University of Bath

Transphobia in the UK: confronting anti-trans fear mongering

This seminar addresses the transphobic character of opposition to proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), 2004.

14 Nov 20181.15pm
14 Nov 20182.05pm
LGBT rainbow pride flag
The Government consultation for reforming the Gender Recognition Act was reopened in July this year

The International Relations and European Politics (IREP) Group invites you to a timely event that will discuss the Government’s recent public consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act (2004).

This lecture will feature insights from the Bath Students Union’s LGBT+ group Co-chair Emily Hunt, and Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies (PoLIS) experts Dr Fran Amery and Dr Penny Miles.

On 22 October the Government formally closed its public consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act. The consultation was opened in July of this year, and over the summer the issue of transgender rights was brought to the forefront of public debate. With this came a vociferous opposition from some feminists, who sought to repeatedly discredit and damage efforts made by trans-activists. This small, but nonetheless vocal minority has been at the forefront of spreading myths and scare stories about potential reforms to the GRA. Most notable among these were allegations of a supposed threat posed by transgender people to women-only spaces. These oppositional voices have been able to make themselves heard, having been given prominent platforms on radio and TV programmes, and in the press.

Given the often toxic and hostile character of the discussions that have emerged over the summer, IREP seeks to confront this scaremongering head on. The event will open with short presentations by the event’s two principal speakers. Firstly, Dr Fran Amery will give some context to the GRA consultation, before going on to dispel the falsehoods spread by anti-trans activists. She will also discuss the links between these activists and certain groups on the Christian Right.

Thereafter, Emily Hunt will shed light on the everyday challenges faced by transgender people in the UK and link these to the existing legislative framework in place in this country. Dr Penny Miles, as the event’s discussant, will then respond to the two presentations, before the remainder of the session is opened up to questions from the audience.