18 Days Remaining

Wednesday 6th
posted by Morning Star in Features

LGBT+ trade unionists and allies stand together with our trans colleagues in defending their hard-won rights and recognition.
LGBT+ trade unionists and allies believe that the consultation to review the Gender Recognition Act is a necessary step in making the process of gaining a gender recognition certificate easier, demedicalised and significantly less traumatic for those who want it.

We note that the Republic of Ireland has had this policy for two years and there has been only a modest take up and no reported abuses of the system.

In Ireland similar legislation to the GRA has not resulted in more oppressive treatment of women.
Instead, progress has been made in organising the pro-choice campaign on abortion rights.

It is possible for advances to be made if we link the struggles against oppression, not counter pose them negatively.
“Irish government data released earlier this year showed that so far, 240 GRCs have been issued in the country — a modest take up in a country of five million people. All of the evidence to date suggests the only impact of the law has been affording vital legal recognition to the country’s trans community.” (Pink News)

We believe that transgender people do not use self-definition lightly, but often make decisions after considerable periods of gender dysphoria, real suffering and serious reflection about their personal situations.

This is not just someone “deciding to call themselves a woman” and is not a decision made to oppress women.

It is highly unlikely to lead to unwanted invasions of women’s safe spaces. In fact, women and transgender colleagues can unite together to fight for better public provision for both oppressed groups of people.

We note that Maria Miller states in the Times: “In our report we made it very clear that this would not simply be somebody being able to pull a form off the internet, sign it and call themselves a woman because that would be open to abuse.”

Her committee envisaged each person receiving “psychological support … to make sure that they’re making the right decision for them” instead of “this quasi-medicalised panel which has brought great distress to transgender people.”

We believe that the negativity surrounding the consultation is unhelpful and without substance. We don’t believe that giving the trans community the right to more easily self-identify diminishes definitions of women and men.

We believe that everyone whether they define as a man, woman or non-binary should be able to choose to live a legally recognised authentic life.

We believe that biological essentialism debates on pre-operative trans men and women are often emotional and prejudiced.

We believe that trans women are women and trans men are men. Those who want to live a legally recognised authentic life should be protected; we believe that denying their existence allows people to deny them their human rights, and this we can’t abide.

We believe that fears about cis gender men abusing the system in order to access women-only spaces, suggests that they think that cis women can’t also be predators or abusers.

We are concerned that attempts raise parallels between trans women and potential sex offenders are eerily like echoes from the 1970s rhetoric of “gay men are all paedophiles.” We believe cis gender women don’t get a free pass to abuse people just because they have XX chromosomes.

Given that the Equality Act already allows trans men and women to informally self-identify and use their choice of toilets or changing rooms, giving trans people the legal right to self-identify will not change the demographic of people going into women’s toilets or changing rooms.

We fully support the need to keep cis gender men from abusing the system and keep women safe, and keep our spaces safe for everyone including trans women and trans men.

Given that trans women are disproportionally victims of violence, they also need access to safe spaces.  

There are laws to protect us from those who abuse systems and spaces. If those laws prove to be ineffective they are what need to be changed, and perhaps this could form part of the consultation.

We believe that concerns around trans men and women in sports are unfounded since those organisations already have their own regulations in place.

We believe the Gender Recognition Act reform will have no impact on statistics of male violence or any other sex-based statistics, because they will be recorded in the gender they identified as at the time of the crime.

We believe in free speech but this does not extend to hate speech, in whatever form that comes in.

To suggest that an entire group of people should be denied their rights because of a few cis gender male predators is tilting at windmills.

