Monthly Archives: May 2014

IDAHOBIT Brighton 2014

SONY DSCOn Saturday the 17th May Brighton marked international day against homophobia, Biphobia and transphobia – May 17th being the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of “mental diseases”.  Brighton and Hove community safety forum are an established independent LGBT forum of volunteers working with the LGBT Community to address and improve safety issues throughout Brighton & Hove.  To mark IDAHOBIT a whole range of speakers came and shared their experiences about being LGBT and their experiences in the community.  It’s always great to see how a very diverse range of people can come together and accept their differences to listen to each others issues relating to how they are treated by society.  I was talking with one of the organisers who was proud to include separate flags for gay bisexual and transgender people as a united community.
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It’s difficult to imagine in the UK today how homosexuality was so outlawed that it was considered a “mental illness” to society, a danger and a threat, and something considered illegal and something to be legislated against. How far we have come in terms of acceptance of people with different sexual orientations is testimony to a diverse and caring society – and as a society we have benefited enormously for that compassion. It was encouraging to hear from Brighton Allsorts, whose work in the schools and the local community is providing direct support and advice where it is needed the most.  They produce information for schools and have recently produced a booklet explaining transgender identities and how best to support their transgender population.  There were a number of political parties there including the green party who are very much bringing LGBTI rights forward into the public domain.  In the UK we’re not yet in a position to free transgender people from the burden of “wrongness” – the stigma of a mental health diagnosis and a reason for persecutory and inhumane treatment to be considered “normal”.

SONY DSCThe NHS requirement for a mandatory two-year period of psychiatric assessment for trans people to access a surgical waiting list (which by 2016 may well mean another 2 year wait) means a brutal curtailing of trans peoples wellbeing.  It is very challenging to have a loving intimate relationship with someone when they are so disturbed by their own body.  It is very difficult for transitioning trans people to enjoy any of the rights of cisgender people in gendered spaces – such as going swimming, going to the beach, going on holiday somewhere hot, even going to a club or a bar.  When treatment is practical, proven effective, and cost-effective for society denying trans people treatment is tantamount to torture.  Transphobia in itself is: refusing to believe that transgender people actually exist, that their need for treatment is real and that it is OK to ignore their emotional and psychological pain.

 

Rebecca.

 

Kids camp for gender non-conformity

Linda Morris recently released some fantastic images like this one, of children free to explore and express their gender, click here to see more. Girllook“For many of these children, their perceptions of their gender are misaligned with their bodies. They may later identify as gay, transgender, or somewhere in between. This is just one way of being that has always existed, but only now are we developing the ability to say it’s OK not to put everyone in a neat little box. It will require all of us to break the habit of assigning individuals a gender label and to start thinking of gender on a broader spectrum. I know how lonely, and at times traumatic, life for an LGBT child can be. Looking over your shoulder and navigating your way through curious classmates and the occasional bully can be exhausting. That need to explain one’s self does not exist at camp. Pure freedom of expression is a compelling and emotional thing to witness.”

 

Newspapers agree to respect trans woman’s right to privacy.

I was delighted to hear today that six national newspapers have agreed that “sex swap” headlines and inclusion of transgender status were inappropriate in a landmark negotiation with the Press Complaints Commision and Dr Kate Stone.  Dr Kate stone,  was involved in a car accident where she was critically injured by a stag.  She has two children, is a research engineer in the Institute of Manufacturing at Cambridge and has set up her own technology company, Novalia.

Six newspapers had sensationalised her medical history as part of the story – however her complaints were upheld by the PCC who have since edited their online versions.

The statements from the newspapers are as follows:

The Scottish Sun

Dr Kate Stone complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had breached the terms of Clause 12 (Discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The complainant considered the use of the term “sex swap” in reference to her transgender status to be pejorative, in breach of Clause 12 (i) of the Code, and, furthermore, that the references to her gender status at all in the articles were irrelevant to the story, in breach of Clause 12 (ii) of the Code. She considered the reference to her former name intruded into her private life in breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the removal of the references to the complainant’s transgender status from the online articles, as the newspaper acknowledged that her gender status had not been relevant to the story and that the use of the term “sex swap” in the articles had been inappropriate. (Cl 3 and 12)

The Daily Telegraph

Dr Kate Stone complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had breached the terms of Clause 12 (Discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The complainant considered that the reference to her transgender status in the article was irrelevant to the story, in breach of Clause 12 (ii) of the Code.

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the removal of the reference to the complainant’s transgender status from the online article, as the newspaper acknowledged that it had not been relevant to the story. (Cl 12)

The Sun

Dr Kate Stone complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had breached the terms of Clause 12 (Discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The complainant considered the use of the term “sex swap” in reference to her transgender status to be pejorative, in breach of Clause 12 (i) of the Code, and, furthermore, that the references to her gender status at all in the articles were irrelevant to the story, in breach of Clause 12 (ii) of the Code.

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the removal of the references to the complainant’s transgender status from the online articles, as the newspaper acknowledged that her gender status had not been relevant to the story and that the use of the term “sex swap” in the articles was inappropriate. (Cl 12)

Daily Mail

Dr Kate Stone complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had breached the terms of Clause 12 (Discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The complainant considered that the reference to her transgender status in the article was irrelevant to the story, in breach of Clause 12 (ii) of the Code.

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the removal of the reference to the complainant’s transgender status from the online article, as the newspaper acknowledged that it had not been relevant to the story. (Cl 12)

Daily Record

Dr Kate Stone complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had breached the terms of Clause 12 (Discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The complainant considered the use of the term “sex swap” in reference to her transgender status to be pejorative, in breach of Clause 12 (i) of the Code, and, furthermore, that the references to her gender status at all in the articles were irrelevant to the story, in breach of Clause 12 (ii) of the Code.

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the removal of the references to the complainant’s transgender status from the online articles, as the newspaper acknowledged that her gender status had not been relevant to the story and that the use of the term “sex swap” in the articles was inappropriate. (Cl 12)

Daily Mirror

Dr Kate Stone complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had breached the terms of Clause 12 (Discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The complainant considered that the references to her transgender status in the articles were irrelevant to the story, in breach of Clause 12 (ii) of the Code. She also considered the reference to her former name intruded into her private life in breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the removal of the references to the complainant’s transgender status from the online articles, as the newspaper acknowledged that her gender status had not been relevant to the story. In light of the above, the newspaper also acknowledged that in these circumstances (Cl 3 and 12)

This is a brilliant step forward for respecting trans people’s right to privacy and dignity. Thank-you Kate for moving things forward.  You can read more about it here.

Rebecca.