Allison Bailey: “I do not identify as a lesbian, I am a lesbian”

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This nonsense phrase was said, rather triumphantly, during her tribunal as a means to justify an objection she had with language being used on a document regarding supporting LGBTQIA+ lives.

The Allison Bailey tribunal has, so far, been rather disastrous for the anti-trans crowd in my humble and non-legally binding opinion. Admin issues, complaints about pronouns in usernames in the chatroom and bundle nonsense aside; it really does not appear to me that the evidence to support her claims is being met. Which as you can imagine, is bad.

For example, we started the tribunal with witnesses from Fair Play For Women, Women’s Place UK and FiLiA(yes, the same three groups invited to the Women’s and Equalities Select Committee to explain their opposition to GRA reform). They were tasked with defending their witness statements and specifically the bits that said; “women and/or lesbians are more likely to be gender critical”.

This is important because if its true that women are more likely to be gender critical then it would support the claim of indirect discrimination based on sex and sexuality, which is what Bailey alleges happened. However the barristers supporting the defendants, Garden Court Chambers and Stonewall UK, were very quick to shut this idea down. Not only citing polls which disprove that anti-trans views are more common amongst women, such as one by YouGov, which aren’t hampered by the selection bias of dedicated anti-trans groups. But also with a thorough cross-examination of supporting evidence too.

Barristers found that none of the groups had any data which they could provide to support the claim they had made. They do not survey their guests for their sex, gender identity, sexuality or even check to see if they believe in the gender critical views being attributed to them for merely attending an event or following a Twitter account.

At best the claim these groups could have supported would be that “people who attend our meetings are more likely to be women based on observation, not data.” But that isn’t what they wrote as part of their witness statement and would not support the legal claim to indirect discrimination Bailey has made.

Bailey’s evidence has been no better either. Large parts of her claim rest on her belief that events took place with no proof or evidence to back up that they actually did. Including essentially her entire claim that Stonewall and staff from her chambers were acting in cahoots to oust her.

Some of my favourite parts have included; referring to Stonewall UK’s Diversity Champions Scheme as a “criminal protection racket”, saying with her full chest that she – as a criminal barrister, no less – knew the severity of accusing someone of coaching people to coerce young lesbians into sex they do not want. Yet she did it anyway, only to then walk that back slightly saying what she meant by coercion was “encourage”. Also the fact that she has absolutely no evidence that supports the claims she makes about what the ‘Cotton Ceiling’ talk in Canada was about, because she wasn’t there and neither was anyone she knows.

We also have Bailey claiming that she was being “respectful” while referring to this woman, who she accused of coercion, as “male-bodied” for being transgender. Though I’m not particularly sure how as this term “male-bodied” originates from within transphobic organising, specifically its used as a means of arguing for our exclusion from women’s spaces. Not to mention the fact that without any acquaintance, friendship or relationship with this individual; its just rude as all heck to talk about their body like, at all, let alone within specific transphobic framings.

And yes, the “I do not identify as a lesbian, I am a lesbian” bit was comedy gold, but a very poor legal defense. Transphobes have spent so much time in their echo chambers riling each other up about transphobia they have forgotten how normal people speak to each other. The word “identify” has been twisted out of shape to mean and imply something it simply does not; “I am a lesbian” is the act of identifying oneself to be a lesbian. That’s all there is to it.

There is obviously still a lot more to go, with witnesses for the defendant needing to be cross-examined and re-examined and all sorts of other tribunal-y stuff. Usually I wait until the end of hearings to report on them, that way I can just cover it all and the result in one piece, but with how much media attention this one is grabbing I figured I’d take a slice for TransWrites.World too.

Gemma Stone
Gemma Stone is a transgender writer who has been covering the rise of transphobic hate campaigning in the UK. She has written hundreds of articles dissecting aspects of transphobia including debunking blatant disinformation. She is very tired and trying her best, and hopefully having a positive impact on such a beautiful community.

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