On May 29, Taelor Furry was watching a drag show with her aunt and stepmom at the Grey Fox Pub in St. Louis, MO. A transman she knew from the LGBT community confronted her and accused her of being unsafe, and she left the show. It was then that she alleges she was jumped by a group of queer-identified females including Katy Heselton, Natalie Welage, and Jessica Fetsch (who goes by Caleb). She says this group hit her over and over again in the face and knocked her to the ground, leaving her with road rash, bruises, and burst blood vessels in her eye. A stranger pulled her away from the fray, where she walked away to wait for her aunt and stepmom to find her.
Taelor Furry said the attack was preceded by anti-lesbian comments that began over a year ago.
“Over a year ago, I was at a drag show with a woman I was seeing at the time who is now friends with my attackers. At some point, I called Natalie/Nat/Dickie Rebellion (that’s her drag name) a female…That is, initially, why they began calling me a TERF,” she told AfterEllen. “When I heard that the woman I dated last year was running around telling people I’m a TERF, I called her out. I told her that if acknowledging that sex is a biological reality and that humans are sexually dimorphic makes me a TERF, then I am one.”
TERF is a slur, created and used by the queer community, which can be applied to anyone who questions or appears to question any of the popular claims of gender ideology. One of the quickest ways to be called a TERF is to say publicly that homosexuality is defined by a sexual attraction to the same sex and a revulsion to the opposite sex. Lesbians are frequently the targets of this homophobic rhetoric, online and in person. The queer party line is that lesbians should be willing to have sex with transwomen, regardless of their transition status, because transwomen are women, full stop. TERF is being used as an excuse to incite violence against women and is considered hate speech.
People branded TERFs are regularly equated to Nazis. Calls for no-platforming, silencing, and social ostracization are the mildest forms of punishment acted out by the queer community and liberal feminists toward those they call TERFs. Doxxing, harassing the accused woman’s employer, and demands for firing are commonplace.
Incitement to violence is becoming more mainstream. For instance, a recent art exhibit at San Francisco Public Library included baseball bats, an ax, and shields painted in trans pride colors, and called for ‘punching terfs.’ The artist statement also falsely claimed, “…it is possible that more trans deaths have occurred as a result of TERF harassment than of cis men homicide.”
In another example out of the UK, transwoman Tara Wolf was recently found guilty of battery against Maria MacLachlan outside of a scheduled meeting about the Gender Identity Act. In court proceedings, Wolf admitted to posting on Facebook prior to the event “I wanna fuck up some terfs. They’re no better than fash [fascists].”
In addition to privately referring to Natalie Welage as female, Furry was also branded a TERF by this queer community because she had a history of celebrating lesbian culture. She told AfterEllen, “On the night of February 5th of this year, I threw a little birthday party at Grey Fox Pub for a lesbian friend of mine. I drew vulvas on balloons and tied them to chairs. It’s important to note that my small group of lesbian friends and I went to this Monday night drag king show, “MANic Monday,” nearly every Monday night for months at this point, and we were all very vocal about being lesbians. You know, for instance, we’d reply loudly with woos and applause when a show host would say, “Where are my lesbians?!” This is important because the night I brought the vulva balloons and decorated a section of audience chairs with them for my group, Natalie/Nat/Dickie Rebellion was starting the show and made a point to say something along the lines of, ‘Vaginas are great, but we want to make sure everyone here knows this is a safe space for all genders and types of bodies.’ The next night, my birthday-girl friend and I went out again to a bar called Bar:PM in St. Louis. There, I was approached by a woman named Jess Heriford who proceeded to tell me that I had been transmisogynistic when equating lesbianism to liking pussy. Please excuse my language. Jess is the woman who tweeted, ‘Swear to god if I see that terf bitch in my and my friends’ safe space again, she’s going the fuck down.'”
On the night of the May 29th drag show at the Grey Fox Pub, Furry says she was approached by a transman she knew had deemed her a TERF from the time she had called Natalie/Dickie Rebellion female. This person told her she wasn’t welcome there, and shortly thereafter, the show host, Scarlett Cyanide, asked her to leave. “I explained to her that I had done nothing wrong and would leave if Terry, the bartender, asked me to leave. I then pretty much followed her to the bar, [where] she told Terry I was misgendering people in a safe space.” Furry says the bartender did not want to adjudicate the disagreement saying “I’m not dealing with this lesbian shit—you need to leave.”
Furry says she left immediately. “I walked out the door into the fists of 2-3 (not totally clear who was hitting me—I was heavily intoxicated)(one nb [nonbinary]-identifying woman, Natalie or “Nat,” her girlfriend, Katy, and the aforementioned transman, Caleb) women who hit me over and over again in the face and pushed me onto the ground.” Her attackers also screamed slurs at her, yelling “bitch” and “terf” throughout the attack and until Furry left the scene.
Afterward, Furry posted her story to social media but was hesitant to go to the police. She posted that she was in shock and that she felt hysterical and hopeless.
Meanwhile, her attackers bragged about the beating on Twitter.
This kicked off an awareness campaign by vocal lesbians on Twitter, alongside continued harassment and gaslighting by a few vocal trans activists. Some criticized Furry for reporting the incident to the police, saying that was “terf shit.” Katy Heselton, one of the attackers, suggested that Furry’s account would paint them as homophobic and anti-lesbian.
Furry has made a police report, including pictures of her injuries and screenshots of the attackers’ tweets. At this time, her attackers have not been apprehended.
It would seem that certain so-called “safe spaces” do not extend that sentiment to lesbians, who are increasingly becoming a marginalized and attacked group within the LGBT.