Tag Archives: Trans issues

Does Feminism Need a Rebrand?

Straight off the bat, fist in the air and hollering like a macaque, I am a feminist. Of course I am a feminist. Gender equality is something we should be ashamed that we haven’t reached. As a species we have put twelve men on the moon, observed distant galaxies, cured diseases that were once thought fatal, and created ABBA, yet equal pay, equal corporate and political representation, and even not hacking a girl’s lady bits to pieces in some parts of the world STILL prove elusive.

“BLAH BLAH Patriarchy, BLAH BLAH Pay gap, BLAH BLAH Glass ceiling.”

That is what people are conditioned to hear whenever issues of equality and prejudice are brought up. The words “I am a Feminist” to many people is just giving them permission to tune you out, talk over you or repeat some ‘witty banter’ about women not knowing their place.

Indeed it is seemingly acceptable to sneer and ridicule, as if holding said beliefs are an open and aggressive challenge to the sneering party. There are three groups of people who it is deemed totally okay to heap scorn upon with no ‘legitimate’ objections.

Feminists – Environmentalists – Vegans

Yup, even we much scorned and oft mocked Transfolk are starting to get ‘normal’ people fighting our corner (keep it up guys, you’re stars!).

Now, I could bang on about how those big three labels are consciously and constantly discredited by a patriarchal, fossil fuel loving, steak chomping cabal of wealthy (mostly) men, who use their assets to influence media and politicians, but all people are conditioned to hear is:

“BLAH BLAH Patriarchy, BLAH BLAH Pay gap, BLAH BLAH Glass ceiling.”

Since when were universal human equality, environmental preservation or just not eating animal products considered to be bizarre, far out political extremism?

“BLAH BLAH Patriarchy, BLAH BLAH Pay gap, BLAH BLAH Glass ceiling.”

Okay, okay I’ve lost a lot of the readership by this point, so I won’t labour it.

The actual core message of Feminism in particular, is one that even most naysayers would agree with, but the word has been toxified. A grotesque stereotype has been carefully crafted and bandied about as if it were cold, hard fact. When a negative portrayal of something is so crafted for so long, it begins to self-perpetuate and those who spun it can sit back in their gentleman’s clubs, joke about all the women they have groped and then run for President.

We live in a world of brands, slogans and logos. If something cannot be summed up by a simple image or a brief tagline, it fails.

Conditioned Public: “Why do we have this problem?”

Brand A: “There are numerous causes for our current situation, not least of all is…

Conditioned Public: “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

Conditioned Public: “Why do we have this problem?”

Brand B: *Shrugs* Brown people.

Conditioned Public “YAAAAAY!”

Ye get me bro?

Now, Feminists can be massive pricks. Believing in women’s equality does not automatically prevent you from being rude, aggressive, divisive, cruel or elitist. In the Venn diagram of “Pricks and Feminists” there is a little bit of a crossover.

feminist pricks

Yes, there are several high profile Feminists that seem to get an awful lot of media time because they outright despise Trans people (so much for your genitals not dictating your destiny eh?). There are those who would rather fight against the women that don’t adhere to their own narrow views of what is, and is not acceptable for a Feminist to be.

But what of the rest of the Feminists who stand in solidarity with their Trans kin, who embrace a woman’s right to choose her own form of self-expression, set her own standards of beauty and fashion… those who argue that it is no less oppressive to ban an item of women’s clothing, than it is to enforce its wearing? Because that is most of us, isn’t it?

Of course that pesky old hyper-male governed media only give coverage the to the divisive and hypocritical…

BLAH BLAH Patriarchy, BLAH BLAH Pay gap, BLAH BLAH Glass ceiling.”

Okay, so we can’t go in with the complex ideas off the bat. It also doesn’t help that the letters ‘F.E.M’ get a whole other heap of scorn all to themselves when placed in that order. They have been made to mean ‘weak’, ‘contradictory’, ‘stupid’, ‘less than’… The whole language of being female, or even feminine has been toxified. Men suffer as a result of this too. The pressure to be emotionally distant, repressed, stoic, insensitive and unaffectionate creates an ‘ideal’ that one would have to be a narcissistic sociopath to live up to… and yes guys, since you’ve always been told that everything is really about you when it isn’t, this actually is, at least in part. I am glad that so many guys nowadays actually get this and proudly label themselves as feminists, but the status quo as ever pushes back against challenges with increased vigour and severity. Let’s push forward together.

