January 2022 Trans Safety Roundup

by Mallory Moore

Mon Jan 31, 2022 · 1221 words · 7 min

2022-01-04:

Anti-trans Twitter exiles from Gender Critical twitter flocked in a fairly significant migration over to far right social media platform Gettr largely within the span of a few days. Many of them have continued to organise there and were warmly welcomed among a mix of fascist groups and Coronavirus conspiracy theorists. It's not entirely clear what triggered this joint migration, but, Trans Safety Network did observe some key activists sending out messages to their followers directing them to the platform.

2022-01-18:

Efforts in the House of Lords to blanketly ban trans women from gender-appropriate public facilities and female prisons failed to secure enough support for a vote. Although this was a very extreme amendment, and unlikely to have a chance of passing, it was surrounded by considerable social media attention with a hashtag trending for days. It was later revealed by Logically.AI following a pattern from some of TSN's previous social media data work, that this trend had been considerably inflated from organic activity by a small cluster of highly influential accounts, suspected of automated inauthentic activity.

2022-01-22:

As part of ongoing monitoring of far right and anti-trans social media groups Trans Safety Network observed a mixture of Gender Critical and Far Right social media increasingly promoting each other. This is particularly disturbing in that it demonstrates the way that whatever remaining taboos existed in the UK anti-trans "Feminist" movement appear to be dissolving even further, and is part of a long term downward trend we have observed since early after our formation last year.

2022-01-25:

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held a meeting where they passed a draft resolution (Rights of LGBTI people: advances achieved are under threat, PACE says) condemning the regression in human rights for LGBT in the UK. This was countered by a delegation largely made up of Labour party politicians and led by Tonia Antoniazzi who attempted but failed to remove the paragraph naming the United Kingdom as a culprit for human rights regression from the resolution. The United Kingdom is planning this June to hold an international conference called "Safe To Be Me", where it plans to "support decriminalisation and legislative reform to advance equality and legal protections for LGBT people globally, tackl[e] violence and discrimination, and improv[e] access to public services." UK trans health service waiting lists, where information has been secured by Freedom of Information requests, can be as long as 7 years.

Separately, citing the court ruling last year in Forstater v CGD (which ruled that her anti-transgender "Gender Critical" beliefs were legally protected under the Equality Act, a UK court decided to allow an employment discrimination tribunal to go ahead by a man suing his employer for disciplining him after making hostile comments about "race mixing", against Muslims and against homosexuality. Although it is likely that these will ultimately be ruled to be a form of hostility that go beyond protected belief, the fact that this would not have been a case without the Forstater ruling indicates the corrosive impact that the anti-trans "Gender Critical" movement is having on all human rights law in the United Kingdom.

2022-01-26:

The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission published two statements pushing government bodies to hold back civil rights reforms affecting trans people. One of these was sent to the Scottish Cabinet, telling them to pause plans for reforming the Gender Recognition Act, citing the "polarised debate", and a lack of "detailed consideration" of the issues. Scottish parliament has been through 2 rounds of consultation on GRA reform, and before the current chair was installed by the Conservative and Unionist party, the EHRC had made a clear recommendation in favour of reform of the GRA 2 years ago, where they made directly contradictory statements fully supporting GRA reform and recommending that current regulations should be greatly reduced.

The other of these statements was issued to the UK Government consultation on conversion therapy - recommending a complete pause on legislating against conversion therapy targetting trans people, as well as an exception for religious "pastoral" guidance (conversion practices) "encouraging" members of the congregation to maintain theologically traditional sexuality.

We covered this in full here, where we maintained a list of the many human rights organisations speaking out against this shift in the EHRC over the following few days.

The same day as the EHRC guidance, Fundamentalist Christian activist organisation issued legal proceedings against seven psychotherapy regulators(archive) on behalf of Mike Davidson - boss of 2 major Conversion Therapy organisations on grounds of employment discrimination, based on his religious beliefs. It is possible that this was accelerated by the EHRC confirming its endorsement of talking based SOGI change efforts when they come from a religious background, above.

2022-01-29:

The fascist "Rape of Britain" protest happened in Telford. As mentioned in our piece on the 22nd, this protest had been being promoted in the live chat of anti-trans Youtuber and hate entrepreneur Kellie-Jay Keen, while she discussed conspiracy theory talking points relating to the protest - in effect hosting and encouraging people to attend, without her explicitly endorsing the protest. The protest itself had appearances from Ann Marie Waters of the party For Britain (who has a long track record of appearing at protests in Gender Critical merchandise and attending Gender Critical events unchallenged as well as many other well known Far Right figures. Hate research group Hope Not Hate identified neonazis present including former members of proscribed terror group National Action. Obviously this protest was not directly targetting the trans community, but it is a disturbing symbol of where the sinister fringe the anti-trans movement is feeding into.

2022-01-30:

We opened our Request For Comment process, attempting to develop a viable, accessible, easy to use definition and framework for how we talk about trans-hostile organisations. The goal is that we will simplify things so that people dealing with anti-trans hostility are able to collect evidence following a relatively simple pattern that will be easy to understand for others, thus improving on the current situation where cis-run organisations simply don't understand or respond to anti-trans hate.

We are looking for community participation in this especially because we want a useful set of tools for sharing knowledge with the community and collaborating. Please take part!