Suella Braverman says “schools should not pander” to trans children

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Citing JK Rowling as her “heroine”; Suella Braverman MP for Fareham, Attorney General and Queens Counsel has said that schools need to take a firm stance on trans issues, including her support for the exclusion of trans girls from girls bathrooms and all-girl schools.

In an interview for The Times Suella Braverman MP shared her support for anti-trans narratives in response to recent news items about our marginalised community.

She gave comment on an all-girls school group who said they would not allow trans girls to attend, she gave comment on a poorly sourced article about an all-girls school whose students allegedly bullied a student for saying something transphobic and she also said trans girls should be excluded from bathrooms and changing areas.

The article references comments made previously by Nadhim Zahawi that shocked the trans community, in which the Education secretary said schools should out transgender children to their parents. He also said trans girls could use the girls bathrooms, but only when they were not in use by other girls – which is unenforceable and definitely discrimination.

Braverman continues, attempting to justify her position by suggesting that because trans kids cannot apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate until they are 18 no-one has an obligation to respect them. This is completely untrue however and rather shockingly so for a QC and Attorney General.

Trans youth are protected the same way all trans people are; the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act 2010 says you cannot discriminate against someone on the basis of anything to do with being transgender – which is actually phrased as “gender reassignment” in the legislature.

Put simply; GRC or not, the law states that discrimination against transgender people is not lawful in the vast majority of circumstances. (Which I only add because single-sex exemptions exist, but have never been tested in law)

This is yet another attempt by this government to force a view of trans equality that just is not supported by the law. They are creating a situation wherein they use the GRC as a dividing line to quickly and easily decide which trans people are deserving of respect and which aren’t. The vast majority of trans people don’t have a GRC, and many can’t access it all due to age restrictions and the fact it does not include non-binary identities.

By defining the trans people they believe they have a legal obligation to protect down into such a narrow group they achieve quite a lot for transphobia. First of all they can pretend they are doing great things for trans people, and for some trans people its true – the GRC fee being reduced and the system moved online? Super helpful.

Best of all they can justify their mistreatment of the vast majority of trans people because well… surely its our own fault that we don’t have a GRC right? I mean, they made it easier for us and everything!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; trans people must resist the GRC. The way its being used is terrifying and inhumane. As for Suella Braverman? She should probably go back to law school for a few more years or maybe just like… not jump head first into doing transphobic nonsense.

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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