A thread on how absurd the UK is on transgender issues and how the UK got so transphobic

In 2015 Parliament held an inquiry looking into the state of Transgender equality. Trans people of all stripes outlined many different problems across many, many different areas.

As a result Parliament created a list of recommendations including legal recognition for non binary people, gender recognition act reform, allowing 16 year olds to change their legal gender and reform of NHS gender identity services.
The government under Theresa May ignored everything that was recommended except for Gender recognition act reform. This act came into law in 2003 and gave trans men and women (but not non-binary people) the ability to legally change their gender on their birth certificates.
The process at that time to change your birth certificate under the GRA was to make an application to a panel of cisgender people who would decide if you were sufficiently trans based on your payslips, photo ID and bank statements. You would not get the option to speak to them.
(Also this process cost £140 which is just a tax on being trans)
The government proposed moving to a ‘Self Declaration’ model, binning this panel, cutting the cost and operating very similarly to legal gender change systems that right now cover 1.5 billion people on this planet in other countries, US states and Canadian territories.
(Ireland, British Columbia in Canada, California, New York, Denmark, Argentina, Malta, Norway, Portuga, Belgium, India and others have some version of this already and many have had this for 5+ years with no issues whatsoever).
This got noticed by journalists at The Times, who in 2016 went from publishing next to nothing on trans issues to publishing anti trans articles and opinion pieces every few days. They have continued this to this day. Many others jumped on board to as the Times had struck gold.
The Mail, the Telegraph, The Guardian, The Express, The Sun, The Spectator, The New Statesman and BBC News all reported this in the context that reforming the GRA to allow trans people to change their birth certificate ‘could’ endanger women in single sex spaces.
They did so by platforming radical anti trans activists who made no secret that they not only wanted to restrict our rights...but denied that the concept of being trans was real and our identities shouldn’t be seen as equal to theirs as a result.
They argued that the danger of GRA reform came from people abusing the system. That this would fling open the doors of every women’s space in the country for any man to enter.

They had no evidence to back this up. Not a single country, state of province that has self ID...
...saw an increase in sexual assaults as a result. But not a single outlet in the UK reported this very easily researchable fact. Instead they essentially argued that the thin line between an epidemic of sexual assaults was....birth certificates.
In the UK most people probably don’t even know where there birth certificate is as they are reading this. It is required when buying a house, having children, getting married and dying. That is pretty much it. Nobody checks birth certificates at public toilets or gyms.
There has never been a case of a sexual assault being thwarted because of a birth certificate. But this lie was pushed by the media for no other reason than it got attention from a fascinated cisgender public. It got eyes on the ads. Reporting the truth wasn’t as profitable.
In 2018 the Government decided to backtrack and open a public consultation on Gender Recognition act reform. This was widely seen as an unofficial referendum on the issue and everyone got involved. The press now had material to keep pushing their lucrative narrative for months
In case you forgot, GRA reform was just one of many recommendations made by a cisgender parliamentary committee to a cisgender government who decided this was the thing they would do because they probably wanted a repeat of the goodwill passing same sex marriage garnered them.
Then a cisgender press decided to make this a contested and controversial issue to make money.

This was a chain of powerful cisgender people using the trans community for their own gain. All it did was cost us.
After one of the worst summers for transgender people in living memory, the consultation wrapped up in 2018 and the long wait for the results began. The expectation was that the government would do what the majority of respondents wanted. This never happened but that is for later
The media did not stop. Now they had a new sexy target: gender identity services for transgender under 18’s provided by the Tavistock clinic in London. The Tavistock is infamous in the trans community because the waiting lists are as long as 3 years for some and...
...the process of accessing puberty blockers and hormones itself could take a further two years. The Tavistock also had a history of employing transphobic bigots including Susan Evans, a nurse who worked there part time between 2004 and 2007.
After waiting for 12 years Evans launched a crowdfunder for legal action against the Tavistock as she believed transgender youths were being rushed into being trans and life changing healthcare.

She said she wanted to protect children from an ongoing crisis...
...that she didn’t do anything about for 12 years. But you know what they say, if there is an immediate crisis, Evans is the one to call.
She sought out the services of a solicitor called Paul Conrathe of Sinclairsslaw to assist with the case. Conrathe is a Christian fundamentalist who had made his name in cases aimed at eroding abortion rights and representing homophobic parents who took issue with...
...LGBT inclusive, age appropriate sex and relationships education. Conrathe had something of a cottage industry in this area and encouraged his clients to use the website Crowd Justice to raise money to fund his personal mission to impose his fundamentalist values on the UK.
to see a list of all the cases Conrathe has used CrowdJustice for copy and paste this into google.

