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Personal Testimony

Trans parent

Debbie Hayton shared her journey exclusively with Hood magazine. Stories are central to the human experience. By sharing them we make profound connections, we understand more acutely, and our compassion grows. Here, Debbie Hayton shares hers…

Do you really need to do this? Do you not care about the rest of us at all?’ asked my wife, Stephanie. But my energies were overwhelmed by my own needs; an inward focus that left nothing for anyone else. After a lifetime spent hiding my inner turmoil, my mind revelled in what I thought were new freedoms. I was talking about my gender identity; how I was a woman trapped in a man’s body, and why I needed to transition. That was eight years ago, in 2012. It’s hard for me to remember how it took over my life, though maybe easier for Stephanie, who had to keep her feet on the ground while my head was in the clouds.

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AGP Personal Testimony Sex and Gender

I May Have Gender Dysphoria. But I Still Prefer to Base My Life on Biology, Not Fantasy

Feelings and opinions have displaced facts and evidence in many areas of the liberal arts. This is nothing new. A more recent phenomenon, however, is the extension of this trend into the realm of biology, which has fallen victim to the idea that men can become women—and vice versa—merely by reciting a statement of belief. It is an insidious movement that combines the postmodern contempt for objective truth with pre-modern religious superstitions regarding the nature of the human soul.

The subordination of science to myth was exemplified in the recent British case of Maya Forstater, who’d lost her job after pointing out the plain truth that transgender people like me cannot change our biological sex by proclamation. “I conclude from…the totality of the evidence, that [Forstater] is absolutist in her view of sex and it is a core component of her belief that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate,” concluded Judge James Tayler at her employment tribunal. “The approach is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

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Español Sex and Gender

El transactivismo está dificultando aún más las vidas de las personas trans

Este año se popularizó la expresión no binario. El equipo lexicográfico del diccionario Collins en el Reino Unido ya recoge la entrada non-binary y la define como “identidad sexual o de género que no pertenece a las categorías binarias masculino/femenino, heterosexual/homosexual”.

La expresión no binario también figura en el manifiesto del partido Liberal Demócrata del Reino Unido, aunque para estas alturas la parlamentaria Jo Swinson quizás se esté arrepintiendo de ello. Es fácil hacerse propaganda con las palabras no binario, pero mucho más difícil explicarlas al electorado… o a periodistas. En una serie de complicadas entrevistas durante la semana, incluso negó el hecho de que todo ser humano es de sexo masculino o de sexo femenino. Soy docente y enseño ciencias: si la parlamentaria fuera mi estudiante, la esperanza se me habría ido al suelo.

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Personal Testimony Sex and Gender

Trans activists are making life harder for trans people

This was the year that the word ‘non-binary’ went mainstream. It has now officially entered the dictionary — lexicographers at Collins have defined the term as ‘a gender or sexual identity that does not belong to the binary categories of male or female, heterosexual or homosexual’.

Non-binary also entered the Liberal Democrat manifesto, though Jo Swinson may now be regretting this decision. Non-binary is easy to announce; it’s rather more challenging to explain to the electorate — or to journalists. In a series of difficult interviews this week, she even denied the fact that every human being is either male or female. I’m a science teacher; if she had been one of my pupils, I think I would have despaired.

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Children

A boy in a dress is just a boy in a dress

As a child of the 1970s, I can still recall the trauma of watching Elvis Costello jab his finger at me as he sang “Called careers information; have you got yourself an occupation?” My dreams of becoming an astronaut had already evaporated by then and I feared I needed to make a hasty decision before I was conscripted into Oliver’s Army — or worse.

A generation later, the stakes are far higher for our kids. Today the refrain might be Called social media; have you got yourself a gender identity?

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Children

The rush to diagnose trans children serves no-one

On Wednesday night [21 November 2018], Channel 4 broadcast a much-debated documentary examining the staggering rise in children being referred for consultation on gender re-assignment. In the last nine years, referrals for children to the NHS’s Gender Identity Development Service have risen some 2500 per cent.

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GRA Reform Personal Testimony

Trust and confidence must be restored

I am a transwoman but I am also a science teacher, and I do understand the reality of biological sex. It is the basis of the procreation of our species. There are seven and a half billion people on this planet and each has two biological parents – one female and one male – that’s real.

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GRA Reform Personal Testimony Sex and Gender

A Plea To Trans Activists: We Can Protect Trans Rights Without Denying Biology

International Transgender Day of Visibility falls annually on March 31, though even the most casual observer must wonder if we still need a day to mark it. In the three years since Caitlin Jenner transitioned there has been an explosion of transgender visibility. What might be lacking is an International Day of Transgender Understanding. Western society has been keen to affirm trans people, and that is to be welcomed, but it has been slower to think critically about the wider impact of legislative change, and particularly the effect on women and their right to organise and associate as a biological sex.

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Humour

Trials and Tribulations of Transitioning, part 13: The Telecoms Provider

Firstly, an admission, this isn’t part 13; it’s the first piece I’ve written on the subject, though my telecoms provider did supply me with enough material for a dozen articles when I changed my name four years ago.  That process was relatively painless, though my enthusiasm waned rapidly. Eventually, however, only two organisations eluded me: the Land Registry and the delightful people who supplied me with telephone and broadband.

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Education Workers' Rights

Transgender Day of Remembrance: How my union were my rock through transitioning as a teacher

On Transgender Day of Remembrance we remember trans people who have lost their lives in the face of ignorance, oppression and violence. I remember Lucy Meadows, a teacher who took her own life on 19 March 2013. Three months earlier she had transitioned in the full glare of the media after Richard Littlejohn wrote an infamous article in the Daily Mail: “He’s [sic] not only the wrong body … he’s [sic] in the wrong job”. Coroner Michael Singleton had no doubts about the role of the press in Lucy’s death. “Shame on all of you” he said, as he accused them of ridicule, humiliation, and a character assassination.

Unbeknown to the Mail, another teacher transitioned at exactly the same time. On 20 December 2012, the same day they published Littlejohn’s article, my news was shared with the pupils in my school. Despite months of planning, I was at my most vulnerable. I knew my career hung in the balance; my job would have become untenable had I lost the confidence of my pupils and their parents.