On 1 May, British furcon Confuzzled has announced that their invited guest musician Professor Elemental will no longer be involved with the convention.
This followed much concern on social media over Professor Elemental’s reportedly transphobic position – a 2016 retweet of an article about transgender school locker rooms. Some furs labelled him a ‘TERF’, which by dictionary, refers to someone excluding transgender people from women’s rights advocacy.
The archived article he retweeted: https://web.archive.org/web/20180411145038if_/http://www.clickhole.com/blogpost/deciding-what-our-schools-transgender-locker-room–4468
Many also pointed out that his retweets of posts made by famous Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling further adds to this suspicion, who is heavily accused of transphobia.
Confuzzled has done a public survey to assess public opinion and concern over his invitation as special guest at their virtual event, which many furs interpreted it as ‘guest of honour’.
On many occasions, the furcon has repeatedly clarified on this regard that he is not one.
Internal opinion among Confuzzled staff were largely approving, with two-thirds or more staff in favour of keeping the musician as special guest – of which included transgender and GNC (gender-nonconforming) staff at roughly 34% of the pie.
Within the same 34%, more than three-quarters (77.8%) of them are approving of Professor Elemental’s involvement in the convention.
The true proportion of transgender staff at Confuzzled cannot be deduced precisely, with 7.5% of staff skipping the question when asked if they are trans or GNC.
GFTV has contacted Confuzzled to clarify if their question “Trans and GNC respondents against event main reasons” is given to all trans and GNC staff or to the 22.2% who rejected keeping Professor Elemental in the event.
But as the furcon went on with their public outreach survey, it said that ‘a section of (their) attendee base (felt) hurt’ by Professor Elemental’s invitation to the furcon, which was the basis of the removal announcement made.
In a statement released under Confuzzled’s public announcement, Professor Elemental said the accusations of transphobia was a result of him ‘somewhat misguidedly’ sharing an article on feminism that suggested so.
In addition, he says his email to Confuzzled as a ‘first reaction to what (he) was seeing on Twitter’ was ‘made as a ‘statement’ on the subject’, which compounded the issue.
He also has stated his support of trans rights:
“I believe with all my heart that Trans rights are human rights, that Trans women are real women, Trans men are real men, that Feminism should not exclude Trans women. I don’t agree the ideas and arguments of so called TERFS, but I do think lumping groups together with names makes it easier to demonise them and harder to have a positive debate. ( I explore that idea more fully here)“Professor Elemental, statement in Confuzzled’s announcement
And pointed out that furry Twitter has also ‘heated’ things up.
“As Twitter makes things ever more heated, with great regret, I’m going to bow out of this year’s Confuzzled.”Professor Elemental, statement in Confuzzled’s announcement
Confuzzled then removed the email response, stating it was at Professor Elemental’s request.
Many furs report that Confuzzled has yet to remove Professor Elemental’s programming in their 2021 virtual event, to which the furcon has so far yet to respond.
Confuzzled’s event programming can be found here at this link: https://events.confuzzled.org.uk/virtual-confuzzled-2021/schedule/. At the time of first publishing (1 May 2021, 12:14pm UTC+8), the page is down.
The furcon is set to have its virtual event held 28 May – 1 June.
Edit 1/5/2021 1:36pm UTC+8 – a phrasing mistake has been corrected.
- “… of which included roughly 34% of their transgender staff” is very misleading as it suggested only 34% of their entire transgender and GNC staff responded to the internal survey.
- The fact is, 34% of all Confuzzled staff are transgender/GNC, as suggested in the internal survey.
- It has been reflected in the corrected statement: “of which included transgender and GNC (gender-nonconforming) staff at roughly 34% of the pie.”
Edit 4/5/2021 1:12pm UTC+8 – minor edits
- Specified a little more on Professor Elemental’s article retweet: it was retweeted in 2016, and the retweeted article is about transgender school locker rooms.
Confuzzled 2021：英国兽展与音乐人Professor Elemental由于媒体压力分道扬镳
5月1日，英国兽展 Confuzzled 宣布，他们2021年线上活动邀请的嘉宾音乐人Professor Elemental不再参展了。