Labour Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves has a problem with transgender women in changing rooms

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To which I say, okay? It very much sounds like your problem, why are you trying to make it mine Rachel Reeves? Deal with it on your own time, leave me out of whatever it is you have going on there.

In an article titled “Is Rachel Reeves Labour’s secret weapon?” for The Times, a publication widely known for its commitment to platforming transphobia, the Labour MP said a few transphobic things. Though The Times describe this as having “done some reflecting on the angst-ridden subject of transgenderism”.

Apparently a year ago when asked by Nick Ferrari, Rachel Reeves was “one of the many Labour politicians struggling to find a suitable answer”. Which as we all know, the only suitable answer for transphobes is the one that fully and wholly supports their belief system. Which in short is “transgender bad”.

The Times goes on saying Rachel Reeves “has one now though, rejecting the mantra that trans women are women for a punchy, more JK Rowlingy position”. Ironic they would use the word “punchy” given the amount of threats of violence I’ve been in receipt of for criticising this piece.

According to The Times Rachel Reeves has said: “biology is important, a woman is somebody with a biology that is different from a man’s biology” a statement which ignores the vast differences amongst women’s biologies – even when you’re only counting women “born women”(assigned female at birth) in that.

Rachel Reeves continues, claiming that “sensible decisions” are being made in sport about who can/cannot compete. Though these sensible decisions have been widely criticised not only by transgender people but also intersex people and pretty much anyone who doesn’t want children to be subjected to genital inspections in order to compete. A thing that has actually been suggested by actual lawmakers who think they are actually protecting those children.

Rachel Reeves then says the thing I criticised with my tweet last night. That she would “have a problem” with a transgender woman with a penis using women’s changing areas. To which I say, okay? Why am I burdened with having to pacify the problems you have with my body? I’m unbothered, moisturized, happy, in my lane, focused, flourishing. You don’t just get to say “you make me uncomfortable through no fault of your own so you can’t come here”. That is just bigotry.

So I told Rachel Reeves she can wait outside. Which I stand by entirely, even despite the transphobic backlash who just didn’t seem to get that I was literally only treating transphobes the way transphobes would like to treat transgender women and arguing for their exclusion instead. Your transphobia is not my problem to deal with or work around. If you can’t use spaces with transgender people? Then wait outside until we’re done.

The tweet was picked up by transphobic Twitter via a Genspect advisor. A Genspect advisor who by the way has gone on record saying they support targeting a “100% desistance rate” in transgender youth, ie meaning they want there to be no transgender children at all. Which comes across very “tell me you want to do conversion therapy without saying you want to do conversion therapy” to me personally. Which leaked audio from Genspect appears to confirm.

With Rachel Reeves tagged in, all evening people posted photos of me as a child, others made fun of me for being a fat child or an ugly child, others still threatened violence against me. There were even others who demanded that I get reassignment surgery before using women’s spaces – which has numerous problems.

Reassignment surgery is often inaccessible due to wait times or cost and its also a blatant violation of bodily autonomy to demand people change their bodies to suit your beliefs. That’s literally why the GRA was so ahead of its time in 2004, because it didn’t demand that of us while many other countries laws did. Many still do and its awful.

One of the common threads that came up was this idea that “women say no” as if a specific minority of transphobic cisgender women either a) represent all women or b) as if that would make it any less bigoted. Lest we forget, it was once a majority opinion that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote, drive cars or have jobs. A lot of people believing a crap thing doesn’t make the thing any less crap.

But it isn’t a lot of people who believe that crap thing or even a lot of women. It’s a very vocal minority and we’ve had this proven time and time again; from inflated Twitter trends and botlike activity to official pollings showing that actually more women than men support transgender equality – with women being majority in favour of trans people’s rights.

Which shouldn’t surprise anyone because no duh those who also experience the downsides of not being the best boy in a patriarchal and white supremacist society are more keen to empathise with us. Not to mention the fact that often our fights are for the same things; lives free of discrimination, autonomy over our bodies and the end of hierarchies that value us less for not being straight white cisgender men.

So yeah, Rachel Reeves, if you have a problem with transgender women using the bathroom or changing areas? Then you can wait outside. As can any other transphobe. I am not asking for permission to use women’s spaces, I am asserting my rights to not be discriminated against for being transgender.

You need to find a way to deal with your problem without detrimenting me. Good luck.

 

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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