Green candidate apologises for offending trans people

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Green Party candidate Rupert Read has apologised “unreservedly” to anyone offended by his tweets about trans people.

The parliamentary candidate for Cambridge had previously come under fire for tweets and a blog post in which he appeared to question the validity of trans people’s gender.

According to Cambridge News, he apologised if people were offended by his tweets by saying: “I’m sorry, especially for any upset caused to transgender people, who remain sorely oppressed in our society today.

“Tweets are really a terrible medium for having these kinds of discussions, discussions which I am much more familiar with having in a university context, where it is much easier to reach a mutual understanding.

“Unfortunately, it seems that most of the offence caused by my tweets is a result of misunderstandings generated by the fragmented and angry nature of so much debate on Twitter.”

He also addressed comments by Sarah Brown, former Cambridge councilor and trans activist, who said: “Rupert seems to be endorsing a fringe form of feminism that portrays transgender women as dangerous sex pests and predators.”

In response, Mr Read said: “It is completely, 100 per cent untrue, for instance to claim that I ‘portray transgender women as dangerous sex pests and predators’. On the contrary, I reject transphobia completely.

“But I also remain a very strong backer of feminism. All that I have done is join many feminists in saying that it is up to women, not anyone else  – and certainly not me – to decide who gets let into women-only spaces, such as women’s toilets. All women have a right to be involved in making those decisions.”

“I am listening to what those who have been upset by or who disagree with my views on this are saying, and I hope to learn from the whole affair. The first lesson I am learning is: I’m not going to even try talking about these things on Twitter any more.”

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