Tag Archive | gender identity

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.

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Crossdressing and Sexual Fetishism

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A fetish?  My arse!

They are rarely one and the same thing.

This article is about sex, and will probably be one of most read articles, and for some, probably one of the most disappointing. I warn the reader now that I shall make reference to sexual acts; heterosexual, homosexual, and fetishistic ~ some of which may shock and / or disgust some. And if you feel you may be offended, look away now. For all others who are adult enough to read about intimate acts without reaching for the sick bag / getting all moralistic / going into giggle mode, please read on.

I once remarked in a previous article that there is a sexual dynamic to crossdressing, and added that the sex can be fantastic, and I fully stand by that statement. However, there are those who try to claim that all crossdressers are sexual fetishtists, or even perverts. Not only is this untrue, but as to the sexual dynamic attached to crossdressing, I say so what, would like to know just what business it is of the accuser, and would ask them who gave them the right to judge?

If crossdressing was merely a sexual fetish, then consider that there are some men who go well out of their way and spend a small fortune on their fetish. I am talking about those people, assigned male, who actively pursue a female persona, even to the point of going out in public dressed and made up as a woman. That is a far cry from the guy who waits until his female spouse is out then dons her lingerie for a wank. I look at some of my sisters here in the WordPress crossdressing community who are absolutely gorgeous and who maintain their female persona as much as possible. Some go for nights out with “the girls”, some even go to weekend meet-ups with other crossdressers. This includes going to bars and clubs, and other social events, where sex may ~ of may not ~ become part of these encounters. If it does, then who is anyone to judge? Tell me, would you equally condemn two gay men meeting up for sex?

There are of course some men for whom crossdressing is purely a sexual fetish, but I don’t see how anyone can really condemn that either. I will admit I do my best to avoid guys like this, because in trying to be an actual physical pain in my arse, they merely end up being a metaphorical one. I seek out online groups and individuals who take crossdressing seriously as part of their psyche, so when I’m trying to discuss crossdressing thus, the last thing I want is some creepy guy begging me for pics of my cock and arsehole in lingerie (and / or sending me pics of theirs), or saying how much they would like to suck and fuck me. Attention, any such guys; it is far from flattering, and all you are doing for my libido is reducing it to zero (particularly if you don’t shave your legs – eughhh!). Or to put another way, you should be so bloody lucky. Yet, if there are guys feel the need to don female underwear to masturbate, then I am certainly not going to condemn it. Given that is exactly how I and many other crossdressers started to explore our femininity, and given I still wank in lingerie, then it would be completely hypocritical for me to point the finger at others for doing the same. The persona and gender may not be the same, but the sexuality certainly is. But even if I were not a crossdresser, I still wouldn’t condemn it, for the simple facts that a, it is doing nobody any harm, and b, it’s none of my damned business.

I actually wonder however, just how many of sexually fetishistic crossdressers are in fact heterosexual. The Kinsey study on human sexuality determined that the overwhelming majority of crossdressing males are in fact heterosexual, and many charities and support groups stand by that study. Yet Kinsey’s findings are coming up for 70 years old, and while it covered gender identity in as limited the way it could in those unenlightened days, it never mentioned gender fluidity as a concept, because it was unknown of at the time. I had not even heard of it myself most of my adult life, and if you go to earlier articles of mine, you will find me claiming to be a bisexual and cisgender male. Imagine how much a bolt from the blue it came to me when I realised that I am in fact genderqueer (I prefer that term to the much more boring “genderfluid”), as well as pansexual ~ another concept unheard of in Kinsey’s time. I wonder then just how many fetishtic crossdressers are in fact genderqueer, and possibly pansexual, or at the least bisexual. Yet by equal measure, there are crossdressers who are indeed otherwise cishet, whose female partners wholly support them, and who have fantastic sex, with both wearing “female” attire.  Jammy bastards!

What I am getting at here is that there are none of us should condemn the sexual fetishes of another, so long as they do not harm another human being ~ particularly children ~ or any animal. We all have our own particular sexual peccadilloes (should that be peccadildoes?) and kinks (yes you do, dear ~ you can lie to me all you want, but don’t lie to yourself), which we would be the first to take umbrage at others condemning. Therefore, so long as they are not hurting others or animals, show others the same respect.

There is a huge gamut of sexual behaviours which could fill a dictionary from A to Z, from Anilingus to Zoophilia, and that which turns one on often leaves others quite, quite cold. I for instance once dabbled with BDSM, and while what I partook of was quite fun, I could never count myself part of the “lifestyle”, because it is a lifestyle. Although I am sometimes a very naughty girl who needs (and thoroughly enjoys) being thrown across someone’s lap, my skirt pulled up, my panties pulled down, and given a good hard spanking until my arse glows red. I also enjoy being bound and helpless, to be used as a sex toy. But could I ever get into the gimp suits, ball gags, being dragged around on a leash by a mistress or master, etc? Not in a million years. And NOBODY is coming near my naked body with anything sharp or hot ~ I’m way too much of a coward for that.

Similarly, when I was younger I was very promiscuous and had a penchant for gay sex in public places, which included me once sucking a guy’s cock up a back street in broad daylight, where anyone could have caught us at any time. The danger of doing such a thing was part of thrill for me and to this day the very thought of sex in public gets me going. But even in private there are few places my fingers, tongue and cock have not been on and in both male and female partners ~ who have explored my body with equal intimacy. I am not ashamed of that, and do not see why I should be; in fact, I thoroughly enjoy it, am proud of it, and I view the whole human body ~ male, female, intersex, transgender, genderqueer ~ as one huge erogenous zone to be explored as intimately and as thoroughly as possible ~ outside and inside ~ in as many fun ways as possible. I have had sex with men and women from those in their late teens to the elderly, sucked more cock than I have eaten pussy (and I love both), done things and had things done to me which would positively disgust some, and enjoyed every moment of it, and intend to enjoy fingering, licking, sucking and fucking every orifice with partners of various ages, genders and sexualities for a good time to come. And before anyone reaches for the sick bucket and attempts to condemn me, examine your own sexual behaviours and experiences, and ask yourself if you can honestly say you are in any position to judge? No? No; thought not.

However, if there are some self-righteous, holier-than-thou cishet bastards who have sex occasionally with their opposite-gender partner in the missionary position who think that does somehow give them the right to judge, I’ll remind you that I did warn you at the top of this article what it was going to be like, and I’ll add what a boring bastard you must be. Nobody’s interested in your opinion, least of all me.

Getting back to the main crux of this article, that of crossdressing and its sexual dynamic, I have seen some transgender people condemn crossdressers as sexually fetishistic “drag queens”, “trannies”, etc, and claiming that we diminish the hard-fought for rights of transgender people by claiming to identify with being trans. Nothing could be further from the truth. If those who claim that would care to examine my profile and those of my crossdressing sisters here on WordPress, or anywhere else for that matter, you will be hard pushed to find anyone of us who would ever attempt to define ourselves as transgender. Yes, there are those who claim that crossdressers come under the “transgender umbrella”. I wholly reject that, as I am sure most other crossdressers do. I will never understand what it is to be transgender, for the simple fact that I am not. But then, by equal measure transgender people cannot even begin to imagine what it is to be genderqueer, for exactly the same reasons. Yet, if you look at the claims of the “transgender umbrella”, then you will find that genderqueer people are included as well. When you look at it in those terms then I am sure that, like me, you will begin to question whether the transgender umbrella concept was dreamt up by a cisgender heterosexual (more than likely a cishet man at that).

