St Hugh’s JCR

Statement from the St Hugh’s JCR concerning Kathleen Stock’s invitation to the Oxford Union:

The St Hugh’s JCR condemns the decision of the Oxford Union for its handling of the Kathleen Stock speaker event. Stock wasn’t invited to a debate but rather as a speaker, meaning that attendees of the talk will not have the opportunity to hear any alternative viewpoints.

Stock has expressed her views on conversion therapy: “Banning conversion therapy for minors will rob trans children of the chance to think again, putting them on a pathway to medical treatment”. She has also said trans women are “still males with male genitalia, many are sexually attracted to females, and they should not be in places where females undress or sleep in a completely unrestricted way.” Stock is a trustee of the trans exclusionary group, the LGB alliance and a signee of the WHRC declaration

Anti-trans hate is on the rise, with trans people experiencing the biggest increase in hate crimes (56%) of any group in 2022 (BBC). Allowing Stock to speak at the Union contributes to this attempt to silence trans lives, evidenced also by the fact that LGBTQ+ members of the university have been subject to threats of violence for speaking out against the event.

We stand in support with those facing abuse for speaking out for trans rights. Whilst we as a JCR support free speech, it is important to consider that an event such as this has real impacts on real people.

Thus, we believe that committee members involved must take responsibility for the harm that they have caused and must proceed to act in solidarity with the trans community. Being a chamber of free speech, the Oxford Union must allow trans voices to be heard on these topics in a non-hostile environment. You are exposing the trans community at this university to harm, and the validity of trans lives are not a subject of debate.   

The St Hugh’s JCR stands in solidarity with the trans community, and we are committed to promoting equality and protecting trans lives. We understand that decisions like this have a material impact on the lives of trans people and those who support them. Scepticism over the rights of any marginalised group, where issues of life and death are at stake, should not be up for debate. We will continue to support trans people despite widespread hatred.

LGBTQ+ Reps on behalf of St Hugh’s JCR

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