Showing you get Queer/LGBT: You’re doin’ it WRONG

*crys*

FFS, they have LGBT in the name, then just go on about ‘lesbian & gay’ and homophobia (I could also count using the Rainbow Flag, which only represents L&G, but the level to which that that basic fact is unknown should be a community embarrassment).

Oh, and triple fail points for a) taking credit for stuff your Parlimentary Party OPPOSED and got forced into, and b) claiming glory for the pathetic GRA when your Parlimentary Party is RIGHT NOW trying to fuck over trans people in a new “equality” Bill.

PS: And before anyone makes a mistake the Tories are, and will be, WORSE!

Childhood Sexuality – more scary than killer flu

So the BBC belatedly get on the “sexting” panic bandwagon with this story.

Really glad to see someone in the mainstream media give the issue a balanced view ….although as is the case with any story involving sex, ‘balanced view’ still means giving unquestioning airtime to the bigots and/or paranoid >_>

Although it’s depressing to hear that even the ‘sensible’ views that the media are listening to are simply advocating dropping it to a lesser criminal charge, rather than just decriminalising it completely.

‘It’, in case you hadn’t heard is under 18s voluntarily sharing low-resolution erotic and/or naked photos of themselves via the internet or media texting with other people! *OHNOES!*

FOR FUCKS SAKE WORLD *grumbles* *fetches blackboard and chalk*

  1. If under-18s are sharing pics of their bodies, wouldn’t that suggest they must have even the icklest bit of comfortability with their bodies? Maybe even some body pride, body phoria? ….Now could that be a good thing or bad thing?
    1. CLUE: That’s a fucking good thing!
  2. Didn’t you ever think u-18s might actually like *use* those cameras that got stuck in every mobile phone on the planet? What, you didn’t? Then fool you.
  3. Didn’t you ever think when drafting your precious “child porn” laws that a u-18 might take a pic of themselves? Aww, really, you completely forgot because you were blinded by your child-adult binary…. Then more fool you!
    1. To be blunt – if such a blantant hole in a law comes to act in the world, then shouldn’t we be punishing and shaming those who drafted and passed the reality-illiterate piece of law, rather than those people unfortunate to trapped by it?
  4. If you are still worried about people who are then entrusted with the photos going and circulating them further without the originator’s permission – then criminalise THAT, the non-consensual distribution of obviously-identifiable photos of a person by other people, not the creation of the photos by the subject!
  5. A teenager has KILLED HERSELF because of ‘Slut Shaming’ and other antisexualist hate acts by other “CHILDREN” at her school! And those other u-18s did this because she, a female, dared to consider by her own agency her body as sexual, and thus and sent pics to 1 other person, who then spammed it everywhere (or was lax with their data security). FFS! Who are the real criminals here? The girl who rejected patriarchical and antisexualist demands of her body? or the bunch of kids who hounded her to death for her assertion of self and independance?
    1. It’s not sexting that’s dangerous – It’s your anti-sex prejudices that are LETHAL

And at the root of this all one fact stares out more glaringly than any others – that all of this came about due to people not thinking. (and by that I mean the antisexualist politicians and moralisers, not the poor damned kids!)

Ohnoes! Fake problem may be hard to get prosecutions out of!

My thanks to my Serenegoose for the tip.

After having nagged for the laws, written them, pushed them through Parliament, and got them commenced* the paramilitary wing of the anti-sex movement, The Police, have admitted it might be hard to find those bajillions of “trafficed women” they claimed all along.

Awww, my heart truely goes out to you, and how your life is going to be so much harder now you’re facing the realisation your lies were, like, lies.

Sorry, I mean – HAHAHAHAHAHA!

.

