/ Transphobia

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confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
Hello!

This past week has been Trans* visibility week. A week in which folk try to raise awareness about the difficulties Trans* people face in day to day living. Transphobia is everywhere, and even people who are not transphobic often do not know how to act around Trans* people, or how to show themselves as an ally, or even how to act in order to not make a Trans* person feel uncomfortable (with gender pronouns etc).

The Transgender day of remembrance was on the 20th Nov. It commemorates all the people who have been murdered for being trans* (of which there are many). And serves as a reminder that so many folk are killed of harassed or abused (mentally or physically) for this reason.

I mean, it really is an outrage that there is so much transphobia out there, even in the most liberal of minds. This week alone I have countered 3 people being transphobic, all who have taken it as a joke. As approximately 1/3 of trans* youth have tried to commit suicide at some point in their lives I would really hope that peoples attitudes were less blasé.

Here is a good website with lost of information about the problems that trans* people face, why you should counter transphobia and what else you can do. (click on the poster and it will be a photo reel)

http://knowhomo.tumblr.com/post/35780906575

So what do you think? Do you counter transphobia? Do you let it slide?

Or do you too think it is funny to lift up a womans skirt in a nightclub because 'they've got a dick up there'?

Let's talk about it!

Dave Kerr - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

What's the asterisk for?
Timmd on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

I don't think i've encountered trasnfobia, at least not in my reacent momory, I like to think i'd challenge it if I did.

I think transphobia isn't ever funny though, i'm sure it's a very difficult path to tread to be one.
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:

The asterisk is to say that there are many sorts of Trans that we are talking about (transgender, transexual etc). This poster lists the variety:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdjhhvtwTx1qghfy5o4_500.jpg
In reply to confusicating: I ain't clicking on that link!
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Timmd:

It's great that you haven't!
Timmd on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:It's worksafe.
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Well, let's see if I can answer any questions that you may have about the link. Why don't you want to click on it?
In reply to Timmd: I'm not at work
Timmd on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Submit to Gravity)
>
> Well, let's see if I can answer any questions that you may have about the link. Why don't you want to click on it?

That's what I was wondering.
In reply to confusicating: I don't want to see a lady with a willy.
Gordon Stainforth - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

I must confess I've never heard of this phobia before, and had no idea that transsexualism is as widespread as a Wikipedia article says it is. I really believe that I've only met one transsexual in my whole life, and that was in a dinner party situation, and I remember everyone was very polite and there was no hint of prejudice. I remember being a bit unnerved by it, because all the time I was talking to this person I just couldn't decide what sex they were.
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Well I can assure you that by following that link you won't. You won't see any people, cisgender or not.

(cisgender is the opposite of transgender)
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Submit to Gravity)
>

> (cisgender is the opposite of transgender)

I see how you got your username now.

Timmd on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to confusicating) I don't want to see a lady with a willy.

You're having a joke, oh ha ha, very droll. Yawn, is it time for bed yet?

It is kind of serious you know. (:-))
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Yeah, it is sometimes properly confusing as to what people define as. I think in general it is really good to ask. By and large people prefer to be asked 'what gender pronoun do you prefer?' then others around them being awkward and shy. Also, that shows them that you are not prejudice, but trying to be a decent person, which most people are I think.

But when you come across people who are knew to you it is tricky to know what to do/how to ask/how to behave/what to say etc.
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Moving on, have you looked at that link yet?
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Timmd:

Unfortunately joking and not taking it seriously is a common response. I think it mainly comes from people being uncomfortable and therefore trying to deflect from their obvious lack of understanding. Also from people feeling threatened by something foreign to them.
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

*New to you.

Don't know how that sneaky 'k' got there.
Timmd on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)

> But when you come across people who are knew to you it is tricky to know what to do/how to ask/how to behave/what to say etc.

Do you happen to know a nice lady in a wheelchair called Anne in Edinburgh by any chance? My brother when he was up there at university was in a person called Anne's flat where there were a handfull of people at different stages along the transgender journey, and she found it all a little confusing.

Just thought i'd ask because they've lost contact as far as I know...
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Timmd:

I don't think so I'm afraid!
Timmd on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Timmd)
>
> Unfortunately joking and not taking it seriously is a common response. I think it mainly comes from people being uncomfortable and therefore trying to deflect from their obvious lack of understanding. Also from people feeling threatened by something foreign to them.

I think you're right.
Timmd on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Timmd)
>
> I don't think so I'm afraid!

Oh well, nevermind.(:-))

Was always worth a random ask just incase.
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Timmd)
>
> Unfortunately joking and not taking it seriously is a common response. I think it mainly comes from people being uncomfortable and therefore trying to deflect from their obvious lack of understanding. Also from people feeling threatened by something foreign to them.

I think in my case it comes from a) being pretty much teetotal but having just drunk rather a lot of vodka and b) it being a subject that I can't really get too concerned about. I've never encountered a trans*, so I guess I'll just see at as a bridge I'll cross as and when I need to.

I do admire you for having a go at raising awareness of it though - and I'm not being patronising.

I'm having a little bet with myself that Timmd has apologised for his rathet caustic response by the time I post this...
In reply to Submit to Gravity: Bollocks.
Jaffacake - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I've never met someone being blatantly transphobic, but I think it is something that people are often not sure how to react about and so end up treating someone differently by trying not to offend someone.

My aunt is transgender, until I was in my early twenties she was my uncle, and everyone in my family often has trouble with using the right pronoun, mostly I think out of habit, my mum had a brother until she was in her late 40's and now has a sister, my granddad while it was a shock at first but is otherwise accepting (and sold half his garden to a builder to pay for the surgery) still usually refers to her as 'him'. In this case I don't think anyone means it badly, it's just a case of struggling to change habits, but it could still be considered offensive.
Steph-in-the-West on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
Being trans, LBTB or anything else is not a lifestyle choice. It is a a medical condition the same as any other ( though not life threatening in itself except from other ignorant bigots). People are people and live their lives as their life has been dealt to them. There is a fantastic ad being run on buses at the moment, "Some people are gay, get over it." The word "gay" could be LBGT as well. And apparwntly Q has been added - meaning "Questioning."
And no, I haven't read the link - I'm tolerant and accept people's differences.......
Oh - and BTW - I'm heterosexual with many heterosexual, gay and trans friends..........
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Hey well I can promise you that you do come across Trans* folk every day, with around 0.3% of the population identifying as Transgender.

And it's always good to be informed before a situation comes up. But if you do ever want to talk about it then drop me a message!

confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Steph-in-the-West:

Hello! You are correct in saying it's not a lifestyle choice. I really love the bus adds! Made me so happy when they were driving around Edinburgh - it would be good if 'gay' was swapped for LGBT*Q, but I think that at least for major adds like that targeting lots of people simplicity is a good thing.

And a Q has been added.

You have a good night! High fives for being a brilliant human being!
syv_k - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

A member of my family is trans. There is a lot of prejudice and misinformation out there. Climbing is actually a pretty good sport for trans people and I have met many people in the trans community who climb. This is because many sports have compulsory gender segregation, which can be awkward or even dangerous if someone is mid-transition and doesn't know which changing room they should use or when to change teams. There have been public toilet incidents in the UK when trans women are refused access to the ladies and directed to the gents, where they were assaulted. If you ever feel the urge to tell the trans person they are in the wrong area, please respect the fact that gender is an innate part of the brain, not what is between the legs, and they will have a far better idea of what gender they are than you do. If you meet a trans person and you are not sure whether they are male or female, just ask which pronouns to use, and respect that. Once someone realises they are trans, being treated as the wrong gender can be very traumatic, whereas transitioning socially to the other gender, taking hormones, and having surgery if it is what that person wants, is a spectacularly effective cure, with a lower regret rate than other non emergency surgery,

Transphobia isn't a phobia in the medical sense, but a prejudice like homophobia. It is entirely normal for trans people to be shouted at and propositioned in the street. It is something I have witnessed myself when my relative transitioned and it was a huge shock coming from a previously privileged background. Trans people also earn on average less than their cisgendered counterparts due to prejudice in the workplace and fear of such, but despite this they are huge users of private healthcare because someone who has socially transitioned and doesn't 'pass' often has to wait a couple of years on the NHS and brave lots of ignorance amongst medical professionals before being prescribed the cheap, safe hormones that cure their mental pain and stop them looking like "freaks" according to random strangers who think their looks worthy of comment.
ads.ukclimbing.com
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Jaffacake:

I can imagine it's difficult to change habits.

