Claimant’s Witness Statement

“CGD does not take institutional positions, and fellows are encouraged to follow their interests and reach their own conclusions — provided they can back these up with evidence and clear argumentation.[”CGD: Building a think and do tank”]

“Religious Education is valuable if it teaches students about different religions, and enables them to think rigorously about them whilst respecting that others have different beliefs and traditions. Too often though it seems to confuse respect for people, with respect for ideas, and in this case goes as far as requiring all students to demonstrate obedience to some of them… Handling Muhammed with extreme care in schools is motivated by concern for respect but instead reinforces prejudice — reflecting a ”better safe than sorry” view that sees all Muslims as extremist, intolerant people who might take offence easily. Further, it encourages students to get used to seeing freedom of expression and academic rigour as things that should be casually discarded in the face of any imagined potential for offence-taking.” [blogpost]

“[Sex] is not a spectrum, although I know that’s a popular theory. There are only two sexes in humans. As I say, sex is the language we use to describe reproduction. People have potential to be either large gamete producers, or small gamete producers. No one produces both; no one produces something else.” [Clare Graham Interview WPUK]

“people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth. Trans people may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to) transgender, transsexual, gender-queer, gender-fluid, non-binary, gender-variant, cross-dresser, genderless, agender, nongender, third gender, bi-gender, trans man, trans woman, trans masculine, trans feminine and neutrois.” [Stonewall Glossary]

“Transgender and trans may be used for those who change their gender presentation permanently, as well as others who, for example, cross-dress intermittently for a variety of reasons including erotic factors (also referred to as transvestism). There is an acknowledgement that although there are wide differences between many trans people, there is also overlap between groups. For instance, someone who cross-dresses intermittently for some years, may later transition to the opposite gender expression. Non-binary and non-gender identities also fall under this umbrella term“ [GIRES Terminology]

“has been aggressive and dismissive, and often includes words like ‘bigot’ and, especially, ‘transphobic’. The people who ask those questions about the implications of self-identification — or merely report that those questions have been asked by others — are apt to find themselves accused of hateful prejudice on a par with homophobia or racism.” [Kirkup].

“The thought of accessing a service for survivors of male abuse and being confronted with a male makes me feel panicky and nauseous, whether that male was there as a supporter or a client.“

“In my case, being forced, with no recourse, to accept transwomen in what are supposed to be safe spaces for women would have meant I would be unable to access those services.“

“I’m currently accessing support services re sexual violence and would definitely not feel comfortable doing so with any males present.“

“I am not female and I know that I cannot become female, but I can and do live in a way analogous to the way that women live.” [Debbie Hayton, The Economist]

“Critical thinking is not hate; it builds understanding and establishes foundations that are robust and can protect trans people without compromising the rights of women. Transwomen are not the same as women, and it is disingenuous to try and argue that they are. That being said, there is much that we share in our day-to-day lives, and we both face adversity and hardship, including oppression and prejudice. We must, therefore, abandon philosophies based on wishful thinking and return to concrete reality. Only then will we be able to work together with trust and confidence, combat discrimination and build a better society that works for us all.” [Hayton]

“It’s no exaggeration to say female only spaces have saved my life. Perhaps more importantly it wasn’t until I experienced them that I understood how vital they are, for all women really, but especially for those of us who have been subjected to various forms of male violence. Sadly no such space exists now, where I live. The services that did exist are now either closed or have gone trans-inclusive. I want people to understand that when you live with the after effects of complex trauma you can’t move forward if you don’t feel safe. I do not feel safe around men — I don’t want to be like that, I know rationally not all men etc… but my entire body has been primed for years to expect danger and pain when men are present. Now I feel I’m being told it’s my own fault — I am the problem. That’s exactly what my abusers told me. Someone said to me recently that as the numbers of trans identifying males are so low it’s not that likely I would come across one in a women’s group but what they fail to appreciate is once that space is opened up it ceases to be female only regardless of whether males attend or not. When you are abused sexually and/or physically it’s an embodied experience — that’s where the trauma is held. So bodies in this context matter. Yet we are being asked to cut ourselves off from that fact and pretend they are irrelevant. No one can heal from abuse while being forced to ignore reality and it’s abusive to ask us to.” [FOVAS]

“Sport is meaningless without fair competition. Some people say that if a man transitions into a woman this eliminates all the male performance advantage they had as a man. Science does not support that claim. Male puberty locks in many changes to the male body that simply cannot be reversed.”

