Free Speech

Teachers’ union seeks to change definition of transphobia

This astonishing, and badly written, document not only goes beyond the law — it makes demands incompatible with the law

Trans lobbyists want the term to go ‘above and beyond legal compliance’

I am a teacher but I am not, and I have never been, a member of the National Education Union. That’s just as well considering the extent to which transgender ideology has gripped the union. At their conference last year, delegates waved through a motion that instructed the Union’s National Executive to work with the Trans and Non-Binary Network (TNBN) to develop a Union definition of transphobia that goes “above and beyond legal compliance”.

It seems that their wish has been granted. Proposals apparently written by the TNBN — and seen by UnHerd — suggest that “transphobia comes from a rejection of trans identity and a refusal to acknowledge that those identities are real or valid.” But what does that mean in practice?

I’m trans, and I have no idea what a “trans identity” might be. As far as I am concerned, I am a human being whose mental health suffered as a result of a chronic psychological disorder. Gender reassignment offered some palliative relief. I’m thankful that I live in a society that accepts and includes trans people, and where it is illegal to treat us less favourably. What more do I need?

But the TNBN is on a mission not only to go beyond the law but also, it seems, to become the arbiters of what is allowed to be said.

The proposal continued with a series of examples of transphobic behaviour that “can come in many different forms”. Top of the list was the “incorrect use of pronouns”, swiftly followed by a garbled mishmash of ideas:

Propagating ideas, concepts and misinformation harmful to trans people and which erase and ignore trans history, such as trans as an ideology or contagion.

National Education Union Trans and Non-Binary Network

This has the hallmarks of a power-grab by an activist lobby that thinks it can determine the correct use of pronouns. If it gets its way, where does that leave members of the Union who think differently? Perhaps, teachers who hold the view that pronouns indicate someone’s sex? In extremis, where would it leave a member who was unwilling to refer to a male rapist as “she”? In a kangaroo court it would seem.

Those of us who can recognise a quasi-religious ideology when it stares us in the face — and demands our compliance — or who have weighed the evidence and concluded that there is indeed a contagion among children who identify as transgender, are presumably transphobic.

Further down the list, physical spaces are cited. Deliberate exclusion of trans people? Transphobia! Pity the women in the Union who might want to maintain single-sex spaces.

This astonishing, and badly written, document not only goes beyond the law — it makes demands incompatible with the law. That is especially the case following Maya Forstater’s Employment Appeals Tribunal victory. The National Executive Committee must consign this document to the bin. No doubt they will face further accusations of transphobia but, frankly, the word has become overused to the point where it is now meaningless.

Debbie Hayton

* This article was first published by Unherd on 11 October 2022: Teachers’ union seeks to change definition of transphobia.

By Debbie Hayton

Physics teacher and trade unionist.

6 replies on “Teachers’ union seeks to change definition of transphobia”

Looking at the picture at the top of the article, I have always wondered why trans people, despite being such a small group, and so very public. Perhaps it is because being seen and accepted as the sex they want to be gives them confirmation that they are successfully “passing”. As a gay man, I always tried to be anonymous.

That may explain why they are very public, but it doesn’t explain why they are so aggressive in pushing their ideology. They are like poker players who are playing weak hands. If they can convince the public that their ideas are real, they can win the “game” despite the fact that their ideas are clearly false.

Actually, they are taking a page out of Donald Trump’s book. Trump realized a long time ago that if a lie is spoken often enough, people will accept it as the truth. One thing is for sure: They are making an aggressive power grab, trying to take more power and influence in society than they should have.


The more I research this, the darker it all gets. Have you investigated where the money trail leads in trans ideology? I’ve only just begun looking at that, but some sources suggest there’s a deliberate funding of trans ideology by rich “benefactors”, in order to make money from the lifetime drug prescriptions and surgery required. Certainly it’s not merely passive contagion among children when educational organisations, the NHS and major political parties are all pushing it, but these could be interpreted as a kind of socio-political contagion as well.

The issue is presented as both a medical issue, which automatically elicits sympathy, and a social-justice/human-rights movement, which automatically suggests it’s the latest awakening of the species from our patriarchal slumber. But we must also consider whether, in this uber-capitalist (peak-oil) world, some of the rich are looking to profit from funding transgenderism. If they can normalize the medication of body modification, the seam might run much deeper and be mined longer, since trans-humanism will be the next big craze, with AI brain transplants and designer genetic engineering. Exposing such a money trail would be a powerful weapon, as it was for tobacco and fossil fuels.


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Incidentally, I thought the NEU Resolutions weren’t available at that link, but now see it’s a link from there to a .docx document…where I read:

‘Conference notes that:

⦁ transphobic hate crime has increased fourfold over the last four years

⦁ transphobic news stories are a continued and escalating blight on trans and nonbinary members’ lives, with severe consequences on mental health

⦁ the continued organising of transphobic groups, some directly into schools and contrary to the Union toolkit, causes confusion as to the legal rights and obligations for schools and also further fuels transphobia’

and yet (continuing):

⦁ while as a Union we are at the vanguard of trade unions standing up to racism, sexism and Islamophobia, there is still no working definition of what being transphobic means;’

Right, so it’s being fueled and has increased four fold, but we don’t know what it is yet.