Quite often I hear things like 'tranny' and 'you're too manly to be a girl' and that sort of thing banded around the place, or just little things like transphobic jokes and stuff. Also, the amount of hate crime against trans* folk is ridiculous.
Even, as I mentioned in the first post, in a bar on thursday night there was a trans woman whose skirt a guy lifted up whilst laughing and saying 'whatcha got up there?'

It was horrible. And when I asked him why he thought it was ok he said 'coz it's a man in a dress, the poof'.

*sigh*. Trans* people are so underrepresented. I think it's really important to have open discussions about this stuff.
confusicating on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to syv_k:

Yeah, all this.
syv_k - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Steph-in-the-West:
> (In reply to confusicating)
> Being trans, LBTB or anything else is not a lifestyle choice. It is a a medical condition the same as any other ( though not life threatening in itself except from other ignorant bigots).

The life threatening thing is true of LGB but not always true of trans people. Someone, say, with a woman's brain but male genitalia so male levels of testosterone can end up loopy or suicidal before getting access to female hormones - perhaps like a woman who has had extreme PMT every day of her life since puberty. The brain is such a fascinating thing and there is so much we don't understand. In places like Thailand, female hormones are unregulated, so there is less need for a medical diagnosis before being able to live one's life as one sees fit.

winhill - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

Don't look at the wordpress blog on Pretendbians.

It raises some of the issues and tensions between feminists and trans people.

I'm not sure about the Born This Way arguments about sexuality/gender, it implies it may be possible to create a medical definition (as opposed to a psychological) definition, which is counter productive and itself discriminatory.
Timmd on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Jaffacake)
>
> I can imagine it's difficult to change habits.
>
> Quite often I hear things like 'tranny' and 'you're too manly to be a girl' and that sort of thing banded around the place, or just little things like transphobic jokes and stuff. Also, the amount of hate crime against trans* folk is ridiculous.
> Even, as I mentioned in the first post, in a bar on thursday night there was a trans woman whose skirt a guy lifted up whilst laughing and saying 'whatcha got up there?'
>
> It was horrible. And when I asked him why he thought it was ok he said 'coz it's a man in a dress, the poof'.
>
> *sigh*. Trans* people are so underrepresented. I think it's really important to have open discussions about this stuff.

That does sound horrible, I think women can less riskily get away with asking things of random people like that than men could. If another bloke asked it could be more likely to lead to a fight or an attempt at one. I think attitudes could change over time, last Saturday there were some people in fancy dress in a bar in Sheffield, and one of them was a very camp young lad dressed as a fairy. I was pleasently surprised at how he didn't get any negative attention from any of the blokes drinking there. Perhaps the same will happen for trans people given enough time and the right media campaigns or exposure?

If the bloke in the bar used poof as an insult though, he'll probably always be a bit unpleasant, thinking about it. Unless he examines why he says things like that.
Timmd on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to confusicating)
>
> Don't look at the wordpress blog on Pretendbians.
>
> It raises some of the issues and tensions between feminists and trans people.
>
> I'm not sure about the Born This Way arguments about sexuality/gender, it implies it may be possible to create a medical definition (as opposed to a psychological) definition, which is counter productive and itself discriminatory.

Isn't that only possible if people don't see the different veriaties of gender and sexuality as equal though?

It's worth remembering that sexuality and gender are quite seperate by the way. You can get people asked why they didn't just stay as a bloke, if it's women they fancy but didn't feel right being a man. It isn't as simple as that.

Perhaps that's not what you ment by typing sexualty/gender, it's difficult to tell on forums.
Alex Slipchuk on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating: is a phobia not an irrational fear?
Alex Slipchuk on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating: if so, I have an irrational fear of lady gaga.
Alex Slipchuk on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating: and that's about it
syv_k - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:
> Don't look at the wordpress blog on Pretendbians.
>
> It raises some of the issues and tensions between feminists and trans people.

There are a bunch of feminist women, "second wave feminists" being the technical term, who believe that trans people are impostors, men are rapists, Germaine Greer is God and that it is still the 1970s. I suspect some of them are actually trans* themselves but are in denial and wouldn't countenance transitioning to male because they have convinced themselves that men are the enemy. Bit like the way American anti-gay campaigners keep getting caught with rent boys.

BTW for the rest of us feminism has evolved since the 1970s and modern feminism is quite trans positive.

> I'm not sure about the Born This Way arguments about sexuality/gender, it implies it may be possible to create a medical definition (as opposed to a psychological) definition, which is counter productive and itself discriminatory.

Indeed, why put people in boxes when we can just celebrate a whole spectrum of diversity?
Jaffacake - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

Jesus, that's horrible, I can't believe people really act like that, but on the other hand I can, I'm just glad I've never had to see it.

Mostly I'm oblivious, but I notice them sometimes, I was surprised to notice one working in a women's dressing room in (I think) M&S, only because it's the kind of area where you wouldn't normally expect because people will still think of a transwoman as a man.

That's the main problem, people have a hard time accepting the gender of someone transgender, hopefully as time goes on it will become more normal and no different accepting a ginger as a person.

Someone else mentioned the mental health problems before you can get treatment, my aunt originally approached doctors about it at 18, was 'talked out of it' by doctors and such until in her 40's, in the meantime battled with depression, never had a relationship, didn't leave my grandparents home until nearly 40. She's much happier now and I imagine that she would have had a much better life if she'd been accepted for who she was when she first tried. I'd hope it's much easier now as awareness must be higher and I'd hope there's less cases of people being written off as being mentally ill or delusional or something.
winhill - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to syv_k:
> (In reply to winhill)
> [...]
>
> There are a bunch of feminist women, "second wave feminists" being the technical term, who believe that trans people are impostors, men are rapists, Germaine Greer is God and that it is still the 1970s. I suspect some of them are actually trans* themselves but are in denial and wouldn't countenance transitioning to male because they have convinced themselves that men are the enemy. Bit like the way American anti-gay campaigners keep getting caught with rent boys.
>
> BTW for the rest of us feminism has evolved since the 1970s and modern feminism is quite trans positive.

I nearly included some of this is my post ( I mentioned to someone on here a couple of months ago re Greer and transphobia), I don't think it's helpful to talk about second wave feminism if it's just to dismiss it as out of date, it negates and minimizes the concerns without addressing them.

Greer would argue it proves her point, that the Trans community is largely dominated by men who are aggressively invading women's spaces, without concern for the women occupying them.

confusicating on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:

Well I'm not so sure. Does born this way not just counter the argument that it is a choice? Just like cisgender folk don't?
confusicating on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to The Big Man:

I'm afraid I don't really understand.
confusicating on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to syv_k:
> (In reply to winhill)

>
> Indeed, why put people in boxes when we can just celebrate a whole spectrum of diversity?

Because people don't celebrate the spectrum of diversity currently, and it is useful to have commonly used adjectives and definitions to make it easier for people to portray who they are?

Things like queer and genderqueer are pretty good for people who don't want to label themselves too. And I'd love to live in a world in which no one had to come out as who they are and nothing is assumed, but that's not how it is in many circles. So to raise awareness and visibility for people of all different genders its quite helpful to highlight that people are born as they are.
confusicating on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Timmd:

Yes, I think that in time people will become as accepting as trans* people as they are becoming of the LGB&Q's. But there's a long long long way to go!
Dave Kerr - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Timmd)
>
> Yes, I think that in time people will become as accepting as trans* people as they are becoming of the LGB&Q's. But there's a long long long way to go!

