CeCe McDonald is free. Finally, Cece McDonald is free.
If you haven’t heard of CeCe, here’s the deal: She’s been in prison since 2011 for killing a man in self-defence. And not the kind of self-defence where you think someone’s looking at you funny or walking around the place carrying suspicious Skittles so you shoot them point-blank and get away scot-free. This is the other kind of self-defence, where you’re walking down the street and a group of people attack you because they don’t like people of your race and gender walking down the street. Where when you attempt to walk away they smash bottles against your face, leaving you permanently scarred and with a severed saliva gland. And when you defend yourself with a scissors from your bag, you kill your attacker. Where, when the case goes to court, neither your attacker’s three previous convictions for violent assault nor his swastika tattoo are considered admissible evidence of his violent, racist disposition, but a motion to impeach your evidence because you once wrote a bad check is admitted.
That’s the kind of self defence where, if you’re a black trans woman, you are sentenced to 41 months in a men’s prison and, as a bonus, are forced to pay for your attacker’s funeral.
I’ve been thinking about womanhood. How my cis white womanhood protects me, while CeCe’s black trans womanhood made her a target.
My cis white womanhood grants me invisibility and the presumption of a kind of vulnerability deserving of protection. If I had been in that courtroom, there would have been no question that I acted in self-defence. A white, cis woman with a scissors in her bag? Sure, don’t women carry everything around with them? Insert handbags joke here, before carrying on. But black trans womanhood gets no such leeway, instead pointed out at every moment as other, as deviant, as a wild card and a threat.
If I had been in that courtroom, there would have been no question but that I acted in self defence. But with my cis white womanhood, I would never have been in that courtroom. I would never have been in that courtroom to defend my defence of my own life because with my cis white womanhood me and my friends would have walked past that bar and arrived home entirely, or at least relatively, unmolested. We might have rolled our eyes about the loudmouth asshats in the bar we passed, and then someone would have passed me a beer and we would’ve forgotten all about it. White cis women are no strangers to violence, but there are kinds of violence, kinds of punishment for existing, that cisness and whiteness protect us from.
Because womanhood when mitigated by whiteness and cisness translates into our world as small, unthreatening, mostly harmless, and a person who (publicly) attacked me would be seen as a monster. White cis women’s anger is called whininess, nagginess, bitchiness because it is seen as an annoyance, not a threat. But womanhood, when compounded by transness and blackness translates into our world as perverse, deviant, a simultaneous weakness and threat to everything heteronormativity holds dear. A person who attacks a black trans woman- provoked or not- is not seen as a monster. They are seen as defending themselves from monsters.
Every part of CeCe’s experience- from her initial unprovoked attack, to her unjust trial, to the further humiliation of being incarcerated in a men’s prison- played out the way it did because of this culture-wide dehumanisation and monstering of black trans women. She was punished, punished again, and punished a third time for this crime. And make no mistake- it was all of these things, the combination of these things, the way that each one twists our perception of the others to push a person further and further into something other, that led to her punishments.
CeCe McDonald spent two and a half years in jail for having the unmitigated gall to defend herself from an unprovoked attack. CeCe McDonald spent two and a half years in jail for surviving. CeCe McDonald is free.
This is a guest post by Jen O’Leary- although, as you can see below, it’s cosigned by me and several others. Jen had been planning to host David Rovics for an upcoming gig in Dublin this month. Here is her explanation for why she no longer feels able to do so.
If you’d like to cosign, let me know in the comments or via my Twitter or Facebook and I’ll add your name. And I strongly encourage people to share this one- I feel it’s important that a strong message be sent to Rovics about showing respect for trans people’s identities and dignity. On to Jen:
Why I won’t be hosting David Rovics.
On the 17th December, David Rovics’ Facebook pages posted an automated status marking Chelsea Manning’s birthday. However, the post referred to Chelsea Manning by her old name which she has explicitly asked not to be referred by. Not only did David Rovics refuse to edit his scheduled post to reflect Chelsea’s stated wishes, but he proceeded to insist that the text of the post was a “statement of fact” and published the following comment: “Was Chelsea Manning born that day? No”.
David says he does not see how his words are disrespecting to Chelsea’s wishes. However, by insisting he’s right, he is disrespecting not only Chelsea, but by extension, the wider Transgender Community.
