Is this LGBT issue? Is this politics? Is it both? Well, maybe…?
In truth, on 24th May 1988, I didnt know I was transgender, intersex, and heaven forbid, bisexual to top it all. I knew I was a bit (to put it mildly) confused about my sexuality, and other stuff, but didnt really know what it all was. Funnily enough, I was supposedly in a straight relationship, with a woman, that in truth, never had a hope.. The fact that we lived together for as long as 11 years, in hindsight, was pretty amazing, but we did. I mean, there was a spell before the end, when we knew it was coming to the end, but didnt really know why, other than my feelings of it being wrong, trying to be in a straight relationship with her. I wonder if we could ever have made it as 2 lesbians, lol? Probably not, but I have to wonder?
Anyway, on above date, something critical happened, that at the time I didnt really know applied to me, but now… Section 28 was introduced by the Conservative government of the time, which made it even harder to be LGBT, especially in an education sense, but done damage to numerous LGBT people over the years it lasted. Funny how things go round, about education, and LGBT issues in the UK, isnt it?
So, one year later to the day (yes, 30 years ago today), Stonewall was founded, to fight this ghastly legislation. Eventually, thankfully, Section 28 was repealed, and things improved to some degree for LGBT people. Equally, thankfully, though that fight is over, Stonewall is still here to support us, and judging by recent happenings, we still need them today, I only wish we didnt. Not helped by the fact that TI people seem to need ever more support against others that are meant to be with us, a section of the L’s! Me, on 2 counts!
Firstly, lets deal with the one that annoys me, those that wont accept that Trans Women are real women, even after their bits have been ‘bobbed’, for those that applies to. I dont know exactly what TERF stands for, but thats the general term for them. What is even more hypocritical about them isnt just the fact that they are against Transgender women using the same facilities as them (because we were born men, or for intersex folk like me, born also with boy bits), they are against Transgender men sharing facilities with them, even if by their ‘reasoning’ they were born with girl bits, but now have boy bits! They see them as men too, so you tell me? As for those of us with both genitalia, as to what facilities we’re meant to use, heaven knows?
The other thing that amuses me with some lesbians (generally, but not exclusively the same ones) is their abhorrence to relationships with bisexual women, because heaven forbid, we’ve had sex with men, as well as women. Seems with some, that even looking at a man in ‘that way’ is enough to condemn you. So yes, any time you think all LGBTI+ people support each other, please think again.
And yes, guess what, Stonewall is more than happy to support both these groups, despite their own brands of bi, and trans phobia. So Stonewall is good, but like regulations, still has a long way to go, dont kid yourself.
I tried to come up with something original for the video, and seeing Section 28 was designed to make LGBT activity illegal in so many ways, I came up with this! Maybe we now need to load up with rainbow, rubber bullets?
I know, blog is supposedly a day late, sorry, and all that. But yes, I was busy yesterday, very sore when I got back, which is why you’re getting this tonight, as work was a no go today, but thankfully the hours from yesterday sort of make up for that.
Yesterday’s trip out actually began, and ended with something that was not out of the ordinary, Trans Pennine Express trains running very late, to, and from Manchester. If I say the departures/arrivals, the closest to punctuality was 7 minutes, you get my drift!
As stated in the previous blog, my first ever Civil Service Conference was related to LGBT issues, so no shock there. The toilets were strictly gender neutral, but yes, the women all stuck to the ladies, and the men to the gents side. Hardly surprising given we cant use urinals, lol! But a lovely gesture, all the same.
The first talk was a pair of people from the Welsh Government Civil Service, and their thriving LGBT section, and the work they do. Very good, very impressive, and just showed how much my department has to do if we’re going to get Stonewall awards too. Got some good tips about what we might want to do, at least.
Talking of Stonewall, our next speaker was actually representing them, giving us lots of useful information on what they do, what they can do to help us improve our diversity standings, and what we could get involved in, if we wanted to, which is probably more useful for London folk, than us a long way from town, but still stuff for us.
Then into the first panel discussion of the day, which was interesting to listen to, though you can never be sure if leaders are saying what they think, or what they think we want to hear? Probably just being cynical on that front, but I’ve been there so often in my life, probably just me jaded by bosses at my previous job, who wouldnt have known what Diversity & Inclusion was, if it had bitten them on their backsides!
After lunch we broke off into selected rooms, for various sessions. Firstly I went with my own department Pride group, who were looking for suggestions on ways to improve matters, both for members, and those of us on committees, and groups as well.
My second session was in the same room (tactical health planning, lol), and was 2 Team Leaders advising us on how they dealt with someone who transitioning in their section. Now, without wishing to show bias, I would say the TL’s at my place handled it with me in a far better way. Mind, I guess its easier when someone has already transitioned, not transitioning in that role, but anyway…
Lastly, I went to a heart rending session, which was a Trans male, writing to his younger self, about what was going to happen in the rest of his life. I could relate to this so easily, because other than a reversal of genders, it was pretty much my story too.
After that, a different panel, for another panel discussion, which summed up the day, and yes, confirmed what a great success it was. We had a good split on the LGBT rainbow, and allies there, which was a good sign. What I did realise, and that Stonewall had mentioned can be an issue, was just how ‘white’ the room was. Hopefully, the next time, assuming there is one (and there should be), we can get a little more widespread representation on that front at least.
But was it a worthwhile event, absolutely, and praise goes to all who helped to arrange it, especially Rachel, who did incredible stuff, just to get this on. Who knows, maybe the next time, I’ll be one of the speakers, or presenters, we will see. But put it this way, I will, if I can!
Oh, and if any readers came out yesterday, on ‘World Coming Out Day’, I say congratulations, and wish you well for your future.
OK, video time. Showing my age, as this is 48 years old! And before anyone says this isnt Brotherhood Of Man, because they know the Eurovision group, you’re right, this is an entirely different line up, but they predate the other line up by about 6 years, but given these were all session singers… they needed replacements, lol