In what can only be described as a great irony, the Freemasons is set to allow transgender women and men to join the fraternal order.
As it pertains to transgender women, the BBC reported, they will only be allowed to remain in the Freemasons if they joined at a time when they identified by their biological male sex. Expelling masons for transitioning has been deemed “unlawful discrimination” by the United Grand Lodge of England.
In a guidance document issued to 7,000 lodges across the United Kingdom, the Freemasons declared:
“If a Freemason who is a member of UGLE wishes to change gender and become a woman, we expect that the Freemason would receive the full support of their brethren.”
Despite the policy change, even transgender women who are members of the mysterious and controversial group, which has historically been open only to men, will continue to be referred to as “brothers.”
“A Freemason who after initiation ceases to be a man does not cease to be a Freemason,” the statement from the UGLE explained. “We expect that Freemasons will act with compassion and sensitivity towards their fellow Freemasons.”
Ironically, now that the UGLE is accepting biological males who identify as men as well as transgender women and transgender men, the only demographic not allowed to join the organization are biological females who identify as women.
So it seems men, despite progressive efforts to be more inclusive, still remain the only group (with a few exceptions) allowed to join the Freemasons. Several people on social media quickly picked up on that fact:
Would like to hear an explanation from Freemasons about why trans women can be members but I can’t. https://t.co/Ph548mbQpb
— Caroline Criado Perez (@CCriadoPerez) August 1, 2018
So to summarise, if I've got this right: freemasons will admit: a) biological males, whether or not they call themselves men or women; b) biological females, as long as they call themselves men. Only group missing: biological females who call themselves women. https://t.co/vz9dKSB6ei
— Kathleen Stock (@Docstockk) August 1, 2018
Oooh. Male privilege? Surely not. https://t.co/YyyjLIN9l2
— Karen Ingala Smith (@K_IngalaSmith) August 1, 2018
The one thing many aren’t discussing, however, is the fact that the UGLE’s policy shift appears to make quite a bold statement about transgenderism, at least as it pertains to transgender women.
It seems the only conclusion one can draw from the new guidance is that transgenderism isn’t legitimate — at least not entirely. If a man who transitioned to identifying as a woman is, as many on the left argue, just as female as a woman born biologically female, why are the Freemasons gladly welcoming the former while continuing to deny access to the latter?
The only truly tolerant — or even progressive — policy would be to allow any and every person, regardless of sex or gender identity, to join the fraternity.
A spokesman for the UGLE said there has been “no general request for guidance on gender reassignment” to date, explaining the organization decided to get in front of the issue because “questions on the subject are likely to become increasingly common in the future.”