Jono Namara has produced a new BBC documentary about the Chevalier d’Eon de Beaumont – the French noble of the 18th Century – after who the Beaumont Society is named. It is less than 15 minutes long and is well worth watching. You can access it here: https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p0bzwxqy/the-chevalier-d-on-the-18th-century-transgender-spy
Monthly Archives: April 2022
On Thursday 31st March – International Day of Trans Visibility, of all days – the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom announced that the government’s plans for the long-awaited ban on “conversion therapies” for LGBT+ people were to be scrapped. After an outcry from MPs and members of the public, there was a partial U-turn that left trans people unprotected. Conversion therapies are any interventions that that try to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity through, for example, pseudo-scientific counselling sessions, prayers and exorcisms. Whatever the practitioners and supporters of these activities call it, it is abuse! It should have been made illegal in this and every country many years ago.
We know that some anti-trans groups have been spreading fear and misinformation for years. They express false concern that if these hideous practices were to be made illegal the medical profession would be prevented from working with their trans clients. According to The Guardian (02.04.22, p7) “Nikki da Costa, a former director of legislative affairs at No 10, told the BBC that a ban would have ‘profound consequences for children struggling with gender dysphoria. It would create a situation where doctors, therapists, even parents would be deterred from exploring with a child any feelings of what else may be going on for fear of being told they’re trying to change a child’s identity. And that is deeply concerning.'”
This is total nonsense. What the law would have banned is any practice that only has one outcome, for example telling someone that they must be cis-gendered. Why are trans people being left unprotected? We need parliament to act to ban the odious and cruel practices that leave too many trans people scarred for life. It is hard being trans. No-one chooses to be trans. It is how we are born. It is who we are. When will those in power understand and respect that?
Being trans is not a choice! One is born trans and so the only choice is whether to suppress the fact that one is trans and risk mental health issues that might result, or come out to family and friends and risk rejection and/or ridicule and humiliation. This does happen, though not as often as trans people fear. Jamie Wallis MP, who announced in a statement on the eve of Trans Day of Visibility that he had been diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, had been blackmailed by someone who had discovered that he was trans.
This is the reality that too many trans people face. We hope that Jamie Wallis’s story will give others the confidence to be their real selves, but of course, his dreadful experiences may lead to some trans people trying to hide even deeper. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to be ourselves in our everyday lives should be visible to others and demonstrate that trans people are just ordinary people trying to live their lives in peace and harmony with everyone else.
Meanwhile, we congratulate Jamie Wallis on his decision and hope that he will work to raise awareness and understanding of the challenges and issues that trans people face amongst his colleagues in Parliament.