written by: Anonymous
NOTE: This is one of many testimonies regarding institutional capture, given to me by employees, students and service users in various sectors across the UK. See this page for more examples.
Only just a few weeks ago I was running a monthly dial in group for Autism (I am autistic) and had been running the group of quite some time, however, more and more individuals were dialling in, that “identified” as autistic and most identified as transgender too.
It has been some 30 years since I started on the lowly grade of assistant officer in a government department in East London. It was a time where public bodies and Government organisations adhered to the law. How times have changed.
My particular government department, a large cumbersome and antiquated place now has it’s own intranet where guidance on various aspects of law can be found, among staffing issues and concerns.
One such page on the intranet is Prism, it’s LGBTQ+ community group where social get-togethers and advice mingle among the direct link to the charity Stonewall and guidance on the LGBTQ+ community and how to be “a great ally.” Here, the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010 are written to inform allies and friends of the law. Except sex is not listed as a protected characteristic, but “gender identity” is listed.
My email notifications ping and I check the latest. It’s an email informing me of a new “Language review focus group” event to examine the “inclusion terminology” we use within our department. More inclusive terms will be discussed and embedded.
Only just a few weeks ago I was running a monthly dial in group for Autism (I am autistic) and had been running the group for quite some time, however, more and more individuals were dialling in, that “identified” as autistic and most identified as transgender too. Each month I’d pick a topic of interest to discuss and one such topic had been chosen by one of the members. He had asked that we talk about sex differences in Autism and I duly obliged. The dial in was a difficult one, with certain individuals butting in to “correct” my use of sex to gender and constantly disagreeing that sex/gender had any bearing on autism. I was exasperated. The biological reality of structural brain differences and the unique way in way Autism affects girls and boys so differently was swept under the carpet. I handed my group leadership over to admin to find a new leader. I knew the loudest members, most identifying as transgender, would jump at the chance to take the group and mould it into an umbrella branch of the LGBTQ+ and my attempts to resist this would be futile.