Categories
Books LGBTQ+

Carrie Kills A Man

I’ve been wanting to tell you about this for months, and now I can. My book, Carrie Kills A Man, will be published by 404 Ink next year.

Here’s the link to my publisher’s blog about it.

For us, Carrie’s submission was a joy to land in our inbox. Having published some of her writing in our literary magazine a few years ago, we were already fans of her work, and from the first pages, Carrie Kills A Man was fizzing with life and laughter, dealing with the serious and sometimes not-so-serious sides of trans life, parenthood, and lessons learned along the way. We loved it, we learned a lot, we laughed a lot. We’re so thrilled that Carrie has entrusted us with her memoir.

I love 404 Ink, and have done since their first ever title, Nasty Women. They’ve published some of my very favourite books and introduced me to some of my favourite writers. So I’m really excited that they’re going to publish me.

Carrie Kills A Man is a memoir about lots of things. It’s about growing up different. It’s about trying to be someone you’re not. It’s about what you learn when you give up privilege, power and pockets. And above all else, it’s about joy. I didn’t want to write a misery memoir, or a plea for tolerance. I wanted to write something true and funny and joyful.

Books are a team effort, and I am part of an amazing team that includes Heather and Laura, my publishers, and Kirstyn, my brilliant editor. Independent publishers are the best, not just because they’re great to work with but because you can sleep with a clear conscience.

Carrie Kills A Man will be published in late 2022 and you can pre-order it right here, right now.

Categories
Health Hell in a handcart LGBTQ+

Everything is awful

Trans Actual has published the results of its 2021 Trans Lives survey, in which around 700 UK trans adults shared their experiences. The results aren’t surprising but they are saddening.

  • 27% of trans people have been homelessness at some point in their lives. That rises to 36% for both trans BPOC and trans disabled people;

  • A staggering 98% of trans people responding do not think that NHS transition related care is completely adequate

There are significant issues with primary care, too:

    • 45% of trans respondents said that their GP did not have a good understanding of their needs as a trans person, with 55% of non-binary people reporting similar issues.

    • 87% of those answering, overall said that this had impacted them to some extent. This rises, again, to 95% and 92% for BPOC and disabled individuals;

    • Issues with healthcare providers may also have serious consequences, in a time when illnesses such as COVID-19 illustrate graphically how individual decisions, when faced with a highly transmissible virus, can affect the rest of the population, as 57% of trans people reported that they avoided going to the GP when unwell – again, because of lack of understanding and more general discrimination;

    • Even more concerning, 14% of respondents (one in 7) reported that their GP had  refused to provide care or treatment on account of their trans status at least once.

As Jane Fae, journalist and TransActual director, rightly says:

The real scandal here is how comprehensively the media have conspired to ignore this situation, preferring, instead, to produce tens of thousands of words on the largely imagined consequences of reform to the Gender Recognition Act.

Categories
Hell in a handcart LGBTQ+

It’s time to abolish gender clinics

The image above is a graph showing the Tavistock London Adult Gender Identity Clinic’s performance since 2017. In the last four years its finding has increased from just under £4m to just under £6m while the number of people being referred to the service has fallen. And yet the number of people being seen by the clinic is getting smaller and smaller, sending the waiting list into orbit.

At current rates, if you join the waiting list today you will have to wait 31 years for your first appointment. That’s not a typo. If you join the waiting list aged 18, you will be 49 before you get your initial appointment.

Other gender clinics aren’t quite as bad, but they’re still bad. NHS referrals should take no more than 18 weeks; for trans people, 3-4 years is considered quick. Once again the reality is very different from what the newspapers are telling you.

As I’ve written before, there is no reason why trans healthcare should be separate from cisgender people’s healthcare or why trans people should wait 31 years for something they could discuss with their GP tomorrow.

There is no difference between the Estradot patches cisgender women are given by my GP and the Estradot patches I have. But while my GP prescribes them for the former group, my prescription is overseen by the gender clinic.

In the four years I’ve been under the supervision of that clinic I’ve never met an endocrinologist, a doctor specialising in hormones; my prescriptions have always been written by psychologists. Which perhaps explains why one of them made a massive mistake in one of mine, a mistake that would have had awful consequences if I hadn’t spotted it.

This is just gatekeeping. There’s nothing wrong with me psychologically; being trans isn’t a mental illness. And yet medicine and referrals that my GP is perfectly qualified to deliver for cis people are somehow transformed into mysterious unknowable magic because I’m trans. Other countries don’t do things this way because it’s completely nonsensical: it’s based on a system where you’re considered a fraud until you convince enough people otherwise.

This is the reality of trans healthcare in the UK. While health secretary Savid Javid plays the transphobia card for cheap political points, trans healthcare under the NHS is scandalously unfit for purpose and causing needless misery for far too many people.

 

Categories
Books Hell in a handcart LGBTQ+ Media

Two brilliant books

Here are two books you should buy.

The Transgender Issue, by Shon Faye

This is a book I’d very much like to have written, because it’s a clear-eyed, well researched and well argued response to the evidence-free scaremongering and barely laundered antisemitism of cisgender authors who claim to know more about trans people than trans people do. It details the links between UK anti-trans feminism and the US Christian Right, the appalling history of trans rights in the UK, the reasons why the UK’s particularly white anti-trans feminism is viewed with horror by other countries’ more evolved and inclusive feminism groups, and much more. If you’d like to know the truth about trans people in the UK, you should buy this book. And if you happen to know a newspaper editor or radio producer, you should buy it for them.

Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers, by Sady Doyle

This is sad and shocking, fierce and funny and utterly exhilarating. Doyle uses everything from Ancient Greek philosophy to ironic slasher movies to analyse the stories our culture tells about women, and the narratives women are expected to conform to. It’s the kind of book that makes you gasp with horror on one page and giggle on the next, and I had to restrain myself from sending endless quotes from it to my friends. Here’s a bit from the intro:

Women have always been monsters.

Female monstrosity is threaded throughout every myth you’ve heard, and some you haven’t: carnivorous mermaids, Furies tearing men apart with razor-sharp claws, leanan sídhe enchanting mortal men and draining the souls from their bodies. They are lethally beautiful or unbearably ugly, sickly sweet and treacherous or filled with animal rage, but they always speak to the qualities men find most threatening in women: beauty, intelligence, anger, ambition.

Categories
LGBTQ+

Call us Cassandra

In Greek mythology, Cassandra was cursed to utter true prophecies that would never be believed. I suspect she may have been trans.

Since the Bell vs Tavistock case was first announced, trans people have been trying in vain to get people to understand the real goal that “gender critical” feminists are supporting: the end of the Gillick competence that ensures, among other things, that teenage girls can access contraception without their parents’ consent.

For more than a year people have been telling us that we’re wrong, and that the case was absolutely nothing to do with Gillick competence.

Today, Kiera Bell’s lawyer – better known for his many anti-abortion cases – took his mask off in true Scooby-Doo villain style.

Categories
LGBTQ+

Reversible treatment

The Bell vs Tavistock judgement, which effectively stopped trans teenagers from getting appropriate healthcare under medical supervision, has been overturned.

As Gendered Intelligence points out, the original decision – which today’s verdict says should never have been made – has since been used by anti-vaccination activists and various other cranks.

In these days of rife mis- and disinformation, the Divisional Court’s now-overturned decision is being held up as gospel by many people opposed to the vaccination of under-16s. Even if the original decision had a larger scope than the care pathways of children with gender dysphoria — which, we must reiterate, it did not — the High Court has annulled this decision. At Gendered Intelligence, we are not interested in debating the merits of vaccination – the evidence speaks for itself – but would highlight only the weaponization of court decisions made around trans youth to potentially harm the wider population. Trans people and our rights are the canary in the coalmine, and any attempt to rescind or damage our rights will inevitably be used to damage the rights of others. This is but one reason why we ask that people stand with trans, gender diverse and indeed all LGBTQ people – especially youth — because “a loss to trans youth is a loss to all”.

Categories
Bullshit LGBTQ+

“You are not one of the witches. You are one of the witch-hunters”

A fantastic thread from author Dr Claire Askew on the ignorance of bigots claiming to be the descendants of witches. Turns out they’re as ignorant about history as they are about biology.

Our ancestor-witches weren’t witches. They were people who, among other things, committed the so-called sins of being old, disabled, single, too sexually active, not sexually active enough, and/or – yep, you guessed it – living outside or subverting social norms around gender.

…’witchcraft’ in the olden days was actually an excuse to launch a programme of panicked eugenics. The people the witch-hunters wanted to get rid of were precisely the people who still face the most oppression in our society today: including trans/non-binary folx.

…If you chuck around transmisogyny or go in for this gender essentialist crap about biological female WHATEVER, you are not one of the witches. You are one of the witch-hunters. You are writing a new Malleus Maleficarum when you partake in transphobia, ableism, racism, bigotry.

Categories
Bullshit LGBTQ+

I see the biology experts have logged on again

A genuine post from a self-proclaimed “gender critical” feminist on Twitter today:

I don’t believe trans women are allowed in lifts. Something to do with the HRT they take. Read it on Stonewall.

Categories
LGBTQ+ Media

“This book gives me hope”

This is a nice, thoughtful and personal piece about Shon Faye’s new book, written by journalist Vic Parsons. I read the opening line after seeing a bunch of new anti-trans pieces in the UK press this morning:

Barely a day goes by without another hostile article about trans people.

Today’s pieces are claiming that the real bigots are people telling bigots not to be bigoted and that gay men are actually homophobic straight men. So another perfectly normal day in rainy fascist island, then.

The fixation on “trans issues” in the British media – The Times alone published nearly two articles a day between January and May of this year, about a group that is less than 1% of the UK population – is not really about trans lives at all. It’s a moral panic: an irrational fear, stoked by the media, that trans people are a threat to society, much in the same way that gay men and lesbians were portrayed as dangerous deviants in the 80s and 90s. Right now, trans people are a minority group that is being bashed by the press, which isn’t at all interested in reporting on the very real, urgent and serious challenges that make our lives as trans people more difficult than they need to be.

Anyway. I’ve pre-ordered Shon’s book and from what I’ve seen so far it looks like an important work and an antidote to the full-blown moral panic we’ve been in for so long now.

Categories
Bullshit Hell in a handcart LGBTQ+ Media

The LGB Alliance isn’t a hate group. It’s much worse than that

A must-read thread on why the LGB Alliance aren’t a hate group: they’re much more sinister than that.

Well, that’s an oversimplification. They most certain are a hate group, and act the same as any other anti-LGBT hate group, but more than that, they’re something more sinister: They are controlled opposition. And that’s considerably worse.

…They’re not just a hate group; they’re masquerading as a legitimate LGB rights organisation, seeking to undermine the existing charity that fights for LGBT rights, and replace them, while being nothing but an arm of the religious right.

…Imagine for a second they hadn’t faced such public scrutiny and pushback and got their way? The UK would have an “LGB rights charity” that opposes anti-bullying, opposes hate crime legislation, thinks gay teachers are predators and that school LGBT groups are harmful

This is all well documented and easy to find. Media outlets that continue to platform them or present them as a legitimate organisation are either incompetent or malevolent.