Sunday, 25 May 2008

Just two more law changes & job is done...

I don't care about the politics of temporary change in gender presentation but I passionately care about the rights of people who make a permanent change of gender.

This is a copy of my letter to my MP Janet Dean on the issue of incitement to hatred.


Dear Janet,

I’ve now discovered that without fanfare the changes to Discrimination for Goods & Services in terms of protection for transsexual people have passed into law.

The regulations rightly only cover people who intend to undergo or have undergone gender reassignment.

I found an excellent HM Government Factsheet available at http://www.equalities.gov.uk/legislation/index.htm see the last paragraph link - 080408_factsheet.doc.

So I have no more issues with HM Government on that.

I think I confused you at our last meeting though as my concern is not quite what you put in your letter to Jack Straw.

What I actually meant was that incitement to hatred on the grounds of intended or actual gender reassignment needed to be an offence in the same way as incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

I am concerned that with the emphasis on incitement to hatred on sexual orientation transsexual people may be overlooked.

I found no mention at all of incitement to hatred against transsexual people in the Hansard copies you kindly sent me hence my continuing concern.

Finally thank you for your support regarding my personal case. I await the imminent decision of South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust with some optimism now.

Kind regards,

Maggie Fiona Fox

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Protection for transsexual people in goods & services...

Amending the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 to implement the Gender Directive – goods, facilities, services and premises


Introduction

The Gender Directive implements the principle of equal treatment between men and women in relation to the access to and supply of goods and services. The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (SDA) and the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 (SDO), which apply to both women and men, are the main pieces of legislation in Great Britain and Northern Ireland which prohibit certain kinds of discrimination on the ground of sex, including intention to undergo, undergoing or having undergone gender reassignment.

Scope – excluded matters

The Directive does not cover:

(a) Education (including vocational training);
(b) The content of media and advertisements;
(c) The provision of goods, facilities or services (not normally provided on a commercial basis) at a place (permanently or for the time being) occupied or used for the purposes of an organised religion.”.

That means that the SDA and SDO have not been amended so far as they relate to these areas.

Indirect discrimination

The Regulations have extended the Directive-based definition of indirect discrimination that already applies in the employment field to goods, facilities, services and premises other than in relation to the excluded matters.

Harassment

The Regulations apply the freestanding definition of sex harassment, sexual harassment and gender reassignment harassment that applies in the employment field to goods, facilities, services and premises other than in relation to the excluded matters.

Gender reassignment

The Regulations extend the protection against direct discrimination and harassment, in the employment field to also apply to goods, facilities, services and premises other than in relation to the excluded matters. This is because European case law means that sex includes gender reassignment for these purposes

Single-sex exceptions


The Regulations also amend the single-sex provisions in the SDA and SDO, other than in relation to the excluded matters, to allow for different treatment of transsexual people on the ground of gender reassignment where such treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Insurance

The premiums and benefits for a transsexual person should only be based on that person’s acquired gender if they hold a Gender Recognition Certificate and have therefore legally changed their gender from their birth sex; in all other cases premiums and benefits will be based on birth gender.

Burden of proof

The Regulations amend the SDA and SDO so that as is already the case in the employment field, in goods, facilities, services and premises other than in relation to the excluded matters, it is first up to the claimant to establish facts which could, in the absence of an adequate explanation from the respondent, lead to a conclusion that there had been discrimination. The burden of proof then shifts from the claimant to the respondent to show that there is a non-discriminatory reason for their actions.

Making a claim – the questionnaire procedure

With a view to helping a person who considers they may have been wronged under the SDA or SDO decide whether to bring a claim to a tribunal or court, whichever applies, a questionnaire is provided – the SD74. The Regulations now require that in respect of claims under the goods, facilities, services and premises provisions other than in relation to the excluded matters, once the questionnaire is served on a respondent, the respondent must reply within eight weeks beginning on the day when the questionnaire was served on them, which is already the case in the employment field.
Further information and advice

Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) champions equality and human rights for all, working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and build good relations. The EHRC can also advise individuals who consider that their rights have been breached.


Addresses and phone numbers


England

Equality and Human Rights Commission Helpline England
Freepost RRLL-GHUX-CTRX
Arndale House
Arndale Centre
Manchester
M4 3EQ
0845 604 6610 - England main number 0845 604 6620 - England textphone
0845 604 6630 - England fax
9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday to Friday (an out-of-hours service will start running soon)

Wales

Equality and Human Rights Commission Helpline Wales
Freepost RRLR-UEYB-UYZL
1st Floor
3 Callaghan Square
Cardiff
CF10 5BT
0845 604 8810 - Wales main number 0845 604 8820 - Wales textphone
0845 604 8830 - Wales fax
9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday to Friday (an out-of-hours service will start running soon)

Scotland

Equality and Human Rights Commission Helpline Scotland
Freepost RRLL-GYLB-UJTA
The Optima Building
58 Robertson Street
Glasgow
G2 8DU
0845 604 5510 - Scotland Main 0845 604 5520 - Scotland Textphone
0845 604 5530 - Scotland – Fax
9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday to Friday (an out-of-hours service will start running soon)

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
Equality House
7 - 9 Shaftesbury Square
Belfast
BT2 7DP

Telephone : 028 90 500 600 Textphone : 028 90 500 589
Enquiry Line : 028 90 890 890
Fax : 028 90 248 687
Email : information@equalityni.org

Friday, 23 May 2008

You must chose one or the other one but neither of them will be what they claim…

In case you’ve not noticed I’m a bit of a fan of Manchester, now that’s the City not the football teams. So yesterday’s trip to my hairdresser was a real pleasure. It was great to look out of the train and see the white thorn bushes & trees in full bloom.

