Sandi Toksvig slams anti-trans bigots ‘claiming to be radical feminists’

Sandi Toksvig

Writer, comedian and all round lesbian icon Sandi Toksvig has spoken of her heartbreak at the intense anti-trans rhetoric currently at play in the media and politics. 

Toksvig is set to host the London Gay Men’s Chorus’s show A Winter’s Tale – an evening of music including hits by Sam Ryder and Stephen Sondheim – at Cadogan Hall on Saturday (25 November)

Ahead of the event, the star spoke with iNews about the show, the choir – who she calls “inspirational” and “fantastic representation of the LGBTQ+ community” – as well as her activism.   

Toksvig came out in 1994 and has spent her public life campaigning for equality, including women’s and LGBTQ+ rights.

“I’ve been an activist all of my life. It’s a core part of who I am. We’re here, we’re making noise – and we’re not going away,” she said.

This is perhaps why she told the publication she has been left “distressed” by “people who call themselves ‘radical feminists’ but are anti-trans”. 

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“I could weep. I don’t get it. It’s beyond me,” the former Great British Bake Off host said, “When the feminist movement started in the 60s and 70s, lesbians were often excluded, because we were told that we would make the movement less palatable. 

“I have been excluded myself, so how could I do that to someone else? It fills me with rage.”

During the interview, Sandi Toksvig also took aim at the Church of England over its refusal to offer same-sex marriages and the fact unelected bishops have seats in the House of Lords. 

“It’s shocking. They don’t deal with gay people or women in an equitable manner. And they aren’t some sort of obscure organisation – this is our state church,” Toksvig stated. 

“None of them have been elected. This is our parliament and it’s not OK. Be a bigot if you want to, in your own back yard – but don’t come and play in mine.”

This is not the first time Toksvig has addressed the issue of same-sex marriage and the Church of England. 

In January, she met with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby for a “long-promised coffee” after she criticised him for affirming a 1998 declaration by the church that gay sex is sinful. 

After the meeting, Toksvig shared an update with her followers and stated the CofE’s position on LGBTQ+ rights and same-sex marriage is “untenable” in her opinion. 

“From our very calm and considered conversation yesterday, it is very clear that the state’s Church of England and the society it purports to represent are not remotely in step,” she said. 

“Justin was keen for me to see that they are moving forward, but conceded that any progress, as I would see it, if it happens at all, will be glacial.”