Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Harriet's Dream.

A British man/woman/thing living in Australia has become the world's first officially genderless... um... person.

Well, that's harmless enough. He/she/it is British and wildly eccentric and causing no problems for anyone other than those who put signs on toilet doors. If he/she wants to become 'it', that should be of no consequence to anyone else beyond an interesting and typically British tale of eccentricity.

We used to like eccentrics, before we became so bloody po-faced and miserable all the time and so utterly intolerant of the slightest thing. It's bad enough that anyone who hints they might want to work with children is immediately suspected of being a pervert, and that photographers are regarded as terrorists, harassed by mindless drones in uniform and sometimes even arrested. Now you'll get in trouble for writing a list on a train. We don't have 'eccentric' any more. We only have 'deviant'. And it is becoming easier and easier to be classed as one.

Hideous Harman will no doubt be dampening her seat at the news. How much more equal can we get than if we were all gender neutral? She's probably dressed as the Red Queen even now, waving a pair of scissors and shouting 'Off with their bits!'.

The story of the first-ever gender-neutral is interesting and amusing, but the last line is not amusing. Not amusing at all.

The UK’s Gender Trust welcomed the case. A spokesman said: “Many people like the idea of being genderless.”

We have a 'Gender Trust'?

I don't like that, and I certainly don't like the way they think.

UPDATE: Found them. Oh dear.

One of the most depressing aspects of challenging transphobia is convincing people it is wrong, or indeed that it exists, (of which my spellchecker remains unconvinced).

They've invented a new 'phobia' which nobody suffers from because nobody has heard of it yet, but they're going to defend people from it whether they want it or not, and demand that transexuals stop living quiet lives where nobody knows or cares about their original gender, and instead have 'Trans!' tattooed on their foreheads.

I can't tell who has had gender reassignment surgery unless they tell me. I can't even tell who is gay or straight among the people I know (with one rather blatantly camp exception) and I don't ask because I don't care. For all I know, aside from the few I've known since childhood, every one of my current friends might have started out as the other gender. It's none of my business and it should stay that way. If they want me to know, they'll tell me. They should certainly not be 'encouraged' to tell me by people who have no more business asking those questions than I would.

I can't get the fakecharities site to load, but I'm willing to bet it's already in there.


Angry Exile said...

Surely there must be other people who reach that age to find they suddenly don't have any sex?

fnar fnar

I'll get me coat.

Angry Exile said...

Seriously, and I hit submit before remembering to say this, I'm with you about the Gender Trust. Sounds suspiciously fake charity-ish to me.

Leg-iron said...

I have to wonder, if you're genderless, what do you pee through?

It might sound heartless but you know, those kidney pipes have to go somewhere.

A concerned biologist wants to know.

Anonymous said...

Managed to get on the site but found it vapid & pointless. I really don't care who sleeps (or doesn't) with who, provided they're both overage. As far as I'm concerned, it's none of my business. However, call me unsympathic but, I do object to paying for other peoples' gender re-assignment ops - one of the things the site supports.

banned said...

I've only been aware of one Person Of Trans, he had become a she and from outward appearances looked quite normal apart from rather large hands. Oddly enough her new partner was a chap who came over as a bit of a neanderthall in other respects.

Since using the wrong public loo can get you done for indecency will we now have to have a 'third way'?

PJH said...

Oh dear...:

Well-known community activist norrie mAy-welby has lodged a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) after the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages backflipped on issuing norrie with a recognised details certificate with “sex not specified” written on it.


“I feel I have been completely violated by the Attorney General’s Office … I have no doubt [this] is politically motivated.”

Cold Steel Rain said...

I nobbed a shemale in the 90's Wasn't to bad if I'm honest.

Anonymous said...

If you think that gender dysphoria is some kind of smutty joke about wierdos who like to wear their wife's clothes then you are just another neanderthal bigot (you know, Leg-Iron, one of the types you criticise in your blog).

To be sure, after undergoing extremely painful surgery, most trans-people (horrible word) just want to get on with their lives in their new gender identity - and many do so successfully. But many, if not most, can only do so by "stealthing" - i.e. by never letting on to anyone anywhere what their pre-operation gender was. It makes life harder when you leave your family and such friends as remain to you in order to start a new life away from the bigotry, hatred, threats, and often serious physical violence resulting in death that a trans-person is likely to receive from those self-appointed guardians of public morality - you know, the type who mobbed a paediatrician in Portsmouth because they couldn't tell the difference between a paediatrician and a paedophile.

Not understanding a recognised medical condition does not give you the right to dismiss it as a joke.

And as for the person who thinks that sex-change operations should not be provided on the NHS - are you suggesting that you should leave people with gender dysphoria to commit suicide, as often happens?

In fact, many people pay for their sex-change procedures and have the surgery abroad because the procedures and techniques available in the U.K. are so piss-poor.

The Gender Trust is a very necessary charity - someone has to stand up for the rights of transgendered people - unless, of course - you think that transgendered = untermensch. Possibly you do.

Leg-iron said...

An anonymous rant. It's been a while.

As for whether treatment should be on the NHS, well now, you really can't expect a lot of sympathy from smokers on that one. Neither can you expect a lot of sympathy from smokers if you feel you are treated as subhuman. An antismoking transgender would have no trouble watching me being carted off to the camps.

I have no opinion either way on whether the NHS should deal with this. You will soon find, however, that the NHS will work out how much transgender operations cost and make a big deal out of complaining about it. They've done smoking, drinking, obesity, even coughs and colds. Don't imagine that you are not on their list.

