Falmer, East Sussex, England – LGBT+ students at the University of Sussex have welcomed news that professor Kathleen Stock is to leave the institution. Students have been organizing under the slogan “Stock Out” since October 6, when they launched a campaign calling on the university to terminate Stock’s employment over her trans-exclusionary views and position as trustee of anti-trans charity LGB Alliance. On Wednesday October 28, vice chancellor Adam Tickell told staff and students that Stock “has decided to leave the university”. In a Twitter thread, Stock said she is “sad to announce” that she is leaving the University of Sussex. “This has been a very difficult few years, but the leadership’s approach more recently has been admirable and decent. I hope that other institutions in similar situations can learn from this,” she posted. “This has been an absolutely horrible time for me and my family. I’m putting it behind me now. On to brighter things soon, I hope.”

“The University of Sussex has vigorously and unequivocally defended [Stock’s] right to exercise her academic freedom and lawful freedom of speech, free from bullying and harassment of any kind,” Tickell’s statement said. “We had hoped that Professor Stock would feel able to return to work, and we would have supported her to do so,” it continues. “She has decided that recent events have meant that this will not be possible, and we respect and understand that decision. We will miss her many contributions, from which the university has benefited during her time here.”

LGBT+ students at the University of Sussex had branded Stock a “transphobe” and accused her of “espousing a bastardized version of ‘radical feminism’ that excludes and endangers trans people”. Stock denies that she is transphobic, and has previously said that she “asserts the rights of trans people to live their lives free from fear, violence, harassment or any discrimination”. However, she has called “many trans women still males with male genitalia” and argued against their inclusion in single-sex spaces, something protected by the Equality Act 2010. “Massive win for Sussex LGBTQ+ students today,” said an account on Instagram claiming to represent trans and non-binary students at Sussex. “Let’s take a minute to appreciate this.” The group added: “Queer and trans students united, never to be defeated!!” (Pink News – Vic Parsons at https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2021/10/28/kathleen-stock-quits-sussex-university-trans/)

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