site:https://t.co/eQN31ghiwL sinclairslaw

And remember, Susan Evans claims she is a feminist and LGBT ally. Why would she choose this man over the thousands other UK solicitors?
(Probably because the guy has connections to powerful Christian fundamentalist organisations who all have made clear that they see trans equality as an affront to god...Conrathe probably had a lot to offer on top of legal representation but this is unconfirmed)
A few months into the crowdfund, Susan Evans probably realised that her case probably isn’t helped by the fact that she sat on her bum for 12 years in the face of what she argued was a crisis. So she swapped herself out with detransitioner Keira Bell.
This was a smart move as Keira Bell could be used as the face of the case. Keira Bell also had the same views on trans people’s identities as many of the anti trans radicals who had been given millions in free advertising by the UK press. Funny that.
We will return to Bell Tavistock shortly, bcause you guessed It, COVID 19 turned up and made everything worse. But that did not stop the media. Nor did it stop the government from outright turning on the trans community.
On April 23rd 2020 the government minister for women and equality Liz Truss announced to parliament that she had 3 intentions for GRA reform. Only one of these intentions had anything to do with GRA reform.
She wanted to protect single sex spaces. She never said from who, but trans people knew who she was talking about because they had seen in the British media for the past four years the context this call comes with.

It meant protecting single sex spaces from trans people
She wanted to respect the dignity of transgender people whilst maintaining “proper checks and balances”

In other words, she believed that allowing trans people to change their birth certificates could be dangerous. Apparently she believes birth certificates stop sexual assaults?
and finally, that she wanted to protect young people from making irreversible healthcare decisions.

In other words, she wanted to make it even harder than it already was for young trans people to access gender identity healthcare.
The first and third intention had NOTHING to do with GRA reform. But they were key parts of the media narrative around trans issues. She was not addressing reality. She was addressing a fiction made up by the media to create spectacle and cash.
Liz Truss had long been making it clear to trans people that she was at least incredibly sympathetic to anti trans radicals and at most, an anti trans radical herself. On twitter her account follows only one LGBT organisation (the LGBT conservatives). The only other...
...trans related accounts she follows are the LGB Alliance (an anti trans hate group founded by a gay man who argues that LGBT clubs in schools are dangerous because gay teachers might be predators, a woman who advocates for breast feeding 16 year olds, and two other weirdos)
And Transgender Trend (an anti trans hate group that focuses on rolling back UK school policies designed to combat transphobic bullying and was founded by someone who used to be in a cult who makes pots).
She also follows Maya Forstater, a woman whose views on trans people were said to be incompatible with a decent society by a judge in her failed attempt to reverse the entire UK equality act in an employment tribunal after she was fired from an unpaid position at a think tank...
...because her transphobia created a toxic work environment.
In 2019 Liz Truss' department paid Equaliteach to conduct a program designed to trial anti LGBT bullying policies in schools. In 2020, Maya Forstater tweeted that the summary document from this program was bad. Liz Truss immediatly responded by having her departments...
...logo from the document that her department had paid them to create. Here is that twitter exchange. Again, this was a document HER DEPARTMENT PAID FOR.
There cannot be anymore clear evidence that Liz Truss, the Government Minister for Women and Equalities is at the beck and call of anti trans radicals. Here is that judgement outlining the value of Maya Forstaters views on trans people.
Now, an unexpected twist occured for cisgender people but transgender people had known about this for 2 years. JK Rowling decided to enter the debate. Because at this point, this tale could not get any more absurd. Why not?
In January of 2020 JK Rowling had finished writing a novel about a cisgender male predator who wore womens clothing to get access to female victims. She then declared her support for Maya Forstater, unelected dictator of the Government Equalities Office.
She then went on, after what has to be the most absurd copy/paste error of all time, wrote a 3000 word article containing a lot of the same transphobic nonsense the press had been peddling for years. She provided zero citations to back her points.
This combined with the Liz Truss announcement to Parliament in April to create a spectacle the global public lapped up. We were all stuck at home. We had nothing else to do. JK Rowling made UK trans issues global. Billions will have read her words by now.
And then her book came out in the summer. And as it contained a transphobic trope older than the fucking sun, every outlet on earth it felt like covered it. She gained millions in free advertising for a novel in a series most people didn't know existed.
(Either she did this by accident and profited from her transphobia, or she planned it and used trans issues the same way Jordan Peterson did on the release of his book years ago).
In June, according to anonymous sources that we know and trust, Liz Truss leaked her full plans for GRA reform to the Times. This included legislation designed to ban trans women from womens spaces.

This was a bathroom bill for the UK.
Trans people and our allies responded. We were in lockdown, we were bruised, battered and traumatised like everyone but also we had YEARS of transphobic abuse from our government and the media on our backs. But we stepped up. I had never been more proud...
....of the community. And when the cabinet opened their mail bags to letters from everyone who had ever met a trans person, this was the thing that stopped this bathroom bill from happening.
During this time the government finally released the results of the GRA consultation of 2018. It took them 18 months to do so. And in almost every catergory, the people had spoken.