I am no marketing genius of course (I couldn’t sell shit to a Dung Beetle), and I never sought to offer a solution to the whole ‘rebranding’ option, but in a world where short answers trump correct ones, I feel it is inevitable that we must come up with some way of approaching our argument that cannot be toxified and filtered out of debate.

Or, in other words…

BLAH BLAH Patriarchy, BLAH BLAH Pay gap, BLAH BLAH Glass ceiling.”

Oh, just a side note. I spent waaaaay too long looking for an easy to use Venn Diagram generator online that didn’t require some kind of coding or payment for use so I gave up and did it in MS-Paint like a techno-illiterate from the late eighties (which I am). I’m not sure the gag was worth it, except that I really REALLY can’t stand Germaine Greer.


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Filed under Activism, Body Image, equality, feminism, Gender, gender roles, Inequality, trans community, trans issues, Transender, Transsexual

Boing Boing Boing

Hey everybody. First off… yeah, I haven’t blogged properly in ages. Sorry about that. My usual Winter funk started early, triggered by western society’s increasing resemblance to pretty much every dystopian science fiction future in every dystopian science fiction movie ever. As a result, I have been just drifting around in some kind of semi-fugue state, fueled by very strong painkillers and an immersion in the ‘grim darkness’ of the Warhammer 40,000 universe because, fuck it, it’s a brighter future than ours looks right now.

This is of course all hyperbolic for comedic effect, but what I wouldn’t give for a few power armoured, 9-foot tall warrior monks wandering around, purging would-be dictators with guns as big as a car.

Now, this post is more of a ‘She’s Baaaaaack’ thing (although consistency remains to be seen), rather than a scathing, withering yet amusing analysis of anything in particular. In all honesty, who needs satire when global events efficiently take the piss out of themselves? MRAs, the Alt-Right, ‘Alternative Facts’, ‘Fake News’, Rapey reality TV stars being elected President of the US, Brexit (Or how do we enact this thing without dry-fucking ourselves in the arse), some twat called Milo speaking in support of Paedophilia (he’s fallen a long way since he was in ‘The Tweenies’) and the Political Left in the UK refusing to get behind an actual Left Wing leader. All the while, our government has been systematically shagging the disabled and selling off the silverware… business as usual then.

However, yesterday I saw (without actually intending to, may I hasten to add) a 42 year old Transwoman in Brazil, dragged screaming from her home, begging for her life before being beaten to death in an alleyway. I shan’t link to it, it isn’t hard to find. This is the fifth reported Trans Murder from Brazil alone this year.

Now it’s easy to say “Oh well, Brazil is a backwards, Third-World Country.” Well it isn’t. It adopted equal marriage before we did, and supports Trans people with its public healthcare system. Poverty, Prejudice and Police corruption are prevalent in a large amount of countries we see through our Western perspective as ‘Developed’. Indeed, most of South America is coming on by leaps and bounds in terms of equality and social enlightenment from where they were a few dark decades ago.

No, this isn’t about Brazil. It is about all of us. It’s about everyone just laughing at the bigotted whilst they terrorise, intimidate, harass, assault and abuse the people who aren’t them.

People sit and laugh at Trump, but hate crimes have massively increased in the US, whilst he has personally signed away the rights of millions of US citizens. “Oh it’ll be interesting to see what he does…” are words one only hears from a straight, white, cisgender man (of course, not ALL straight, white, cisgender men 😉 ).

The Brexit Vote… guess what? A significant rise in hate crimes in the UK. I don’t really care what side of the fence you are on there, but the result gave a massive boost of self-righteousness to those whose idea of a good time is punching queers or battering brown people. So yeah, I’m now more likely to be attacked in the street. GO TEAM!

This oppressive fog of negativity has left me in a situation where I have a hard time motivating myself to chew through the restraints every morning. It is hard to see the goodness in the world right now, even though it is right there in so many of you. One of the things about strong pain medication is that everything looks so bleak, and yet so distant that you feel powerless to change anything (except pants… always change your pants. I cannot stress the importance of this enough).