David Rovics says that Chelsea Manning is his hero, yet he refuses to amend his words which have the potential to hurt her by validating the treatment which she is currently being subjected to by the state. Before the court-martial even began, Chelsea Manning was imprisoned for three years and for over nine months of that period, she was subjected to inhumane conditions, including solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, and stripping naked in front of prison guards.
Chelsea Manning has also been refused hormone therapy and surgery related to transition. She was sentenced to 35 years in an all-male prison, in violation of her rights as a trans woman. She is facing years of imprisonment in an environment that is hostile and dangerous to queer people. Transgender people in prisons face difficult struggles and are often forced to do time in solitary under the guise of being “for their own safety”, or get housed in protective custody which means restricted socialisation, meal times, and recreational times. David Rovics is at best ignoring the associated risks to Chelsea, and at worst reinforcing them.
Our main goal, as activists, has to be to get Chelsea Manning out of prison, but we also need to fight for her rights while she is in prison. If Chelsea Manning’s own allies continue to misgender her, this makes the fight to convince the state of her rights much harder.
For this reason, I no longer intend to host David Rovics for his Dublin gig on the 16th January. We have a responsibility to Chelsea Manning and to the trans community to support them in all aspects of their lives and we call on David to apologise and act as a strong advocate for Chelsea and trans people everywhere.
Please contact David Rovics either by email, or through his Twitter or Facebook pages, to ask him to edit his post and issue an apology.
Aoife FitzGibbon O’Riordan
Michelle Hamilton (Glasgow)
Bas Ó Curraoin
Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night.
..Because a girl was roofied last semester at a local campus bar, and I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?
..Because out of 7 billion people on the planet, more than 1 billion women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. Women and girls have their clitorises cut out, acid thrown on them and broken bottles shoved up them as an act of war. Every second of every day. Every corner of the Earth.
And also, yeah, nobody burns their bras. Not on purpose, anyhow.
If you’re not reading Jack Monroe, you should be. I came for the cheap&tasty recipes, and stayed for the social commentary. And the recipes.
There’s a queer sort of juxtaposition that comes with Being Ms Jack Monroe at the moment.
I spent this afternoon emailing Councillors and other people regarding the recent decision to suspend my Housing Benefit claim based on the (incorrect) assumption that I am sitting on a £25k cheque from my publisher (I’m not) and am sitting on a pile of cheques from newspaper interview and TV appearances (I’m not).
But I was doing that, on the 1414 train from Southend Central to Fenchurch Street, as I’d just been invited to a fundraising dinner by a friend with a spare ticket, via the Soho Food Feast in Soho Square.
But it’s a queer kind of juxtaposition, when you have a beautiful dress to wear to dinner tonight, but on quick inspection of the shoe collection, decide that the soft chiffon dipped hem just won’t go with the shoes you were issued in the Fire Service, your brogues, or your one pair of trainers, so you hang it back in the wardrobe and decide you can’t justify buying a pair of shoes. Not even in the sale at Primark.
Orla Tinsley (who is excellent, by the way, and you should go follow her on Twitter immediately) has managed to do the impossible: write an article about trans* issues in a major national publication that isn’t going to get you a line, never mind a full house, on a trans* discussion bingo card.
Nineteen-year-old student Tyron (he wants to be identified only by his first name) says it is easier to be young and transgender today but the lack of legislation does enable discrimination. “It’s easier than it was and it’s becoming a more known term,” says theNUI Maynooth student, who is currently looking for a job to pay his way through college.
“In interviews I only bring up my gender identity if they want to contact a previous employer,” he says. “Of the last three job interviews, only one was willing to hire a transgender person. The other two said it was not suitable for their working environment.”
It is also extremely important that you click that link in order to admire the extremely stylish tie which Ben borrowed off me for the photo. Yeah, I know, it’s a serious topic. But that’s my tie in the Irish Times!
Aileen Donegan- another person with an excellent blog and twitter to follow- in TheJournal. Bet you guess the answer before you click. This, by the way, is a brilliant example of why we need to Shut Up And Listen when we’re privileged. Because otherwise we just don’t see whats going on.
As recently as April I asked a friend ‘Is racism big in Ireland?’ We were attending the same training course on hate speech. I guess my innocent question caught him off guard: ’Yes Aileen, racism is a hugeproblem in Ireland,’ he said with a tone of awe and surprise that offended me. Though Ireland, my home, has never seemed intolerant to me, the last week in news has given me some much-needed insight into Irish attitudes.