And should any transgender person try to claim that their gender is natural but crossdressing is a lifestyle choice, I will say do not be so bloody ignorant. Do you think I choose to be a crossdressing genderqueer pansexual? Do you think similar of every one of my crossdressing sisters here on WordPress, or elsewhere? Do excuse me, but just when did you become the expert on my gender and sexuality? You are not, and never can be. Nor are you the expert on anyone else’s; no more than anyone else is or can be the expert upon your gender and sexuality.

For those transgender people who do thus condemn crossdressers, consider that you are in fact feeding into a bigoted cishet agenda. The same agenda which says that “men should be real men” (and women should be real women), which sees some women emasculate, cuckold and hurt crossdressers by flaunting ‘real men’ in their faces, which degrades and condemns crossdressers as perverts, which still treats crossdressing in men as ‘abnormal’ and a ‘disease’ to be treated, which sees crossdressers arrested, threatened, actually beaten up, even murdered ~ with the approval of most of cishet society ~ and which ultimately can lead to depression and suicide.

And remember that those in the cishet majority who condemn crossdressers all too often equally condemn and persecute all of the LGBT+ community. If there is one thing that really galls me it is LGBT+ infighting, because it is doing the job of cishet bigots for them. Ultimately, while we all have differences within the community, our fight is your fight ~ and vice versa.  If anyone is diminishing transgender rights, it is yourself, along with my rights, and those of every other LGBT+ person.

Human beings are fickle creatures in the terms of sexuality, be we genderqueer, trangender, intersex, asexual, or indeed cisgender. None, not one of us, has the right to condemn the sexual behaviours of others, so long as the sex is consensual, does not hurt others, and especially does not harm children and animals. Just as not one is the expert on the gender of another, and thereby has absolutely no right to condemn them for that gender.

So let’s forget about differences of others, never be afraid to experiment with whatever or whoever you fancy, do whatever pleases you to the point you are satiated, completely drained, cross-eyed, and with a silly smile it takes a good while to recover from, along with the ability to form a coherent sentence.

The final thought goes to the immortal words of The Stories;

If it feels good;
If it feels good;
do it (yeah);
do it (yeah);
do it (yeah);
do it!

“Don’t vote for ‘Satanic’ SNP” Minister tells congregation

Wee Free clergyman brands gender and child policies “evil”.

$$-AAA-0001In the run-up to the Scottish Parliamentary elections, a Free Church of Scotland minister has branded the Scottish National Party (SNP) as “Satanic” over their stance on gender fluidity and one of their key policies on children in an outspoken and strongly-worded letter to his congregation, asking them to think before voting SNP.

Reverend Paul Gibson of Knox Church in Perth, part of the “Free Kirk” or “Wee Frees” as they are known, published his letter online in the wake of the recent announcement SNP party leader and First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) that if re-elected, the SNP would restructure gender recognition laws in Scotland to bring it into line with “international best practice”. This would include individuals being allowed to change their gender on their birth certificates without medical consultation or authorisation from a committee, and for non-binary people to be able to state their gender fluidity on official documentation.

Insisting that “The Scriptures plainly teach that God is the author of all life (and therefore the sole designator of each person’s sex)”, Rev Gibson, also taking a side-swipe at same-sex marriage, insists that human beings are made male and female, that God “ordained the institution of marriage between a man and woman as the pinnacle of all human relationships”, and that “He has not only enabled the biological process of procreation but also given this married partnership a divinely ordained responsibility of raising their offspring according to His precepts.”

Continuing in what can only be called a rant, Rev Gibson states “We have already seen widespread celebration of the oxymoron that is same-sex marriage… …our authoritarian “progressives” want to take us further into the darkness by effectively disregarding the God-given authority and responsibility of parents, as well as allowing – if not even encouraging – all people to choose which gender they wish to identify with. You almost have to pinch yourself each time you even think about it – so extreme is the departure, not just from biblical morality, but basic wisdom and common sense. Can a government really be this foolish and that Satanic?! The answer, tragically, is yes.”

Conceding that “there is a good degree of truth to the statement, “they’re all as bad as each other” – at least from a Christian perspective”, Rev Gibson goes onto claim that “I for one have no burning desire to champion the cause of one party over the others within the church, nor to make out that one is worse than the others purely on the basis of some long held political bias”, but then continues, “However, when you consider the massive potential there is for the Named Person Scheme to be used as a means of interfering with the role of parents who seek to raise their children according to Christian values, coupled together with our government’s plans regarding gender, you would have to conclude that true believers need to think long and hard as to whether such a political party – one which seems intent on destroying any lasting imprint of God’s design – can honestly be supported in good conscience before our Creator.”

Really, Paul dear? You are trying to say your god is the designer and creator of all life, who decides the sex of every individual, that the same god ordained marriage between a man and woman for procreation and bringing up children, you call same-sex marriage an “oxymoron”, you brand the SNP as Satanic, say you have no bias, then state that “true believers” cannot support the SNP?

A lot to get through here, but deep breath…

The SNP are Satanic, and by inference anti-Christian?

For a great many years now the SNP have been funded by the deeply religious Stagecoach buses founder and owner, Brian Souter. That is the same Brian Souter who led a campaign to retain the deeply homophobic legislation, Section 28 (in England) / 22A (in Scotland), which made it illegal to ‘promote’ homosexuality in schools. That legislation effectively made it illegal for LGBT+ young people to mention their sexuality and thus further entrenched guilt and depression in many. Although I truly admire the SNP government in Scotland and am a firm supporter of Scottish independence, that they continue to receive money from Souter is one of the main reasons I refuse to join the party.

Every Education Committee in Scotland must, by law, have a religious, i.e. Christian, representative upon it. In ten years in power, and in five years of a majority government, the SNP have done nothing to change that, despite only 39% of Scots now counting themselves as religious, and church membership and attendance in sharp decline in Scotland.

The SNP administration have built more new Roman Catholic schools than any administration previous to them.

Every school in Scotland must offer Religious and Moral Education (RME), which parents can opt their children out of. Few parents are aware of this right, and when the SNP government were petitioned by the Scottish Secular Society to change this to an “opt-in” – whereby the schools would have to ask parents if they wanted their children to receive RME – they downright refused to do so.

John Mason MSP of the SNP in 2014 tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament stating that creationism should be taught in schools as science could not disprove it (yes, dears, he really asked science to prove a negative). The motion failed, but that it got as far as being considered underlines the fact that the SNP government is in fact riddled with Christians.

The SNP candidate for Central Scotland, Sophia Coyle, is a committed Christian and ardent anti-abortionist, and is also opposed to same-sex couples adopting children.

The Scottish government has an advisory committee on religion, which secular, humanist and atheist groups were not made aware of until 24 hours before it’s first sitting. The Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, Rev David A Robertson – effectively Rev Gibson’s boss – sits upon that committee.

God designates the sex of every individual?

Well firstly, biological sex, i.e. how we are born, and psychological gender are two different things. Gender Dysphoria is a recognised medical condition, which has been deeply researched by experts in the field, not “progressives”, and the conclusion of science is that a transgender woman is a woman, a transgender man is a man, and a non-binary person is a non-binary person – which is precisely what transgender and non-binary people have been telling cisgender people since time began.

Being transgender or non-binary is no more a choice than being cisgender is. If anyone disagrees with me, then I challenge them to present me with the peer-reviewed science disproving Gender Dysphoria, or stating it is a choice. And note I said “peer-reviewed science”. Do not even try presenting that dusty old book of Bronze Age goat herders campfire tales; that is not the proof, it is the claim.  And if anyone still disagrees and claims that gender is a choice, then tell me when you chose to be cisgender?

