Jill Bearup (this is why we can’t have nice things)

Recently we posted a ringing endorsement of the work of British Youtuber Jill Bearup for her videos exploring theatrical combat and various tropes. In doing so, we accidentally signal boosted someone with an unresolved history of promoting transphobia. We apologise for that. 

At the time we were not aware that in 2017 (a month or so after the last time we posted any of her content), Jill made a Tumblr post portraying trans activists as the bullies against TERFs, and essentially calling for them to instead rely upon respectability politics. 

(Archive here, content warnings for violence, TERF rhetoric, and surgery photos)

As anyone who follows the issue even casually knows this is, to put it politely, bullshit propaganda that transphobes of all sorts use to encourage harassment and violence against trans people. It is deplorable for an influencer to use one of their platforms to spread this kind of hateful nonsense. 

It appears that Jill took the offending post down some time in 2019, but we have been unable to find any evidence why she did that, or that she ever apologized, or what her current views may be. She doesn’t seem to have approached the topic in any way, shape or form on her YouTube channel (her primary platform) or elaborated further beyond the one post that got a little over 200 notes. 

She also doesn’t seem to have done anything to help trans people or promote trans acceptance either. 

Our stance at Bikini Armor Battle Damage is simple: 

  • Trans women are women
  • Trans men are men
  • Non-binary identities are completely valid
  • Trans rights are human rights
  • TERFs and other variety of transphobes can fuck the fuck off 

Had we been aware at the time, we wouldn’t have made the post. The original post is still up, but has been edited with a warning and our stance.

Sadly, as Jill is one of the less reactionary of the few people who talk about combat and armor in fiction (ahem), we’re at a loss to propose a similar resource. But we definitely will not be further promoting any of her stuff and wanted anyone who might have subscribed to or promoted her channel to be aware of this. 

~Ozzie, – wincenworks