen someone who was ‘just minding their business’ get removed because he was a known homophobe who wanted confrontation.

    And I’d hazard a guess that’s what CB was up to. There’s a myriad of LGB bars in London. If you well and truly hate trans people and feel so terribly unsafe around trans women, why go to that bar? Why go to the bar full of trans people? Why not go somewhere else, where surely you’d feel safer? The only reasons I can see to choose Wotever over every other bar is either to make trans people uncomfortable or to stand there and wait for someone to call you on your BS so you can play the victim card.

    Standing around ‘minding your own business’ around people who you know are incredibly uncomfortable around you, especially when you’ve got a history of harassing and harming them, just reeks of abuser tactics. Wotever is most definitely getting all my business from now on.

  42. Carolyn Ann says:

    There’s a lot of good words in this post and in the comments, but one thing that’s been missed. “Nic”, and her friend did not miss it. Indeed it seems to have been their entire purpose, the entire reason for their actions that night. There was no “striking a blow” for women. No “pursuit of freedom”. No waylaying of an enemy. This was a petty action by, ultimately, petty individuals. It strikes me that Nic and her cohort were simply intent upon ruining a fun night out.

    They were mean.

    And intended to be so.

    I have no idea if “Nic” is still reading this post, but I have little doubt her friends are. Let them read this, let them retell it: when Nic gets old, when she is, as I am, looking at more years aft than afore, when she is old and hopefully has not lived through some of the trials and trauma of those she despises, will she look in the mirror and say “I fought a good fight”, or will she say “Yeah, I tried to ruin a fun night out for those trannies!”

    Tomorrow morning those she despises will get up and go about their lives. Some of them won’t see the end of tomorrow. They’ll be victims of violence or suicide. Many, most?, will achieve their goal of correcting the mistake nature made. The one Nic and her Baltimorean friend blames upon them, as if they have the option of being who they are. I’m sure Nic and her clique have no say in who they are, but they demand that those they despise pretend to have such a say. By many an account and allegedly by their their own words, they inanely, futilely and with egotistical silliness sought to ruin a night out for some transgender and transsexual people. They choose to do this in a city that is cosmopolitan, that is generally accepting, that is a nexus of the world. They chose to attend a place and time that is a harbor, a safe night out for those they despise. Who knows what their motives were? I wonder if they know themselves. Who but a curmudgeon seeks to destroy a good time?

    Such hate is not worthy of the arguments put forth by many in this post. Such triviality insults the considered arguments for acceptance and equality. Such inanity is disgusting in the face of the real problems transwomen face. The trans community is an “easy” target for such people, nothing more. The members of the trans community, to these “defenders of womanhood” are neither human nor real. “Nic” is probably proud of her stand, her attempt at denigration. She probably feels that transwomen denigrate women – without once considering that by denigrating transwomen, she is in fact denigrating the very idea of what a woman is, what she might be and what she might achieve. I reckon she denigrates because it is easy.

    Transwomen were not born with the required qualifications for such as “Nic”. And as such, Nic and her merry band, feel able to consider the transwoman as less than human. As less than they. They shame themselves and glory in it. They fight a robust war by… Attempting to ruin a night out in a London pub? Believe me when I tell you, Nic and Co – you couldn’t do more than the IRA and their bombs did. If you are not ready to resort the violence of the IRA, and you’re not, you are nothing but a bunch of jokers, jeering from the cheap seats. You cower some, frighten others – is that your claim to fame? “Oo, when I were a younger lass I really frightened some trannies! One night, I almost stopped ‘em ‘aving a good time, I did!” – but do you think, for a minute, that you are doing anything that will stop people trying to be themselves, for whatever reason? Reasons that do not concern you as your life does not concern them. Reasons that are trivial and profound, reasons that are understood and not. Reasons that exist and are not subject to your approval. Your life, Nic, is not subject to the approval of those you deplore – why should their lives be subject to yours? Because you were fortunate enough to be born secure in your gender? Because you have a fanny and those you despise don’t? Because you bought into a political theory that has hate as a core? Excuse me if I call you an inept philosopher. Excuse me if I revile you as you revile those you make no attempt to know or understand; those you clearly excoriate.

