Steph's Place

Where is the support

By Nicola Rose

As we are in the early days of the GMC case against Dr Helen Webberley claiming that she has broken the rules and treated trans people in an unlicensed manner, we are beginning to find out how little support for trans people of all ages there really is.

To many, this is not a surprise.

Perhaps what is a surprise is the apparent deliberate way that support is being either removed or not being replaced. The NHS has stopped funding FTM GRS. It is said this will be reinstated when a “new contractor” is found.

But when?

Will MTF GRS suddenly not be available too? The government then siting slippage, admin error or other weak reason as justification.

There is the ‘smoke and mirrors’ tactic. Claiming support and help is in place when it is being clearly established; that is not true.

Such as online pharmacies supplying medication. They will happily supply it to any man to help with male pattern baldness and identifying potential side effects of this ‘magic’ cream. If any mention of being trans is made, then it can’t be supplied “because of the possible side effects”.

Hypocrisy or double standards?

On the GIC website (Hormones – Gender Identity Clinic – GIC), it says of self-medication:

There are significant health risks associated with self-medication with hormones, so we cannot endorse this. However, we also do not penalise people for it, nor do we discriminate against patients who have chosen to access private gender care.

Yet, it has been clearly stated in GMC tribunal responses that there are cases where NHS care would be removed if another medication is being taken.

Gate keeping and coercion to keep everyone in line?

Much the same as was told to Julia Grant in her documentary (A change of sex) in 1980. It would seem very little has changed in attitude since then.

At a time in the life of any trans person, particularly those in younger years and those going through medical transition, support is needed. This is not a choice, and the careful and expert treatment of the trans person is as important just as it is for anyone else in primary NHS care system.

That support is the type that can be either provided or withdrawn by an institution through its own policies and procedures. This may relate to the type and availability of funding and the focus of any given Government. The current Government being shamefully particularly anti-trans. This despite a very thin skin they use to portray otherwise. That skin is becoming less and less opaque as time moves on. Everyone is now able to see the inevitable downward slide of support.

Even the GMC itself and the medical establishment seem to be at a total loss about how to treat trans people properly. They seem to have no ‘experts’ and, worryingly, have had no real will to find the skills, training and/or research to establish any. Essentially a lack of political and establishment desire to do anything. So, no support.

Support for trans people is more than those in the medical profession.

What about the media?

There is a woeful lack of support in the media for trans people. This fact is well known and is very concerning. I have written before about this and the risks plus the lack of any real and meaningful input by its own self-policing, toothless, sleeping and blind, watchdog known as IPSO

The generally anti-trans press will occasionally publish a pro-trans piece. This isn’t REAL support; it's just an angle to bolster otherwise waning support for their particular publication. The anti-trans articles heavily outweigh the number of pro-trans articles.

Most mainstream media outlets are anti-trans and many are influenced by the shouty GC lobby desperate not to be silenced. Some smaller publications are more pro-trans or, at best, silent on the stance taken. None actually stand up and state a positivity towards trans people.

No support.

The media’s desire to platform the loud GC lobby whilst not actually talking to those affected by that rhetoric is yet another aspect of lack of support.

There are, of course, specialist pro LGBT publications and I will come to them later.

Any business that dares to put its head above the trans support parapet is immediately ‘piled on’ by the GC lobby and beaten into submission or into silence as a result. In those cases, the GC lobby has no compunction in who they pile-on. Whether it be a pro-trans business, a rape crisis charity, or a suicide awareness helpline. They only want erasure of the trans aspect of help and support that may be offered for fear it silences them.

Many businesses or organisations are forced into vocal and visible statements in support of trans people, and for that support, we thank you.

By far the biggest and most worrying aspect of the loss of support is from both Parliament and the House of Lords.

In each chamber, there are openly anti-trans members. They are working directly with prominent GCs to withdraw and undermine attitudes towards trans people and reduce or remove trans rights.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, there is no credible opposition to the government’s clear direction on anti-LGBTQA+ rights and protection.

Boris Johnson meeting the anti-LGBT Hungarian leader when he could have met with many other leaders.

Why him?

Why now?

It wasn’t to prevent what he was doing to his country, there have been no vocal messages of criticism or outrage. Instead, a cosy chat behind the scenes. Exchanging notes and/or tactics about who does what next? This is especially poignant in the midst of the Brexit trade negotiations, of which Hungary are hardly a key player.

The Labour, Lib Dems and Greens are all in-fighting about where they and individuals stand on trans rights. Openly anti-trans party members and MP’s are not removed from parties, fuelling the debate. Party leaders are generally NOT taking decisive action to actively show trans support. Kier Starmer ‘stood aside’ on the GRA reform vote, as he seems to stand aside on most things.

In other cases, trans allies are leaving political parties because of an anti-trans stance within the party. Pro trans people are having to leave bigoted organisations to make a point and get them to see what is happening. Whilst this is important for them, it leaves those organisations freer to continue with the anti-trans stance desired, to the further detriment of trans people. A further loss of support.

The question has to be asked, if all mainstream parties are ‘inclusive’ why are they finding this such a difficult issue?

The government is clearly driving an anti-trans waggon into the wall, and no one is actively trying to stop them.

No support.

A judicial review has been announced into the Equalities Act. When was this review announced? At the beginning of the summer recess.


Over 200 support groups and businesses have stood up and stated this is wrong. Where are MPs and political leaders actually saying this?

Where is that real support?

The GRA reform was a whitewash.

The proposed ban on Conversion therapy is likely to have key exclusions that will exclude trans people, implying that they CAN be converted. A weak and woeful act by government, which no other party leader is actively trying to stop.

All the specialist LGBTQA+ publications, support groups, supportive charities and allies can only do so much, and their support is vital. But even collectively, they are no match for the anti-trans government machine. This machine has high profile anti-trans people in key positions. Namely the chair of the EHRC, the ‘Equalities’ minister and secretary, the housing minister to name but four. Each of these people has a key role and can use that position of power to affect, disrupt and undermine trans rights to a significant degree.

These people have already directly affected legislation in a negative way from a trans standpoint and have directly ‘intervened’ in a court case surrounding anti-trans hatred, but not in a positive way for trans people. The positions of power are being manipulated to gain maximum negative effect for the LGBT community.

This government is following guidance and a pathway trodden by the likes of the 45th president of the USA and the current Hungarian leader. There are already direct associations with Russian leaders from the government and high-profile GCs.

A GC hate group was granted charity status. Yet, despite numerous uncharitable actions and statements directly against its own charity policy statement, and unofficial reports to the Charities Commission, nothing is done. Again, no support when it is most needed. Even with the Charity Commission’s own judgement being called into question, nothing happens.

It is no wonder that trans people and their supporters are VERY worried right now. This shift in policy is moving faster each month and is NOT being stopped or called out, not in any real and meaningful way.

Support is being removed, undermined, or stifled all the time.

What IS NEEDED, is real and proper support by those in parliament to stand up and be counted. Really actually stand up and be properly counted. That is their job after all. Reinstate the proper support and call the government and the establishment to account. Make people aware of the removal of support and rights of trans people. This is no different to having a racist or homophobic government. Those same people would stand for that, so why stand for this?

The public has clearly shown, in numerous polls, they support trans people, but the loud and shouty GC movement is suppressing that and carefully and cleverly working its way into the right corners of power and the establishment to gain the trust and undermine trans rights.

This IS happening NOW and will continue without proper support of trans people by those we need the most.

Where is the support?

Authored by Nicola Rose @Nicola2019

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