Do we need to explain that interview? If you haven’t heard about it, you should probably click here and catch up. And if you have, then you already know that Chimamanda’s comments about the transsexual experience had LGBT activist groups on twitter labelling her a Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist, the feminist equivalent of the KKK. Other went outright and ‘cancelled’ her, including former supporter and fellow writer Akwaeke Emezi. In light of the furore, and several questions directed at her during an event two days ago in London, Chimamanda has stepped out of her normally reclusive stance as regards public statements and released one via Twitter, of all places. Guys, if you thought this wasn’t important, that should tell you it is.
Here is the statement in full.
Here are our first reactions to it.
- This isn’t an apology, in case you were expecting one. It is more of an exposition on her 30 second statement via a very underhanded question on international television.
- Chimamanda takes her roles an LGBT activist seriously, and is taking the pains to carefully explain her stance.
- The explanation will not be enough for most trans people and their supporters, the very thing Chimamanda wanted them to renounce, she did, but with an addendum that basically invalidates her recant, depending on what side of the fence you look at it.
- The trans and cis feminist communities have a lot of ground to cover before there is any real communal cohesion.
What side of the fence are you on?