I think the English thorn is very underrated. The Japanese get dead misty eyed about cherry blossom time and they are nice but the English red thorn sort of sums up our nation. Hey you Japs you do wishy-washy pink but we do real red!

I just love the splash of red amongst the hedgerows of white – magnificent!

When I got To Piccadilly I had to smile at the number of men still in their ManU shirts in the bars or walking towards the station looking a tad worse for wear. Still it had been a party and the free copy of the Manchester Evening News was dominated by United success.

On about page 8 of the newspaper one article however caught my eye (and the girls at my hairdressers) as it described how a woman with her partner were refused the morning after contraceptive pill as a muslim chemist refused to supply and how the royal college of pharmacists thought this OK in their guidelines!

I mean what is going on here. A fundamental human right for a woman in England is to choose when and if to get pregnant and if pregnant have the right to terminate. This obviously includes suspicion and the morning after pill.

No religious group, especially a male dominated one, has the right to say ah but I don’t approve so you can’t. If a pharmacist or a doctor has an issue with this fundamental woman’s right to choose then they should not be in medicine.

Now talking of human rights the more I think about transgender rights the less I understand exactly what it is Press For Change and others think they are missing.

I think transgender can be divided into two simple categories permanent change and temporary change. In my earlier article I argued that the same rights for someone changing gender presentation at whim is nonsense. Today I am dressed as a woman so I am female; today I am dressed as a man so I am male. No it doesn’t work does it!

OK next we have those who intend to have gender reassignment and those that don’t. Well the keyword is intend, as the law actually doesn’t insist you do have a surgical sex change.

Therefore someone who has had no surgery can change sex legally after 2 years given proof of living in their chosen gender, committing to a lifelong change and convincing a HM Government approved gender specialist that this a permanent change and then enjoy the full protection of the law for the gender they have transitioned to.

This is the most liberal gender recognition policy in the world and if you can’t do that then you remain the sex you were allocated at birth. I fail to see how this is a problem for non-operative people. I have a friend who is in this category and will never change and so what!

There simply is no issue here unless you switch back and forth and dislike the two-gender system that underpins our society.

“You must chose one or the other one but neither of them will be what they claim” Bob Dylan. OK he didn’t have transgender people in mind but it’s a great summary. (Actually he was singing about fortune or fame.)

So that’s where we inevitably end up with transsexual people or rather the permanent changers now well protected by law and able to be their true sex whereas the transvestites or temporary transgender can’t.

That is only right and proper.

Remember a transgender is for life not just for Manchester Gay Village on a Wednesday night LOL

Monday, 19 May 2008

Trouble with him is he’s got bloke syndrome…

I was talking to a girlfriend about a guy we both know and how stuck in his ways he was even though he’d done a lot of travelling about in his youth as he’s now in his 40s he won’t go anywhere he doesn’t know. “Has he got social anxiety disorder?” I asked. The reply was “Nah he’s just got bloke syndrome!” LOL

There then followed a giggly conversation about defining bloke syndrome and we concluded the symptoms were:

#1 inability to accept science based fact

#2 stubbornness

#3 arrogance

#4 a belief that women are inferior to men

#5 no dress sense

#6 being unnecessarily noisy

#7 rating women by the size of their tits

#8 believing sexuality defines the person

#9 making football a religion

#10 thinking they are irresistible to women when they are drunk

There are more symptoms of bloke syndrome but we got bored at this stage LOL

It did make me think though about the Trans agenda and how only men could say that transgender people need the same rights as transsexual people!

Lets see for transgender:

Drag Queens obviously feel victimised by their parody of women being disbelieved.

Hairy panty wearers have to be protected from the embarrassment of discovery.

Cross dressers need headless photographs made acceptable on ID cards.

Gay or bisexual Transvestic fetishists need protection from admitting their sexuality.

Transvestites need to have full legal rights dependent on how they are dressed that day. So dual birth certificates etc. please?


That’s bloke syndrome isn’t it?

Lets be clear the idea that people need additional protection of their legal rights simply because of a temporary change in gender presentation is ridiculous.

But of course if you say that the majority of transgender people don’t want gender reassignment you are telling the truth though better still no transgender person wants gender reassignment!

I found this in Hansard:

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many gender reassignment operations were carried out by NHS trusts between January 2007 and January 2008; and at what cost. [196798]?

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is not yet held by the Department. However, the amount of transgender procedures carried out in the national health service in previous years, from 2002 to 2006, are shown in the following table.

Male to Female / Female to Male
2002-03 79 / 2
2003-04 83 / 1
2004-05 99 / 0
2005-06 97 / 4

Note: Data for 2006-07 and 2007-08 is not yet available. Source: Hospital Episode Statistics data.


Now that just shows you how few we are in terms of numbers OK multiply that by what 2 or 3 for private surgery and you get a correlation to the number of gender recognition certificates issued.

So you should get the picture by now?

