Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Thursday 5 October 2023

I Can't Stand Much More Of This

Over on her "Condo" my friend Cyrsti has been writing a bit about what it means to be trans, this sort of makes a nice change from the crossdresser blog post of  "I had a lovely day out dressed as...." or the many blog posts about the process of transition. I know they all have their place and can be interesting ~ or at least I hope they do as I've written enough of them myself over the years. I suppose this is a reflection of how feel now that my transition is more or less done with (I'm not sure that it will ever be complete!). Back in August 2011 when I first started Paula's Place it is was somewhere for me to relate those early experiences of going out, it quickly became the medium for my musing on gender, in many ways a friend I could talk to about the things I couldn't talk to others about. So yes I have written more than my fair share of post about what clothes I wear, the various processes of transition, coming out and of course going out!

More recently I had been writing more and more about things that interest me, Politics, Music, Gardening etc. Being trans does have an impact of some sort on pretty much everything I do, it changes my point of view having experiences as both male and female, it changes my accessibility and of course it can change the attitude of others towards me. With everything else going on in my life I just sort of got out of the habit of writing about things, instead I have been doing them.

Lots of music, a little gardening, and rather excitingly some motor sport! Of course I'm still interested in everything I have ever been, I've just not felt inspired to write much for the last few months, but something has changed.

Here in the UK our current governing Party has just held it's annual conference, we've had speeches from all the leading members, and the uniting factor amongst them all is full engagement in culture wars. We've had xenophobia from our home secretary and foreign secretary, we've had class hate from a former prime minister and transphobia and mendacity from all of them, including the current Prime Minister and Health Secretary. As long as this Government is in power no trans person in the UK can expect fair treatment. The PM has denied our very existence, and the Health Secretary has proposed that we should not be treated by the NHS as being our true gender. Over the last few years there has been a steady ramping up of the anti trans rhetoric, I have often said that it is just a very small but very vocal minority of haters ~ but as the Government itself has taken a transphobic stance it has given legitimacy to the bigots.

I'm not hearing any of our leading opposition politicians calling out the bigotry, and that lends it even more credence. The only dissenting voice I heard at the Conservative Party Conference was one gay, party member tried to call out Suella Braverman's transphobia as she tried to challenge such concepts as "trans ideology" and "White Privilege". Like most people most of my friends will share many of my views and opinions, as I go about my day to day business I am met with very little transphobia, but I can't help but notice that it has increased over the last few years. Maybe not to an everyday occurrence, but it has increased. Not so much the casual mistake, but the deliberate hateful comment ~ mercifully so far not for me the physical attack we all fear, and some experience.  We all fear because the chances of this happening to anyone of us is increasing all the time. Today we have had the latest annual hate crime figures released, over the last year hate crime overall has reduced ~ largely because of the way the figures are collected which will exclude the more minor instances ~ but even so the figures for hate crimes against Transgender people has increased by 11%

I lay the responsibility for this firmly at the feet of our Government. Their rhetoric legitimises the bigots and allows them to feel justified in their actions. When Government Ministers equate trans people with sex offenders then no surprise that we get attacked. When the PM denies the legitimacy of our existence then no wonder we are abused. Sure the words hurt, but the actions that those words lead to injure!

As Lawrence Fox and his chums are realising at the moment, while we may have freedom to express our views, there are consequences to what we say. Sometimes those consequences are for the speaker, like Lozer you could lose your job, sometimes like Graham Lineham people just stop hiring you ~ but often it is others, the people attacked words who end up suffering the consequences as they are physically attacked as well! I hope and trust that this is just a "moment in time" and that it "too will pass". I hope and trust that in the future we will look back on the 2020s transphobia as we now look back on the 1980s homophobia with incredulity and disgust, but while we are having to live through it, well, it's tough.

I needed to rant, to express how dreadful I think this Government are, to vent my frustration, and this is my medium. Now I have written again maybe I will be back with some more enjoyable news, but for now, if you have been, thank you for reading!

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