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…

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