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Kate Harris

LGB Alliance

Stonewall was founded in 1989 to fight for the civil rights of gay, lesbian and bisexual people. It has played a leading role in advancing these rights, from the abolition of Margaret Thatcher’s hated Section 28, to securing an equal age of consent, civil partnerships and gay marriage.

Since 2015, Stonewall has also campaigned on trans issues. We believe the organisation has made mistakes in its approach. These mistakes are undermining women’s sex-based rights and protections, and damaging the relationship between transsexual people and women - a relationship which had been positive for many years.

On Oct 19th the Government’s public consultation on proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act closes, so it is important that there should be debates amongst us all about transgender politics and the rights of women and girls. Stonewall disagrees and calls debate on this matter of public policy transphobic.

Stonewall’s promotion of the concept of 'gender identity’, which has it that a man or woman is anyone (of either sex) who identifies as such, is also undermining the basis of lesbian, gay and bisexual identities as orientated around same-sex attraction. Lesbians in particular are coming under pressure to accept male-bodied trans women into their spaces and as sexual partners.

At the moment, Stonewall is failing in three key ways:

  • By uncritically adopting a form of transgender politics which undermines the sex-based rights of women and the concept of homosexuality itself
  • By refusing to recognise the diversity of viewpoints on these issues, including among LGBT people.
  • By seeking to prevent public debate of these issues by branding as transphobic anyone who questions Stonewall’s current trans policies.

We call on Stonewall to:

  • Acknowledge that there are a range of valid viewpoints around sex, gender and transgender politics
  • Acknowledge specifically the conflict that exists between transgenderism and sex-based women’s rights
  • Commit to fostering an atmosphere of respectful debate, rather than demonising as transphobic those who wish to discuss or dissent from Stonewall’s current policies

Founding signatories, in alphabetical order:

Venice Allan, privately prosecuted for live-streaming Linda Bellos OBE

Frances Barber, actor

Jonathan Best, former director of Queer Up North International Festival

Julie Bindel, journalist and feminist campaigner

Paul Burston, author

Maureen Chadwick, screenwriter

Beatrix Cambell OBE, writer

Hannah Clarke, co-founder of ManFriday

Rachael Dartnell & Louise Paine, co-founders of Let A Woman Speak

Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of Transgender Trend

James Dreyfus, actor

Simon Edge, former editor of Capital Gay and writer for Attitude

Eileen Gallagher OBE, television producer

Claire Graham, intersex advocate

Darren Johnson, London Assembly Member 2000-2016

Dr. Jane Clare Jones, writer and philosopher

Judith Green, co-founder Woman's Place UK

Kate Harris, former Stonewall supporter

Jane Harris, author

Kristina Harrison, socialist campaigner and transwoman

Philip Hensher, author

Graham Linehan, writer

Ann McManus, screenwriter

Rose of Dawn, social commentator and transsexual

Anne Ruzylo, feminist activists and ex-Prison Service

Gita Sahgal, founder of the Centre for Secular Space

Ruth Serwotka, Co-Founder Woman's Place UK

Ann Sinnott, former Labour councillor

Kathleen Stock, philosopher

Professor Sophie Scott, cognitive neuroscientist

Caroline Spry, television producer

Helen Watts, former leader at Girlguiding UK

Nicola Williams, director of Fair Play For Women

Miranda Yardley, transsexual rights activist

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