Transgender ‘pioneer’ dies aged 64
Julia Grant, the first trans woman to share her story on prime time British TV, has died at the age of 64 following a short illness.
Ms Grant rose to prominence after appearing in the 1979 BBC documentary, A Change Of Sex.
The BBC Two show, and its four follow-ups, told the story of her transition.
Jennifer, one of our Oasis ladies has produced this information to promote further understanding.
Understanding the proposed changes to the gender recognition process
When a baby is born, the delivering Midwife or Doctor will look at the baby and its genitalia and pronounce (but not always) “it’s a girl” or “it’s a boy” and this is what gets entered on the birth certificate. As the child grows up and enters adulthood, if that child/adult is comfortable and fully accepting of their assigned at birth sex then they are termed as being cisgender where ‘cis’ is a scientific word meaning ‘on the same side as’ i.e. their gender is the same as their assigned at birth sex. But if that person is not comfortable and feels that their gender does not align with their birth sex assignment, then they are termed as being transgender. Think of this like left and right handed people, the majority of people are born right handed but a minority will be left handed. They did not choose to be left handed, but it is the way they are, it’s the way the brain was wired. It’s estimated at that about 1 in 300 people are transgender and if you include intersex conditions that figure increases to about 1 in 100 people (NHS statistics).
Recent medical studies have identified distinct differences in the structure of certain areas the brain between cisgender males and cisgender females. These studies have also found that those same areas of the brain in transgender person does not correspond to their assigned at birth sex but that of the opposite sex, that is, the gender that the person feels they are aligned with. The World Health Organisation has very recently accepted transgender as being a medical condition and possibly an intersex one.
There has been some very poor and inaccurate media reporting on proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) to allow what is being termed “Self ID”. The proposed changes won’t mean that a man can suddenly declare themselves to be a woman for the purposes of entering all female spaces (or a woman for that matter declaring they are male in order to enter male only spaces). What “Self ID” is about is to replace the current GRA process which is very lengthy, highly bureaucratic and expensive with a much simpler, but still a formal, legally binding process known as a Statutory Declaration. The end result will be the same, namely a change to the sex (gender) marker on a person’s birth certificate, and that change is for the rest of that person’s natural life. The Deed Poll process used to change ones legal name is a similar Statutory Declaration process.
In case you were unaware the GRA came into law in 2004 and The Equalities Act of 2010 legally allowed transgender individuals to use single sex facilities corresponding to ‘their’ gender although the act does allow for exceptions in certain circumstances (but public toilets for example are not an exceptional circumstance). A person who is transgender has also been able to update the gender marker on their driving licence and passport using a Statuary Declaration process since 2010. Note that a person who is transgender will have legally changed their name, updated the gender marker on their passport and/or driving license and done the same with HMRC and their local Council before they embark on the GRA process to legally change the sex (gender) marker on their birth certificate. In reality this legal change of the Birth Certificate gender marker is done through the issue of a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). To date many transgender people haven’t gone down the GRA/GRC route because of its complexity and cost as they can achieve 95% without it. But to get that updated birth certificate not only represents closure but so confers rights unobtainable by other means because it means that a person may be legally regarded as their ‘acquired’ gender. An example being a transgender person cannot marry in their ‘acquired’ gender without a GRC.
© Norfolk Oasis 2018
INSIGHT INTO SEXISM
Serena recently found an article in the Sunday Times on 29th March which investigates how people who switch gender are seen as being more or less intelligent. Worth a read.
NORWICH PRIDE 2017
Supporting the “T” in LGBT
Saturday, 29th July 2017 was Norwich Pride day. It dawned bright and sunny – good news for the speeches, march and entertainment planned for the afternoon. The Forum was a hive of activity from 8 am onwards as a wide range of organisations set up their stands and displayed their freebies and items for sale.
This year Oasis joined forces with the Mancroft Advice Project (and their sub-group Evolve) to provide help and advice to transgender people covering a wide age range. From 10 – 12.30 the atrium was heaving with people wearing a variety of amazing outfits. We were approached by a large number of people, especially young people, seeking help and advice about gender and sexuality. For those in the 14-25 age group we were able to point them in the direction of Jen and Linda from Evolve. For older people we gave them information about our Oasis meetings and I am sure we may see one or two new members.
