Sharron Davies goes Full Bigot

DaviesIslandXandra goes full bitch!

Whenever anyone claims to want to have a ‘debate’ about the position of transgender people in society, no matter how ‘reasonable’ they may at first appear, no matter how much they claim not to be prejudiced, one need only scratch the surface to find the full-blown transphobe underneath.  But nothing prepared me for the vertigo-inducing bigotry and stupidity of former Team GB Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies MBE.

In a Tweet on 1 July Davies stated,

”If you put 2 biological females on an island humanity dies out (but they’d talk loads) if you put a biological male & a trans female on an island humanity dies out. But if u put a male and a female there we might have a chance!   Providing they can fish of course.   Binary Sex matters.”

Yes, Sharron, dear.   Thank you for stating the bleeding obvious. Nobody is denying that sexually reproducing species are dependent upon a sexual binary. At least not for now ~ I’ll get to that later. As to the rest of this Tweet, it is not only obviously transphobic ~ as Davies fully intended it to be so ~ but it is also homophobic, ableist, and it defies science in so many ways it’s simply not funny.

DaviesCartoonSharron Davies used this analogy, she claims, to highlight the differences between biological females and transgender females. Yet, as just about every lesbian and gay person will recognise, it is an age old analogy which has often been used by homophobes, usually but not always of a religious bent (no pun intended, dears).   It is straight out of the “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” stable, in an attempt to discriminate against homosexuals, with people with as much of an understanding of human behaviour, biology, gender, and sexuality as Sharron Davies evidently has.  Indeed, one person replying on Twitter posted an old Spanish homophobic comic strip using the same sort of argument.

But the analogy is also ableist. Let us assume Sharron’s island, with a cisgender man and woman the only inhabitants. What if one or both of them is infertile? What if the woman has been born without a womb (it happens)? What if the man is born without or has lost his testes (it also happens)? What if the woman is post-menopausal, and thereby no longer producing eggs? What hope humanity then? There is obviously none.

And of course, what if one or more of their offspring turn out to be gay, or “Gulp! Horror!” transgender? What hope humanity then? Although to be fair, if it were a transgender girl and a cisgender girl, or a transgender boy and cisgender boy, there is still the possibility of reproducing.   Newsflash, Sharron; some transgender people do raise families of their own, whereby a transgender man (biological female) is willing to be impregnated and give birth, or a transgender woman (biological male) is willing to impregnate a cisgender woman. That does not in any way diminish their identity as transgender. Know why?   Because biological sex has nothing to do with gender, and even genitalia itself does not have a gender. There is no such thing as a male penis or a female vagina.

Thomas Beatie Gives Birth To Jensen James Beatie

Thomas Beatie and family

In 2008, Thomas Trace Beatie, an American transgender man who still had a womb, gave birth to his first child, a daughter. This was followed by two more children, both boys, in 2009 and 2010. In 2018, English transgender man Hayden Cross put off fully transitioning to have a child, a beautiful little girl. I am well aware that Sharon Davies and those who think like her would scream that these people were both biologically ‘female’.

HeydenCross

Hayden Cross and daughter

However, as much as they may still have their ‘lady bits’, Thomas Beatie and Hayden Cross are indeed mentally men.   Or is Sharron suggesting that men can’t have babies, like they have no right to do so? Thomas Beatie, in an interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show stated, “I have a very stable male gender identity. I see pregnancy as a process, and it doesn’t define who I am. It’s not a male or female desire to want to have a child—it’s a human desire… I’m a person, and I have the right to have my own biological child.” There it is – it’s a human desire. And if Sharron Davies wishes to argue against that, and try to argue that only women have the right to bear children, can we add misandry (hatred of men) to her ever-growing list of prejudices?

And of course uterine transplants for transgender women are just around the corner. While uterine transplants are still in their infancy, they have been carried out in some countries for women who have a ‘dead’ or damaged uterus, or those born without one. While there have been complications with some pregnancies, which sadly have not gone full term, in September 2012 the first baby was born from a uterine transplant in Sweden. In 2017 a baby boy was born to a woman with a uterine transplant in Dallas, Texas, USA.

The next logical step is of course uterine transplants for transgender women, to enable them to become fully ‘women’ – “biological females” Sharron Davies might call them. And of course this terrifies some transphobes. “No so-called sex-change has ever begged for a uterus-and-ovaries transplant; if uterus-and-ovaries transplants were made mandatory for wannabe women they would disappear overnight.” wrote Germaine Greer in 1999. Really?   Because obviously Greer, who is very strong in asserting that no man can know the workings of the female mind, suddenly has some magical insight into the workings of the transgender mind?   Right?  In fact, personally I have few regrets in life, but one of my biggest ones is that I was never a parent. As Thomas Beatie said, that is a human drive, not a female one. And there are transgender women aplenty who would dearly love to experience motherhood. It may also interest the likes Greer to learn that the world’s first transgender woman to undergo a ‘sex change’, Lili Elbe, died due to complications from a failed uterine transplant. But Lili Elbe died 92 years ago, when medical science in the field of sex assignment surgery was in its infancy. The very fact that cisgender women can now have successful uterine transplants means that they are now not far off for transgender women. Indeed, large obstacles to this happening appear to be on “ethical” and religious grounds.   These pillars must also soon crumble, and when they do, Sharron Davies and those who think like her will have their minds blown. Oh, and if you didn’t notice it, that blows your claims in your Tweet out of the water, Sharrony-poos.

Davies BioEvoBut then, Sharron may completely discount all this sciencey stuff, as she patently doesn’t believe that it does any good.  In another Tweet, Sharron stated, “I’m not really religious but I’m not really sure messing with biology is very healthy in the long term. Evolution is pretty good at getting it right.”  There you have it folks; Sharron Davies does not believe in mucking about with biology (and it that’s not anti-trans, you tell me what is) long term. Oh, except of course when she had her boob job, and the Botox she took for 20 years, which she claimed was the only way for her to look good.

And don’t get me wrong; Ms Davies does look good. She looks nowhere near her 56 years and is a stunningly beautiful and sexy woman. So how does she do it? Well, in an interview in Hello magazine in April 2016, Sharron stated;

“I’d been having Botox and fillers since my late thirties – not because I want to appear to be a different age but to look the best I can at any age – and this new procedure has worked wonders for me in a soft, subtle way. I was recommended it by my cosmetic doctor, Dr Tracy Mountford of The Cosmetic Skin Clinic who has been looking after all my cosmetic needs for many years, which is why I decided to have the Silhouette Soft treatment to my brow as it has niggled me for years. I’ve always trusted her advice because she is known for soft, subtle enhancement procedures, and it’s important for me to look natural and refreshed.”

