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'80s Pop Icon Alison Moyet Apologizes for Signing Anti-Trans Letter

Alison Moyet

An avowed supporter ofgay rights throughout her career, the singer apologized for her misinformed mistakes around trans inclusion. 

British singer Alison Moyet, whose music with the group Yaz became a staple in gay bars in the '80s, has apologized for signing a letter spearheaded by trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFS) , which called out the charity Stonewall for supporting changes to Britain's Gender Recognition Act that accommodate trans people, according to Pink News.

Moyet, who's best known in the United States for her songs "Only You," "Don't Go," and "All Cried Out," tweeted a statement apologizing for signing the letter, admitting that she is "woefully under-read on the points of contention."

"[Wednesday] night at the 11th hour, I was asked to sign a letter to Stonewall that sought an open debate about Trans issues and women issues, specifically concerning women's spaces and perceived loss of agency," Moyet wrote. "I agreed, though somewhat ill-advisedly. Not because I was misled, I wasn't. But because I am woefully under-read on the points of contention here."

"I, for one, certainly need to hear more than the sound bites that Twitter offers up, and that I spill like the rest," Moyet added.

The letter from TERFS -- including outspoken anti-trans activist Julie Bindel -- to the British LGBTQ charity Stonewall alleged that the inclusion of transgender people is "undermining women's sex-based rights and protections." Those behind the letter also took umbrage at the charity for calling out anyone who disagrees with the inclusion of transgender issues as "transphobic."

"We urge Stonewall to acknowledge that there are a range of valid viewpoints around sex, gender, and transgender politics, and to acknowledge specifically that a conflict exists between transgenderism and sex-based women's rights," the letter reads. "We call on Stonewall to commit to fostering an atmosphere of respectful debate rather than demonizing as transphobic those who wish to discuss, or dissent from, Stonewall's transgender policies."

Moyet, who's championed rights for gay people throughout her career, wrote in her public apology, "In signing the letter looking to encourage public debate, I inadvertently endorsed some issues that I don't hold with."

"I give the trans community my support. I take trans women to be women and afford them the same respect and dignity any soul deserves," she added.

Stonewall, which previously dealt only with to issues affecting lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, made a purposeful move toward trans inclusion in 2015 under the direction of chief executive officer Ruth Hunt.

Responding to the letter from TERFS, Hunt wrote on Stonewall's blog:

"The petition ... asks us to acknowledge that there is a conflict between trans rights and 'sex-based women's rights.' We do not and will not acknowledge this. Doing so would imply that we do not believe that trans people deserve the same rights as others. However, we are unequivocal in our support of trans people's -- and everyone's -- right to equality and will remain so. Our motto is 'acceptance without exception.'"

The letter to Stonewall comes on the heels of an anti-trans demonstration during which TERFS crashed London Pride guerrilla-style and marched at the head of the parade waving a banner that read, "Transactivism erases lesbians." The action on behalf of TERFS gave rise to the #LWithTheT campaign in which lesbians stand in solidarity with trans people. That group kicked off Manchester Pride in England the following month.

Moyet also sent out a tweet saying that she will, from this point forward, hand over her Twitter account to her reps and use it only to tweet out information about her work.

"I will continue to support trans rights whilst personally seeking to better understand the nuances of the issues," Moyet concluded in her apology statement.

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