A transgender lawyer has reported a transexual solicitor to the police for "non-stop" harassment and malicious communications on Twitter.
Stephanie Hayden, a male-to-female transgender woman, also sued the transexual solicitor, who goes by the name 'Boudica10' on Twitter, for defamation. Hayden alleged that Boudica10 posted five tweets between 5-13 September containing wording which defamed her by casting doubt on her status as a lawyer.
The Bad Tweets
- "I rang Cilex. I am not going to repeat publicly what I was able to find out, because I'd no doubt be threatened with libel but Cilex is your answer."
- "I'm hoping that everyone who has been threatened by this individual comes together with evidence so that we can show the world and especially the legal profession and justice system, how duplicitous they are."
- "Impersonating a solicitor is an offence...that's why some unqualified lawyers claim to be mambers of Cilex. No risk of prosecution."
- "Spoken today to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority today in respect of @flyinglawyer73's holding herself out as an authorised and regulated person (an offence under s.20 of the Solicitors Act 1974) and tomorrow I am speaking to the police about her racist tweet and other matters."
- "My issue with @flyinglawyer73 is solely that she claims to be a lawyer and uses that to shut women down. It's narcissistic and it's abuse."
Hayden claimed the tweets caused serious harm to her reputation by suggesting that she was holding herself out as a solicitor, as well as by causing distress, anxiety, injured feelings, and attracting ridicule and contempt. Hayden also accused Boudica10 of 'deadnaming' her by referring to her former male identity, which she says was a transphobic act intended to cause her distress.
Hayden and Boudica10 first fell out when they were both members of a pressure group called Transexual Voices Matter (TVM). As part of its mission TVM opposed efforts by transgender activists to amend The Gender Recognition Act 2004 to allow people to self-declare their gender. But when a tweet was posted from TVM's account which referred to transgender people as "delusional men in dresses", Hayden complained to Boudica10 and quit the group because, she said, her concerns were ignored. Before shutting down, TVM warned that transgender activists were hijacking the term 'transexual', which has traditionally been used to describe people with diagnosed gender dysphoria who have medically transitioned and live as women, to promote a wider definition that encompasses anyone who identifies as a woman.
In her claim, Hayden accused Boudica10 of being "hostile to transgender women, who have not had genital reconstruction surgery, being considered as women". She said the transexual solicitor was also hostile to the idea that they should have access to women-only facilities or services. Boudica10 told RollOnFriday, "We do clash on exactly that point. As a survivor of male sexual violence I am against male genitals in women's spaces."
Transgender activists have engaged in increasingly high-profile battles with those who object to the definition of 'women' being widened to include people with penises. This week protesters forced the removal of a billboard which displayed a dictionary definition of 'woman', "adult human female", on the grounds that it was transphobic. The Times recently reported that Natacha Kennedy, a transgender Goldsmiths lecturer, "orchestrated a smear campaign" against feminist academics who did not accept that biological males could be women.
Hayden voiced support for Kennedy, tweeting, "It is absolutely right and proper that #transphobic academics are called out!". She has herself called out an academic. In a Twitter thread in September Hayden vowed to sue Dr Deidre O'Neill, an arts lecturer at Brunel University who objects to the transgender line, and report her to her employer for boosting the view that Hayden isn't a lawyer.
Unlike 'solicitor' or 'barrister', 'lawyer' is not a protected term, so claims that Hayden is not a lawyer are perilous. And while Hayden declined to give RollOnFriday details of her degree or other qualifications "due to the harassment I have received", she said that she had considerable practitioner experience in courts, tribunals and as an in-house legal adviser. Hayden said she was also regulated by Cilex for four years, although she relinquished her membership in 2012 for "confidential reasons which did not relate to any disciplinary or other investigation". However, "What I will say is that during a preliminary hearing in the County Court at Leeds on 12 September 2018 HHJ Saffran stated in open court (in relation to myself), 'You clearly are a lawyer'”.
Boudica10 is due to be interviewed under caution by the police. Along with possibly several others: