A prestigious University of Oxford college has announced that consistent use of incorrect pronouns, 'deadnaming’ or intrusive questioning are now to be considered suitable grounds for expulsion.
Unveiled in their Trans Inclusion Statement, Regent’s Park College declared that “unlawful discriminatory behaviour, including transphobic harassment or bullying… will be regarded extremely seriously and could be grounds for disciplinary action.”
While Regent’s Park College went on to concede that “it is not possible to have a comprehensive definition of transphobia,” the college endeavoured to outline a list of examples of harassment that may lead to “expulsion or dismissal”.
Included in the examples of harassment is “consistently using incorrect titles, pronouns or names to refer to a trans person (‘deadnaming’) especially where this causes distress.”
Regent's Park College alumni include Alexandra Knatchbull, Princess Diana’s goddaughter.
University of Oxford
Also banned is “unduly intrusive or personal questioning”, “making jokes about trans people or their trans status”, and “denying or disputing the validity and/or existence of a trans person’s identity.”
The college proclaimed that it “also respects the rights of those holding gender-critical beliefs which are to be protected, provided their expression does not constitute harassment as not respecting the rights and freedoms of others.”
By implementing a specific policy about gender identity, Regent’s Park College is thought to be the first college to recognise trans as a protected characteristic.
The statement comes in the wake of headline hitting controversy at the Oxford Union over the appearance of Prof Kathleen Stock, who has vocal gender-critical views.
Professor Kathleen Stock awarded an OBE in 2022 for services to higher education
The talk on transgender rights was interrupted at the 10 minute mark by a student activist glueing their hand to the floor before being escorted out the debating chamber by police.
Riz Possnett, the protester who glued themselves to the floor, said trans rights, said: “Trans lives and rights should not be up for ‘debate’, but the Union did not even provide that.
"My goal was to show the other side, to ensure everyone who listened to Stock’s talk also considered the dangerous consequences of those views for trans people, particularly trans youth.
“Kathleen Stock is not welcome here. Terfs are not welcome here. We will resist hatred, and we will fight for trans rights."
They continued: “Trans people, including trans youth, deserve to live in peace, safe from bigotry and harassment, with access to life-saving gender-affirming healthcare.”
Around 200 protesters gathered at Bonn Square on the day of the talk, holding banners which read “resisting by existing” and chanting, “trans rights – human rights”, before marching towards the 200-year-old debating society where police braced for potential clashes.
One of the smaller Oxford colleges, Regent’s Park alumni include theologian Paul Fiddes and Alexandra Knatchbull, Princess Diana’s goddaughter.
Regent’s Park College is run by Prof Sir Malcolm Evans, a legal scholar who sat on the panel of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.