Dear Liz Truss

CC: Prime Minister Boris Johnson, The Cabinet


Last April, you announced that your plans for reforming the Gender Recognition Act will follow three “very important principles”: protecting single-sex spaces, allowing trans people to live without fear of persecution whilst maintaining “proper checks and balances”, and protecting under-18s from making “irreversible decisions”.

On the surface these principles may sound reasonable, but we are incredibly concerned that the language you have used is very similar to the anti-trans rhetoric used by transphobic hate groups and organisations such as Woman’s Place UK, Transgender Trend and the LGB Alliance.

Transphobic groups have argued that to protect women’s single-sex spaces, trans women must be barred from entering them. They campaign against reforming the Gender Recognition Act, and claim that simplifying the process by which trans people update the gender marker on their birth certificate will result in a rise in sexual assaults against women. This is despite the fact that several countries have implemented similar reforms to their gender recognition laws without any negative impact to cis women whatsoever.

These transphobic groups also argue against any gender-affirming healthcare for trans under-18’s and mislead the public into thinking that under 18’s are being given gender reassignment surgery on the NHS. They are not. A handful of trans teenagers each year are given puberty blockers, a safe treatment available to trans teens on the NHS since 1989. Multiple scientific studies show that puberty blockers are a life-saving treatment for trans teenagers who want them.

Trans men, women and non-binary people young and old have always lived among us. They have used the single-sex spaces that align with their gender identity this entire time. The Gender Recognition Act has, for 16 years, provided a mechanism for trans men and women to update the gender marker on their birth certificate. Healthcare for trans youth has been available on the NHS for three decades. Trans equality was not widely seen as an issue until the Transgender Equality Inquiry of 2015 triggered a concerted campaign in the media to depict trans rights as a new threat to cisgender women like ourselves.

We reject this assessment. As cisgender women, we are angry that these groups claim to speak for us, and try to justify their bigotry against a vulnerable minority in our name. It is disturbing to hear an equalities minister repeat their talking points almost word for word while outlining plans to reform trans rights.

The fact that you chose to make this a priority during the biggest crisis the world has faced in decades is even more disturbing. During lockdown, hundreds of women have been killed by abusive partners. Ethnic minorities are four times more likely to die from COVID-19. Surely these issues are more urgent?

We sign this letter in the hope that you will listen to us, as well as transgender and non-binary people and organisations such as Stonewall, the LGBT Foundation and The Kaleidoscope Trust. We urge you to speak to trans youth, to seek out evidence and use facts, and to reconsider sharing talking points with groups that have been widely condemned as transphobic hate groups.

We do not need protecting from trans people. Please focus on protecting us from the dangers that are killing women right now.

Signed by 7712 cisgender women including:

Caitlin McCullough
A Rape Crisis Centre

Emily
A sexual violence survivors charity

Wendyl Harris
Act Up London

Philippa steele
Administrator

Joanne Harris
Author

Lucy V Hay
Author and Script Editor

Maria Wagstaffe
Autistic Pride Reading

Ross Lowrey-Heywood
Baker

Holly Usher
Bar Manager

Mary Roche
Barista

Brie Stevens-Hoare QC
Barrister

Sarah Bourke
Barrister

Laura-Lee Willcock
Bartender

Chelsea Neil
Beauty Therapist

Alena Ivanova
Bethnal Green and Bow Labour Women’s Forum Secretary

Gwyneth Brain
Bristol South Labour Party’s LGBT+ Officer

Zoe Davis
Calibrate Films

Emma Warren
Call centre worker

Susie Green
CEO Mermaids

Ruth Taylor
CEO, Abortion Support Network

Rachel Collinson
Chair of management board, Unlock Democracy (personal capacity)

Rebecca Tadman
Chair, Board of Trustees Raze Collective

Nicola Longworth-Cook
Chair, Out2gether Worcestershire

Daisy Smith
Chef

Deborah Gold
Chief Executive, National AIDS Trust

Rebecca Bloom
Civil Servant

Patricia Aivalikli
Civil Servant

Bronagh Harrison
Civil Service

Zainab Al-Farabi
Client Account Manager Stonewall

Dr Felicity Larson
Clinical Psychologist

Dr Hannah Wright
Clinical Psychologist

Dr Anna Laws
Clinical Psychologist, Gender Specialist

Sarifa Patel
Co chair dissability rep forum

Olivia Butterworth
Co-chair LGBT Foundation

Alison Camps
Co-chair, Pride in London

Guppi
Co-founder Resourcing Racial Justice

Helen Greener
Consultant in Gender Dysphoria

Beth Ranjit
Consultant Psychiatrist

Christine Banks
Councillor

Dr D Z Stockwell
Counsellor for Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Debbie Sheringham
Counsellor/Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre

Amelia Womack
Deputy leader – The Green Party

Sue Jones
Ditch the Label

Alyssa Ralph
Doctor

Jenny Budden
Doctor

Irial Eno
Doctor

Harriet Abley
Domestic Abuse Community Worke
r

Caron Lindsay
Editor Liberal Democrat Voice

Monica Martins
Editor WomenBeing: Feminist Perspectives Magazine

Ruth Pilston
Editor, Arcadia Missa

Anna Cafolla
Editor, Dazed Digital

Maria Kirkmorris
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Kate Hollinshead
EqualiTeach CIC