Transsexual people are far too small in number to justify the gender confusion industry that has grown out of the false assumption by heterosexual or gay males that we must be mad to want to have our penises turned inside out.

But with transgender boy do we have a different picture, all those poor men confused by their sexual desires into believing that there is a hierarchy with hairy panty wearers at the base and post operative transsexuals at the pyramid.

This is what Zucker & Blanchard believe and they will establish in DSM V thereby preserving the income of the gender confusion psychiatric specialists.

Ably supported by Press for Change I can at best see a third gender emerging to catch all these men.

Transsexual people are a sacrificial part of the process of capitalist gain from treating bloke syndrome or gender dysphoria - pick your preferred condition.

That’s why the only way to protect the human rights of those who make a permanent change of gender is to declare the mental illness pathologisation illegal.

We now have protection from harassment & discrimination in employment and goods and services, we have the right to new birth certificates and a legal right to surgery. It would be nice to add additional protection from incitement to hatred whilst in transition but the only major right we demand is to be free of the mental health industry.

These are our human rights:

No transsexual person requires the permission of anyone to make a permanent change of gender.

No transsexual person needs the approval of anyone to make a permanent change of gender.

A permanent change of gender is not a mental illness.

A permanent change of gender is recognised as a change of sex in a binary sex world.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Transsexual representation at TUC & other issues...

Hello LLL,

I'm troubled by some of things that are being said or not said in terms of protecting transsexual people's interests in the TUC & Unite.

I've got involved with the T in LBGT despite huge personal reservations about grouping cross dressers, drag queens and transvestic fetishists with transsexual people.

I try my best to explain that transsexual people are not motivated by any sexual orientation or practice and that our issue is acceptance of our identity in terms of a binary sex society. We are not a third sex we transition to the sex our brain dictates but that seems too simple for the majority to accept.

Most importantly we are not prepared to accept any more the pathologisation of a bogus mental illness.

I also try my best to ensure that no one ever has to endure the promotion of bigotry by their own branch officials ever again.

So OK I was more than a little disappointed by the rejection of the Unite TUC motion I proposed but having had time to read and reflect on both the Unite and TUC LBGT minutes & newsletter I am even more concerned and would like some answers to these questions please.

#1 Why is there no transsexual representative on the Unite LBGT national forum on a reserved place basis obviously put to the vote if there are multiple nominations?

#2 What is the situation as regards transsexual representation at the TUC LBGT Committee and again is there a reserved place for a transsexual person basis obviously put to the vote if there are multiple nominations?

#3 What does "It was agreed to amend a motion on transgender & transsexuals to take into account R1 & R5 motions" actually mean? What is the motion & who is presenting it?

#4 Why in the TUC newsletter does it say under EHRC "TUC was invited to a stakeholder LGB meeting In Manchester on 10 April. Trans issues are being covered separately although there are issues about how far equivalent weight is given to this, which the TUC has taken up" but gave no details?

#5 Who from the TUC is talking to the EHRC on behalf of transsexual union members?

#6 Under TUC trans goods & services regulations it says that a trans activist is centrally involved in the production of Guidance promised by Government but who is this person & who are they accountable to?

My conclusion so far is that transsexual people's rights have been compromised in the great "Trans" political agenda promoted by the self interest group Press For Change and that Unite & the TUC is playing along to this agenda. I trust that your answers will convince me this is not the case.

LLL, I am a human rights activist with a rather obvious interest in transsexual people's human rights. I don't seek personal gain or advancement but I do seek access to lobby those who have power and influence and win their hearts & minds through logical science based argument. So far I get the impression I'm trying to lobby a sponge!

I look forward to your reply.

Regards and Solidarity,

Maggie

Saturday, 17 May 2008

The trouble with working with gay people is that they are gay…

I went to the Unite Regional LBGT Forum on Friday with “J” my gay friend & fellow Human Rights Activist. Met “J” at the pub and squeezed into his office (that’s his car) paperwork everywhere but then “J” consumes copious amounts of Hansard & other documents. He’s very well read you know…

Anyway I’m not going to attempt minutes of the meeting that’s someone else’s role but I will give you my take on it.

“J” and I had lunch at Weatherspoons. Why is it so hard to get a healthy option on a menu? I asked the bar lady how hot the three bean chilli was and she said mild & it was. It was nice except they had lobbed in some full fat soft cheese on top and there were chilli crisps with the rice. I suppose they were there to placate the fatties who don’t think anything tastes right under 20% fat content? I only ate the healthy bits. Then we walked to Regional HQ “J” said I was a hit with a guy walking towards us until he thought “J” & I were together LOL

Right to the meeting:

Region 1 had submitted a very similar motion to mine calling on HM Government to declare that the USA DSM IV classification of transsexual people being mentally ill must not apply to United Kingdom citizens. Both my motion and theirs were rejected for one on homophobic crime & domestic violence.

I worry about this issue being used by the psychiatrists, you know gay people are so full of self-loathing they beat each other up.

Interestingly it was also agreed to amend a motion on transgender and transsexuals to take into account R1 and my motion.

There were no specifics so I probably won’t get to hear them before the TUC LBGT Conference on 3rd & 4th July

I made the point that there is no transgender or transsexual person on the National LBGT forum and that given we were a minority within a minority there should be a reserved place with elections if there were more than 1 nomination.

