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.

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