In the same week that we heard closing arguments in the trial of Brianna Ghey’s killers, two teenagers who brutally murdered the young girl in part because she was transgender, the Tory government has finally published its draft guidelines regarding trans and non-binary kids in schools. As expected it’s a bigoted shitshow.
The Department of Education’s own legal team says it’s unlikely to survive any legal challenge. And the fact that no LGBTQ+ organisations were consulted, but every bunch of passing bigots was, makes it clear what the agenda is here. If it weren’t clear enough, the introduction doesn’t even manage to make it into its third paragraph before using the Christian Right dogwhistle “gender identity ideology.”
Smarter people than me will publish detailed analysis in the coming days and weeks, but the short version is that the guidance acts as if the Equality Act does not exist and often tells schools to act in ways that are against the law. As equality lawyer Robin Moira White put it, it is “a cruel attack on a vulnerable minority by a nasty government focused on running a culture war”.
The guidance encourages teachers and other school officials to treat trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming children – who remain a tiny minority of pupils – illegally and unethically, which will make it harder for those children to live their lives. It’s a bullies’ charter, a bigots’ wish list, a hateful echo of Section 28.