As the last second repost had the same format error, I am trying for a
final time. How embarrassing!


I would like to apologise to SMcCandlish and Barbara (WVS), and more
generally to the Wikipedia community, for any possible implication
given in my previous email to this list, that authors of the
problematic Signpost "Pronouns beware" essay, might in any way be
thought to be transphobic. This was an important matter to word
precisely and accurately. I take responsibility and apologise, it was
stupid of me to fail to ensure that there could be no way that my
words might appear to be intended as an attack on the person, rather
than criticism of the judgement used when writing this essay, and the
choice to publish it on Wikipedia.

I refrained from correcting this email previously, as it was thought
to be better to avoid stirring up any further drama, however this was
being interpreted by one of the authors as deliberately avoiding
making any correction.[1] I apologise for that misjudgement, and my
failure to understand how a delay would appear. My thanks go to
SMcCandlish for raising their complaint that a correction was needed.

The rest of this email runs on the long side, if you have been
following the deletion discussion, there is probably nothing new here.

My action in acting transparently as a whistleblower, was to criticise
the editorial judgement of creating an essay which made jokes about
pronoun usage which would, and has, been read as making a bad joke
that mocks genderqueer and transgender people. This problem of how the
article could be read, was raised by others before publication.
Overwhelmingly the deletion discussion created for the essay has had
feedback from many long term and experienced Wikipedians who were
alarmed and upset that the article was published without this problem
being acted on, and either halting publication, or ensuring a
resubmission so there could be no confusion that the article appeared
abusive or a failure to respect genderqueer and nonbinary people.[0]
Many deletion comments have called the article "transphobic". Nobody
as far as I have seen, has mistakenly called the authors transphobes.
There is a good faith presumption that cause is an error of judgement.
It has been explained several times by myself and others in related
Wikipedia discussions that objecting to a published joke being
offensive to a minority group, in no way implies or presumes that the
author(s) deliberately intended to cause offense to that minority

Thankfully the Signpost essay has been hidden from view while the
deletion discussion continues, an action that resolves the immediate
issue, and removes any need for me to be involved.

I have not made a complaint to the Technical Spaces Code of Conduct
Committee, and decided to let a thread on meta stay closed with regard
to use of a unpaid volunteer WMF related title that requires
compliance with the Code of Conduct.

I sent a friendly confidential email to the Wikimedia Wiki Education
project for comment, as Barbara chose to publish the essay using the
unpaid volunteer account that specifically represented Wiki Education,
though again, this was not a formal complaint. I had one informal
reply back saying they were looking into it. I have not emailed anyone
else with regard to the authors or their actions. Explicitly, I have
not contacted anyone's employer nor anyone else not directly part of
Wikimedia projects.

Barbara has thoughtfully stated in a personal email to me, and on her
Wikipedia talk page, that she is preparing a formal apology as one of
the coauthors.

Thankfully SMcCandlish has agreed with the article being hidden from
view, and continues to debate the article deletion. They chose to
raised an ANI request against me for "canvassing and
incivility/aspersions in gender-related disputes", which was closed
without action toThanks,day.[3] At the time of writing this email, there are
claims by SMcCandlish that they are "accused of being a transphobe",
it is unclear who is doing this.[4]

The WMF have taken the unusual step of refusing an email promoting the
Signpost on the announcements list, due to "multiple reports of
concerns related to potentially harmful content in the February 2019
edition of the Signpost". I made no formal email complaint to the WMF
about Signpost, or anything else. The multiple reports were from other
concerned people that are unknown to me. Sadly the immediate personal
response to the WMF by the Signpost Production Manager has been "I
find your rejection of my email to be an empty political gesture
bowing to political pressure from braying sheeple."[5] No other
Signpost contributor has made any other reply, either personally or on
behalf of Signpost. I have seen no plans or proposals to change or
improve the review process or policies for the Signpost.

Thank you for those sending private messages of encouragement, support
and information. Should anything similar happen on Wikipedia in the
future, this experience has taught me to run as fast as possible in
the opposite direction, rather than putting my head above the parapet.
Becoming a figure of hatred is not worth the stress, or having to read
targeted mockery wrapped as "jokes", published on the project you love
and support. Throughout our Wikimedia projects, there remains huge
room for improvement in how best to ensure correct, friendly and
respectful treatment of minorities, especially us queers.


Wikimedia LGBT+

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