In Babel

I have recently experienced the completion of myself as a person. This will sound odd to those of you who did not experience yourselves as incomplete. But it will make sense to those of you who remain incomplete in a world surrounded by complete people.

Incompletion is to have had your fuses blown by an overload of other people's poisonous behaviour at an early age.

It was my innocence that was stolen from me, that led to living in a wilderness of incompletion and incomprehension at the injuries to my life. I find the entire “trans discussion” too upsetting for words. The argument about “protecting single sex spaces” as if single sex spaces represent safety.

The idea that trans women cannot be victims of abuse is at the core of it. The idea that trans women as children are somehow safe, and exist at the top of a power tree, and do not deserve protection and recognition of who they are.

I was four when my 18 year old relative began to sexually abuse me. Being assigned male and being a child who understood he was supposed to be a girl did not keep me safe. My parents did not keep me safe. I was stolen from myself. Made incomplete by someone who should have been keeping me safe.

Now as an adult, twenty —and then some, years after I had “the surgery” do I feel able to open this part of my life up to myself, and to examine the terrible damage that was done to me, a beautiful happy child who knew who she was. A child I wish I could have protected more. The double bind of the victim who blames themself. Only now, today, I am told other people must be protected from me. Only to be told by the kind of men who regularly abuse the women in their lives, that they will commit acts of violence against me if they see me using a “female” space with their daughters or their wives. It's not me who presents the risk to their daughters, it is them, those men who are the biggest risk to the women in their lives. My only concern now is to complete and protect that child who deserved so much better from her caretakers. And the young people being put in harm's way by hate today.

Learning to be complete is the act of learning to be innocent again. To reacquaint yourself with who you were, before you were torn to pieces by the actions of other people. The me that I was back then is still inside, still here. She still remembers her bliss and her joy and how much she loved her friends. In the sense that I remember that about myself and who I was. I was a very loving person, and I want to spend the time I have left protecting and nurturing that part of myself. Fulfilling the promise of who I was, a thing that complete people take for granted, before I was stolen.

So a tory MP is trans, he will continue to use he/him pronouns, “…for the time being.” Jamie Wallis did not become an MP after coming out. Jamie Wallis experienced gender dysphoria so severe that it was possible to become an MP, run several businesses, get elected to local office and make a lot of money. Before coming out as trans. Or rather as Wallis puts it “I want to be trans.” Being a tory is an issue. Being a tory is beneath contempt for me. Jamie Wallis once sued a local council because they had the cheek to investigate Wallis’s shady business behavior. They revealed that Wallis is a crook and someone who exploits other people. Journalists investigating Wallis soon discovered Jamie Wallis the professional liar, who set up a business to exploit students and wealthy men. Jamie Wallis says that he(for the time being) was raped. I feel bad now, but not bad enough to regret saying tories are beneath contempt. What do I have in common with Jamie Wallis? Nothing. Not even the same shared diagnosis links us, Wallis claims, since childhood to have had gender dysphoria. For reasons only Jamie Wallis knows that meant waiting until now to reveal the desire to be trans. Jamie Wallis is missing a lot, and will never know what it means to be young trans and out. Will never share that history. I’m sorry Jamie Wallis was raped. Genuinely. I know too many people with similar experiences to be unsympathetic to anyone about that. But Jamie Wallis is a tory. Jamie Wallis is the problem. He does not speak for me, and never will. My gender identity was not something that was ever going to possibly be hidden, even if I wanted it to be. A tory, a thief, a liar and coincidentally trans. Jamie Wallace makes the word meaningless. Erasing the struggle of every trans person who had the strength to be themselves. In my opinion, the aspirant tran with power is a toxin. Doubly so when the power is right wing. Jamie Wallis already is trans, but the language Wallis uses for himself is of transgender as an aspiration. When what is meant is transition. Its a fallacy to talk about being transgender as something that doesn’t begin until you transition. There are endless unique experiences of being trans that happen before that. Its sad that Jamie Wallis can’t see it. It’s also tiresome looking ahead to the inevitable media coverage and instant status as “expert tran” that awaits Wallis. I fully expect Wallis’s views to be on the toxic side of the spectrum.