I think I speak for all transgender and non-binary people that while we are happy with who we are now, if we could have chosen to avoid the confusion with our gender identity, the mental turmoil, the mixed emotions, the depression, the ostracisation from family, friends, and society in general, the abuse, the threats and the actual violence visited upon us, we would have never opted for it. As it is we never got that choice, and all the psychological damage and abusive treatment we have suffered has been at the hands of others, not our own.

Of course the greatest place where Rev Gibson’s argument of his god designating everyone’s biological sex falls down is when intersex babies, with genitals from both sides of the gender binary are born. When an intersex baby is born, if God existed, would that then not be that God’s design? One wonders how Rev Gibson would cope were he father to such a child. Would he decide the child’s gender, and authorise surgery to assign his chosen gender? If he did so, would he not be interfering with God’s design? Or would he leave it to the child to decide when they were old enough which gender they were? If so, and surgery were carried out, would that child not then be interfering with God’s design? And would that child leaning towards one gender not then completely destroy Rev Gibson’s argument of gender being a “choice”? Or if the child grew to realise they were happly to remain intersex, which would be adhering to “God’s design”, would that not then completely destroy Rev Gibson’s arguments against gender fluidity?

If you’re reading this, Rev Gibson, I suggest you sit down and consider the above carefully – a large glass of perspective and soda may help. And while your at it, consider that the only person who is the ultimate expert on their gender is the individual concerned. And that applies to transgender, genderfluid / non-binary, and cisgender people.

Marriage was ordained by God as one man / one woman for procreation and bringing up families?

By ‘God’, Rev Gibson here of course means the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible. I can only take it by making such a statement that to add to his sins, the reverend gentleman is also a young earth creationist, who maintains that the Bible is to be taken literally as the unerring word of his God, and that the entire universe, the Earth, and all life – including mankind – were created in six days, 6000 years ago (someone forgot to tell the Egyptians, in the same region where the scriptures were written, and who have a recorded history going back 7000 years). Unfortunately for Rev Gibson, that has long been proven to be cobblers, and just as mankind long predates the Bible, so does marriage, which has been found in every culture on the face of the globe as a social contract between two people who love each other.

If Rev Gibson insists that marriage was instituted by HIS God, then I leave it to him to tell every married couple in Scotland who are Muslim, Hindu, some other non-Christian religion, or of no religion, that they are not married. And once Police Scotland are done with him for Religious Hate Speech, he may wish to look at what Scots Law has to say about marriage, and the fact that it makes little mention of religious faith.

Likewise for Rev Gibson is to claim that marriage is for one man / one woman is to be a hypocrite to his own faith. In the scriptures polygamous marriage is the most common form, with monogamous marriage being the exception rather than the rule. I often found it amusing that religious objectors claimed that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy, which they called sinful, when it is so common in the Bible; just as the same people claimed it would lead to incest, when it is equally common in the Bible, and if creationists were to be believed, then we would all ultimately be the descendants of incestuous unions of the children of Adam and Eve.

If marriage is for procreation and bringing up families alone, one has to ask if Rev Gibson has ever refused to marry an elderly couple, or a couple unable to have children due to matters of physical disability? This is another piece of hypocrisy I intensely dislike from homophobic clergy, who bang on about procreation and family, yet will happily marry elderly couples and those who cannot have children. This entire argument falls down on the fact that people marry for love, and for companionship. My own parents often stated they married for companionship, my siblings and I came along later. So if a heterosexual couple marry for love and companionship, although they be elderly, unable to have children through physical disability, or even if one or both are asexual, then exactly the same applies to same-sex couples.

Rev Gibson calls same-sex marriage an “oxymoron”. He must agree then that it makes sense? Or is he just as ignorant as many others using that word are nowadays? An oxymoron is not, as many think, a mere contradiction in terms. Rather it is a contradiction which ultimately makes sense.

The Oxford English Dictionary gives this definition of ‘oxymoron’;

“A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g. faith unfaithful kept him falsely true).”

We can see from that example that “falsely true” whilst apparently contradictory in this instance, ultimately makes sense. Likewise, Liverpool beat poet Roger McGough made wonderful use of an oxymoron in his poem The Fallen Birdman; “People gathered round the mess, in masochistic tenderness”.

Therefore, if Rev Gibson is asserting that same-sex marriage is an oxymoron, he is essentially stating that it ultimately makes sense.

If I am wrong on this one, I am sure the lovely Clare Flourish whom I follow here on WordPress, and who is much more learned in the English language than I am, shall soon put me right.

There is “massive potential… …for the Named Person Scheme to be used as a means of interfering with the role of parents who seek to raise their children according to Christian values”?

The Named Person scheme is part of the SNP policy of Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC). It is part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, which when going through the Scottish Parliament, had full support of almost every party, with only the Scottish Conservative Party (who are about as “Scottish” as a Wiltshire cricket pitch) opposing it. It has the full support of several children’s charities and Police Scotland, it is based on models from other countries and yet more countries are looking at GIRFEC and the Named Person scheme with views to emulating it.

GIRFEC recognises that every child is different and an individual and aims for them to achieve their best within their abilities, rather than treating all children as the same, and expecting them all to achieve the same standards. The Named Person scheme is not about interfering at all. Every child will have a Named Person within the education and / or social care systems whom the child or their parents can turn to in time of need. The Named Person equally shall be trained to look out for a child who is unhappy, failing, and how to help them, and the warning signs of abuse, and how to properly address that.

The only objectors to GIRFEC and the Named Person scheme are a tiny group of protesters, who are attempting to challenge it in court, and which is almost certain to fail.

I have to say, if Rev Gibson thinks that the Named Person scheme has the potential for interference in bringing up children, particularly in the Christian faith, then he must have a very dim view of Scotland’s educationalists and one can only wonder just how much contact he has had with Scottish teachers. It just so happens that through a job I was once in, I had quite a bit of contact with teachers in Scotland, and a surprisingly large number of them are in fact active Christians. Indeed, I find the number of Christian teachers quite disturbing and I would be more worried about them attempting to push their faith upon children irrespective of children’s wishes. These fears were realised a few years ago, when two head teachers at a South Lanarkshire primary school were dismissed after children had been presented with creationist literature at an after-school club ran by American evangelists.

If the Named Person scheme were such a worry to Scottish parents, then the tiny take up of the No To NP protest certainly does not bear that out. Likewise, the Scottish Tories have been extremely quiet about it in their campaign for the Scottish Parliamentary elections. The SNP won a majority government in the Scottish Parliament in 2011 – in a proportional representation voting system devised to make majority government ‘impossible’ – and are on track to win another majority government when Scotland goes to the polls on Thursday, 5 May, 2016. If Named Persons were really such a huge issue, then the Tories would be pushing that strongly, just about every parent in Scotland would be against it, and the SNP would be lucky to win a handful of seats. The fact that the same parents are fully intending to vote SNP tells it’s own story; that having been given the information about GIRFEC / Named Persons, they understand it, and they like it.

But then, in claiming he is not biased but given his strong opposition to Named Persons, Rev Gibson gives away that he is indeed biased, and given which party was the only one to oppose GIRFEC, it is obvious how he votes. He says it himself; “I for one have no burning desire to champion the cause of one party over the others within the church, nor to make out that one is worse than the others purely on the basis of some long held political bias.” Why even add that bit about bias unless he has one?

So what does Holy Wullie, sorry, Reverend Gibson, do? He effectively tells his congregation how to vote, stating that those “true believers need to think long and hard as to whether such a political party – one which seems intent on destroying any lasting imprint of God’s design – can honestly be supported in good conscience before our Creator.”