But hey, every now and then someone puts a motivational poster up on Facebook so that makes it all okay, doesn’t it?

Ah well, at least the sun is shining. The bells of St Stephens are tolling and the primary school down the road is full of children screaming like someone’s chasing them with a chainsaw. Best of all, that hooty bastard Tawny Owl appears to have fucked off for the spring again so he can go and lure some other miserable bitch to the Underworld. Oh, and people are actively punching Nazis now, which is apparently something nobody thought of in the 1930s.

I fancy some toast.

I think I’ll go make some toast.

Peace out, love ya lots, and don’t forget to punch a Nazi.



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Filed under Human Rights, LGBT, lgbt abuses, LGBT issues, LGBT rights, Trans, Trans abuse, Trans Activism, trans community, trans issues, Transender, Transgender, Transsexual, Uncategorized

#Transgender – #CaitlynJenner VS the Realities of Transition

First off, congratulations to Caitlyn on her Transition. The support she has been getting from around the world shows just how much the world has changed these past few years. She will have grown up in a time where LGBT people were imprisoned and subjected to electroshock treatment, where coming out as anything vaguely queer was the end of your career. When you are in a marginalised group, you are more aware than the average ‘normie’ of every piece of abuse, misinformation, scapegoating, violence or condemnation aimed at those like you. Why do the older generations still sit in the closets when the world is moving on?

Because they have seen, or even experienced first hand, the risks and abuses that being of this group or that group can bring, and quite frankly I’m pretty sure they don’t trust people not to carry on that way. I don’t blame them. I myself spent several years after my traumatic experiences at school, trying to will myself Cis. Ultimately though, it never works… even if it looks like it does, inside it eats at you.

What people need to realise with regards to Caitlyn Jenner though, is the absolutely atypical nature of her transition. For months, under heavy speculation about her identity, she maintained her old name, her old identity in public and then… BANG… big reveal on a TV interview, a month later she’s Caitlyn, she’s a photoshopped covergirl with the world applauding her bravery. Good on her for using her resources to her advantage.

For the rest of us… the non-reality TV stars, transition is a very different process. Jenner had the ideal situation… millions of dollars for surgeries and treatments to ensure that when she came out of the oven she looked yummy and ready to nom upon. The hermetically sealed lifestyle of a Hollywood celebrity allowed her to transition largely in private, with very little actual public interaction. It was like a chrysalis from which she could emerge fully formed and sculpted into womanhood. The moment she came out to the world, she already looked the part.

In contrast, the reality of transition for the vast majority is crueller. We don’t uusally have private fortunes to fall back upon should our family reject us, or private security to protect us should someone choose to hurt us. We can’t sneak around getting cosmetic surgery before coming out. Even if we could afford it, we are expected to go full-time in our gender role for a set period of time without even the aid of hormone treatment until psychiatrists are satisfied that we are serious enough to warrant it.

I spent the first year after going full time spending what little money I had on self medicating with inferior products, because I could not access a prescription. I, and every other transperson I know, was expected to live full time, physically on their own, whilst their bodies went further and further down the roads that biology had laid out. For Transwomen, this meant hairlines receding, beard growth getting thicker, voices deepening, all whilst trying to live and present as female in a harsh and unforgiving climate. So many of us uproot when our transitions are nearing completion just to get away from the places that watched us go through this walking, talking, often ridiculous metamorphosis. We walked the streets we walked before but that were now unsafe. We had to leave the house, interact with random people… throw ourselves upon the mercy of their tolerance and being utterly broken by their lack of it. We have been treated with suspicion, deliberately humiliated and then ignored when we complained about it. We all lose people, some of us lose everyone. We all suffer anxiety and depression, amplified by the fact that we looked like men in dresses or stereotypical butch lesbians. None of us make it through unscathed, and many of us don’t make it through alive.

