Thousands of academics are refusing to be silenced when it comes to trans rights

BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY THE GENDER SPECTRUM COLLECTION – ZACKARY DRUCKER

In a recent UK survey, 93% of participants reported that transphobia within the media had an impact on their experience of transphobia from strangers in the street. 85% said it impacted how their family treats them. It’s clear that we must do more to counteract this. But what can we do to combat the misinformation that much of the British media seems hellbent on perpetuating? Well, the Gender Inclusion Network (GIN) is a new global movement which launched this week and is on a mission to rise to the occasion. 

GIN is led by Professor Sally Hines, Chair of Sociology at the University of Sheffield and Dr. Natacha Kennedy, Lecturer in Education at Goldsmiths, University of London. Hines addressed the outrage within academia at the misrepresentation of trans related issues in the UK. “The reality is that there is a broad consensus in favour of the inclusion of trans people in society, coupled with a richness of work exploring the complex meanings of gender and sex the 21st century. Yet this is hardly ever reported in the UK media. Instead, we have simplistic narratives of ‘conflicting rights’. The very existence of trans people is represented as supposedly at odds with women or feminism.”

Hines and many others feel that the media doesn’t mirror not only the views of students and staff within academia, but also the UK at large. The EU and UN recently condemned the UK, comparing it to Hungary and Poland, both countries well known for their anti-LGBTQI agendas. Transphobia within the UK press and political establishment were specified as being big contributors towards the problem. 

GIN is made up of over 1000 members of academics, students, policy makers, health and medical professionals and more. The organisation seeks to: 

  • Advance the understanding of gender and sex as fluid categories
  • Protect the rights and needs of people of all (or no) gender
  • Counter transphobia of all forms in social life and institutions 
  • Counter sexism and gender-based violence and discrimination 
  • Further intersectional understanding and political mobilisation to stress the relationship between gender and other social inequalities 
  • Forward self and bodily autonomy and reproductive choice and rights 
  • Develop social, cultural, legal and policy frameworks to forward the above
  • Share knowledge and expertise, and develop best practise

The organisation will address these intersectional issues through publications and reports. It will also hold in-person and virtual events such as workshops, conferences and discussion groups. 

To join GIN email: sally.hines@sheffield.ac.uk 

@niccrosara 

DIVA magazine celebrates 27 years in print in 2021. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 
linktr.ee/divamagazine

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.