Student ‘enraged and heartbroken’ to discover ‘anti-trans propaganda’ in UCL building
This was discovered two days after the 50th anniversary of Pride in London
A student was “enraged and heartbroken” when she discovered an “anti-trans” sticker in a toilet at UCL on 4th July.
The sticker claims “men who transition” are more likely to be offenders than victims and call for them to be out of “women-only spaces.”
A UCL spokesperson said they’ll remove the “unauthorised” sticker, adding that the uni is “deeply committed to advancing the inclusion of trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming members of our community.”
The screenshot sparked a heated debate. Some called what’s printed on the sticker as “facts” and “pro-women and girls.” Others slammed the content as “statistically incorrect,” “despicable,” and “transphobic” for denying trans women as women and framing them as likely criminals.
There’s no citation for the statistics or claims mentioned on the sticker except an URL of a blog.
The blog owner denies putting the sticker up at UCL but told The London Tab she has no problem with her content being associated with it.
“I recognise this is a contested area,” she said. “I have a trans identifying son (male) and run a group with a self-proclaimed transsexual. I love my son, we are very close and manage this different perspective without rejection on either side.
“More outlets recognising the triumph of love despite fundamental disagreements on Sex versus Gender Identity would make the world a better place.”
The UCL student who found the sticker thought it was “an attempt to demonise trans women and erase their existence.”
She said: “Students and staff who happen to be trans should not have to put up with being vilified as potential criminals on campus when they are just trying to study or work. It has no place at UCL or in higher education.
“UCL is supposed to be an inclusive university, and the university’s policy is that trans students can use ‘women-only’ or ‘men-only’ toilets on campus according to which one they feel is appropriate to them.”
She also linked the “emboldened transphobia” with UCL’s withdrawal from the diversity programme of the LGBT+ charity Stonewall.
UCL’s Students’ Union previously said this decision has the “potential to create an environment where gender prejudice and transphobic language is justified under the guise of academic freedom.” A spokesperson for the uni responded at the time that it “does not mean that we are any less committed to upholding the rights of LGBTQ+ staff and students.”
A spokesperson for UCL’s LGBT+ Network said the sticker represented “common transphobic arguments.”
They added: “Though we are incredibly disappointed and angry, we are not surprised by open and blatant transphobia on-campus. Trans students and staff at UCL have already voiced their concerns and expressed that UCL leaving the Stonewall initiative would make them feel even more unsafe at UCL than they did previously. The University Management Committee’s disregard for the voices of trans people at UCL and refusal to go back on their decision to leave the Stonewall Initiative on the grounds of ‘academic freedom’ has emboldened transphobia on our campus.
“We call upon UCL’s wider management and the Faculty of Engineering, where the stickers were found, to release statements in solidarity with trans staff and students and to express unequivocally that transphobia will not be tolerated on UCL’s campus.
“We ask any students who might come across these stickers or anything like them to please report any more stickers of this kind found on campus through UCL Report + Support, as well as to inform the LGBTQ+ Network if you feel comfortable doing so. We also request that any students who find stickers to document their presence through pictures and remove them afterwards if possible.
“We unequivocally stand with trans staff and students at UCL against fear-mongering and misinformation and want to make it clear that any form of transphobia or hate speech of any kind should not be tolerated on our campus.”
Professor Anthony Smith, UCL’s Vice-Provost (Faculties), told the London Tab: “This is not authorised material and will be removed.UCL is deeply committed to advancing the inclusion of trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming members of our community, and we are determined that UCL is an environment in which everyone is able to be themselves and is respected as a valued member of the university.
“We have policies and protections in place for LGBTQ+ staff and students, and we are working with our LGBTQ+ community to develop a strong programme of action that tackles all forms of inequality, marginalisation, and discrimination experienced by LGBTQ+ colleagues and students.”