Treatment is slow to come. Surgery is even slower. Even those of us who are fortunate enough to have it covered by a nationalised health service still only receive the absolute basics of surgical necessity. Any additional work to feminise a strong jaw or heavy brow, restore a hairline or resculpt the body have to be paid for privately. With the fact that Trans people, especially in transition, struggle to find employment, such processes can take several years to complete, through scrimping and saving.

For those in countries that do not cover gender reassignment, it is common for us to fund our transitions through sex work, often in dangerous environments such as Brazil where transsexual sex workers are murdered with alarming regularity.

Caitlyn’s anguish at her gender identity is certainly not in dispute, and the challenges she has faced are massive, but they are not representative of most Transgender people. I am concerned that people’s understanding of gender transition will be influenced by Caitlyn’s narrative, and that she may become the standard to which other Transpeople are held. For all the emotional turmoil and inner conflict over her life, once her decision to transition was made, the journey was straightforward and accessible to her. For the rest of us, the decision is the start of a years long Journey in full view of everyone without the partitions of camera lenses or security gates.

My hope is that Caitlyn uses her profile to champion the cause of better recognition of Trans people, and better coverage of the treatments that are ultimately life saving. The world has a high profile Transgender person in a position to do so much good and bring dignity and respect to us all, but also in a position to make us look bad and rob us of what credibility we have clawed our way to achieve. The dangers of Reality TV make me worry which way this will ultimately go, as Jenner is ultimately just the product. It is the studios that are putting her out there that control what the public see, and the public don’t always want inspiration, dignity and acceptance… scandal, conflict and destruction are proven to be bigger money spinners.

Make us proud Caitlyn. We all have a lot riding on you and your need to carry on being amazing.

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Filed under Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Kardashians, LGBT, Reality TV, Trans, trans issues, Transgender, Transsexual

I am considerably more #Transgender than YAO!!!!!

Moving on from my previous article concerning the way society expects Transmen and Transwomen to adhere strongly to typical gender norms, I would also like to address elements of the Transgender community and the divisions between them that also seek to dictate someone’s qualification as ‘Trans’. Some attitudes amongst the community itself can be pretty toxic and only serve to undermine each other and our credibility to society at large.

With the recent coming-out of Caitlyn Jenner, suddenly the Internet is awash with people, both within and outside the Trans spectrum weighing in on this debate.

  1. If you are Transgender, you have to have an opposite identity to your birth sex.

Nonesense! Trans is a spectrum. People who don’t fit into the ‘either/or’ norm still count as Trans and should be awarded the same courtesies and respect to their gender expression, whatever that may be. If your gender is more of a pendulum (A Gendulum perhaps?) you should not have your validity as part of the Trans community challenged.

  1. If you don’t transition young, you are not really Trans.

Twaddle! Our society has been, and in many areas, still is hostile towards LGBT people. It is within my not-that-substantial lifetime that LGBT people, Paedophiles and Rapists were openly treated as pretty much the same thing. The done thing was to prove how ‘normal’ you were by doing ‘normal’ things such as getting married and having a family and a career… all things you could lose by coming out. There is a romantic notion that if you are truly Trans than nothing will stop you, but Trans parents are still parents, and any good parent puts the welfare of their children before their own. With recent liberalisation of society, it is now seen as less shameful and less damaging to children and other family, and so therefore many of the obstacles that stopped people transitioning younger in life are not so obstructive.

  1. If you transition young, you are not really Trans.

Poppycock! Many people in the community write off the very young being able to transition, despite the fact that many people in the community insist they knew their Gender Identity at a very young age. It appears there must be a period of suffering before one can meet this group’s high standards.

  1. If you didn’t know from the age of two, then you are not truly Trans.

Absurd! Some of us knew right from the get go, some of us were a little older. Some of us didn’t know until puberty started pulling our body away from our brains, and some don’t figure it out until even later. That is called human diversity.

  1. If you are sexually active pre-op then you are not truly Trans.

This one is pretty insidious as it seems to be part of the actual psychiatric assessment of Trans people when considered for surgery. The idea that one is capable of sexual arousal, stimulation or even using their own genitals in the traditional way, yet having a different gender identity seems to be an unfathomable concept. It seems you are only allowed to hate your original genitals. Making do, but looking for an upgrade seemingly isn’t an option. Sex is a big part of forming romantic relationships, and some of us are happy to use what we have for our partners if it will satisfy them. Get over it.