Beccie And Claire represented Oasis on the march carrying placards declaring ‘Trans is not a choice’ and ‘Proud to be Trans’. The stand was manned womaned by Phyllis, Jenny, Kate, Claire, Beccie, Rachel, Serena and Michelle. Many thanks to everyone. We were visited by a few familiar faces. It was good to see Gemma, albeit as her male self. She is unable to drive at the moment but hopes to come back in the future. Laura, Anna, Glinda and Carole also dropped by.
Throughout the whole day there was a wonderfully positive atmosphere. It was my first attendance at Norwich Pride and I absolutely loved it. I felt I had been able to give positive help to many people, especially young people, which will hopefully make their next few years less difficult than it was for many of us oldies. If I am able, I will definitely be involved next year.
Thank you to everyone who helped out.
Tax inspector who loved taffeta skirts and became an authority on the history of cross-dressing
Peter Farrer enjoyed a long career as a senior tax inspector, but when, towards the end of his life, he featured in the “Liverpool Homotopia” season, it had nothing to do with fiscal matters. The season’s highlight was the exhibition Transformation: One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe at the Walker Art Gallery in the city, which showed a small part of his collection of dresses, many of them made from taffeta. It was the culmination for Farrer of 75 years of wearing women’s clothes.
To find out more click on the link or the image.
Boys at Exeter academy wear skirts in uniform protest
The pupils from ISCA Academy in Exeter asked permission to modify their uniform because of the hot weather.
One of the boys who took part in the protest said: “We’re not allowed to wear shorts, and I’m not sitting in trousers all day, it’s a bit hot.”
Head teacher Aimee Mitchell said shorts were “not part” of the school uniform, as first reported by Devon Live.
National Geographic Gender Revoltion
Serena, one of our Oasis Ladies, has passed onto me some very interesting articles on the latest edition of the National Geographic which is titled Gender Revolution. Due to copyright issues I am unable to let you see all the article, but click on this link or the image for a taster.
I suggest if you want to find out more, get down to your local newsagent or library and have a read.
Can you help Century Films?
50 years on from the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, Is it Safe to Be Gay? will explore how safe it is for LGBT people in Britain today. With homophobic hate crime a daily occurrence and on the rise, this film takes a 360 degree look at the issue, hearing from the victims, their families, the police and the perpetrators of these crimes. What makes someone attack another person because of their sexuality? How do victims deal with these unsolicited and unprovoked assaults? And what are we doing about this in Britain in 2017?
The film will be airing on BBC2 this summer as part of a BBC season commemorating the 50th anniversary of partial decriminalisation. Our aim is to cover a range of experiences from people of varied backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, occupations, regions and religions. We hope to present a documentary that raises awareness of the current issues faced by the LGBT community when it comes to hate crime. Hopefully the programme will help encourage others to report hate crime when it happens. At the moment, we are in the early stages of production on the project and are looking to speak with those who have experienced homophobic abuse, both recent and historic.
These initial conversations are in confidence. And so, if there are cases which you have come across it would be brilliant if you could forward this message onto the person(s) involved to see if they would be happy to talk to us further about their experience. It’s worth saying that, although we are ultimately looking for people we might be able to film with, speaking to us at this point in no way commits them to the project in the long run. We’d also be keen to get the message out to as many regional offices as possible – at this stage, we’re trying to cast the net as far and as wide as we can, to make sure we have a broad range of stories and experiences in the film.
It would be so helpful if you are able to share this around your network. We are also on Facebook and Twitter: https://twitter.com/hate_crime_doc https://www.facebook.com/Is-It-Safe-To-Be-Gay-In-Britain-258871647857246/
To give you a little bit more formation about Century Films (http://www.centuryfilmsltd.com/) – we’re an award-winning documentary production company with a track record of making sensitive, access-led documentaries around the UK and abroad. Recently we’ve made series with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (Kids on the Edge, Channel 4), the largest primary school in the UK (Britain’s Biggest Primary School, Channel 5) and some of the small group of US-based men and women who choose to tie the knot in prison every year (Married Behind Bars on Channel 4).
Please feel free to share my details firstname.lastname@example.org and 02073786106 and get in touch anytime.
Trans women shouldn’t call themselves ‘real women’
Oasis is grateful to Serena, one of our regular ladies at Oasis, for sending us this article which you can view by clicking on this link.
Cambridge G.D.R.C. needs you!
