Monday, 4 February 2008

The birth of a Union Activist...

On Friday I went to my first Regional LBGT Forum meeting at my Union. I’m so pleased I did!

I’ve had problems with the Trans agenda in the past, as I still believe it has damaged transsexual people’s rights in the name of inclusiveness but it’s time to be pragmatic.

My principal objective remains the abolition of the mental illness classification for both transgender & transsexual people. My secondary objectives being the strengthening of the law to both protect employment and severely punish the discriminators.

Getting the endorsement of Unite the largest union in the United Kingdom, with over two million members in the public and private sectors will advance my campaign for the truth to the heart of Government.

I know it’s going to be tough and I expect to have to withstand public ridicule as the forces against me are not going to give up their nice little earners without a fight but I know in the end the truth will prevail.

The argument is simple in that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are not considered mentally ill but transgender and transsexual are. We have a bad law in the Gender Recognition Act that has perpetuated the mental illness myth and the medical qualification for a new birth certificate must be removed.

In terms of the Department of Health I want the National Health Service Gender Identity Clinics closed and all the psychiatrists dismissed. I want to see the acceptance of non-binary gender presentation without any stigma or discrimination in terms of health care.

Most importantly, for the tiny number of transsexual people who must bring their bodies in line with their brain sex I want to see surgery available without preconditions other than a legal disclaimer. I want to see the acceptance of self-diagnosis and personal responsibility by the transsexual person.

Once the prejudiced accept (or have it forced on them by the Human Rights Act) the fact that brain sex and body sex are not always congruent and call it a syndrome and accept it is genetically pre-coded we can make real progress.

If a transgender person wants to take opposite sex hormones then they should be allowed to do so under medical care. It’s their choice and a completely separate issue to surgical intervention for a transsexual person.

So now I’ve started my mission in earnest to change hearts & minds and drive through change and it feels really good!

This is how my day panned out…

I met “J” in the bar of the White Hart where he was speed reading all the newspapers. “J” is a gay man and global human rights activist. His agenda is mind blowing with trips planned to Australia, Palestine and Israel. He fights on so many fronts it’s incredible. He harangues the discriminators whilst still finding time to deliver Pink Papers to public libraries. He is a Global Champion of Human Rights and from one of the oldest English families in Uttoxeter. The town should be proud of their son.

We chatted over coffee getting some strange looks from the locals whose inner sanctum we had violated but then at least they now have something to gossip about they were witnessing the birth of a Union Activist!

“J” drove through Stafford to the West Midlands. Stafford is the border as beyond Stafford you leave the East Midlands white separatist territory and enter the ethnic diversity of today’s England. OK the East Midlands has large ethnic groups but the culture is that of ghettos whereas the West is just homogenous. We parked outside the T&GWU office and walked to the local pub for lunch.

The pub was a delight with asian, black and caucasians, straight, gay and lesbians all under the same roof enjoying life, as it should be. Great beer, great food and great company that’s what pub culture is all about and to see it without prejudice was a delight. If you wanted to see multicultural ethnically diverse England then this was it. I felt totally at ease & at home.

The LBGT forum was small in numbers but I got to meet “LW” my RIO and “MR” who I’d read about but never met face to face. It’s not the place in this blog to write up the LBGT meeting but lets say I was delighted by the support for my position on the core mental illness issue. I’ve been asked to complete my revision of the Transgender Factsheet that covers transition in the workplace and will once approved form part of the information for Equalities representatives in each workplace. I’m being nominated to attend the Women Race & Equalities Conference, which gives me a chance to start to ratchet up my campaign. I’m also being nominated to attend the Trade Union Congress LBGT conference in the summer so the show as they say is on the road.

After the meeting “J”, “MR” and I adjourned to the local pub and I think she was appalled by the prejudice I’d suffered from other women. We also discussed Press For Change and how they will oppose every move I make as they seek to defend the bogus mental illness classification on behalf of Government. The battle lines are being drawn! “MR” is deputy chair of TUC LBGT committee so she’s a powerful ally on board.

Then “J” & I went to Walsall and ate some great fish & chips from an asian chippy before going into Red Lion the famous West Midlands LBGT club. It was rather ironic as I’d had several invites to go there in my scene days but never went due to transport difficulties. I managed to prise “J” out of there. He was all for staying to 3am to take in all the cabaret. I was tired so we came back to Uttoxeter safely and he dropped me off with the words “I was determined to get you to take up LBGT rights it’s over to you now!”

Yes it is “J” and I won’t let you or the LBGT community down…

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