She finds that the International Olympic Committee openly acknowledges that its decision to admit trans women to women’s sport was political, not based on valid scientific evidence, and that fair competition for females was not a primary concern. [Emma Hilton, FPFW]

“Trans ideology’s conviction that the truth of our ‘authentic selves’, and of whether we are man or woman, is based only and exclusively on ‘gender identity’ necessitates the effort to deny that we fuck people’s bodies (at least in good part) on the basis of the sex of those bodies, and that sexual attraction is sexual, in both senses of the word. That is, the gay rights movement has wedded itself to an ideology that cannot actually recognise that homosexuality is a thing. Given the social and physical power imbalances, this doesn’t necessarily involve a clear and present danger to gay-men. For lesbians, this is a first order existential threat. Not only are they being erased along with the class of women in general, but their right to be exclusively attracted to female-bodied people is being consistently challenged by some of the most rapey, entitled misogynist bullying I have seen in my entire life.” [Jane Clare Jones]

“people (most people I think, actually) want their friends and family and comrades to be happy, and so pretend that they are the sex they say they are while knowing that they are in fact the opposite sex. I know how this sounds, and I feel awful writing some of these words because it feels like a deliberate and disruptive interruption of a potentially very positive social etiquette. Who wants to make people feel bad? But I believe we have gotten to a point where the pretence has grown out of all proportion and rationality to the problem that it is designed to “fix” and is actually becoming damaging. Damaging to gays and lesbians, damaging to trans people, damaging to women and extremely damaging to open discussion and freedom of discussion on issues of gender and sexual orientation”. [Connor Kelly]

“Firstly, Stonewall’s version of transphobia didn’t seem to require any negative view of trans people, let alone hate or unfair discrimination. All that was necessary to be designated a bigot by the UK’s leading LGBT charity was to question whether trans women and natal women might, in some ways, be different. Secondly, Stonewall’s edict unquestioningly prioritised the wishes of trans women over those of natal women. This seemed both arbitrary and unfair to me. [Johnny Best]

“In UK law, ‘sex’ is understood as binary, with a person’s legal sex being determined by what is recorded on their birth certificate. A trans person can change their legal sex by obtaining a GRC. A trans person who does not have a GRC retains the sex recorded on their birth certificate for legal purposes.” [EHRC]

“Individuals who are members of vulnerable groups have specific rights afforded to them based on their characteristics. Members of racial minorities, persons with dis­abilities, women, children, and others are afforded those protections based on their membership of a group. Expanding the definition of a group to include others under­mines those protections. For example, women have specific protections based on the history of discrimination, disempowerment, and of male privilege being afforded to members of the other sex class. Expanding the definition of who is a woman would undermine the object and purpose of those protections. That is not to say that transgender individuals do not face discrimination or abuses, but their experiences are not the same as those of women, or those of racial minorities, or persons with disabilities, and the experiences stem from different reasons and spaces, even if there are similarities across the board.“ [Rosa Freedman]

o Good luck in your litigation. I support trans rights, but am disgusted by the way this cause has been used to silence women.

o I may not agree with your views but I 100% support your right to express them without fear of losing your job. Good Luck.

o How can you be fired for essentially repeating the contents of a Biology textbook? Are all science teachers equally in danger? Wishing you all the luck and thank you for doing this.

o Thank you for speaking out for so many of us who don’t feel able to.

o I don’t know if I agree with your opinion; but that is hardly the point. We must be able to talk about these things.

o As a gay man I feel it is imperative for gay and lesbian rights and safety that sex be recognised as distinct from gender

o Donating so that in future I can display my name on petitions like this.

o “I read about this with such sadness. If identity politics means stopping legitimate debate we will lose ourselves.”

o “For me and my daughters and our right to speak the truth”

o “Thank you for taking this case to court. I want my children to grow up with diversity and equal rights but also with freedom of speech and safe spaces for women”

o “Free speech must be the basis of any civil society and that includes the right to debate and to disagree”

o “Our laws must be debated. Knowledge and evidence must be brought to bear. Freedom of thought and speech is paramount.”

o “Women must have the freedom to openly state what we believe and to be able to protect our established rights to women only spaces.”

o “So important for women, for free speech, and for scientific fact. Women are hurt and angry. Our turn to be listened to.”