  1. If you are ‘Non-Op’, then you are not truly Trans.

You know what? Some people find living in their desired Gender role enough. Some find themselves satisfied with their bodies with only HRT or other cosmetic procedures and don’t feel the need for genital reconstruction. Be happy for them! If someone can reach a state of contentment within their bodies without the need for extensive, dangerous surgery, good on them.

  1. Passing privilege doesn’t exist.

Oh it bloomin’ does! If you can walk down the street without anyone knowing you are Transgender, then you get a far easier time of it than if you were walking down the same street looking very obviously Transgender. You may experience sexism of course, but that’s another kettle of fishies. Abuse of Trans people is still an everyday occurrence for many. Physical assault is a very real and common threat, yet there are those who are fortunate enough not to experience these things because they present in their gender role very effectively. If you are Trans and don’t get abused or attacked for it, that is a privileged position. You do an injustice to those who suffer daily abuse to deny that difference.

  1. If you are attracted only to people of the same gender identity as you, then you are not truly Trans.

There appears to be a small, yet vocal subset of the Trans community that is rather rife with internalised homophobia. Accusations of living as the opposite sex merely to fetishise them are bandied about and utterly harmful. Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation are both quite complex, and ultimately unrelated. (We wouldn’t have Gay cis-people if they were, would we?).

  1. Trying too hard means you are not truly Trans.

You get up early every day to do your make-up, hair, tweeze your eyebrows, shave your legs, paint your nails… You wear holdups, lacy underwear and impractical heels even to go to the shop. You’re obviously doing this to play dress-up. That’s not how REAL women act, where are your sweats and hoodie?

  1. Not trying hard enough means you are not truly Trans.

Why are you in sweats and a hoodie? Flipflops without a pedicure? Have you even brushed you hair? Did you even shave your face today? Are you actually making an effort with your voice? God! You can’t be Trans, you’re not taking it seriously!

EDIT 11. (Can’t believe I missed this one) Having kids before you transition means you are not truly Trans.

Like seriously? Trans people aren’t supposed to want children? Are we seen as so selfish that the human desire to reproduce is supposed to be alien?

Seriously guys, gals, miscellaneous and variants thereof, this snobbery needs to end. Let’s not bicker amongst ourselves because we have our own narratives and ways of expression. Yes, there are those among us that make us look bad… they who sell their story to tabloids or ‘Take a Break’ who sensationalise transition so much that it makes us all look like proper nobs. There are those within the Trans community who side with the TERF arguments that Transgender people do not really count as what their Gender Identity decrees and so undermine our fight to be recognised as such. There are big issues that face us… we are under attack by religious fundamentalists, certain radical feminists, hyper-masculinity, a toxic media and flagging comedians who know turning us into one big joke will get a cheap laugh.

Let’s not get bogged down trying to set the narrowest parameters we can for our own identities. It is ultimately, and very quickly, self-defeating.

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Filed under Caitlyn Jenner, passing, Privilege, Trans, Trans abuse, trans community, trans issues, Transgender, Transsexual


Gender Dysphoria

What #GenderDysphoria is like on a daily basis

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Filed under gender dysphoria, gender identity, LGBT, LGBT issues, Trans, trans issues, Transgender, Transistion

#Transgender – Are Trans People Pressured Too Much to Adhere to Gender Stereotypes?

I often find it quite ‘poncey’ when people talk about ‘narratives’ …’what’s your Narrative?’, ‘Gender Narrative’, ‘Social Narrative’ etc. I am fully prepared to accept that this attitude, and indeed the specific wording of my feelings are based on a personal narrative of growing up in a no-nonsense, plain speaking environment. Indeed, I can often be poncey, flowery and pretentious with my prose but when you grow up around the cultural vacuum of a ‘New Town’ like Stevenage where there is sadly a culture of distrust towards anyone who is different, one doesn’t have to season their vernacular too much before being labelled as all these things.

It does concern me, however, on a deeper level than just how self-important it can make one sound. The sad truth is, as a Trans person, we are all judged upon our Narratives. One cannot simply walk in to a GP and, like Ricky Gervais satirically speculated on one of his standup tours say “You see all this? Get rid of this… pop on a fanny!”

