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.
@CasparSalmon I am very jealous Caspar, I wanna be a dad!!!— Owen Jones 🌹 (@Owen Jones 🌹)1617305196.0
@CasparSalmon hunting for broody lesbian couples https://t.co/sCyaOvSext— Owen Jones 🌹 (@Owen Jones 🌹)1617305669.0
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.
I was going to ignore this, but actually it needs to be addressed. A gay father who co-parents children with a les… https://t.co/P3nGijy7KM— Owen Jones 🌹 (@Owen Jones 🌹)1617452122.0
246 retweets for someone dismissing a gay father's co-parents as "reproductive workers" and his children as "human… https://t.co/bWmIDficOS— Owen Jones 🌹 (@Owen Jones 🌹)1617452495.0
Just look at the state of this. Look at how this academic demonises co-parenting, where gay men and women raise ch… https://t.co/4QDDWbI0Yq— Owen Jones 🌹 (@Owen Jones 🌹)1617468721.0
If gay men wanting to raise children with women is self-entitlement and misogyny, is it it self-entitlement and mis… https://t.co/Z9YI523uJC— Owen Jones 🌹 (@Owen Jones 🌹)1617468979.0
An anti-trans activist warns other anti-trans activists that they risk looking like homophobic bigots if they demon… https://t.co/cVKkh1DHLU— Owen Jones 🌹 (@Owen Jones 🌹)1617484194.0
The evidence they have that I'm a misogynist is that I support trans rights. As far as they're concerned, anyone wh… https://t.co/feBVHUaS0f— Owen Jones 🌹 (@Owen Jones 🌹)1617484385.0
While some of the commenters deleted their hateful posts, others attempted to defend themselves but were shut down.
@edgeofbarkness @DavidPaisley @bloggerheads No. It's the fact that he recognises that people who don't want or can'… https://t.co/LVborr5fwx— Lynne Up North 😷🆙 (@Lynne Up North 😷🆙)1617545069.0
Just so I’m understanding this: gay men who wish to co-parent with lesbians are misogynist, when Owen Jones said yo… https://t.co/YMvAoxIExR— Tabitha McIntosh (@Tabitha McIntosh)1617481872.0
@Cs71Cs @DavidPaisley They seem to believe that no woman would ever willingly consent to surrogacy. Jones wasn't ev… https://t.co/7Ltg805iJp— Help. It's again. (@Help. It's again.)1617542835.0
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.
Owen Jones is trending because he has the audacity to want kids and GCs seem to think: - LGBT+ co-parents aren't v… https://t.co/druuUMzD0X— David Paisley (@David Paisley)1617539218.0
All of the Gender Critical people on Owen Jones's trending topic on Twitter are either saying "Haha trans women can… https://t.co/otyLWlOkJ4— Katy Montgomerie 🦗 (@Katy Montgomerie 🦗)1617535442.0
gay men stopping children from growing up in an underfunded social care system is now apparently “bad” will conserv… https://t.co/V19EUzYmd6— pastwuh (@pastwuh)1617720227.0
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.
"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.
The Owen Jones co-parenting row is a perfect illustration of how transphobic groups and people inevitably slide into homophobia.— Becca (@Becca)1617551713.0
I'm not sure why I even find the reactionary depths these dingbats will sink worthy of mention. There's nothing ema… https://t.co/3JckqhkZ5H— Ash Sarkar (@Ash Sarkar)1617559113.0
It’s very clear from the criticism of Owen Jones that homophobes and transphobes simply believe that queer and tran… https://t.co/cv9lfV8aPo— Porn-addled (@Porn-addled)1617529573.0
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.