Kate and Debbie Hayton
Kate is a trans person who contacted LBC following an interview I had given to Andrew Castle on his radio show on Sunday 17 July 2022. LBC swiftly organised an impromptu discussion between the two of us, moderated by Andrew Castle.
Kate is a social media influencer; Debbie is a physics teacher, trade unionist and journalist. [source: Twitter] The discussion is transcribed without further comment or analysis.
Kate (K): I’m offended every time Debbie is on the radio, on the television, because she doesn’t represent my community and you always speak to her like she does. I wish you would speak to somebody who wasn’t right wing. At the end of the day, I’ve got bills to pay. I have to worry about the cost-of-living crisis. I have to worry about the rise of food [prices]. I have a job to do. I work full time in an office, well from home next week. These are issues that matter to me.
Andrew Castle (AC): Why do you think that the views that she has espoused are against you and why do your friends think that?
K: Because she props up this idea of this debate about trans people. She’s underneath, underpinning it as the token trans person who agrees with it. So she doesn’t speak for our community.
AC: Now listen, if I was to get her on the radio, would you talk to her?
K: Yes, sure. I would talk to her. She knows who I am.
AC: OK, do you mind, Kate; do you mind if I do that? I’ve got Debbie on the other line because we called her back.
K: Of course.
AC: All right, here’s Debbie. Debbie, did you hear what Kate was saying?
Debbie Hayton (DH): I heard some of it, but I just came in quite late on to that, Andrew.
AC: OK, Kate, have a word with Debbie.
K: OK, Debbie, why did you transition? You wear a T-shirt which says you’re a male on it, you go round telling everybody you’re male. What was the point? What did you transition for? You even said in the Guardian in 2018, I think, that you didn’t like living as a man, so you decided that you would be a more effeminate man. You don’t even speak for trans people. What are you doing, speaking for us? You’re not part of our community. You’ve said it yourself.
AC: OK, Kate, let’s get Debbie’s response to that.
DH: I feel like an apostate! I transitioned to make myself more comfortable with my body. I was uncomfortable with it. I didn’t like my body, so I transitioned medically and surgically and now I am comfortable with my body. That’s why I transitioned: to improve my life, and it improved it massively.
K: So why are you trying to make my life more difficult? All this idea of the sport thing that you keep going on about. Banning transwomen from professional sport is like banning unicorns from horse racing. There aren’t any professional transwomen. It’s a silly thing to be going on about. I’ve got bills to pay. You’re doing all these TV appearances and getting paid a lot of money. This is why you’re doing it, you’re on the grift like all of you. On the grift! Get a proper job; do your normal job …
AC (interrupts): Kate, hold on a second, let Debbie respond to a couple because you’re going at her a bit.
DH: Can I just ask Kate a question? Why do we segregate sport in the first place, between men’s sport and women’s sport? Why do we do that?
DH: No, we don’t. We do it because male bodies – like ours – and female bodies – like women’s – are different. We have different sporting categories [because] otherwise women wouldn’t win very much in open competition. That’s why we do it, and when we transition …
K (interrupts): OK, so where are all these professional transwomen in sports? Can you name any?
AC (interrupts): Well Kate, there are …
DH (interrupts): This is not relevant. The fact is it’s a point of principle.
K (interrupts): You’ve banned people you want, actually. Not relevant? [Laughs]
DH: I’m not banning anybody. We can compete with men, the same way we’ve always competed with men.
AC: Hold on. Kate, just on this one …
K (interrupts): What about poor Emily Bridges on the bicycle? That was so unfair what they did to her. You are celebrating bringing down another transwoman from her career. Why are you doing that?
DH: If you would let me speak, Kate, Emily can compete with men, with her own sex. That’s what we should be doing. We should be campaigning for separate record keeping for people whose testosterone has been lowered and, also, we should be campaigning for separate changing facilities to maintain our dignity. We shouldn’t be campaigning to invade the rights of another group which we don’t have any right over. This is …
K (interrupts): Honestly, the language like invade is just not needed in things like this. Transwomen are not invading spaces. We have access to spaces: we always do, and we always will. We’re not causing any problems. If you’re worried about cis men, do something about that! Don’t push it all down on transwomen. And also, Debbie, nobody seems to mention this much but you spent quite a lot of time on Russia Today, didn’t you? Are you suddenly going to forget about that past now that we are having issues with Russia? You were quite happy to take their money. I’ll tell you what, you do this to me. Give all the money you earned from Russia Today to Ukrainian charities …
AC (interrupts): Kate, let Debbie respond to some of these quite firm accusations. Debbie, if you’re comfortable talking about that.
DH: I will say that I am being attacked brutally here by someone who is throwing lots of accusations at me.
AC (interrupts): So you must respond. Kate, I’ll come back to you in a second. But Debbie, the floor is yours.
DH: Well, I’ve spoken a lot over the past four years. I am concerned about trans rights: I am concerned about maintaining the right of trans people like me to live our lives in society and be respected in society. As I am. But I also respect the rights of women. I do not think that we should be – and I did use that word deliberately – invading women’s spaces and invading women’s categories. We should be campaigning for our own spaces and our own categories. I’m concerned about children …
K (interrupts): What toilet do you use, Debbie when you go to the toilet. When you’re at school or wherever you teach or you go to these TV studios, which toilet do you go in?
DH: Well, going back to school where I teach, we’ve got male and female toilets and we have additional separate cubicles around the school which is what I use. It’s not difficult, Kate. We should be campaigning for separate sex …
K (interrupts) …
AC: Hold on Kate, hold on a second, Debbie first, then you, then I’m done.
DH: We should be campaigning for separate sex toilets but additional provision for those who don’t feel comfortable sharing with our own sex. It is so simple, Kate. What we should not be doing is trampling over the rights of women.
AC: Debbie, thank you very much indeed, and I really appreciate you coming back on and accepting the possibility of a conversation with Kate. Debbie, thank you. Kate, last word to you before I head to the news.
K: Yeah, segregation of toilets comes from the south of America when they used to segregate black people because they felt they had syphilis.
AC: Erm, um, OK??
Transcribed by Debbie Hayton