One day I get a phone call from the HR department telling me they have had a complaint. Apparently my classes are no longer safe because I am transphobic. I ask the HR woman to elaborate.
The person who called to complain claimed to be an ex-student, although they did not leave their name so we will never know if they genuinely were a student. My crime was liking a Tweet by Kathleen Stock. I had just heard about puberty blockers and as I was writing and researching on the subject of HRT used for menopausal women for a publication, I had started wondering about the role of pharmaceutical companies in the increased prescribing of puberty blockers for children. . . .
Cut to a year later. My 12-year-old daughter has gone swimming with friends at the local leisure centre. The last time we went, there was a women’s and a men’s changing area. But the centre has been ‘modernised’ and loads of council money has been spent making it ‘better,’ apparently. One of the changes the centre made was to create a ‘changing village’ where men and women, girls and boys shower and change together in one space. My daughter and her two friends (who were all 12) were approached by a grown man who started fondling them. One of the girls was grabbed and kissed. He stroked their hair and kept asking them their names. . . .
Most of my female friends simply don’t want to know what’s going on, and think I am catastrophising. Much like climate change, until your own house falls into the sea from coastal erosion, it’s hard to believe it’s really happening. My only ally is a friend whose daughter has started wearing a binder and is demanding a mastectomy. She gets it because it’s on her doorstep. We both feel her daughter is simply gay, and yet to admit this is to somehow let down all her gender-fluid friends. It’s a horror show.