September 22, 2023

Anti-LGBTIQ literature in the Spanish language

There is a serious lack of online resources on anti-LGBTQ activism in the Spanish language. Queer and transgender people need to know who these people are, their way of thinking and their tactics if they want to stop them from doing more harm. 

The first post of our new Spanish language blog, Mundo LGBTIQ,  is therefore on "Anti-LGBTIQ literature written in Spanish". 

Here follows an English language translation of that post. The original can be found here.

By Amilka González

The Spanish language is the second most spoken language in the world by natives, with almost 500 million speakers.In recent years many Spanish-speaking groups have become increasingly committed to the dissemination of discourses that question the human rights of the LGBTIQ population, which raises the need to map both groups and discourses. This would be the starting point for analyzing transnational relations and alliances between Spanish-speaking anti-rights groups and Spanish speaking anti-rights group.

It can be said that dedicating the first article of our new Spanish language blog to anti-LGBTIQ rights literature is giving undeserved publicity to ideas that are harmful to society. However, if we want to understand how these ideas work and why they are shared by many people, we believe it is necessary to map these discourses.

This is not a novel idea. It is a strategy known to anti-racist organizations that for decades have monitored hate speech related to racial segregation and other types of discrimination. An example of this is the Southern Poverty Law Center, based in the US, which has been dedicated to this work, in addition to being known for its legal battles against supremacist groups.

Why we talk about speech

The ideas that give life to homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, racism and xenophobia are reproduced through discourse.

It is important to understand that when we refer to discourse we refer to all the ways in which human beings use language: spoken and written  mainly, but we can include images, symbols, internet memes, objects and gestures.

Discourse is a form of social interaction in which those of us who speak and write "not only" speak and write. We are fundamentally social actors in a "social theater" and share our ideas, beliefs and thoughts through discursive actions.

We will illustrate this with the problem of discrimination, which relates to the fact that we organize ourselves socially within an imagined order—country, state, monarchy, theocracy, democracy, capitalism, socialism, are social constructs imagined only by human beings—that legitimizes some kind of social hierarchy: free men vs. slaves, men vs. women, rich vs. poor, believers vs. infidels, whites vs. blacks, natives vs. foreigners, heterosexuals vs. homosexuals, cis vs. trans people. 

Any idea or belief that suggests that the above oppositions have "natural" hierarchical relationships of superiority/inferiority, or morality/immorality, isbased on fiction and arbitrariness.

Groups that attempt to segregate other human beings always speak and write in the name of some kind of "truth" that justifies their segregationist ideas. Let's say that these groups "act" as bearers of a truth and, in turn, this truth hides some kind of hierarchy. It does not matter if this truth is a belief based on subjectivity, myth, pseudoscience or even the sciences we consider true. The main point is that this truth is always surrounded by criteria that vary historically from culture to culture.

The role of discourse here is to legitimize and reproduce a hierarchy that "tells us" who should occupy which place in society. That is, discrimination needs certain beliefs to be repeated over and over again, implicitly and explicitly, through different means, to remind us that there are more valid people who deserve a better social position "because that's the way things are", "because it's natural", "because it's common sense", "because god says so", "because it's biology", and a long etc.

Since homophobia and transphobia are not innate, people learn to be homophobic and transphobic. We can take it for granted that people learn these beliefs somewhere and somehow.

This learning process is largely discursive. The beliefs that sustain the oppression of LGBTIQ people are presented as ideas, opinions, evaluations and knowledge that are part of everyday life: informal conversations, television programs, news, written texts, social networks, songs, movies, etc.

In other words, people learn to segregate sexual orientation and gender identity from others through discourse. The places and sources where these beliefs are learned are multiple: the home, the school, the church, the street, the media and, of course, books.

Usually, homophobic and transphobic people are not aware of this learning process. But that masking, let's say, is not a defect of speech but an effect. According to Noah Yuval

It is an iron rule of history that every imagined hierarchy denies its fictitious origins and claims to be natural and inevitable. [1] [my emphasis]

So, here we pose a first discursive problem: when anti-rights people activate a segregationist discourse, something else also speaks through these people. That something else, which "claims to be natural and inevitable" and acts in the shadows, is an ideology. But the subject of ideologies we will leave for future articles.

Why there is a rise in anti-LGBTIQ discourses in the world

Right now the anti-rights movement has gained strength in many parts of the world. However, what is happening is striking because it is happening in countries that seemed to have overcome some barriers. Even a body like the UN must deal with the anti-rights movement within its organization.

It seems clear that when minority and marginalized groups access public discuss—politics, law, education, media—that poses a problem for the status quo that expects to continue the oppression of these groups.

Teun Van Dijk, when looking at racism and the problem of integration into historically racist societies, says that

the greatest impetus for anti-racist change, as happened with the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, is based on and comes from the dominated ethnic groups themselves. This change is also mediated by discourse, that is, it occurs when those groups gain access to the various forms of public discourse, such as political discourse, mass media, education, research and, especially today, the Internet. If the public discourse of ethnic minority groups does not make "racism" a public issue, ethnic domination usually does not change. [2]
In recent decades, as a result of some favorable changes for the LGBTIQ population and the greater visibility of its members in daily life and in the cultural industry, anti-rights positions began to become widespread that have many things in common with the beliefs of the extreme political right and religious fundamentalist groups. Not only has the common citizen been frequently exposed to these speeches, but liberal politicians and even left-wing presidents have taken on conservative ideas that violate the human rights of sexual minorities.

