Peter Tatchell pulls out of Oxford Union debate

Protest over hosting Kathleen Stock without a trans speaker


London – 1 June 2023

Veteran LGBT+ human rights defender, Peter Tatchell, has pulled out of tonight’s Oxford Union Pride debate over its hosting of Kathleen Stock on 30 May, without a speaker to challenge her trans-exclusion policies.

He was due to speak tonight on the proposition side: “This House believes that the commercialisation of Pride has done more harm than good.”

Writing to the Oxford Union today, Mr Tatchell said:

“I have decided, somewhat reluctantly, to withdraw from the debate.

“I strongly disagree with the Oxford Union giving Kathleen Stock a solo platform, without having a trans speaker to counter her viewpoint.

“While I am all in favour of free speech, it is not free speech when trans people are denied a voice in favour of those who want to restrict their inclusion and human rights.

“Given that trans equality is an important and topical issue, hosting a one-sided event without a pro-trans speaker is biased and unfair. It is a slap in the face to trans students and staff.

“In these circumstances, my speaking at the Oxford Union this week is inappropriate. I choose to stand in solidarity with the trans community.”