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Gay Journalist Targeted With Hateful Transphobic Messages For Saying He Wants To Be A Dad

Gay Journalist Targeted With Hateful Transphobic Messages For Saying He Wants To Be A Dad
Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images

WARNING: mentions of death threats, homophobic/transphobic slurs, suicide

If there's any doubt transphobes are just repackaged homophobes, look no further than when Owen Jones, a gay journalist and supporter of trans rights, expressed his desire to be a father.

Last week, a friend of Jones shared a memory about his own parenthood. Capsar Salmon, another journalist and gay man, co-parents his children with a lesbian couple.

Salmon shared a memory of when one of his children would be born. Jones expressed his own desire to have kids.

The two joked back and forth about the process.

However, since they speak out about trans rights, Jones in particular, many commenters focused on this portion of their lives and claimed many transphobic and homophobic things.

Some of the comments called the men misogynists for defending trans rights, but also painted them as just using cis women for birthing and then tossing them aside.

Co-parenting is a voluntary arrangement between two or more parents who are not in a relationship. It's a great option for queer men, either individually or as part of their own relationship and their friends, including single women or lesbian relationships.

The set(s) of parents raise the children cooperatively.

Despite this, anti-trans trolls on Twitter took the opportunity to claim Jones just wanted to exploit women.

Those comments—not included here—got pushback.

While some of the commenters deleted their hateful posts, others attempted to defend themselves but were shut down.

The comments very quickly moved from calling Jones a misogynist to something more horrific. They replied to Jones, quote-tweeted him, and even took screenshots and shared his tweets around while insulting and threatening him.

Some contingents were transphobes, upset at Jones' activism in protecting trans rights. Other comments were just homophobic and told Jones to kill himself.

Commenters attacked Jones, saying he isn't "entitled to female people's bodies" to have a child and he should instead "get a dog." However, defenders quickly pointed out this fundamentally misses the point of co-parenting, and demonizes the concept of surrogacy.

So many of the comments ignored what co-parenting is, attacked the idea of gay men using surrogates to start a family, or often both.

Salmon also expressed how sickened he was people were weaponizing Jones' expression of his want to be a father to attack trans people and make homophobic remarks.

He said:

"I do want to say how truly sickened I am, and how angry I am too, at the entirely dishonest assumptions and attacks directed my way and towards Owen Jones, which are rooted in homophobia."
"I blame myself for mentioning my children on here – if I have done it in the past it's to set an example of what it can mean to be a good dad, a queer and loving father."
"But to see my loved ones even discussed on here by people who know nothing of us sickens me to my core."

This is to say nothing of the implication the anti-trans crowd is making.

Putting aside the mix-up in the hateful comments between co-parenting and surrogacy, the trolls boiled down being a woman to giving birth, excluding many cis women who cannot give birth or who choose not to.

The anti-trans movement is rooted in its own misogyny.

Jones and Salmon are surviving and continuing their journalism.

They are also continuing to defend the rights of trans people, but there's a lot of abuse they're still forced to endure because of this.

As has been shown, transphobia isn't too far away from homophobia.