The Trans Agenda #30

[12 May 2024]

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The Trans Agenda

This week’s news brings a mix of progress and setbacks for the trans community. While billboards celebrating trans history popped up across the UK, anti-trans sentiment continues to grow and fester in politics and the media.

Scotland’s new deputy First Minister, Kate Forbes, is openly anti-trans, raising concerns about the future direction of LGBTQ+ rights in the country. Meanwhile, a complaint by Stonewall regarding the EHRC’s stance on trans issues was dismissed, further eroding trust in the institution.

In a positive development, a law firm is offering free advice to individuals facing legal threats from JK Rowling‘s lawyers, a welcome response to increasing anti-trans harassment. However, the media landscape remains hostile, with over 20 negative articles circulating in British newspapers in just four papers in the last week, as is standard.

Internationally, the situation is equally complex and depressing. While global institutions are being urged to intervene in Ghana‘s proposed anti-LGBTQ+ law, Argentina‘s LGBTQ+ community is raising alarms about regressive policies under the current administration.


John Swinney makes Kate Forbes deputy First Minister

  • It was always going to take a big promise from John Swinney to get Kate Forbes to drop out of the running to be the new leader of the SNP and Scotland’s First Minister and big it certainly was. On Wednesday, it was announced that the anti-trans, anti-gay, anti-choice, pro-religious Forbes would be Scotland’s deputy First Minister.With the SNP likely to take a hit in Scotland at the hands of Labour at the General Election, there is a very real possibility that Swinney will have to carry that can and Forbes will end up as leader of the party. From trans ally Nicola Sturgeon to DUP-wannabe Kate Forbes in around two years is nothing short of a move that would leave us all with whiplash.

Stonewall’s complaint against UK human rights watchdog dismissed

  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in Britain has defended its independence following a complaint by Stonewall and others. The complaint alleged that the EHRC was “trans-hostile”. The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, however, concluded after a review that the EHRC was compliant with its obligations and maintained its independence which is, quite simply, laughable. Baroness Falkner of Margravine, chairwoman of the EHRC, emphasised the commission’s commitment to balancing and protecting the rights of all individuals, underscoring the importance of its independence from both government and activist influences, but they are words she utters while continuing to work with anti-trans activists and government Ministers to erode trans protections.

Billboards placed across UK to honour trans history: “Always been here. Always will be.” [Gay Today]

  • A campaign featuring billboards across the UK honoured and raised awareness of trans history last week. The slogan “Always Been Here, Always Will Be” underscored the enduring presence and resilience of the trans community throughout history. These billboards were strategically placed in various cities to educate the public and foster a greater understanding of trans contributions to society. The campaign was met with positive responses, highlighting its significance in promoting trans visibility and acceptance.


Law firm offers free advice to those receiving SLAPPs from JK Rowling’s lawyers [Jolyon Maugham]

  • Writing on Twitter, Jo said, “I’m aware people have received what I would call threats of SLAPPs from Schillings, acting for JK Rowling, after criticising her. A major law firm – with good motivations – has indicated it will give initial free advice to recipients of SLAPPs from lawyers acting for her.”

Mother of trans boy who died in mental health unit calls for public inquiry [Sky News]

Cass claims that exposure to pornography could influence individuals to identify as transgender [Assigned Media]

Cass suggests trans kids can be treated with anxiety meds instead of puberty blockers [Pink News]

Where did Liz Truss’s anti-trans bill go?

  • Liz Truss has been trying for a while to get her anti-trans Private Member’s Bill a second reading on the floor of the House of Commons, but MPs from all parties have united to stop that happening, notably, filibustering about ferrets so that there would be no time left for her bill. After that, it was pushed down the order so, although it was on the agenda every Friday, it was never likely to be heard. Now, it is not even listed for this Friday. If you want to know what is, you can check out this week’s The Trans Agenda: The week ahead.

Cowardly Bud Light to ‘stay in our lane’ after Dylan Mulvaney anti-trans backlash [Pink News]

  • A Bud Light boss has said the brand will “stay in our lane”, following anti-trans backlash over a video with influencer Dylan Mulvaney after they sent her one single can with her face printed on it. One.