We are researchers at the Gender Development Research Centre, the University of Cambridge. We are now recruiting gender minority adults and cisgender adults (aged 18 years or above) to participate in an online survey looking at social adjustment and psychological well-being of gender minorities.
We hope to learn more about similarities and differences between different groups and how things can be improved for gender minorities. This survey will take at least 20 minutes and all participants will be entered into a prize draw.
In our survey, gender minorities are broadly defined as individuals whose gender identity and/or expression do not conform to the norms for the individuals’ sex/gender assigned at birth (e.g., individuals with gender dysphoria, transgender individuals, agender individuals, individuals with non-binary gender identities, and etc). Cisgenders refer to individuals whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth.
If you need further information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Your help would be highly appreciated! Please let us know what you think. Link to the online survey:
Rowan Haslam Cambridge Psychology:
Cambridge Gender Development Research Centre: http://www.gdrc.psychol.cam.ac.uk/
A travel agency are offering a transgender cruise to the Mediterranean on the 18th – 25th June 2017.
Interested! For more details click on the image.
Don’t expect anyone to be on time for evening meals as they will all be having wardrobe malfunctions.
Oasis is spreading its wings!
Through a contact at Norwich Pride 2016, Oasis was asked to be involved in a Well-being day for the new students at Gt Yarmouth College in September.
It was a very interesting day and we managed to talk to both students and their teachers. The organiser, Maria Watson has asked if some of us could come in to their tutorial groups for the Health and Social courses to talk to the student about the gender spectrum.
Roll on the lecture circuit!
Transgender Soldier serves on Front line
A 24-year-old transgender soldier has become the first woman to serve on the front line with the British Army.
The Army said it was delighted to have its first woman in a close-combat role.
Then Prime Minister David Cameron followed a recommendation in July from the head of the Army that women should be able to serve.
The application process for female recruits was due to open later this year.
But Guardsman Allen, who had official documents changed by deed poll from her birth name of Ben to reflect her new name and status, has now been informed she will be able to stay in the infantry, as a woman.
A guide to transgender terms
Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as 1970s Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner, announced she is transgender, appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. It’s fair to say many people don’t know how to speak to or about transgender people. So what do the terms involved mean and what’s considered polite?
In 2010, the Gender Identity Research and Education Society estimated the number of trans people in the UK to be between 300,000 and 500,000.
Find out more by clicking on the link or the image for the BBC guide to transgender terms.
Trans sports clubs
When swimming and playing football are revolutionary acts!
It’s a Friday night in Lewisham and ten people have gathered for a weekly swimming club at the inner London borough’s modern leisure centre, an oasis of calm beyond which city life grinds on. Reflections from the red light of the emergency exit sign dance on the water of the dimly lit pool where Roberta Francis, the club’s head honcho, plays catch with another swimmer. Others are reclining at the water’s edge, their eyes closed and legs drifting outwards; some still chat quietly and catch their breath between laps. There’s no music, only the gentle murmur of chatter and the slop of water in the pool vents.
So, a bunch of people have gone swimming on a Friday night. Nothing remarkable about that. Look at the lifeguard’s bored face. Except that these people are trans (the term used to describe a person who does not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth) and simply popping out for a quick swim can be fraught with difficulty. Dedicated groups like the Trans and Gender non-conforming Swimming (TAGS) group in Lewisham take months to organise, and are only possible because of years of LGBT activism.
A minority within a minority!
The DWP’s battle with a pensioner who lost years of payouts for staying married is a cruel indication of its approach to trans equality
Here we go again. Typical British fudge, with a dash of paternalism. This time, the calculation appears to be that because those disadvantaged are the transgender community – a minority within a minority – the government can press on regardless and weather the resulting fuss.
How else to explain the extraordinary intransigence of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in the case of MB, a trans woman who should have been eligible for a pension in 2008 but for her religious scruples. She and her partner refused to divorce, then a precondition of obtaining a gender recognition certificate (GRC) as same-sex marriage had not been introduced. Without it, she was forced to wait a further five years before obtaining her pension because she was still, in the eyes of the DWP, “a man”.
I am Jazz
Jazz Jennings (born October 6, 2000) is an American transgender teenage girl, YouTube personality, spokesmodel, television personality and LGBTQ rights activist. Jennings is notable for being one of the youngest publicly documented people to be identified as gender dysphoric, and for being the youngest person to become a national transgender figure. Jennings received national attention in 2007 when an interview with Barbara Walters aired on 20/20, which led to other high-profile interviews and appearances.
