What The Fuck Is Going On Here?

“The substance of this bill doesn’t address a group, issue or belief system,” he added. “Rather, it allows counselors – just as we allow other professionals like doctors and lawyers – to refer a client to another counselor when the goals or behaviors would violate a sincerely held principle.”

Tennessee governor Bill Haslam has just said this. If this isn’t discrimination, I don’t know what is. Counselors, doctors and lawyers are supposed to provide aid, support and advice to the best of their ability regardless of their client’s gender, sexuality, dependency, crime or whatever, regardless of the “sincerely held principles”. If they can’t do this then they shouldn’t be in that position in the first place.

Otherwise this becomes a Janus Principle. And if you have to ask…………..

Trans Women Are Destroying Reality….

Oh, I do so like a clickbait title, don’t you? It’s like catnip for the masses. So, seeing as you are here, you may as well keep reading. I chose that title because it seems that, lately, we trans women seem to be walking around with a Target on our backs, (notice what I did there), and it seems that the worst of it is in the so-called “civilized” United States, (note the American spelling there). Well, it makes me angry. Very, very angry. Why, you may ask. Well, the “bathroom bills” for starters. Why are these even a thing? In the whole history of everything there has never been a recorded incident of a trans woman assaulting another woman or child in a loo (or bathroom, for my US readers). For a trans woman, a public toilet can be a very frightening place to be. We just want to go to the toilet, check our makeup and then leave. Its as simple as that. Not long after I transitioned, I had to use the loo in a motorway service station on the M40. I went in to the cubicle and, while I was there, a group of women from a coach party came in. I stayed in the cubicle until they left. The reason being, I was worried that I would be verbally and physically abused for being trans. This, I suspect, is a feeling that many trans women feel in public conveniences. There is a certain feeling of vulnerability when using such facilities and that vulnerability is felt more keenly when one is trans.

Following on from that, another item on this long list, is the notion that people have that being trans is a “lifestyle choice”. I’m going to be gentle here and say NO, IT IS NOT! I could have used a larger font but I did say I would be gentle. A trans woman or a trans man has no choice. None whatsoever. Its who we are, what we were born as, what we grew up as. Some may realise later in life, some earlier, (the mind is a very complex thing) but, always, it’s knowledge. It’s not a “feeling” or an emotion. It’s not a choice or a result of upbringing. I was four years old when I knew something was wrong. What my mind was telling me was incompatible with how my body looked. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the language or the knowledge to express how I felt at the time. I just knew. I had a fairly vanilla upbringing. One brother, loving parents and a good life. It wasn’t until I was about twelve that I came across the word “transsexual” in The Sun newspaper. It, erroneously, explained what a transsexual was (after all it was the late 70’s) and it led me to investigate further. Eventually I met up with Jan Morris, via her book “Conundrum”, and all became clear, almost. It took a further year of reading to confirm what I already knew and then a further 35 or so years of self destruction and suicide attempts to finally transition. So, to all of you who think that being trans is a lifestyle choice I say again: NO IT IS NOT! Please try and understand this. There is no choice.

One more thing: If you do happen to meet a trans woman, or a trans man for that matter, please treat us as we present. It takes nothing out of your day, and it means that we will respect you too and, maybe, you will make a friend. The world could do with more friends.

My Faith In Faith Has Been Destroyed….

Faith. A word. Such a small word, but such a huge meaning. It can mean complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Total trust. It can also mean strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. Again, total trust.

One thing faith doesn’t have: The burden of proof. But it can adapt.

I have faith in my parents. I have faith that they will always help me. They will always be there, in body or in spirit. I have faith in my family, whether or not they support me. I have faith that, if I ever find myself in real trouble, they will be there for me.

What I don’t have is faith in my government. Once upon a time I did. Once, I had faith in the government. I worked for them, keeping their secrets, working out why things went wrong and fixing them, helping design new systems to help protect the public, and so it went. Then I left government employ and worked in the private sector, doing pretty much the same thing. For nearly thirty years I had faith in our government, through the Maggie years, Major, Blair, et al.

Then I transitioned. Then, everything went to hell and exploded.

Only then did I find out how badly the NHS has been underfunded. Only then did I find out how badly the government treats it’s sick and injured. I’d seen news reports, read the papers but still hadn’t believed it. How army veterans are left to die. How patients are left in corridors on beds because wards have been closed. How elderly patients die because there are not enough nurses to look after them. Not in the name of money but, in the name of performance. Numbers. Percentages. Figures. These measurements should ever only be used in industry, not health. Never.

And it’s still going on….

When did leaving patients to die in a hallway mean that ward deaths being lower were a good thing?

When did sending unfit patients home mean that curative rates were higher?

When did halving the number of GP’s reduce patient numbers?

I live in an area where the influx of people means that GP surgeries that were designed to cope with 60,000+ people now have to deal with over 100,000 plus people. We used to have a hospital that could have coped with that number of people, as it was a Military hospital with a massive and brilliant A&E unit, but that was shut down and now the nearest A&E is six miles away. A heart attack can kill a person in 60 seconds. From Aldershot, our nearest A&E is 6 minutes away, on a clear road.

I never noticed any of this (except the closure of the hospital, which I opposed), until my transition, until I needed to use our local NHS services.

It was then I lost faith in our government.

In the US, the idea is “government for the people, by the people”. It doesn’t seem to work there either. Here, it seems to be “government for the people, by the people with the most money and the best connections”.

It seems to me, the doctors don’t matter, the nurses don’t matter, the patients don’t matter. The only thing that matters is the bottom line. The money.

If that is the case, then the government and me are going to have a serious problem, and I suspect I am not alone.

I have absolute faith in the doctors, nurses and other workers in the NHS. They shoulder the burden of proof and display it and I have trust in them. Absolute trust. I just don’t have faith in anyone else.