Many people have already noted how FETAs pretend to be against gender, and to be supportive of gender-non-conforming people, as a way to gain confidence and to justify their totalitarian genderist ideology. Not only are they conning people, but they also make it harder for us to trust actual anti-genderists. Freer Lives discusses an instance of this.
So, is the message in these quoted comments progressive or conservative? How about “progressive” and conservative. Rather than wonder what exactly Atkinson had in mind, it is more useful to see the article as continuing the mass media tradition of appealing simultaneously to multiple audiences around the issue of transgender, to offer something for everyone. Left-liberals who still feel some uneasiness about the stereotyping inherent in trans ideology are soothed with vague suggestions that all is well. More traditionalist readers are assured that this strange new trend does not really threaten their core values.