Parliament just debated whether trans women should be allowed to use public toilets

Woman with two thumbs up because THIS IS FINE

This isn’t a news report. I don’t think I am especially capable of writing one of those right now.

As the result of two online parliamentary petitions a debate was held today on whether MPs should reform the Equality Act to allow discrimination against trans people. They wouldn’t call it that, they would call it a debate about whether the equality act should be ‘clarified’. But in practice, this was about whether protections for trans people in equality act should be burned.

Repeatedly throughout, MPs made the point that they had no issue with trans people. They claimed they were not transphobic and they respected our right to live our lives free of discrimination.

Even though, they claimed, our presence is dangerous to children, even though we are sexual fetishists, even though our presence is traumatic to others, even though our presence is so hard to live with that they have no choice but to reject our presence in public utilities because we are trans.

Clearly they don’t understand what the word discrimination means. I would argue that these MPs should clarify to themselves what discrimination actually is instead of calling discrimination ‘clarifying’.

That phrase served a purpose: it obscured the vileness of what they were proposing to clueless cisgender people.

The gallery was packed with the anti-trans lobby. During divisions MPs popped over to say hello. One MP held up books by Kathleen Stock and Helen Joyce and argued that these were not transphobic books. Of course they think that presenting the presence of trans people as a cost not worth paying isn’t hateful. The anti-trans lobby has been incredibly effective. They have been with many of these MPs for years translating hate into polite sounding hypothesis presented as proven theories.

Allies did speak up, but they were few and always met with several MPs who piled on hate dressed up as heroism and level headedness.

Layla Moran, Kirsten Oswald, Peter Gibbon, Angela Eagle, Kirsty Blackman and several others argued passionately for allowing trans people not suffer state sponsored discrimination.

Despite their best efforts, the room was overwhelmingly in favour of allowing trans people to be barred from toilets outside their homes. As a trans person watching, I felt genuinely scared watching this debate to the point that I couldn’t bring myself to sit here and transcribe what they have said in a detached way. They were talking about me. How could I work any kind of job if I can’t use the toilets?

The most shocking sight through this was seeing Conservative MP Jamie Wallis stand to speak over and over and over again, not get called on to speak, and then leaving early.

Whatever the reason was for the only out trans MP to not be given space to speak whilst cisgender MPs argued that trans people’s presence is a problem, you could not come up with a better image to explain why today’s debate was so disturbing. Peter Gibbon, a fellow Conservative MP, tried to claim that this debate wasn’t about Jamie Wallis.

It was the only thing he said in this debate that was dead wrong.

The gallery packed with members of Sex Matters, the LGB Alliance and Transgender Trend got their say.

It remains to be seen if we will be heard in whatever happens next.