I’m not sure about transgender or transsexual representation on the TUC LBGT but I’ll find out as I discovered that the TUC was invited to a stakeholder LGB meeting In Manchester on 10 April. It stated Trans issues are being covered separately but gave no details.

I’ll send a suitable email next week.

I had to laugh at a slight moan by the L or B author of the TUC LGBT newsletter who wrote “in the area of the new European directive on legal protection against discrimination in non employment areas trans people are meant to benefit from existing gender laws”. The piece was headed “Stop the Euro Retreat” essentially flagging up that new proposed directives are becoming “recommendations” to appease the fascists and religious bigots that we’ve recently included in the extended European Community.

Equality for all? Well only in those states that believe in equality. It is reported that Germany took the lead in saying that disability should be the only discriminatory offence covered by statute. We worry about Neo-Nazi – we haven’t rid ourselves of the old Nazi yet!

I’m finding hard to resist Hitler Youth and organised religion jokes here!

Under Developments in UK Law the TUC reported that the prohibition of discrimination on goods and services on grounds of gender reassignment had been enacted since 6 April 2008. That passed by without a fanfare at Press For Change! (Or anywhere else for that matter)

There are the usual exemptions for religious reasons when there should be none especially for religions that consider women deficient and the property of men.

Most worryingly it says there is a trans activist involved centrally with HM Government in the production of Guidance for the Discrimination Law Review now I guess that’ll be an unaccountable member of Press For Change making sure their vested interests are maintained. More on this to follow…

Looking on the web for the Sex Discrimination (amendment of Legislation) Regulations 2008 I couldn’t find a good write up of the implications of the legislation just a .pdf of the act.

Still it does explicitly state that sexual harassment, harassment on the grounds of sex and gender reassignment and harassment in the provision of goods, facilities, services or premises is unlawful.

It seems to reverse the burden of proof so that it is the same as the test currently being used in relation to employment and vocational training.

Effectively, the burden of proof will shift to the supplier if the claimant has established a basic case.

I’m not an expert on the law so I’ve sent the .pdf of the Act to Dr “LR” and then she’ll translate it for me so that I can get something on the Union intranet and here.

Other stuff we discussed at the LBGT forum were International Day Against Homophobia IDAHO and Pride events and finally a yawn inducing look at the merger rules relating to Equalities, Youth and Retired Members. Amicus & T&GW were very different so the new Unite has a lot of merging still to do. T&GWU essentially being from members upwards Amicus being centralist downwards though that’s a gross simplification of the actuality if not the philosophy.

So after the meeting we adjourned to Weatherspoons for more general chat and then “J” and I headed off to Lion at Walsall a major gay & lesbian pub/club.

On the way “J” and I discussed the guilt aspect of homosexuality that permeates throughout the scene. It’s a sad reflection on the intolerance of society that the shame & embarrassment that others claim is directed back at the gay or lesbian family member even where the embarrassed party is bisexual themselves.

Religion has a lot to answer for as well in making gay & lesbian people ashamed by a ludicrous combination of fear and loathing.

I must admit I’ve observed it but never fully understood it probably because my sexuality is not remotely an issue to me. OK I had a recent phase when I became a bit too binary and even celibate but that wasn’t through guilt just reconciliation that sexuality has nothing to do with being a transsexual person.

I like the label pansexual best if I have to have a label and I don’t!

“J” delighted in pointing out gay people on the drive through the West Midlands. “How do you know?” I said. “It’s the twinkle in the eyes” was his reply and yes the eyes of the dishy male barman at the Lion did sparkle but not so the cute blonde lesbian who flashed me a lovely smile.

“What do my eyes tell you then?” I asked “J” “Do I look Gay?” “No” he replied “your eyes say you’re not gay but that you are sexy & up for some fun!” LOL. So there you have it - I’m just a sexy old tart LOL

Still it left me thinking that the problem we have is that the T in LBGT does send the wrong message about transsexual people and this journey of mine within the politics of LBGT will probably end with an almighty row & split. But then I have been warned I won’t like certain aspects of TUC LBGT conference though I could have said that. For Gay & Lesbian people it’s about sex & sexuality often with a lot of promiscuity.

For transsexual people it’s about core identity so nothing in common there…

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

I’m an activist not a politician…

I never set out to an activist it’s just been thrust on me by the inherent prejudice of a white male dominated society in England.

I realise that a heterosexual or gay male greatest possession is his penis or “crown jewels” and therefore it is impossible for them to understand why someone would not want one but they do understand why lesbians are obviously guilty of penis envy.

Those attitudes with a pathological heterosexual fear of being found guilty of inadvertently sleeping with a woman that was once a man shape our society.

Now add to that the fact that there are just a few thousand transsexual people in England and you might begin to see why the Human Rights Act is the cornerstone of legal protection for those who have or intend to have gender reassignment.

This is where it began:

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2004/113/EC. of 13 December 2004

One interesting aspect of this Directive is that as a consequence of the P v Cornwall, heard before the European Court of Justice in 1996, sex discrimination must also include discrimination on the grounds of actual or proposed gender reassignment. As a consequence member states will, by December 2007 have to implement protections on the ground of gender reassignment in the provision of goods and services (though article 3 excludes education from its scope).

Now that’s pretty simple isn’t it? However our politicians run scared of the claims that transsexual people will raise.

