What the News!? 19/02/2024

Another week is here and another round of madness, I need to go for a long nap after this one. 

Monday: Gender-critical Stonewall founder named Edinburgh University rector

The University of Edinburgh announced their new rector is Simon Fanshawe. Fanshawe is one of six that founded LGBT Charity Stonewall in 1989. In 2019 he publicly separated from Stonewall and gave support to the beginnings of Anti-Trans hate group the LGB Alliance, In 2023 he described Stonewall as a “propaganda machine that preaches extreme and divisive gender ideology”. Fanshawe will take office as Rector of the University of Edinburgh at the beginning of March. The response to his appointment has been mixed, Edinburgh Academic Neil Thin (who has previously been investigated for racist and transphobic comments) described it as “wonderful news”, while Edinburgh Lecturer Dr Gina Gwenffrewi described his appointment as “an outrageous declaration of contempt by the University of Edinburgh for trans people”.

When I first heard of this from a friend of mine who studies at Edinburgh University, I genuinely thought he was joking. I don’t even know where to begin with this, Maybe with the fact that they thought best to appoint a co-founder of LGB Alliance, an organisation who have previously tried to screen transphobic documentaries on the University Campus, The same organisation who campaigned against puberty blockers for Trans youth, who’s charity status was granted by the current Anti-Trans Conservative Government. Not to mention that Fanshawe who was born, raised and educated in England through private schools has been appointed as the Rector of one of the most well known Scottish Universities. That one hurts my soul a tiny bit.

Tuesday: Teenager charged with attempted murder after Transgender girl stabbed 14 times at party

A 19 year-old woman has been charged with attempted murder as well as carrying an offensive weapon after an 18 year old transgender woman was attacked at a roller skating party and called slurs by a group, was stabbed 14 times. The victim was quickly rushed to hospital. The suspect of the attack appeared in court and denies being involved in the attack, despite this she remains in custody until her plea hearing on March 12th. The victim of the attack has been released from Hospital and is being supported at home.

More news of attacks against queer people was inevitable after the very publicised murder of Brianna Ghey and the case against her killers. The similarities between the two cases are impossible to ignore and are a symptom of the current transphobic climate in the UK. As someone of similar age to those involved in this case, this really scares me and I know I am not the only one. The advice I would give to the community and to Allies is to protect each other, look out for each other and to be cautious and vigilant. I don’t want to stoke fear or make people worried but unfortunately this is not going to be the only case of attacks against vulnerable queer people. Please look after each other.

Wednesday: Police Say the Lakewood Church Shooter Was Cis. The Right Keeps Saying She Was Trans 

On Sunday, a 36 year old cis woman opened fire in an Evangelical Church in Texas which caused a gun fight between the shooter and two off duty Police officers who shot and killed the shooter, two bystanders were injured in the crossfire one of which was the shooter’s seven year old son. Since the news broke, many right wing politicians and activists took to twitter to report that the shooter was a deranged Transgender woman based on very light evidence which has now been debunked by the Police. The evidence they claimed as proof of the shooter’s trans status was an alias she has given a number of times on court records but despite the more traditionally masculine name, there is no evidence that she had ever claimed to be trans. Another key point is that many are also judging her appearance.

Among many things that the trans community has been scapegoats for, the last one I expected to see was American gun violence. This move by the American right makes perfect sense, they know that many people are getting more and more angry at the enabling of mass shootings in the States so if they frame that Gun violence isn’t the fault of lack of firearms regulations or conservative radicalisation. They can blame it instead on the tiny Transgender population, and it then becomes another reason to ban gender affirming care.

Thursday: Transphobes are tampering with LGBT History Month displays, badly

Known Transphobic writer Helen Joyce stated how happy she was to see a picture of her book “Trans: When Ideology meets Reality ” on display in the Millbank House Library’s LGBT+ History month display. However in the picture of the Display, Joyce’s book does not have the tag denoting that they were property of the library while every other book on the display did, It also did not follow the ordering scheme of the other books on display and had been placed right in the middle of the display. Twitter/X user @notCursedE saw this and emailed the library to ask if they had included the book in the display, she received a response stating that while they had the book in the library they did not include it in the display.

I’ve seen takes that claim that Transphobes are planting Helen Joyce’s book in library displays as a marketing tactic, I’m not quite sure i believe that but I think it is plausible that Transphobes will place the book on displays like a transphobic sticker at a bus stop or a transphobic documentary at Edinburgh Uni (no I won’t let this go). It’s the same idea behind it I think, they are hoping they can spread their “movement” through making it more visible.

Friday: Trans-inclusive feature in John Lewis staff magazine sparks fury

John Lewis launched a new staff magazine titled “Identity Magazine” which coincides with LGBTQ+ History Month. In the magazine there is an article which gives advice to parents and carers of Gender Diverse Children, the article also features advice from an anonymous Queer staff member as well as from LGBT Charities Stonewall and Mermaids. Among other pieces of information in the article, the most notable is a section on chest binders, helpful recounts and advice given from the anonymous staff member as well as the charities on what is recommended to do if someone is considering binding. Studies have shown that binding can reduce rates of distress and discomfort, Binders can also come with health risks if overused, worn for too long or if the wrong size is worn.

Pretty on brand for gender critics to get up in arms about this. While I understand why some organisations are hesitant to talk about binder use, I think it’s important to think about the fact that if trans people want to experiment with binders people will, probably best to make sure that they do it safely with the information to do it safely. 

Saturday: Edinburgh protesters demand trans women are kept out of female prisons

A protest was held outside of Scottish Government building St. Andrew’s house demanded a change to the management of Transgender prisoners in Scottish prisons. Women Won’t Weesht (an anti trans hate cult wearing the mask of a feminist movement) held a demonstration with signs stating that “Rapists have more rights than Women ” and “Trans Units for Trans Prisoners”. This comes as new legislation is about to come into effect as now cases of Trans people in prisons will be on an individualised case by case basis where AMAB prisoners will be placed in Men’s Prison to begin with until they have enough evidence to dictate if they can be housed in the Unit that corresponds with their gender identity.

Wow, Transphobes protest Transphobic prison guidance because it is not transphobic enough! I can’t stress enough how harmful these policies already have the potential to be but of course that’s not good enough for bigots and they want them to be even worse. I expect nothing less. 

Sunday: Thousands raised at Manchester benefit show in memory of transgender teenager Brianna Ghey

The LGBTQ+ community in Manchester’s Gay village came together to raise money in memory of Brianna Ghey in an event organised by Trans rights campaigner Jaxon Feeley. The event named “Live Your Truth” was a non-profit event and was hosted at the Brewers Club on the famous canal street and the event featured many performers including musicians, dancers and drag artists. All of the money raised at the event is going to Peace and Mind UK a not-for-profit organisation that Esther Ghey started in the name of her daughter who attended the event, she said “I am over the moon to be part of this event and grateful for the visibility it will bring to Peace and Mind UK”.

I’m glad to see the community working towards a goal and I am glad to know the money from the show is going to a good cause. Peace and Mind UK has a focus on education and awareness of the trans community. I hope the organisation can make an impact going forward and this is a more hopeful story needed after this week.


Very busy week again. I found this quite difficult to write this time round and I think I need a nap. A stupid University rector appointment, Transphobes planting transphobic books, Protests around prisons and money raised in the name of Brianna Ghey. Would be nice to get more upbeat and uplifting news next week. Hope you are well and looking forward to the week ahead.