…The ECRI quote a disturbing statistic from the All-Ireland Traveller Health Study, which states that 7.6 per cent of Traveller families have no access to running water. Resistance from local residents, and the “lack of political will” of local authorities are cited as reasons why Traveller accommodation is difficult to attain in Irish society. This is hardly surprising. Remember when local residents set fire to a house that Travellers were set to live in?
Didja hear the one about the guy who had the police called on him for the crime of trying to get into a nightclub while disabled?
Actor Robert Softley Gale, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, attempted to enter the Polo Lounge in Glasgow with his husband Nathan Gale after attending the Scottish Charity Awards with the Equality Network.
They claim that the bouncers informed them that they could not enter because the nightclub didn’t have disabled facilities.
Despite the couple explaining that they wanted to enter the popular gay nightclub anyway, they say staff continued to refuse to allow them to enter.
“The manager came and said that they didn’t have disabled facilities so they weren’t letting us in,” Nathan told TFN. “We said, you can’t not let us in just because we’re disabled, that’s a violation of the Equality Act, but he still wouldn’t let us in.”
Charming. Oh, and Robert Softley Gale is yet anotherperson to follow on Twitter. You guys, it’s all about the Twitter today. And speaking of disability and ableism, have something from Captain Awkward:
I’m woman in my late 30s who uses a power wheelchair due to a medical condition that causes severe physical fatigue.
Often, strangers – retail staff, waitstaff, members of the general public – assume that because I use a power wheelchair, I have an intellectual disability. I don’t. I have a university degree and I read widely.
How should I respond to people:
– talking loudly to me;
– talking to me in a sing-song voice;
– being condescending/patronizing;
– calling me love/sweetie;
– telling me that I remind them of their 12 year old daughter with Down syndrome;
– praising me for putting rubbish in a rubbish bin as though I’ve won a gold medal at the Olympics;
– telling me that you eat cupcakes?
Smart Crip Girl
You know that you want to hear what the Captain has to say.
Speaking of intolerance, Tara Flynn’s husband got an unpleasant reminder that Ireland isn’t above blatant racism lately. Here’s what happened then:
On a recent trip home, I got a reminder that Ireland Of The Welcomes can be conditional. By now very familiar with Kinsale, my husband offered to take the dog out for his last walk of the night. I sat chatting with my mum. 20 minutes later, my husband returned. He looked angry. “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been called those names in a while.” A group of young people standing outside a bar in the centre of town had shouted racist epithets at him. Some of those epithets have made it into my clip but we’ve decided to cover them with sound effects. They’re just too vile. They are shocking in the abstract and absolutely horrifying when applied to someone I love. In my hometown. In 2013.
My husband is a tolerant person. He just stared the namecallers down and they – like most cowards – shut up when faced with this silent challenge. He tried to laugh it off in the re-telling, saying it wasn’t his first time and that he’d heard worse. But that’s not the point. I was mortified. Stunned. Fuming.
So I wrote a sketch about it.
One more thing
That’s all the links I’ve got for ya, but one more little thinglet before I go. Nominations have just opened for 2013’s Irish Blog Awards! Now, I’m not saying that you should immediately go and nominate me- I’m far too Irish for that sort of carry-on. Although I’ll admit that I do like getting the chance to dress up fancy and eat free canapes and photobomb legit fancy people. But shure have a think about who your favourite Irish bloggers are- I’m lookin’ at you, Geoff’s Shorts– and give a nomination to the people who deserve a bit of recognition. Remember: attention is to bloggers what money is to everyone else.
Transphobic harassment and violence is endemic in Ireland. People are harassed and abused at home, in public, at work, in school and college. But it’s also largely invisible and unreported, and problems that you can’t see are notoriously hard to deal with.
The Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) are doing something about that. Their latest campaign is STAD: Stop Transphobia and Discrimination. STAD’s purpose is to map transphobic hate crime in Ireland. They want to know what is happening, to who, and where.
If you have experienced abuse because of your perceived gender identity or expression, or if you have witnessed someone being abused, let TENI know. It doesn’t matter if the incident was major or (seemingly) minor. Microaggressions matter too, people. TENI need to know about it all, because this is the information that they- and we– can use to create strategies and plans for ending our society’s shameful abuse and brutalisation of its transgender members.
I’m sick and tired of stories of violence. I’m sick and tired of people I love- and people I think are okay, and people I honestly couldn’t stand, and people I’ve never met and never will- being brutalised and shamed and belittled and laughed at and pointed out and ostracised and hurt and killed and driven to mental illness and suicide and pain, because of their gender and how they express it. It’s gone on too damn long. It’s been too damn accepted. It’s got to stop.