Intention to undertake gender reassignment has always been a simple legal definition of a transsexual person as opposed to a transgender person and I 100% agree with it.

However if you earn a living by being an expert on gender that isn’t good enough as it excludes cross dressers or transvestites who prefer to be called transgender. Of course if they admit to being gay or lesbian the law protects them but let’s not confuse ourselves shall we.

In the numbers game that is vital to being a political lobby group or perhaps more importantly a nice little earner just representing transsexual people isn’t enough after all 10% of the male population enjoy some sort of cross dressing experience.

Last year I berated the European Transgender Council for not stating in simple words that being either transgender or transsexual is not a mental illness so I was pleased to see this in their latest press release:

Despite much scientific controversy, forms of transgender continue to be listed in the DSM IV of the American Psychological Association APA), just as homosexuality once was, and in the ICD-10 of the World Health Organization (WHO) as psychological disorders. DSM and ICD are guideline manuals used in healthcare to standardise the definitions of what constitutes mental illness. Transgender Europe (TGEU) emphatically refuses this pathologisation and will assist the next reformulation of the DSM in a critical manner, when this is carried out in 2011.

Great eh?

But it then says:

At the plenary meeting of Transgender Europe (TGEU) on 4.5. a new Executive Board and a new Steering Committee were elected, with
representatives from Denmark, Germany, England, Ireland and Italy. The new President of the Organisation is Stephen Whittle, PhD, Professor of Equalities Law, Manchester Metropolitan University, President of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH, USA)and Vice President of Press for Change (PfC, UK).


That of course totally negates the first, as it is in good King Stephen’s political interest is to make sure that his psychiatrist paymasters keep the mental illness classification for transsexual people.

Are we sold out?

Yes.

Will we activists accept it?

No.

Will we fight?

Yes.

Will we win?

Yes.

A transsexual person is not mentally ill and their strength is they know their identity and do something about it.

Transgender/transvestite/cross dressing people may be troubled by the stress of deception but they aren’t mentally ill either.

Have a nice day…

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Don't confuse us with science...

The psychiatric profession is not one to worry about science fact preferring pseudo-science fiction. Deductions from their perception are the norm not bothering with any analysis of evidence to support their pet theory. But then they are the agents of the establishment to defend Caucasian male supremecy.

Try this for size:

Conception occurs at the moment sperm fuses with ova. The resulting zygote, not yet an embryo, has no sexual differentiation.

This is how all of us begin, even those of us born in test tubes.

The default condition of a human is female. At the moment of conception we have female configured brains and, without an influx of male hormone, we will be born with a female brain and female sexual anatomy. We call this the standard development pattern.

Sometimes, however, the genetic plan for the developing embryo misfires. The brain’s neurobiology configures first, the body’s later. For a boy to be born, the male hormone testosterone must wash over the undifferentiated fetus at two distinct points in the development.

• The first is when the human brain locks into gender identity. If the male hormone is not present at this time, the neurobiology of the brain will remain configured in the female state.

• The second crucial point is when the human body develops sexual organs, internal and eternal. If the male hormone is present, for whatever reason, the sexual organs will be male; if the male hormone is not present, the organs will default to female.

So, where do transsexual people come from?

• In an transsexual man (female to male), testosterone washed over the brain, changing the neurobiology to male, but not over the body so that the person was born with male neurobiology within a female anatomy.

• In an transsexual woman (male to female), testosterone washed over the body, but not the brain so that the person was born with female neurobiology in a body with male anatomy.

Got it guys?

It is that simple....

Acknowledgment here to one of my heroines Lisa Jain Thompson who campaigns for the adoption of Harry Benjamin Syndrome (HBS) to replace "gender dysphoria", we are one in spirit.

http://ts-si.org/content/view/3194/995/

Friday, 9 May 2008

Try this for redesign!

I received a letter from the Director of Commissioning & Redesign at South Staffordshire NHS Primary Care Trust. I won't bother reproducing it here as it was designed to soften me up, for a refusal of funding.

Here is my response, if they are wise they will show it to their legal advisers and then approve funding for my surgery.


Dear Mr QQQ,

Thank you for your letter dated 30 April 2008.

I found this letter to be even more confusing than your treatment policy and I wish to clarify many issues arising out of it. However, rather than go through each point of your letter, I will address it as a whole.

My perception is that your letter is preparing the PCT’s position for a rejection of my request for exceptional status.

I refer to the legal framework for the commissioning responsibilities of PCTs which is set out in regulations 3(7)-(10) of the National Health Service (Functions of Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts and Administration Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2002.

An aspect of this is whether a PCT provides a treatment for a particular health condition for which the PCT must give due consideration to the Human Rights Act (1998). However, this does not apply in this instance, as the PCT has made clear that it provides gender reassignment surgery and the only issue in contention is where this may be commissioned.

The allocation of resources and the determination of the processes to prioritise resources is a matter for each PCT. I am not aware under the legal framework of any other issues that may determine treatment options.

Your policy states that gender reassignment surgery is a funded treatment so there is no resource issue.

There is no additional financial burden to the PCT in referring me to the Sussex Nuffield in that the Nuffield Hospital Brighton not only has a lower treatment cost but also has zero incidence of MRSA, DVT and pulmonary embolus[1] and thus significantly reduces the risk of my requiring further treatment for these (to me) life threatening conditions.