Sharron Davies had a boob job after having her third and final child, and stated in the same interview of cosmetic surgery;

”It frustrates me when I know people are going off to have similar treatments are claiming the way they look is all down to eating organic food and sleeping well. When it comes to gravity and age, there is no magic formula.”

So, it is somehow wrong for transgender women (and men) to “mess with biology”, but when it comes to a cisgender women like herself, suddenly that’s okay for Ms Sharron Davies, and indeed, is the only way she thinks she can look healthy and youthful?   Has it ever crossed that small grey thing between Sharron’s ears that her forty plus years of swimming, and her energetic lifestyle, which includes walking and cycling may just have a wee bit to do with that as well?

And she has the utter gall to decry transgender women while at the same time admitting to having Botox treatment. Sharron, dearie, while many transgender people may go to great lengths to make themselves look more natural, I’ll think you’ll find that few of them, like most human beings, tend to veer away from having a deadly poison injected into their system. And should you wish to argue that, let me point out that “Botox” is an abbreviation for botulinum toxin. It is wholly alien to the human body, and while there are various medical uses, they come with their own dangers, including ranging from allergic reaction to muscle weakness, paralysis, seizures, respiratory arrest, and death.

In researching this, I also discovered that Sharron Davies is quite the dog lover – good on her – and has been photographed with various breeds of dogs, from pugs to lurchers.   She obviously cares very much about them. So much so that obviously she’s willing to ignore the fact that each and every single one of these breeds is down to “messing with biology” and ignoring evolution. This just in, Sharron; had mankind not messed with biology and evolution, then all those dogs would still be wolves, and would have eaten you, luv.

Human evolution, in the way it has left our species, is terrible. And Ms Davies while claiming not to be religious is nonetheless coming across like an intelligent design proponent. What’s so great about our bodies?   Our heads that are too large for our spindly necks and our skulls too thin to protect the brain. The oesophagus being dangerously close to the trachea can cause us to choke. The appendix is more likely to kill us than be of any use. In men the testicles have to hang outside the body to keep sperm cool, thereby making one of the most sensitive parts of the body extremely vulnerable. Also in men, we have the penis serving as a delivery system for both urine and sperm. In both men and women, the genitalia are way too close to the anus, which can easily cause infections. Our ankles are too spindly to support the entire fame. Our bodies rot with age, causing various problems in the bones and organs. Our hearing goes, and most people over 40 need some sort of corrective lenses for their eyesight. This is why we rely upon “messing with biology” to keep us healthy and give us much longer lives than our ancestors. You know, Sharron? In exactly the same way that medical science has allowed you to live into your 50s.

Of course, Sharron Davies may argue that on her imaginary island, there wouldn’t be all this science.   No, there wouldn’t be ~ and most people would die in their 30s, if they survived at all, due to another little fact which she didn’t consider.

No matter what the Bible may tell you, you cannot propagate an entire population from two adults.   Well, you can try, and the results may be good for swimmers like Sharron in a few generations – due to their webbed feet. I believe the minimum of healthy adults you would need would be 160 (or have I been watching too much of Salvation on Netflix?), and they would have to unrelated. If not, then within just a few generations you would have a population of incestuous, inbred idiots, with a host of congenital defects, eyes so crossed that each eye would be in the wrong socket, and who would need a week’s notice to stop grinning. Oh, and with each passing generation, life expectancy would decrease dramatically, and infant mortality would become commonplace. In fact, such a population may not make it to a few generations before dying out completely.

Davies BacktrackSharron Davies came in for a lot of stick from her original Tweet, and she attempted to climb down from it. At 2:14am (been on the wine, Sharron?) on 2 July, she Tweeted, “My goodness peeps are overthinking the island analogy.. it’s just a way of saying – humans to reproduce need the binary sexes. Sex & gender are different, sex is non changeable. Nothing to do with being gay. This relates to sport & male biology in females races being unfair.”

The only factual statement in that Tweet is “Sex & gender are different”. The rest is rubbish. We already know that sex is indeed changeable. We already know that the original Tweet is an ages-old homophobic trope. And as to sport, what exactly is fair about the fact that the vast majority of transgender athletes do not win, and its only when they do win that people like Sharron Davies throw a hissy fit? Where are all the transgender women Olympic gold medallist swimmers, Sharron? What is exactly fair about runner Caster Semenya, a cisgender woman, being banned from running due to having large amounts of testosterone in her body? And if it all about women in sport, perhaps Ms Davies would like to explain why she never once mentioned such in her original Tweet?

No. Davies can try to claim she was not being bigoted all she wants. But the fact remains that her original analogy was deliberately transphobic, it used an old homophobic argument, which also, not matter how inadvertently, castigated every woman unable to bear children, and every man unable to father such, for medical reasons, as well as demonstrating her complete ignorance of science.

And if we are to take Ms Davies claims of not being bigoted seriously, then why did she post that second Tweet, in which she ignorantly condemned “messing with biology”? How else are we to take that other than an attack upon transgender people ~ particularly coming from a hypocrite who has had a boob job and Botox treatment? Indeed, how are we to take her comment “Sex is non changeable” other than a complete denial of the very existence of transgender people? The fact is that Sharron Davies is yet another transphobe who is trying to have gender defined by biological sex, despite her saying that they’re not the same thing. Bad news for her and her ilk; that is not how science defines gender. Without going into the sciencey bits (to spare Shazza’s limited intellect), but to use the old adage, sex occurs between the legs, gender occurs between the ears.

There were quite a few people who attacked Sharron Davies on Twitter, and some of their comments were rude and abusive. I would never do that. It only gives Davies and the rest of the TERF army ammunition, while they try to claim they are only exercising their freedom of speech and expression. No, I’d sooner use her own words to completely condemn her, which I hope to have done in this article. Yes she does have freedom of speech and expression, but with that right comes responsibilities, including not abusing it to attempt to malign entire sections of society. Well, I too have freedom of speech and expression, and so long as I have that right, I shall use it to fully expose and call to account unintelligent bigots like Sharron Davies.

