Anonymous creator of Beeston postbox topper accused of intimidating trans people

A knitted postbox topper reading 'woman adult female'
-Credit: (Image: Facebook)

A postbox topper in a Nottinghamshire town has been deemed an "unacceptable act of intimidation" by local councillors. The knitted topper, which was placed on a Royal Mail box in Beeston on Saturday, June 1, was swiftly removed by locals who saw its "woman adult female" stitching as a pointed message that transgender people were not to be accepted as women.

The removal of the knitting was praised by Broxtowe Borough Council's ruling Labour group councillors, who thanked those who had taken it off the postbox. "[There is] no place for this in Beeston," the group said, adding: "This goes against the spirit of postbox toppers which aims to bring communities together and not divide."

This endorsement of the removal drew some criticism from gender-critical feminists and also provoked criticism from former Labour councillor Trevor Cast, who represented Chilwell West between 1999-2007. "Labour councillors shouldn't be policing women and free speech, they were happy to see it gone and promoted its disappearance.

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"This Royal Mail box is not the property of Broxtowe's Labour councillors either. What authority do councillors have to encourage and thank people for removing it?

"As a Labour councillor I disagreed with Tory councillors on policy, but we allowed each other to speak." Mr Cast also claimed the topper's message was protected by the Equality Act.

Gender-critical beliefs are a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010, after a judge's ruling in 2021. However, they cannot be used as the basis for discrimination or harassment of transgender people.

Labour councillor Helen Faccio, who is the council's portfolio holder for community safety, acknowledged not everyone would have the same views on the subject but described the timing and content of the topper as an "unacceptable act of intimidation". "June is Pride month around the world, held to celebrate the culture and promote the rights of LGBTQ+ people," the Attenborough and Chilwell East councillor said.

"It may have started decades ago as Gay Pride, but now firmly includes transgender and non-binary people, who until recently often felt forced to keep their identity and orientation secret. The creation and placement of this postbox topper, on the first day of Pride Month, was an unacceptable act of intimidation against transgender and non-binary people.

"We do not want Broxtowe to be an intolerant place. You don't have to agree or understand other people's lifestyles and life choices - however there is no need to try and intimidate them or go out of your way to negate their experience."