The process of identifying exceptional cases is to deal with areas where resources have to prioritised and ethical issues of patient care come to the fore. The process is not intended to deal with contentions of patient choice.

This is further emphasised in your strategic plan “STRATEGIC DIRECTION 2007-2012: To prevent ill-health, and to promote long life and well-being for all” (Draft version 12) which states your approach to healthcare is (applicable points in italic):

The PCT’s approach to providing health care is based on the following:

· Focus on prevention

· Target resource where need is greatest in the PCT

· Put clinical decision-making at the heart of service change

· Work with partners on other factors which impact on ill-health

· Where treatment is needed, offer choice and commission high-quality services with no delays


· Provide leadership to the local health community

· Develop and design services based on the most appropriate fit for patients

I have tried to accommodate your process to allow your staff to deal efficiently and effectively with my treatment. However, my patience is becoming exhausted.

Your policy of using the Gender Identity Clinic based at Charing Cross hospital will probably require review in the future as the protocols used by this unit may be shown to be unlawful under the Gender Recognition Act (2004) and also under the Mental Capacity Act (2005).

With respect to this, whilst I have written to Mr Thomas’s Office to tell him that I will accept a single one off assessment by a further psychiatrist as part of his existing protocols, I have also registered my disagreement regarding the legality of such an additional assessment.

Finally, your comment that you cannot commission Nuffield Hospital Brighton because they are not on your database is particularly baffling. Are you claiming that you do not have competent administration staff to undertake this, thus forming an insurmountable barrier to any change in commissioning practise?

I look forward to receiving a more understandable reply.

Yours sincerely,

Maggie Fiona Fox

Copy to Janet Dean MP & Dr SSS

[1] http://www.nuffieldhospitals.org.uk/az_hospital_home.asp?hid=29


I sent this covering letter to my MP. Should do the job!

Dear Janet,

South Staffordshire NHS Primary Care Trust

Since our recent meeting I have received a letter from QQQ Director of Commissioning & Redesign that causes me great concern as I am trying to avoid legal conflict with South Staffordshire NHS Primary Care Trust.

I am becoming convinced that the PCT will dispute the strict medical criteria laid down by Parliament that were incorporated into the Gender Recognition Act of 2004 thereby wasting public funds.

The exceptionality arguments in my GP’s submission are both that I have a female birth certificate so the PCT gender dysphoria services policy does not apply and that my Ankylosing Spondylitis makes me higher risk and requires dedicated specialist post operative nursing care.

The other arguments are in the copy of my response to QQQ that is attached.

I do hope you can help me convince this PCT to move away from such an extreme position.

Kind regards,

Maggie Fiona Fox

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Almost famous...

Spoke to “JS” today who is part of a team producing a documentary on the experience of being transsexual.

It was a follow up call to my email

Here are my thoughts:

Improving the public's core understanding of what it means to be transgender or transsexual.

I believe the public is confused and doesn’t fully understand that transsexual people make permanent changes to their lives and bodies because they have no other option than to reconcile the sex of their brain with the sex of their body.

A transsexual person is not mentally ill they are correcting a birth defect.

Transgender people on the other hand change their gender presentation at will for a variety of reasons but keep the sex assigned to them at birth.

Some transgender people may change secondary sex characteristics on a temporary or permanent basis.

This may cause transgender people considerable mental anguish but they are not mentally ill either.

Transsexual people in transition are protected by the Sex Discrimination Act on the basis that they intend to under gender reassignment.

After two years providing they meet the medical and legal criteria they are recognised by law as being the sex that their brain rather than their body dictates.

Transsexual people seek to blend into mainstream society.

Transsexual people never regret the changes they make to their anatomical sex.

Thoughts that I have on what you should explore


I have no doubt you will go down the transgender “lady boy” route as it makes good visual entertainment.

I would hope you’d explore how the politicisation of Trans is doing real harm to transsexual people who are having their rights denied in a futile attempt to be inclusive.

I trust you will take the opportunity to expose the blatant prejudice in the National Health Service where both the Gender Recognition Act and the Mental Capacity Act is ignored and transsexual people are continually denied HM Government policy of Patient Centric Care or Choice.

My thoughts and experiences on being transsexual

I could write a book; well I have managed two blogs!

Changing from the sex assigned to me at birth to the sex I know I am has been the most incredibly rewarding experience as I have been able to drop the pretence of an identity that I constructed to protect the real person inside.

My core personality has not changed at all but I’ve been able to drop the mimicry of gender and gender stereotypes that society expected me to exhibit.

My natural concern for other people is freed so that the empathy I project is in line with my gender presentation.

I am a completely free spirit.

My experience of the reaction of society is that a small number of people have refused to accept the transition wanting to drag me back to my former presentation.

Management at work ignored or flouted Guidelines and Law and encouraged a small group of bigoted co-workers to try to drive me out of the business.

Their attitude was you made the choice now expect the consequences.

I found the National Health Service deliberately obstructive and prejudiced.

Only now I have a gender recognition certificate is their attitude reluctantly changing.

I have become an expert on the law and I am now totally politicised, as I am a member of the Unite the Union LBGT forum and human rights activist campaigning for the abolition of the mental illness classification for transgender and transsexual people.

Issues of identity

None now LOL

I used the physical pain of severe Ankylosing Spondylitis (undiagnosed for 20 years) to help suppress my true identity.