 

Birmingham Protestors ~ Your Children ARE Old Enough

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Not at all homophobic…

LGBTI-Inclusive Education, Birmingham, and Bigotry.

There are growing protests against LGBTI-inclusive education at a primary school in Birmingham, England, and they are taking an ugly turn, fed by disinformation, lies, and accusations of ‘Islamophobia’. The protests have become so disturbing that the local authority has won an injunction to place an exclusion zone around the school gates, which comes into force as from Monday, 3 June 2019.

Pupils at Anderton Park Primary School are 80% Muslim, and many parents have objected to the teaching of an award-winning LGBTI-inclusive programme, No Outsiders, which has twice been approved by the schools ombudsman, Ofsted. Parents are objecting to this programme, on the grounds that it is ‘sexualising’ children, and claiming that children of 4-5 years of age are “too young” to be learning about relationships. There have also been some protestors, who do not even have children at the school, spreading propaganda, including showing fake pages which they claim comes from No Outsiders literature, showing scantily-clad figures in same-sex sexual encounters. One Islamic preacher, from Batley, Yorkshire, over 100 miles from the school, spreading these pages accused the teachers of being paedophiles.

The self-appointed leader of the protest, who has no children of his own at the school, but is uncle to two pupils, has been giving speeches daily, some of which have gone off at a tangent, talking of “bombs falling down on the heads of Muslims” around the world. There have been reports of hardliners insisting on taking part in talks between teachers and parents, only to shout the teachers down and stop them from talking.   Teachers have been harassed and threatened, and the head teacher, whom protestors want to resign, has even received death threats. Other parents who have no problem with No Outsiders and who want their children to attend the school have been accosted by protestors outside the school gates and shouted at, right in front of little children.   Some parents have said this is taking part even streets away, and one Muslim mother stated that she was confronted by a man who shouted at her that if she took her child to the school, “You are not a true Muslim and you will burn in Hell.” Some of the protestors took their children out of the school.   Some other parents are now too frightened to take their children to school. A group of women who gained permission from the school to hang rainbow flags and messages of support were suddenly confronted by a group of men, were pelted with eggs, and told “Get out of our community.”

The protests are attracting people from well outside the area, including not only Muslims but also anti-LGBT Christians. One such preacher who comes from Bournemouth, again over 100 miles distant from the school, claimed that teaching “gay equality” was confusing children, then related a claim about a little girl who would not help a friend who had fallen down, “in case I get called a lesbian”. This story almost certainly never happened – strange how many ‘Christians’ think it is okay to tell lies, if they think the ends justify the means. He then went on to rattle off dubious statistics about gay people and sexually transmitted diseases. The protests are reported to be spreading to other schools, and even more bizarrely, there are reports of extreme right-wingers, who are usually the first to be against Muslims, joining in.

So just what is LGBTI-inclusive education? Well for a start it does not teach anything to do with sexual relationships. If little ones as young as four were being any kind of explicit sex education, I would be the first to complain. But the simple fact is that it does not.

LGBTI-inclusive education merely teaches that LGBTI people exist, and that as such they should be receive exactly the same amount of common dignity and respect which cisgender, heterosexual people are not only accorded but take for granted. It is about teaching tolerance, and that is hugely important.

One mother protesting asked, “Do you know how hard it is to explain to a four year old why someone has two mummies?” I have no doubt it is, dear.   But then, given that she and other parents are so unwilling to give a child an answer to such questions, it must fall to the schools to give that child the answer they deserve in an honest, tactful, and age-appropriate manner. To teach them that some people are attracted to and love people of the same gender, that that is quite natural, and perfectly okay. Just as natural and normal as anyone being attracted to and falling in love with someone of the opposite gender.

Some parents completely object to this, claiming that little children are too young and are not interested in any form of relationships at all. Are they really? Well, I do hope that those parents who claim such do not tell their little ones fairy stories about beautiful princesses and handsome princesses, etc, given that their children are obviously too young to hear about and not interested in relationships at all. Indeed, one Christian caller to a radio show spouted this nonsense about not teaching small children about relationships. My immediate thoughts were to wonder if he has never once told his children (and sadly, yes, he does have children) about Adam and Eve, Mary, Joseph, and the ‘Baby Jesus’, or many other couples in the Bible for that matter.   I think we all know the answer to that.   Too young to hear about relationships is rubbish. Not only are children definitely interested, society openly encourages it, and teaches about relationships from the cradle upwards. If anyone has a problem with this, please be my guest to dump all your fairy tale books, your Disney DVDs, and your Bibles and Qur’ans.

Some claim their children are too young for relationships, and they are being sexualised. Because of course, no child as young as 4 has never had a little girlfriend or boyfriend, or has never had a crush, have they? Newsflash, when I was 5 I was besotted with the little girl along the road from me – and the little boy across the road from me. If one were actually to do a poll of people, they would find that the vast majority of us had ‘special’ friends we ‘loved’, even from an early age.

And this should come as no surprise. Far from thinking that children are not sexual beings, yes, they are. Now I know that’s going to horrify quite a few people, but the fact is that we are all, each and every one of us, born ‘sexual beings’. However, I am by no means punting paedophilia here. Indeed, actual sexual longings do not start to kick in until adolescence. But nonetheless, children are attracted to each other from an early age, and while the feelings may not be sexual, there is an enormous deal of affection involved, and little hearts can be broken ~ much worse than adult ones.

And of course, the protestors also claim that teaching about other genders is not age-appropriate.   Really? Except that science has observed that children as young as 3 are quite capable of expressing gender, and that pertains to cisgender children every bit as much as any other gender. And again, society actually actively encourages this from the cradle upwards.   Parents still dress little boys in blue, and little girls in pink. They will paint their nurseries in such colours, and decorate them with things they think are appropriate to the child’s assigned gender. There may be fairies and unicorns for a girl, or cars and rockets for boys. But of course, the moment a child is adamant that they are another gender, it becomes a different matter. “You’re too young to know.” says no one, ever, to the cisgender child. That’s exactly what one mother continually told her child ~ until the day she found her 5-year-old with a pair of scissors, sobbing their heart out, and trying to cut their penis off. That mother had a stark lesson in gender dysphoria, and her child today is a beautiful and confident little girl.