So get off your ass, bookmark STAD and every single time you experience or see transphobic violence? Report it.
I’m not American. I don’t tend to throw around words like ‘heroes’ when I speak about the people I admire- it’s a word that seems clunky and ill-fitting to me.
If I did, though, Kate Bornstein would be one of them. Not just for her writing and her work- although those are immensely valuable and important. For who she is. For the genuine interest she takes in the people around her. For her warmth, her openness, and the love and community she embodies. While we don’t agree on absolutely everything- on the other hand, who the hell agrees with someone on everything?- she is one of the most genuinely engaging people I have ever been fortunate enough to meet. I’m immensely privileged to call her a friend.
Kate needs your help.
She’s suffering from lung cancer. It’s treatable. Getting through the treatment and compensating for the money she won’t be earning is going to cost her about $100,000.
Nobody should ever have to look for money for medical treatment. Medicine is a right, damnit. The fact that someone I care about who has given so goddamn much to our community has to ask for help in accessing the life-saving treatment she needs and keeping a roof over her head when she does it? It is wrong. This shouldn’t be happening. Everyone, whether famous or unknown, rich or poor, admirable or asshole, should be able to get the treatment and support they need without question.
Many of us feel lucky to have the loved ones that we do. We meet people who are sweet and kind and who we ‘click’ with, who bring joy into our lives and we appreciate the hell out of them. We find people whose differences and commonalities mesh with ours, with strengths and weaknesses that complement ours, and we cherish absolutely what they bring to our lives. We gather our Team Us. We love each other, we help each other out, we have fun together and support each other when things get rough. And whether things are good or bad, we know that we’re immensely lucky to share our lives with those we love.
I guess that a lot of us feel like we’re luckier than most in that respect- after all, we’re one of a tiny proportion of people in the world who get to live our lives with the people that we love.
Today, though, I do feel luckier than most. I wish that it didn’t have to be that way. Today is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, you see, when we take time to mourn and recognise all of the trans* people who should be here with us today, but who have been killed by transphobia in the past year. Everyone who was murdered because of how their gender was perceived. Everyone who was driven to suicide by this transphobic, ciscentric society that we live in. Every year we do this, and every year I want to hold the trans* people who I love just that little bit closer. Because we’ve all survived another year. Because those who I love have been spared.
Isn’t that selfish? I guess that we’re all a little bit selfish. We all love who we love, and though we care for those outside that little group, it’s the loss of our family, friends and lovers that tears at our guts and rips our lives apart. So every year on November 20th I feel a little bit lucky. The people I love are still here.
It’s a cruel kind of luck, and one that nobody should have to feel.
Like most of us, I’ve said goodbye to people I love over the years. They’ve died in different circumstances. Some after long years of illness. Some after short months or weeks. Some expected, some unexpected. Some peacefully, some in pain. The loss of every single one of them tore- and tears- my heart apart. But there’s one thing that is common to every one of them that I will always take comfort from. Every one of them died knowing that they were dearly loved. Everything that we could do to ease their suffering was done. They didn’t want for a hand to hold. They were cherished as they died.
Nobody can tell how each of us will end our lives. But that one simple thing- that in our last moments we know that we are loved and cherished, and that if there is any way to ease our suffering it will be done- is something that we can hope for everyone we care for. It’s the one thing that we can do.
Too many of our trans* community are denied that.
So every year on November 20th we gather and we take time to remember the trans* people who didn’t make it this far. Whose last moments were hatred, violence, contempt. Whose deaths were nothing but sport for those for whom their lives meant less than nothing. The latest victims in our wars of privilege and oppression. The overwhelming numbers of, in particular, poor trans* women of colour, caught in the crossfire of too many intersections of hate. We gather together in the cold. Send short-lived, brightly burning lights into the darkness.
With tomorrow’s International Day of Action for Trans* Depathologisation, there’s a lot of talk going around about why and how we need to recognise trans* people’s legal rights. And I’m struck by how much of a big deal is being made over what is, in essence, the simplest thing.
What do we want?
It’s been five years today since Lydia Foy won her case for gender recognition. Five long years. In those five years, we’ve seen the publication of the GRAG report and, uh, very little else. By the sounds of it, gender recognition must be a complicated thing, right? Requiring all sorts of intricate legislative bits and bobs (the technical term) to sort out?
