The NUS must protect trans students.
Universities are unfortunately becoming known for being a bedrock of anti-trans rhetoric and hate rather than institutions where evidence rules over dogma. With TERFs getting invited to spout hate at universities, the NUS has now taken the distressing decision to defund its Trans Campaign.
This would mean the Trans Officer and Committee would face defunding between 2019 -2020. This is a remarkably callous decision that shows that the NUS is completely out of touch with the needs of students.
More trans people are coming out than ever before, because they feel able to – but that does not mean it is safe to do so by any means. Public failures like ‘Glinner’, a one-time barely-above-mediocre writer, Julie Bindel and Piers Morgan are all railing against trans rights and trans people. The media has ran transmisic articles constantly for several years now. Chat shows like Loose Women use trans lives as canon fodder for debate and quick online shares, regardless of the impact that will have on trans people.
“Chat shows like Loose Women use trans lives as canon fodder for debate and quick online shares, regardless of the impact that will have on trans people”
Now more than ever, trans students deserve support. Universities, education institutes and student representatives have a duty of care to students – and that includes trans students. Trans people are in the public eye more than at any other time in history and that increases the pressures on the community. If the NUS truly cares about its students, it will work to support those who are most vulnerable and not take such a politically weak-willed decision.
The National Union of Students should reinstate funding for its Trans Campaign and work towards support for trans students. Trans students deserve to be able to access university education, and to be able to navigate their lives without experiencing hate or harassment. It is reckless and irresponsible for the NUS to have made such a decision at what is an incredibly precarious time for the community. The only way the NUS can remedy this folly is with a full reinstatement of funding and an apology to trans students who may have been impacted by this news.