Anti-trans campaigners have used crowdfunding sites to raise money for at least 18 UK lawsuits against trans rights within the last four years.
According to an investigation by Reuters, in that time almost a £1 million has been raised for anti-trans litigation on crowdfunding sites such as CrowdJustice, GoFundMe and Crowdfunder.
More than half of the 18 cases were related to “free speech” in opposing the rights of trans people in places like work and universities. Four cases challenged access to healthcare and school policies for young trans people, while two more argued that trans women should not have the same legal rights as cisgender women.
CrowdJustice, which was set up specifically to raise funds for lawsuits, has seen 27,500 donations go towards anti-trans legal cases, amounting to roughly £800,000.
Just this month, the Royal Courts of Justice heard a case against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the only NHS gender clinic for trans youth, for which more than £95,000 was crowdfunded.
The High Court’s ruling means that trans under-16s in England and Wales have been effectively blocked from being referred for puberty blockers, a “life-saving” treatment that delay puberty for young trans people, without the approval of a court.
Maya Forstater raised more than £100,000 trying to have ‘gender-critical’ views protected.
Out of the crowdfunders for anti-trans legal cases analysed by Reuters, the one that raised the most money was that of Maya Forstater, who sought to have her “gender-critical views” protected under the UK Equalities Act.
Forstater has, to date, raised £118,000 for her initial case and upcoming appeal through a CrowdJustice page, after raising £30,000 in the page’s first eight hours. Her case was fully paid for through crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding was also used to raise money for a case against Oxfordshire County Council’s “Trans Inclusion Toolkit” , which was updated in 2019 to include guidance on toilets, changing rooms, residential trips and PE classes, and was aimed at professionals working with children and young people in schools, colleges and other education settings.
The case, brought by a 13-year-old girl who says she objects to sharing changing rooms and bathrooms with trans girls, did not go ahead in the end as the council withdrew the guidance for young trans people under the threat of legal action.
Trans people are fighting back and crowdfunding for themselves.
But crowdfunding sites are also being used to support and defend the trans community.
In the face of crowdfunding for anti-trans lawsuits, legal non-profit the Good Law Project has started the Legal Defence Fund for Transgender Lives via CrowdJustice.
In less than one month, the crowdfunding page has raised £115,000 to support trans people in fighting legal action.
According to the page: “If you are trans your very existence is apparently for up grabs.
“The data also shows you will face daily injustice, discrimination and violence. In Britain, today.
It adds: “Those who want to roll back the rights of trans and non-binary people are turning to litigation to do so…. It’s time to push back.”
The first case supported by the fund is that of a transgender teenager taking legal action over the years-long wait faced by young people seeking appointments with NHS specialists.