I believe it would damage me professionally to speak up

I am a senior woman barrister in a city where another prominent senior woman lawyer has openly promoted the TERF response to attempts to explore trans issues.  I believe it would damage me professionally to speak up because people’s “understanding” of the issues is so dominated by the apparent fairness and justice of openly supporting trans rights, and by the vigour with which this is promoted by others.   If I was directly questioned I would stand up for gender critical feminism, and make the obvious points to be made.  But fear of professional and social abuse is stopping me starting the conversations.

I have discussed the issues widely with my sister who is able to enter the debate in her own name.

Ros , Senior barrister, New Zealand


I worked in civil rights and foresee the consequences

Because this issue is so incendiary, I have been working person-to-person in my political communities to educate.  Most people just follow the dominant narrative without doing the research to see the pitfalls.  I feel once the facts are laid bare, I can move important people in relevant organizations.  Building networks takes time but burning bridges takes only a moment.

I’ve been more careful on this issue than I normally am, in part out of fear of repercussions but also because there’s so much emotion invested based on so little accurate information.  I have been looking for the receptive in various organizations in the hopes of awakening people who can influence others.

Tomboy, US

law survivor

A biological man will always be a man to me

This matters to me because I can’t bear the thought of women’s rights being taken by men who believe they are women. I don’t care what surgery they have, what hormone pills they take, what they think or how they dress, but a biological man will always be a man to me. I couldn’t bear sharing a change  room with them. I suffered domestic abuse (physical and mental abuse) and I have trust issues because of it. I have had glass smashed down my face leaving me scarred. I been punched several times and dragged from my bed by the hair while sleeping. I moved to the UK just to get away from him. He dragged me through the family court for 7 years until the court finally blocked all contact between him and my 2 sons (now adults). I’ve read the stories about trans-activists and the thought I could be attacked in a change room leaves me worried for myself and our future generation of young women.

I have expressed my views online but as a lawyer, I’d be struck off if I went public with my views. I have lost friends over the subject. I share your posts and other stories when I can.

I have lost friends and even family members have removed my from Facebook. I have quite a lot of gay and lesbian family members. They don’t all support the trans movement but those that do won’t speak to me.



I feel completely disempowered

I can’t believe that our most fundamental rights like the right to dignity in a same sex refuge are being removed.

I speak to people I trust but can’t really speak out. I wrote to my MP. The response simply confirmed that she supports trans rights and is also a feminist. No real answers to my concerns.

I’m afraid to discuss the issue with anyone outside my home because of potential consequences at work.

I’ve been called a TERF by previous colleagues. I no longer speak about it outside my home. It just feels that the world has gone mad and it’s now somehow taboo to talk about being female a d about female experience. I feel completely disempowered.

Natalie lawyer, Civil Servant , I can’t speak publicly on this

Healthcare law

How can we fight for rights for a group that cannot be defined?

The trans issue acts to hide the nature of women’s oppression. I am a Marxist and a materialist and I believe that women’s sexed bodies (in relation to childbearing) is the source of our oppression as women.   To deny the reality of this, is to make it seem as if there is no material basis to why we are raped, violated, beaten, subjected to FGM, bought and sold, burdened with caring, excluded, marginalized, underpaid etc etc etc.

Also, I am a lawyer. Legal rights stem from activism. Abortion rights, rape laws, marital protections, childcare, equal pay etc were won on the back of the “women’s movement”. How can we fight for rights for a group that cannot be defined. Are we really going to be able to fight for rights for “vagina holders”. Trans issues are a legal nonsense based on individual feelings, rather than collective needs based on material reality.

There are other issues. I have done immigration cases for 20 years. I do “gender based violence” claims for women and girls.  It took decades of campaigning to have “gender based violence” accepted as a “particular social group” (a refugee category). I have won cases for girls from Somalia based on the fact that 98% of girls will have their genitals mutilated and enjoyment of their sex lives permanently destroyed if they are returned there. Not a single one of those millions of mutilated bodies are “girls with penises” (I am so angry now as I am writing this).

How can people continue to use statistical evidence to highlight violence against women and girls if we are no longer able to define the bodies of women and girls.

TRA logic would say these are also “boys’ bodies” (trans boys) TRA logic would say “many girls are not mutilated” (ones with penises) Its such utter nonsense that I can’t even believe that I’m having to respond to such nonsense in order to continue to protect the lives of children.

I find it hard to articulate the amount of anger I feel at telling children their bodies are wrong!

I am getting more vocal every day!

I post regularly on social media. I comment regularly to friends.

I have been called a terf on numerous occasions.

I have been bombarded with anime threats of violence.

The most hurtful is that I have been a progressive activist and campaigner my whole life. Many of those I campaigned with now consider me to be a nasty bigot.

Barbara M, Socialist, activist lawyer


I have been very careful due to my fear of losing my job

I care because I work with domestic abuse survivors and know the majority of this abuse is as a result of sex based oppression

I give to fundraisers, educate friends family etc.  I have an anonymous 2nd Twitter account where I offer support and I attend pro women meetings to educate myself and show support.

