Why JK Rowling isn’t Anti-Trans (and neither am I)

You may have seen this Tweet which JK Rowling sent in my support:

This heartfelt plea for toleration, diversity, compassion, love and peace was liked by hundreds of thousands of people and sparked off thousands of conversations.

The idea that ‘sex is real’, that human beings are are male or female and that sex cannot be changed, is at the core of my current court case. I’d like to explain what my story is and why it matters.

Over the past few years I have worked as a consultant and a Visiting Fellow at the Center For Global Development, a think tank with headquarters in Washington DC.

I am based in the UK, where the government has been consulting on a proposal to change the law to allow ‘gender self identity. This would give people the right to change their legal sex without any medical diagnosis, or any surgery. On my own twitter account I wrote about differences between gender self ID and sex in relation to this. I also wrote a blog post about the issue in relation to international development.

I am concerned that the acceptance of “gender identity” in place of sex in laws and policies has a negative impact on women and girls, as it means that female only spaces including toilets, changing rooms, women’s refuges, prisons, hospital wards, and women’s sport can not be maintained as female only.

My tweets involved no hate, nor did I bully or harass anyone. My interest and concern has to do with the negative impact of proposed laws and policies on women’s rights and on children and young people, and whether policy makers are adequately considering everyone’s rights.

I was informed that concerns had been raised about my tweets on the issue using “exclusionary language”. But I assumed that CGD, being a think tank, might be a place which would want to see ideas and public policies openly discussed and debated. I was surprised to find that CGD decided to to take away my position. A think tank that fears confronting difficult ideas can no longer be considered a think tank. What else is it there for?

My case is to discover if my belief about men and women, which derive from science, are a ‘philosophical belief’ under the law; this would allow me to pursue a case of discrimination.

Without this protection many women fear that their holding an independent opinion will lead to losing their job. Being a woman with an opinion may be a dangerous position. The fear of speaking out is one of the most important issues raised by my case.

Many people, in solidarity with my fight for free speech, have crowd funded my legal bills.

Unfortunately, at the first hearing the Judge decided that my beliefs are not protected. This is what elicited the support of JK Rowling.

I am not anti-trans. Like JK Rowling I think people should be free to wear what they like and live as they please. I seek to treat people with compassion and respect, and I had said to CGD and at the tribunal that I would treat people politely by referring to them by the pronouns they prefer.

Employment Judge James Tayler said that my beliefs failed the test of being “worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others.”

My legal team have identified several grounds to appeal, where we think that the judge erred in applying the law. These have been submitted to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

If you would like to read more about my case all the details are here https://hiyamaya.net/sex-and-gender/

If you would like to support my legal fund please make a donation here https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/lost-job-speaking-out

You will also get ongoing updates on the case.


This is mainly where I write about sex and gender

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