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In February 2019 Margaret Nelson, a 74-year-old former humanist celebrant from Suffolk, was contacted by local police regarding statements made on Twitter and on her blog.

Among her offending tweets was one that stated: "Gender is BS. Pass it on". Another read: "Gender’s fashionable nonsense. Sex is real. I’ve no reason to feel ashamed of stating the truth. The bloody annoying ones are those who use words like ‘cis’ or ‘terf’ and other BS, and relegate biological women to a ‘subset’. Sorry you believe the mythology."


Suffolk Police later contacted The Spectator magazine admitting that the call was a “misjudgement”.

Read the news report: Apology for blogger whose gender comments led to call from police


 “I’m an owl, not a lark, so retirement suits me because I can tweet late and sleep late. I don’t like being disturbed early in the morning, which is anything before 10am, so when two cold calls on the 4th of February 2019 were followed by a third call, which woke me after I’d dozed off again, I wasn’t happy. 


When the caller said she was a police officer I thought at first it was a scam, but it wasn’t. In my sleep-befuddled state I didn’t think to take notes, but the gist of it was that some transgender people had complained about my online activity. I was half expecting a Twitter ban but not a police warning. 


The officer mentioned a tweet, "Gender is BS", and a blog post, Death doesn’t misgender. You die as you were born. This was a reaction to the frequent claims made by trans people that trans women are women, otherwise referred to as TWAW by gender critics. As any self-respecting pathologist, biologist, endocrinologist, physician or surgeon would agree, it’s impossible to change your sex, so I asked if I’d written anything that was untrue or illegal and my caller agreed that I hadn’t but suggested that I might try to avoid upsetting anyone. 


I made no such commitment, the conversation ended, and I went to make a cup of tea. 


When I tweeted about what had happened, things went a bit crazy. The adverse publicity must have prompted a review at Suffolk Police HQ because a couple of days later I got another phone call, from a detective chief superintendent. He apologised for the original phone call and admitted they’d “got it wrong” and that was the end of it. If only other police forces were as sensible.”


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