The #MeToo Movement Must Be LGBT-Inclusive to Succeed

In the wake of the watershed #MeToo campaign, many are continuing the discussion about how to end sexual abuse and sexism in our society. This conversation has been vital in sparking awareness and unmasking sexual predators. And while it would be easy to focus on the abusers, it’s even more important to shine a spotlight on brave women like Tarana Burke, Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan.

But this movement must be held accountable, too. Black women, for instance, have accused the #MeToo movement of focusing almost exclusively on white women. In response to this criticism, the #HerToo movement has emerged to amplify the voices of marginalized women throughout the world.

And with that in mind, it’s also crucial to examine how toxic masculinity silences the LGBT community.

Internationally, the phenomenon of “corrective rape”, where — usually — men rape people who self-identify as queer, continues to this day. Yet, because of the stigma surrounding homosexuality — as well as the emphasis placed on purity and virginity — many victims don’t speak out.

Meanwhile, bisexual women are at increased risk of intimate partner violence in much of the developed world, with far higher rates of sexual assault, rape and physical assault.

Male-dominated media tends to fetishize bisexual women, which can reinforce an association between bisexuality and sexual promiscuity. This often manifests in storylines that tacitly contribute to victim blaming when sexual and physical assault does occur. On top of this, the very act of bi-erasure does incredible violence to bisexual people.

Trans people are also at a massively higher risk of violence and sexual assault, with 47 percent having experienced sexual assault at some point in their lives. At a time when the Trump administration appears to be pressuring federal agencies to not even say the word “transgender,” it’s critical that #MeToo helps to ensure their voices are not silenced.

As several salient criticisms have pointed out, #MeToo has reinforced the gender binary in a way that risks ignoring trans and non-binary voices. It also eclipses male victims of this same violence.

By addressing some of these problems and charting an inclusive way forward, we can more fully honor the spirit of the #MeToo movement.

One strategy is to degender our language when we talk about the victims of sexual violence. Another powerful way to help is by using our own voices to elevate others. Retweeting and resharing stories from women of color and LGBT people who are employing the #MeToo hashtag can help to ensure that these communities face are also being heard. And the same goes for calling out and challenging homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.

Together we are stronger, and by using our diversity and unifying our message, we can fuel greater change.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.


DAVID fleming
DAVID fleming7 hours ago


David Casker
David Casker13 days ago

Thank you so much. I posted to MeToo fairly early on, and other men followed me. I was 11 when a man from church decided he liked me. Fortunately, he never harmed me physically, but consider what it was like to be the most sexually-active 5th grader....

Danuta Watola
Danuta W13 days ago

Thanks for sharing

Chrissie R
Chrissie R15 days ago

All people are all people. MeToo needs to define harassment and become more honest.

Janet B
Janet B15 days ago


Margaret Goodman
Margaret Goodman16 days ago

Trump Supporter Deborah W. wrote, "QUIT SECTIONING OFF INTO SMALL LABELED GROUPS. ..." I totally agree. It's tragic that Deborah has not convinced Deborah's hero Donald J. Trump to stop his labeling of groups that he dislikes.

caroline l
caroline lord18 days ago

thanks ;important

Marija M
Marija M18 days ago


Lesa D
Lesa D19 days ago

inclusion leads to unification...

thank you, Steve...

Mike R
Mike R20 days ago

Yes united we must be. Thanks