Click on the image or link for information about her Discovery Go channel.
The Lancet Journal – Articles on Transgender Health
The Lancet Journal, for the first time, has published a series of articles on transgender health, to which Terry Reed of GIRES has contributed as a co-author.
Transgender people and their needs remain little understood, not only by health-care providers but also more generally in society. An absence of appropriate information, together with misinformation, breeds stigma and prejudice, leading to discrimination, harassment, and abuse, with alarming consequences for transgender people’s health and wellbeing.
This Series is an effort to understand, and provide a framework to improve, the health and lives of transgender people globally. The three papers in this Series examine the social and legal conditions in which many transgender people live, clinical care considerations and service delivery models in transgender health, and the global health burden facing transgender populations, including the specific contexts and multiple determinants of health affecting them.
Oasis Proud to be at Pride
After many months of planning by the Pride Committee, consisting of Jenny, Vicky, Julia and Beccie and a generous donation to fund the day from the Barbara Ross Association, we were not disappointed at what we had set up on Pride Day on Saturday 30th July.
There were posters, placards, stickers and leaflets on display and Vicky did not let us down with some tasty fairy cakes iced in the Trans* colours of pink, blue and white.
We also thank Phyllis, Hannah, Davina and Laura who also came along to give us support.
At 1.00pm we all assembled outside the town hall (Phyllis volunteering to run the stall), with placards, whistles and flags ready to take part in the parade, we set off on our journey with the rest of the Trans* community and another opportunity for Vicky’s photoshoot. The walk concluded in Chaplefield Garden.
All in all a great day, with good weather and great company – roll on Pride 2017.
For more information about Norwich Pride 2016 and more pictures of Vicky go to this link at Anglia News
RDF television – Project about transgender people
Jessica Hartley is a producer working for RDF television on a project about transgender people. The series hopes to follow up to ten individuals, from the very early stages of their transition, across various aspects of their lives over an approximately two – three year period. They want to chat to as many people as possible at this stage of production (confidentially – this information will go no further) to understand a variety of experiences and find a diverse range of trans people who would like to take part.
RDF Television is one of Britain’s most respected and successful production companies and has made programmes including Secret Millionaire (C4), Secret Life of 4 Year Olds (C4), 100 Year Old Drivers (ITV) and Inside the National Trust (ITV). We want the people that we work with to be part of the film-making process – and most importantly to be proud of the programme that ultimately goes to air.
RDF are committed to creating an accurate representation of transgender people in our series. To do this, they hope to work with members of the trans community, clinicians, charities and self-help groups as well as using their own experience of having worked on important and sensitive subject matters in the past.
For more information click on this link or contact Jessica on the phone or via email at any time:
T: 0207 013 4153
M: 07788 394 781
New Report on Gender Identity Services
Have a look at this recent report from TransUK regarding the Current Waiting Times & Patient Population For NHS England Gender Identity Services – food for thought!
Click here for the new report of Gender Identity Services current waiting times and patient population August – September 2015
Day Conference on Gender, Inclusion and Transgender People
How ‘Gender Aware’ is your church? This Diocesan Day aims to help us consider issues of inclusion, the place of transgender people in the Church and the broader issue of gender and its implications for Christian communities. This day is with Revd Canon Rosie Harper and Revd Dr Christina Beardsley.
The conference is on Saturday 8th October 2016 from 10am to 3pm.
The day aims:
• To note the experience of continuing ‘exclusion or tolerance’ (rather than inclusion) within the church and to reflect on the agenda of the Transformations Group
• To consider the church’s current attitude(s) to gender, including transgender people
• To reflect on the relationship between spirituality/theology and people’s experience of gender, including transgender people’s experience, as well as the insights we might derive from these reflections
• To explore practical strategies for engagement with our churches, to change hearts and minds that we may all benefit from theological insights gained, and work towards an inclusive church.
Revd Canon Rosie Harper is a member of General Synod, vicar of Great Missenden, chaplain to the Bishop of Buckingham. She writes for The Guardian andis a co-author of a forthcoming volume.
Revd Dr Christina Beardsley is Head of Multi-faith Chaplaincy at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London. Tina is a member of Sibyls – A Christian Spirituality Group for Transgender People. She wrote The Transsexual Person Is My Neighbour: Pastoral Guidelines for Christian Clergy, Pastors And Congregations, published by the Gender Trust, is the author of Unutterable Love (Lutterworth, 2009) and is currently co-editing a book about transgender people’s theology, This Is My Body: Hearing the Theology of Transgender Christians.
