“She has a right to speak just as we have a right to challenge what she says. That is the nature of debate and it allows us to make change happen in society.”
Yet the leaders of School's Out refuse to engage in any kind of debate about their actions. They want to include someone in their History Month listings whose deliberate misrepresentations about trans people in the national press are not at all based on fact and which, in my opinion and the opinions of many others, are likely to harm trans children. They justify the event by promoting the fiction that we can "debate" and "challenge" what is being said.
The problem is that challenging something that goes out in the Daily Mail, or on the BBC or any number of other media platforms is completely impossible. Mainstream media have millions of readers/viewers/listeners, trans people have blogs and the occasional article in the Guardian ir the Independent if we are lucky. Challenging the falsehoods, fabrications and deliberate disinformation put out by anti-trans campaigners is virtually impossible, and in case School's Out hasn't noticed it is pretty much open season on trans children in the mainstream media right now. School's Out should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder defending trans kids, instead they are supporting transphobes.
So, I say to Sanders and Fenwick, CEO's of School's Out, I want to debate this, I want to debate the issue of your behaviour regarding supporting and legitimising a transphobe, I want to debate your suitability, as an organisation to be claiming to be helping trans children. If my existence is to be up for debate as you have stated it should, then your behaviour should definitely be.
Yet somehow you refuse to engage in any debate around this issue. so it is fine for a transphobe to debate my existence but not OK for me to debate your actions...? By refusing to debate with anyone in the trans community about this you have demonstrated not merely blatant obvious hypocrisy but a profound lack of awareness of how difficult things are for trans people, especially trans children right now. As an organisation claiming to be helping trans kids we have a right to expect more from you and you have a duty to be held accountable and to be judged by your own standards of open "debate". If you can't engage in a debate about your own actions then you have no right to be encouraging "debate" about other people's lives. This is especially important when that debate only ever seems to take the format of us trying to put right mendacious "alternative facts" as the White House would put it.
Update, a friend reminded me of this tweet by Julie Bindel;
More than a little relevent, and linking to this misleading article;
Whether or not School's Out wish to "debate" this with trans people is anyone's guess...