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Jonny Best vs. transgender people

Jonny Best is a British musician, researcher, and producer. He is a gender critical gay man.


Jonathan “Jonny” Best worked in theatre as a director (with RSC, National Theatre etc), as a staff director in opera (ENO, Royal Opera & Opera North), in commercial theatre (pantomime, West End musicals and plays), classical music (with Aurora, BBC Scottish Symph, and ten years in association with City of London Sinfonia).

In 2005 he became the artistic director of Manchester’s Queer Up North Festival. He was criticized for inviting the act Bitch to perform after they had played the trans-exclusionary Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.

He then produced Classical Sheffield, Festival of the North East, and Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.

He began a doctorate degree in music at University of Huddersfield in 2016.


Best made a number of provocative statements, believing there are no such things as misgendering and deadnaming. Huddersfield University opened an investigation, but later apologized to Best.

He has written for anti-trans publication UnHerd, arguing that “The marginalisation of sex in trans activism sits uneasily with the centrality of sex to lesbian and gay activism.”

His is especially critical of UK’s Stonewall:

But this good-natured debate is as nothing compared to the division that has opened up in lesbian and gay communities following Stonewall’s 2015 decision to re-formulate homosexuality around the nebulous concept of “gender identity”. Its policy today, which it has promoted through its Diversity Champions scheme, is that biological sex is less important than self-declared “gender identity” — an inner feeling of being either man or woman, male or female, which, according to Stonewall, is an identity we all possess. It follows that biological males can be lesbians, and biological females can be gay men. To disagree is transphobic.

Stonewall’s strategy for dealing with the fallout has been to insist that there can be “no debate”, characterising entreaties to discussion as equal to debating trans people’s very existence.


Best, Jonny (August 2018). My first brush with trans activism and what I learned. Medium

Best, Jonny (October 7, 2020). Why I can’t trust Stonewall any more. UnHerd

Best, Jonny (August 27, 2021) Stonewall’s greatest betrayal. UnHerd


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