The Denton Protocol was first envisioned by the Sôgmô Gaius Sörgel Publicola as a means for LGBTQ+ inclusive micronations could unite on matters concerning trans* micronationalists. Witness of several years of abuse directed at trans* micronationalists, from the Sôgmô’s friend to Anna Lindström of Zealandia, the Sôgmô finally considered the Protocol after witnessing negative reaction to the introduction of Their Excellency the new Prime Minister of Zealandia, Dylan Grönsson, due to their gender-neutral pronouns.
As a nation-state, Sandus is the home of several trans* people — from citizens to non-citizens who are interested in Sandus. Sandus’s record of activism and influence on LGBTQ+ politics has also been long, having been one of the most vocal micronations in recent years for its LGBTQ+ inclusivity and public leadership.
The Denton Protocol was drafted in order to be a practical international agreement, authorising signatories to refuse certain benefits and diplomatic agreements to trans*-exclusive micronationalists. In the past, some micronationalists have requested that the Sandum government stop addressing them as “M.”, the abbreviation for the French word monsieur, due to their hatred of French culture or their dislike for the Grand Unified Micronational – where the “M.” was often used under influence from Sandus. Sandus begrudgingly agreed to call those micronationalists, Mssrs. Yaroslav Mar and Bradley of Dullahan, by “Mr.” and agreed to use M. of Dullahan’s micronational name “Bradley of Dullahan.”
The Protocol authorises and enables Sandus to revoke those agreements and similar arrangements in diplomatic and media settings, in order to prove a point over congruences between the disrespect in reneging those agreements and the disrespect in addressing trans* micronationalists by incorrect and inappropriate pronouns. For this reason and for the reason of being inspired over a dispute involving the gender-neutral pronouns of Dylan Grönsson, the Protocol was initially viewed as a provocation by micronationalists who have historically opposed trans* inclusion in micronationalism and diplomacy. Ashukov PM Kennedy said, in concerns to the Protocol, “This may be the most disgusting thing I have ever read.” The comment was supported by Mssrs. Mar and of Dullahan, the latter of whom also condemned the Protocol. In a private diplomatic conversation, Kennedy had threatened to alienate Sandus and its socilivançae from the Saint Josephsburg Economic Pact and eventually remove it from the Pact if it did not drop the Protocol.
Opponents also included micronationalists whose loyalties with other opponents override the intention behind the Protocol, including some notable LGBTQ+ micronationalists. Eren Lewis and Jules Albertshine both spoke against the Protocol as a means to enforce signatories’ views on opponents to the Protocol. In a discussion bringing together many LGBTQ+ and ally micronationalists to discuss the Protocol, Lewis railed against the Protocol, stating that the opponents’ freedom of conscience should be respected. In a private discussion with the Sôgmô, Albertshine voiced similar oppositions, stating that freedom of conscience and speech should be respected on the part of the signatories. Both micronationalists are members of the LGBTQ+ community and, according to the Sôgmô, were individuals the Sôgmô thought the Protocol would defend when he was drafting the Protocol.
The opponents to the Protocol believe the Protocol violates the sovereignty of the targeted states, whereas the Sôgmô asserts that it is within Sandus’s sovereign right to sign the Protocol and the freedom of speech rights of her citizens to address trans*-exclusive micronationalists in ways envisioned by the Protocol. While the opponents argue that the Protocol is intolerance on the part of Sandus and the signatories, the Sôgmô and several other micronationalists have argued that the Protocol intends to treat trans*-exclusive micronationalists in the same way they treat trans* micronationalists: that is, with the offending parties’ intolerance over trans* identities. Signatories and proponents of the Protocol note that they are at odds with allowing the disrespect of their trans* micronational allies and have no other tools to diplomatically pressure offending parties to respect trans* identities, while some of the opponents and even King Adam of Uberstadt have called the Protocol “hypocrisy.”
However, some have noted that the Protocol is an appropriate mean for signatories to defend transgender and gender non-binary citizens, officials, and partners. While both King Adam of Überstadt and Sebastian Linden of Rudno stated that they will not sign the Protocol, both voiced their support for the intent of the Protocol and what it seeks to achieve. Archdruid Thomas Harris of the Missionary Order of the Celtic Cross has noted that the Protocol envisioned ways in which LGBTQ+ micronationalists and their allies might defend trans* colleagues but that the Protocol is unenforceable – both practically and through the letter of the agreement. Andrew Janiszewski of the Republic of Zirconic stated that the Protocol actively seeks to protect trans* identities and micronationalists, while not being hostile, and that the Protocol unites LGBTQ+ micronationalists and micronationalists interested by social activism and public leadership by serving as a central agreement on the topic. The MOCC’s convocationry at Tulsa has signed the Protocol, pending ratification; the Republic of Zirconic is preparing to sign the Protocol pending a seven-day vote.
With the signing of the Protocol by the MOCC Tulsa Convocationry, several other states beyond the first two (Sandus and Zealandia) have announced intentions to sign the Protocol as well, or have movements advocating for signing the Protocol. Those include Renasia, Zirconic, Sorrenia, and the MOCC-at-large. With them, the international crisis appears to be becoming more mellow, as depicted by more level-headed and calm responses to opponents of the Protocol and by private apologies given to the Sôgmô by Ashukov PM Kennedy and by PM Albertschine of Hobartstown and Victoria.
The State of Sandus has refused calls to change its drafting and signing of the Denton Protocol, incurring diplomatic hostility from Wyvern, Lostisland, and Ashukovo. Considering the LGBTQ+ inclusivity of Sandus, a micronation whose government boasts both an LGBTQ+ liaison and a trans*-specific liaison, it is unlikely that the Sôgmô will change his decision on the Protocol, as the common citizen in Sandus approves the fundamental basis for the Protocol. While it is inconvenient that Sandus has incurred the anger of Lostisland and Ashukovo, the net gain of the Protocol is positive. Sandus’s historical rocky relationship with Zealandia has become calm and good-natured improvement as both Zealandia and Sandus share a common interest and mutual agreement in cooperating on LGBTQ+ activism and LGBTQ+ issues. While Sandus has temporarily displeased its partners in Ashukovo and Lostisland – states that were becoming friendly in their interaction and cooperation with Sandus –, Sandus has calmed a long-standing rocky relationship with Zealandia. In sum, Sandus has won over a general calm and achieved for itself and its policies established in the Founding Law a major victory — a common bond with LGBTQ+ inclusive micronations and countless new partnerships and friendships to be expected from working on the Protocol.
And, what of hostility with Ashukovo and Lostisland, Sandus’s new-found partners? The Sôgmô says the hostility won’t last, as he foresees the Protocol will be a passing fit of rage. In the end, he thinks Sandus will restore the damage done to Sandus’s partnerships with Ashukovo and Lostisland, and calm may once again overcome rage.
Editor’s Note: The article originally named M. Albertschine the prime minister of “Hobart and Victoria”, instead of “Hobartstown and Victoria”. The name has been corrected. We apologise for the mistake.