A UNION is calling on the University of Edinburgh to cancel a film screening due to take place on the campus next week over concerns it will be “detrimental” to the safety of LGBT+ staff.

A screening of the film Adult Human Female is scheduled to occur in a lecture hall on the university’s George Square campus on December 14.

According to the British Board of Film Classification, the film discusses “issues relating to trans and women’s rights” and “discriminatory terms such as ‘tranny’ and ‘pan-fry sexual’ occur, often in the context of reported speech”.

It has already been the subject of protest in Nottingham, where a screening at a church was cancelled after transgender activists held a peaceful protest outside the venue.

Now, the Edinburgh University branch of the University and College Union (UCU) is calling for the screening on campus to be cancelled.

“It is branch policy to demand that @EdinburghUni neither host nor facilitate meetings which contain content which is transphobic, biphobic, homophobic or otherwise detrimental to the safety and wellbeing of LGBT+ staff,” they said on Twitter.

“As such, we have written to the University to ask them to withdraw the use of a UoE venue for what we believe to be a transphobic event timetabled for next week.”

The event has been organised by the Edinburgh Academics for Academic Freedom group, which has previously hosted similar events with prominent members of the so-called gender critical movement in the UK.

The group responded to the claims of the UCU on Twitter: “We're sorry our UCU branch takes a censorious and dogmatic view of sex and gender: it undermines their ability to protect members and also to argue for free speech when they want it. But we're not worried about cancellation.”

They then invited members of the UCU union to attend the screening.

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“No pressure, before you accuse us of making you unsafe! But if you want to come and engage with the film’s contents, and discuss, you’re welcome.

“We think that’s better than trying to ban a film you haven’t seen.”

The University of Edinburgh’s Pride society has said that it plans to host a stall outside of the venue if the event is allowed to go ahead.

Ash Scholz, the society’s trans, non-binary and intersex officer, told The National: “We are appalled by the University of Edinburgh’s decision to allow this film screening to happen, calling this ‘freedom of speech’.

“The film contains transphobic language and spreads misinformation about trans people, all under the narrative of protecting ‘women, children, and biological reality'.

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“The allowance of this screening to happen has nothing to do with freedom of speech, as it endangers trans people on campus and beyond, erasing their identities and encouraging the spread of hateful portrayals. Therefore, we support the call of the UCU to cancel this film screening.

They added: “Furthermore, we will collaborate with LGBTQ+ societies and feminist societies of the university to host a stall outside the film venue to show solidarity with the trans community.

“We will provide non-harmful information about the lived realities of trans people and how to support them, taking a stance against hate and misinformation, as well as the university’s neglect of their trans student and staff population.”

However, a spokesperson for Edinburgh Academics for Academic Freedom said that the language employed to describe their event by the Pride society was "overblown". 

"Our event is a screening and discussion of a film about women's rights, and we simply don't recognise this characterisation from Pride Society.

"If they have watched the documentary, they should be able to substantiate their allegations with actual examples rather than overblown and formulaic rhetoric. Members of Pride Society are welcome to attend our event and engage in discussion." 

A University of Edinburgh spokesperson said: “The University is committed to fostering an inclusive, supportive and safe environment for our whole community.

"As part of our commitment to freedom of expression and academic freedom it is our duty to make sure staff and students feel able to discuss controversial topics and that each event allows for debate.

“Given the size of our community, it is inevitable that the ideas of different members will conflict.

"We always encourage respectful debate and discussion whenever there are differences of view or opinion and ensure that attendees of all events are aware of, and comply with, the University's Dignity and Respect Policy, so that those wanting to attend feel able to contribute.”