And goes further by calling the SNP “Satanic” and “evil”.

Want to see what a truly evil government is, Rev Gibson? It is one which tells severely disabled and terminally ill people that they are fit for work and takes benefits away from them. It is a government which seeking to make savings, goes after the poorest of the poor, while giving the obscenely rich tax breaks and incentives to make even more money. It is a government of one of the richest countries in the world which tells people who have paid into the system all their working lives that there’s no money in the pot for their pensions, and they’ll have to work for more years to come. It is a government which claims to be helping refugee children, taking only those from Syria, and turning a blind eye to the lone refugee children just across the English Channel, many of whom are at danger from trafficking and child prostitution. All that, and many other things visited upon the UK by the Tory Westminster government, are the epitome of evil.

And I personally think Rev Gibson is crediting his Wee Free parishoners with far too much intelligence; if they were at all capable of thinking long and hard, they would not be in the Free Kirk.

I am an atheist, and I am also a secularist; I believe in removing religion from politics and public life as much as possible. I fully recognise that everyone is entitled to an opinion, even the unco righteous like Reverend Gibson. I am also fully aware that for many Christians, including dear Clare Flourish, their faith is a main driving force in speaking out against all sorts of wrongs, and I admire their passion in that. The Society of Friends (Quakers), the Iona Community and St John’s Episcopal Church in Edinburgh are certainly no slouches at speaking out against social injustice.  When any member of clergy tries to tell their congregation how to vote however, they cross the line from opinion to interference in politics, and that needs to be challenged wherever possible. I am fully aware that clergy pay taxes on their earnings, just like the rest of us, the churches as organisations however do not, and given that Reverend Gibson and his own Wee Free Moderator, Reverend David A Robertson, have both been very vocal recently about SNP policies on transgender and non-binary people, then I for one say it is time to remove tax exempt status from the Free Kirk.

As a footnote, given that Reverend Robertson has long stated his support for an independent Scotland, one wonders if he will pull Rev Gibson up for his attack upon the SNP? Given that Robertson recently published an “open letter” to Nicola Sturgeon, saying much the same as Gibson, I sincerely doubt it.


The full text of Reverend Gibson’s letter can be read here:

http://www.knoxchurchperth.com/letters/april-19th-2016

“Open letter” from Reverend David A Robertson, Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, to Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland:

https://theweeflea.com/2016/04/01/the-ultimate-april-fool-an-open-letter-to-nicola-sturgeon/

Little girl wears dress – Exclusive!

12916358_528128304036105_7884043778344331367_oDo we really need stories like this?

Oh dear. Oh dearie, dear. A 4-year-old transgender girl has started school, in – GASP! SHOCK! HORROR! – a pinafore school dress. It’s the end of the civilization as we know it. The perverts are coming for our children. Michty me, we’ll a’ be murderit in oor beds by the communists!  Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children?

The story broke in the media on 21 April 2016, and why it is even a story is beyond me. But nonetheless, three UK comics masquerading as newspapers covered the story, with the usual hyperbole and ignorant and loaded headlines one has come to expect from the British gutter press, and the usual uninformed and abusive comments from their scumbag troglodyte readership (yes dears, I am no slouch at hyperbole myself).

The story surrounds little Logan Symonds, who at age 4 is starting school with her twin brother, Alfie. The only difference is that Alfie will be wearing a boy’s uniform, and Logan will wear a girl’s pinafore dress – and having seen their pics, they are BOTH as cute as buttons. According to mother Emma, Logan has identified as a girl from the age of 18 months, has always played with “girls” toys, and wanted to dress as a girl. Emma says that Logan wanted to wear dresses from an early age, would throw tantrums and even become aggressive when she tried to dress her in boys clothes and even said she hoped her penis would fall off. Eventually she relented, tried letting Logan wear girls clothes, and noticed a great improvement in behaviour from the child. For the twins fourth birthday party Alfie was dressed in a superman outfit, while Logan was dressed in a ‘Frozen’ princess dress  (EEP!  She’s ADORABLE!). Before starting school, Logan told her mother she wanted to be in a dress “like the other girls”.

And so as the media ran with the story, they inevitably ran their headlines, with male pronouns and implied outrage. First off the rank was that darling rag of the British right-wing, the Daily Mail. “Mother allows one of her twin boys, four, to wear a DRESS to school because he has believed he is a girl since he was just 18 months old – while the other son is happy to remain a boy” ranted the headline in the Mail, which was also quick to point out that Emma Symonds is a single mum. Repeating the Mail story almost word for word was the Daily Mirror, supposedly a left-wing newspaper, whose headline thundered “Supportive mum lets son, aged 4, wear skirt to school: ‘It’s a big step for us all”, and the following day the story ran in the Mirror’s Scottish edition, the Daily Record, with the headline “Four-year-old twin boy starts school in a dress after his mum agrees to let him live as a girl”. In all three newspapers, the stories continually refer to Logan as a boy, and with the common use of “he”, “him”, etc.

But if the ignorance of the red tops were not enough, comments from the readers are truly depressing. I was actually quite surprised at the amount of support from Mail readers, much more than the supposedly ‘socialist’ Mirror and Record, but there were still the fair amount of idiots in the Mail.

“This is a psychiatric problem that should have been addressed long ago. That poor little boy has been let down by his mother.”

One wonders just what qualifications this person has in psychiatry, particularly when mum Emma is addressing a psychological issue with Logan in allowing her to be who she is?

“Why all of a sudden these gender issues are coming up? Honestly I’d love to hear from folks who wanted to be the opposite gender when they were kids (for example, this boys age) and how it was handled back then. And how they’re doing now. It’s only these past few years ppl are believing they’re the opposite gender from what they were born and the rest of us are being held hostage to those beliefs and demands.”

It’s coming more to the fore nowadays as society is becoming more educated and accepting of gender issues, and we fought bloody long and hard to achieve that, without any help from the cis community. How was it handled back “then” is easily answered; you were TOLD what gender you were, you had to suppress that and hide it from society, from your friends, even from your family, for fear of rejection and punishment. The results were imprisonment for some, being cast out from family and friends, depression, suicide, and even murder for others – just as it is for a great number of transgender and genderfluid people to this day. You want to hear from folks who questioned their gender from an early age years ago? Try listening to / reading what we have to say.

“18 months old when he declared he wanted to be a girl. Totally ridiculous.”

“Crikey, he could talk well for an 18 month old child then!”

Because of course, had Logan declared at 18 months “I am a boy” that would have been equally “ridiculous” and his vocabulary would have been questioned, wouldn’t it? 18-months-old can express themselves quite clearly; it is adults who only need to listen to them.

From the Mirror:

“I wanted to be a super man when I was a child ? my parents didn’t send me off to space or something.”

More’s the pity they didn’t, dear. And learn some English grammar – PLEASE!

“It sounds genuine but she could be one of those liberal nuts forcing the child.”

Yeah, because that happens all the time, doesn’t it?  No, wait.  It’s the opposite – transgender kids being told they are cisgender – which happens all the time.

“What is going to happen if this carries on, then his hormones kick in and he realises he’s a boy. It’s going to cause nothing but confusion and heartache for all involved. Let him play with what he wants and dress up however, but don’t take him out and let it become who he “thinks” he is.“

The only heartache is when the hormones do kick in, when Logan’s biology is at odds with her psychological gender, and she has to deal with them. The only confusion and heartache worth any consideration are Logan’s – it’s none of anyone else’s damned business. Nooo, don’t take her out. Keep her indoors, allowing her to dress up only indoors, thereby compounding her confusion and heartache over who Logan knows she is.