We believe that trans rights are not in opposition to women’s rights. We believe that a better and more successful strategy would be to link the struggle for women’s and transgender rights so that we have a greater chance of winning more social provision for oppressed groups, rather than fight among each other for fewer resources.
Annette Pryce: NUT LGBT members executive equality seat holder
Mandy Hudson: NUT disabled members executive equality seat holder
Paulina Blackstock: NUT black members executive equality seat holder
Nicola Fields: co-founder Lesbians and Gays support the Miners (LGSM)
Katy Piper: Northwest NUT member
Marianne Owens: PCS national executive committee
Scott Clark: PCS executive committee member
Laura Miles: UCU national executive committee
Steve Griffiths: PCS Proud NC member
Keegan Hall-Browne: London NUT member
Andy Huntley-Roe: Yorkshire-Midlands NUT member
Lucy Smith: South East NUT member
Chay Brown: South East NUT member and LGBT+ NOF
Jake Jones: London NUT member and LGBT+ NOF
Juno Roche: Eastern NUT member
Debs Gwynn: Northwest NUT member and LGBT+ NOF
Rhiannon Stow: Eastern NUT member
Roz Morton: Northwest NUT member
Michael Dance: London NUT member and LGBT+ NOF
Sue Caldwell: London NUT member
Eric Bateson: London NUT member and LGBT+ NOF
Melissa Hind: London NUT member and LGBT+ NOF
Dave Brinson: South East NUT member
Maggie Jones: South West NUT member and LGBT+ NOF
Lex Avis: Eastern NUT member
Emma Ballard East: North West NUT member
Colleen Johnson: Midlands NUT member
Chris Rimmell: Accord member West Yorkshire
Wendy Turner: PCS branch secretary
Mark Dunk: Unite London and Eastern disabled members committee
Peter Purton: Former TUC LGBT+ policy officer
Tony Fenwick: CEO Schools OUT and LGBT+ NOF
Aimee Challenor: equalities (LGBTIQA+) spokesperson, Green Party
Carl Banks: GMB London member
Simon Murch: NUT executive member for South Yorkshire
Harry Roberts: Prospect member Gloucester
Philip Girling Equity member
Julie Webster: PCS member
Nick Lucas: Eastern NUT member
Nicky Downes: Midlands NUT member
Jane Nellist: NUT executive member for West Midlands
Ian Murch: NUT national treasurer
Emrys Jai Abraham: Wales NUT member
Tony Dowling: membership secretary, Gateshead NUT
Natacha Kennedy: UCU London member
Malcom Wilson: Eastern NUT member
Inbar Tamari: London (Hackney) NUT member
Dr Melanie Gibson: Unite member
Sinead Kirwan: Bectu, Scotland
Colin Wilson: Unite London member
Charlie Kiss: Unison member
Emma Browse: Birmingham NUT member
Ruth Dodds: Birmingham NUT member
Kacey Degroot: Coventry NUT member
Rob Illingworth: NUT executive member for Nottinghamshire
Neil Rogall: UCU London member
Stephen Meloy: Musicians Union member
Katie Sutton: Royal College of Nursing member, Greater Manchester
Emma Runswick: BMA, Doctors in Unite (personal capacity)  
Monica Tetley: Unite member
Hester Salusbury-Hughes: Unison (education) London member
Karen Pollock: MBACP Counselling Northumberland
Sam Feeney: Unison member, co-LGBT officer for Huntingdon CLP
Jess Edwards: NUT executive member for inner London
Andrew Stone: Joint NUT branch secretary Wandsworth NUT
Helen Sheridan: PCS Bootle, branch equality officer
Teresa Mary Clark: London NUT member, PCS member
Claire Birkenshaw: Yorkshire Midlands NUT member
Nick Wigmore: NUT executive member for Greater Manchester
Catherine Jones: Yorkshire Midlands NUT member
Catherine Scarlett: Yorkshire Midlands NUT member
Kris Hendry: PCS member Scotland
Rianna Humble: Unite member, Sertuc LGBT+
Hazel Danson: NUT executive member for West Yorkshire
Gill Goodswen: past president NUT
Dave Mingay: Eastern NUT member
Sophie Cook: Unite member
Rachel Hubbard: UCU member Bristol
Pam Crossland: Unite community member, Greater Manchester
Tara Stone: Be Trans Support and Development North