Sexual and gender identity in children is therefore also important to LGBTI-inclusive education.   For far from confusing children, if they do find themselves attracted to a child of the same gender, or if they feel they do not identify as the gender they were assigned, it teaches them that such feelings are perfectly normal, and that if they have such feelings, they can approach their teacher to talk about it. But it also teaches cishet children that such things are perfectly normal, and that aspect of LGBTI-inclusive education helps to reduce harassment, ostracisastion, and bullying of LGBTI children.

The protestors in Birmingham are claiming they are not homophobes and transphobes. Of course you’re not dears ~ in exactly the same way the racist starts a sentence “I’m not a racist, but…” They are homophobes and transphobes, and they are the ones confused, and trying to impose their dark ages religious hate ~ both Muslims and Christians ~ upon children, who more than likely would be the very ones to be accepting and tolerant of all.

No one is born a bigot; it is learned primarily in the home, and is spread by other adults and peers.   Those parents in Birmingham protesting were brought up in bigotry, and they are now attempting to instil that not only in their own children, but by seeking an end to the No Outsiders programme, and seeking the resignation of the head teacher, to indoctrinate all children at the school with the same. That must never happen, and contrary to what some protestors are stating, that’s not ‘Islamophobia’ (I hate that stupid word, dears), it is merely that a civilised society cannot and will not ever tolerate the intolerance of others, no matter where it comes from. If anything, to claim that LGBTI-inclusive education is anti-Muslim is dangerous.  Not only are those claiming such trying to push one extremist interpretation of Islam, then trying to play the victim, but it also has the potential to make less people believe genuine case of anti-Islamic bigotry when it does occur.

Many Muslims ~ and Christians ~ have absolutely no problem with LGBTI people. It is time for the protestors in Birmingham to get on board with that, and time to let the educators get on with teaching tolerance, respect, and dignity for all.

A final word for the protestors, should any be reading.  By sheer weight of numbers, some of your children will almost certainly turn out to be gay, lesbian, transgender, or some other part of the LGBTI spectrum.  Just what are you going to say when they come out?  Are you going to love them any less?

Now is the Time for Inclusive Education

tieScotland is to become the first country in the world to have LGBTI-inclusive education embedded across the national school curriculum.

On 8 November 2018, John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of the devolved Scottish Government, announced that LGBTI-inclusive education would be implemented across all Scottish state schools, and the Scottish Government have vowed that “Work to implement the recommendations will start immediately.”

In his announcement, Mr Swinney said:

“Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBTI equality. I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum.

“Our education system must support everyone to reach their full potential. That is why it is vital the curriculum is as diverse as the young people who learn in our schools.

“The recommendations I have accepted will not only improve the learning experience of our LGBTI young people, they will also support all learners to celebrate their differences, promote understanding and encourage inclusion.”

This historic announcement marks a success after three years of campaigning by groups such as Stonewall Scotland, LGBT Youth Scotland, and Time for Inclusive Education (TIE). John Daly, Co-founder of TIE, said:

After three years of campaigning, we are delighted that LGBTI inclusive education will now become a reality in all of Scotland’s state schools. This is a monumental victory for our campaign, and a historic moment for our country.

“The implementation of LGBTI inclusive education across all state schools is a world first, and in a time of global uncertainty, this sends a strong and clear message to LGBTI young people that they are valued here in Scotland.

“Eighteen years from the repeal of Section 28, we can finally put its destructive legacy to bed.

“Education is one of the most vital tools we have to tackle bullying, prejudice and discrimination – and it shapes the fabric of our society. We now look forward to continuing our work with the Scottish Government as we progress towards full implementation.”

Section 28 was a policy implemented under Margaret Thatcher’s government for sexual and gender diversity to be discussed in UK schools.

Mr Swinney’s announcement was marked by an applause across the political spectrum of the Scottish Parliament, with the policy having cross-party support. There have been very few voices opposed to the move, and those who are have patently never read the proposals. Contrary to what some think, LGBTI-inclusive will not be implemented to the detriment of other education, but will work alongside the existent school curriculum, but with greater emphasis upon LGBT issues during age-appropriate lessons.

There are, as ever, the few minority voices screaming out about this, usually from the usual suspects of Scotland’s dour, Calvinistic, religious homophobes and transphobes. Unfortunately it seems that the Wee Frees and the like are deterimined to stay locked in to their “Thou shalt not” mentality. Just a word, dears, as Scotland’s own Billy Connolly once said “We fucking shall. Ye live in a land where the men wear skirts. We’ve done it before, and we’ll dae it again.”

But I am very pleased to see that the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland is not taking a stance against this, as I and some others thought thay may, as Scotland has state-funded RC schools. In fact, one member of the LGBTI-Inclusive Education Working Group is Barbara Coupar of the Scottish Catholic Education Service. Kudos for once to the RC Church then, because their stance against equal marriage in Scotland was downright shameful.

The move towards LGBTI-Inclusive Education was felt necessary to reduce bullying of and improve the experience for LGBTI-youth in Scotland. One of the aims of this is to give all pupils a greater understanding of LGBTI people.

Stonewall Scotland report that in 2017 half of LGBT young poeple in Scotland, including seven in 10 transgender youths, were still bullied because of sexual orientation or gender identity. One in four lesbian, gay, and bisexual, and two in five transgender young people had attempted suicide as a result. Meanwhile, two in five LGBT pupils had never been taught anything about LGBT issues in schools. This becomes even more alarming when one considers that Stonewall Scotland call this an “improvement”.

Scotland is fast becoming the best little country in the world to be an LGBT person. Scottish Criminal Law recognises hate crimes based upon sexuality and gender identity; the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Act 2014 not only allowed same-sex marriage but was inclusive of all sexualities and genders; the Scottish Government is to implement self-identification of gender in the next year, making changing of gender on birth certificates and other official documentation, quicker, free of charge, and without any governmental intrusion into the individual’s private life.

Now, Nicola Sturgeon, sweetie, about parents choosing the gender of intersex babies…

20 November ~ Transgender Day of Remembrance

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32% to 50% of transgender people will attempt or commit suicide.  Of that figure, 14% are young / teenage.

368 transgender and non gender conforming people have been murdered worldwide in the past year alone.

Almost 3000 transgender and non gender conforming people have been murdered in the past ten years.

And no-one speaks out about this silent genocide.

Remember them, and stand up to fight bigotry against and bigotry committed upon transgender people.

Where’s your Pride, London?

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Pride In London taking their hard line against TERF hatemongers

Hello, dears.

