Education Healthcare survivor

I would be halfway through my transition by now

This issue is deeply important to me for many reasons.

I learned about Self ID and was panic stricken as I have been made a victim of sexual violence by men repeatedly, and single sex spaces are vital to my ability to access public services.

I like with chronic pain and C-PTSD as a result of the abuse I have suffered, and single sex spaces help me in managing my physical and mental health when out in public.  I also am a lesbian woman, and was horrified to learn about the new ‘Woke Homophobia’, whereby gender ideology and trans activists insist that men can be lesbians, and that lesbians are same ‘gender’ attracted not same sex attracted. This erases homosexuality, and makes the discrimination lesbians face impossible to address. I am also concerned as a primary school teacher, that child psychology and development is being ignored in favour of lobby groups who have their own aims and dismiss developmental psychology and basic child safeguarding.  And finally, due to sexual violence, I had a period of time where I experienced gender dysphoria and I understand how horrid it feels to feel trapped in your own body, but I know that this condition can be managed and recovered from, and I know that the basis for my dysphoria was sexual violence and my wish to not be a woman and escape sexual violence. Were I 15 years younger, I would be half way through my transition by now and it would have been a catastrophic mistake. I am deeply concerned for young lesbians and children who are being sent down an experimental and physically and psychologically dangerous path, as guinea pigs.

I have led direct action protests, I have spoken to friends and family, I have written to my MP, I have been vocal on social media, I have written an article, I have even shared information with dates!

I have had a Twitter ban, for a tweet that explains queer theory, which was bizarre. I have also had difficult conversations with friends who misunderstand the issues, many however, now support me due to their own observations. The most negative consequences have been during direct action protests where I have been intimidated, spat at, screamed at in my face by trans activists. I was also followed by a trans identified male, and was very unsettled. I am mostly concerned about being harassed by previous abusers, and by male trans activists. I feel frightened attending talks, in case someone is intimidated or violent.

Sofia, lesbian radical feminist activist

Education survivor trans familiy

If we cannot name our oppression, we cannot fight it

This feels like such an important issue for me for several reasons.

I have personally experienced the ways in which trans identifying males entering female only spaces completely changes the dynamic, effectively silencing female voices, even when the purpose of the space has been designed precisely to elevate women’s voices.

I see the violence and hostility directed at women for wanting to talk about our sex based rights as yet another iteration of male aggression, entitlement and dominance. Furthermore, I can foresee the long-term consequences of allowing gender ideology to supplant biological sex as effectively undoing all of the work of the women’s movement of the last century. If we cannot name our oppression, we cannot fight it.

Initially, I started posting articles and my own opinions on this issue on social media. I have also attended several events and protests that have sought to highlight or discuss this issue. I have also attended meetings for women only with a similar purpose. I have had private discussions offline with friends and family. And finally, I chaired a meeting on the sex based rights of women and girls.

Personally, I have lost several friends over this issue, or experienced others distancing themselves from me over it. I have also had disagreements with family members.

It has been scary, as a survivor of male violence including family violence, and having ptsd symptoms associated with it, to be confronted with shouting and aggressive posturing from masked individuals at the protests and meetings I have attended.

It has made me feel incredibly ‘unsafe’. It has also been unpleasant to be accused of bigotry, transphobia or branded a terf in online spaces. Lastly, my teenage niece is talking about her desire to transition, and this has adversely affected my relationship with her, and caused deep grief and stress to herself and other members of my family at a very uncertain time.

Jo , Concerned auntie, educator and advocate for women and girls