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We need safe spaces for trans children now.

Oxfordshire council scrapping the integration of trans and cis girls heralds the start of an apartheid system starting from the bottom up. The question is, once removing the right of trans girls to integrate into mainstream society is - where do they pee? Where do they get changed? The same is true for transsexual, transgender and non-binary adults, who are waiting for Liz Truss' proposals as to how they are going to be segregated from society.

The apartheid system, segregating cis women from trans women is largely based on the fearmongering and dehumanisation of trans women over the last 3 years in the mainstream press and on the TV. Specious claims, biased and unverified, have been allowed to propagate that transitioned women, despite being the victims of the most horrendous crimes, are depicted as criminals and sex offenders themselves. Such dehumanisation has been part of an orchestrated campagin by the far right, fed by sources from abroad.

Mixing trans girls with cis boys is a recipie for disaster - it means that they become open to the most awful abuses - physical, verbal and emotional. When I was growing up, everyone knew I was queer, just not exactly what type. I was physically and sexually assualted, called all sorts of names, and had the pain of keeping my secret until I was an adult. It wasn't until I was in a safe enough position, after laws and legislation was passed, that I could transition. To see trans children separated out like this is an anathema for me, but it seems there is no other way forward. There is no way to reassure people that the lives of trans girls are policed and managed with every person around them trying to protect them, and by that process, any others. Any move by them seen as predatory might threaten their transition and therefore acts as a cushion of safety against any form of "predation". Again, trans children are not immune to the villainisation attributed to trans adults - to be seen as a threat, something society must guard against. The reason why trans people suggested integrating trans girls earlier is twofold - firstly they are not singled out as different, and secondly this allows them the opportinuity to socially develop alongside other girls. We know this is important, because, sadly, some trans adults have a hard time integrating. Also, we were told very loudly and vociferously by our cis counterparts that trans women were "socialised as men" and therefore could not integrate. By championing apartheid, what is effectively going to happen is that trans girls have no chance to be socialised as anything other than "being othered". And this is something that transitioned women will have to adjust to also, opening us up to the kinds of physical, emotional and sexual abuse we had to live with as children. As a transitioned woman, I know all too well, that people mostly treat you with kindness and courtesy up until the point that they know you had to transition. Then you are at risk. The campaign is touted to have been made by a girl, however the content of her actions and what she says is transparently fed by transphobic organisations, she is merely the echo chamber. Such are the dynamics of power between cis and trans women, that cis women choose to use the pinacle of cis white vulnerability as the vehicle of their challenge. These are troubled times for trans women across the globe. In Hungary, trans women are loosing the right to legal recognition, in America, there are the bathroom bills and a refusal to integrate trans women into their culture and civilisation. We can only try and live peacefully, as ourselves, and keep our family and friends as close as ever, our worlds ever more dangerous every day.

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