Lost in Trans

Trans-weekend’s not as glamorous as it sounds. The Gender Trust held its AGM last Sunday. I’ve finished the leftover sandwiches, recovered from the granulated coffee, and seen enough trans people to last me a lifetime – so now for an update on what we, GT, have been up to:

Firstly, we’ve been on telly. We’re that rare thing – an authoritative voice speaking upon trans issues in the media. Plus we’re constantly busy behind the scenes in the privates (oops) I mean private-sector, providing training days for UK employers. Helping those who transition at work to remain valued members of society by educating their colleagues is a key role for the Gender Trust, and also gets our Michelle Bridgman out the house.

Then there’s our national helpline (0845 231 0505), accessed by a variety of people, including trans, parents of trans, intersex people and wives who share their knicker’s with their husbands. This much-needed service relies upon volunteers, so please help us by contacting the office for information on upcoming training (01273 234 024).

Our quarterly magazine, GT News, is unmatched for respectful and insightful coverage of trans news stories and features. To receive GT News, simply follow the link and become a GT member (http://www.gendertrust.org.uk/n2/p09.php?id=2).

And if you don’t already know about our blog you should probably concentrate more on what you’re reading. We plan to twitter, and a Gender Trust educational YouTube channel is currently being developed as well, to address public lack of awareness and understanding. We also think you should be able to see trans-people without having to buy porn – unless you want to of course. A sad day, and one on which the murder of trans people continued.

With sadness, I attended a candle-lit vigil in Brighton for the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) held by the Clare Project (http://www.clareproject.org.uk/) last Saturday. I was moved by a speech by murdered-Andrea Waddell’s mother. Indeed, the presence of Andrea’s large family added considerable poignancy to proceedings, as did news that ANOTHER trans woman was found dead in highly suspicious circumstances on the very day of our commemoration. Last month, one of Italy’s cabinet ministers became involved in a huge, highly-publicised scandal due to his admission of repeatedly visiting a transsexual escort known only as Brenda. That’s part one.

Part Two is TDOR morning, and Brenda is discovered dead in her burnt out apartment (http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/56440,people,news,transsexual-in-italian-political-scandal-found-murdered). Sadly, it sounds familiar, smells suspicious and smacks, yet again, of aggressive transphobia. But nothing’s been proven yet, so don’t jump to conclusions! Maybe she left her straighteners unattended or something. Hmm.

Or perhaps, like so many others, she couldn’t cope anymore and took her own life. Either way, there’s something seriously wrong with how the world treats trans people, and it must change. Which is why this is indescribably annoying:

http://www.facebook.com/paris.scarlett.lees?ref=profile#/group.php?gid=180071242437&ref=mf

But let me end on 3 positive notes:

Firstly, thank you NHS – true, you won’t give us boobs, but at least you’re not mutilating little babies with natural sex-variety anymore:

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article6922193.ece

Yes, despite what you were not told at school, it’s normal for babies to be born neither male nor female. The article above cites a recent Scottish survey which indicates around 1 in 4000 babies are born intersex, though GT’s figures suggest that 1 in 80 or so babies are born with some kind of sex or gender anomaly that may be associated with unusual chromosomal patterns or Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. British doctors are now leading the world on this issue and leaving intersex people to grow up and make their own decisions on whether to have surgery. Isn’t that amazing – us leading the world on something. Almost like Empire-days.

a Queen

A Queen

Speaking of which, I wanna give a big shout out to Queen Elizabeth II. I got my passport (helping me ‘pass’ in more ways than one) and I thank the state for recognising me as female. It was the hair wot gave it away, I’m sure of it.

Finally, after Sunday’s AGM, a penta-tran of us (yes; I did make that up) went for a coffee, and as Michelle and I stepped foolishly into the road, a bus stopped and swerved around us.

It didn’t run us over.  See – things are getting better!

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