Been a long time, I know.   A little thing called life keeps getting in the way of my writing.

It doesn’t help that I am only back here with another whinge, and for a second year running, condemning the actions of Pride In London.

The Pride In London march went ahead on Saturday, 7 July, on what was a scorching hot day.  This is the biggest LGBT+ event the length and breadth of the UK, and I only wish that I could have been there.

Or maybe not.

The march was meant to be led by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.  However, a bunch of 10 TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) forced their way to the front, and lay on the ground to stop the march from proceeding, while police and stewards looked on, doing absolutely nothing.  After short negotiations, the TERFs were allowed to get up, and astoundingly were allowed to lead the parade for it’s entire length.  They carried banners and placards stating “Transactivists erase lesbians”, “Lesbian=female homosexual” and “Get the L out”.  As the march proceeded, they were even allowed to distribute transphobic leaflets.

One of the TERFs told Pink News “We want to get the L out of Pride, a man cannot be a lesbian, a person with a penis cannot be a lesbian.”, while another stated “Men are saying they are trans, they are lesbians and they pressure lesbians to have sex with them.”  The same woman ‘complained’ that she had been called a TERF online, trying to whine that it’s a hate speech term.  No, it’s fucking well not, and that is what you are, bitch; a fucking TERF, and if I ever meet you, I’ll call you a TERF to your face, and follow you down the street, shouting “TERF!” all the way.  If the cap fits, fucking well wear it, sweetie.

That they were allowed to get away with this at all was appalling enough.  But to add insult to injury, Pride In London gave a truly pathetic statement supposedly explaining why the TERFs were allowed to proceed at the front of the march.  A Pride In London spokesperson stated;

“Given the hot weather and in the interest of the safety for everyone attending today’s event, the parade group was allowed to move ahead.

“We do not condone their approach and message and hope the actions of a very small number of people does not overshadow the messages of the 30,000 people marching today.”

The hot weather?  Really, sweetie?  And in the interest of safety?  For whom?  For the thousands of transgender and non-binary people attending who regularly come under attack from these evil harpies?  No, you would sooner bow to a minority of ten ill-informed, low-intelligence fucktards.  Tell me, would you allow ten members of Britain First to lead the Notting Hill Carnival, handing out racist leaflets, for ‘safety’ grounds because of ‘hot weather’?  Because believe me, the brand of fascism spouted by TERFs is little different.

Had it been down to me, the march would have gone ahead ~ right over the prone bodies of the TERFs.  Nobody knows what 30,000+ pairs of feet can do to the human body, but I’m going to hazard a guess that the result would not be at all pretty.

And yes, it has cast a shadow over the march.  A great many people have complained about this disgusting and divisionary move, and LGBT+ Lib Dems. Chair Jennie Rigg said “I am appalled that transphobic protesters were allowed to lead the march and the crowd asked to cheer them on. This is a betrayal of the thousands marching. The Pride organisers should resign and offer a full apology.”  I could not agree more.

This is not the first time Pride In London has courted controversy.  At last year’s Pride In London, there was a group of gay ex-Muslims who carried banners saying “Allah is gay”, “Fuck Islamic homophobia”, “Islamophobia is an oxymoron” and “Throw ISIS off the roof”.  This caused the East London Mosque to lodge a complaint, and instead of rallying behind the ex-Muslims against what is indeed a homophobic faith, Pride In London upheld the complaint and warned people against carrying “Islamophobic” placards.

Now we have this nonsense of TERFs, who deny the very existence of transgender people, being allowed to hijack what is supposed to be an all-inclusive LGBT+ event.  It makes one wonder if Pride In London actually want the letter ‘T’ in LGBT at all.

Not that it should surprise any of us in the queer community.  Sad but true, there is no shortage of transphobic gay men and lesbian women.

Careful dears, your cis privilege is showing.

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The only London Pride worth bothering about

Scottish Labour Thinks Cishet Animals Are More Equal than Others

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Elaine Smith MSP

Whilst bigotry exists in every country, Scotland in recent years, while by no means immune from hate, has been a shining example of LGBTQ tolerance and acceptance.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) administration in the devolved Scottish Parliament introduced the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act in 2014, the most comprehensive overhaul ever of marriage legislation in Scotland, which ensured equal marriage for people of all sexual orientations and genders.   When the Bill was going through parliament, it had cross-party support, and when it went to the public consultation period (mandatory as the people are sovereign in Scotland), the response from the Scottish people was overwhelmingly in favour.

Likewise, the SNP administration is currently pressing ahead with transgender legislation reform to bring it into line with international best practice.

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, is openly lesbian. The co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, Patrick Harvie, is openly gay. Scottish Labour’s former leader, Kezia Dugdale, is openly gay.   SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, although cishet herself, won Politician of the Year in the 2016 Scottish LGBTI Awards.

So, amidst all of this pride Scotland can rightfully take in LGBTQ issues, who did new Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard appoint as his Spokeswoman for the Eradication of Poverty and Inequality?   Someone who takes a firm stance against LGBTQ equality, while putting her god and religious faith above the sovereign wishes of the Scottish people, that’s who.

Enter Elaine Smith, list Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Central Scotland, who was one of the most vocal opponents to equal marriage in the Scottish Parliament, likening it to polygamy and claiming it would lead to unforeseen circumstances.

Speaking in 2013, Ms Smith stated “Whilst the government has said that it has no intention of allowing polygamous marriages as part of this legislation which changes the essential nature of marriage, it has not explained in any detail and with research analysis its reasons for taking that position.   Further, if the government is sincere about its support for ‘equal love’ then it appears to have a contradiction on its hands.”

In her opposition to the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill, Ms Smith also wrote “It is not, in my view, the Government’s job to interfere in the operation of churches, which is what this proposal seems to do.

“The potential consequences, of course, would not stop with the ceremony.

“The consequences of the legislation will be far reaching and would not just affect religious celebrants but could impact on people right across the country, particularly those with personal religious views. Teachers, local council workers and parents could all fall into categories potentially affected.”

Read that again carefully, dears; “It is not, in my view, the Government’s job to interfere in the operation of churches, which is what this proposal seems to do.”