That depends. As with so many things, what it depends on is perspective. It turns out, the complexity of gender recognition legislation seems to depend mainly on whether you see being trans* as a tragic medical condition, or a normal part of human variation that should be recognised. On whether you’re determined to Other trans* people or to acknowledge that gender is a thing that lives between our ears that we get to define any which way we like. Turns out that if we go with the second definition, things get simple really, really quickly.
Medical Tragedies or Self-Definitions
So what is being trans*? Is it a bizarre medical tragedy, an affliction that a small minority of people have to live with? Something a little bit scary that some people ust can’t help but that we should absolutely not be encouraging? Or is it a perfectly normal, if a bit less common than being cis, way to define yourself? And how does the answer to that question change what laws we put in place?
The FF/Green Government formed the Gender Recognition Advisory Group in May 2010 to look at the issues which presented themselves following the Foy case. The group was entirely composed of Civil Servants and even though they received submissions and met with many groups from the rights and LGBT communities it is very evident that they really didn’t get it if an unnamed expert hadn’t told them.
Why was there no Trans rep on committee to at least provide an alternate view if even dissenting one? When the Government formed a group to look at the options for recognition of same sex relationships GLEN got a seat at the table….
The report recommends that Trans People applying for their gender to be recognised will have to have a formal diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder with evidence of medical treatments or will have to have had Gender Reassignment Surgery. This means that one has to have had hormones and mental health treatment and assessment or gender surgery (and hormones and mental health assessment/treatment and everything else)… There is no understanding of the issues facing InterSex here at all..
…The report proposes that there is a panel which people will have to appear before made up of medical and legal representatives and one other where the applicant will will be told if they are a man or woman in the eyes of the state.
I know Trans people who are married and happily so, I know others who are divorced or separated. The report recommends that those applying for Gender Recognition be required to divorce or end their Civil Partnership before they can apply.
Let’s go over that again. In order to change their legal gender, a person would have to:
Present a formal diagnosis of GID (defined as a mental illness)
Have had medical treatments and/or surgical intervention
Appear before a panel of medical and legal representatives to make their case
If married, divorce.
Oh, and also, because of the definition of GID, you can’t be intersex.
That’s a lot of barriers. You have to be diagnosed as mentally ill. You have to chemically or surgically change your body- which means that gender recognition would be denied to those who, for financial or medical reasons, can’t do this. Never mind bodily integrity. You have to convince a panel of strangers. And if you are happily married, you need to split up your family. And, most bizarrely of all, you need to have a binary-sexed body.
I could go into why this is ridiculous, but I’m going to trust that my lovely readers can work that out for yourselves. Instead, I want to show you a different model that is in place right now in Argentina. Let’s check out what TENI have to say about it:
The Argentinian Law is based on self-determination and provides full recognition of self-defined gender identity. Transgender people in Argentina will not need to prove they have had surgical procedures, hormonal therapy or other psychological treatment such as a diagnosis of a mental illness. This law clearly separates a legal right from medical interventions.
This law has been heralded as the most progressive in the world and signals a new era for transgender human rights. Justus Eisfeld, Co-director of Global Action for Trans Equality told press, “The fact that there are no medical requirements at all — no surgery, no hormone treatment and no diagnosis — is a real game changer and completely unique in the world. It is light years ahead of the vast majority of countries.”
However, while clearly separating medical interventions from the legal recognition process, the Argentinian law also provides a right to access any desired medical treatment which firmly enshrines the importance of transgender healthcare.
Huh. Well. Um. That was easy. So in order to get your gender legally recognised in Argentina you have to:
Fill out a form. Probably take it in to be stamped by someone because this is a bureaucracy we’re talking about. I’ll bet there’s some queueing involved, so you might want to bring a book.
Receive new documentation with correct gender.
Continue to be able to freely access whatever medical transition you need to. THIS BIT IS IMPORTANT. Gender diversity is awesome. Gender dysphoria is really, really not, and depathologisation without ensuring access to treatment for dysphoria for everyone who needs it is worse than useless.
Have a cup of tea, read the paper, give out about things on the internet, watch TV, go for a run, get on with your life, etcetc.
That last bit, by the way, is optional and can be adapted to your own preferences. As is the first bit. You might prefer a few podcasts to a book.
Note, by the way, how this involves vastly less hassle for everyone than the proposed Irish model. And how it also guarantees any trans* person the right to the transition-related healthcare that they want or need. So what, precisely, is getting in the way of Ireland doing the same? What are we so scared of? What’s the worst that could happen?