If that gender / sexuality definition becomes any broader you're going to have to start using the term 'people' instead.
Duncan Bourne - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
I have not come across any nasty transphobia but I have come across many who are mildly confused by trans(whatever) folk. I have a good friend who is transgender and I often come across the phrase when people first meet them "so is he a woman?" Usually mentioned as an aside. I think with a lot of people it flies in the face of their expectations and that makes them uncomfortable. The most outspoken are usually children in their innocence.
verygneiss - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

I suppose I'd speak up if someone were putting something down about something as inconsequential as their sexuality or some kind of medical condition. I really don't care (in the nicest possible way) about someone's sexuality, gender, medical conditions, race, age or whatever. Those characteristics are all fine and well, but I think personality, philosophy and politics are much more interesting.
Nordie_matt - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

About 10 yeas ago I lived in a town (smallish one, only about 60'000 people), and there was a transsexual woman (previously a man) by the name of Stephanie Ann.

The abuse this individual got was extensive and seemingly condoned throughout the community. On one instance she came into a bar and the band instantly changed song to 'Stand by your man' - much to the delight of the patrons. (In the end she was barred from every pub in town)

Her windows were broken regularly, and both her partner and her self were routinely abused in the street, even having bottles thrown at them and on occasion attacked.

I believe in the end the outcome of this situation was suicide.

Whilst not actively engaged in the application of this prejudice, I admit I never stood up and protested it amongst my peers - the fear of being ostracized by your social group and labelled a queer or faggot was enough to keep personal opinions in check.

Looking back I wish I had said something, but you cant change the past. However you can influence the future. And change lies with the parents and the values they instill on their kids. That is why my daughters are being raised to respect different races, cultures, sexualities and (to a lesser extent right now as they are to young to understand complex gender issues) genders.

Just my 2 cents.

Matt
Nordie_matt - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Nordie_matt:

Should also mention, I would like to think I would step in to stop the abuse if it were happening today.
JoshOvki on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

I have a transgender friend and I had one issue with it all. It wasn't the sex change, the name change, or referring to her as him, it was the insults in the banter! It is blooming hard to refer to someone as bas*ard instead of bi*ch after knowing them for that long.

I have only heard one negative things said about then being transgender, and that was a joke gone too far and I stood up for it. As far as I see it people that don't stand up when someone is getting bullied are almost as bad as the bullies themselves. It is unfortunate that the world has such a high population of small minded people, that will pick on anything they think as "abnormal", be it sexuality, race, gender, religion or anything else. Thankfully the UK at least is getting better at it, and things that where not accepted as recently as 10 years ago are starting to be understood. Fewer people are being persecuted for who they are.

(Where * is a t for the soft hearted of UKC readers)
confusicating on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Wouldn't that be brilliant! That's where we will hopefully end up.
confusicating on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Yeah, kids do ask questions lots, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing (although I imagine it sometimes hurts/annoys whoever they're asking. I'm a ciswoman but have short hair and wear chilled out clothes so get kids - and adults actually, which I react less kindly to - asking whether I'm a woman in loos and stuff) so long as the kid is just curious. They can pretty easily be informed 'yes, I am a woman' or, 'I am neither' etc etc.

If they're doing it on purpose because they think it's funny or are being mean then it's so not on.

confusicating on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to verygneiss:


Woohoo!
High fives for decent human being!
confusicating on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Nordie_matt:

Hey that sounds shit. Unfortunately people are still doing this kind of thing often. (It's really hard to get stats of the suicide, hate crime and murder rates because of the secrecy surrounding lots of trans* peoples lives)

I'm really glad that you are being them up to be open minded and respectful people.
confusicating on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to JoshOvki:

Hey, yeah, you'll get used to it though! And I'm so glad you stand up for him (he's your mate, why wouldn't you?)

It is pretty shit that folk are still so bigoted, but I think you're right in that in general we are progressing. Sometimes not as much as we'd all like, but we're getting there.

To All:
I didn't put this link up earlier as it's pretty horrifying, but this is the trans* remembrance day page with a list of some of the hate-crime murders. It's work safe but not weak-heart safe. There are some terrible things.

http://www.transgenderdor.org/memorializing-2012
off-duty - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

Sorry I'm a bit confused. Is a ciswoman = a woman, or is there more complexity to it?
syv_k - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to off-duty:

A cis woman is a woman who isn't transgendered, ie was assigned female at birth and lives as a woman.

Cis is the opposite of trans, also used in chemistry and when the Romans went on about Transalpine Gaul and Cisalpine Gaul.
Cthulhu on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to JoshOvki)

> To All:
> I didn't put this link up earlier as it's pretty horrifying, but this is the trans* remembrance day page with a list of some of the hate-crime murders. It's work safe but not weak-heart safe. There are some terrible things.
>
> http://www.transgenderdor.org/memorializing-2012

'kinell! There's some horrifying things in that list. I'm curious why so many of the killing are in South America. Are those societies less tolerant, more violent, or is there a greater prevalence of trans*ism (is that the right term?, I mean no disrespect!) in those countries?

ads.ukclimbing.com
syv_k - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Cthulhu:

I don't think there are more trans people in South America, but the society there is particularly hostile to gay, bi and trans people. Catholicism is a big part of it, and machismo.

Interestingly enough in Iran it is hard to be gay and comparatively easy to be transsexual, due to a decision by Ayatollah Khomeini that legitimises transsexualism as a medical condition. Iran carries out more sex changes than anywhere except Thailand. The problems with this medicalised approach are (a) trans people have to have surgery whether they like it or not and (b) that LGB people who don't obey gender stereotypes are pressured to 'cure' themselves with a sex change, which if you're not actually trans will give you gender dysphoria rather than cure it.
Steph-in-the-West on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Steph-in-the-West)
>
> Hello! You are correct in saying it's not a lifestyle choice. I really love the bus adds! Made me so happy when they were driving around Edinburgh - it would be good if 'gay' was swapped for LGBT*Q, but I think that at least for major adds like that targeting lots of people simplicity is a good thing.
>
> And a Q has been added.
>
> You have a good night! High fives for being a brilliant human being!


Thanks for the good wishes and high fives returned to you as well - just hope the bus adds change people's attitudes - they've even reached the very far west of Cornwall!!!

jackadaniels1 - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating: Great thread - very interesting!
Duncan Bourne - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
With the kids it is mostly innocent stuff like "Why is that man wearing a dress?" rather than spitefulness.
Interestingly my friend wrote a book about her experiences of the operation to become a woman.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Leaning-Into-The-Corner-ebook/dp/B007CMZ11M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=13539...
wcdave - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating: I did my dissertation for my Employment Law masters around the subject of discrimination faced in the workplace by trans people. It came about because my wife works in sexual health and she'd suggested it.

Got to spend a year with many different trans people and found the whole experience to be totally absorbing. I was shocked by the discrimination these people face in everyday life, it really does seem like the last taboo. I had nothing but total admiration for the people I interviewed as the levels of abuse they faced would've pushed most others over the edge.

What I found most shocking were the jokes, and general disdain displayed by my 'liberal' mates to what I was doing. The usual 'best not bend over in front of them' jokes got particularly wearing.

It really is an area where discrimination still seems 'acceptable', and this needs to change. I still keep in contact with most of the trans population in my area, and often attend their local meetings to try help out as much as I can.
confusicating on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to wcdave:

Yes, there is so much discrimination isn't there. Even in the otherwise liberal groups. In fact, I was prompted to start this thread due to a joke about transsexuals from someone unexpected.

Unfortunately the abuse that lots of trans* people face does push them over the edge.

That sounds like a really interesting piece of work you did! Did you focus on the UK or elsewhere?
tlm - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

I'm quite surprised that so few people seem to have noticed the transgendered and transexual folk around them? Surely most people must have come across a few?

Anyhoo - I try to take a person for who they are, which may be a very nice person, or may be a person that I am not so keen on. I don't tend to mind much what their gender or sexual preferences are. I'm glad that I don't have to face the prejudices that others do, not just the outright nastiness, but things like people not thinking it is you on the phone, because you are a woman and yet have a male sounding voice.

Also, what seems very sad to me, is that because gay people can't be married, if you are a man, married to a woman, have an operation and become a woman, you cannot be legally recognised as a woman until you are divorced. If you wish to continue living with your wife as a married couple, you have to...

