Mother Investigated for 'Hate Crimes' for Calling Transgender 'He' on Twitter
Devout Catholic to be questioned by police for 'misgendering' during debate online
A devout Catholic mother is being investigated by police for "hate crimes" after she allegedly referred to a transgender as "he" on Twitter following a TV debate appearance.
44-year-old Caroline Farrow, a British broadcaster and writer for Roman Catholic newspapers, says she's been the subject of a five-month police investigation and is due to be taken in for questioning by investigators.
Mrs. Farrow says a police officer confirmed on Monday that she is to be questioned by law enforcement for calling someone's transgender daughter "he" in a tweet after they debated primary school sex education the TV show Good Morning Britain with host Piers Morgan.
The high-profile Christian journalist says she is prepared to go to jail, adding: "I don't know what I am suspected to have done.
"The only thing I can think of is that I may have referred to a 23-year-old transgender woman as someone's 'son.'
"I try at all times to be polite on Twitter, but it is my belief on both a religious and scientific basis that you cannot change the sex into which you were born."
She added that the police investigator said her tweets had "misgendered" an individual by using the wrong gender pronoun, which could be an offense under the Malicious Communications Act.
According to the Daily Mail, sentences for those found guilty under this act can be as long as two years in prison.
The law makes it a crime to send messages that are indecent or grossly offensive, threatening, or contain information which is false or believed to be false if the purpose for sending it is to cause distress or anxiety.
The Twitter incident followed a studio debate between Mrs. Farrow and Susie Green, a transgender campaigner whose daughter Jackie, 25, is transgender.
Mrs. Farrow, who is married to a priest, said she was "worried and alarmed" following the call from police.
She wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: "I don't even remember said tweets! I probably said 'he' or 'son' or something. I have done nothing wrong, nothing illegal and will happily do jail time for my right to say that people cannot change sex."
Had a message from Guildford police tonight about my tweets following an appearance on @GMB with Susie Green and Piers Morgan. Susie Green has reported me for misgendering her daughter.— Caroline Farrow (@CF_Farrow) March 18, 2019
I have pointed out to the police that I am a Catholic journalist/commentator and it is my religious belief that a person cannot change sex. That we are in the middle of a national conversation about what it means to be male and what it means to be female.— Caroline Farrow (@CF_Farrow) March 18, 2019
Nonetheless following my appearance on National Television the CPS have decided I need to be interviewed under caution for misgendering Susie Green’s child.— Caroline Farrow (@CF_Farrow) March 18, 2019
The tweet case was pursued by Surrey Police, whose former Chief Constable Lynne Owens said in 2015 that as a result of £25million in cuts and the loss of 250 officers, minor crimes would be ignored in favor of investigations of offenses against vulnerable people.
The force confirmed yesterday that it received an allegation over tweets by Miss Farrow on October 15.
A spokesman said: "A thorough investigation is being carried out to establish whether any criminal offenses have taken place.
"A 44-year-old woman has been asked to attend a voluntary interview in relation to the allegation as part of our ongoing investigation.
"We have been made aware that a number of allegations have since been made on Twitter and we will be making contact with the person concerned in relation to these posts."
In 2012 Jackie Green made history when she became the first transgender Miss England finalist.
Jackie, who was born Jack and spent her childhood trying to persuade her parents she had been born into the wrong body, said: "I knew from the start that I was a girl, it was just actually having the vocabulary to make people understand.
"I would have had the surgery at five years old if I could. After the surgery, it felt like starting life for the first time.
"Loads of kids go through stages, some people go down the transgender route and then change their minds, mostly because they don't have the support of their family.
"At primary school, I dressed as a boy for the majority of the time.
"The kids understood and just took it in their stride.
"But secondary school was horrible. I was being spat on, being beaten up and called so many different names. The parents were the worst.
"I was prescribed 'blockers' by a doctor in Boston when was I was twelve.
"It basically paused puberty and it saved my life. I would have killed myself. I wouldn't have been able to cope."
When Jackie was aged just four she told her mother Susan: "God has made a mistake, I should be a girl."
Aged 16, Jackie Green became the youngest person in the world to undergo transgender surgery.
She said: "Without that surgery, I wouldn’t be here now."
The row blew up on the same day as it emerged the Oxford English Dictionary is introducing genderneutral words in what editors said was an "attempt to grapple" with the sensitive topic.
These include "hir" and "zir" as alternative pronouns to him, his or her, "peoplekind" rather than mankind, and "[email protected]" as a gender-neutral term for someone of either sex from Latin America.
Meanwhile, the verb "misgender" could apply to anyone who makes any gaffes.