Thursday 16 February 2012

Witch Hunts and Tabloid Scum

So I read that a man from the UK with trans history has given birth and that the gutter press are searching for him. It’s become quite a frenzy to be honest. There have been some shockingly transphobic articles from the Daily Mail’s Bel Mooney and The Telegraph even changed their headline overnight to a more provocative scarehead. The Sun even went as far as encouraging it’s readers to ‘shop’ this new family to them for financial gain!

How is this even newsworthy? A person has used their body to create another life, does it really matter how, who or what their history is? This kind of thing happens every day. So fucking what that this person is trans? I can guarantee you that there has been more than a few trans women who have procreated in the past so why the big fuss about a trans man doing it?

What is the UK press obsession with all things trans? Why the hell should the simple fact that someone is trans-whatever make them a piece of public property when all they are doing is trying and live their lives like every other member of society?

It is basic schoolroom bullying at it’s worst. Pick on the odd one out. Deride, belittle and persecute them until they break then move on to the next target and repeat.

Bel Mooney, Dominic Mohan, Richard Alleyne and every other member of the gutter press in the UK are nothing more than children picking on others because they have nothing better to do with their pathetic lives than spout their bigoted, transphobic bullshit under the veil of journalism. They bring shame upon the profession and should issue public apologies for their behavior.

This comes after a week when Trans Media Watch gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry giving examples of how the press has hounded and persecuted trans people simply because they were born in the wrong body.



Every person on this planet has the right to become a parent and it is not a newsworthy event when a person with trans history exercises that right.

I copied this next part from Fox’s blog and I encourage you to spread the word.


Currently “The Sun, and apparently other tabloid newspapers are trying to find any transman who is about to give birth or who has given birth post-transition.”  ”There will be a lot of journalists poking around trying to find out names.”
Natacha Jessica Kennedy of Trans Media Watch asks for ‘every trans person, and all supporters of trans people need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder on this and keep quiet, no talking to the press, no disclosures, just a magnificent solidarity in silence.’
If you are being hounded by any journalists, you can contact Trans Media Watch for support and advice: or the PCC 24 Hour emergency advice line: 07659 152656. This applies to anyone who believes they have become the focus of press attention in a manner that breaches the Editors’ Code of Practice

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Is My Fame Vacuous?

I personally hate it when I meet someone on the street or in a club and says something about me being famous or a celebrity. It makes me feel like one of those seemingly vacuous people that sell photos of their wedding or newborn child to a magazine or go on TV to moan about press intrusion into their lives or their latest marriage break up. I don’t feel “famous.” I was on a late night Channel 4 show, which a relatively small number of people watched and then moved on with their lives but it’s left me with a legacy that I can’t ignore.
I still feel like the same person that I was a year ago, I still drink too much Red Bull, stay up till 4am on the internet and wish I could have more confidence. I agreed to be part of My Transsexual Summer mainly because I was just moving to the UK and I didn’t know anyone here, much less knew another trans person or know how really to start my transition. Being “famous” was never a motivation for me and I was vaguely hopeful that some people would take some sort of inspiration from me taking part but it’s this that has become my greatest underestimation of the summer.
Last weekend I went on a trip with the other girls from MTS, Karen, Donna, Drew and a man called Paul as we were invited to open a club night in Birmingham and to attend a night in a gay friendly pub in Bletchingley, Surrey. Now, I was and continue to be uncomfortable with the idea of putting myself on a pedestal above others as if I’m some kind of Elton John-esque “star” and I think it showed, I was self conscious, nervous and a lot more reserved to how I am normally but it was a conversation I had with someone afterwards when I was having a drink to calm my nerves that hit me like a freight train.
This person approached me and begun to tell me how she had came out to her family as trans after watching me telling my mum on TV. She said that seeing how I had summoned up the courage to be honest with the people I love had made her realise that she needed to do the same and she thanked me for taking part in the show. There was a tear in my eye as I hugged her and wished her the best for her life.
The next night in that tiny but lovely pub in Surrey and with the snow falling hard outside I met another young trans woman who, she explained, had only lived fulltime as female for a month. She was painfully shy and we talked about ways to help her boost her confidence and stop worrying about whether she passed as a woman when she was walking down the street. I promised her I would put her in touch with some friends of mine and said we would be able to support her and help her out in any way we could.
Now, I have noticed a couple of comments on Facebook and Twitter from people questioning why I am attending these club openings, events and various things that I’ve been invited to, like I’m milking my “fame” or something. To begin with, even though I put this down to petty jealousy, I thought these people may have had a point, I do not wish to become some sort of “career transsexual” who trades on being on a trans TV show like some Z list celebrity personalities seem to try and milk the fact that they were once on Big Brother or something.
But last weekend has made me aware that the seven of us HAVE made a difference to some peoples lives, we have actually inspired people, given hope to some people, opened some peoples eyes and continue to do so. We still have that opportunity to help some peoples lives and still give hope to some that their personal situations can improve and it’s for this reason that I won’t feel bad turning up to a nightclub in a blacked out people carrier and standing on a stage answering peoples questions as long as I still feel like I am making a difference for the good

Monday 6 February 2012

One Small Step For Transkind

I came across a problem that no doubt countless other trans folk have fought with last week while I was finishing off changing my name with the various companies and official documents that still bear my old name and I came to my phone contract with O2. I walked into their shop in Brighton and presented the assistant with my Deed Poll and she gave me the address to send it to which I duly did. Just as I was about to leave my flat for the weekend I checked my mailbox and saw this letter from them.

O2 seemed confused… A simple name change being made into such a kerfuffle! At one point in the letter they talk about a gender change, which, by the way was never mentioned when I asked for my name to be changed, and later in the letter they tell me when I provided them with the “certificate showing gender change” they asked for, they’ll update the name on their records….?? And what is that bit about “the copy of the Deed Poll that you’ve produced need the signature and stamp of the authority”? (sic) The Deed Poll I have was good enough for my bank, good enough for my national insurance number and good enough for everyone else I’ve had to use it with.
When I called the number to try and explain that I could only get a Gender Recognition Certificate after at least two years of living as female and, at the moment, all I wanted to do was to change my name with them!
So I decided to ask the Twitterverse as I’m connected there to lots of other trans folk who I hoped would be able to help me out with this problem. A few people mentioned they had problems with O2 in the past but I also received a Tweet from someone who happened to work for them who, as luck would have it, was at that same time was working on a project for customer services to make it easier for customers to change their name! I love Twitter!
The next day after confirming some details with O2 I received a phone call from the lovely man who contacted me to tell me that the Deed Poll I sent them was enough and not to worry, he would sort everything out. Wonderful!
Here’s the mail I received from O2 about it:

Hi Sarah,

Just to confirm what we discussed on the call earlier. I have updated your account to reflect your proper name and gender. I am really sorry that you encountered so many problems in trying to do this. Going forward, we are going to improve our internal processes so that other trans-people do not have to face the same issues.


D**** J******* and the Systems Thinking Project Team
O2 Customer Services.

So hopefully from now on any trans person wishing to change their name with O2 will have an easy time of it!
That’s a good result in my book J