“my son played with his sisters cars and loved dressing up in dresses at preschool then next minute he would be dressed as a fireman and his sister vice versa.”

Dressing up to play, which children will soon tire off, and wanting to dress according to the gender one identifies with are two completely different things.  Likewise, if it were a ‘phase’ then it’s one that has apparently now lasted 2½ years.

“My daughter has always hated girlie and that is fine, i would not buy her pink clothes and expect her to wear them, at 11 she has a short hairstyle and is happier to wear girls trousers etc but she is a girl and wants to be a girl.”

Or have YOU decided she wants to be a girl? And how shocked are you going to be if she comes out as transgender or lesbian?

I leave the last to the Daily Record, and Scotland, I am so sadly disappointed that you have given the most vitriolic responses:

“Obviously, once Mummy found out she was having twins, she decided she wanted a boy and a girl ! I wonder how she worked out which one she wanted to be the girl, given she gave them both boy’s names ! It’s a worry !”

Because of course mum Emma wanted a daughter so much (except that Logan and Alfie already have an elder sister) that as a single mother, she decided to give both of her twins boys names, when she could have easily have given one of them a girl’s or even ambiguous name, such as Lindsay? I why should it be a worry when it’s not any of your business?

“This four year old probably wants to be superman too. Maybe she should put his underpants on outside his trousers and see how that goes!!”

Perhaps you should put your underpants over your trousers – seeing as a keyboard warrior you have nothing to fill them with? See point above about the difference between dressing up and identifying.

“Fatherless families are destroying the fabric of social order. Men are no longer wanted in a feminist driven society and this story is just another example of it. Guilt oriented women showering their children with ‘support’ because their life choices caused a fatherless family.”

Yes, single mums and the feminists are all to blame, because children need male role models and men are “no longer wanted” (depends on the man, dear – check out my vast collection of Johnny Depp movies; he’s certainly wanted). What a misogynist twat. The person stating this went under the name “Dambustersgm”, which is a reference to the bomber crews of World War II who bombed dams. So, had Logan’s father been in the armed forces and killed in action, would Emma being a single mum still be so offensive to him?

“you are nothing more than a pervert and a peadophile enabler…no doubt you are common purpose or working for an agency… your time is coming.. this is nothing more than abuse and targetting young children….you are nothing but scum” (in response to one supportive commentator)

The overwhelming vast majority of paedophiles (notice I can actually spell it), even those who prey upon little boys, are in fact cisgender heterosexual men, with cishet women second, although the incidence is far lower. Transgender and homosexual men and women are right at the bottom of incidences of child sexual abuse, and a child is much safer in the company of LGBT+ people than in that of the cishet mainstream

“This is irresponsible parenting or at worst child abuse I think it’s the mother that needs professional help.”

Nope. Child abuse is when you force a child to be something they are not, which if mum Emma had forced Logan to identify as male, then she would have been abusing her child. It’s people like this who need professional help, and educating on gender issues.

If I have any issue with the story of Logan, then it’s why it should even be in the media in the first place. Emma Symonds appears to be a very well-informed and supportive mother (although she does still use male pronouns, but I’m guessing that’s a hard habit to break), so if I have any criticism, it would be to ask if she is actually courting this publicity, and if so, just why? And should she read this, I’d like her to understand that’s not in any way an attack, but merely a genuine question.

The stigmatisation of transgender and genderfluid individuals, particularly childwill only end when it is fully understood and accepted as normal. When that happens, the media will not run stories like this, because there will be no copy value in them. But as long as they are ran, complete with ignorant and transphobic headlines and hyperbole, then society is always going to respond with outright bigotry. In the end, the gender of anyone, any child, is nobody’s business but their own, and the only expert on anyone’s gender is the individual themselves, no matter how young or how old they may be.

Scottish Government proposes Non-Binary legal recognition

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Nicola Sturgeon MSP – First Minister

And more good news for Trans Scots.

The current Scottish National Party (SNP) administration in the devolved Scottish Government has pledged to overhaul LGBT+ legislation, which will effectively give legal recognition to those in Scotland of non-binary gender.

Speaking before a hustings meeting co-hosted by LGBT+ rights groups including Stonewall Scotland and the Equality Network, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, a former reciptient of the Scottish LGBTI Politician of the Year Award, laid out a five point plan intended to reform Scotland’s gender recognition laws “bring it into line with international best practice”, should the SNP be returned to power in the Scottish Parliamentary elections on 5 May 2016.

Proposals include to allow non-binary and transgender people to revise their birth certificates to reflect their gender, without the current need to seek approval from a tribunal of lawyers and doctors. Revised birth certificates will then be valid for passport applications, as well as for use in other legal documentation. If implemented, the changes would make Scotland the third country in the European Union, after Malta and Denmark, to recognise non-binary gender. The status is also recognised worldwide in Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Argentina.

The changes come after a recent survey carried out by the Scots LGBT+ campaign group Equality Network, found that 300 participants described their gender as “non-binary”, although it is believed the true figure could be as much as ten times higher.

The commitment was welcomed by Nathan Gale of Non-Binary Scotland, who said: “By making a commitment to reform gender recognition law the Scottish Government is ensuring that all trans people, no-matter what their gender identity, will be able to be themselves, in all aspects of their lives.

“Trans people who don’t identify as men or women have just as much right to have the gender they identify as recognised and respected as everyone else.

“I hope that the next Scottish Government will truly aspire to international best practice and provide for a third gender, alongside male and female, to be recognised in Scottish law.”

The five points of Ms Sturgeon’s commitment are as follows;

“Expect all new, guidance and promoted teachers to undertake training on equality so they are confident in tackling prejudice-based bullying.

“Promote children’s health and well-being right throughout early years, primary and secondary education, so that all children and young people learn tolerance, respect, human rights, equality, good citizenship, to address and prevent prejudice and about healthy relationships through refreshed, age-appropriate strategies and resources.

“Work towards every professional working with children being trained on equality, addressing prejudice-based bullying, attachment, child development and child protection.

“Review and reform gender recognition law for all Trans people to ensure it is line with international best practice.

“Aim for all police officers to receive appropriate training on the investigation of hate crime.”

In more detail, the proposals include the right of transgender young people of 16-17 year old to change the gender on their birth certificates, with parental support.

The proposals also have the potential to reduce the incidence of transgender people in Scotland convicted of crimes to be sent to prisons according to their birth gender. Regular readers will know this is a particular bugbear of mine, so I fully applaud the SNP administration in the Scottish Government for this move.

Speaking on the proposals, Ms Sturgeon stated “I’m proud that Scotland has made significant progress on LGBTI equality in recent years; however, the very fact that we are still having debates like this at election time just underlines that there is still much that we need to do.

“In particular I want to see a renewed focus on areas such as education – both for young people themselves, and those responsible for their emotional and educational wellbeing.

“Tolerance, respect, inclusion – these are attitudes and principles we want to encourage and foster in modern, fairer Scotland.

“Enabling young people to make informed choices about their gender and sexual identity is about supporting them to be themselves so that they might fulfil their potential.

“I am hopeful that in the next Scottish Parliament, we can build as much consensus on LGBTI issues as we did in this session – and take another leap forward for equality.”

Not everybody is happy however, and the loudest of the dissenting voices comes from the Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, Revered David A Robertson, who stated in an article in the Daily Mail, “Not content with the destruction of the traditional Christian ideas of sexuality and marriage, it appears the SNP are now seeking to destroy the traditional idea of gender. We do not believe that this will lead to the Brave New World envisaged by the proponents of the multi gender doctrine. It is destructive of humanity and will cause chaos in our society. The SNP seem to be working on the unproven and somewhat bizarre notion that children get to choose their own gender and sexuality.”