And…

“The consequences of the legislation will be far reaching and would not just affect religious celebrants”

Ms Smith, who also wrote, “if Christianity is no longer the framework for society consideration must then be given to what is replacing it”, seems to think that the Christian faith somehow has the monopoly on marriage.   If that is the case, will she be the first to tell those in Scotland married under other faiths, and those atheists married under no religious faith, that they are not married in her eyes, or those of her faith?  Perhaps Ms Smith would do well to reflect that in the Bible there is no definition of marriage as one man / one woman (there is in fact no definition of marriage in the Bible), and that the most common form of marriage found in the Bible is, ermm, polygamy.

And the part on celebrants is not lost on me either. The Marriage and Civil Partnership Act made provisions for the first time for non-religious celebrants being able to carry out marriages, without first seeking permission to do so.

This is a woman fit to speak on equality? Who looks to her religious faith first, and says “My bat, my ball”? I don’t think so somehow.

When confronted with Ms Smith’s past record, new Scottish Labour leader appeared to have been caught off-guard and waffled his way through an interview on BBC Good Morning Scotland (aired 9 January 2018). Leonard responded, “Well, Elaine’s position on that (equal marriage) is not one I support.” Pressed on the matter, the Scottish Labour leader responded, “it’s not in keeping… well… look, we’ve got a rising level of child poverty in this country, more people in work are living in poverty. We’ve got a huge rise in inequality, the top 1% richest people in Scotland earn more than the bottom 50% put together.”

Asked again on Elaine Smith’s stance on equal marriage, Mr Leonard waffled on, “There are huge challenges that we face, and I think Elaine Smith is well equipped to lead the Labour Party’s campaigns against that growing inequality and against that rise in poverty. That’s why I appointed her to that position.”

Utterly pathetic, and a clear indication that the leader of the Labour Party (North British Branch) should have done some serious homework before making the most unsuitable appointment possible.

But it does not stop there. Ms Smith is also opposed to LGBT-inclusive sex education in Scotland’s schools, and thinks that teachers should have the right to opt out of teaching it.

She stated, “On the specific issue of teachers, there are particular concerns. The Government’s proposal indicates that they would not expect a local authority to take ‘immediate’ disciplinary action against a teacher who expresses concerns about the use of certain educational materials.

“There is also the issue of parents and what control they have over the information their child receives. I have already been approached by parents with children at nondenominational schools who are concerned about sex education in primary schools.

“They are aware that they can seek to withdraw their child but are concerned that in doing so their child will then suffer from bullying and be set apart from their peers.

The government has indicated that it does not consider it appropriate to say that issues relating to same sex marriage, same sex relationships and homosexuality should never be raised in primary schools and neither can parents opt their children out of such discussions.”

Well, that latter part is utter rubbish. Parents fully have the right to withdraw their children from sex education if they so wish. And where is this bullying Ms Smith speaks of? Can she give any data or figures, which back up the claim that children opted out of sex education, are bullied by their peers?

Or could it be that given the widescale acceptance and respect LGBTQ Scots appear to be enjoying, the only people who are attempting any bullying are ignorant homophobic and transphobic bigots, who attempt to hide behind their faith?   Does that sound in any way familiar, Ms Smith?

For someone who is supposedly an ‘equality’ spokesperson, Ms Smith’s commitment to equality is derisory. Here is one more snippet from her opposition to equal marriage:

“I do not regard same sex marriage as a simple matter of equality particularly as we already have civil partnerships for same sex couples. Just because something is not identical does not make it unequal.”

Different – but not unequal? Now, where have we heard that before in a supposedly ‘leftist’ context?

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Reports of my death have been greatly exagerrated

26231018_10215152037460205_6016522973214740083_nHELLO, DARLINGS!

Yes, I’m still around, and alive and well.  I’ve just been very busy in the past few months.  I have a new job which leaves me with very little time for social media, but I have been missing being on here.

I do hope this post finds all, especially my much-loved sisters, here well, and trust you have all been behaving yourself in my absence.  Well, as much as you lot can.

I am going to endeavour to be here a little more in future, so look out for more political posts, and more nonsense.

Much love to all,

Xandra  XXXX

Where is your Pride?

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CEMB at Pride in London

When you deny your own a voice, you have none.

Pride parades and marches can be wonderful events. They are a celebration of one’s sexuality and gender. They are all about LGBTQ people being loud and proud. They are also a firm statement to the cishet majority, “We’re here, we’re queer; get used to it.”

The Pride movement grew out of the Stonewall riot of 28 June 1969, when police raided the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City. The Stonewall inn was a progressive bar which was frequented by the local LGBTQ community. The riots which followed the raid led to “Stonewall” becoming a bye-word for LGBTQ direct action. A year later, on 27 June 1970 the first “Gay Liberation” march took place in Chicago, followed by Los Angeles and Philadelphia the following day. These marches were to remember Stonewall and to stand up for gay rights. It was from these that annual marches sprang up across the globe, taking the name “Pride” and coming to encompass the entire LGBTQ movement. As society moves towards a greater understanding of sexuality and gender, but with a great deal of prejudice still existing they are more important now than they have ever been.

We therefore see that Pride events are deeply steeped in political activism and taking a stance for LGBTQ rights. So you would think that they would be a legitimate time for protest, wouldn’t you? Except in the United Kingdom, you would be wrong.

On 8 July Pride in London took place, at which members of the secular group “Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain” (CEMB) took part, with some carrying placards stating “Allah is Gay”, “Fuck Islamic homophobia”, “Islamophobia is an oxymoron” and “Throw ISIS off the roof”. Enter East London Mosque, who lodged an official complaint with Pride in London, who objected to the “Islamophobia” from the CEMB.

Mosque spokesman Salman Farsi stated “We’ve raised a complaint with the co-chairs of the event that the group was inciting hatred against Muslims, and in particular [in relation] to our good name, based on absolutely groundless reasons. For us to see such a mainstream event that is supposed to celebrate tolerance and love used as a hate platform was really quite shocking. One of the signs said ‘Islamophobia is an oxymoron’. Our religion doesn’t promote hatred or homophobia. Yes, there might be theological topics dealing with homosexuality in Islam, but that’s clearly very separate from promoting hatred and homophobia,”

Except of course, you cannot separate the two. Islam, like all the Abrahamic faiths, IS a homophobic religion. And the East London Mosque is rarely out of the news, having been investigated on more than one occasion for links to Islamist hate preachers.

So, how would you have expected Pride in London to respond to this? One would have expected them to rally behind their own LGBTQ participants, wouldn’t one? Except you would be wrong. Instead Pride in London sided with the East London Mosque and condemned the CEMB.