In this context of social changes related to the social integration of the historically marginalized LGBTIQ population, anti-rights groups have responded in various ways: moral panic, wave of disinformation, hate speech, violence and, in the worst cases, criminalization and state persecution.

Anti-LGBTIQ literature in Spanish

At the moment we are not going to cover all LGBTIQ anti-rights discourses, but a specific form of discourse: written texts, especially in conventional book format. We will also quote texts on the internet if necessary.

For the classification of these books, we made the following distinctions:
  • Texts originally written in Spanish vs translations of texts from other languages.
  • Authors according to the political spectrum in which they are located – from left to right.
  • The radical and trans-exclusionary feminist movement (TERF) will have its own section, regardless of its political leanings. It is a fact that although some TERF feminists claim to be left-wing, today there is an alliance between right-wing conservative groups and these same trans-exclusionary feminists. To understand it better, see here.

1. Anti-LGBTIQ translations

Eliacheff, C., y Masson, C. (2023). La fábrica de los niños transgénero. Cómo proteger a nuestros menores de la moda trans. Deusto.

Mayer, L. y P. McHugh. (2016). Sexualidad y género. Conclusiones de la Biología, la Psicología y las Ciencias Sociales. The New Atlantis: A Journal of Tecnology & Society. Núm. 50.

Shrier, A. (2021). Daño irreversible. La locura transgénero que seduce a nuestras hijas. Deusto.

Stock, K. (2022). Material Girls. Shackleton Books.

2. Original anti-LGBTIQ publications

2.1. Anti-LGBTIQ authors from the political right

This includes religious fundamentalists, conservatives, libertarians, neo-fascists, etc. All these books have in common theories about gender ideology, cultural Marxism, transhumanism, globalism, the New World Order and all sorts of conspiracies (referring to Freemasons, Jews and others).

2.1.1. Latin America

Laje, A. y N. Márquez. (2017). El libro negro de la nueva izquierda. Ideología de género o subversión cultural. Unión Editorial.

Lukacs, M. (2023). Neo entes. Tecnología y cambio antropológico en el siglo XXI. 

Muñoz-Izturrieta, P. (2019). Atrapado en el cuerpo equivocado. La ideología de género frente a la ciencia y la filosofía. Editorial Katejón. 

Scala, J. (2010). La ideología de género o el género como herramienta de poder. Ediciones Logos.

2.1.2. Spain

Rubio, A. (2016). Cuando nos prohibieron ser mujeres y os persiguieron por ser hombres. Para entender cómo nos afecta la ideología de género. La Factoría. 

Varela, J. (2017). Origen y desarrollo de la ideología de género. Fundamentos teológicos del matrimonio y la familia. Alianza evangélica española. 

Martín, M. (2011). (Tesis Doctoral). La ideología de género y su influencia en la teología y en el ecumenismo. Universidad de Navarra. 

2.2. Anti-LGBTIQ authors from the political left

2.2.1. Latin America

We do not track books exclusively dedicated to promoting the anti-rights agenda, but there are numerous leftists who publish anti-LGBTIQ articles on websites, opinion portals, etc. These leftists are heterogeneous and can be classified into disparate currents: populism, orthodox Marxism and decolonialism. Some examples:

2.2.2. Spain

Bernabé, D. (2018). La trampa de la diversidad. Cómo el neoliberalismo fragmentó la identidad de la clase trabajadora. Ediciones Akal. 

Errasti, J. y M. Pérez. (2022). Nadie nace en un cuerpo equivocado. Éxito y miseria de la identidad de género. Deusto.

Errasti, J., Pérez, M. y Arquer, N. (2023). Mamá, soy trans. Una guía para familias de adolescentes con conflictos de género. Deusto.

2.3. Radfem-Terf

Traditionally, trans-exclusionary feminism has not had much presence in Latin America. However, in recent years it has had a boom. Writers, philosophers and critical gender activists have joined the anti-trans wave in countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Costa Rica. It is common to see these feminists in networks (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and similar), organizing themselves in collective groups that link with groups from other countries.

On the other hand, trans-exclusionary feminism has a more notorious presence in Spain. Amelia Valcárcel is a Spanish philosopher and feminist who from the high government led the anti-trans campaign that opposed the new Trans Law of 2023.

2.3.1. Latin America

Lecuona, L. (2023). Cuando lo trans no es transgresor. Mentiras y peligros de la identidad de género. 

Otros textos en línea de Lecuona:

2.3.2. Spain.

Hidalgo, A., Muñoz, A. y M. Pibernat. (2022). La coeducación secuestrada. Crítica feminista a la penetración de las ideas transgeneristas en la educación. Carrasco, S. (Coord.). Editorial Octaedro.

López, Carola. (2023). La secta. El activismo trans y cómo nos manipulan. Deusto.

Otros textos escritos en línea:


[1] Yuval, N. (2015). From animals to gods. Brief history of mankind. Debate.

[2] Van Dijk, T. (2007). Racism and discourse in Latin America. Gedisa.

Photo: MarioGuti

1 comment:

  1. As someone born in Soain I am very much familiar with Spanish positions on these issues since extreme religious positions are often at play here. There was nothing so fervent as Spanush Catholicism which had a hand in keeping me from accepting who I am for the longest time. Attitudes have changed but there is still a healthy contingent of right wing militancy


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