I’m much more on fence on this issue and am only 18

As I take this survey, I will let you know I don’t think I’m the right demographic. I’m much more on fence on this issue and am only 18, so there is a lot of time for me to grow and change I hope. But I’ve heard from people who have met you that you are a very nice, reasonable person and so I thought I’d fill this in. Sorry if it isn’t what you are looking for.

I care about this issue because I feel frightened by the way debate is being shut down. This issue is hugely nuanced and complicated, but…

…many trans advocates seem to think that if you don’t accept every part of their beliefs and if you even question them, you are transphobic. I simply cannot accept that, yet I see JK Rowling bringing up legitimate concerns only to be called ‘scum’, ‘transphobic’ and a horrible person.

I even felt scared to ask my 5 active twitter followers to give the blog a read in case it hurt my job chances in the future. And I’m very undecided on this issue. I didn’t even entirely agree with Rowling. The state of the debate is frightening and that is why I care about this issue.

I shared Rowling’s blog and have tried challenging a few people on Twitter to stop dehumanising Rowling and the other side of the debate. To try and empathise with their legitimate concerns. I have also discussed this issue extensively with my friends. One of whom agrees more strongly with JK Rowling than me and the rest who hate what she said and don’t think it is really worth considering. However we opened up dialogue there. My focus is not on convincing people to change their opinions, because I don’t know the right answer myself, but to be more empathetic to the other side and to try and understand their grievances.

I am certainly careful about what I say because I am in a very liberal bubble. The fact I feel worried even to say Rowling isn’t an awful person tells me how much worse it is for people going against the mainstream opinion on this issue. I hope we can further open up the debate and I am going to read more about this issue and educate myself further.

Sitting on the fence is also an uncomfortable position because I am transphobic on one side and sexist on the other. But this issue is far too complex for me to form an opinion lightly. I don’t think most people on the internet arguing so adamantly know what they are talking about and I don’t want to be that person.

Elspeth, 18 year old student