Bully For You


One of the most depressing aspects of challenging transphobia is convincing people it is wrong, or indeed that it exists, (of which my spellchecker remains unconvinced).

Short-lived pop group Hear’say. I’ve heard it said that Danny (on the right) is actually Rihanna pre-transition…

Racism is wrong though – pure and simple, as the multicoloured Hearsay would put it. And most decent people would agree. But whilst Hearsay has vanished, racism has not. Nor has bullying, this week’s top topic. Yet people are even more unified regarding their hatred of bullying; probably because they’ve personally experienced it. Sadly, society’s identification of a problem doesn’t make it go away. But it’s a good start.

If you read the Gender Trust Blog religiously, (you do), you’ll know I compare transphobia and racism frequently. However, people from ethnic backgrounds are usually supported by family members from the same minority. I read an interesting article a few months back about how rather than a source of support, a queer person’s family is often their primary source of hostility. I know this firsthand, as one of my biggest childhood bullies was my own father.

It’s true families of transsexual people have much to deal with. But what they don’t have to deal with is a ‘decision’. Seeking treatment for a medical problem one’s born with is not usually classed as a ‘decision’.

Seriously, if you got born with two vaginas would having one removed be considered a ‘choice’? Not really. Yet for some, having just one unnecessary set of genitals altered is somehow inherently capricious. But gender re-assignment surgery isn’t the same as deciding to live as though it were Christmas day every day. For a start it’s considerably less fun.

Racism can ruin the lives of people whose skin is a different colour to that if the majority, like this poor orange woman.

We need to educate those around us that Gender Dysphoria is an internationally recognised medical condition – and not a lifestyle choice. It’s important because the NHS is doing the inevitable and tightening its already-skin-tight belt, according to the Manchester Evening News (MEN).

If MEN is anything to go by we’ll soon be seeing pictures of an ‘un-photogenic’, child-killing transwoman contrasted with the image of a beautiful, blonde, middle-class mother of 3, doctor/charity worker (think Kate McCann) dying of cancer. Supermum will blame her decline entirely on her Primary Care Trust who simply can’t afford to prescribe the latest untested American wonder drug due to evil ‘trannies’ wasting precious NHS resources on ‘lifestyle choice’ operations.

The fact GRS has one of the highest surgical success rates (97%), can prevent suicide, and can save thousands of NHS pounds in psychotherapy and depression medication will be ignored. As will the health benefits of those little blue oestrogen pills you trans women keep popping.

Believe me I’d love to save the state some money – by protecting trans people more so we’re not hospitalised as often by being run over or murdered.

Indeed, nearly 25% of people in Scotland have been physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. So I welcome the new Scottish hate crime legislation coming into effect next month which extends the protections against hate crimes to cover trans people – a European first, reports our NICE Award winner Pink News.

Not everyone’s enthusiastic about the changes being made to protect us though. Did you read those false reports in the Times and the Daily Mail about the Government’s supposed plans to ‘ban skirts because they discriminate against transsexualls [sic]’? Well to cut a long story short, it was a load of crap, as soon clarified: “new trans guidance for public authorities does not ban skirts”.

Wow let’s all have panic attack over skirts and trousers!

But that didn’t stop the Daily Mail publishing this obnoxious drivel over the weekend, earning them our STOP Award . I won’t dignify the piece with a full response, save to say a real ban on skirts – as opposed to one imagined by the media – wouldn’t spell the destruction of British society. And on a technical point, there’s an estimated 250,000 transsexual people living in the UK (not including transvestites and other trans people) – rather than the 5000 this rubbish claims. Collectively we’d populate a good-sized city, but even if there were 5 transsexual women(a pentatran) in the country it still wouldn’t be OK to discriminate against us.

As a side note, a girl I once knew at primary school used to use her skirt as toilet paper. Where that fits into the current debate on uniforms I don’t know, but I do know the constant kerfuffle about what people wear is entirely pointless. Why shouldn’t boys wear skirts, or girl’s trousers? Clothes could actually be just nice bits of material to cover up in if it weren’t for the gender police stamping their rigid male/female gender labels everywhere. When I started this blog I was wearing a dressing gown. Then I wore a dress and some leggings for a bit, and now I’m wearing tracksuit bottoms. I doubt you care: it’s irrelevant.

Unless you’re looking for someone to pick on…

Paris Lees

(The views expressed within this blog are those of the author, and may not reflect those of the Gender Trust)

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  • Catherine Hilton  On March 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Loved this blog, it’s oh so true! Especially “can save thousands of NHS pounds in psychotherapy and depression medication.” I was treated for mental health issues for 12 years, how much would that have cost? Stopped all treatment when ‘came-out’ as now just so ‘goddam’ happy!

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