Reading the transcript of the Womans’s Hour programme broadcast on BBC Radio on the 9th of March I couldn’t help but be reminded of Rowan Atkinson’s TV advert for Barclaycard.
Broadcast many years ago, when I had time to watch telly, and paying the licence fee didn’t mean supporting a racist political party, it consisted of Atkinson trying to buy a carpet in an Arab country. His character was under the impression that he spoke the same North African language as the merchant. In fact it turned out that Rowan Atkinson’s character had to admit that he and the merchant were “both fluent, but sadly, in different languages”.
This is what struck me about the Woman’s Hour attempt to set up a fight between a trans person who knows about trans children, and a Radical Feminist; they both spoke fluently but in distinctly different languages. Michelle Bridgeman expertly put the case for trans children to be given access to proper healthcare very well and Finn McKay argued that gender should not be policed in the way it is...
Read the full post here: Rowan Atkinson makes more sense than Woman's Hour.
Monday, 13 April 2015
Thursday, 29 January 2015
The hashtag #BellLetsTalk has been circulating on Twitter over the last two days or so, ostensibly raising funds for mental health research, treatment and destigmatisation in Canada. This morning it was brought to my attention that a large chunk of the funds raised ($10m in 2011) goes to something very sinister indeed:
H/t: @sailor_jerry and @pansgrrl
You know those reparative therapy "experts" who influenced the homophobic death penalty legislation in Uganda? For sex and gender minorities, that movement is not led by religious zealots, but by a handful of Toronto psychologists like Kenneth Zucker who still get taken seriously in their field.Read more: Toronto: global epicenter for oppression of sex and gender minorities - Boing Boing
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) decided that gay people were no longer mentally ill, but that changed nothing for trans and gender-variant people...
H/t: @sailor_jerry and @pansgrrl
Saturday, 3 January 2015
Leelah Alcorn threw herself under a truck. Her parents deleted her Tumblr blog within days and are burying her as a boy. She was 17.
In the Press:
And many, many more...
SUICIDE NOTESaved for posterity on the Wayback Machine: satan's wifey
If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue.
Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and I’ve felt that way ever since I was 4. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a boy to become a girl, so I never told anyone and I just continued to do traditionally “boyish” things to try to fit in.
When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.
My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.
When I was 16 I realized that my parents would never come around, and that I would have to wait until I was 18 to start any sort of transitioning treatment, which absolutely broke my heart. The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition. I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life. On my 16th birthday, when I didn’t receive consent from my parents to start transitioning, I cried myself to sleep.
I formed a sort of a “fuck you” attitude towards my parents and came out as gay at school, thinking that maybe if I eased into coming out as trans it would be less of a shock. Although the reaction from my friends was positive, my parents were pissed. They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight christian boy, and that’s obviously not what I wanted.
So they took me out of public school, took away my laptop and phone, and forbid me of getting on any sort of social media, completely isolating me from my friends. This was probably the part of my life when I was the most depressed, and I’m surprised I didn’t kill myself. I was completely alone for 5 months. No friends, no support, no love. Just my parent’s disappointment and the cruelty of loneliness.
At the end of the school year, my parents finally came around and gave me my phone and let me back on social media. I was excited, I finally had my friends back. They were extremely excited to see me and talk to me, but only at first. Eventually they realized they didn’t actually give a shit about me, and I felt even lonelier than I did before. The only friends I thought I had only liked me because they saw me five times a week.
After a summer of having almost no friends plus the weight of having to think about college, save money for moving out, keep my grades up, go to church each week and feel like shit because everyone there is against everything I live for, I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say “it gets better” but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.
That’s the gist of it, that’s why I feel like killing myself. Sorry if that’s not a good enough reason for you, it’s good enough for me. As for my will, I want 100% of the things that I legally own to be sold and the money (plus my money in the bank) to be given to trans civil rights movements and support groups, I don’t give a shit which one. The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.
(Leelah) Josh Alcorn
In the Press:
- Leelah Alcorn: Devout Christian mother of transgender teen says 'we don't support that, religiously' as she continues to refer to her 'son': The Independent
- Transgender teen Leelah Alcorn: ‘My death needs to mean something’: The Boston Globe
- Leelah Alcorn's mom speaks: "I loved my son" (updated again) (groupthink.jezebel.com)
- Leelah Alcorn's Blog Has Been Deleted (joemygod.blogspot.com)
- Over 50,000 sign petition to have Leelah Alcorn's correct name on tombstone (pinknews.co.uk)
- Transgender Teen Leelah Alcorn's Death Inspires Hashtag (7online.com)
And many, many more...