Transgender woman accused of hate speech after wearing t-shirt proclaiming ‘trans women are men’

Debbie Hayton

A transgender woman, Debbie Hayton, is facing expulsion from the LGBT+ committee of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) after she wore a T-shirt saying: ‘Trans women are men. Get over it.’

Hayton, 51, wore the T-shirt at an event organised by Fair Play for Women, an anti-trans campaign group working to oppose reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.

12 members of the TUC submitted an official complaint against Hayton, stating that by wearing the T-shirt Hayton had “gone beyond discourse, and the expression of alternative viewpoints, and is now propagating hate speech against the trans community.”

She is now facing disciplinary action and possible expulsion from the committee. A TUC spokesman told the Daily Telegraph: “The TUC is working with union representatives from across our elected LGBT committee to hear everyone’s perspectives and find a way forward.”

Hayton refused to comment when contacted by the Daily Mail, but several LGBT+ advocates praised the move on Twitter, calling it “the straw that broke the camel’s back after a long campaign against the trans community.”

“Wouldn’t you say having a trans rep who campaigns against trans rights on an LGBT committee is a bit problematic, especially when that individual admits serving FOUR suspensions from Twitter for her anti-trans activities?” asked LGBT+ journalist Christine Hart.

Hayton is considered a controversial figure by the LGBT+ community and provokes frequent criticism for her problematic articles in the right-wing press, including ‘Self-identification will not help transgender people‘, ‘Women are right to have concerns over trans reforms‘, and ‘The rush to diagnose trans children serves no-one‘.

She has also argued that trans woman should only compete against men in sporting events and has endorsed an LGB alliance that excludes trans people. Yet she actually believes it is trans activists who are the ones making life harder for trans people.

Explaining her gender identity, Hayton has previously said: “I am a proud transwoman. I am a male person who found the restrictions and expectations placed on me – because of my sex – impossible to live with. So I transitioned.”

Fair Play for Women founder Nicola Williams argued in defence of Hayton, telling the The Times that the backlash against her proves that the term transphobe has “lost all meaning”.

“When even trans people can get called transphobes, I hope people now understand how ludicrous and far-fetched these attacks have always been. The trans movement has been hijacked by gender extremists,” she said.

Williams’ claims suggest that transgender people are incapable of transphobia themselves, which is of course not the case. Internalised transphobia is real – but regardless, neither Williams nor Hayton have the authority to decide whether or not something can be perceived as transphobic by others.