We would like to thank colleagues who collectively helped us draft this letter.
The recent surge in long-standing prejudice against trans people in the UK (some of which we are also seeing in the US and Canada) is worrying and infuriating in equal measure. We the undersigned are stating our unequivocal support for the trans community, including our trans colleagues in instructional design, academic development, and education technology, with whom we work, from whom we learn, and without whom we could not be as strong across the sector as we are.
There is no room in our field for trans-exclusionary thinking. There is no room in our world for framing trans people as anyone other than who they declare themselves to be.
Trans men are men.
Trans women are women.
Non-binary people are people.
Their presence in this world is no threat to any cisgender people at all.
We reject the attempt by anti-trans activists and academics to frame their trans-exclusionary language and actions as anything other than abuse. Trans-exclusionary views in learning and research environments, whether expressed openly or not, can and do cause profound harm to students and staff. This is not a matter of “academic freedom” or “sex-based rights.” This is a question of equity, dignity, and basic human rights.
We want to make it clear that so-called “gender-critical” stances actively harm trans people. An alarming amount of cis people seem to believe that these stances represent a moral good and an important defense against misogyny. This is not the case. The gender critical movement plays on people’s fears to position trans people as the enemy and as acceptable collateral damage in the protection of cis women’s rights. The trans community, and especially trans women and femmes who encounter and deal with misogyny every day, fiercely oppose anyone being assaulted, shamed for who they feel attracted to, or coerced into sexual activity. Suggesting otherwise frames trans people as enemies, and as such is anti trans.
Those who want to publish trans-exclusionary pieces as a part of their academic work can of course do so. When they are called out and directed to the harm those words cause, they need to recognise that these are appropriate consequences, not “cancellation.”
We sign and publish this letter as a signal to our trans colleagues that we value and support you. We stand with you against prejudice, bigotry, and hate.
Lawrie Phipps Donna M. Lanclos, PhD Samantha Ahern Ryan Brazell Anne-Marie Scott Danielle Johnstone Puiyin Wong, SFHEA Kerry Pinny Samantha Ahern Caroline Ball
Dorothea Salo Robin Ewing, St. Cloud State University Elizabeth Ellis Dave Pattern Daniel Lynds Bethan Ruddock Becky Yoose Maggie Halterman-Dess Emma Kennedy Rebecca jones James Saville Bryony Ramsden, PhD Trip Kirkpatrick Simon Bowie Helen Murphy Johanna Jacobsen Kiciman Polly Hinksman Jason Davies David Clover Annie Gleeson
Phil Barker Ka-Ming Pang Richard Nevell, PhD Margy MacMillan Andy Windsor Chris Rowell Hayley Atkinson Gaby Koenig Bonnie Stewart Annie Gleeson Becky Yoose Johanna Jacobsen Kiciman David Travis
You can add your name as a signatory here