I don’t care much for gaslighting as it’s used these days. It seems to be brandished all too readily for what is a really quite serious and awful accusation, however I’m struggling to come up with a better word for how the government has been treating the trans community for the last few years.

Remember Section 28? Thatcher’s 1988 attempt to rid the UK of the queer menace through officially pretending we don’t exist and forcing educators to do the same? It was finally repealed in 2003 (2000 in Scotland), but not before it stopped millions of children from being given an education that allowed them to make sense of their own identity.

I was one of those children, and I fear that today’s school kids are going to have a similar experience – the government have just announced new guidance for schools, advising that gender identity “is a contested subject that should not be taught”. It smacks rather of evangelists banning the teaching of evolution.

A bit of a crib sheet for you for dealing with the papers: Gender ideology does not exist. It’s simply not a thing. I’ve read a lot of trans related material and met an awful lot of trans people, and not one has mentioned which of the 72 genders they supposedly are. I get the impression that they aren’t a thing either. There are no cabals of powerful trans people co-opting our institutions and ‘transing’ our kids. There’s no great scandal in the making and almost every ‘legitimate concern’ that people have about trans folk vanishes under the slightest scrutiny. Biological sex exists and I challenge you to find a trans person who doesn’t agree with me. In fact, I can’t imagine anyone more acutely aware of biological sex than a trans person. It’s kinda our whole thing, really.

Every major medical institution recognises the existence of trans people, that we’re not mentally ill, that we are who we say we are. Teaching our kids that trans people are up for discussion, that we’re contested as a concept, is as ridiculous as it is offensive. This is a dark day for our country and darker still for an already marginalized community that, despite what the hacks might have you believe, has virtually no institutional power.

~ Chloe Slater, PRSC Tech Manager