Sex Matters Christmas Appeal 2021

What a year it has been!

Sex Matters launched in March, and we now have a dedicated board, a small paid team, over 1,000 regular supporters whose donations make our work possible, dozens of volunteers, and a brand and media presence. 

We are grateful to everyone who has donated to Sex Matters, as volunteers and advisors, regular supporters, and occasional donors.

It’s time to ask for your support again. We have several campaigns to run in 2022, and each one takes time to research, set up on follow up. 

Why sex matters

We set up Sex Matters to address a crisis in integrity. Across the public, private and voluntary sectors organisations have lost the courage and sense to stand up and say that sex matters: for women’s rights, for ordinary privacy and dignity, for safeguarding, for fairness and safety in sport, for gay and lesbian rights and for freedom of speech.

Our mission is to enable more people to speak up and to challenge institutions, laws and policies that erase sex in favour of gender identity.

2021 in review

Worthy of respect – On June 10, exactly a year after JK Rowling published her silence-busting essay, Maya Forstater won the first part of her legal case, establishing that the belief that sex is real, binary and important is “worthy of respect in a democratic society”. This is already making a difference to thousands of people at work. 

The #DontSubmitToStonewall campaign started by Sex Matters chair and co-founder Naomi Cunningham  saw hundreds of people submitting freedom of information requests to shine a light on Stonewall’s hold over the public sector. This was picked up by newspapers and the BBC. And in November Naomi spoke on a platform with Nancy Kelley, CEO of Stonewall, ending the era of “no debate” for good. 

We launched the book campaign to send a copy of Helen Joyce’s book Trans: when ideology meets reality to politicians, and with the help of many hundreds of sponsors and an impressive volunteer postroom operation we sent copies to every MP, MSP, or member of the Welsh Senedd, and to hundreds of other individually-nominated people including regulators, head-teachers and CEOs, together with personal messages.The conversation has changed. More and more people are speaking up at work, online and with friends. But we still have much more to do to unpick, persuade and repair, and to prevent self-ID by the back door.

Conversion therapy: Together with Fair Play For Women, and thousands of letter writers we have successfully persuaded the government to take more time over the consultation on a proposal to ban “conversion therapy”. Next year we will be working hard to try to ensure that legislation doesn’t encourage more children to transition early, and make more adults afraid to challenge the “born in the wrong body” narrative.

Sex matters in 2022

Next year we plan to do more to empower individuals, to offer guidance to organisations and hold them accountable, and to influence businesses and policy makers.

We are looking for a final fundraising push this year to make sure that we are able to act with speed, scale and impact.

If you want us to do even more, even better, next year please make a donation to our Christmas appeal.

  • £20 – will help us launch a campaign tool to enable people to easily tell retailers what the law says about single sex services 
  • £50 – will support our engagement with MPs and peers on upcoming legislation including on conversion therapy
  • £100 – will support us to develop guidance for HR and for corporate boards

Or you can become a regular supporter (if you are not already!).

Naomi Cunningham, Maya Forstater, Michael Biggs, Rebecca Bull and Emma Hilton