I was recently asked by a hetero-normative person (someone who is not transgender nor gay), what I classified as the three most important trans inequalities? So I thought it might be a good subject for my blog today.
My number one issue is trans healthcare. There is a set target for specialists in the UK to see patients, and that is 18 weeks. Evidence is starting to emerge that trans people are now experiencing waits of up to 260 weeks. Where? The Laurels at Exeter.
My number two issue is trans people in sport. It was a subject that I was quite concerned about. After-all a six feet trans woman crashing into a five feet woman does not seem fair. But when I started to look into the subject, I noticed that examples of alleged unfairness were invariably imported from outside the UK. Why people in the UK are worried about Aussie Rules football, for example, beats me.
Looking inside the UK, I am yet to find any significant concerns, but I found this research report from Loughborough University (click HERE), a centre of excellence for so many sports in the UK. In a nutshell, it states trans people are disadvantaged in sport - not advantaged. The report concludes (and I quote)
"Overall, it appears that the majority of transgender people have a negative experience of competitive sport and sport-related physical activities. Accessibility to sport-related physical activity needs to be improved. Within competitive sport, the athletic advantage transgender athletes are perceived to have appears to have been overinterpreted by many sports organisations around the world, which has had a negative effect on the experiences of this population"
Statistics also suggest trans people are disadvantaged. For the last eight Olympic's trans people have been accepted. Over 14,000 athletes competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and 2018 Winter Olympics combined, in 35 different sports and over 400 events - none were openly transgender. Assuming 1% of the world's population are trans, that equates to a potential 140 athletes - but no - there were none at the 2016 and 2018 Olympics. And what about the previous SIX Olympic games? How many trans folks? NONE.
My number three issue is Social Justice.
Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities, yet trans people in any responsible role are scarce within society. Six hundred and fifty Members of parliament - none trans. There should by rights be six. How many in the House of Lords? Well, there are currently (as I write) 802 members of the House of Lords - none transgender though. There never has been - NONE ever!
A great video with over HALF A MILLION VIEWS, discussing trans inequality comes from the actress Abigail Thorn, a UK trans woman. You can see it by clicking HERE.
So if you are a not a trans person - perhaps even a gender-critical person, can you kindly give some thought about why we are crying? We are not invading toilets, or single-sex spaces (which I very much respect because I am a trans woman, not a "normal" woman) nor wanting to erase women or lesbians.
We just want to live - fairly, quietly and with mutual respect.