Times Radio is giving Kathleen Stock her own show to talk about trans people [India Willoughby]

Keep an eye out for –

  • Thursday is Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia so expect all of those to be on full display in the UK as people cry about it.

The Trans Agenda by Lee Hurley is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

READ The Trans Agenda: The week ahead 13 May – 19 May

  • This week in Parliament, keep an eye on debates around social media’s impact on children and the Women and Equalities questions, where Rosie Duffield‘s anti-trans views might surface. Meanwhile, Mental Health Awareness Week gets underway. Friday marks IDAHOBIT, a reminder that our fight for equality is only getting tougher. For the full view of what is on the agenda for Parliament and further afield, check out The Trans Agenda: The week ahead.

READ The Trans Agenda: The papers: 6 May – 12 May

  • This week saw the usual flurry anti-trans articles in British newspapers, with a total of 21 negative pieces published across The Guardian, The Times, Daily Mail, and The Telegraph. Headlines ranged from attacks on gender-neutral bathrooms (“Mixed-sex lavatories banned in new restaurants and offices”, The Daily Telegraph) to accusations of betrayal by private trans healthcare providers (“Trans clinic accused of betraying patients with care chosen by AI”, The Times). The Daily Mail celebrated a so-called “anti-woke revolution,” while other outlets criticised organisations supporting trans rights. The overall tone was, as usual, hostile and generally misleading. For the full paper review, check out The Trans Agenda: The papers.


Black transgender woman Starr Brown shot to death in Memphis. Her co-worker has confessed to the killing [Advocate]

Sydney council votes to ban books on same-sex parenting

  • In Sydney, the Cumberland city council has decided to remove books that depict same-sex families from its libraries, citing concerns over “sexualisation” of children. This decision has sparked significant backlash, including a petition with over 10,000 signatures calling for the ban’s repeal. Despite warnings that the ban may violate New South Wales‘ legal guidelines for public libraries, the council, led by Councillor Steve Christou, pushed the measure through by a narrow margin. Christou, who initiated the ban, admitted to not having read the book at the centre of the complaints, “Same-Sex Parents” by Holly Duhig.

Global financial institutions pressured to intervene in Ghana’s proposed anti-LGBTQ+ law [Guardian]

  • The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are facing calls to leverage their financial influence to persuade Ghana to abandon a law that could imprison LGBTQ+ people for up to three years. Advocacy groups are urging these institutions to threaten the withdrawal of financial support to prevent the enactment of the law, which is set for a supreme court challenge next week. The legislation in question seeks to penalise the identification and promotion of LGBTQ+ rights severely. Activists argue that implementing such laws would not only harm the LGBTQ+ community but also jeopardise Ghana’s economic development, including a crucial $3 billion IMF bailout and a significant debt restructuring effort.

Argentina’s LGBTQ community accuses President of regressive policies [Politico]

  • Despite Argentina‘s history of progressive LGBTQ rights, the community has criticised the current administration for reversing advances. Activists say that recent government actions and policies have undermined previous progress, causing significant concern among LGBTQ people.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader’s child comes out as transgender [The Pink News]

Trump criticised for stance on transgender students in sports [The Hill]

Western Carolina University investigates student who recorded video of trans woman in bathroom [Advocate]

California competition bars transgender and intersex surfer, then reverses course after backlash [Advocate]


UN Committee against Torture reviews human rights in several countries [OHCHR]

  • The UN Committee Against Torture has released its findings on human rights practices in Austria, Azerbaijan, and Finland. The report critically assesses each country’s adherence to international standards against torture and suggests improvements for protecting citizens’ rights.

Three British women who claim they were raped by Andrew Tate are bringing civil proceedings against the social media influencer and are seeking compensation of more than £100,000 each [Times]

Spain’s former football chief, Luis Rubiales, is to stand trial over the unsolicited kiss he planted on footballer Jenni Hermoso, after the country’s high court agreed to hear the case [Guardian]

Steve Bannon’s jail sentence upheld by appeals court [The Independent]

Get your Ferrets for trans rights stuff here



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