Categories
Data Collection

What about the sexual orientation question in tomorrow’s Census?

This piece was originally published on 20 March 2021, the weekend of the decennial census in England and Wales.

This weekend’s census in England and Wales has been overshadowed by a debate on questions of sex and gender identity – Q3 and Q27 to be precise – but rather less has been said about Q26, which for the first time will gather data on sexual orientation.

Categories
Children

Trans Controversy

Sir, On March 8 we heard a series of MPs say that they oppose conversion therapy. We all do — as long as we agree on what it means. No one mentioned the most glaring example: gender non-conforming young people, especially girls, being converted from lesbian, gay or bisexual to “trans”. Many girls think they’re boys, and vice-versa, because they’re being taught that everyone has a gender identity that may differ from their sex. They hear from online forums that they may be “trans” and that it’s fine to block puberty, take hormones and have surgery. This is conversion therapy in 2021 — it is just a reworking of ugly homophobia.

Categories
Data Collection

Why the census sex question needs to be protected

Since 1801 the decennial census has asked us to state our sex. But never before has such a simple question generated such controversy. Yesterday, it ended up before a high court judge. With the 2021 census less than two weeks away, Mr Justice Swift ruled that the guidance accompanying the question should be changed.

Categories
Free Speech

On International Women’s Day we must ask, why are women being silenced on Twitter for stating basic biology?

For better or worse, Twitter has become the world’s public square. In theory, an open forum where anyone can speak to anyone who cares to listen to them. The reality, of course, is rather different.

Categories
Children

As a socialist and a trans woman, I never thought I’d agree with Rand Paul. But on this issue of protecting children, he’s right

Trans activists, like Biden’s pick as assistant health secretary, Rachel Levine, say schoolkids can choose to have puberty blockers and sex-change surgery. But confused children are too young to make such life-changing decisions.

Categories
Transgender

Why is the NYT perpetuating myths about trans life in Britain?

Readers of The New York Times might be wondering how trans people manage to survive in the UK. From the other side of the Atlantic the newspaper depicts a hostile climate where both the Left and the Right are out to get us.

Categories
Sex and Gender

Why does Penny Mordaunt think ‘trans men are men’?

Something dramatic happened in the House of Commons yesterday [1 March 2021]: Penny Mordaunt told MPs that ‘transmen are men and transwomen are women’. This mantra – for that is what it is – has been said so often in recent years that it might now be an unremarkable way in which to wind up a debate. But it is a worrying sign to see it repeated so unthinkingly in parliament.

Categories
Data Collection

LGBT: an elegy for the L and G

The LGBT community is expanding. The Office of National Statistics found that the proportion of the UK population — aged 16 years and over — publicly identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual increased from 1.5% to 2.0% between 2012 and 2017.

Categories
COVID-19 Education

Why aren’t exams going ahead?

When Boris Johnson talked about trusting teachers, I suspected that the government must be desperate. Trust is not a word I have head much in my 25-year teaching career. I am no longer trusted to go into a GCSE exam hall to look at the paper that my class is sitting in case I somehow manage to undermine the integrity of the exam.

Categories
Sex and Gender

The SNP’s transphobia muddle

For a party so devoted to trans rights, it seems strange that the SNP is less than forthcoming over its new definition of transphobia that their National Executive Committee adopted in recent days. The mind boggles over what they may be hiding.