EUSA trustee says trans women are ‘lying’ and ‘delusional’ in set of ‘transphobic’ tweets

EUSA’s Trans and Non-Binary Liberation Officer has described the comments as ‘deplorable’

A Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) trustee has described trans women as “delusional” and claims they are “lying” about their identity in a series of “transphobic” tweets.

Levi Pay, who sits on EUSA’s board as an external trustee, also tweeted: “I would certainly see trans women as male.”

His position means he makes decisions that affect the day-to-day running of EUSA – despite EUSA’s safe space policy prohibiting discrimination based on trans status and encouraging everyone to “avoid making assumptions about another person’s gender.”

Jaime Prada, EUSA’s Trans and Non-Binary Liberation Officer has condemned Pay’s comments as “deplorable” and has demanded accountability.

The comments were made in a Twitter thread where Pay discussed his own thoughts on sex and gender – including his experiences of puberty “as someone who has never experienced gender dysphoria”.

He was then challenged on his views by Tessa Fisher, a trans PhD student, who said she thought Pay’s views meant he thought: “I’m not down on trans people, I just think trans people’s identities aren’t valid, and thus are probably delusional, and believe they should be reminded of that fact as frequently as possible”.

Pay then accused her of “putting words in someone’s mouth” and Fisher asked him if he thought trans women were “lying”. Pay replied: “I do”.

In the Twitter argument that followed, Pay says he thinks trans women thinking they’re women is “a delusion”. He then says: “I would certainly see trans women as male”.

The last tweet he posts replying to Fisher says: “I can assure you I’m telling you what I think”.

Fisher then says Pay’s beliefs are “demonstrably transphobic” before telling him: “Just because you’re not calling for trans people to be rounded up into camps or harassed in the street doesn’t mean you’re not transphobic”.

At this point, Pay stops replying to her.

Levi Pay is an external trustee on EUSA’s board. As a registered charity, EUSA have a board made up of sabb officers, students, and external trustees (like Pay). They are responsible for making decisions about the day-to-day running of EUSA.

Additionally, trustees can only be removed by other trustees – not the students EUSA is meant to represent.

EUSA also has a safe space policy that is designed to protect their members (students). This policy has “zero tolerance” for harassment, abuse, and discrimination based on protected characteristics – including gender identity and trans status.

It also encourages everyone to “be aware of the connotations of their language. Avoid making assumptions about another person’s gender, pronouns, sexuality, disability, ethnic identity, or life experiences. Be prepared to challenge harassment and discrimination if they are witness to an incident, and where appropriate to report it. Be open if challenged on their own behaviour, and to learn from the experience. ”

The Edinburgh Tab spoke to Jaime Prada, EUSA’s Trans and Non-Binary Liberation Officer. “We live in a time when the university experience extends to digital spaces, and students are already being disciplined for their conduct online,” they said. “We must demand the same accountability for all members of our community.

“Targeting trans youth and spreading misinformation on the trans experience is deplorable. It not only harms our community but also creates an unsafe space for us all.”

A spokesperson for EUSA’s five sabbatical officers said: “The Students’ Association welcomes all members into our spaces and activities. We want all students at Edinburgh to feel safe to enjoy all University life has to offer.

“We operate a Zero Tolerance policy to discriminatory behaviours towards both students and staff, as well as anyone visiting our venues or attending our events. The policy protects against discriminatory behaviours, including verbal and physical expressions of discrimination, based on any characteristics, including but not limited to: Gender or HIV/AIDS Status and Sexuality or Trans Status.”

Levi Pay did not respond to our requests for comment.

Recommended related articles by this writer

• Edinburgh students react to the £400k cost of building the Scandi Bar

Edinburgh Uni introduces student-led guidance to combat transphobic microaggressions

• EUSA forced to delete IG story ‘trivialising LGBT+ history month’ after student backlash