Former ‘gender critical activist’ reveals the blisteringly obvious reason she changed her mind – she talked to trans kids
A former “gender critical campaigner” has explained what she did to become a “full trans ally” – just speak to a trans person.
Charity director Nora Mulready revealed in The Independent that while she previously had “sympathy for gender critical campaigners”, within the last 18 months she had “experienced a powerful and precious thing – a sincere change of mind”.
Mulready explained that when her nephew came out as a trans boy in 2017, she was sure that it was a “phase” and “clutched” at anti-trans arguments spread by so-called “gender critical feminists”.
She wrote: “At first, I sought out stories about de-transitioning and regret, I read the obscure paper on the so-called ‘Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria‘, a popular term in gender-critical circles used to dispute the identities of transgender people.
“I read everything I could find that validated my instinct that the increase in transgender identity was a millennial fad, mental health issues, trauma, social contagion, fashion, patriarchy, you name it, I clutched at it.”
She added: “The idea that you could be ‘born in the wrong body’, as some people frame it, or that your consciousness could be gendered, or that you could physically change your body to match your mind was far beyond my understanding and my experience of life.”
But there was one thing she was yet to do, that would eventually prompt a realisation.
Mulready said: “I did not join in the public debates because I had a family connection to a child I adore and a sister, his mother, who I love beyond words.
“Instead, I stayed quiet, I watched and I waited, I saw my nephew thrive, I met many wonderful trans people who simply wanted to live their lives, I listened, and I learned, a lot. Over time my views changed.”
She said that she now sees that what she thought “was a protective rejection of a new ‘woke’ orthodoxy”, was actually “the same deep-rooted conservatism that has made human beings resistant to change throughout so much of our history”.
By listening and learning, Mulready was also able to step back from the “gender critical feminist” movement, and begin to see the holes in its arguments.
“On trans children,” she said, “I started to struggle with reconciling the arguments that the increasing numbers of trans boys coming out was due to misogyny in our society, yet the increasing number of trans girls was despite the same misogyny.
“The argument is that girls feel so worthless that they opt to be boys, yet when talking about trans girls, this argument disappeared in an instant.”
Mulready said that another example was: “The debate about when someone should be legally recognised as their non-biological gender.
“Gender-critical campaigners are fighting to ensure that the government insists on medical, not just social, transition for gender identity to be legally recognised.
“They simultaneously accuse trans activists and even parents of trans children of ‘shunting them’ down a medical route.”
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In other words, she said, “trans people cannot win”.
Her sister, the mother of her trans nephew, has always said “that this is not a free speech issue but an issue of kindness and humanity towards a group of people who are mocked and maligned daily”.
Now, finally agreeing with her, Mulready said: “Seeing this issue unfold within my own family taught me a profound lesson: the importance of humility in the face of something you do not understand.
“I am now a full trans ally, a proud aunt to a courageous 14-year-old boy, and a proud sister to his trailblazing mother who has become one of the most vocal campaigners for kindness and understanding for trans children in the UK.
“I now see trans acceptance as a civil rights issue, and I hope more and more people will stand with trans people in this fight.”