    Ask yourself this, Nic, your friends and allies: Who is next on your list of hate? Who is next worthy of your pillory? Of your taunts? Your announced intent to ruin their night out? Who is next? Who?

    Will ruining a safe and fun night out for a “bunch of trannies” (so to speak) be on your list of accomplishments? Your friend has a list of trivial accomplishments, such as they might count for her. She is reputed to seek out those she despises and is said to seek the ruination of their lives. It is reported she has a website where she gloats about her “victories” and counts the lives she has set back. Does she, I wonder, glory in the lives she has ruined? If someone were to commit suicide (and from what I’ve heard, that’s a possibility such is her reputed obstinance) as a result of her reported evil – would she put the picture of the dead upon a wall? Chalk a penis in a skirt upon her bedstead? I do wonder, assuming she is guilty of the charges that have been laid at her feet, of course. Charges it would seem she relishes?

    You make the “tranny” your Jew. You would forbid them their very selves. Benjamin Shylock would know your hate all too well, your actions he would consider to be inconsequential. But not every transwoman has Binyamin’s fortitude or experience with discrimination. You seek to prevent the spoiling of pure blood while caring not that you, and not *your* Jew, are the one eagerly wielding the knife. Binyamin never got to employ his! (And if you don’t get that reference, you really are a shoddy purveyor of the contemplative skills.)

    I don’t know about you, but I think that when I get old enough to sit in a deck chair at an old folk’s home and look back, I’ll have the pleasure of being able to say that while I’ve made mistakes, I’ve never tried to be trivial and petty, unwelcoming or intolerant. I don’t know what your life has been like, Nic (and your friends who will iterate this to you). I don’t particularly care; I don’t care about your life, you care about mine and the lives of so many others. I guess there’s something to that. You want a purity test, I don’t care. You want to grab a crotch before allowing entry into that which you have not charged with keeping, I don’t. You want to ruin a night out for some, I’d like to have at it and be merry. You’ll be able to sit back and gloat at how you and your friend tried to ruin a night for so many people! Your friend, by the accounts I’ve heard, will be able to boast of the lives she’s tried to ruin, the dreams she’s derailed and the fretful, fraughtful personal moments she’s enabled. (How glorious for you and her. How sodding glorious.)

    When I’m sitting in that rocker at the old folk’s home, I’ll have the distinct satisfaction of being able to say that when a good time was to be had, I sure as hell had it. That when a friend was to be made, I put in the effort. When a chance to meet someone new was presented, I took it. But ultimately, I’ll be able to say that I accepted all, liked some, didn’t like others, even deplored one or two, but never begrudged any. You, Nic? Not so much.

  43. Laura says:

    If I were an individual of Jewish extraction celebrating a nice evening out with a bunch of friends in a very Jewish neighborhood, and suddenly a small group of well known and outspoken anti-semites walked into our bar and helped themselves to a corner of the room, I might have license to feel a little bit uncomfortable with their presence and ask the owner if he could pressure them into leaving.

    Likewise, if I were proprietor of a place well known for being open to the majority of the LGBT community, hosting a trans friendly event one evening and a group of well known and outspoken individuals who hold anti-trans prejudices walked into our bar and helped themselves to a corner of the room and began making off color remarks about some of the individuals enjoying their evening… well I might be at liberty to ask them to get out of my freakin’ bar.

  44. john says:

    Something tells me neither side is telling the complete truth. The new owners definitely have the right not to have their bar cater to a gay clientele (i.e. making it a gay bar) but depending on the laws, they can’t exclude certain people groups of people.

Milly Shaw


Lady Ha Ha – Episode 2 – Jen chats to Zoe (A Ladyface Production)

Jen still naively optimistic about her show at Edinburgh, shows the first signs of doubt. Reluctantly Zoe advises Jen as to how best to approach this marathon Festival.

July 10, 2012