Arielle Scarcella, one of the web’s most popular lesbian content creators, has made a public statement proclaiming that she’s “leaving the Left.” The video has gone viral and sparked a conversation between gays and lesbians, as well as trans-identified people, who are tired of the homophobic rhetoric of queer activists. A hashtag, #WrongKindofTrans is trending as trans-identified people resist ‘wokeness’ and progressive cancel culture. How did we get here?
A Decade of Inclusive Content
Arielle Scarcella has been making lesbian- and bi-woman-centered content on YouTube since the dawn of (internet) time, year of our Lorde, 2001. That means she’s had the time to build one of the biggest followings on the platform, with 644K subscribers and videos scoring views in the tens and even hundreds of thousands. She’s got her blue checkmark on Twitter, and her content has created space not only for lesbian and bi women, but also for ‘queer and LGBT’ community members, to sound off in the comments.
Scarcella has been flirting with gender critical ideas — the belief that gender is a social construction that is inherently limiting and harmful, in particular to women and homosexuals — for years. I say flirting because in her videos she’ll say that trans identities are valid, but she’ll also say there’s a difference between ‘natal’ women and ‘transwomen.’ If you have been living under a rock, you need to know that saying that transwomen are male is in LGBT circles a criminal offense, punishable by internet bullying, cancellation, and being branded a “TERF.”
Arielle’s first close-call with The Terfening came in 2018 when she made a video calling out “girl dick.” She explained that a transwoman with a penis has a male sex organ and lesbians don’t do dick. Unless it’s silicone obviously. Arielle never ‘invalidated’ trans identities, she just went hard in defending the fact that lesbians are homosexual.
The Terfening of Arielle
Since that time, Arielle has become more gender critical, calling out the fact that it’s almost only lesbians who are being targeted for their transphobic vagina fetishes. She’s also called out the threat that trans politics pose to women’s sports.
That’s the backstory in a nutshell. Her battle with ultra-woke logged-on weirdos with anime avatars and multi-hyphen identities came to a head these last couple weeks.
First, on February 3th, YouTuber NoahFinnce, a British transman (who identifies as a gay man, but who has publicly stated that everyone is bi and could be attracted to either sex) made a video slandering Arielle and calling her a transphobe. In the video, Noah calls for Scarcella to be de-platformed on YouTube and Twitter and at public events as a “terf. ”
Once the video received 100,000 views, Arielle made a response video. She captioned her February 13th video, “The LGBT community is at war with itself. Queer activists are shouting “TERF” & “transphobic” too often. Transgender topics are not only for trans people to speak about. Gender politics affects people no matter what gender they are.”
In the video, she calls out the sexism of telling women to shut up. She also points out that lesbians face growing pressure to sleep with males who identify as women. This is not often talked about in the mainstream, but the Cotton Ceiling, the idea that lesbians must accept male partners because ‘transwomen are real women’ is an increasingly common way to bully and sexually harass lesbians. This is not a fringe position, and transwomen who promote the Cotton Ceiling ideology, such as Andrea Long Chu, Rachel McKinnon and more, are given platforms in publications like The New York Times, the Nation and NPR.
On February 14th, Arielle posted on Twitter about more attempts to deplatform her, this time coming from Australian transactivists. The terfening was heating up. Calls for her to shut up were escalating, even as she posted more pro-trans content, including a video conversation with Buck Angel, a transman porn actor.
Scarcella was slated to speak at a Sydney Mardi Gras event on February 27. “Les Talk” was the only lesbian-focused event at Mardi Gras. In a recent podcast with Tim Pool, Arielle counted 15 gay events, 17 queer and 10 trans events at Sydney Mardi Gras. A couple of weeks ago, a petition was started, by a Sydney-based drag queen, Johnny Valkyrie, who was born female but identifies as a gay man. The change.org petition called for a “trans lesbian” to replace Scarcella on the panel.
Johnny Valkyrie, a host of the local library’s Drag Queen Story Hour, garnered attention just one month before when a university conservative group protested the drag queen children’s programming. The conservative group’s slogan was ‘Drag queens are not for kids,’ and quickly went viral. A bullying campaign targeting the conservative protestors peaked when Wilson Gavin, its leader, took his own life.
Riding the wave of publicity from the protest and suicide, Johnny Valkyrie started a campaign to crowdfund an elective mastectomy to the tune of 10,000 in Australian dollars. The crowdfunding plea read, “Today I have received attention from the media. I have received love and affirmation. I am taking this opportunity to see if the community will help me in funding my affirmation surgery.”