Rev Robertson is no stranger to such bigotry, and worse still, it is not as if he is ignorant of the facts. He is an educated man, a theology graduate, and has been well-informed, many times, of the facts about sexuality, marriage, and gender. He is correct when he speaks of Christian “ideas” of those subjects, but does not accept that they are merely that – ideas, not facts. He does not recognise that Christianity does not have a monopoly upon marriage, or that marriage originally was a social contract with no religious overtones, but he is more than well aware that nowhere in the Bible is marriage defined as one man / one woman, but rather that polygamous marriage (which is one thing Rev Robertson claimed SSM would lead to) is the most common form of marriage in the Bible, with monogamy being the exception, rather than the rule.

So likewise are his foolish notions of sexuality and gender merely Christian “ideas”, and when it comes to that, “ideas” shared by him and his minority “Free Kirk” (or Wee Frees, as they are known), which fly completely in the face of scientific research. I offer my heartiest congratulations to Rev Robertson, who stated in his blog, The Wee Flea, that he has recently become a grandfather. However, in the same article, The Ultimate April Fool – An Open Letter to Nicola Sturgeon, whilst claiming not to be transphobic, and to be an SNP supporter, he repeats the bigotry he voiced above and, going further, states of his new granddaughter, “My granddaughter was not ‘assigned’ gender at birth, as though she were being given a name. She IS a girl. She is not one of several genders that she can get to pick and choose as she pleases later on, according to some societal construct or government edict.” You could not make it up. Rev Robertson at first states that his granddaughter was not assigned gender, then later affirms “She IS a girl”. This of course neither Rev Robertson, his wife, nor the parents yet know. Yes, she has been assigned female, according to biological sex – not gender – at birth. But for all anyone knows, she may yet grow to identify as transgender or genderfluid. Only time will tell. And if that is the case, will Rev Robertson and the parents then drum into the wee one that she IS a girl? Yet the Scottish Government, and the LGBT+ community are apparently the ones ‘harming’ children. Bigots like he and his Wee Free followers do much more harm than those who, while cisgender themselves, at least are trying to understand trans and genderfluid issues.

Rev Robertson is certainly right on one thing; we do NOT get to choose our gender. Neither I nor any other genderfluid person chose to be so, just as no transgender person ever chose their gender. We were born with it. But then, no doubt the Rev Robertson chooses not to believe that, just as he no doubt does not believe that anyone is ever born intersex, with both sets of genitals. Or if he does, no doubt he believes that the parents should decree which side of the gender binary that child should be, according to their whims on whether they wanted a boy or a girl, and an operation reflecting that carried out, rather than leaving it to the child to decide when they are old enough which – if either – side of the gender binary they most identify with.

Having experimented since I was a child, I never came to terms with being genderfluid until I was “over 40” (don’t ask dears – I’m not telling), following years of depression and self-hate. I can therefore assure the hateful minds of the likes of Rev David A Robertson that despite his fine words, he and those who think like him are indeed transphobes, and do a great deal of harm – much, much more than they will ever know.  And should he be reading this, I will go further with a personal message – you are a bully, Rev Robertson, and in the nature of the bully, a gutless coward at heart.

Another dissenting voice came from the Time for Inclusive Education campaign, who are seeking compulsory inclusive sex and relationship education. A spokesperson stated;

“Only very small steps have been taken here regarding education – Nicola’s strategy here does not go far enough in protecting LGBT+ young people and this does not reflect the motion that was passed at conference. In order to ensure that our schools are inclusive of LGBT+, teaching staff must receive LGBT+ specific training – what Nicola proposes here is blanket equalities training, which will not do enough. Ourselves, SNP Youth and SNP Students expect and hope that the SNP’s manifesto will go much further than this and truly reflect the expectations of the membership who unanimously backed our campaign. If this is the strategy that will be taken into the next parliament, then we still have a very long way to go. We would urge the SNP to work with us on this, because the next strategy has to be the right one.”

I tend to agree the measures do not go far enough with regard to LGBT+ young people. In the run-up to the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014, legislation was brought in to reduce voting age to 16. Likewise at 16 young people in Scotland can work, pay taxes, have sex (straight or gay), get married, live alone, order an alcoholic drink with a meal, and join the armed forces. To then say that they require parental approval to change their birth certificate to reflect their gender is to strip them of their rights as young adults. Likewise I agree with TIE that teaching staff need to have specific LGBT+ training to address LGBT+ issues, otherwise they won’t know what the hell they are talking about.

Yet these are but devils in the detail. These proposals from the SNP are to be welcomed and congratulated. The SNP formed the last devolved Scottish Government in 2011 with a majority, in a form of proportional representation voting which was supposed to make majority government an impossibility. They are currently riding very high in the polls, and look set to be returned with another majority government in May, and we can therefore see Nicola Sturgeon’s words as a solid commitment. I am not an SNP member, but I am certainly sympathetic to them, and after the election I shall expect these measures to be implemented as soon as possible.

As we did with Same-Sex Marriage, Scotland is indeed entering a “Brave New World”, but unlike the gloom and doom envisaged by the transphobes, under the wonderful and simply lovely Nicola Sturgeon it is going to be a much better Scotland, inclusive of all who live here no matter their background, and this Scot could not be all the more proud of her country for that.

There is NO Age Limit on Gender Identity

12672184_508974239284845_8720222510427940436_oIf it’s “just a phase”, it’s one helluva long one.

A story broke in the UK press recently about a 5-year-old who returned to school as a girl, having been assigned male at birth. The school and the child’s name are being kept anonymous, to protect her anonymity but the story runs that parents and fellow pupils at the school in Nottinghamshire, England, were given letters explaining that the child identifies as a girl, and asking to respect her in her gender.

The child apparently has been diagnosed as having gender dysphoria, and the local authority are being said to be seeing an increasing number of such cases in children, but one which they are willing to support. Colin Pettigrew, from Nottingham County Council stated “Transgender is a new area for many school and is a characteristic protected by law. Therefore headteachers across England continue to and are required to agree a clear plan to support the needs of transgender children and young people.”

Needless to say, when reported in the printed press and on a national radio station, the backlash from cisgender ignoramuses was immediate, and vicious. It appears to take a special kind of stupid for cis people with no knowledge of transgender issues to lash out at others they have no understanding of.

Amongst the most ignorant comments were the inevitable “It’s a phase he’s going through.”, “he’s playing make-believe”, and of course, “children like to play dress up”. Probably the most depressing and insulting comment of all came from one troglodyte who stated “My child likes to pretend she’s a dog. Should I let her go to school as one?”

Let’s get this straight. This is not pretend; it is not a phase any this or any other transgender child goes through – and if it is, then it lasts until they are put in a wooden box. That’s some ‘phase’. They are not playing make-believe, and they are not playing at all – they could not be more serious.

Think about it. Yes, young children like to play make-believe and to dress up in clothes of the ‘opposite gender’. I have a little one in my own family who in a certain museum makes a beeline for the children’s dress-up area, and makes himself look absolutely FABULOUS! And then at other times, he will have me tell and retell him gory tales from Scots history, which he laps up with relish. When I first saw him dress up, his mother said that she “wouldn’t be surprised if he turned out to be gay or trans.” I doubt it; he’s every inch the rough and tumble little boy. But even if he is gay or transgender, I am only thankful he has educated and switched-on parents who will take it in their stride and support him every inch of the way.

