Why trans debate continues to consume Britain despite distinct lack of trans voices - Alexander Brown

Have you or anyone you know ever seen a trans person in your bathroom or sports team?

If so, congratulations. And so what? You are a statistical marvel, given that with an estimated 200,000 trans people in Britain, they make up just 0.29 per cent of Britain’s 67.33 million population.

I say estimated because there is no concrete data on the true number of trans people in the UK. We just know that it’s a small number, not that it’s stopped their very existence being an immovable part of the discourse.

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To put that in perspective, about 0.7 per cent of the population wrote Jedi on the census in England and Wales, almost double the amount of trans people. Bizarrely, 400,000 people being armed with lightsabers or thinking it was funny to say so wasn’t considered so much of a risk as people wanting to live, die or marry in the gender they feel they are.

The women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch is seeking to change the definition of sex. Picture: PAThe women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch is seeking to change the definition of sex. Picture: PA
The women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch is seeking to change the definition of sex. Picture: PA

Trans people make up an astonishingly low percentage of the general populace, yet for some reason find themselves as a key punching bag in the culture wars.

Now you may be thinking, sure I haven’t dealt with any trans people, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know they are confused and victims to gender ideology. There was a trans rapist, a trans shooter, a trans person who regrets transitioning.

Sure, but there are lots of rapists, endless shooters in America, and given NHS England waiting times for gender dysphoria patients are so long they’re unlawful, people remain deeply committed to living as they choose.

But we simply don’t hear from them. I’m writing this as a cis white straight man, with trans friends who are tired, beyond tired of their lives being a political football, and of being made to feel unwelcome in this country.

And that’s what has happened. Papers and television shows filled with pundits talking about trans people because they fear what they don’t (want to) understand. Truly at this point, there are probably more columns criticising trans people than actual trans people.

On anti-Semitism, we hear from Jews, on racism, we hear from people of colour, on trans issues, we hear from the same people saying the same thing because there’s more clicks to be had in outrage than compassion.

I was speaking to a friend this week about trans issues, where they raised things they’d read online that simply weren’t true. A gender certificate doesn’t mean you’ve medically transitioned. Puberty blockers are reversible. There is no such thing as the trans lobby, as you’d be able to tell if you opened basically any newspaper for the past year.

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Yet now the UK Government is considering changing the definition of sex to biological, excluding trans people from sports clubs and spaces, going after the smallest minority, and one that is never given a platform to defend themselves.

And supportive voices have gone quiet, with politicians wary after the Gender Recognition Reform Bill was blocked. Sir Keir Starmer, who once said he wanted transgender people to self-identify as whatever gender they wanted, now warns of the risks and the need to bring the public with you. Making marginalised people’s lives easier, if it polls well.

In the meantime, trans lives will go on, bystanders in this debate that despite its ferocity, they continue not to be heard in.



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