United Kingdom

Here's a shocker

When I posted about the report of the UK parliament's Committee on Women and Equality from the parliamentary inquiry into discrimination against transgender people in education, health and criminal justice ten days ago, backlash had yet to coalesce. It stood to reason there would be some, but it was not known for certain from whence it would come.

Maria Miller, chair of the committee, probably expected attacks from right-wingers in her Conservative party. But Miller says they have remained largely silent.

[T]he former Culture secretary said she was taken aback by the “extraordinary” hostility from a minority of women “purporting to be feminists.”

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Addressing transgender rights in the UK

The UK parliament's Committee on Women and Equality has released the first report from its parliamentary inquiry into discrimination against transgender people in education, health and criminal justice.

The inquiry was tasked with assessing levels of transphobia, access to NHS services and issues faced by transgender youth.

The NHS was found to be particularly lacking.

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Leaving the US in the dust

Lest you be an ardent believer in American Exceptionalism one should take note that some countries are leaving the US in the dust when it comes to human rights advances.

Bolivian Justice Minister Virginia Velasco Condori on Wednesday announced new policy which will allow transgender people to register legal documents using their new identities.

The policy is not perfect.

People who want to alter their name and sex on official identity documents must apply to the Ministry of Justice where a "psychological examination will be held to approve the process.

--Velasquez Condori

But it is light years ahead of the US, which has no federal policy on transgender people whatsoever.

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Tara Hudson transferred to women's prison

 photo taramove-615904_zps8cilj1gy.jpgIt is not unusual to discover that transgender people self-medicate as we attempt to survive our dysphoria. Sometimes that continues to be a problem after we transition.It is not unusual to discover that transgender people self-medicate as we attempt to survive our dysphoria. Sometimes that continues to be a problem after we transition.

On a personal level, I will admit that I spent my entire transition stoned on marijuana 24/7.

Self-medicating can, of course, lead to encounters with the legal system. That appears to have generated a bunch of Tara's past history...which ended up biting her in the ass.

Tara is a make-up artist by trade. Last Boxing Day she imbibed too much, to the point that she was cut off by a bar manager. An argument ensued, during which Tara headbutted bar manager Christopher Dyer and was arrested. She admitted to the crime in Bristol Crown Court.

Despite the fact that she has lived her entire adult life as a woman and has had six years of sex-reassignment surgery, she was sentenced to serve twelve weeks in a prison for men because her passport still lists her as male.

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Marking the Day

 photo hannaharmy_zps70mdnsju.jpgIt's National Coming Out Day...not just here but also in the UK.

In order to mark the day there Captain Hannah Winterbourne, Britain's most senior transgender army officer has spoken out, primarily speaking about the importance, at least in her life, of participation in sports.

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Hellraisers Journal: The Women Stand Silent at the Mouth of the Mine, 220 Missing Believed Dead

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Saturday October 24, 1903
From The Labor World: "Where Union Labor Is The Strongest."

In its latest edition this Duluth, Minnesota, labor newspaper discusses recently released statistics on world-wide labor organizations:

Washington, Oct. 22.-According to the latest statistics of labor organizations it appears that considerably over half of the working men in the world who belong to unions are found in the United States, the British Isles, and the self-governing colonies of great Britain, including Canada. There are about 2,500,000 members of unions in this country and Canada. In the United Kingdom there are, in round numbers, 2,000,000 more. The 4,500,000 union workmen in those countries much out number the strength of labor unions in the rest of the world.

...Continental Europe, all told, has not more than 900,000 members of trades unions or other labor organizations.

In three of the great divisions of the globe-Asia, Africa, and South America-such bodies are practically non-existent...

It is still a noteworthy fact, however, that even in this enlightened country the union organizations comprise but a comparatively small minority of the workers-according to some authorities less than twenty per cent. The rapidity with which further growth is to be attained will probably depend largely upon the degrees of wisdom and reasonable forbearance exercised by the men who are now looked up to as labor leaders.

We would like to suggest to these labor leaders that, in the interest of Wisdom and Reasonable Forbearance and on behalf of Labor Unity, they consider: organizing the mass industries on an industrial basis which includes the unskilled workers, stopping discrimination across the color line, putting an end to their shameful anti-Asian practices, and ending their campaign against the Socialist who figure so prominently in the Labor Movement.

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Gender Prison: On Monstering

I have hesitated to write about the Lucy Meadows case in the UK. Part of that hesitation has been because many of the reports of her "unsuspicious death" on March 20 labeled it as a suicide before it had been declared to be so. It has now become apparent, with the convening of an inquest and its subsequent adjournment, that may not happen.

My own relationship with the press upon transitioning…as a teacher…in Arkansas in 1992 contributes to that hesitation.

I have written about it. I am not sure if I ever shared the entire event.

Here's a snip:

"Hello. I'm [name forgotten] and I am a reporter for the Log Cabin Democrat [the small local daily] and I wondered if I could ask you some questions?"

"To what purpose?" I asked.

"Well, we received a copy of the letter you sent to your colleagues and we are planning an article about you."

After a long silence, as I contemplated which one of my "colleagues" had exhibited his collegiality in such a nice way, I replied, "And what is it you want from me?"

"I would like to interview you for the article."

This was another one of those occasions when one has to make a decision that can have momentous consequences...and one gets about a minute or less to think about it. I agreed to be interviewed by the woman on Thursday morning. I figured that at least this way I might have some input into the article.

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Trans News Dump

Every so often I find there is a series of stories which just aren't likely to get their own diary…even though they very well may deserve one. Time is a limited quantity after all and it's about to become a much more limited quantity quickly, what with the new semester about to run us over. Syllabi are due next Thursday and classes start the following week.

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