So where do the trans people fit in all this?
OK, this is going to be divisive. But I think it needs to be put out there.
Bit of background for those that haven’t listened to my podcasts yet. My brother is trans. He came out to our family roughly 9-10 years ago. I have been to quite a few of his appointments. I went to his three psychiatrist appointments, I also went to the gender reassignment clinic. The last appointment I went to with my brother, I got asked the question about my sexuality – which took me by surprise – I was there for my brother – my sexuality shouldn’t even be on the cards! I did ask why I was being asked, and apparently if the elder sibling is gay, there is more chance of the next one being trans, and this question was always asked as part of their ongoing research!
I also helped my brother with his deed poll document, as I already knew how that worked as I changed my name – you honestly think some parent would name their child ‘Tee’ as a first name – I also get ‘deadnaming’ – ANYONE who has officially changed their name by Deed Poll knows what it’s like being called by their birth name – it hurts – you don’t have to be trans to know that feels, – not only that, as a Deed Poll is a LEGAL document, you have LEGALLY denounced your old name in favour of a new one – ergo – it’s a dead name in the LEGAL sense of the word.
I have seen the difference it makes to someone when they start taking their hormone treatment and get their surgery done. I have trans and none binary friends. I have no issue with using they/them pronouns – I have no issue on name changes, obviously – as it’s a fairly easy thing to do in the UK, get a Deed Poll document from a reputable company for a fee, have a witness on standby and job done. The only headache after that is telling all the official places such as DWP, NHS, work, bank, DVLA and passport. The Deed Poll document allows you to change your prefix, as in Mr/Mrs/Dr (why you can change to DR – heaven knows!) – so if you are OK with it, that should be enough to change from female to male and vice versa – I know there are some that need more validation – which is also valid.
This is the way I always play trans scenarios in my head, and that is, ‘Do I have an issue with my brother being/doing/going to xxxxx’? If the answer, yes, then I ask the question why. For argument’s sake, should my brother be allowed in gay men-only spaces, my answer is yes if the landlord allows it – BUT there are places on the gay scene that I don’t want to bump into my brother – because HE’S MY BROTHER -it’s just that simple!
I agree trans people need rights and access to various treatments. I also believe that trans rights are different to gay rights, and that should be OK. BUT I also believe that safeguards should be put into place so that people don’t get hurt for wrong decisions – whatever that situation is – whether that’s sport, prisons, restrooms or unnecessary surgery – i.e surgery that someone asked for, but now regrets it.
Is that too much to ask for?