Irish Anti-Trans Activist Snatches Defeat From The Jaws Of Almost Certain Pyrrhic Victory


Objectively speaking, it would have seemed like SUCH a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, political stunts are almost always more about the execution than they are about the idea. And for James Esses – self-described ‘Irish commentator and co-founder of Thoughtful Therapists. Focusing on the impact of ideology on society and the safeguarding of children’ – it seems ‘execution’ isn’t his strong point… although he goes close to having a monopoly on breathtaking hypocrisy.

Our story begins yesterday, with our hero tweeting out this: “I formally and publicly declare that I reject the label of ‘cis’. I don’t believe in gender ideology. I don’t self-identify as ‘cis’. Using this term makes me feel unsafe and is demonstrative of your hatred towards me. Anyone who uses the term ‘cis’ to describe me is a bigot.”

Okay lefties, you gotta hand it to James, he might have a point, right? Sure, his tweet has some obvious problems: no-one for a millisecond believes James actually feels ‘unsafe’. He’s just using the language of the left to lampoon, and make a point. But even so, if people who demand to be addressed a certain way refuse to respect other people’s wishes about the way they’d like to identified… it’s game on, right?

Well, the following day, James, now self-identifying as a ‘victim’ (of online bullying and harassment), tweeted this: “Yesterday, after posting a Tweet saying that I reject the word ‘cis’ and don’t wish to be called it, I receive a slew of messages from trans activists calling me ‘cissy’ and telling me that I am ‘cis’ ‘whether or not I like it’.”

Interesting. At first blush, it seems like James may have won a significant and important battle: Trans activists, lefties et al who demand to be addressed by their preferred pronouns refuse to not address poor James by ‘cis’, which is his non-preferred pronoun (even though it’s not really a pronoun). That makes them all gigantic hypocrites, right?

Well, as conservative James’ Facebook profile probably doesn’t say, it’s complicated.

Firstly, I don’t know what a “slew” represents, figuratively speaking, but in this case, if it’s more than one or two, I’ll be surprised. Of course, we could have checked for ourselves by looking at who replied to James’ tweet, and what they said. But as James asserts, the ‘slew of abuse’ came at him through ‘messages’, which is, conveniently, something for which we’ll have to take James’ word for.

Having said that, a very quick check of the replies to James’ tweet reveal that the very first one does, indeed, call James’ a “cissy”. To which James’ triumphantly replies “Bigot”.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or even an Irish commentator/therapist, to see the problem here… James claims the abuse came via private messages, which we can’t see, but the actual abuse he describes appears in the first reply to his tweet… which strongly suggests there was no ‘slew’ of abuse at all. Obviously, James can end that speculation by providing a screenshot or two of the ‘slew’ of abusive messages he received privately, and then posting that to his account….

In the meantime, wild exaggeration or not, does James still have a point? Has he exposed an hypocrisy inherent in the trans debate? Well, he might have, if (a) he was actually hit with a slew of abuse from trans activists, and (b) if he hadn’t tweeted this five weeks earlier: “Compelled use of ‘preferred pronouns’ forces people to go against everything they know in their head and heart to be real and true for fear of punishment or ostracisation. This should not be happening in a free and democratic society.”

In other words, James is trying to make the point that people who demand to be known by their preferred pronouns do not respect the requests of other people to also be addressed a certain way… after he did precisely the same thing, but a month before the people he’s trying to expose did.

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.