Pride in London responded, “If anyone taking part in our parade makes someone feel ostracised, discriminated against or humiliated, then they are undermining and breaking the very principles on which we exist. Our code of conduct is very clear on this matter. All volunteers, staff and parade groups agree that Pride celebrates diversity and will not tolerate any discrimination of any kind. While our parade has always been a home to protest, which often means conflicting points of view, Pride must always be a movement of acceptance, diversity and unity. We will not tolerate Islamophobia.”

Where was the hate? Where was the alleged “Islamophobia”? It surely cannot be in saying “Allah is Gay”, as that could only be an insult if being gay was in any way derogatory. Contrary to press reports, there were no signs saying “Fuck Islam”, but rather “Fuck Islamic homophobia” – those are two different things. And sorry, but Islamophobia IS an oxymoron; a contradiction in terms which ultimately makes sense, like “military intelligence”. Islam is a hateful and hate-filled religion. That is not a statement against individual Muslims, but rather against the barbaric dark ages bastard child of Christianity. Islam is one of the biggest threats in the world today, and most of those who suffer at its hands are in fact Muslims. That’s not prejudice, it is a fact.

It appears to me that Pride in London really shot themselves in the foot over this one. So having calmed down from headdesking, I was just about over it when story No.2 broke.

Belfast Pride took place on 5 August, in the wake of the UK having a General Election and the Conservative Party only squeezing back into power after doing a deal with the biggest party in power in Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP); a Christian-based party known for their extreme conservative opposition to equal marriage and other LGBTQ and human rights issues. Northern Ireland is the only part of the British Isles which still does not allow same-sex marriage, and that is a direct consequence of DUP policies.

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Eleanor Evans (right) at Belfast Pride

Bisexual woman Eleanor Evans attended Belfast Pride carrying a home-made placard stating “Fuck the DUP”. She was already halfway thought the parade, having passed a number of police with not problem, when a Belfast Pride official came running towards her and shouting at her. Evans clam that the official told her “Either put the sign down or leave the parade.” before trying to rip the sign out of her hands and pushed her. Evans, an LGBTQ charity worker, who attended the event with her transgender sister, reported the incident at an information point, and was curtly told she would have to email them for official action to be taken.

Belfast Pride duly investigated that matter, have utterly denied that Eleanor Evans was pushed or assaulted, or any other wrongdoing on the part of the official concerned, and have not offered any apology. Seán Ó Néill, Chair of Belfast Pride, instead claimed that Eleanor’s sign “breached the Parades Commission’s guidelines”, which state that parade participants “refrain from using words or behaviour which could reasonably be perceived as being intentionally sectarian, provocative”. Eleanor’s sign was most certainly not sectarian – it did not single out the DUP as being Protestants – and I have personally seen much, MUCH more provocative signs at many parades. Including the extremely provocative Orange parades which are a blight upon both Northern Ireland and my own native Scotland, many of which are attended by DUP politicians and other members.

Oh, and were it not enough that Belfast Pride enforced Evans to take her sign down, a DUP politician has now reported her to the Police Service of Northern Ireland for “hate speech”. Tell me that’s not victimisation of an LGBTQ person?

So, reeling from a double whammy, I breathed a sigh of relief, and though I could not be there, I was happy for friends who were attending Glasgow Pride on 19th August, and all the happier that it would be opened by Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland.

It was in the late afternoon that people started posting of arrests at Glasgow Pride. Homophobes? Transphobes? Nope. LGBTQ people.

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Arrests at Glasgow Pride

In a bloc of LGBTQ members of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) one marcher carrying a placard declaring “These Faggots Fight Fascists” was approached by police, and he and another IWW member were arrested for “alleged breach of the peace with homophobic aggravation, police obstruction and resisting police arrest”. Except the sign was not homophobic, as the man carrying it is gay, and identifies as a ‘faggot’. Arresting a gay man for carrying a sign saying “faggot”, claiming homophobia, is akin to accusing a black person using the N word of being racist, and arresting them for hate speech. The protestor was carrying the sign to reflect recent events in the USA, where neo-Nazis descended on Charlottesville University. It was a message of solidarity to those fighting fascism across the Atlantic Ocean.

In a separate incident another man, and two women of the LGBTQ women’s drumming band Sheboom were arrested but later liberated after breaking from the parade and playing outside a Roman Catholic cathedral. Glasgow bye-laws prohibit this.

So, again you would expect Pride to stand by LGBTQ participants, and again you would be wrong. In a press statement, Pride Glasgow said;

“Pride Glasgow is extremely disappointed in the actions of a small group of people that tried to target the Pride Glasgow Parade yesterday. Whilst Pride Glasgow promotes an Equality for all agenda and free speech the actions of this group jeopardised the safety of everyone attending the parade.

The Pride Parade in Glasgow has always been a platform for protest alongside a celebration of LGBTI life and we are saddened that this shameful attempt to sabotage the parade has come from within the LGBTI community.

Pride Glasgow fully encourage the participation of uniformed services in the Parade including the Police and whilst we understand that others may have a different view on this. Actions which endanger others will not be permitted.

Pride Glasgow support the actions of Police Scotland in dealing with this group to ensure the safety of everyone on the Parade and the Festival. Pride Glasgow has worked closely with the police and relevant agencies to put appropriate measures in place to deal with incidents at all levels especially given the current threat level.

This year’s Parade was one of the biggest ever to happen in Glasgow and with over 90 floats and walking groups alongside over 6000 individuals the majority of which followed the correct guidelines set out by Glasgow City Council for Parades but we were disappointed that Sheboom a group who have taken part historically in the parade felt the need to break this by splitting the parade and continuing to play music outside the Cathedral which is a requirement from Glasgow City Council for all Parades to cease music during the passing of any place of worship.”

I would love to see just how anyone was put in danger by peaceful protestors. Yes, IWW objected to the police presence on the parade – which I do not agree with them protesting; it’s only right that we show that LGBTQ people are in ALL walks of life. But on the other hand it appears to me that the police got heavy-handed. I am actually a veteran steward of many peace marches and I would immediately like to know why police officers, supposedly taking part in the parade, took it upon themselves to approach the individual with the “These Faggots Fight Fascists”, or Sheboom, without approaching Pride Glasgow stewards or officials first. That is the usual course of action to take, and it is only when stewards will not act that police action is usually taken.

