Friday, 12 September 2008

Meeting the gender duty for transsexual staff

I’ve managed to get my hands on a copy of the Equal Opportunities Commission 2007 Guidance for GB public authorities .

Don’t ask how - us gender guerrillas have our secret ways! LOL

One interesting paragraph struck me it stated:

“Individual rights under the Disability Discrimination Act must be considered where the individual has been diagnosed, as having ‘gender dysphoria’ or ‘gender identity disorder’ and the condition is likely to last more than twelve months, has lasted for more than 12 months or will remain with the individual for the rest of their life.”

Now that could have some interesting connotations for transsexual people unable to gain employment.

Otherwise it was pretty standard stuff. I was delighted to read “Many trans people consider the very term 'gender identity disorder' to be discriminatory as it suggests a mental illness, which it is not.”

The National Health Service of course ignore this in breach of their Gender Duty but then since when have the gender psychiatrists worried about operating outside the law. They should though as us gender guerrillas will hold them to account

So if you want a full copy of this confidential report just get in touch.

Here are the definitions they used in the report I think they are rather good.

Gender

Gender consists of two related aspects: gender identity, which is a person’s internal perception and experience of their gender; and gender role, which is the way that the person lives in society and interacts with others, based on their gender identity.

Gender is less clearly defined than anatomical sex, and does not necessarily represent a simple ‘one or the other’ choice. Some people have a gender identity that is neither clearly female nor clearly male. For the purpose of the law, however, people can only be male or female. The overwhelming majority of people have a gender that accords with their anatomical sex.

Gender dysphoria / gender identity disorder

Gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder is the medical term for the condition with which a person who has been assigned one gender (usually at birth on the basis of their sex), but identifies as belonging to another gender, or does not conform with the gender role their respective society prescribes to them. It is a psychiatric term for what is widely termed 'transsexuality'.

Many trans people consider the very term 'gender identity disorder' to be discriminatory as it suggests a mental illness, which it is not.

Gender dysphoria is not a form of sexual deviancy or a sexual orientation.

This feeling is usually reported as "having always been there", although in some cases, it seems to appear in adolescence or even in adulthood, and it has been reported by some as intensifying over time.

Since many cultures strongly disapprove of cross-gender behaviour, it often results in significant problems for those affected, and sometimes for their close friends and family members as well. In many cases, discomfort is also reported as stemming from the feeling that one's body is "wrong" or meant to be different.

Gender presentation / gender expression

While gender identity is subjective and internal to the individual, the presentation of one's self either through personality or clothing is what is perceived by others. Typically, transsexual people seek to make their gender expression or presentation match their gender identity, rather than their birth sex.

Gender reassignment / transitioning

Altering one's birth sex is not a one-step procedure — it is a complex process that takes place over a long period of time. Gender reassignment or transition includes some or all of the following cultural, legal, and medical adjustments: telling one's family, friends, and/or co-workers; changing one's name and/or sex on legal documents; hormone therapy; and possibly (though not always) some form of chest and/or genital alteration.

Gender Recognition Certificate


A full Gender Recognition Certificate shows that a person has satisfied the criteria for legal recognition in the acquired gender.

It makes the recipient of the certificate, for all intents and purposes, the sex listed on the certificate from that moment onward, not their birth sex.

The legal basis for creating a Gender Recognition Certificate is found in the Gender Recognition Act 2004

Transgender


An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from their birth sex. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexual people and others who define as gender-variant.

Many transgender people can identify as female-to-male (FtM) or male-to-female (MtF). Transgender people may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically.

Some people have not, and do not intend to, undergo gender reassignment, and are not covered by the gender reassignment provisions in the SDA. However, they are still protected from discrimination on the basis of their birth sex by the SDA.

This term should only be used as an adjective; individuals should be referred to as "transgender people", not "transgendereds".

Transsexual


In this guidance, this term is used to describe a person who intends to undergo, is undergoing or has in the past undergone gender reassignment (which may or may not involve hormone therapy or surgery).

Transsexual people feel the deep conviction to present themselves in the appearance of the opposite sex.

They may change their name and identity to live in the acquired gender.

Some take hormones and cosmetic treatments to alter their appearance and physical characteristics.

Some undergo surgery to change their bodies to approximate more closely to their acquired gender.

This term should only be used as an adjective; individuals should be referred to as "transsexual people", not "transsexuals".

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