I have not had any consequences, because I have been very careful due to my fear of losing my job.

Twiglet, GC feminist in a job that mutes my opinions


I appreciate as a lawyer that sometimes the rights of different groups can come into conflict with each other

I care as a woman, as a lawyer, and as someone who studied physics and believes in the value of science – of independently verifiable facts. I care about the meaning of words, particularly the definition of terms used in which have a direct impact on people’s legal rights and self determination. I care about consultation in a democracy. I care about women and girls’ voices being heard and respected, as so often in the past this has not been the case. In particular I want women and lesbians to be consulted – and heard –  if there is to be a change in the accepted definition of ‘woman’ and ‘lesbian’. I have genuine compassion for those experiencing gender dysphoria. I appreciate as a lawyer that sometimes the rights of different groups can come into conflict with each other. This is not uncommon. In such situations I believe in open, rational, respectful debate as a means to find a fair and reasonable compromise. I strongly oppose bullying, shaming and ‘cancelling’ people for simply having a different view on such issues.

I have read articles and blogs and essays to try to educate myself about the issues, then spoken to trusted family and friends.

I have ‘liked’ a few tweets and articles where I have agreed with the views being expressed, and ‘followed’ those posting them, several of whom are trans women, trans men or desisters. But I tread very carefully as I am fearful of the consequences.

There are some friends and family I will not raise these issues with as I am afraid they will think – quite wrongly – that I am  transphobic. I am not.

I have recently found myself blocked by the twitter accounts of people who I do not know. I suspect I may be on a block list somewhere for ‘liking’ certain tweets of which they do not approve. It makes me sad and fearful. I will never raise the subject at work. I am too scared of the consequences as they are very heavily and publicly influenced by Stonewall.

I have tentatively spoken to two good friends outside of work who each indicated at an early stage that they disagreed with my position that trans women remain biologically male. We are all politically on the left and they seemed shocked and disappointed in me. I now avoid the subject with them. Fortunately I have other friends on the left who share my view and understand it is rooted in science and not in any way hateful. I would never wish harm on anybody. I simply want to protect the existing rights of women and girls. 

Jenn, lawyer and former scientist.


It terrifies me that women (including myself) are so scared to speak out

I am deeply concerned about the no-platforming and the labelling of people (predominantly women) who speak out about transgender issues as transphobic.

I care deeply about the safety of women and girls.  I consider that hard fought rights for equality are at risk of being eroded and diminished.  It terrifies me that women (including myself) are so scared to speak out.  It is removing the ability to debate these issues and reach common ground/consensus. 

The threats of doxxing and being labelled transphobic are, to me, a form of violence and oppression against women, and yet another example of our struggle within a patriarchal society.

I am petrified of speaking my views due to my job.  I cannot afford to lose it.  My job involves giving advice on these issues, within the education sector and to vulnerable women (including victims of domestic abuse).  I do all I can to ensure that my advice is measured and points out difficulties in the “trans women are women” mantra, as well as pointing out the terms of the Equality Act.  However I feel I have to be extremely careful about anything I say and I cannot in any way appear gender critical. 

Only to my own conscience.  I feel I do all I can while keeping my job and family safe. I don’t speak up, and when I do, I do it anonymously.

Sorry, I can’t provide this, I need to be anonymous

law survivor

I will oppose any move to allow any male-born person access to female-only spaces

I care because women are still oppressed and progress will be reversed if we cannot maintain the reality of what a woman is.  Biological realities create issues for me that men generally do not face (eg I am smaller than my partner and he can physically intimidate me) and the oppression of women has affected all aspects of my life (eg I get paid less than male colleagues, have had to achieve more to be worthy of promotion, have been assumed to be uninterested in advancement, have been assumed to be a hysterical mother when my child had real health issues which were only taken seriously when my husband also spoke to the doctor). 

I think gender ideology is putting pressure on my daughter that did not exist when I was a teenager and I think it plays to a misogynist, porn-fuelled image of ‘femininity’ that increases female disadvantage and increases vulnerability to harm. 

I support human rights and would welcome genuine moves to protect individuals with any mental illness, including body dysmorphia.  However, I will oppose any move to allow any male-born person access to female-only spaces.

I started a Facebook group for friends who have daughters.  Posted and retweeted gender critical content.  Supported the Maya Forstater crowdfunder  Completed the GRA consultants and encouraged others to do so.  Donated to A Woman’s Place.  Left Lib Dems and have told them why every time they email me asking me to rejoin.

I created a separate Twitter account for my professional ‘presence’ because to be openly GC in my field would, I felt, leave me open to possible disciplinary action

KLM, 50+, multi-career, affected by infertility, sexual assault, mother of a daughter who is emerging into womanhood in a worse world than I did

law Parent

I care because I am a woman and I have a daughters

I care because I am a woman and I have a daughters and I do not want her to grow up with less rights than I had.

I have written to my MP repeatedly on this issue and I have alerted many friends and family to the issues at hand which most are blithely unaware of.

Apart from twitter suspensions I have not had negative consequences

ef, Solicitor