Father Ted writer Graham Linehan says the trans activist Stephanie Hayden is dangerous troll by Lucy Bannerman in the Times 29.09.18

The original article is here.

The creator of Father Ted is embroiled in a row with a transgender activist, who allegedly published online several addresses linked to his family in an attempt to “shut him up”.

Graham Linehan, the Bafta award-winning comedy writer, said he would not stop voicing his concerns in the debate over transgender rights, after personal details and addresses linked to his wife’s company were tweeted by Stephanie Hayden, an activist with a history of threatening Twitter users with legal action, and reporting them to police if they disagree with her views on gender. Publishing such details online is known as doxxing.

This week she reported Mr Linehan to Norfolk constabulary for “transphobic harassment”, after he shared a post with his 672,000 followers that included details of Ms Hayden’s various aliases, examples of her conduct online and financial history. The scriptwriter said he shared the details because he believed Ms Hayden to be “a dangerous troll. I believe it’s important to shine a light on people like that because they are harming women and transwomen”.

Ms Hayden, 45, an activist from Leeds previously known as Tony Halliday and Steven Hayden, claims to be a lawyer but is not recognised by any professional legal body.

She has previously accused Sussex University of being a “temple of transgender hate” and supported the campaign to oust female academics if they challenged transgender orthodoxy. She was also among the activists who pressurised a billboard company this week to remove a poster in Liverpool, which said the dictionary definition of “woman” was an “adult human female” because it was offensive.

When a transsexual solicitor challenged Ms Hayden, who graduated with a law degree from Birkbeck, University of London, to prove her professional credentials, she made allegations of hate crime to West Yorkshire Police.

Mr Linehan, 50, claimed Ms Hayden posted details of his wife’s company, and published them online, in retaliation for sharing details of her background.

“Hayden was trying to shut me up by attacking my wife,” he said. “The only thing the extremists will accept in this conversation is complete capitulation but I won’t stop talking about this.

“There’s this unquestioning reverence for anyone who says they are transgender, but this unquestioning loyalty is really dangerous. Once people start silencing views, they start thinking they can get away with anything. This time, Stephanie has overreached.”

Ms Hayden denied accusations she behaved like a troll. She said: “I tweet under my own name and I am accountable for my actions. It is a matter of public record that I was born ‘Anthony Halliday’. My name was changed lawfully in 2005 to ‘Steven Hayden’. There is no legal prohibition on maintaining two identities. There is no legal requirement for any lawyer to be registered with a professional body unless carrying out reserved activities under their own name. I no longer routinely carry out any reserved activities.

“Mr Linehan deliberately used my former male identity and referred to me as ‘he’ despite having personal knowledge that I am the holder of a female gender recognition certificate. This is an act of transphobic harassment.”