Green Party candidate accused of transphobia

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Cambridge Green Party parliamentary candidate Rupert Read has been accused of allying with anti-trans feminists.

Mr Read’s tweeted about the use of the word “cisgender” as the opposite of “transgender” saying it “troubled” him. This drew attention from trans activists as an opinion shared by many prominent anti-trans feminists.

A blog post was shared, written by Mr Read in January 2013 in which he defended such feminist writers who had come under fire for transphobic views.

He referred to trans women as “a sort of ‘opt-in’ version of what it is to be a woman”. He also suggested people should not be “forced” to regard trans women as women: “Imagine that some people regard themselves within themselves as disabled, as missing a limb. Are disabled people obliged to regard those people as already part of the disabled community? I would suggest: obviously not.”

“That there is a genuine, complicated question within Feminism about whether trans-women can or should in every or all respects be regarded straightforwardly as women (They don’t have periods, they don’t experience menopause; they chose to be (to become) women rather than having been brought up gendered female; etc. etc).

“It is complicated. Does feeling psychologically as if you are a woman and making certain changes to your body as a consequence make you a woman? Is it enough, in order to BE a woman, to psychically identify as one? To this second question, we must surely answer: no.”

“Do the mass of women who did not go through the process of sex-reassignment — ordinary women, so-called ‘cissexuals’ — have no right to point out some differences between themselves and trans-women?”

He had previously caused controversy by using words such as “moron” which many disabled people consider offensive.

Sarah Brown, former Cambridge councilor and trans activist, told Cambridge News: “Rupert seems to be endorsing a fringe form of feminism that portrays transgender women as dangerous sex pests and predators.

“In reality, transgender women face prejudice and violence at rates far higher than other women, and desperately need protection.”

The Green Party is one the few parties with openly trans parliamentary candidates. Charlie Kiss is a trans man standing in Islington South and Finsbury, and Stella Gardiner in Bexleyheath and Crayford.