As you say, it’s badly written, and I’m not at all sure what the next bit means:

‘ and [Conference notes]

⦁ the concept of “gender being a social construct” is not relevant to the Equality Act 2010 or to Union policy on supporting trans and non-binary members and that it is used by transphobic groups as a wedge to separate trans and non-binary people, from cis people, in terms of rights and discrimination.’

It then goes on to advocate measures to support trans and non-binary identities and fight transphobia, including:

‘⦁ ensure that the guidance produced on transitioning, on transphobia and on supporting trans students is available in hard copy for activists and highlighted appropriately in our communications; and

⦁ ensure that appropriate funding is provided to support the production of the forthcoming “coming out guide” and that it is published across the Union.’

It’s ironic that the first paragraph under the LGBT+ discussion is this:

‘Conference re-asserts the importance of Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in the curriculum, and the need for students to critically explore a range of approaches in this, as in every area of the curriculum.’

How are students going to explore critically when only one position is obsessively fought for, dissent is cited endlessly as a “phobia”, despite being undefined, and students can get hard copy of their “guidance on transitioning and transphobia”? This is not education, it’s clear indoctrination with a political position. It even goes on to whine about protests from “right-wing commentators,” clearly taking a political side as left-wing, and “religious groups,” ignorant of the fact that it is acting like one.

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Thanks Debbie you are excellent at hitting the nail on the head (pls edit anything wrong to post). – eek sorry long!

Demands get greater and £millions of tax payers money pays for this in schools nhs and gov bodies despite need for huge cutbacks in spending to sort economy out. As the bible says “the love of money is the root of…” To control what people say is surely totalitarianism and very scary. Changing and ignoring truths is Orwells doublethink. Both men and women with various religious beliefs, women and children and all detransitioners are its victims, as well as the brainwashed who think they have actually changed sex when this isn’t possible because sex is a biological physical basic fact of life. All are in danger from this eg- 2019 America, an obese man goes into hospital in agony, tell them HE’S a man, they can’t find anything wrong, do tests, send him home while wait for tests to come back. Call HER back in for an emergency caesarean, but it is too late, the baby dies.

Terrible things have already happened, what will it take to show this is discrimination to females, why don’t CEDAW step in, they are for stopping all discrimination to women and girls based on sex and to eliminate sexual stereotypes, which this movement is based on. My niece said because she likes male and female things she is non binary and is letting her baby choose it’s sex. Women children have been raped in what used to be single sex spaces but are now unisex (prisons, intimate care, toilets etc) so many horrific attacks ignored by general media even led to women committing suicide. People losing jobs/being physically attacked by fellow students for speaking basic facts. In some countries womens shelter/rape centres close down because can’t exclude males. A judge refused a female victim of rape compensation, after publically humiliating her in court, repeatedly ordering her to call her male rapist attacker a ‘she’. He had self ID’d as female AFTER arrest. Less women will come forward knowing they will be a victim of coerced speech, and he’ll be sent to a female prison anyway. Horrific treatment of detransitioners who blame themselves (obviously not their fault) – one girl said the bullying from the people who helped them transition is unbearable, they are told they are traitors. I have read many stories of how children are, well brainwashed. It’s tragic. Why on earth don’t those in power see the pain this inflicts. Typical fact I’ve read – “I thought I’d see me as a boy but in the mirror I see a mutilated girl”. I’ve read studies show more people are suicidal during and AFTER transition, than before. One study was over 30 years over 5000 people.

This movement doesn’t help trans people who know what sex they actually are and don’t want this attention, just want to get on with their lives. And my worry, just as the German people were blamed for what the Nazis did (NOT their fault they were terrified of saying anything, like we are now), will people blame trans people and the general public for this? Why can’t we just say anyone can dress however they like, since the 60s flower power when both sexes had long hair wore dresses flowers, most people are cool that people can present themselves however they like.

A twist to all this – a man who helped write gra 2004 admitted no women were consulted and they didn’t consider impact on women at all. They just needed to NOT state anyone can change the sex on their birth certificate (gras & self ID laws allow) because –
1. Change isn’t public record, must be kept secret, anyone who mentions it can be fined/imprisoned (as much as £5000 in some countries) so innocent people unwittingly become criminals for speaking the truth.
2. point 1 means a male has access to all female spaces and awards meant for women (against CEDAW articles)
3. Someone studying family history 100 years time eg looking for gt gt gt grandfather, they’ll find a woman and come to a dead end. Think this can’t be them, wrong sex, already found gt gt gt grandmother. So he has been erased from history -from pt 1. Fact his sex was changed is not public record.

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