Vale of White Horse District Council
On 8th December 2021 the Vale of White Horse District Council passed a trans inclusivity motion.
A representative from TransOxford was asked to speak in support of this prior to the debate. Here is the motion and the speech.
Motion 4: Becoming a trans inclusive Council
Motion to be proposed by Councillor Sarah Medley, seconded by Councillor Amos Duveen
Council notes that:
Transgender and non-binary people face significant disadvantage in society, being highly vulnerable to violence, homelessness, and lack of access to suitable healthcare provision.
There is currently a concerning rise in transphobia in the UK, from individuals, politicians and the media.
Transphobia has a hugely detrimental impact on the mental health and well-being of trans individuals.
Council believes that:
All UK law should clearly recognise thattrans men are men, trans women are women, and non-binary people are non-binary.
Transgender and non-binary people deserve respect and autonomy.
It is 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:
State publicly that trans rights are human rights and affirm the legal rights of all protected groups under the 2010 Equality Act.
2Consult with local trans support organisations when developing the Vale of White Horse District Council’s new Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, to ensure services, forms and buildings this council has control of are inclusive of the trans community.
Work with LGBTQ+ groups to provide training for councillors to raise awareness of the difficulties transgender and non-binary people face.
Include International Trans Day of Visibility (March 31st) and Trans Day of Remembrance (November 20th) in our Council’s Corporate and Diversity Calendar.
Encourage an informal network of LGBTQ+ allies across the council
Continue working with partner organisations to ensure transgender and non-binary people are not discriminated against whilst accessing services such as domestic violence and homelessness support.
Speech by Hannah Massie
In support of Transgender Inclusion Motion
Vale of White Horse District Council 8/12/2021
Ladies, Gentlemen and Enbees
I’m Hannah Massie from TransOxford, a group that supports Trans folks throughout Oxfordshire and I’m here to explain why the motion on trans inclusivity is important to us all and not just us trans folks.
You see, in 2016 some groups with extreme religious and political ideologies initiated a campaign to, and I quote, eradicate transgender folks from society, and started pushing propaganda, that I’m sure you will have seen, falsely demonising us and our allies as dangerous activists who threatened and silenced women, children and ordinary folks. They set up organisations, supposedly charitable, whose purpose has been to stir up transphobia and trans exclusion and have funded and publicised legal cases challenging trans rights, access to healthcare and support from public bodies. Their claim - that being transgender is a dangerous false ideology.
Now, let me make it clear. Gender is biological, genetic and neurological. Each and every one of us, of you has a unique gender identity hardwired into your brain, that tells you who you are and where you belong, by your biology. And those gender identities are immutable and exist across a spectrum that we, as a society, choose to divide into two, just as we do the sex characteristic spectrum. But these divisions are flawed: There is no only male or only female. And for some of us the gender we are assigned at birth based on our sex characteristics does not match the gender biology has given us. We are transgender. This is not an ideology. It is what we are, biologically, and is not something we choose, nor could or would ever choose to be, be coerced into, grow out of, cured of nor converted from being. It is an extremely challenging and difficult condition, that leads to shockingly high levels of mental illness, self-harm and suicidality.
But does that make us a dangerous demanding threat to society? Um, No. I have two degrees, have run my own business and been involved in many community groups over many years, and have children who think I’m awesome. My trans friends include lawyers, doctors, scientists, academics, airline pilots, and so on.. Ordinary people who just want to live ordinary lives, true to themselves, like you do. And are my rights and safety as a woman threatened by my trans rights? Absolutely not and I should know.
Now as a small already challenged group we have struggled to counter this insidious campaign. So, I’m here to ask for your support and help, because we need it and it needs to come from folks like you. Please learn and help us to challenge and expose the falsehood of the claims against us, to call out the misinformation and those promoting it.
If you believe racism, sexism, ableism and homophobia are wrong then I would hope you would support this motion, because there is no difference between these and transphobia, being ‘Gender critical’ and seeking discrimination based on someone’s biological gender, as is being peddled today. And if you think otherwise then please consider the words of Oliver Cromwell, ‘I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, to think it possible you may be mistaken´. On behalf of the thousands of trans folks in Oxfordshire thank you, I hope, for your support