Oxford County Council

On 5th April 2022 Oxford County Council passed a trans inclusivity motion.

A representative from TransOxford and St Columbas Church, Oxford, were asked to speak in support of this prior to the debate. Here is the motion and the speech.

Motion by Councillor Sally Povolotsky

Transgender and non-binary people face significant disadvantage in society, vulnerable to violence, isolation, homelessness, and lack of access to suitable healthcare provision.

 

Council believes that:

 

1.    All UK law should clearly recognise that trans rights are human rights.

 

2.    Transgender and non-binary people deserve respect and autonomy.

 

3.    It’s therefore our duty as community leaders who seek to create an open and tolerant society to speak out against transphobia and discrimination in all its forms.

 

Council therefore resolves to:

 

1.    Ensure that all Council services, both directly provided and through partners, are fully accessible, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.

 

2.    State publicly that trans rights are human rights and affirm the legal rights of all protected groups under the 2010 equality act.

 

 

3.    To work with healthcare providers to remove barriers transgender and non-binary people face when accessing medical care.

 

4.    Work to provide at least one gender inclusive bathroom (accessible) where possible in every public building owned or operated by the Council.

 

5. Ensure that the Council’s constitution, policies, forms, and all internal and external communications are;

 

a.    Reducing the amount of gender information collected unless absolutely necessary,

 

b.    Respecting the pronouns individuals use for themselves,

 

c.     Providing opportunities for self-identification beyond the binary “man” and “woman”.

 

6.Encourage and support a network of informal LGBTQIA+ allies across officers and councillors.

 

7. Support and embrace the development of a LGBTQIA+ guidance within OCC for employees and contractors.”

Speech by Hannah Massie

In support of Transgender Inclusion Motion

Oxford County Council 5/04/2022

Ladies, Gentlemen and Enbees

 

I’m Hannah Massie from the support group TransOxford and I’m here to explain why we need this Transgender Inclusivity motion.

 

You see a few years ago a small group of people started a campaign to eradicate transgender folks from society on the grounds that their existence conflicted with their very particular ideological beliefs. Using long practised tactics, they started pushing propaganda demonising trans people, attacking those that support them and promoting groups pushing transphobia and exclusion using claims that trans folks threaten the safety and rights of others. They have taken to the courts to challenge trans rights, healthcare and support services while claiming that being transgender is a dangerous and false ideology.

 

Now none of this stands up to critical scrutiny nor is supported by the facts. For a start science shows that gender (identity) and being transgender is not an ideology but natural, biological and immutable. But that hasn’t stopped this campaign from achieving some success, with prejudiced, exploitable media and groups spreading the propaganda and attacking those who stand up against it. For the small trans community with already enough to deal with, this has been hugely distressing and harmful. But here let an Oxfordshire mother explain…

 

My daughter is transgender. In no way does that make her a pervert, a rapist, a paedophile or a threat to anyone else! She’s not a drag queen or a cross dresser. She’s not a boy that wants to be a girl. SHE IS A GIRL. I'm tired of the media demonizing transgender people and making them look like a danger to society when in fact it's society that's a danger to them (and other LGBTQ+ people)! 
This myth that you can wake up one day and decide to identify as somebody else is just ignorant garbage. Being transgender is real and dealing with it involves a long, painful, invasive, difficult, expensive, official process which requires ongoing medical and psychological testing, procedures and an official diagnosis. My daughter is human, she's not a fad, she's not a trend, she’s not a freak. She's a real person with real feelings. Ultimately, she's just a girl that should be treated like any other girl.

 

And that is what this motion is about. Recognising a small group of real people who have an extremely challenging natural biological condition and ensuring they are treated and supported as they should be. And it is about challenging and calling out those promoting falsehoods and hatred against that group and saying that, like racism, sexism, ableism and homophobia, there is no place in Oxfordshire for transphobia, however unwitting or however it is dressed up. I wish I had time to answer all the claims and questions, but for now all I’ll say is thank you on behalf of the community for what I hope is your support.

Speech by Chrissie Chevasutt (TW discusses suicide) 

In support of Transgender Inclusion Motion

Oxford County Council 5/04/2022

Hello everyone,

I am Chrissie Chevasutt. I work for St Columba’s United Reformed Church, Oxford, as their,

‘Outreach and Development Worker with Transgender, Intersex and non-binary people.’

This is a three-year full-time salaried position, created to help improve the lives and rights of transgender, Intersex and non-binary people.

 

Having been transgender from my earliest memories, and having survived multiple suicide-attempts through puberty and adolescence. I understand, first-hand the distress and torment many young trans people suffer.

 

January 2017.          Erin Shepherd, a young post-graduate in Oxford University took cyanide from her laboratory, and ended her own life.

 

In August 2017.        A few miles away in High Wycombe, Leo Etherington, a young trans boy came home from school and hung himself. He killed himself because his school refused to accept his identity or call him by his own name.

 

Since I started this job on January 4th,   I have had three trans suicides very close to me.

 

In February I attended the harrowing funeral of 15 year-old trans girl, Emma Boland, in Bampton. She had taken her own life.

 

A couple of days previously a young trans man, known to me, took his own life. He was surrounded by friends and appeared happy in his work. Sadly, his family, devout Christians were opposed to his transgender identity. In clearly premeditated action he had ordered online medication to end his life.

 

March 3rd.  Bicester.   15year old trans-boy, Virgil Rhone took their own life.

 

The toxic and relentless hatred against trans people makes trans youth extremely vulnerable.

It is exhausting for us as mature and secure adults. Trans hate crime is reported to have risen by over 300% in the last five years.

In early 2020 the Christian fundamentalist and extremist group, Safe Schools Alliance, by threatening legal action against Oxfordshire County Council forced them to withdraw the Trans affirming guidance they had placed in schools. Safe Schools mission and message is that trans kids make schools unsafe!

I wonder whether these trans affirming guidelines and resources in schools might have helped save the lives of Emma and Virgil?

 

It is absolutely critical and vital that young and vulnerable transgender people know that local government is on their side and working to make society safe for them. Please stand with us in the fight for transgender safety, rights, inclusion and flourishing.