A Move for Maddie – On bullying and gendered spaces


Maddie is a child who happens to be trans. She has received threats of physical harm and even death from the parents of other children at her school who are unhappy with them sharing gendered spaces with Maddie. I would urge you to go to the link above, and support Maddie’s family in their attempt to move to a safe space.

I have two thoughts on this (and many more feelings…)

  1. Whatever you think of someone’s personal ethics, threats are never a moral response.
  2. Gendered spaces are not safe spaces.

On the first thought, I really don’t know what else to add. It is appalling that any human being would threaten another human being simply because of their gender identity. In fact, it is appalling that any human being would threaten another human being at all. It is even more shocking that these are parents threatening a child. I believe that the Church is complicit in these crimes, for positing trans people’s identities as an ethical dilemma and for positing trans people as abnormal. Let’s speak out against these falsehoods. Trans people are people, not problems. Trans people are just as normal or abnormal as any other person (BTW, normality is boring!)

On the second thought, I have a lot to say, and may blog about this more in the future. Gendered changing rooms and toilets are not safe spaces. Growing up firstly in an all-girls school, and then in a mixed school, I experienced bullying that I would now describe as abuse in gendered changing rooms and toilets. Trans people using these spaces does not make them any more or less safe. All children, young people and adults should have the right to change in privacy, in individual cubicles, not in an open changing room. Parents who are worried about their childrens’ privacy and safety should campaign for safe, private changing spaces, rather than scapegoating another child.

Please support Maddie, please speak out against transphobia and please campaign for more safe spaces.

One thought on “A Move for Maddie – On bullying and gendered spaces

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