Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Detouring the slow train

    If you are stuck in an interminable waiting list - no, if you are stuck in a holding pattern simply to be on the waiting list, what would you do if someone offered you a shortcut?
    Readers of this blog will know that I'm on the slow train when it comes to transition, nearly 4 years full time and 7 years in the system, but discharged from the GIC because after 18 months fighting awful treatment by my then employer I wasn't ready to go forward for surgery. Having sought re-admission to a GIC I've subsequently found out that it's likely to be 18 months before I see anyone and then another year before I have my referral letters, so getting on for 3 more years to surgery. Naturally I'm about as pissed off and dejected as it's possible to get. Knowing that with 4 years behind you you've made a far better job of a social transition than many of those who overtook you in their race for surgery doesn't help when you're left in the wilderness.
    So back to the question, if someone offered you a shortcut, would you take it? And if that someone was your doctor, your GP, especially would you take it? Hell yeah!
    I'm not going to go into the gory details, but there is something I can do that will save me a lot of waiting, which my GP tells me will let me back into the system by a different route. It's not some magic fix for those at the start of the process who are desperate to go faster so don't bother asking, instead it's for the rare and unusual cases like me who are stuck, but stuck very near the end of the medical road.
    It does however involve a short detour into the private sector, seeing a different set of doctors, and forking out a moderate amount of cash. Not new car levels of cash, or even slightly new car levels of cash, but let's say decent quality older car levels of cash. Cash I can afford, but would prefer not to waste.
    It's risky, in that it depends on my GP's say-so. If he decides to forget the path he laid out for me, then it's wasted money. Wait the 3 years, or fork out new car levels of cash for private surgery. Which I could raise if I perform financial back-flips, but would prefer not to.
    In Hollywood films there seems often to be a mysterious plot twist in which a choice is offered to the protagonist through which they can continue their boring life or enter a course of excitement and danger. Looks as though that just happened to me.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Another day, another BBC complaint

     Another day, another BBC complaint. This time a story on Radio 4 about a convicted rapist who transitioned in jail. An unpleasant person, but a regrettable slip in broadcasting standards.

Yesterday the PM programme carried a piece about a rapist who has transitioned from male to female while in jail. She has completed entirely the medical process and obtained a gender recognition certificate, so she is both physically and legally female. Yet your report persistently referred to her as "He" and as "Him", and did not acknowledge at all that she is now a woman.
This is highly offensive to all transgender people because when it happens so blatantly on as respected a national broadcaster as the BBC it devalues their claim to their gender. The person in question is an extremely unpleasant criminal, yet her unpleasantness does not mean that the BBC should legitimise misgendering of transgender people. The vast majority of other transgender people who are not criminals will suffer when transphobes will use the BBC's legitimising to justify misgendering them.
Your reporters let their distaste for the individual concerned cloud their judgement when it comes to your organisation's diversity commitments towards a vulnerable minority. Their report came perilously close to hate speech, she is an unpleasant person because she is a convicted rapist and not because she is transgender. This represents a regrettable dip in standards from the BBC and from Radio 4, a station that already seems to have a problem when it comes to transgender people.
She has become a woman, and her pronouns are she and her. Please do not forget that.
I doubt it'll get anywhere. But somebody has to.