Valkyrie’s change.org petition received 1,000 signatures, at which point Sydney Mardi Gras took the event down from their website. Following the petition, one of Scarcella’s fellow panelists, a queer-identified woman and popular BuzzFeed Australia producer, Tania Safi, also flounced from the event. She continued the slander against Scarcella, who she called “transphobic and biphobic.”
The Les Talk moved forward without the original lineup and without Sydney Mardi Gras’ explicit support. Arielle was joined by Rain Dove, who has been very public about not “identifying as” a woman or lesbian, and Dana Pham, a trans-lesbian-identified male, to discuss lesbian sexuality.
Arielle on Leaving the Left
After appearing on the Tim Pool podcast mentioned above, where she hinted that she had hit “peak LGBT”, Arielle posted yet another video, doubling or tripling or quadrupling down on her right to speak about gender issues. The video, “I’m A Lesbian Woman & I’m Leaving The INSANE ‘Progressive’ Left” has gone viral, currently standing at 1.9 million views.
In the video, she says “I don’t believe genital preferences are transphobic. I don’t believe there are 97 genders. I don’t think male sex offenders belong in women’s prisons. I don’t think it’s normal for people to be praised for walking around in shirts that say ‘Kill Terfs.’
In the two-minute-and-fifty-second video, she comes in HOT, calling the queer movement a cult, saying it validates untreated mental illness and provides an opportunity for men to prey on women.
She later tweeted that: “Woke” activists don’t want to have conversations — they want to “educate” you. When you don’t agree, they say you didn’t listen.”
The video and Tweet-storm surrounding it have been getting a lot of attention from conservative sites, including Breitbart and BlazeTV. While conservatives might agree with Arielle’s position, they may have different reasons for doing so. It doesn’t mean that conservatives are aligned with gender critical or feminist positions.
Arielle says she’s leaving the Left, but that doesn’t mean she’s now on the Right. Her video seems to conflate gender critical ideas with conservatism and the extreme wing of queer ideologues with progressivism.
But Arielle continues to support the idea of ‘true trans,’ that is, people who really were ‘born in the wrong body’ or who have ‘female brains’ inside of a male body. She always uses ‘preferred pronouns’ even as she says, “for people I don’t like.”
Some of her video titles really show her support for trans people, videos like:
She’s also said that she could be attracted to transwomen if they appear feminine enough and had had surgeries, including the construction of a neo-vagina.
Aside from trans issues, she’s been very supportive of other liberal topics. She’s made videos in support of pornography and the sex industry. In fact, she’s never posted any videos or tweets that are aligned with the Trump administration or the current conservative platform. She’s promised more content on this topic, and hopefully, she’ll clarify that disagreeing with one wing of the liberal movement does not actually make you a conservative.
Scarcella has said that she’s gotten a lot of support for her videos in defense of lesbian rights. Her DMs and mentions are full of positive messages from lesbians, gay men and trans-identified people who are grateful she’s using her platform to talk about the queer garde of the left. Scroll through the responses and you’ll see a lot of hateful responses from people with anime avatars, pansexual otherkins, furries and porn addicts.
The backlash against Scarcella is not limited to her own platform. Artist and writer Nina Paley reported that MK Fain, who posted an interview with Arielle after her leaving-the-Left video, has since had her entire profile removed from the popular Medium blogging platform. The interview was also published on 4W, which is independent of Medium, on February 26th. Fain’s profile was deleted and banned within 24 hours. AfterEllen reached out to Medium by email to ask why they would censor an interview, and the platform has not yet replied.*
But according to Scarcella, the deplatformers, internet bullies and unhinged queer activists are outliers compared to the support she’s received.
Scarcella is just one voice in a growing movement defending homosexual rights. In the UK, coalitions like ‘Get the L Out‘ and Lesbian Alliance have been calling for lesbians to distance themselves from the monolithic, trans-centered LGBT movement. The LGB Alliance formed as a counter to the UK’s largest LGBT organization, Stonewall.
Here at AfterEllen, we will always be committed to defending the right of lesbians to define ourselves and our boundaries. Free speech is at the heart of this fight, and Arielle has the right to her viewpoints, regardless of their popularity.
*We will be following up on this still-unfolding story concerning the media outlet Medium.