On 30 May 2023, a group of trans activists stormed the Oxford Union to interrupt a talk by Dr Kathleen Stock, a gender-critical feminist and former professor of philosophy. Among them was Riz Possnett, a student and activist who wore a t-shirt that read “No More Dead Trans Kids” and glued their hand to the floor in front of Stock. In this blog post, I will explore who Riz Possnett is, why they protested against Stock, and what their message means.
Who is Riz Possnett?
Riz Possnett is a PPE student at the University of Oxford and a trans rights activist. They are also an anti-monarchy activist with No More Royals, a campaign that calls for the abolition of the British monarchy and the establishment of a republic. They have appeared on various media outlets, such as GB News and ITV News, to express their views on topics such as gender identity, trans rights, and the royal family.
Possnett identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. They are also bisexual and polyamorous. They describe themselves as a “professional light-speed gobshite” on their Twitter account, where they have nearly 2,000 followers. They are passionate about social justice, human rights, and democracy.
Why did they protest against Stock?
Possnett was one of the organisers of the protest against Stock’s talk at the Oxford Union. They said that they wanted to protest in a way that would allow Stock to exercise her right to free speech, but also make sure that anyone attending understood the consequences of her arguments. They said that Stock’s views are harmful and hateful to trans people, especially trans women, and that they contribute to their marginalisation and oppression.
Possnett said that they wore the t-shirt that read “No More Dead Trans Kids” to highlight the high rates of suicide and violence that trans youth face. They said that Stock’s views deny trans people’s identity and existence, and that they incite hatred and violence against them. They said that they glued their hand to the floor to symbolise their resistance and solidarity with the trans community.
What does their message mean?
Possnett’s message of “No More Dead Trans Kids” is a powerful and urgent one. It means that trans kids deserve to live and thrive, without facing discrimination, harassment, or violence. It means that trans kids need support and acceptance, not rejection or conversion. It means that trans kids have the right to self-determination, not coercion or erasure.
Possnett’s message also challenges Stock’s views on sex and gender identity. Stock argues that transgender people cannot expect all the rights afforded by biological sex, such as access to single-sex spaces, sports, and healthcare. She also criticises the concept of self-identification, which allows people to legally change their gender without any medical intervention or diagnosis. She claims that her views are based on scientific evidence and common sense.
Possnett’s message counters Stock’s views by affirming that trans people’s identity and existence are valid and real, not based on fiction or delusion. They assert that trans people’s rights are human rights, not privileges or threats. They demonstrate that trans people’s lives are valuable and precious, not disposable or expendable.
Riz Possnett is a trans activist who disrupted Kathleen Stock’s speech at Oxford Union by wearing a t-shirt that read “No More Dead Trans Kids” and gluing their hand to the floor. They did so to protest against Stock’s views on gender identity, which they consider harmful and hateful to trans people. They also did so to express their message of support and solidarity with the trans community, especially trans youth who face high rates of suicide and violence. Their message is a powerful and urgent one, which challenges Stock’s views and affirms trans people’s identity, rights, and lives.