On the 10th February Peter Tatchell was interviewed on RT News about the Judicial Review of Oxfordshire County Council’s trans guidance for schools, as supported by SSAUK. You can view this interview here.
We are deeply alarmed at some of the comments that he made during the course of the interview.
When the presenter asked this middle-aged man whether girls have a right to their privacy, and asked “every teenager feels vulnerable, don’t they?” Mr Tatchell said “I would say a different approach would be to challenge those who feel uncomfortable, to make them feel comfortable in their own bodies, and around the bodies of others, to enable them to not feel threatened or embarrassed or ashamed”.
His fellow interviewee, Caroline Farrow, said “That’s grooming!” and we would agree. Girls are allowed boundaries and should be supported in asserting them rather than being made to feel guilty and ashamed about having them. We are concerned about the open advocacy of child grooming on display here. We would also ask Mr Tatchell why, then, he doesn’t advocate for trans-identified children to be supported to feel ‘comfortable in their own bodies’.
Mr Tatchell then went on to say that girls are at risk from other girls. We know that over 95% of sexual attacks are perpetrated by males. We know that 84% of victims are females. That is why girls need single sex spaces.
Furthermore, we are deeply alarmed to hear that Mr Tatchell visits schools. Mr Tatchell has campaigned for the age of consent to be lowered and has stated that children can enjoy sex with adults.
Any school inviting him in to talk needs to seriously question their safeguarding procedures.
Finally, we repudiate the claim that Mr Tatchell made that this Judicial Review is not being brought by a 13-year-old girl and is instead being brought by ‘anti-trans lobby groups’.
Mr Tatchell knows nothing about the claimant or about SSAUK. We are a group of ordinary, concerned parents, teachers, and others who have an interest in the safeguarding of children. We have no funding streams, political or religious affiliations, or links to other groups.
We also do not understand why he thinks 13-year-olds do not have the ability to bring court action (with the support of their parents) when their rights are threatened but they do have the ability to consent to sex.
His assertion that “There is no way that 13-year-old girl or her parents could afford the huge cost of a Judicial Review” is also incorrect. We would like to remind Mr Tatchell that this case is being crowdfunded and currently has £18k in the pot. This sum has been donated by over 700 people, which averages out at £25 donation per person.
This case, and the purpose of SSA UK, is about ensuring the safeguarding of ALL children and ensuring that everybody’s rights are upheld by the correct application of the Equality Act 2010.