Election 2019: Transgender campaigner suspended by Lib Dems The Times 09.11.19

The original article is here.

A transgender campaigner has been suspended by the Liberal Democrats.

The party began an investigation into Aimee Challenor, 22, a transgender woman, this summer. The inquiries are understood to include child sex fantasies that were posted on her fiancé’s Twitter account.

One post that appeared under the account name Nathaniel Knight said: “I fantasise about children having sex, sometimes with adults, sometimes with other children, sometimes kidnapped and forced into bad situations.”

Ms Challenor announced her engagement to Mr Knight, who lives in America, in January.

The posts clarified that the fantasies were not about real children. “It’s a fantasy, like a child who pretends to be a dragon while their friend is a dragon-slaying knight, or a robber while their friends pretend to be police. It’s make-believe and imaginary.”

Another post said: “I fantasise about things I don’t want to do in real life.”

Ms Challenor told The Sunday Times that the account appeared to have been hacked and the comments were not posted by her fiancé. She said she was quitting politics on December 12 after being abused and harassed herself.

“Both my partner and I condemn in the strongest ways possible the messages in those comments. We were shocked and sickened by them,” Ms Challenor said.

She was involved in a scandal in her previous party, the Greens, when her father acted as her election agent despite awaiting trial on child sex abuse charges. She joined the Lib Dems in September last year after leaving the Greens.

Party refuses to let ‘gender-critical’ woman join
The Liberal Democrats have told a “gender non-conforming” woman who does not accept that humans can change sex to join another party.

The woman, who posted about her experience on the Mumsnet website, emailed the party to say: “I have considered joining the Liberal Democrats and I would love to volunteer and even in the future attempt to become an MP if I was seen as suitable by the party.

“However, I am gender critical — that means that while I believe transgender people should not face any discrimination or abuse for their transgender status, I do not believe people can change biological sex.

“This belief has had me labelled a terf [trans-exclusionary radical feminist] and a hateful bigot. Can I confirm there is room in your party for gender-critical women? I am also bisexual and gender non-conforming. This would, under Stonewall definition, class me as transgender, ironically.”

The response from the “diversity team” said: “Whilst we appreciate your interest in joining, you should be aware that the Liberal Democrats are a trans inclusive party and we have made it clear that we are fully behind trans communities. As liberals we champion everyone’s right to live the life they want. By the sounds of your email it appears that your values are not aligned with ours so we are probably not the right party for you.”

Earlier this year Baroness Featherstone, a former Lib Dem minister, wrote a blog celebrating LGBT History Month in which she said: “I also have a message to those people who believe they can restrict trans women’s rights, deny their human rights or exclude them from women-only spaces in the name of feminists. You are not feminists. Your views are not welcome in the Liberal Democrats.”

She said the party had been campaigning for “gender neutral bathrooms, school uniforms and an ‘X’ option on passports, official documents and forms for those who do not wish to identify as male or female”.

A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said: “That’s sort of where we’re at. The response we’ve sent back is polite. Our views aren’t aligned with her views.”

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