As to Sheboom, if they broke from the march and played outside a RC cathedral, they were indeed in the wrong.  However, the bye-laws concerning playing outside places of worship were instituted to prevent sectarian provocation, which too often has erupted in violence.  In the past.  To arrest peaceful members of a lesbian drumming band on the same pretext is unspeakable.

As far as I can see, no-one jeapordised the safety of anyone at Pride Glasgow. Well, certainly not until members of Police Scotland started wrestling peaceful protestors to the ground and handcuffing them.

For Pride Glasgow to say that they promote free speech whilst supporting the arrest of a man stating that he fights fascism is in itself derisory. I have heard that some were against the parade being “politicised”. Well, if that’s the case, then why did Pride Glasgow invite the Scottish National Party (SNP) First Minister of Scotland to open it? You don’t get much more political than that – particularly in Scotland. Indeed, whilst I appreciate the importance of a serving First Minister of Scotland opening Pride Glasgow, if they are so fond of free speech and non-partisan, why did they not invite ALL party leaders in Scotland to jointly open the event? In fact, that would have been much more fitting, given that Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale are both openly lesbian, and the co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, Patrick Harvie, is gay.

The behaviour of Pride organisers in London, in Belfast, and in Glasgow, over these incidents has been disgraceful. Well, this faggot fights fascists too. And that includes the fascism of political Islam, the fascism of the DUP, and of the fascism of the extreme right both in the USA and here at home. I stand by the CEMB, I stand by Eleanor Evans, I stand by the IWW, and I stand by Sheboom – all of whom were taking a stand against those who would quite happily kill every participant in every Pride event. It is only a pity that Pride in London, Belfast Pride, and Glasgow Pride apparently do not have the guts to make that stance too, but are quite happy to sleep with the enemy instead.

Pride? Try “Abject Shame”.

Cartoonist Sophie Labelle tells the Trans Advocate of Neo-Nazi attacks

10887151_349427518572852_6878044040955739326_oMy favourite transgender cartoonist Sophie Labelle, creator of Assigned Male Comics and colouring books which challenge gender stereotypes and teach children that it is normal to be whoever they are, has made it to the Trans Advocate.

Sadly, it is because of the attacks that Sophie has suffered from transphobes, TERFs, and more recently Neo-Nazis.  I have personally seen some of the attacks the lovely Sophie has been subjected to, including death threats, and believe me they make me pale ~ and I don’t scare easily.  So how she keeps that pretty face smiling speaks volumes of the courage of this beautiful young lady.

Earlier this year her Facebook page was cloned by Neo-Nazis posting transphobic hate messages.

Assigned Male Comics surrounds the life of a little transgender girl, Stephie, who like all good cartoon characters, finds a special place in your heart where she will stay with you forever.

Link to the Trans Advocate article:

https://www.advocate.com/current-issue/2017/7/20/young-trans-artist-targeted-neo-nazis

UK Government to Overhaul Gender Recognition

GRC applicationBe better scrapping it altogether.

The UK government is to carry out a consultation on changing legal gender for transgender easier than the mess it currently is.

Under the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, those wishing to change legal gender have to undergo a lengthy bureaucratic and demeaning process to gain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), and it is only once they have a GRC that they can change their gender on official documents.

To gain a GRC, a transgender person over 18 must

  • be diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria
  • have lived fully for the last two years in their acquired gender
  • prove that they intend to live permanently in an acquired gender

The applicant sends their application, along with supporting documentation – and a £140 fee, to the Gender Recognition Panel, based in Leicester, who then forward it to the actual panels of HM Courts & Tribunals Service, where civil servants deliberate over them and decide whether or not to grant the GRC.

Paper applications are usually accepted, although in exceptional cases an oral hearing can take place, which means the application having to make a trip to London, possibly staying overnight, and being interrogated by a cisgender panel.

Many transgender people don’t even bother to apply for a GRC, not only because of the bureaucracy, but because they see it as an unwelcome governmental intrusion into their private lives.

The Equalities Minister Justine Greening said that the government, having listened to activists, intends to set up a consultation upon the process in autumn. Proposals include removing the need for medical diagnosis of gender recognition, with transgender people being able to self-diagnose, as is the case in the Republic of Ireland, and scrapping the two-year transitioning period.

I can only say it’s not before bloody time, dears. The entire process of applying for a GRC, before a transgender person can even get a birth certificate with their ‘acquired’ gender upon it, is overtly bureaucratic, an unwelcome intrusion into private lives and costly for many.

The two-year transition puts young transgender people at a distinct disadvantage, as not only do they have to first be medically diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, they then have to live for two years under the gender they identify with, which means they will be at least 20 years old before they can even think of applying for a GRC. As I have pointed out before, this can lead to transgender young offenders being put in danger, when they are sent to prisons according to their assigned birth gender.

There is no mention however of doing away with the fee for a GRC. This puts transgender people in the lower income bracket completely at a disadvantage. Who can afford £140 for a GRC when they are struggling to make ends meet? How many poorer transgender people will even think of a GRC when their more pressing priority is getting a food bank referral? Where is this money going anyway, apart from into government coffers? As far as I can see the GRC is nothing short of a “Trans Tax”.

But another thought crosses my mind, and that is just what is the Scottish Government doing about gender recognition in Scotland. On 31st May 2016 the Scottish National Party (SNP) First Minister, the simply lovely Nicola Sturgeon, vowed that if she were re-elected that she would make changes for transgender and non-binary people in Scotland to bring gender recognition “iin line with international best practice”.

Nicola Sturgeon, who was duly re-elected, promised to allow transgender people to change their birth certificates and other official documents without need for medical diagnosis, legal recognition for 16-17 year old transgender people – allowing them to change their birth certificates without parental permission, and the legal recognition of non-binary individuals, intersex equality, and same-sex pension equity.

One year on, the SNP repeated these promises in their 2017 General Election manifesto. Well, the SNP have been re-elected to the Scottish Parliament for over a year now, the General Election took place on 8 June, and the SNP still managed to get more votes than Labour, the Tories, and the Lib-Dems put together – and I am seeing no apparent movement on these promises.

Come on, Nicola. You’re dragging your heels, dear (as nice heels as they may be).  It would be terribly embarrassing for Westminster to beat Holyrood to the post on this issue.  Especially considering they already did so on same-sex marriage.