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Transgender Trend, a U.K.-based anti-trans group of parents who supplies literature that critiques the “trans narrative,” is now suggesting that school officials should out transgender children to their parents, with or without their consent.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Stephanie Davies-Arai, who runs Transgender Trend, said, “If the child comes out as trans I think it’s really important that parents are informed.” When asked about the possible danger to the child, Davies-Arai acknowledged that some parents could abuse them, but said, “we have to assume that most parents have the best interests of their child at heart.”
However, experts both within education and within LGBTQ rights say Davies-Arai is spreading a dangerous idea. The National Education Union said it would be a “criminal offense” for a teacher to disclose that a student was trans without the student’s consent. This is something Davies-Arai hopes to change. Stonewall, a U.K. LGBTQ rights non-profit, told BuzzFeed News that it is imperative that school staff “discuss levels of confidentiality” with trans students.
Davies-Arai and Transgender Trend have regularly drawn criticism from LGBTQ advocacy groups for trying to influence schools to be a less accepting place for transgender students. Earlier this year, they attempted to distribute a “resource pack” for schools about transgender issues, which said being transgender “contradicts material reality” and also advised schools against instating anti-discrimination policies to protect transgender students.
Most recently Transgender Trend has been distributing anti-trans stickers. Davies-Arai and others who support her group claim that they are not anti-trans, but “trans critical,” exposing the dangers of sudden widespread transgender acceptance. However, many of the talking points are either completely false or a misrepresentation of the truth. For example, one of the stickers says, “Medical sex-change treatment for children is an experiment.” “Sex change” treatments are not done on children. When BuzzFeed News confronted Davis-Arai with this fact, she said she was including puberty blockers in that category, even though puberty blockers only delay puberty, and do not in any way change sexual characteristics.
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Although Davies-Arai’s request that children be outed to their parents is frightening, it is unlikely to come to pass on an official level. There is plenty of legal precedents that, unless there is a concern for the child’s safety, their privacy should be respected by school officials. Still, when Davies-Arai and others continue to spread negative myths about transgender issues, they make it that much more likely that a school official will see being trans as a safety issue on its own.
H/T BuzzFeed News
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.