They wanted trans people to have the right to change their birth certificates without permission.
The government ignored this. Just like they ignored 95% of the recommendations from the 2015 inquiry. Through Liz Truss they announced that after all of this...the reform was going to be a reduction in the fee and the option to apply online.

That was it.
Months later the judgement from the Evans vs Tavistock...sorry, the Christian fundamentalists Vs Tavistock...sorry, wow, I am really not on the ball...the Bell vs Tavistock judgement landed. The high court had ruled that young people did not have the insight to know their gender.
Inspite of the fact that under 16's can access abortions in the UK (for now) and other life changing medical interventions, the ruling stated that a 17 year old cannot decide who they are whilst an 18 year old can.
As a result all trans young people now have to apply for medication through the courts. And all those trans young people already on puberty blockers will have to apply to the courts to stay on them.
11 months earlier the biggest study of its kind found that puberty blockers can save trans youths lives.

https://t.co/lrHlpYRBKp

This was not mentioned in the judicial review.
That takes us up to Christmas, but the friday before Liz Truss announced a new direction for the government equalities office. She announced that she would be abandoning focusing on "woke" issues like racism and homophobia...
...and would focus on the one inequality that effects white, cis, straight people. Regional income equality.

She did so by arguing that focusing on these issues was a "failure of the left". And then she said this:
"...it's lead to the left turning a blind eye to practices that actively undermine equality, whether it be failing to defend single sex spaces - hard fought for by generations of women- enabling and tolerating anti semitism or the appauling grooming of young girls...in Rotherham"
The Rotherham grooming gangs has long been a rallying point for the far right in the UK as the perpetrators were Muslims.

And she compared trans people using a public toilet to pedophile gangs whilst doing so.
So here we are now, at the end of the longest thread this account has ever done. Right now we have the highest rates of covid-19 we have ever had, we are all stuck at home again and Brexit it happening. The future for pretty much everyone looks bleak.
But it is even worse for trans people. Transphobic hate crime reports have quadroupled since 2015 (the year all this shit started: https://t.co/2c4sG6P59k

1 in 3 UK employers will not employ a trans person because they are trans:
4/5 trans people have experienced a hate crime (but most did not bother to report it): https://t.co/0mQEzFPBbu

Almost half of trans people have a suicide attempt in their past :https://t.co/d4w3A7RTwa
(I forgot to include the citation about 1 in 3 employers refusing to employ trans people, here it is: https://t.co/aX81zpyxWS)
In almost every metric, trans lives are worst than where they were 5 years ago when Theresa May decided to make GRA reform a big deal, before bolting the second it got hard.

And it is all thanks to the UK media, the UK government and a small group of anti trans radicals.
And this is just scratching the surface. This thread is too long already and it didn't cover how the opposition party failed to take action on one of their MP's calling us Gilead, a literal rape culture: https://t.co/EC0yo5AmMy
It didn't cover how the LGB Alliance (who at that point were only a fucking twitter account) had sold the lie that they were a splitter group from Stonewall because they had one founder in their fold: https://t.co/2E0z4rytVc
(We actually got two stonewall founders on our podcast calling this nonsense and calling the LGB Alliance what they are, anti trans extremists, but guess how much coverage that got: https://t.co/62zkcIeITv)
There is just too much. Too much. I could write a fucking book on this shit right now. Hell, I just might but I am pretty sure nobody would buy the fucking thing unless I gave space in it for some anti trans radical to argue that birth certificates stop sexual assaults.
This is the story of how the UK is now world renowned for its transphobia. If you are cis and you have read the whole thing, thank you. Please do not forget this is what is happening.

And if you are trans..
...join a group.

If there aren't any near you, start one.

If you run a group, connect with other group runners near you.

Build a network.

We are so far away from being safe, you have no choice but to connect, organise and step up.
@threadreaderapp unroll

More from Society

The UN just voted to condemn Israel 9 times, and the rest of the world 0.

View the resolutions and voting results here:

The resolution titled "The occupied Syrian Golan," which condemns Israel for "repressive measures" against Syrian citizens in the Golan Heights, was adopted by a vote of 151 - 2 - 14.

Israel and the U.S. voted 'No'
https://t.co/HoO7oz0dwr


The resolution titled "Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people..." was adopted by a vote of 153 - 6 - 9.

Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and the U.S. voted 'No' https://t.co/1Ntpi7Vqab


The resolution titled "Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan" was adopted by a vote of 153 – 5 – 10.

Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and the U.S. voted 'No'
https://t.co/REumYgyRuF


The resolution titled "Applicability of the Geneva Convention... to the
Occupied Palestinian Territory..." was adopted by a vote of 154 - 5 - 8.

Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and the U.S. voted 'No'
https://t.co/xDAeS9K1kW

You May Also Like