Press Releases and Statements

TransActual statement on press queries around NHS LGBTQ+ staff networks

On Friday (21st June 2024) we were contacted by a journalist from the Telegraph with the suggestion that we have behaved improperly. Such smears are not unexpected as TransActual continues to expand our work combatting the policy and legislative impacts of the anti-trans moral panic. 

We do not trust that our response will be conveyed in full, so we have chosen instead to respond via this statement. 

In short: we have done nothing wrong and we stand by the work that we’re doing to improve life for trans people in the UK.

What the journalist said:

“Trans Actual is using the [NHS LGBTQ+ leaders] network to lobby NHS staff and influence policy, sharing its information, research, and inviting staff to workshops and other events, as part of its campaign against single-sex wards and the ban on puberty blockers.” 

The facts:

TransActual recently sent a Pride e-mail to NHS LGBTQ+ networks. In it we suggested some content that people could share as part of their pride month communications, we invited them to the launch event for our Trans inclusive healthcare? Trans people’s experiences accessing healthcare in the UK report and our Trans inclusive hospital care resource. We also told them about our training and consultancy offer for NHS trusts and other healthcare providers. 

We did not mention the NHS Constitution consultation or the proposed changes to the constitution, and we did not mention puberty blockers or the urgent judicial review that we are bringing.

Don’t just take our word for it, read the email for yourself.

What the journalist said:

“Chay Brown is also a patient voice rep on the gender services board for which he regularly meets with senior officials and is entitled to claim up to £150 for a day. I recognise that this is a legitimate position in itself, but Chay also holds or has held senior director roles at Stonewall and is involved in legal action against NHS England with law firm Leigh Day re waiting times for surgeries.”

The facts:

Chay Brown (he/him) is TransActual’s Director of Operations and Director for Healthcare. He used to work for Stonewall as a Senior Officer, not a Director. He became a Senior Officer after being promoted from his entry-level Officer role. His work was not trans-specific nor was it healthcare focussed.

Neither Chay nor TransActual are claimants on the Leigh Day case on phalloplasty and metoidioplasty waiting times. We are, however, supportive of the case. We are helping them to recruit claimants, speaking at their events about the case, and sharing the information we gathered whilst campaigning on the matter.

In his personal capacity, Chay is a Patient Public Voice representative on the NHS Gender Dysphoria Programme Board. He has always been open and honest about the different roles he’s held in the past and holds currently. All members of the board fill out paperwork when they join the board in which they declare their interests and anything that could be perceived as a conflict. Chay of course completed this accurately and declares potential conflicts of interests as and when they arise during meetings.

No concerns have ever been raised about Chay’s integrity as a member of the Gender Dysphoria Programmes Board, or for that matter, his integrity in relation to anything else.

What the journalist said:

“TransActual director Jane Fae claims to be an “active supporter of the Consenting Adult Action Network”, according to an Independent biography and tweets, which has campaigned to decriminalise the possession of “extreme pornography”. 

The facts:

jane fae is TransActual’s Director of Communications. She is a supporter of the Consenting Adult Action Network, which is a network set up to support the right of consenting adults to make their own sexual choices. She’s also a supporter of the English Collective of Prostitutes, the Internet Watch Foundation, and Cats Protection.

Many individuals and organisations opposed/oppose the extreme porn law in the UK. For example, in their legal case against the law, Solicitors Hodges Jones and Allen argued that it is unclear (insufficiently defined in the legislation and insufficient guidance provided by the legal authorities) and disproportionate to the purpose it is intended to achieve. Read a comment piece by jane on extreme porn laws.

She also wrote Taming the Beast, a book described, amongst other things, as a ‘very good law textbook’, which set out at much greater length the problems with government responses to online smut, and highlighted how the law is often used disproportionately against (LGBTQ+) minorities.

Incidentally, jane was not involved in the sending of the email that the journalist is so worried about, so we’re not sure why he felt that she was relevant to his article.

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