A number of anti-trans stickers have been found across Edinburgh, including around the university’s Students’ Association and the Royal Mile.
It comes after phallus-shaped transphobic stickers, stating “women don’t have penises,” were recently seen plastered around London and in Liverpool’s Crosby Beach area.
Some of the anti-trans stickers seen in the Scottish capital mock Stonewall’s “Get Over It!” slogan, instead stating: “Women’s sex based rights are not for penises. Get Over It!”
Other stickers carry phrases such as “female is a biological reality” and “woman = adult human female.”
The stickers have also been seen in the Marchmont, Bruntsfield, Morningside areas, and on South Bridge.
Edinburgh University’s Students’ Association is removing anti-trans stickers found in its buildings, including in women’s toilets, and on campus.
In recent months, a number of trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) groups across the UK have organised various high-profile stunts to protest against the government’s review of the Gender Recognition Act, which is currently out for consultation.
As well as the anti-trans stickers, these protests have included the installation of anti-trans billboards in Birmingham and Liverpool, and a group of lesbian TERFs hijacking the front of Pride in London’s parade.
Elliot Byrom, a trans, non binary and intersex officer at Edinburgh University’s PrideSoc, told PinkNews that acts of transphobia, including the messages promoted by the stickers, have a “detrimental impact” on trans people.”
“Promotional materials such as these stickers serve to encourage the spread and mainstreaming of harmful ideas. This may encourage further acts of transphobia, including physical violence, but also more insidious forms such as blocking the advancement of trans rights or passing anti-trans legislation.
“These anti-trans stickers are especially harmful as they were placed in bathrooms, and targeted trans women. Everyone feels more vulnerable in the bathroom, and trans people—and particularly trans women—must additionally face significant risk of violence and harassment while trying to use public toilets.
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“These stickers were also designed to imply that trans women themselves are a danger to cis women in public bathrooms, but this is not the case.”
A recent US survey showed there is no empirical evidence to the claim that allowing transgender people to use the public facility of their choice would increase violations of privacy and crime.
The Students’ Association has replaced the anti-trans stickers with posters that read: “The Students’ Association is a place for all. All forms of harassment and discrimination are unacceptable. This includes materials which promote transphobia.
“Any incident of harassment or discrimination is a serious matter which will be dealt with through disciplinary action, and materials removed.”
Activists at the Edinburgh branch of Sisters Uncut have started to remove the stickers and replace them with their own stickers criticising TERFs.
A spokesperson from Sisters Uncut Edinburgh told PinkNews: “Transphobic stickers that deny a persons’ right to identify their own gender are damaging those peoples’ human rights. These stickers have been placed in public spaces specifically to target trans people and to make them feel unsafe in Edinburgh.”
The spokesperson added: “Trans rights are human rights. The proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act in Scotland are supported by activists and politicians from across the political spectrum.
“The reform to the Gender Recognition Act will bring greater equality to the trans community and make it easier and cheaper for them to transition.”