The ugly nature of the transgender debate – and the viciousness of those who seek to silence others who disagree with them – has arrived in the playground. At a private girls’ school, a sixth form student was surrounded by a mob of dozens of fellow pupils who spat and screamed at her. Her ‘crime’? Questioning a visiting politician’s views about trans rights during a debate and making the point that ‘sex exists’. That girl has now left school and is studying at home. Schools should be places where children can develop their own ideas and debate them. So what has gone so badly wrong?
‘I think I might be transgender!’ How should schools react to such revelations? By the time they find out, the child may already be convinced that their identity lies on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Probably with its own multi-coloured flag.
This week*, Nadeem Zahawi told teachers that they have ‘an important role in preparing children and young people for life in modern Britain, and teaching them about the society and world they grow up in.’
Actually, after 26 years in the classroom, I had worked that out for myself. Children spend significant periods of their lives with their teachers, and we have a huge responsibility that goes far beyond drilling our pupils for exams.
Transgender people need to be treated with dignity and respect at work. But our rights should not be allowed to ride roughshod over the rights of others. Yet it’s an unfortunate reality that, in the quest for inclusion, some workplace policies do just that – even in the heart of Whitehall.
Is there any way back for the LGBT charity?
The year 2021 has been an annus horribilis for Stonewall. For much of the last decade, the charity could do no wrong in the eyes of those who mattered. Stonewall’s influence cut straight into the heart of government. As Nikki da Costa, Boris Johnson’s former director of legislative affairs, pointed out:
‘There is no other organisation — no business, or charity, no matter how big — that can pick up the phone to a special adviser sitting outside Boris Johnson’s office and get that person to speak directly to the Prime Minister. But that is the kind of access that Stonewall has’Nikki da Costa
My view on a new Government bill which I fear will have damaging, unintended consequences
Stonewall was established in 1989 to oppose the now-infamous Section 28 – which prohibited local councils from intentionally promoting homosexuality. It then spent 25 years campaigning for lesbian and gay equality.
But, speaking to The Times, actor and gay rights campaigner Simon Callow said that the charity has taken a ‘a strange turn to the tyrannical’. Callow was talking about Stonewall’s push for self-identification for transgender people . He added that an ‘extraordinarily unproductive militancy’ now surrounded its position.
Ofcom has joined the exodus from the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme. The explanation came in a carefully worded statement yesterday in which the communications regulator explained that their, ‘commitment to supporting the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ people is as strong as ever.’