If we make it easy to change your gender, everyone will want to do it!
Fearmongers envisage a society where you, me, your ma and your entire secondary school history class are changing our genders like we change our shoes. In my case, that would be as rarely as possible, when the old ones are worn out and full of holes, with an awful lot of grumbling. But I gather that I’m not representative of everyone.
So there we are, with everyone changing their genders whenever the mood strikes them. Down is up, left is right, nobody knows what to call anybody and everyone’s in such a panic that they can’t even remember how to make a nice cuppa anymore.
What nobody seems to have explained is why this would be such a bad thing in the first place. If gender is all about how we identify ourselves, then why shouldn’t we get to change it? Why shouldn’t you, me, your ma and your entire secondary school history class get to cheerfully toddle down to the relevant department, sign a couple of dozen forms, hand over the inevitable fee and then do it all again a few weeks later when they change their mind? Why on earth would that be so terrible?
In fact, it might be pretty great.
For one thing, we’re in a recession here, and changing documents always costs money. Wouldn’t the hordes of people changing their gender markers be a fantastic source of revenue?
For another thing, this scenario inevitably means that people are going to magically forget that they live in a world filled with cissexism and transphobia and instead cheerfully (and with legal recognition) explore all the gender possibilities that they can. Nobody would get to assume just by looking, or by having known what it was last week, that they knew a person’s gender! Asking “what’s your pronoun?” would become as ordinary a question as “Jaysus, will this rain ever stop?”.
So with that scenario out of the way, what else is there to be scared of?
Dogs And Cats Living Together
Did you notice that in Argentina, there’s no requirement to divorce the person you love in order to get your gender markers changed? That’s because in Argentina, they’ve reinforced their buildings from falling skies and reinforced their umbrellas for downpours of (literal) cats and dogs. All necessary precautions in order to allow same-sex marriage.
That’s right. If you let trans* people’s genders be recognised without forcing them to get divorced first, you’re going to have a situation where perfectly normal het couples, through a magical process probably involving radioactive spiders, start morphing into gay marrieds. Before your very eyes! WHO WILL BE SAFE? YOUR OWN NEIGHBOURS COULD TURN INTO THE GAYS AT ANY MOMENT.
So, uh, that’d be scary, right? Right? …….right?
What’ll we gain?
Oh, you know. Just little things. Dignity. Trans* people not being forced to out themselves whenever they have to present legal documents. Embracing people for who they are. Honouring bodily integrity and the sovereignty of each of us. Massive symbolic recognition throughout the country.
Little things like that.
Why’re you telling me all this now?
You can’t have forgotten, can you? Tomorrow is the International Day of Action for Trans* Depathologisation! If you’re in Dublin or can get here, and you’re even half as sick as I am of ridiculous, unnecessary barriers put in the way of trans* people’s legal rights, get that (remarkably attractive) ass of yours out to Kildare Street for 2.30pm.
Edited to add a Very Important Thing:
In writing this, I’ve realised- almost instantly after hitting ‘post’- that something that I’ve left out here is anything about gender dysphoria. As I’m running out the door right now, I’m going to leave you with some quotes from the wonderful Quarries & Corridors. Listen up, because this bit’s important!
There’s an incredibly important distinction that needs to be made clearly, front and centre in any debate about depathologising trans people. Having a gender that differs from that assigned to you at birth isn’t illness, it’s the gender dysphoria resulting from this that is. That may seem like semantics, but there is nothing wrong with me for having a nonbinary gender, I used to have gender dysphoria, now treated. Similarly, no one is ill for being a trans man or a trans woman, but the gender dysphoria from not having that recognised and affirmed hurts. The DSM-5 is already removing ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ & replacing it with ‘Gender Dysphoria’, pathologising our dysphoria not our genders. I think this is the right approach. It lets me be transgender without that being seen as disordered, it maintains access to medical care. Anyone making a lot of noise about depathologising trans* without making these important distinctions up front’s likely to do serious damage.
After #meteorshame, who’s feeling like it’s time that we all stood up to be counted in support of Irish trans people’s rights? I sure as hell am. So’s Aisling from Gaelick:
Hey, quick question, what are all you guys doing on the 20th of October? I know where I’m going to be. I will be outside the Dáil from 2.30, getting my protest on. That’s the day of the Rally for Recognition: Identity NOT Disorder.