Proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act which would allow trans people to self-declare their gender have reignited debates about trans rights and women’s oppression. Sally Campbell argues that socialists must support the right to self-identify.
In the early hours of Tuesday 22 August Kiwi Herring, a 30 year old trans woman and mother of three, was shot dead by police in St Louis, US. Police had been called after Kiwi had allegedly stabbed her neighbour. After an altercation during which one police officer received a “minor injury”, the police opened fire.
At the National Union of Teachers conference in April a historic motion was passed supporting positive positions on transgender rights and committing the union to fully implement the recommendations of the Gender Recognition Act.
Over recent years arguments have taken place about transgender rights both on the left among feminists, and on the right. These have often been specifically about the right of transgender people to self-identify and have access to single sex bathroom facilities.