In the UK we have to bare our incorrectly housed souls to psychiatrists in order to be diagnosed with a condition that they don’t even want to classify as a mental illness (which it isn’t if the recent discoveries of the variation in androgen receptors is true). This is where we give our narratives.

Did we want to play with the toys of the opposite sex when we were younger? Did we want to dress as the opposite sex? Did we express our Dysphoria to family and friends from a young age? Did we even experience Dysphoria when we were young? Were we effete little boys, or tomboy girls? These are relevant to our past narrative.

There is, sadly, an element of one-uptranship within the Trans community? Woe betide any poor Trans person who didn’t experience Dysphoria until puberty, or who never wanted to dress as the opposite sex when they were younger. Born male? Played with Ninja Turtles and not Barbie? You don’t qualify! I am considerably Transer than you!

Our current narrative is also under scrutiny. How do we present ourselves? Many Transwomen I know, especially early in their transition are afraid to attend GIC appointments and assessments without a full face of makeup and as typically feminine an outfit as is humanly possible for fear that their expression of their gender identity will be deemed inadequate. There is this permeating fear that if you rock up in jeans and a hoodie like half the women you pass in the street, you will be dismissed as ‘not serious enough’.

There is this concept in the Trans-critical feminist circles, that Transwomen are walking parodies of femininity. This is of course an absolutely absurd and downright offensive notion, but does it gain weight from the fact that out current healthcare system seems to be encouraging Transwomen especially to overcompensate? The fact that we are expected to present as feminine fulltime (RLE) for nearly a year before receiving and benefiting from any feminising hormones, has the unfortunate side effect of making us far more visible to those around us than we feel comfortable with. Jeans, T-Shirt, Hoodie, Trainers, hair in a ponytale… is that ok? Are we still presenting as female? Are we negating our RLE? Are we at risk of losing our support or being hurled back to square one? Are we even allowed to have our hair short if we want?

RLE (Real Life Experience) is a misleading concept, as it is not really experiencing life in your preferred gender role, as much as it is seeing how you cope with the shit you are going to get when others perceive you as Trans. Unless you are fortunate enough to be naturally very androgynous, you are going to look like a guy in a frock or a stereotypical ‘butch lesbian’ until you get medical intervention. ‘Passing privilege’ doesn’t often come until later, and for many, not at all.

No one comments on Trans people who blend in, only on those who stand out. I suppose I can count myself fortunate that I can sit near a group of people saying nasty things about Trans people without realising that one of these ‘abominations’ is within muffin launching distance from their ignorant faces. It sometimes feels that the less you think you pass, the more you overcompensate, and the less you actually pass as a result.

Femininity is highly subjective. Masculinity is highly subjective. Is it wrong to push transitioning people to the extremes of gender expression? Is this not the issue many think it is and just an internalised aspect of Gender Dysphoria? Is there not enough consensus on the parameters for gender expression to use it as a suitable judge for the criteria of RLE?

I prefer to wear dresses or skirts, love shoes, don’t usually wear much make-up, play tabletop games, video games, collect Warhammer stuff, love sci-fi and history, laugh at dirty jokes… there’s a mix of typically both genders in there, yet I identify strongly as female… are Transwomen allowed to be Tomboys? Are Transmen allowed to be effete? The gender binary is far from just a Trans issue, we are all a hodgepodge of different traits and interests that have been gender labelled. Compassion is seen as feminine, yet there are many compassionate men whose Gender Identity is never in question. Competitiveness is seen as a typically male trait, but try telling that to a women’s Roller Derby team.

I always knew what my brain needed my body to be, but that is not negated by the fact I liked Ninja Turtles and Action Man when I was a child, and it doesn’t negate my identity if I can’t be bothered to shave my legs for a fortnight.


Filed under Body Image, femininity, gender dysphoria, gender roles, masculinity, Privilege, real life experience, RLE, Trans, Trans Activism, trans issues, Transgender, transition, Transsexual

Is Being Trans Genetic, and Should It Even Matter?