UK doctor prescribing cross-sex hormones to children as young as 12
As charities call for NHS to lower age limit of 16 for hormones, parents are taking their children to private clinics for treatment
A doctor in Wales is prescribing cross-sex hormones to children as young as 12 who say they want to change sex, arguing that if they are confident of their gender identity they should not have to wait until 16 to get the treatment.
Helen Webberley, a GP in Wales, has set up a private gender clinic and recently started treating children, a “handful” of whom she has started on cross-sex hormones, including a 12-year-old.
Living with Peter who dresses as Penny
Peter kept Penny hidden from his wife Lou for 12 years. When he came clean, Penny became Lou’s secret too – for more than a decade.
It wasn’t exactly clear who would be waiting for me at Leominster station in Herefordshire – but it was Penny who turned up.
She was a tall woman in her sixties, dressed in a bright jacket and skirt. On another day, she might have looked very different. Sometimes Penny is Peter Ellis, 63, a retired teacher and former local councillor.
Keith Richards Revelation
He is known for his flamboyant sense of fashion – and now Keith Richards, from the Rolling Stones has revealed why his style is so singular: he is a cross-dresser.
Young, Black and Transgendered
Aired on the One Show on Tuesday 5thApril model and DJ Munroe Bergdorf tells her story and explores transgender issues in the UK.
Digit Ratio Research
It has been suggested by some scientists that the ratio of two digits in particular, the 2nd (index finger) and 4th (ring finger), is affected by exposure to androgens e.g. testosterone while in the uterus and that this 2D:4D ratio can be considered a crude measure for prenatal androgen exposure, with lower 2D:4D ratios pointing to higher prenatal androgen exposure
Interested? Have a read.
Supporting BAME Trans People
A 28-page guide with practical tips, guidance, and resources dedicated to supporting the Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) trans population of Britain: ‘Inclusivity – Supporting BAME Trans People.
This project has been commissioned by the Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES) and put together by graphic designer Soofiya Andry, under the leadership of Sabah Choudrey, an LGBTQ BAME Consultant and Activist.
“GIRES is proud to support this important initiative. We have been delighted to hear BAME trans people now giving voice to their special concerns, with ever greater confidence. Wide promulgation of this important document, via the networks operated by GIRES and many other groups, provides BAME trans people with a different way to convey their concerns to all policy makers, employers and service providers, as well as to families and support groups. We encourage them to listen carefully to what BAME trans people are so clearly saying.”
Richard O’Brien – Telegraph Interview
So it is that the 73-year-old impresario is facing me in an unexceptional green room at the Playhouse Theatre. His disposition is kindly and he’s dressed in black; his head instantly recognisable and entirely hairless. He’s previously described himself as 70 per cent man, 30 per cent woman. “I’m kind of third sex in a way,” he says now. “I’m in the middle there somewhere. There’s a lot of male in me, there’s no doubt about that, but there’s a lot of girl in me as well.”
The Women & Equalities Select Committee have just published its Transgender Enquiry, the committee’s first report bringing together six months of work. It says that despite welcome progress, there is still a long way to go to ensure equality for transgender people. For the full report click here.
Adults to get right to choose gender
My thanks go to one of our ladies, Serena, who has found a very interesting article in the Sunday Times concerning a change in the law allowing transgender people over the age of 18 to choose their gender by filling out a form and signing a declaration. They will no longer be required to prove they have gender dysphoria and have lived their acquired gender for two years before changing the sex on their passport or birth certificate.
A report is due out this month which is expected to recommend that Britain follow the example of Ireland.
Story of a transgender schoolteacher: ‘I limp through life being open where I can’
Last Monday, primary school teacher Andy Johns (not his real name) arrived in his classroom at 7.20am to make an early start after the half-term break. The cleaners had been in and reorganised things, which threw him slightly. A minor thing, but Johns – who is transgender – was already feeling fragile Read more…
GIRES – Gender Identity Research and Education Society
GIRES have produced an e-learning resource for professionals and families on caring for gender variant young people which you might find useful – click on this link.
Positively changing how the media understands and portrays transgender people – Click on this link for more information
The Sunday Times today published an article by Nicola Gill. This is very thought provoking and well worth a read.