1. Have a sex change
2. Get divorced
3. Be legally recognised as a woman
4. Have a civil partnership.

What a farce and waste of time and money that little lot is, eh???!!!
confusicating on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Oh that looks good!
confusicating on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to tlm:

Perhaps if people don't expect that they will be meeting/hanging around trans* people then they don't notice? Which is both possibly good and possibly dangerous.

Oh I didn't even think of the marriage thing! What a shambles that process is. 'kin hell.
tlm - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

> Perhaps if people don't expect that they will be meeting/hanging around trans* people then they don't notice? Which is both possibly good and possibly dangerous.

Well I don't go out expecting it - I've probably met more trans* folk than I realise, but I can think of about 4 transgender people that I know about? I don't live that exciting a life, or hang around any special places - that is just a part of day to day life?

I do think a lot of it is just people not really knowing what to do or say and covering up by clumsy jokes. My sister is disabled, and people say and do all sorts before they get to know her as a person, when her disability sort of becomes of secondary importance....

syv_k - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to tlm:

Yes. This happened to me. The family member I mentioned earlier is my wife. She transitioned from male to female and we had to turn up in court and get our marriage annulled. It's not technically a divorce, as to get a divorce you have to prove that your relationship has broken down, which it hadn't as we were as much in love as ever, if not more so. We had to get an annulment, which is similar, but you have to go to court in person. Afterwards we cried and told each other not to step near any buses until we had the civil partnership ceremony. We entered into a civil partnership ceremony a few days later which was a lovely occasion surrounded by family and friends and the opportunity for my partner to wear a wedding dress, but the formal civil parnership language used by the registrar sounded more like setting up a business partnership than the lovely tradiional language of a wedding ceremony. Oh, and they took away our marriage certificate from the first time round, so we don't have that as a souvenir. But we still describe ourselves as married, counting our wedding anniversaries from the first ceremony, not the second. We have now been together for 17 years, married for 11 of them.
sarahlizzy - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to wcdave:

> Got to spend a year with many different trans people and found the whole experience to be totally absorbing. I was shocked by the discrimination these people face in everyday life, it really does seem like the last taboo. I had nothing but total admiration for the people I interviewed as the levels of abuse they faced would've pushed most others over the edge.

I guess I can de-lurk and out myself now, given that my wife has spilled the beans, as it were (with my consent). It's generally thought that the largest single cause of death for trans people is suicide.

There are parts of the world where the second most common is murder, but this isn't one of them, thankfully. However, there are areas where discrimination against us is written into law. The Equality Act 2010, for example, details how trans women can be refused rape crisis counselling, how jobs can require that applicants not be transgender (but not vice versa - paradoxically it would be illegal to set up a rape crisis service for trans people, staffed by trans people, but the converse is legal), and for a really good one, a priest officiating at a wedding can refuse to perform the service if they reasonably believe one of the partners is transgender.

My universal experience is that when people discover all this, they are quite shocked.
syv_k - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to syv_k:

And if anyone thinks that the requirement to end a marriage in such a case is an antiquated relic of a law from the early 20th century, that bit of the law was passed as part of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. They knew that it would screw up existing marriages, and people begged them to allow such marriages to remain as an anomaly that the law could cope with, but it was blocked under pressure from the religious lobbies who were threatening to vote against transsexuals being given any legal recognition at all (some still did, but the law got through).

So thanks guys. Funny, I thought religious organisations were meant to be pro marriage?
confusicating on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to syv_k:

F*cking marriage laws. That's ridiculous.
confusicating on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

Hello!

I am certainly shocked that the act is from 2010. This is the UK one? I mean, I assume it is, but is seems so.. Well, so f*cking stupid.

I get the same feeling when I remember that Section 28 wasn't repealed until 2003.
wcdave - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating: It was based on discrimination within the UK primarily, although I did draw upon wider comparative resources where these were available.

The lack of research into trans issues is quite marked.

One of the people I interviewed told me a story of her being out one night, and getting chatted up by a bloke in the pub. It'd been almost impossible to tell this person was once a man, but knowing his likely reaction to finding out accidentally, she decided to tell him before it went any further.

The result? 3 broken ribs, a broken nose, severe bruising over the whole body etc...he and his mates jumped her when she left the pub to walk back to her car.
sarahlizzy - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to sarahlizzy)
>
> Hello!

Hi!

> I am certainly shocked that the act is from 2010. This is the UK one? I mean, I assume it is, but is seems so.. Well, so f*cking stupid.

It was 2010, yes. Took away some employment rights that we'd gained in 2004 as well. I'm not sure if they meant to do that, but the Equality Act was rushed through Parliament.

The rape crisis thing appears to be entirely deliberate. Apparently providing it to us might "upset" other people.

tlm - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

> I guess I can de-lurk and out myself now, given that my wife has spilled the beans,

See - I think this really sums it up for me - that you have to think twice before being able to openly be yourself, even in writing to strangers. That you are not able to just be relaxed and free about who you are, without that need to be careful. I would imagine that past experience has contributed towards this?

Anyway - you have all my best wishes.
sarahlizzy - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to tlm:

I did think for a while beforehand. I haven't mentioned the issue before on here because I'm here for the climbing stuff, and if known, the trans thing can tend to dominate or at least strongly colour the conversation. However, I've been pleasantly surprised by how this thread has developed: they usually go less well, so I figured it was probably going to be OK.

Re the equalities stuff - I am absolutely not bringing it up to look for sympathy or anything like that. I just think its useful that more people know about this stuff, because the more it's known about, the more it's likely to change.
confusicating on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

Are there currently any plans to change/upturn it?

*runs off to google*



Oh no, not upsetting the bigots again? We don't want to do that now, do we?
sarahlizzy - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

There are not. The marriage thing will hopefully be sorted in the forthcoming equal marriage bill.
winhill - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

The Rape Crisis thing is a good example of what I mentioned further up, arguments against it are based on notions of 'second wave feminism' not based on the notion of competing rights.

The Equality Act is very affirming, your employment rights start as soon as you make a decision to transition, no physical changes to appearance required, no evidence, just like the GRA, no surgical requirement.

Most of the time this is appropriate and it gives a very broad definition of what trans means.

However in some sensitive roles it means that a bloke in full beard, smoking a pipe and smelling of Old Spice could insist that they be employed as a Rape Crisis Counsellor by a previously women's only service.

Insisting the law be changed to allow this does not represent the actions of a feminist ally IMHO.

An alternative that insists on medical/surgical definition of gender is a backwards step.

The discussion should be focused on proportionality not accusations of bigotry.
sarahlizzy - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:

The rape crisis thing isn't about employment. It's about service provision.

The government got themselves into a lot of trouble by suggesting in the Act's explanatory notes that a blanket ban of all trans women from rape crisis counselling would be lawful, and that individual circumstances (your "bloke with a beard" canard) need not be taken into account.

The EHRC then came to the conclusion that this isn't what was meant, or wasn't lawful, and tried to backpedal suggesting that it was only OK to deny service to individuals based on physical appearance. The whole thing remains a mess.

Be careful talking about "women only services": trans women are women.
sarahlizzy - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:

Re "accusations of bigotry", it doesn't help that at present, and historically, the most prominent voices arguing for trans exclusion tend to do so from a purely idealogical position based on the idea that we are not what we claim to be. Instead, they claim us to either be aggressive invaders, trying to undermine feminism, or suffering from delusional thinking encouraged by the medical community. Neither of these positions are based in fact

Their objections to being described as bigots are spookily reminiscent of those arguing against marriage equality from homophobic positions objecting to the same. If they don't want to be accused of bigotry, they really should stop behaving like bigots.

Their stance actively colludes with social attitudes which get trans people assaulted and killed. There isn't much of an appetite amongst us, their targets, to cut them a lot of slack.
syv_k - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:

> However in some sensitive roles it means that a bloke in full beard, smoking a pipe and smelling of Old Spice could insist that they be employed as a Rape Crisis Counsellor by a previously women's only service.

