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Over 2,000 academics fight back against 30 that want to teach transphobia

Over 2,000 academics fight back against 30 that want to teach transphobia

Manchester Lesbians group with t-shirts saying 'Stand By Your Trans' | Photo: Mermaids/Twitter

Over 2,000 academics have signed an open letter fighting back against the 30 that want to teach transphobia.

An open letter penned by professors in the Sunday Times calls on universities to drop LGBT charity Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The academics believe they are prevented from airing their ‘freedom of thought’.

Pro-trans academics widely prove transphobes are the exception

But now, pro-trans academics have widely shown universities are largely trans-friendly.

Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock, of the University of Sheffield, launched the response.

The letter says they wish to register their support for trans-inclusive policies and practices.

‘The vulnerability of the LGBTQIA+ community, especially young people and those who are transgender or gender-diverse, is well documented,’ they say.

‘As educators, we have a duty of care to our students and colleagues. Respect for their gender identity and/or sexuality is an integral aspect of that duty of care.

‘It is inconceivable that this duty should be considered antithetical to “academic freedom”.

‘Rather, ignoring or denying it precludes our fellow academics and colleagues… from experiencing a secure and supportive environment safely to pursue their own freedom.

‘We support the rights of colleagues to free speech, and safe debate, but until all LGBTQIA+ people can live, work and learn in our universities without fear or intimidation, it is vital that we stand up and say that we support the rights of trans and other gender-diverse people to be who they are.’

Three in five trans students disguise their identity for fear of discrimination

Laura Russell, Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research, Stonewall said in a statement to Gay Star News: ‘It’s great to see such overwhelming support from academics and university staff for supporting trans students and staff.

The work we do with universities and other organisations across Britain is vital because we know that LGBT staff and students still experience discrimination on a daily basis.

‘Our research has shown that almost one in five (18%) LGBT staff have been the target of negative comments from colleagues because they’re LGBT, while three in five trans students (61%) disguised their identity for fear of discrimination.

‘To help make all universities inclusive, we need to see even more visible support from university leaders, academics and staff across Britain.

‘We will continue working with universities, companies and schools, supporting them to create accepting learning environments, so LGBT people from all walks of life are accepted without exception.’