Transsexualism – wanting to change physical sex because you feel you are ‘in the wrong body’ – has become an increasingly high-profile issue. People in the public eye have ‘changed their sex’, and the media normalises transsexualism. There has been a corresponding push for greater transsexual rights. This briefing introduces some of the issues at stake.
Stonewall supporters – including its founder – have attacked the LGBT lobby group over its stance on transgender issues.
In October 2018, LGB campaigners called on Stonewall to foster “respectful debate” rather than demonising anyone wishing “to discuss, or dissent from” its transgender policies.
In a letter to The Sunday Times, 22 campaigners including Stonewall founder Simon Fanshawe accused the group of intransigence and said commitment was needed “both to freedom of speech and to fact instead of fantasy”.
They wrote: “The government continues to treat Stonewall as if it represented the views of progressive thinking in general, and specifically LGB opinion. It does not.
“We believe it has made mistakes in its approach that undermine women’s sex-based rights and protections.
“The most worrying aspect of this is that all primary-school children are now challenged to review their ‘gender identity’ and decide that they may be the opposite sex if they do not embrace outdated gender stereotypes.”
Mr Fanshawe, who co-founded Stonewall in 1989, blasted the organisation’s failure to protect women from violence.
He said: “I have never seen a feminist placard that says ‘Death to trans people’ but I have seen many placards that say ‘Death to Terfs’ or ‘Punch a Terf’.”
‘Terf’ or ‘Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists’ is a derogatory term used to vilify women who deny that it is possible for someone to change their biological sex.
Fanshawe added: “The violence coming towards lesbians is completely staggering. If Stonewall can’t defend lesbians then we will have to look at setting up an organisation that will.”
Former Stonewall Chief Executive Ruth Hunt, who the signatories call the “architect” of the pro-trans policy, was recently made a life peer.