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11 December 2021

Debbie Hayton (1968 - ) physics teacher, trans arbiter

Hayton grew up in County Durham and was at Newcastle University when the Thatcher government passed Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 which resulted in a de facto ban on any mention of gay or trans topics in schools. Hayton did a BSc, 1989 and PhD, 1992 in atomic physics,  and became a physics teacher at secondary schools, mainly (2002 - now) in Coventry in the West Midlands. 

As a man Hayton married and had three children, and was also an active trade unionist. 

By 2011 Hayton was feeling a very strong desire to transition and had sessions with a psychotherapist who compelled an exploration of every alternative to transition. Following this, Hayton started transition as Debbie 20 December 2012, the very same day that another trans teacher Lucy Meadows was denounced in the Daily Mail, and eventually driven to suicide by the unrelenting press scrum outside her home and school. Debbie’s transition, by contrast, went well with support from fellow teachers and the union.

Debbie had completion surgery in 2016 at the age of 48. Mrs Hayton has stayed as her wife. 

Debbie set herself up almost immediately as an arbiter of all things trans. Since 2016 she has been an opponent of self-identification. She has written on trans topics for most of the Conservative-supporting press: The Daily Mail, The Times, The Economist, The Telegraph, and has a regular column in The Spectator, UnHerd and Russia Today (RT),

In May 2019, TES (previously Times Educational Supplement) published an article on its front-page by Hayton on trans issues in schools where she endorsed the Transgender Trend guide which regards trans in children as ‘simple social contagion’ via rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD), is against medical assistance to trans kids and advises teachers to tell classmates that one cannot change sex.

In December 2019 Hayton wore a T-shirt at an event organised by Fair Play For Women (one of the largest and best-funded campaign groups working to oppose reforms to the Gender Recognition Act) which (mimicking a slogan by Stonewall) stated that "Trans women are men. Get over it."

Hayton has spoken up for the LGB Alliance, a splinter group from Stonewall UK founded in 2019 in opposition to Stonewall’s postions re trans persons. The Alliance in return describes Hayton as “one of our bravest trans allies”.

Hayton has expressed opposition to the Yogyakarta Principles; the Resolution 2018 of the Council of Europe; Self-identification; the concept of Gender Identity; the provision of Puberty Blockers to children; trans women using women’s toilets; Eddie Redmayne apologising for taking a trans role.

  • Nick Duffy. “Education magazine TES loses star columnist over transphobia row” Pink News,May 11, 2019.
  • Emma Powys Maurice. “Transgender woman accused of hate speech after wearing t-shirt proclaiming ‘trans women are men’ “. Pink News, December 23, 2019. Online.
  •  “Debbie Hayton, Not in Our Name.”. Steph’s Place, 26thMarch 2021. Online.
  • Debbie Hayton. “ 'It's a betrayal of children to ban experts from asking tough questions before they can change gender': Transwoman DEBBIE HAYTON gives her view on a new Government bill which she fears will have damaging, unintended consequences”, Daily Mail, 3 December 2021. Online.

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We have considered several on these pages who regard who regard that what worked for them should be imposed on others (Virginia Prince), and what did not work for them should be banned (Alan FinchWalt Heyer).  Of course no approach works for all.  We are very different and have different needs.

There is a divide among trans persons between those who regard therapy as essential and those for whom such a requirement is at best an irritant. 

There is an important typology re transsexuals who require therapy and those who do not.   That of Anne Vitale.  Like all typologies, there are some trans persons who do not fit in it at all, but it explains more than other approaches.  Vitale's third type G3 is those who arrive in middle-age still acting heteronormatively as per their initial gender.  These persons suffer chronic gender dysphoria and do need a therapist to either help them stay in their initial gender or to start transition.  Vitale proposes the term Gender Deprivation Anxiety Disorder (GEDAD).   G3 person have often married and had children.    Within this typology, Hayter would certainly seem to be a G3.

Hayter presumes to know what is best for transkids.   Her perspective is that of a school teacher.  However she was never a transkid herself and cannot really understand them.  

Hayter seems to be a contrarian re almost everything advocated by and achieved by the trans movement, even though the trans movement is riven on many issues.   To be so contrarian she has allied with those who would "morally mandate us out of existence" (to use Raymond's words).  Hayton is not the first trans woman to seek validation from anti-trans organisations.  


  1. If self-id were as Hayton and the TERFs maintain, why don't we have warning stories from Ireland, Argentina and Malta where it is up and working.

  2. I find it fascinating when other trans people become arbiters for authenticity and it speaks to me as a kind of insecurity. Reminds me of people like Blair White who are quick to judge everyone else's motives except their own :)


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