And this is where the important distinction lies. When a child plays make-believe, or when they dress up, they are playing, they are pretending, they are making believe. Yet they soon tire of that pretence, and move on to the next thing to play at. The mother whose little girl pretends to be a dog would do well to observe and remember that. No child keeps make-believe roles up for years. Not even months, not even weeks, not even a whole day.  Not even an hour. Show me the child who does, and I would suggest that the parents get that child to a therapist, toot sweet. There is no way that children playing would ever even think of attending school in their acted-out roles, and if anyone tried to force them, then they would soon rebel against it.

And even if it were a ‘phase’, again, the child would not be able to keep that pretence for any length of time, and would soon revert to the gender they are most comfortable with. Therefore in the case of the child at the Nottinghamshire school, if it were a phase, then the child would soon revert to being a boy, so what the hell are those protesting worrying about. Seems to me that while hiding behind a mask of caring about the child, they merely want any target to aim their transphobia at.

Nor is it a case as one Neanderthal, fittingly going under the pseudonym of BillyNoMates, suggested “So yummie mummy really wanted a girl all along but didn’t have one, so she made one out of a little boy.” Firstly, he has not a shred of evidence to base that upon, secondly I doubt there is a parent worth their salt would ever do that to their child, and thirdly, the child in question has been diagnosed as having gender dysphoria by medical health professionals. I don’t know what qualifications BillyNoMates has, but I will guess that such highly trained individuals, who have actually encountered the child, are far more qualified to comment upon her condition than some loudmouth keyboard warrior hiding behind an assumed name who has never met her.

Could it ever even happen that any child could ever be coerced or bullied by a parent into assuming an opposite gender? Certainly there have been historical cases where boys have been continually ‘petticoated’, but that was more as a punishment, and there is not one documented case of any such boy coming to identify as a girl – unless they were already transgender.

Back in the late 1980s, a seeming child prodigy sprang up who was allegedly a preteen art and antiques expert. James Harries was constantly on television sporting his curly blonde hair, dressed often in formal wear and a bow tie, and speaking in received pronunciation English about some antique or work of art. Frankly, I found him to be an irritating, arrogant, snot-nosed brat who needed a good slap, and 30 years have not changed my opinion on that. In his teens James started seeing therapists, it is claimed on the insistence of his mother, who thought he may be transgender due to his effeminate nature and mannerisms. When I first heard about this, like BillyNoMates, I thought that HAD to be his mother forcing gender reassignment upon her son. I was especially cynical when it was media tycoon Max Clifford who funded the gender reassignment surgery.

Turns out I could not have been more wrong. The former James Harries has very happily been Lauren Harries coming up for 15 years now. Whilst Lauren Harries still irritates the hell out of me (her 2015 attempt at pop, “I Am A Woman” is bloody awful), if she were at all unhappy with her female identity, she would undoubtedly suffered mental health problems. In fact, Lauren’s psychiatric problems of depression, agoraphobia, a mental breakdown and a suicide attempt, all happened before she transitioned.

There is an important lesson to be learned here; where gender identity is concerned, the only pretence involved is among those transgender and genderqueer individuals who have to live a lie daily as apparent cisgender people. And that can only ever manifest itself in severe mental health problems.

So while the transphobic critics of a 5-year-old transgender girl may make a pretence of only caring about the well-being of children, it is they who would force children into roles they are uncomfortable with, do not identify with, and which can only make those children unhappy. Ultimately they, and I include most of society here, are mounting up psychiatric problems for those children, which sadly all too often has fatal consequences.

Which is where critic seems to fail to grasp the facts when he states “You do know people who under go gender reassignment surgery have a high rate of suicide. Right?”  Yes, suicide rates among transgender people are depressingly high. But they are highest among young transgender people, most of who have not undergone gender reassignment surgery. And while generally transgender suicides are high, one of the greatest reasons for this is not because the person is unhappy with their gender, but rather because of the prejudice, ignorance, intolerance and violence transgender people are subjected to on a daily basis. I suggest therefore that the commentator checks his figures, and his transphobic attitude while he’s about it, because it is precisely ignorance such as that as he displays which leads to transgender suicides.

I have stated in a previous article that due to the difference between the body and brain forming in the womb that gender, just like sexuality, is much more of a psychiatric construct than it is ever a physical one. It therefore comes as no surprise to me that the youngest transgender child in the UK was fellow Scot, little Danni Macfadyen, who born Daniel, identified as a girl and was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at the age of three. This is backed up by Maria Kontogianni, senior lecturer in psychology with sociology at Nottingham Trent University;

“Children could start feeling gender dysphoria from the age of three-years-old. They will say that they don’t feel like a boy or a girl or they may decide they are not. If the school or parents do not respond correctly it can become a real problem for the child. If a child does start saying these things it is completely fine as long as they get the help they need as soon as possible.”

Such professionals do not take these matters lightly, and can soon identify whether a child has gender dysphoria or not. Certainly, they would even entertain any child who was obviously playing at make-believe, and would soon identify any child who was possibly being coerced by others into identifying with an opposite side of the gender binary. That there are no such cases recorded tells it’s own story.

There is only one expert upon the gender of any individual, and that happens to be the person themselves. Nobody but I can diagnose me as genderqueer, nobody but a transgender person knows their gender, and strangely enough, none but a cisgender person knows their gender identity. And as such, we start to recognise our gender identity as soon as we become aware of ourselves as individuals, which is at a very early age indeed. The sooner society comes to comprehend that, the sooner we will have more happy transgender children like little Danni Macfadyen, and the unnamed little girl in Nottinghamshire.

One can therefore only salute the bravery of this little girl, of that bravery and understanding of her parents, and kudos to Nottingham County Council and the school concerned.

Kisses to all, from Xandra. xxxx


 

Article illustration curteousy of Sophie Labelle, artist of the Assigned Male cartoon strip.

http://www.assignedmale.com/

Same-Sex Education: One more form of Oppression

George Galloway - one of those things you find at the top of women's legs.

George Galloway

What becomes of lesbian, gay and transgender kids?

I was listening to a radio phone-in on which UK politician and celebrity George Galloway was discussing the merits and demerits of same-sex eduction.  Seems that this great ‘socialist’ is all in favour of it, because apparently boys do better in primary schools, and girls do better in high school.

George Galloway claims to be being altruistic in his goal to give children the best start in life, which is very laudable.  One wonders, however, if he has actually thought this through, or if he even actually cares about some kids?  He was concentrating mainly on girls and claims that all too often their schooling suffers due to crushes on boys, first love affairs going sour, and more intelligent girls being singled out and bullied as “geeks” by boys.

I doubt that Galloway, and those who follow his logic, have ever thought of what would become of a minority of children in such schools.  I am talking of course of girls who are lesbian, boys who are gay, children of both sides of the gender binary who are bisexual, and those who are trans.  And that’s before we even broach the complex issues of pansexual, intersex and genderqueer children.

What would become of such children, most of whom are already either too scared to come out of the closet, or who do not yet realise their gender and / or sexuality?  Yet it is in the teenage – high school – years that gender recognition and sexuality blossoms.  Not being trans myself, I have no idea what it is like for a trans person at school, or likewise the experience of homosexual boys and girls at school, but I can imagine it must be sheer hell.  Perhaps those who have experienced it can enlighten myself and others.