I spent my early years in very androgynous presentation.

I didn’t cross dress until after getting my Ankylosing Spondylitis under control when having been given a second life I thought I could control my transsexual identity by occasional switches of gender presentation.

That was a total disaster as I found the switch back harder and harder to cope with and quite frankly the pretence of the scene just didn’t fit.

Amongst transvestites or transgender I was considered different.

I fought hard not to transition as it meant the loss of the person I loved.

The stress of delay of changing to my true identity destroyed my business and I went bankrupt.

Having hit rock bottom I had to choose between transition and living or dying.

Relationship with my body

I always felt different and that there was something horribly wrong.

I stopped eating as a child to avoid growing up as a man.

I hated puberty and became temporarily withdrawn.

On both occasions I couldn’t articulate the reasons probably due to a fear of electric shock therapy to cure me.

I am very gregarious and withdrawing from society was not an option so I made the best of it by adopting a very androgynous persona.

Then Ankylosing Spondylitis hit me hard.

How it affected my relationship with others


I have been married twice but I could never let another woman carry my child.

My first wife and I dressed the same way but her violence ended the relationship. I’m not sure if the signals I gave were the cause.

My second wife was my Barbie Doll who I dressed the way I wanted to dress. I revealed a fair bit of my true identity to her and her joke was “you’d make someone a good wife”!

My third and final relationship occurred after I conquered my Ankylosing Spondylitis when my soul mate walked into my life. We both had issues but we helped each other develop and realise our true potential.

We separated, as I had no idea how to tell her of my intention to transition. She was the last person I told but she has become a sister and my greatest supporter.

That’s just a flavour – ask me more if you want to? And she did LOL

Now back to the NHS

I saw my GP today. She’d had a typical response from the PCT “but Mr Phil Thomas does operations at Charing Cross”. They are so stupid & fight hard trying to defend their position by ignoring the request that was based on patient centric care, choice and my severe Ankylosing Spondylitis but my GP thinks the support from my MP will swing it!

I’ll translate that for you the PCT will realise that if they say No I’ll see them in the courts and get the money off them that way – Lets see Fox & Parliament vs. NHS it has a nice ring to it LOL

Decision day is July 3 for the application that my GP is making based on my letter. All my key points are included. I have no dispute with her as she is trying to fulfil her contract and manage my care it’s only the faceless PCT administrators & a few bigots there that have got in our way but their discrimination will end.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

King Stephen gets his knickers in a twist…

Well a bit of excitement in the world of charlatan psychiatry today as Press For Change announce that Dr Kenneth Zucker will head the review of gender dysphoria at the American Psychiatric Association for DSM V.

DSM V is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. They put the word Statistical in there in a vain attempt to say they are backed by scientific fact when we all know their pet theories have no valid scientific statistical data to back them up.

Dr Ray Blanchard will help Dr Zucker.

This pair is famous for believing that transsexual women are gay men without penises (Blanchard) and that gender dysphoric children can be cured by conversion therapy (Zucker). That translates as gender affirmation surgery is not justified and beat the shit out of children if they seem gender variant.

So poor King Stephen is doing his best headless chicken imitation, as his precious World Professional Association for Transgender Health will merely express it’s dismay that Zucker & Blanchard are not two of their group.

Oh Dear, Oh Dear Oh Dear!

Well actually NO I’m delighted (and laughing) as the more extreme the position of the psychiatrists is the easier it will be to win the argument that transgender and transsexual people are not mentally ill.

This is a battle for human rights so as we see the same arguments and treatments that were used against homosexuals re-emerge it makes it easier to defeat these psychiatric charlatans.

WPATH & DSM both must go and will go when we use the Human Rights Act to end the abuse of transgender & transsexual people.

http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/kenneth-zucker.html

http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/ray-blanchard-clarke.html


http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/News/Drop%20the%20Barbie.htm

http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/autogynephilia.html


Good stuff eh?

Monday, 5 May 2008

My ancestors were roundheads…

I’ve always been proud of my English heritage not in that sort of “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels” way more that by understanding the motivations of people who came before us we can do a better job today. Learning the lessons of history if you like.

When we fought our Civil War it was to end forever the Divine Right of Kings to force their will on the people. OK they’d been pulled back a bit by Magna Carta but that I would argue was a group of Capitalists sorting out the rules to suit themselves. Our Civil War was for the people.

Now we fight it again this time for the freedom of transsexual people.

On the one side you have King Stephen of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the Knights of Press for Change, the Medical Establishment and all who defend the divine right of charlatan psychiatrists to decide who may have surgery and on the other side you have Maggie Fox and the forces of Parliament.

In the Civil War no one expected the King to lose but he did and it cost him his head. Now history is about to repeat.

My Primary Care Trust thinks it can (like all the others) create a policy that makes it an unnecessarily slow and tortuous process to affirm your gender and correct a birth defect by surgery.

But Parliament has set the rules for the people in the Gender Recognition Act and the Mental Capacity Act so to fight me is to fight Parliament itself and history teaches us in that in war against Parliament there is only one winner.

This is why England became the greatest nation in the world and created America in her image. We hold our officials accountable to the people. OK we may not yet hold direct elections to the Primary Care Trust Boards but the Primary Care Trust is accountable to Parliament and Parliament to the people.

