Assembly election: SDLP candidate Charlotte Carson breaks ranks to answer ‘No’ to trans question

An SDLP candidate has become the first would-be MLA from the any of the main non-unionist parties to respond to questions from feminist campaigners whether biological men dressed as women should be allowed to use changing rooms with teenage girls.

By Henry McDonald
Friday, 29th April 2022, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 29th April 2022, 10:13 am

Charlotte Carson has said ‘No’ to the query from Standing For Women Northern Ireland (SFWNI), one of two feminist groups that have challenged local politicians over the protection of female-only spaces.

The school teacher, who introduced classes on feminism in schools, wrote yesterday on SFWNI’s Facebook page: “If you’re talking about someone who has been born a man and who has medically transitioned including surgery to identify as a woman then I would be comfortable with that person using female-only spaces.

“If you are talking about self ID where a fully functioning man with a fully functioning male body declares himself a woman and wants access to women only spaces then I would say no to this.”

Charlotte Carson is a teacher who has introduced classes on feminism in schools

Mrs Carson, who is standing in East Belfast, continued: “I believe I am very well informed on this issue and some colleagues of mine are founding members of Women’s Place UK.

“I think this is an issue that requires our attention but also our compassion and that we must not get drawn into a situation where two vulnerable groups of people are fighting each other for their rights.

“Ultimately it is predatory men that are the problem here not genuine trans women who want acceptance and support from society.”

The News Letter revealed yesterday that tabulated results of a survey by SFWNI of all Assembly candidates revealed that everyone standing for the Alliance Party, Sinn Fein, the SDLP, the Greens, People Before Profit and other small leftist parties were in the category ‘Didn’t Care to Answer’ when asked the question over young female’s changing facilities.

Individual DUP, UUP and TUV candidates, as well the nationalist Aontu party alongside a number of independent candidates, said ‘No’ to the question.

The survey was released at the same time as billboards were erected by Women’s Rights Network Northern Ireland between the M2 and M3 motorways asking candidates: “What Is A Woman?”