I think this is rather unlikely. If they are transitioning male to female, they will be desperately trying to minimise any male gender cues, so the full beard and old spice will be a no no, or they will be transitioning away from female and be running the hell out away from anything labeled 'for women'. Now there might be the odd individual who doesn't fit into these categories (very rare) but if their appearance is as way out as all that, they might well be bad at making the clients comfortable in other ways, which would be a perfectly fine reason not to employ them.

Whereas trans women get raped. Pre op and post op, far more frequently than cis women and men. They should be entitled to the same services as other women and if they want to volunteer as a support worker afterwards (it is common for such volunteers to have been previous service users) that is surely a good thing for cis and trans women and prevents trans women being ghettoised into a service only for them. Consider that similar arguments could be made against gay users and gay counsellors, but "you can't come in because some our clients are bigots and might think you were hitting on them" is not a legal reason.

> Insisting the law be changed to allow this does not represent the actions of a feminist ally IMHO.

On the contrary, what I find best about modern feminism is its notion that some groups of women have it harder than others and deserve extra consideration. We are getting away from a movement for cisgendered white middle class women and realising that any hassle you might suffer for being female is far worse if you also are poor, or disabled, or trans, or from an ethnic minority (even if the joke goes that if you can tick all these boxes you have a great career being the token everything)

> An alternative that insists on medical/surgical definition of gender is a backwards step.
>
> The discussion should be focused on proportionality not accusations of bigotry.

If we consider proportionality, trans women all over the world are being turned away from rape centres now in order to prevent the theoretical risk of a cis person being offended by a hypothetically peculiar trans person. That, to me, smells disproportionate.
In reply to confusicating: It's turned out to be a very interesting thread. One point I would make on a serious note, is that the material in the link, and some of the language used in the thread, I don't think will help to change the perceptions and attitudes of the type of people who would cause difficulties for trans-whatever people.

It's OK for preaching to the converted (not an intended pun!), or providing information to generally open-minded people who simply hadn't thought much about it (like me). Perhaps that's what it's designed for, but I can pretty much guarantee that the sort of person who would lift a woman's skirt to see if she had a cock would be especially "engaged" by material discussing whether a Q should be included in LBGBT* or whatever.

To me it's analogous with the public health people who are trying to get pregnant teenagers to stop smoking, or fat people in deprived areas to stop eating shite - they all speak a language that only they themselves understand. Kinda misses the point.

On a positive note, being a trans-whatever must be good for your grammar...
sarahlizzy - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to syv_k:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> [...]
>
> I think this is rather unlikely. If they are transitioning male to female, they will be desperately trying to minimise any male gender cues, so the full beard and old spice will be a no no, or they will be transitioning away from female and be running the hell out away from anything labeled 'for women'. Now there might be the odd individual who doesn't fit into these categories (very rare) but if their appearance is as way out as all that, they might well be bad at making the clients comfortable in other ways, which would be a perfectly fine reason not to employ them.

I think it's also worth noting that the "bearded guy in a dress" is always the argument that's dragged out by the trans-exclusionary radical feminists to try to justify exceptions in equalities law, but when you look at the situations where they actually make a stand and try to exclude trans women (and it is pretty nuch always trans women), it's people who live, work experience life as and are perceived as women whom they take up arms against.

I'm thinking of women like Rachel Padman, for example. It was her appointment as a fellow of women-only Newnham College Cambridge that Germaine Greer ragequit over. These so-called feminists are using the hypothetical bogeyman in a dress as an excuse to discriminate against other women.
winhill - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

The Rape Crisis thing is about both employment and service users, as I'm sure you know, dismissing it as a canard is just not discussing the issue, it's dismissive, simply not constructive. Like I said, not the actions of an ally.

The same occurs if the service user is making a proposed change, no outward appearance is mentioned in the Act, simply a mental state.

I'm comfortable distinquishing between transwomen and women thanks, I have quite a good understanding of the HRA and the Euro Convention.

confusicating on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Hi!

What sort of language and approach do you suggest for people who are aggressively transphobic? I've only ever know people to stop doing things like that through a few means, either if they grow up, their mates call them on it, or someone they care about shows themselves to be the very thing the aggressive person is prejudice towards.

Actually, there is another way. Exposure. If people are exposed to things often enough and society actively moves to accept whichever minority it is then eventually they change their opinion. This thread could be seen as exposure.

I started the thread after casual transphobia that I came across, hoping that:

a) that person may take the hint
b) awareness could be increased
c) people could talk about things they don't know about and leans more and be inquisitive, that sort of thing.

I wasn't expecting to aggressively change someones opinion (as that never works anyway) but I think that by the discussion existing it is an improvement on it not being here at all. And it is interesting for people to talk about their experiences and I've learnt lots too (as ever on UKC).

Also, very rarely will someones opinion be changed by reading this forum. I don't want everyone to be engaged, but I want everyone to be given the chance to engage. It is most likely that a lot of people don't care one iota about the trans* community (otherwise there would be less crap legislation around, as mentioned above), but talking about it can't harm.
confusicating on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:

This is getting out of my league - I just don't know enough!


One thing I can be sure of is that I will call a bigot a bigot. A bigot is someone who treats members of a group with hatred and intolerance. That is what is happening here. There is no way to avoid that.
ads.ukclimbing.com
sarahlizzy - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to sarahlizzy)
>
> The Rape Crisis thing is about both employment and service users, as I'm sure you know

The specific example quoted in the EA2010 explanatory notes relates to service provision. Am happy to quote chapter and verse if you need it. Genuine Occupational Requirements have their own distinct set of exemptions.

> dismissing it as a canard is just not discussing the issue, it's dismissive, simply not constructive. Like I said, not the actions of an ally.

Insisting trans women must be "allies" to (cis) feminists is itself transphobic. Trans women are women, not some subclass for you to demand loyalty to an agenda that's hostile to our very existence in order that we may eat the crumbs from the table. I will not pander to the obvious sense of entitlement inherent in such a demand.

> I'm comfortable distinquishing between transwomen and women thanks, I have quite a good understanding of the HRA and the Euro Convention.

Statements like that do not assist in trying to dispel the impression that radical feminist objections to the existence of women like me are born of bigotry.

Being an "ally" cuts both ways. Attempting to justify the exclusion of a subclass of women from rape counselling services is not the action of a feminist ally.

Timmd on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:
> (In reply to winhill)

> Being an "ally" cuts both ways. Attempting to justify the exclusion of a subclass of women from rape counselling services is not the action of a feminist ally.

I agree completely.
confusicating on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Timmd:

Me too.


Also, feminism is just about equality. Equality for all women.
jackadaniels1 - on 26 Nov 2012
This thread has now totally lost me! Im not sure if its being negative or positive towards trans folks - thats prob my inexperience of following threads on UKC!

Im trans and ive had many good and bad experiences. I think the main thing is, if someone has a problem with it, then they are no friend of mine and i move on. Simple!

Regarding all the acts, its about time they were updated!
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Submit to Gravity)
>
> Hi!
>
> What sort of language and approach do you suggest for people who are aggressively transphobic?

I have no idea.
confusicating on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to jackadaniels1:

I'm pretty lost too! I need to be better informed about laws etc. I best get on it!

I totally agree, if folk aren't going to accept you for who you are then you don't need them.

It can sometimes be hard to do that though, depending on who they are. Which sucks.
Chris the Tall - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
Very interesting thread.
Always had an interest in politics and equality, and have never had a problem with Germaine Greer, so was surprised at her stance over Rachel Padman as mentioned above. That led me to this article http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=103547&sectioncode=26

To me the argument that women are inherently and intransigently one and that men are the other is absolute nonsence. Yes you can point to differences in the average, for example the average man will be stronger than the average woman, or the average woman will have more natural empathy than the average man, but there is a huge range and crossover in the values. To make assumptions based on the average is precisely the sort of discrimation that feminism has fought to eradicate, not perpetuate.

(p.s sorry if I'm going off at a tangent!)
winhill - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:
> (In reply to winhill)

> Insisting trans women must be "allies" to (cis) feminists is itself transphobic. Trans women are women, not some subclass for you to demand loyalty to an agenda that's hostile to our very existence in order that we may eat the crumbs from the table. I will not pander to the obvious sense of entitlement inherent in such a demand.