Somehow I feel my ancestors who fought against the King would be proud of my victory on behalf of transsexual people everywhere…

Friday, 2 May 2008

On a roll…

I went to see Janet Dean my MP today. There was a deputation in front of me of older ladies to complain that the local bus service had been axed without warning meaning that they have no easy access into the town centre. The bus company has effectively cut off a whole section of the town. That’s the beauty of privatisation isn’t it? Government give out bus passes but there is no bus to use them on!

Anyway Janet Dean my MP surpassed my expectation, as she will take a lot of action on behalf of transsexual people and also my individual case. I didn’t have to try too hard to explain how the existing NHS policy as regards transsexual women with female birth certificates is illegal in terms of The Gender Recognition Act and The Mental Capacity Act The cost and waste of time to the Department Of Health were they to try and fight in defence of the prejudice shown by a small number of psychiatrists that believe they are above the law would be a waste of public funds.

I pointed out that under the “illegal” policy (copied from Charing Cross) of my local Primary Care Trust there was no choice. Patient Choice and Patient Centric Care are core principals of the Labour Government and the PCT is ignoring them. I made a powerful case for a choice of the existing Charing Cross route and an alternative route of The London Gender Clinic and Sussex Nuffield. (That’s Dr Richard Curtis as Gender Specialist and Mr Phil Thomas as surgeon.) Now this route is cheaper than the PCT one & I got a wry smile when I asked is the PCT subject to audit? As if this was a Council I’d complain to the District Auditor LOL

Anyway Janet is writing to the PCT asking why there is no choice and will probably quote Calderdale PCT where this is the policy as an example. Janet understands how I’m trying to use the exceptionality of Ankylosing Spondylitis to get surgery & a higher standard of nursing care but that I want to leave a legacy to those that follow. She laughed when I said I’m not the only transsexual in Uttoxeter but I am the bravest!

I did say I’d give credit to Charing Cross at being good at treating transvestites and cross dressers who feel guilty but they have no idea how to treat transsexual people. That leads me nicely into the other areas we discussed.

I pointed out that in trying to be inclusive we were in danger of making the suffering of transsexual people in transition far worse. Press For Change has unduly affected Government Policy by trying to mess about with existing law. The Sex Discrimination Act was amended to cover those intending to undertake gender reassignment and it works. There is no reason to making discrimination on goods & services illegal too based on the same wording used in the Sex Discrimination Act and it must be done sooner rather than later.

At the end of the day it’s so simple a transsexual person wants all their ID changed immediately they don’t switch back & fore in terms of gender presentation. That keeps Passports and Identity Cards simple keep what we have now a simple changeover based on intent.

Exactly the same applies to Incitement to Hatred (Intimidation) Act. I had a particularly difficult time in transition due to a tiny number of cowardly local people who incited their family & friends to intimidate me. A visit from the Police and a warning to them would have helped me enormously and a certain fat Irish bigot would have been firmly put in her place. OK I’ve got the Protection from Harassment Act that has a criminal element but that’s for the perpetrators not for the evil cows behind them.

I’ve got a female birth certificate now so I’ve got more protection but whilst in transition you are vulnerable and that must change and I’m pleased to report I have Janet Dean’s support on this. She will write to the appropriate Ministers and get me a copy of Hansard 3rd and final reading of the Incitement to Hatred Act so I can see the detail of the stupid arguments put forward to exclude transsexual people.

That’s what we must do first and then decide how we handle the same issues with transgender people (transvestites and cross dressers). If they are prepared to declare they are Gay or Lesbian then no problem as they are protected but for those who aren’t then well…

This is the legal mess that Press for Change has got us into before consolidating the law for transsexual people they have confused everyone with transgender politics. Whilst I don’t want to see transgender people suffering abuse it is important to realise that they do have a choice of presentation and can avoid a lot of the abuse by using specialist venues. Transsexual people live their lives continually in the public gaze so it’s very different.

It may be that it is impossible to cover transgender people by the law and that they will just have to accept it until society is ready. After all transsexual and transgender people still have to live with the stigma of mental illness and that’s the first battle to win. Without that rights for transgender people's rights can’t follow the rights for transsexual people.

Now after my excellent meeting with Janet Dean who did I bump into but “KA” with her baby. She told me I was the talk of the work place again with the fat one going around saying “Why does HE get an attendance bonus s HE’s suspended”? Now has my employer got to grips with the bigotry and prejudice of their employees? NO Can they control them? NO Are they responsible for their actions? YES

Still “KA” and I had a great catch up chat. Her baby is bonny but then she is exceptionally pretty. I told her I’m hoping to do the council flat swap to London and I’m going to see the place soon. I also told her that I’m expecting to have my surgery paid for by the NHS before the year is out and I’d stay here to as long as was needed to ensure I get it. That should piss off a few bigots.

Talking of bigots I saw one of my principal discriminators as I was walking out of Boots. Her look was “thunder” so I did my best sweet smile back. Mind you I was glad I was on CCTV as I’m not that brave and she is a nasty bit of stuff. Reminder as if I needed it that I must move on.

Oh finally I got some great black wedges from Clarke’s shoes, dead comfy for walking miles around Bluewater in. Yes I’m off to Kent soon to see “L” and see how we get on face to face again. I don’t think anyone will ever understand the love we have for each other and there are times we don’t either. LOL

Still my life (and “L’s” life) isn’t boring…