Actually, if someone was being picked on because they used to be the other gender, I would intervene to stop it. Would you, Anonymous, intervene if I was being attacked for smoking? On whose side?

You see, Anonymous, it makes no difference to me whether someone has had surgery. It makes no difference to me what clothes someone chooses to wear, who they choose to sleep with or where they come from. Everyone is an individual. I don't generalise.

I don't refer to 'the black community' or 'the gay community' or 'the transgender community' because none of those things should exist. Just 'the community'. (You may now twist that quote out of context)

Marking individuals as different because they look different or choose a different way of life is what causes most of the problems we have now. It forces people into isolated groups and it makes them fearful of anyone outside those groups. It also presents a target for those who are filled with currently-undirected rage.

None of the commenters here are responsible for creating that ghettoisation of such people. Pressure groups do that. Shout that someone has to have more rights and you can be sure the rest of the population will shout back 'Why?'

Succeed, and all you do is fuel resentment.

If your pressure group demanded equal treatment for everyone, regardless of gender, colour, sexual preference, religion, shape, size, lifestyle choices, that I would be one hundred percent behind it.

No such pressure group exists and no such group will ever exist. There's no funding in it, you see?

All this 'we must be protected because we are different' rings very hollow indeed in a smoker's ears but I don't suppose that matters. You don't want transgendered people discriminated against at work, or in their private lives. I don't want that either. What are your thoughts on employers stating 'no smokers'?

Oh, you'll tell me it's my choice, and someone born with the wrong body doesn't have a choice, and you are of course right. But still, when you are dealing with the currently most villified group of people in the country, demanding respect is really not going to get you anywhere.

Nobody laughs any more. Have you noticed? Nobody seems able to shrug off a few words any more. Everyone takes offence at the slightest thing. Everyone must have their feelings protected and cossetted at all times. Legislation backs it up every time. Make a joke about anyone and there is outrage.

And there are people making a living from that outrage. It is in their interests to ramp it up and keep it going.

ASH claim they want to stop smoking. They do not. If smoking stopped, they'd be out of a job.

Don Shenker says he wants to stop everyone drinking too much. He does not. If we all stopped, he'd be out of a job.

Stonewall claim they want gay people treated the same as straight people. They do not. They have to keep the friction going otherwise they're out of a job.

See where this is going?

Anonymous said...

Hi Leg-Iron - good of you to reply so thoughtfully to my rant. I appreciate it.

I'm anonymous and remaining so because, guess what, I'm stealthing too. I have had my life made a total misery by being a victim of violent transphobia (another of those horrible terms). After the last time I was beaten up by the "righteously indignant" father of one failed genetic experiment as a reply to me politely asking the mother if they would mind awfully stopping their mutant from throwing bricks at my kitchen window until I had had a chance to replace it due to their previous joy-filled persecution of the "wierdo", I asked the local police for some kind of protection. The desk sergeant told me to f*ck off (his words) as it was my own fault I was a "f*cking tranny".

After that I moved to another city and started to rebuild my life. I'm lucky enough to "pass" fairly well and those new friends and work colleagues I now have are not aware of my old identity, and, if I can help it, will never be aware of it. If they do become aware of it (NHS spine records, perhaps?) I will abandon my existing life again and move on. I refuse to face the the misery I endured again. It's a little bit more serious than being offended by harsh words and bigotry

I paid for my sex-change surgery, the associated facial cosmetic surgery, the years of exremely painful electrolysis and voice therapy myself. It took me several years as the director of my own company to raise the £50,000 it cost - there was no way that I was going to saddle the NHS with the costs.

I was prepared to go through all that pain and effort because it was either that or kill myself. I know this may sound over dramatic but that is the effect that gender dysphoria has. It is better to die than to face another day when your mind (sense of gender identy) and actual gender are diametrically opposed.

Transsexuality is a curse that I would wish upon no-one. All transsexuals envy the vast majority of the population whose physical gender matches their gender identity. If you are of that vast majority you cannot, a priori, understand fully how it feels when your innermost feeling of self does not match the outward reality of your body.

To answer the main thrust of your reply though I'm not asking for special treatment. All I ask(and most other transsexuals too but there are always exceptions) is to be given an even chance and not to be treated like a dirty joke by sniggering puerile tossers who like to bully and persecute anyone they see as different. The Gender Trust is trying to get us that even chance, no more than that.

By the way, I'm a smoker too. At least with the persecution we receive from the righteous there is some consolation that we smokers exist in large numbers!

End of rant. Thanks once again for your reply. I'll keep reading your blog because I agree with so much of what you write.

Leg-iron said...

I see what you mean - but those who attack anyone different always have and always will exist. They'll have a go at someone else who has different coloured skin, is too tall or too short, speaks a different language, anything.

I'm not worried about being called names in Scotland just because I'm not Scottish, or because I look different. It's only been a problem in a very few places where it goes beyond (usually reasonably good-natured) banter and you get the sense that if you don't leave, things could get nasty.

I don't believe pressure groups help at all. I'm sure they intend to, but the last thing anyone needs is to be singled out as 'different' and marked for 'special treatment' because that gives the serious and often violent bigots an excuse.

Those groups usually start out with good intentions (groups like Stonewall for example - ASH started with control-freakery and have gone on from there) but soon enough, they all realise that their income and continued employment depend on there being a problem for them to solve.

There's a whole post in this one...

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