I remember a while ago talking to a mental health professional when I was feeling suicidal after getting transphobic abuse on the way to a meeting. One of the problems I came across on this occasion was the fact that they didn’t really attempts to help with my mental health problems, it became a problem of me being transgender, which wasn’t why I was ringing.
This happens in regular health too although I haven’t faced it. It is called “transgender broken arm syndrome”. Where a doctor will ignore your complaints and just focus on the fact that you are transgender. The solution to having a broken arm becomes, “maybe we should reduce your hormones” for example. Or, we don’t want to do that surgery without you coming off hormones for a few weeks. Or a lot of tran’s people report being asked about their medical transition for no reason. “Doctor Doctor I have the flu”. “Oh my! Have you had gender reassignment surgery by the way?”
Anyway, on this occasion the mental health professional told me I should wear headphones when out so I can’t hear people shouting things at me.
This got me wondering recently about what exactly it would take to avoid transphobia in the UK. My answer is I don’t think you can. I worry that people think I am constantly complaining of transgender issues, well I don’t mind. I am writing this as a record for the future and to let people know what I am experiencing. As long as I am honest then its all good.
This king of thing obliterates my mental health. It makes me wonder what people think I am when I am outside. I don’t want to be here any more. People want to make the social cost of transitioning as high as possible. It is almost like being able-ist, “I’ve got my body and happy with it so I’m just going to mock, persecute and demonise those that don’t.” Along with racism, it absolutely disgusts me.
On twitter Graham Linehan, the creator of Father Ted, has made it his mission to spread lies and hatred of transgender people, women in particular. He has a wide audience for this and seems to be getting along with it just fine. He recently managed to set up a petition on mumsnet to get a national lottery award to trans-charity mermaids, to be withheld and currently under review. This money was going to be used to set up a network of coffee groups for parents of transgender children to be able to talk about their experience and inform each other. A prospect Graham Linehan called terrifying.
If you can’t see why this disgusts me then know this.
I have a friend whos’e family disowned her when she came out to them.
She also lost her job and became homeless because she was trans
I don’t know if people have the empathy to put themselves in her shoes and imagine what that feels like. But I can never forgive people who support this transphobia. Tell people being trans is a choice, if they choose that its OK to disown them. Telling people transgender women are sex offenders and worse. I believe they have blood on their hands. It has to stop now, but its getting worse.
So I would have to ignore twitter and mumsnet. But what about this.
I have woken up to transphobia on my radio alarm clock on Radio 4. I wrote about that womens hour episode previouslt so wont bore you with it again.
Today brought another example. The headline “story” for the Daily Telegraph (below). Insinuating that trans women are men, and that we are a threat to cis women on NHS wards. Again I walk down the street and wonder if people are thinking this about me. It’s not hard to imagine, some people do laugh at me, some give me extremely hostile looks. By no means the majority of people. Its a minority, but I have to remind myself of that quite hard. Humans have a negative cognitive bias, you can tell me that, but it’s still there. And one person doing this is too many.
This daily telegraph article is one of many over the last year. Only two days ago, the mail online apologised to mermaids, the charity I mentioned above, for misrepresenting it. In this case implying they were connecting trans kids to foreign HRT drug suppliers.
Two days before that the Independent Press Standards Organisation ruled that a Sunday times article was “misleading” for saying that the gender recognition act reformation could give trans people the rights to use their correct public toilets.
For people who don’t know, we have been able to do this since 2010 according to the equality act. Telling the truth however wouldn’t encourage people to act out against the GRA consultation that was going on last year. Nor draw attention to the fact that this has been happening without a problem since 2010. Nor drive up hatred towards trans people, increasing the social cost of transitioning yet higher. This is pure hate and greed.
Never mind the cost to trans people. In 2013 a trans schoolteacher Lucy Meadows ended her life because of being outed and hounded by the Daily Mail in an article by Richard Littlejohn.
This effects everybody, transgender people and generates more transphobia. I didn’t watch it fortunately but today two hosts of Loose Women had a field day calling trangender women “Men” and saying they should be kept on the mens ward. Why is it only now that this is in the spotlight when for 9 years trans women have been treated on the correct ward? Who watched loose women or read that article and now feels justified and legitimised to hate me?
Next time a friend of mine or myself is forcefully removed, illegally from a womens toilet, punched in the face, or verbally abused in the street for being trans. I know why. All these things have happened to people I know since I came out. I am morally disgusted by these transphobes. For what they are doing for their own benefit. The price that we have to pay and everyone can enjoy vicariously.
Another thing I can’t stand is certain politicians saying this is a toxic debate on both sides. It’s the same with racism and what Trump said about Charlottesville. I am merely existing and being myself. The only way I can appease these bigots is to stop being.