“requires discussing individual trans­women who are playing by rules written up by politicians and governing bodies.” [Ben Dirs]

“accusing critics of trans female participation in women’s sport of attacking and hurting the feelings of trans women — or of having no sympathy or empathy for an oppressed group — is a common tactic used by transgender activists to shut down the debate and divert attention from common sense and scientific facts”. [Ben Dirs]

Everyone has a gender identity and expresses their gender in a unique and personal way. This could be through the clothes you wear, the way you stand, the interests you have. Someone else can’t tell you what your gender identity is — only you know how you feel and you should never feel pressured to label yourself or fit in with other people’s ideas.“ [Young Stonewall]

“Trans women have every right to have their identity and experiences respected too. They are women — just like you and me — and their sense of their gender is as engrained in their identity as yours or mine. Being trans is not about “sex changes” and clothes — it’s about an innate sense of self. To imply anything other than this is reductive and hurtful to many trans people who are only trying to live life as their authentic selves.” [Stonewall: Transwomen are Women]

“Transition does not indicate a change of gender identity. The person still has the same identity post transition; the changes are to their public gender expression.” [GIRES]

“A woman is still a woman, even if she enjoys getting blowjobs. A man is still a man, even if he likes getting penetrated vaginally.” [Gendered Intelligence]

“a person’s gender identity (regardless of whether that identity matches other sex-related characteristics) is fixed, cannot be changed by others, and is not undermined or altered by the existence of other sex-related characteristics that do not align with it.” [Deanna Adkins]

“since gender identity is not determined by what kind of genitals someone has, a person with a female gender identity might well have a penis. In other words, yes, some women do have penises.” [Katherine Jenkins, The Conversation]

“A person’s gender identity refers to a person’s inner sense of belonging to a particular gender, such as male or female.

Gender identity is a deeply felt and core component of a person’s identity.

Everyone has a gender identity.

Children usually become aware of their gender identity early in life.

Most people have a gender identity that aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth. However, for some people, their deeply felt, core identification and self-image as a particular gender does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth. This lack of alignment can create significant distress for individuals with this experience and can be felt in children as young as 2 years old.

Gender identity cannot be voluntarily altered including for individuals whose gender identity does not align with their birth-assigned sex.

The cost of not assigning sex based on gender identity is dire. It is counter to medical science to use chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, external genitalia, or secondary sex characteristics to override gender identity for purposes of classifying someone as male or female. Gender identity does and should control when there is a need to classify an individual as a particular sex.” [Deanna Adkins]

“I think people have a special kind of authority when it comes to avowing their own gender, because having such avowals respected is deeply tied to respecting someone’s right to privacy and self-determination. Conversely, telling someone they are wrong about their avowed gender is a kind of ethical violence against them.” [From original Institute of Art and Ideas article]

Trans women are women. Period. End of story. We’re not “women who used to be men.” We’re not “men who identify as women.” We’re not “males who identify as women.” We’re not “men who became women.” WE ARE WOMEN. Stop putting qualifiers on our womanhood. It’s offensive, hurtful and cruel to insinuate otherwise. Our past, present, and futures are ours to define and no one else’s. Even if we didn’t figure out that we were trans until well into our adult lives, it absolutely does not mean that we were ever boys or men. Many trans women feel that they’ve always been girls, or at the very least, that they’ve been boys. You don’t have any right to tell me, or any other trans person, that they were ever a particular gender, just as I have no right to tell you what gender you are.” [Mari Brighe]

“Trans people who are forced to move through society in a way that is fundamentally at odds with their gender identity report that this is a deeply distressing and harmful experience, and there is every reason to believe that these reports are truthful.” [Katharine Jenkins, The Conversation]

“Gender identity is not determined by a person’s body type, personality, or social role. Rather, it’s a matter of how someone feels most comfortable navigating our gendered society. Trans people are people whose gender identity is different from the way they were categorised as male or female at birth based on their body.” [Katharine Jenkins, The Conversation]

“If Butler is right, then radical possibilities open up. If we construct sex, we might be able to demolish it, or construct it differently. The idea that sex is socially constructed did not originate with Butler, but her influence has been enormous, both in academia and popular culture. You can find the idea endorsed in sociology, gender studies, and philosophy — it sometimes even makes an appearance in psychology”.

“We affirm that trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary gender identities are valid. We unreservedly reject any linking of gender to a “biological” sex binary. We believe in challenging such analysis, as it bears no relation to modern scientific understandings of the expression of sexual differentiation in humans and, more importantly for our purposes, bears no relation to the patterns of gendered oppression, including economic, social and political exclusion, experienced by all women.”

“It should be pretty evident that any political program based on attempting to re­frame such a fundamental aspect of human perception is only going to succeed by using totalitarian methods. By relentlessly drilling its axioms into public conscious­ness and by making people who reject them pay a very high social price.” [Jane Clare Jones]

“Failure to share someone’s belief is not the same as mockery or disdain for it. It cannot be beyond the wit of the legislature to protect the beliefs of those who believe they have an innate gender, protect the rights of others to agnosticism on the point, whilst also maintaining sex based protections.” [Julian Norman]

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This is mainly where I write about sex and gender

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