Now then, just lately the issue of the status of Transgender people has been picked up on by the media. Not really to help boost their cause or transmit their deep and complicated issues, more for cheap political gain or to sell a few copies of dying tabloid newspapers. Which, sadly, is all too common these days.
The issues surrounding TG people really are deep and complicated, and very definitely warrant more than a passing interest. A passing interest is far more than the tabloid media are expressing just now. It really boils down to people in their teens committing suicide, or, being given the chance to lead a life which could actually be happy and fulfilling. That is a huge generalisation but is the case.
I have read research which puts forward that 40% of TG people attempt suicide at some point. This is a staggering figure to my mind.
So, the question is, do we want a society that helps or hinders that situation?
It is not that simple though. There are varying degrees to all this. The tabloid angle is basically one that is focused on political gain for those who wish to smear The Labour Party at any level they can, the example being TG people of the M to F variety being allowed onto "women only" lists. Not an easy thing to deal with.
My simplistic view being that once somebody is recognised in law as female, that is how they should be viewed. This could hinge upon whether or not the person has completed the Transition. Or, to put that another way, at what point does the M become an F? Completion of Transition does it for me.
This is not just about getting at a political party. Think of employment status or being able to be killed on a battle field. Just how many employers would regard having gone through the long and arduous transition phase as unimportant? and would rather focus entirely on the abilities to carry out the tasks? Such employers are out there, I should know, my TG partner is employed by one such and encounters no problems at all and is able to contribute fully to a very successful operation.
Just to support that point, I worked in the NHS for seven years, during that time there was a TG woman on reception, she was very popular with everybody and actually did a fine job- where is the problem?
Public perception is, as ever, the key to all of this. Seeing headlines in tabloids no longer has the effect on most people that it used to. Mainly because they have spent many decades pushing rubbish to generate sales. The public has been turning its back on such gutter comics in droves, long may that continue.
Most members of the public these days may well chuckle, or even smile when they spot a TG person in the street, BUT, there are still those who would like to cause harm, I often wonder if we will ever leave that behind. Point I would make here, it really does take an enormous effort to be out in public if you are TG, not many people understand the hell that can be for them.
Another point which has to be considered, the cost to the NHS. Everybody is keenly aware of the ridiculous financial constraints being enforced prior to full on sale of the whole thing. Is it really right that somebody needing a long course of treatment or minor operation should have their funding compromised by a person who wants to Transition? Back to my point at the top of this piece, would it be correct to run the risk of yet another teen ending their life to save cash?
I have even read lately of schools being asked to consider uniform policies. This, to me, is very definitely going too far. I refuse to accept that anyone at school is savvy enough to be able to take such a drastic decision, lines have to be drawn at some point.
This raises Two important legal facts (so far) At what point in law does an M become an F, and at what legal age can they be classed as able to take a decision regarding wanting to embark upon that massive path?
Who should take these decisions? are people in politics able to do this? are they experienced and "grounded" in the backgrounds? or, unqualified and outside of the circle? Seems to me that there is a very real need for a Minister for TG people to be appointed, someone who's task is to take on board the whole gamut of TG issues, be that M to to F or F to M. Talking of F to M, why do we never hear about any problems with them in political circles etc? I wonder how many F to M people are working away in their various positions, maybe having gone through male only lists etc to get there?
If we are going to have ridiculous terminology used by some, just lately it is women shouting about a "bloke in a dress" is now a woman etc, is fair to apply that narrow logic the other way?
These are probably the same groups of women who have cost Walk on Girls their livelihoods at the darts, or grid girls at the F1. I am not sure I see how that has helped those girls, none of whom I had ever hear complain about their lot. But, the noisy groups got their way, as usual.
So, how to fetch sense and progress to all of this. I saw Paris Lees on BBC QT this week. I do not usually watch the BBC for obvious reasons, but saw PL speak on the programme. Clearly TG people need a voice in high places, Paris did enough to convince me she would be ideal for the job. There are others out there who could be of enormous use, we are working our way through the 21st century, it is time this happened.