I think it’s fairly safe to say that last night visit to Chams was quite busy. I nearly wrote eventful, but I don’t want to suggest the corporate doublespeak of the sh**’s hit the fan. 🙂 No, it was the right type of busy.
There was a spot of paperwork to do, new visitors to welcome (hello to new folk and Leicester Chameleons 👋), and a researcher dropped in as well. Also, I had tidied my shoe collection up and offered those up to the group. Any donations gratefully received to pep up the group’s finances. Pennies in the bank for Chams and more space in my wardrobe…. perhaps a good thing given I bought some new heels. Finally! Some nude Mary Jane style heels. Still, one pair in, four pairs out. 🙂 It was also great to see friends who’d been kept away by ill health, bless them.
The researcher asked a number of questions and due to numbers, we had to chair things to keep time and try to let folk have a say. People were kind enough to share their views and experiences.
Now, I think I’m right in saying one person said something like “…it seems there’s a debate in the press, that we are not having. That what’s being suggested is: this group of people, trans people, are not worthy of the same rights as others.”. That was something that really resonated with me. Oh, and apologies if that quite isn’t wholly accurate.
I feel that trans equality does not take things away from others. As an employed man, I am happy to see work done around the Gender Pay gap to boost what women should earn – and annoyingly, we are sooo not there yet! Now here, you might argue there may be less money in the pot for men, but why should a woman who’s as good and, indeed, just as capable of being better, be paid less? That does not seem right ethically and from a business point of view, do you want to make yourself unattractive to 50% of potential new hires? People with skills you need. That seems crackers.
Returning to the framing of the question around trans equality doesn’t matter, imagine for a moment if we applied that to other people? Perhaps even protected characteristics such as age, race, religion, or sexuality? Yeah, I’m aware marriage equality took some time!
Note: in fairness, marriage is a sacred institution. It’s absolutely not a ‘Drive Thru’ event, one that can be done with Elvis present, used in a TV reality show, or overturned because you couldn’t keep it in your pants…. which some cishet folk absolutely do not do, let me be perfectly clear 😋 I mean, we wouldn’t want to cheapen it with any of that activity would we? 😁
Where was I? If we apply the same hostile language to protected characteristics, we see that things are both incorrect and discriminatory. For example, reporting a number of elderly, Catholic priests were involved in the abuse of children in the state of New York; that seems – awful as that news is – accurate. However, reporting ‘all old priests are rapists’ is not. I think that also undermines the truth of the news. ‘Wait, they said “all vicars?”, but Uncle Luke isn’t like that…”.
So with all the above about rights, perhaps the answer – if you pardon the word play – is to ask questions instead. These people can’t come in here! Then where should they go? How can they be safe there? What is it about ‘those people’ which means we cannot treat them equally?
On listening to friends (trans and cis), reading YouGov surveys, and hearing from the Ever Lovely Mrs J’s circle, the story on the ground is most folk are not bothered or are accepting. As with all bell curves, the far ends want more and some want less.
Right now, it seems there’s far too much focus on the ‘give them less’. That message from respected areas legitimises hate in the street. Is that what we want? Bootboys giving trans folk a good shoeing over? Do you think they’re specialist woke thugs who won’t round on women, people of colour, etc? Funny how hate is okay when it’s not you. 🙁 Talking of government behaviour and hate crime.
That negativity aside, I saw two things that cheered me up. One was the highly inclusive approach from One Billion Rising (please do read their website and goal for next week). The second was seeing a trans woman being featured in The Guardian’s Living in a Woman’s Body series. Said lady is a woman, has a body, lives: cue moral outrage by one end of the bell. 😉