Kristine Garina
European Pride Organisers Association

Leonor Capelier
Femsoc President St Andrews University

Ger Tierney
Founder The Court Studios

Holly Tarquini
Founder/F-Rating

Micha Frazer-Carroll
Gal-dem

Evangeline Tsao
Gender equality research fellow, University of York

Katie Whitlock
Guardian News and Media

Lyndal Reed
Guardian News and Media

Shannon Howells
Hairdresser

Polly Shute
Help 4 Heroes

Emma Gendall
HR – House of Lords

Linder Wilkinson
HR Manager

Caroline Stacey
IT Manager

Amelia Abraham
Journalist and author

Laurie Penny
Journalist and screenwriter

Emma Powys Maurice
Journalist PinkNews

Gunseli Yalcinkaya
Journalist, Dazed Media

Emma Davidson
Journalist, Dazed Media

Alex Goldsmith
Junior Producer, PinkNews

Taz Rasul
Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity

Chloe Hopkins
Labour Party Member

Kate Everall
Lesbemums

Emma Meehan
LGBT Foundation

Michaela Le Roux
LGBT Foundation

Elliss Lewin-Turner
LGBT Foundation

Carol Overrill
Liberal Democrat

Sophie Rix
Marketing Manager – Prince’s Trust

Jasmine Scott
Marketing manager, Journalism.co.uk

M.J.Midgley
Mermaids

Zad El Bacha
Mind

Rev. Kate Harford
Minister, Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches

Sylvie Pope
Misogyny IS Hate (Campaign for the inclusion of misogyny as a form of hate crime and for intersectional hate crime legislative reform)

Faye Allen
Mother

Sophie Varlow
Mother

Helen (@mimmymum)
Mother of trans child & Trans Equality Activist

Kaynie Watson
Mother to a trans child.

Kate Osborne
MP for Jarrow

Nadia Whittome
MP for Nottingham East

Layla Moran
MP for Oxford West & Abingdon

Clare Lorraine Phipps
MSc, Former Chair of Green Party Women and the Executive of the Green Party of England and Wales

Rosalie Hayes
NAT (National AIDS Trust)

Jessy Martinez
Office Manager

Olivia Mae Jaremi
Personal Assistant

Carol Cooper
PFLAG

Georgina Baker
PinkNews

Abi McIntosh
PinkNews

Amy Ashenden
PinkNews

Matilda Davies
PinkNews

Lily Wakefield
PinkNews

Abby Chicken
Pride in London

Cathy Harding
Pride in Surrey

Hazell Dean
Professional Musician

Alison Phipps
Professor of Gender Studies, University of Sussex

Linda Riley
Publisher – Diva Magazine

Ali King
Queer Code Scotland

Carla Thompson
Radio presenter

Eleanor McDowall
Radio Producer

Blair Anderson
Rainbow Greens, Scottish Green Party

Helena Goode
Rape Crisis England & Wales

Siobhan Fahey
Rebel Dykes History Project

Megan Gunning
Receptionist

Jessica Noah Morgan
Refinery29 UK

Dr. Nathaniel Filardo
Research Associate, University of Cambridge

Ana Yong
Research Scientist

Laura McKnight
Research Scientist

Morag Lewis
Research Scientist (Genetics)

Dr Eleanor Williams
Research scientist, University of Oxford.

Corey Oliver
Restaurant Manager

Annie Macaulay
Retail assistant

Julia Ivins
Retired

Sue sanders
Schools out uk

Alice O’Rorke
Self employed

Sue Jamison-Powell
Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Christine Campbell
Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Nina Lecourt
Senior Producer – PinkNews

Erin Walters-Williams
Senior Sport Empowerment Officer, Stonewall; International lacrosse player and coach

Bryony Beynon
Sexual Violence Prevention Consultant

Lesley Hemming
Social care manager

Freya Scott-Sheldon
Social Work England

Vikki Cole
Social Worker, and part of Pride in Surrey team

Sarah Wright
Social worker, London Borough of Camden

Clare Wall
Software Developer

Karen Skipper
Spectra

Daphna Baram
Stand Up Comedian

Rona Phillips
Stay at home mother/full time carer

Jessica Allan
Supermarket Assistant

Lorna McArdle
Support U

Amy hitchings
Support U – LGBT resource charity, Research Officer

Lauren McCartney
Teacher

Frances Rimmer
Teacher

Sarah Hornby
TEDxLondon

Maryam Pasha
TEDxLondonWomen

Alessia Galatini
The F Word Editor

Laura Snapes
The Guardian

Sally Carr MBE
The Proud Trust

Amy Bonsall
Theatre director, academic, founder of the Women in Academia Support Network

Hannah thami
Unicef UK

Susan Mawhood
UNISON National LGBT+ Officer

Celia Cartwright
Unitarian Church Minister (ret)

Helen Riches
Unpaid Carer

Shermaine Waugh
User Experience Researcher, The Guardian

Hannah Ewens
Vice UK

Daniela Delevecio
Waitress

Eliza Henning
Waitress

Jessica Collins
Waitress

Imogen Campbell
Web Developer

Janet Cashman
Wirral UNITE Community Wallasey CLP

Jenny S. Leach
Women’s Health International

Rachel Watters
Women’s Officer, National Union of Students

Tessa Marshall
Women’s Strike Assembly

Helen Charman
Writer and academic

Taryn de Vere
Writer and artist

D H Kelly
Writer, The F Word

Orla Currie
Yoga Teacher

Poppy Winks
Youth Worker

…plus 7543 more cisgender women.

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We are cisgender women from all walks of life.

We support transgender equality


Liz Truss is wrong.