So, this is a thing… http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7689007.stm

For those who have slow internet connections or cannot bear to be parted from me for more than a few seconds, the gist is that researchers have discovered a link between people who identify as male-to-female transgender, and a gene which regulates our sensitivity to certain hormones, and therefore is a strong candidate as to why a brain can develop a gender identity incongruous with the sex of the body.

The first reaction of course is to wave it in the faces of those who call us fetishists or sexual predators and go ‘Nerrr, it’s genetic you ridiculous twat’, but that would be vulgar. The look on the faces of Germaine Greer, and Julie Burchill  would be immensely satisfying, but vulgar nonetheless.

It makes me wonder what it actually means for Trans people in society. Certainly any medical body that continues to classify Transgenderism as a form of mental illness or sickness would undermine itself by refusing to acknowledge the evidence that it is a born trait.

For decades there has been a hunt for a ‘Gay’ gene, with various degrees of success but with nothing conclusive enough for all medical groups to agree. Perhaps being Trans is biologically simpler than being gay or bi or whatever. Something that drives human emotion is always going to be more complicated to pin down than hormones triggering a brain to develop in a more female or male form. I mean, we all start off the same until our genes tell us which us which hormones to obey or ignore. Look at men’s nipples for example; pretty much useless save for a handy spot to attach the crocodile clips and the car battery in torture films.

But will this have any bearing on public perception of Trans people? When there was talk in the 1990s of promising advances in the discovery of the ‘gay gene’, the notoriously anti-abortion Daily Mail ran an article suggesting that genetic screening of the unborn could warn of potential homosexuality of the child, which would therefore be justifiable grounds for termination.

Don’t believe me?


Yes, despite the paper’s usual stance that they believe that foetuses are people, they made it very clear that believe homosexuals are not and, over two decades on, the Daily Mail and other contemporary litter tray linings are just as quick to portray homosexuality as sordid, undesirable and morally repugnant. Their attitudes to transgender people have long been nasty and sensationalist, and will continue to be so long as that angle continues to sell stories.

Perhaps the best place to confront these prejudices are in the classroom before they start, but that just leads to outcries from the press and right wing political parties that learning about diversity, tolerance and understanding is the same thing as sexual grooming, so the cowardly left in this country will either scrap these ideas, or water them down so that they become ultimately worthless.

Now, apparently someone called Bruce Jenner has come out as male-to-female Trans. I am going to be utterly honest here and say that until all these rumours about this individual’s gender identity started doing the rounds, I was unaware of who or what Bruce Jenner was, and I honestly thought a Kardashian was the name of the sinister grey fascist aliens from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. This has been drawn out for months to maximise publicity and build up the drama whilst the LA paparazzi followed Jenner around and documented possible surgical procedures as they happened. The shallow end of the audience pool seemed hooked.

And there is the problem. No one of any value to the press gives a flying fig leaf if it is genetic or not, they just want the drama and the mystery. They would rather sensationalise a famous sixty-something’s well funded transition, then push to help Trans youth get the information and support they need. They are so quick to leap on tales of parents letting their children live by the gender identity they feel most comfortable with, and portray them as some kind of ridiculous parody of ‘permissive parenting’.

The religious right will take a long time to accept the genetic argument too. I mean, they knew being born black wasn’t a lifestyle choice but still accepted the idea of slavery for many, many centuries. In the face of overwhelming evidence that being gay is predetermined, they take the ‘lalalalalalala, I can’t hear you’ approach. Even now, in Northern Ireland… very much the Alabama of the United Kingdom… we have the backwards morons of the DUP blocking any equality legislation that they can. I am sure Ian Paisley is very pleased with these results from his vantage point on the receiving end of Satan’s toasting fork.

One can be hopeful that these links get confirmed, the papers start to be positive about their portrayals and schools are allowed to tell children that it is natural to be Transgender and wrong to discriminate and bully people, but I think it’s more likely that it will just be used by the press as another justifiable excuse for abortion, or by the religious right as evidence that we are damned by God.

Still, Bruce Jenner has a made a few bucks out of it, right?


Filed under Bruce Jenner, gender dysphoria, LGBT, Trans Activism, trans issues, Transgender