I'm not insisting you become a feminist ally - Maria Miller the tory MP describes herself a woman and a feminist. She is not a feminist ally.

Whether you or Miller decide to become allies is up to yourselves.

The idea that transwoman means something specfic and different from woman is hardly radical and has nothing to do with a sub-class.

NHS - transwoman - Free surgery delayed for 2 years for assessments. Transphobic?
GRA - two years delay, but no surgery for certificate. Transphobic?
International Sporting Federation - trans delay of 2 years post surgery before competing in a differently gender competition. Transphobic?

Or are you in favour of surgery on demand, self certification and the iradication of gendered sports?

As I said the Equality Act recognises change from the momentit's decided upon except in 0.0001% on occasions (or even less). It's incredibly empowering, hardly a question of a few crumbs, is it? It's actually getting just about everything you want apart from one minor area. If it was Christmas, it'd be a good one.

> Being an "ally" cuts both ways. Attempting to justify the exclusion of a subclass of women from rape counselling services is not the action of a feminist ally.

It's about Proportionality, nothing to do with a subclass. Syv says further up (actually making an attempt to consider the recently transitioned under the Equality Act) that it is unlikely that even recently transitioned will have obviously male characterisitcs and this is unfortunately where things stand, appearance becomes the difference between Schrödinger's Rapist taking over at Rape Crisis and transwomen getting the validation they need by entering women's spaces.

tlm - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:
> (In reply to confusicating)
>
> There are not. The marriage thing will hopefully be sorted in the forthcoming equal marriage bill.

I looked it up as two of our friends were getting married. They are lesbians and one is transgender (male to female). I wondered if they would get married or have a civil ceremony and looked it up. It just made me laugh - why not just let people have the same ceremony/legal status, instead of ending up with such convoluted laws in an effort to keep the status quo?!

sarahlizzy - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:

> It's about Proportionality, nothing to do with a subclass. Syv says further up (actually making an attempt to consider the recently transitioned under the Equality Act) that it is unlikely that even recently transitioned will have obviously male characterisitcs and this is unfortunately where things stand, appearance becomes the difference between Schrödinger's Rapist taking over at Rape Crisis and transwomen getting the validation they need by entering women's spaces.

Unbelievable! You're still suggesting the need for trans women to access rape crisis counselling is "validation". Trans women, like all women, need to access rape crisis counselling BECAUSE WE ARE WOMEN WHO GET RAPED.

You're trying to justify sweeping exclusions from equalities law, allowing us to be turned away from such services, on the basis that we might be "Schrödinger's Rapist". Frankly I find that sick.

I not about to be lectured in how to be a "feminist ally" by someone adopting the position that some women who have survived rape ought to keep quiet about it, not make a fuss, and not expect legal protection for "the good of the movement", as it were. THAT attitude is what contributes to the culture of silence around violence towards women, not a few women who get a really crappy time wanting a modicum of protection under the law.

Perhaps participating in this discussion was a mistake after all. I get this crap in the entire rest of my life, without needing it here as well. I'm going to find a thread about knots or hex placements or something instead.
off-duty - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

The actual position is that it would be lawful if it was felt to be a proportionate decision to exclude a transwoman from a woman's group counselling session for rape.
Whilst I can still see the unfairness in that to a transwoman victim, it is a very difficult line to tread amongst a group of victims all of whom are likely to have a distrust of anything that remotely is connected to men. No matter how much that male part of her history might have hurt, damaged and upset the transwoman herself.
As I said - I can totally see the unfairness and I don't know what a solution might be that ensures that EVERY victim is happy. I don't know if it has ever actually happened either. Maybe there are stories out there of actual exclusions - usually it is individual stories that focus opinion and produce publicity and change - as horrible as that might be to the victim caught up in it.

But - to suggest that transwomen are somehow banned from rape counselling, the vast majority of which is one to one to my knowledge, is wrong and doesn't help the debate.
tlm - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

> Perhaps participating in this discussion was a mistake after all. I get this crap in the entire rest of my life, without needing it here as well. I'm going to find a thread about knots or hex placements or something instead.

Don't go, Sarahlizzy....

Well - go if you want to, but don't remember a thread of 'crap'. People sometimes say things in a clumsy way, but they are still spending time thinking and talking about the issues, which is maybe better? than not bothering at all?

I don't think that anyone here thinks that anyone who is raped shouldn't have support, advice and guidance by any means at all... it's just talk about different ways that could happen, looking at it from various points of view, some of which simply just don't match your own.... Talking is a good way to get people to chew these ideas over.

<hug>

confusicating on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to all:

Ah hey, just seen the thread again.

This was not meant to be a place of argument or frustration where anyone has to defend themselves to the minute letter of any law, and I am sorry it has become that. It's the opposite of what I wanted

To anyone else, I'm willing to carry on the main conversation at any time. Talking about things is good. But nit-picking and deconstructing arguments in a friendly chat isn't on.

It isn't constructive and only brings about a frustration and weariness from people who have the same shit day in day out.

Love and peace to all. Be kind to one another.
In reply to sarahlizzy:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> [...]
>
Trans women, like all women, need to access rape crisis counselling BECAUSE WE ARE WOMEN WHO GET RAPED.
>

If that's indeed correct, is there any evidence or opinion on why that is? I'm not after an argument by the way, I'm simply curious. Or simple and curious, one of the two...
sarahlizzy - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to sarahlizzy)
>
> The actual position is that it would be lawful if it was felt to be a proportionate decision to exclude a transwoman from a woman's group counselling session for rape.

The actual position is rather more complicated and muddled than that. The explanatory notes for the Equality Act 2010 used this precise example, worded in a way that suggested that a blanket ban of all trans women from such sessions would be lawful. No mention of individual circumstances, no mention of proportionality. It just says that it has to be "objectively justified" Here's the text:

A group counselling session is provided for female victims of sexual assault. The organisers do not allow transsexual people to attend as they judge that the clients who attend the group session are unlikely to do so if a male-to-female transsexual person was also there. This would be lawful.

Note it doesn't refer to a specific decision to bar a individual. It refers to an overarching policy relating to all transsexual people. The trans woman in question might be entirely indistinguishable from any cis women present and this policy would still apply. It wouldn't be legal to exclude a cis woman with pronounced facial hair and a deep voice, perhaps as a result of a hormonal condition such as PCOS.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission then realised that a cock-up had been made, and published a services code that suggested that the specific example mentioned in the Equality Act's own explanatory notes would not be legal, because a blanket ban would not be justifiable.

We now have two ancillary documents to the Act itself which outright contradict each other. This has not, to my knowledge, been tested in law.

The implications behind all of this, that the feelings of cis women rape survivors are more important than the feelings of trans women rape survivors, that the mere presence of a trans woman would be a) immediately obvious and b) intrinsically upsetting, and that she would necessary project some sort of "male aura", and that discrimination against trans people should either operate ona blanket basis, or on the basis or physical appearance (rather than not operate at all) are deeply transphobic and contribute to the reasons why trans people are, entirely reasonably, very reluctant tobe open about who we are.
earlsdonwhu - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating: Going to have an interesting time after Christmas when a 50 year old colleague with teenage kids who is currently called lets say Bryan is coming back to work as Bryony.

Colleagues were surprised but supportive....although one quipped that he hoped Bryony would have better dress sense. The real challenge will be to see how pupils and parents react!
Tall Clare - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

A drama teacher at my high school went from Lisa to Michael over a summer term a year or two after I left. As far as I know, there was a high level of support at the school - and I can't imagine a bunch of teenagers being the most tolerant of a situation like this!
syv_k - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to sarahlizzy)
> [...]
> Trans women, like all women, need to access rape crisis counselling BECAUSE WE ARE WOMEN WHO GET RAPED.
> [...]
>
> If that's indeed correct, is there any evidence or opinion on why that is? I'm not after an argument by the way, I'm simply curious. Or simple and curious, one of the two...

Do you mean:
1.Why are trans women women?
2.Why do women get raped?
3.Why do trans women get raped?

