“Just when we thought it couldn’t get worse, it did”, said TransActual’s Managing Director, Helen Belcher, today (25 October 2022).
“This afternoon’s appointment of Kemi Badenoch as Minister for Women and Equalities, as well as the reinstatement of Dominic Raab as Secretary of State for Justice, Steve Barclay as Secretary of State for Health, Suella Braverman as Home Secretary and David TC Davies as Welsh Secretary mean that those in key positions for trans people have all made statements hostile to trans people.”
Belcher’s comments followed the announcements of new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet. Kemi Badenoch, when launching her July leadership bid, put ‘male’ and ‘female’ labels over her venue’s gender neutral toilet signs. She’s also been recorded, when talking about trans people, saying “you now want to have men using women’s bathrooms”.
“It’s the worst possible appointment as far as trans people are concerned”, continued Belcher. “Kemi Badenoch clearly wants to up-end what international bodies have considered as equalities for decades. She doesn’t appear interested in listening to trans people about the issues we face. Our new Minister for Women and Equalities talks about some undefined ‘trans ideology’ while pursuing an exclusionary ideology herself. All of this sends the strong message that she doesn’t see trans people as people, let alone people deserving equality.”
Steve Barclay is thought to have links to anti-trans evangelical Christian groups. He did not engage in discussions around trans people’s healthcare during his short stint as Health Secretary over the summer, despite media debates raging around the Cass Review into healthcare for trans teenagers.
Suella Braverman has actively discouraged schools from taking simple steps to support trans children and young people, has misrepresented the Equality Act in a manner that places trans people at risk of harm, and has also stated that it’s her ‘dream’ to see asylum seekers sent to Rwanda.
Dominic Raab is all in favour of rewriting the Human Rights Act, the watering down or removal of which could impact trans people’s family, work and home lives. The Human Rights Act has been the foundation of many court cases resulting in trans people being granted basic rights, like the right to marry and the right to privacy.
David TC Davies is well-known as a supporter of those campaigning against trans people’s inclusion.
All of these ministers are on record as questioning or downright denying trans people’s identities.
When asked what trans and non-binary people can do, Belcher replied “Buckle in. Be kind to yourself and others. Help campaigns which protect us, raise trans people’s voices, contribute to trans groups if you’re able. And most importantly, just be yourself with friends and neighbours if you’re safe to do so.”
Visit transactual.org.uk/change-actions for ideas of actions you can take to support trans people.