I do know however that my penchant for crossdressing manifested itself at an early age.  Of course in my teens I had no idea of what being genderqueer – or pansexual – meant, but I certainly know that even at the mixed schools I attended, I would not have dared to come out as either, for fear of ridicule and bullying.  Not that it would have been at all tolerated by the education authorities either.  I recall a gay chap I once knew who recounted the story that he was pulled up at his local authority school for dressing flamboyantly and told he must wear school uniform.  So the following day he did turn up in full school uniform – his sister’s old one; complete with pinafore dress, blouse, patterned socks and Mary-Jane shoes.  He was suspended for two weeks and his parents called in to account for his behaviour.  I have no doubt exactly the same thing would happen in most schools today, and I hate to think what the repercussions would be of daring to crossdress in a same-sex school.

So, children may well fail if they are distracted by objects of affection.  And what happens then if that object of affection happens to be of the same sex?  Strange as it may seem to some, there are not only lesbian and gay teens at school, but right across the entire sexuality spectrum; we all know this, because we’ve all been through it.  And here’s a thing, even where heterosexual teens are concerned, do George Galloway and other proponents of same-sex education propose we have only women teachers in girl’s schools, and only men teachers in boy’s schools?  I ask because I recall full well that as a teenage oik, I went through entire boxes of tissues over sexual fantasies about my very curvy, redheaded English teacher.

Or do those who propose same-sex education merely completely ignore teenage sexuality?  If they do, then they are heavily in denial, and none moreso it seems than George Galloway.  During his radio show two men dared to broach the subject of teenage girls in skirts that are too short for them, and he cut their calls off, saying that they “have problems”.  Because of course, if we dare to even broach that subject, we are automatically perverts, aren’t we?  Try not.  Nobody knows this better than any parent of a teenage girl.  My own female partner has a daughter whom she has strictly ruled that shorts, skirts and dresses must reach at least the tips of fingertips with arms at full downward stretch (and without hunching her shoulders or attempting to bend – as her daughter has been known to attempt).  Whether George Galloway and others like it or not, give teenage girls an inch and they will take a yard – literally.

I am all for girls and women being able to wear what they want, where they want, when they want, and recognise that dress has nothing to do with rape.  But at the same time, there is such a thing as a sense of proportion and decency – even if it’s only for themselves.  Girls will wear skirts, shorts and dresses too short – and boys will wear tight pants that show off their asses and packages, because human beings are sexual creatures, and because of their blossoming sexuality, many teens will attempt to ‘push the envelope’ wherever possible where dress is concerned.

I could have phoned the show and broached the subjects of gender and sexuality in teens, but after Galloway cut those two men off, I saw no point doing so, because I just know I would have been similarly cut off.  George Galloway, who some claim is a great orator, is in  a habit of doing that; either shouting over his opponent in an ‘argument’ (Galloway only ever has a ‘debate’ when the other person agrees with him), or cutting the other person off when he doesn’t agree with them, or more commonly, when they are winning the argument.

Yet teen sexuality and gender recognition is not something which can or should be ignored.  Nonetheless so as recently the UK Office for National Statistics, an official government body, released a survey in which 49% of young people (18-24) identified as being something “other than 100% heterosexual”, and across the board all ages now tend to recognise that sexuality is not a binary but a spectrum where all lie somewhere upon.  Given those statistics, we then see that same-sex eduction could be highly detrimental not just to a small minority, but almost half of teenage schoolkids.

And as to the bullying aspects, if George Galloway does not believe that girls bully other girls, I would suggest he has his head in the sand, up his arse, or somewhere else he can choose to not recognise facts.  Girls can be extremely vindictive little minxes to each other, and will quite easily pick on the smart girl, every bit as much as boys will pick on the geeky intelligent boy.  We all know this; we’ve all experienced and seen it with our own eyes.  As John Lennon said in Working Class Hero, “They hurt you at home, and they hit you at school; they hate you if you’re clever, and they despise the fool.”  Just recently in the UK there was the shocking case of an out-of-control girl who was convicted after a video showed her beating up a girl much more intelligent than her.  The said girl was stupid enough to allow friends to post the video on social media, which led to her subsequent conviction, but I would suggest that is the tip of the iceberg.  Anyone who tries to infer that girls (and boys) would not be bullied in same-sex schools is playing the same ignorant game as those school heads who claim their school does not have a bullying problem.  All schools have bullying problems, and parents would do well to listen to the heads who admit they take a strong line on bullying, and avoid those schools where the head claims bullying doesn’t exist like the plague.

I am somewhat bemused by George Galloway’s claims that he does not want school pupils ‘distracted’ from their eduction.  This is the same man who for years has been claiming that the Scottish National Party (SNP) aim to destroy Scotland’s state-funded Roman Catholic schools, and that those same schools would be scrapped in an independent Scotland.  So, being distracted by a member of the opposite sex should never be allowed in George’s book, but it’s okay for them to be distracted by religious mumbo-jumbo, which should have absolutely no place in schools in my opinion.

So, given that he wants same-sex schools, and faith-based schools, and looking at what I have already said above about teachers of the same sex, can we take it that George Galloway would favour girl’s schools ran by nuns, and boy’s schools run by priests?  Because historically that’s really been a recipe for success, hasn’t it?  Sure, just ask the hundreds of those who survived sexual and physical abuse in such establishments.

That’s before I even come onto George Galloway’s continual pandering to Islam.  Does he then favour Islamic girl’s only faith schools?  In his broadcast Galloway claimed he wanted to see girls become engineers and scientists.  Let me tell you now, in an Islamic girl’s school, that is never going to happen.  And no, I’m not being Islamophobic; I am merely stating a fact that Islam, under which men and women are supposed to be equal, in fact strongly oppresses women.  But then, the Roman Catholic Church is not far behind them in that degree, so sincerely doubt one would see many engineers and scientists pouring out of RC girl’s schools.

And of course, we all know the views of the Roman Catholic Church – and other Christian denominations – and Islam on anything which detracts even the slightest iota from the cisgender and heterosexual binaries.  So in that context same-sex faith schools could only ever be oppressive and harmful to LGBTQI children.

But then exactly the same applies to non-denominational and secular same-sex schools.  We already know that if anything causes confused sexual longings, it is locking up teenagers (or even adults) of the same sexuality and gender together.  Stories of buggery at boy’s boarding schools and lesbian encounters at their female equivalents are legendary.  But in those contexts, they are many times the result of what the homophobes and transphobes are the very people to accuse the LGBTQI community of; sexual experimentation and learned behaviours.

If we want well-rounded, well-educated adults, then we need children, not just teens but from an early age, to mix with each other.  That is as true of gender and sexuality as it is of race, ethnicity, culture and faith.  To do any other can only ever be divisive, and can only lead to problems in the future.  And I for one do not know how anyone can dare to advocate such, and then have the audacity to describe themselves as a socialist.

And yes, girls and boys will have crushes.  They will ‘fall in love’.  They will have their first romances.  And yes, their little hearts will get broken as result of that.  And yes, that is sad and bloody tragic.  It is also however part and parcel of growing up, and is in itself a life experience, and one of the most important lessons the overwhelming vast majority of us ever learn.  And all of us look back on those days, and we smile and bear no ill will; for we all know just how important that lesson was.

I am sure I speak for most when I say that the last thing we want is a scientist who has never experienced compassion for others – or for that matter the poet who has never fallen in love.

But then, as he’s so sure of his facts, I’ll give the floor for one more statement from George Galloway;

“And when they returned they sat mixed together, Christian boys in their scruffy jeans next to Muslim girls in immaculate hijabs.  During the break they had discovered what they liked about one another – and forgot what it was they were meant to dislike.”
(George Galloway, Daily Mirror, 6 September 2014)

There’s a word for it, George.  It’s called hypocrisy.