1. http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/TS.html explains the basics about transsexualism and how we believe the brain works. Be aware that people who have transitioned tend to associate the sex which they were assigned at birth with extreme psychological trauma and so to call a trans woman a man or vice versa will usually be horribly, horribly upsetting (if in doubt, ask someone what pronouns they prefer, but never ask them to justify who they are. You presumably have a firm belief that you are male or female, and theirs is just as valid as yours, if not more so because they have put more at stake insisting on it)

2. Well, it is usually because men rape them. I am told that rape is often a weapon of power and humiliation rather than just lack of ability to control sex drive.

3. follows from 1 and 2,. Presumably the power and humiliation thing is why trans women get raped proportionally more than cis women. Also sex workers are at high risk of being raped, and trans women are often viewed as sex workers, whether they are or not.
confusicating on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

That's great!

And to earlsdonwhu - lead by example - don't accept any discrimination in your presence!
In reply to syv_k: I interpreted her post as meaning trans women get raped proportionally more - I was interested in that aspect.

I can understand the humiliation aspect.
In reply to confusicating: You're a good sort)))
Timmd on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to confusicating) You're a good sort)))

Aye she is.

PS. Sorry for being caustic. Actually i'm not, but i'm not caustic, so wasn't actually caustic, which is why i'm not sorry, but then again I guess that... (:-))

Sarah G on 27 Nov 2012
Hi,

just trying to get to grips with the nomenclature and all that. Have got the "trans" bit sorted out, but where does the "cis women" bit come from? what's cis?

ta,
sxx
confusicating on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

I think that data shows that transwomen get sexually assaulted more that ciswomen.

This:
http://cdolops.las.iastate.edu/ws325/_readings/ViolenceTransgender.pdf
says a lot of things, but that too.

Data is really hard to get.

Oh also, that increase in the rate of physical abuse towards transwomen compared to ciswomen is ridiculously great.
confusicating on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Sarah G:

Cis is 'same side'. So in chemistry you get cis and trans isomers, and for people, if you are born with the same sex and gender then = cis, whereas if not = trans*.
Sarah G on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
Blimey, that's done for me! totally confused now, i was crap at chemistry the first time round. Is this an "official" definition then? Or just among transpeople?

Sxx
confusicating on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Sarah G:

Official for whom? Official in society, yes. And technically too.

So gender is what you identify as in your head, sex is what genitals and rest of body you have. If they are the same (say if you identify as a woman and have breasts and a vagina etc) then you are cisgendered. So your gender and sex align. Whereas if your gender is female, but your sex is male (so you have a penis etc) then the two do not allign and you are therefore transgendered.

Talius Brute - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:


Totally support any actions to get rid of intolerance! Well done confusicating.

Am interested how many trans* people have been killed for being trans*?

The normal source doesn't say.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender_Day_of_Remembrance

Jon Stewart - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to confusicating)

> I'm not sure about the Born This Way arguments about sexuality/gender, it implies it may be possible to create a medical definition (as opposed to a psychological) definition, which is counter productive and itself discriminatory.

I haven't read the rest of the thread so apologies if this has already come up, but how sexuality and gender are manifest in the brain is a matter of science, not for politics. It doesn't matter whether the truth could be used to justify mistreating people, you treat people properly for moral and social reasons, while you pursue the truth about how the brain works through science - regardless of whether the results happen to support your political cause.

I don't think anyone would choose to be trans, and I don't think there's any evidence that gender identity can be successfully changed by psychological therapies. Pretending that everything in life is down to wishy-washy social factors is a dangerous and utterly misguided path IMO. Most of the genuine homophobia I encounter is based on the idea that being gay is a choice, which I assume is what inspired the 'born that way' campaign (which I know nearly nothing about).
confusicating on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Talius Brute:

How many in total? No way of saying.

This gives an idea of how tricky it is to say:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2012/05/murder-statistics-of-transgender-people/
ads.ukclimbing.com
winhill - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to all)
>
> This was not meant to be a place of argument or frustration where anyone has to defend themselves to the minute letter of any law, and I am sorry it has become that. It's the opposite of what I wanted
>
> To anyone else, I'm willing to carry on the main conversation at any time. Talking about things is good. But nit-picking and deconstructing arguments in a friendly chat isn't on.
>
> It isn't constructive and only brings about a frustration and weariness from people who have the same shit day in day out.
>
> Love and peace to all. Be kind to one another.
Thanks.

It wasn't me that brought up the contention that the law was transphobic, It wasn't me that brought up the rape crisis question, which is a bete noir on trans issues and 100% guaranteed to illicit opinion and it wasn't me that made allegations that women were being transphobic by defending women only spaces.

Most importantly, it wasn't me that made up some completely bullshit statements that other people were supposed to have made.

This isn't a safe space so don't try to police it as such and prevent any discussion you don't like or allow allegations of discrimination to go unchallenged.
stroppygob - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:


>
> So what do you think? Do you counter transphobia? Do you let it slide?
>
> Or do you too think it is funny to lift up a womans skirt in a nightclub because 'they've got a dick up there'?

Is it possible that one can be something other than the the two extremes you post?

Jon Stewart - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to stroppygob:

If I've counted correctly, there are two extremes and one middle ground in the post. Sorry to be so pedantic, but that kind of undermines your criticism of Confusicating's post entirely, almost as if you were trying to find fault but failing.
confusicating on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:

I was just signing out.
Jus - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

Nice thread.

I have come across a lot of homophobia but very little transphobia. There are a lot more gay people than trans people though.

I have sometimes thought, even as a kid, I should have been born a woman. i like dragging up on occasion, and i like who i am. I have a beautiful wife with 2 young daughters. I've very little time for bigots. I also don't like being labelled, being put into a box. I'm just me.

Ps. If you are interested, there is a very inspiring lead singer of a band, Against Me! Tom Gabel has recently started living his life as a woman, and changed his name to Laura Jane Grace.
stroppygob - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: What "middle ground"?
tlm - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) What "middle ground"?

Letting transphobia slide.

You bored stroppy?

winhill - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to winhill)

> [I'm not sure about the Born This Way arguments about sexuality/gender, it implies it may be possible to create a medical definition (as opposed to a psychological) definition, which is counter productive and itself discriminatory.]
>
> I haven't read the rest of the thread so apologies if this has already come up, but how sexuality and gender are manifest in the brain is a matter of science, not for politics. It doesn't matter whether the truth could be used to justify mistreating people, you treat people properly for moral and social reasons, while you pursue the truth about how the brain works through science - regardless of whether the results happen to support your political cause.
>
> I don't think anyone would choose to be trans, and I don't think there's any evidence that gender identity can be successfully changed by psychological therapies. Pretending that everything in life is down to wishy-washy social factors is a dangerous and utterly misguided path IMO. Most of the genuine homophobia I encounter is based on the idea that being gay is a choice, which I assume is what inspired the 'born that way' campaign (which I know nearly nothing about).
The reason I bought up sexuality with gender was just that AFAIK Born This Way arguments originated by looking at sexuality first, with Simon LeVay etc. It's more of an American thing, I think.

But I totally disagree about the 'sciencey' thing, I'd have thought gender might throw more light on it as a social construct?

Science based arguments may offer a beachhead from which to deflect choice arguments, but that is purely contingent and based on it's (supposed) effectiveness against a particular audience and I don't see why that particular audience should dictate how the debate is framed. (The Catholic church supports the science and these arguments leave Love The Sinner Not The Sin intact so I think even it's usefulness is debatable).

The language of science and choice describes a false dichotomy and I don't see scientific arguments nor even 'choice' style arguments, as accurately expressing the lived experience.

To use a good example that has been thrown up by the Equality Act, the Act defines the protected characteristic as "where a person has proposed, started or completed a process to change his or her sex", whilst I said above this is a big step forwards, objections were raised at the time that it requires a binary biased notion of certainty. That is it requires that the decision to transition has been made.

So what happens to people prior to making the decision, there is no right to experiment or explore the gender landscape in order to decide to make a proposed change. So the right to manifest change is enshrined but not the right to undergo a process to decide to manifest change. It's not enough to say, well try it and if you don't like it no harm done, because this could reflect an on-going process with regular, daily even, changes. To even talk about choice here seems to completely mis-describe the events as someone is simply manifesting a process of personal discovery.

