February Roundup 2022

by Mallory Moore

Sun Mar 6, 2022 · 1294 words · 7 min

2022-02-01:

A video went viral on TikTok depicting a gang of youths in Wembley threatening to murder a trans woman and her gay friend if they didn't leave a chicken restaurant. The BBC later interviewed them and the police were said to be seeking out the young men in the video.

2022-02-02:

Emails accessed through Freedom of Information Request revealed that the statutorily independent Equality and Human Rights Commission had been collaborating with anti-trans hate groups on trans issues. This took the form of the Chair of the EHRC switching away from her EHRC email address in order to conduct business separately through her email as a member of the house of Lords, uncovered via a separate FOI. Journalist Ben Hunte confirmed with 4 of the leading UK LGBT+ charities that they did not have a similar "top table" access to the Chair of the EHRC on these same issues, indicating that under the Tory-installed chair, the EHRC (the UK's National Human Rights Institute) had been giving preferential treatment to these hate groups which were set up originally to fight against Gender Recognition Reform. Further it was indicated that this had originally been initiated at the direction of a commissioner at the EHRC who had been involved in a key trans rights case (representing the party suing to shut down trans youth health care), and has a long history of advocating from a "Christian" perspective against LGBT rights.

This continued the outrage started on the 26th January when the EHRC issued guidance to hold up a ban on conversion therapy on the basis of gender identity altogether, and to leave a loophole for pastoral "encouragement" to maintain traditional religious sexual norms (such as prohibition on homosexuality). Several major UK LGBT+ and human rights charities have severed ties with the EHRC and are publicly calling for a boycott of the UK's "Safe To Be Me" global LGBT+ conference this year until the EHRC becomes accountable for it's abandonment of trans rights and the long proposed conversion therapy ban.

2022-02-03:

The Times of London newspaper issued its 3rd major correction of a trans related story of the year, this time recanting a completely unsubstantiated claim relayed from Twitter that a trans woman director of a rape crisis service had called the police on a cisgender feminist. The trans woman had been harassed and intimidated, including having parts of her home address published on social media by anti-trans "feminists", and removed her presence from public social media in the face of sustained and widespread harassment.

In January, disinformation analytics group Logically.AI published research claiming that anti-trans activists had been engaged in platform manipulation pushing an anti-trans hashtag into Parliamentary discussions. This research showed that associated trending hashtags actually had a small tightly networked group of accounts driving them. After this research was discussed further in left-wing magazine The New Statesman anti-trans activists were outraged by the suggestion that there had been "bot" activity inflating their online presence. As a public demonstration of the claims, members of Trans Safety Network replicated the platform manipulation technique sending the hashtag #ThisIsAnExploit up the UK Trending board beating a scandal with Boris Johnson to third place.

2022-02-08:

Local news service MK Citizen published a story indicating that a young trans man 12 years old committed suicide following an unchecked campaign of school bullying. Friends of the young man were reported to have placed the blame with the school, however the article itself was deleted the day afterwards. No further information has come to light about the young man's situation. Trans Safety Network are investigating, and will update when we have enough information to make any further comment.

2022-02-09:

With the help of materials provided by allied researchers who attended the event, we published a summary of anti-trans materials gathered at the LGB Alliance conference from October 2021. These provide an insight into the current state of anti-trans ideology and propaganda efforts to legitimise anti-rights campaigning as well as indicating a list of organisations participating in the event.

2022-02-16:

Deepening concerns which arose during January around the Equality and Human Rights Commission submitting guidance against trans rights reforms on gender recognition and conversion therapy, as well as a series of further revelations appeared in Vice News by former BBC LGBT Correspondent Ben Hunt, including collusion between the EHRC and anti-trans campaigning organisations, large numbers of EHRC staff reporting they were resigning or planning to resign over the internal climate of transphobia, and leaked draft guidance on single sex spaces from the EHRC attempting to ban up to 99% of trans women from using women's toilets. It's not clear that the latter would be legally within the remit of the EHRC to implement as a National Human Rights Institute. Further evidence was surfaced by trans activists using already published Freedom of Information disclosures which found evidence that the EHRC had modified an assessment published on the Human Rights Tracker website without any transparency in response to an email on Baroness Kishwer Falkner's personal House of Lords email account, rather than through official channels, further confirming the degree of collusion between the chair of the EHRC and anti-trans campaign groups. The changes made to the language describing progress on gender recognition reform made it more favourable to existing Government policy against substantial reform and thus neutralising some of the accountability function this website was supposed to serve.

2022-02-17:

Anti-trans organisation Fair Play for Women, who have professionalised from their previous record for attempting to recruit "gangs of lads" to "protect their daughters, lost a legal case in Scotland, with the ruling confirming that trans people can self-identify their sex for the purposes of the census and putting forth an argument that "sex" can have multiple definitions in Scottish law.

2022-02-18:

Anti-trans campaigning organisation For Women Scotland won a deeply technical strategic case focusing on the legal status of trans women in Scotland. Jess O'Thomson reports.

2022-02-21, to 24:

A planned book launch by trans academic Grace Lavery resulted in a furore of anti-trans activity, including a debate withdrawal resulting in huge quantities of personal harassment targeted at Lavery herself followed a few days later by attempts to target her friends and mother online, (with efforts urging suicide and engaging in "revenge porn" attacks).

2022-02-22:

Swedish health board publishes guidelines advising stopping of provision of hormonal treatment to trans under 18s. Our researcher Elijah Jaeger reports.