Sam O'Brien: Unison branch communications officer, Rochdale
Cel Smith: London NUT member
Ellen Mellor: Unison member Gateshead
Pete Gillard: Unite member
Paul Topley: Eastern NUT member
Michael Davern: London NUT member
Simon O’Hara: Midlands NUT member
Christopher Carr: NUT member, Newcastle
Ben Farnworth: Manchester NUT member
Graeme Edwards: ATL equalities and diversity committee member
Pam Crossland: Unite Community member, Greater Manchester
Dessie Barrow: Hackney NUT vice-president (personal capacity)
Kate Taylor: Midlands NUT member
Dav Gilchrst: Islington NUT member
Floyd Codlin: PCS ARMS member
Sally Kincaid: Yorkshire midlands NUT member
JJ Jummer: South East NUT member
Mark Everden: Unite member Bristol
Adam Dusza: London NUT member
Jane Bassett: Hackney NUT member
Amanda Bentham: East London Teachers Association (NUT) member
Lucy Cox: Brent NUT member
Oliver Thornton: (South Cambs CLP LGBTQ officer)
Despina Mavrou: Newham NUT member
Fleur Patten: Eastern NUT and women’s NOF member
Janine Elliot: Eastern rep LGBT+ NOF
Doug Morgan: Birmingham NUT member
Melanie Griffiths: Kirklees NUT member and school rep
Jane Crich: Notts NUT member
Rachel Jones: Hammersmith and Fulham NUT member
Ivan Wells: Notts City NUT member
Nick O'Brien: Norwich NUT member
Beverly Keenan: Manchester NUT member
Saira Weiner: UCU branch secretary, Liverpool John Moores University
Rob Ferguson: Newham NUT member
Cathy Smith: NUT national executive member for Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay
Paul Power: Haringey NUT member
Robert Young: Birmingham NUT member and rep
GMB Shout: GMB LGBTQ+ members group
Kate Mayer: GMB member (school support staff), Leeds
Chris Everitt: Tameside NUT
Max Hyde: past president NUT
Annette Wright: PCS member and rep, Manchester
Phil Dickens: PCS assistant group secretary
Ian Allinson: chair, Unite the Union, Fujitsu UK
Miles Row: Unite member and Green Party town councillor
Sue Stelfox: Prospect member, former TUC LGBT committe
Sarah Jane Pattison: South West TUC executive member, GMB
Felicity Flynn: assistant branch secretary; PCS MOJ associated offices branch
Kathryn Ross: South West NUT member
Damian Thomas: NUT association secretary for East Riding of Yorkshire
Ken Muller: Islington NUT member
Alexander Costello: Haringey NUT member
Mike Kearney: NUT LGBT+ NOF Northern region
Glen Bowman: North Tyneside NUT division secretary
Kirstie Paton: Greenwich NUT assistant secretary
Caroline Butchers: Carmarthenshire (NUT member)
Dennis Charman: London Regional NUT retd
Dr Claire Jenkins: retired member Nottinghamshire NUT
Mairead Canavan: Wales NUT member and women’s NOF member
Zed Lomax: Walthamstow (NUT member)
Audrey Glover: Lancashire NUT
Eugene Doherty: Lancashire NUT and president Lancaster and Morecambe Trades Union Council.
Hilary Chuter: vice-president Lancashire NUT
Mary Kerr: Kent NEU equalities
Liz McLean: divisional secretary for Denbighshire NEU (NUT branch)
Stuart Coe: division secretary, Northamptonshire — NUT section
Floyd Codlin: PCS Arms
Jane Crich: Notts NUT section member
Natasha Sears: Bury NUT division secretary
John Worton: Sandwell Division NEU (NUT section) treasurer (retired)
Jason Dickinson: joint div sec, Carmarthenshire NEU (NUT Section)
Damian Walenta: division secretary — East Riding of Yorkshire
Kate Pearce: NEU Carmarthenshire (NUT section)
Nicola Dixon: Northamptonshire NEU member  
Ben Layton: NEU Leeds member
Nicola Fitzpatrick: Barnsley NUT division secretary
Pete Bevis: Barnsley NUT
James Bennett: Islington NEU (NUT section)
Fran Postlethwaite: NUT section member
Daniel Lilley: Hackney NUT member
Judy Cox: NEU Tower Hamlets member
Rob Hoveman: Unite member
Murray Sackwild: Eastern NUT section member
Luke Horton: NUT Barnsley member and communications officer  
Jacquie Hadfield: PCS ARMS (Associate and Retired Members) member and rep