In July a court in France ordered Twitter to provide details of how it handles hate speech on it's site, to six French equalities groups. Twitter have now lodged an appeal against the ruling, effectively openly opposing the equalities groups who brought the case. We know that Twitter has thus far been terrible at dealing with hate speech, but the decision to appeal suggests something is wrong at a much deeper level. Twitter as a private for profit enterprise are effectively positioning themselves above the scrutiny of civic groups whose daily job is dealing with hate speech and extremists. We can only speculate why they have chosen to do this, among the possibilities the fact that for commercial reasons Twitter executives believe banning extremists is bad for business. In some ways this is always the end-game for companies when they are permitted to set their own equalities laws. Permitting extremism becomes an exercise in profit and loss economics.

Some further details at the following links;

https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20211002-twitter-appeals-french-court-order-to-detail-efforts-against-hate-speech

https://www.voanews.com/a/twitter-appeals-french-court-ruling-on-anti-hate-speech/6254462.html

Business Insider published an article about the plight of the gay community in Afghanistan.

The article mentions a Canadian charity called Rainbow Railroad, which helps LGBTQ+ people facing persecution to get to countries where they can apply for asylum.

From their website Rainbow Railroad describes how they work. They verify applicants, and support them to make asylum applications. They also provide people with emergency travel support to get to safety.

This seems like an extremely good idea, leaving the welfare of LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in the hands of government is never going to work out well. Look at the way the UK government has institutionalised transphobia for example.

Organizations like Rainbow Railroad are needed like never before, there are currently 80 million displaced people in the world, with an unknown number of LGBT people among them. The highest number since the chaos in Europe at the end of World War 2.

Last year around April a study from Italy, into cis men recieving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer, suggested for some reason they had significantly lower rates of Covid infection than healthy cis men. I wondered what, if anything, that meant for trans women.

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In the UK, transgender people engage with health services at a lower rate than the non transgender population. This includes lower levels of engagement with important health screening services such as breast, cervical and prostate cancer screening programs.

Why does this matter? In global terms LGBT people have significantly poorer determinants of health than the general population, and new research is revealing that the consequences of anti LGBT discrimination, including in relation to healthcare access, has a significant economic impact globally. Anti-LGBT discrimination is estimated to cost countries where it is an accepted cultural norm, in the region of 1% of their gdp annually. [1]

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Personal Subtitle; I Cannot Stress How Good and Significant This Book Is.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49656839

I think this book may actually be one of those rare ground breaking texts, and if you care remotely about global LGBT rights, this is worth reading. It is about so much more than economics. It’s about the psychological and social harm that LGBT inequality creates, on large and small scales.

As part of my course we’re studying public health, and the social determinants of health. That is the social, cultural and economic factors that influence people’s health choices and behaviours. This includes an examination of how our early life circumstances can shape our health as adults. With emphasis on the role of ACEs —Adverse Childhood Experiences, or early trauma, which can be everything from abuse and bullying, to the loss of a parent when we are children.

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Being trans for some people is a burden and there are times when I feel like that. I have the dubious luck to have experienced a type of religious conversion “therapy” when I was a teenager, aimed at curing me of being transsexual. It failed, but it did destroy my sense of self esteem and self confidence for the better part of two decades. The only thing it converted was turning me from a hopeful and optimistic young person into a depressed self destructive nihilist in the space of a few months.

During this time one of the men who talked me in to going along with it asked me; “If I had the cure for this, as a single injection…” as he mimed holding a syringe, “but it meant you would no longer be a transsexual, instead you would be fine being a male, would you take it?” My reply was instant and unequivocal. “No.” Despite the suffering and anxiety gender dysphoria had wreaked on my life, the fracture it created in my relationship with my parents, and wider family who were part of the same faith, I knew being transsexual was who I was. It was a fundamental part of me, and to lose that would be to lose myself. The same way sexuality is an important part of people’s sense of themselves.

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This is a content warning. I was going to call this Cutting Off Your Own Balls is Not Easy. Consider that a warning for dysphoria, transphobia, self harm, torture of trans people and medical themes.

Gender Dysphoria:

Being ‘mistaken’ for a girl used to happen quite often and people weren’t afraid to comment.

That flat in Glasgow. I used to live in Glasgow. One day I overheard one of the neighbours kids saying to their friends “my dad said it’s half man and half woman” as I walked by. About me. I felt so much shame I died a little bit. I wasn’t half of anything. Except I was.

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