It seems a reasonable objection to me, so that the definition could read "where a person is considering, has proposed, started or completed a process to change his or her sex". What this can describe is not some binaried 'choice' but rather, via freedom of expression, a Right to Discovery. The lived experience is not expressed in the dichotomous language of science and choice but understood as a non-linear process of personal discovery.

Even if science advanced to the point where it was possible to predict the outcomes of these processes with 100% certainty, it is not the right to choose the outcome that pervades, it is the right to undergo (and therefore to have enjoyed a lived experience of) the process of discovery.

If the Right to Freedom of Expression includes a Right to undergo processes of personal discovery then I struggle to see what input science offers, in fact I struggle to understand the vector by which you'd even connect the two.

Timmd on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> (The Catholic church supports the science and these arguments leave Love The Sinner Not The Sin intact so I think even it's usefulness is debatable).

That's not an example of debatable usefullness, it's an example of debatable immorality. They could not support the science and still be saying Love The Sinner Not The Sin. Religion isn't relevent.

Science, where proven, is usefull for dealing with people who are not religious and see things as 'unnatural' though, be this homosexuality or transgender(ism?), then they can be quite clearly shown to be wrong and sent away to rethink thier points of view.

Timmd on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]

> If the Right to Freedom of Expression includes a Right to undergo processes of personal discovery then I struggle to see what input science offers, in fact I struggle to understand the vector by which you'd even connect the two.

The two aren't mutually exclusive, it can be so that people are born a certain way, as proven/discovered by science, and for them to experience realising this as personal discovery.
Sarah G on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Sarah G)
>
> Official for whom? Official in society, yes. And technically too.
>
> So gender is what you identify as in your head, sex is what genitals and rest of body you have. If they are the same (say if you identify as a woman and have breasts and a vagina etc) then you are cisgendered. So your gender and sex align. Whereas if your gender is female, but your sex is male (so you have a penis etc) then the two do not allign and you are therefore transgendered.


Thanks, that's clearly explained, thank you for that. Will file away the new nomenclature for future ref.

good luck and best wishes

Sx
walking_disaster on 28 Nov 2012 - host109-152-180-149.range109-152.btcentralplus.com
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> To me the argument that women are inherently and intransigently one and that men are the other is absolute nonsence.

I agree. For me, in the article you linked, Deirdre McCloskey sums it up well when she says "gender is just not about 100%. That is the mistake that these people are making."

I think very few things are fixed and absolute. Like confusicating says earlier in the thread, a world in which nobody had to "come out" and nothing is assumed would be a better one.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]

>
> Science based arguments may offer a beachhead from which to deflect choice arguments...

I think we're at cross-purposes, probably my fault.

I'm saying that scientists should be studying the human brain regardless of the arguments that their work may be used to bolster or deflect. The point of science is provide objective descriptions and explanations for phenomena in the real world.
>
> The language of science and choice describes a false dichotomy and I don't see scientific arguments nor even 'choice' style arguments, as accurately expressing the lived experience.

Yes sorry, you're absolutely right, there is no dichotomy between 'science' and 'choice', nor indeed between 'science' and 'social construct'. After all you may well see that under different social conditions, brains develop physiological differences. The science of the human brain doesn't attempt to describe or express the experience of being conscious. It attempts to illuminate how some conscious experiences are manifest in the physical brain. And it's just for the sake of understanding it better, any implications for, say, policy are by the by.

> To use a good example that has been thrown up by the Equality Act, the Act defines the protected characteristic as "where a person has proposed, started or completed a process to change his or her sex"...

Well I think I probably agree but I don't understand the arguments for and against the way the legislation is drafted so I don't know what practical issues it throws up.

> If the Right to Freedom of Expression includes a Right to undergo processes of personal discovery then I struggle to see what input science offers, in fact I struggle to understand the vector by which you'd even connect the two.

I'm a little bit lost here to be honest. Understanding the human brain offers what it says on the tin: understanding. As I say, whether that understanding makes some contribution to a policy debate is by the by. I think a better understanding of ourselves is worthwhile for its own sake. And as Tim says, if someone holding a particular view has based it on something that simply isn't true, then science can put them straight on the facts (they might find new justification for their political view though, the church is always good at that one).

You might argue that understanding the brain doesn't offer any meaningful understanding of the conscious experience, but that's a philosophical standpoint that which there's no mileage in discussing...

de1980 - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:

Transpeople are just a laugh.As is transexualism.
People have such a giggle as it is a veritable goldmine of innuendo and double entendres.Its just a joke.
I have never posted on here before but i have watched from the sidelines for many years,where i have witnessed many incidents where someone who was presumed,i believe wrongly,to have transitioned was dished out some dreadful treatment.This woman was subjected to constant jibes,even though she was perhaps oblivious to most of the snide comments since she wasn't what the UKC small minded bigots thought she was.I,on the other hand kept a keen interest to see which UKC forum members were indulging in this bigoted behaviour.Threads were started about this person which were disguised to make it look as though it were about something else involving percieved sex confusion.In fact i do believe certain posters were e-mailing other posters who were in a discussion with this woman to warn them what she was.
When you witness this behaviour it makes you despair.You feel like someone who is not a part of society and is not wanted as a part of society,who is but a joke.
I felt like a girl since i was two and three years old and that's what was natural to me.I fought against it all my life trying not to be me,escaping in a myriad of dangerous and self destructive ways until i was cured.For many years now i am me ..female. Not trans this or trans that..but female.
I am fortunate enough that everyone i know doesn't give a damn about my history,including boyfriends who i would only tell after a relationship started to get serious.
Confusticating, you are a genuinely lovely person,i say this because there are many imposters on here who would like people to think they were to.Perhaps thanks to this,significant thread of yours they now will reevaluate their actions and the pain they cause.
pebbles - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to syv_k:
> (In reply to tlm)
>
> Oh, and they took away our marriage certificate from the first time round,

That must have felt horrible. it hadnt occurred to me that this could happen, though its a logical consequence of the law as it stands. I guess its another reason why people of whatever gender combination should be allowed to marry if they want to, end of.
confusicating on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to de1980:

Hello.

I'm really glad that you are surrounded by people that care about you for who you are, and that you have grown to accept yourself openly.

Best wishes!
stroppygob - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> [...]
>
> Letting transphobia slide.

That's not taking the middle ground, that's actively ignoring an act of prejudice or discrimination. Hence it is not a "middle ground".

> Do you counter transphobia? Do you let it slide?

Was the statement, so there is no "middle ground" between “counter” and "letting it slide". By inaction you are allowing prejudice.

Try again.


> You bored stroppy?

Not in the least, why do you ask? (Although shooting fish in barrels isn't wholly fulfilling I'll admit.)

Duncan Bourne - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to confusicating:
A really good thread this.
One thought that occurred to me concerning the marriage thing. We have established that if one party changed gender then they would have to divorce/get an annulment and then have to have a civil partnership. But what if BOTH parties changed gender? Would they still have to divorce and would they still be able to marry (given that they were still male & female just switched round)?
The other thing is that I believe gender to be a sliding scale and more mutable than people give it credit for. For instance I have traits that are very male but other traits that are markedly female (at least from my observation).
Thirdly it seems that gender is a separate thing from sexuality. So you have trans women who are attracted to women and trans women who are attracted to men and the same for trans men. When my friend SW whom I first knew as a man first talked about their desire to become female I at first assumed that meant they were attracted to men. This of course wasn't the case as her new wife assures me :-)
Jaffacake - on 30 Nov 2012
This thread is so interesting.

I'm wondering how much of the problem is just caused by lack of awareness?

In that if people thought about it and were aware of what it was to be transgendered they would have less of an issue.

I sort of understand (although do not agree with) the logic that if you were at a rape counselling you might object to what you thought was 'just a bloke in drag' or something and you're far less likely to be accepting in an emotional situation, whereas most people (I think) wouldn't have a problem with it if they understood before hand what being a transwoman actually meant - that they're still a woman and in that sense it's irrelevant what they were born with between their legs.

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