Having read the damned law I somehow suspect the claim of complexity is just a convenient cover for them expecting the number to not add up with their past claims, since the only complexity in it is for customers and providers of the sex trade in tyring to avoid being painted as abuser and abused. For Fucks Sake they intentionally engineered it to make it piss easy to prosecute, and particularly to paint a situation as “trafficing” when it simply isn’t, if there is any complexity that is an obstruction to prosecutions, then they are even more foolish and incompetant than they had already proved themselves!

(Let me just reiterate that I’m totally against the ‘illegal immigration business’ and any sort of unfair work conditions, substandard pay, all forms of forced work, kidnapping, and all forms of abuse – but I am just as strongly against the non-consensual appropriation of victims of abuse to make religious/redfem political attacks on ethically-sound consensual pleasures. Oh, and then there is also how shittily they treat the real and fake victims they apparently care about so much.)

.

* Parliament speak for ‘made actually active’, since by default laws that get passed by Parliament are dormant.

You still don’t know what “family values” are?

On Tuesday our Mr Brown, along with Australia’s Mr Rudd and the Bishop of London, gave a 3-way speech, apparently on the economic fuckstorm to a group of “religious leaders” / “faith and City leaders, charity workers and schoolchildren” (depending on whose article you read). Various news agencies, including the BBC, Sky, and Telegraph stated that the PM was advocating the adoption of ‘Family Values’ by the Financial Sector …while the Daily Heil Mail went as far as “Brown DOES do God as he calls for new world order in sermon at St Paul’s”.

Now, I think some of the Press need to check what they are saying before opening their mouths.

Now, sure, the 10,000 word speech certainly had numerous mentions of religion, and FOUR mentions (wow, that’s a lot!) of “family”, of which 2 were by Rudd, and the other 2 by Brown. One was not even about values, but the other 3 are below-

Gordon Brown

And I want to suggest to all of you here today that this most modern of crises, the first financial crisis of the global age, has confirmed the enduring importance of the most timeless of truths: that our financial system must be founded on the very same values that are at the heart of the best of our family lives.

Instead of a globalisation that threatens to become values-free and rules-free, we need a world of shared global rules founded on shared global values. …

Kevin Rudd (Australian PM)

I think a rediscovery of that through one important agency, given the impact of the current crisis, and that is the agency of family and community. This crisis in the United Kingdom, in Australia and in other countries will cause many people to lose their jobs. There will be a discovery afresh on the part of those affected by that, that those who are their neighbours or their friends of this extra call-back to family and to community, and in that, the discovery afresh of old truths.

Whatever was said of a religious or moralising nature, that speech WAS NOT ADVOCATING “FAMILY VALUES”!

“Family Values” is a clever little pseudonym that has been used (almost exclusively) for decades for a set of backward-looking, rose-tinting, authoritarian, fundamentalist-religion-infused, repressive, compulsory-conformity-loving, corrosive, anti-queer, antisexualist, patriachical political principles!!

It’s what Thatcher and Bush Jr. do on their meaner days, it’s Section28, it’s Prop8, it’s radical puritanism, the worst side of latter Victorian moralising, and the nice side of the Taliban!

Just to make it clear, here is just some of what “Family Values” is about;

  • Society is focused around the single unit of a “Family”
  • “Family” = Traditional Marriage
  • Traditional Marriage:
    • = 1 cis male + 1 cis female
    • this marriage is for life – divorce made difficult / banned
    • this marriage is about producing children
  • Intimacy, sex, and having children outside of marriage is punished
  • Sex is just for producing children, not for closeness, or pleasure
  • No room in this society for any form of same-gender intimacy or gender variance. i.e. no Queers! such behaviour is punished.
  • No porn or erotica. – Strong “obscenity”laws.
  • Children (i.e. under-18s) are the de-facto property of their parents.
  • No access to abortion (well it’s not exactly like you are getting any other autonomy is it!)
  • The Childhood Innocence myth.
  • Sex ed = absinence-only or none at all
  • A strict social hierarchy
  • etc, etc.

So, dear Media, please, whether you agree with or feel all deviants should be locked up, don’t start giving false impression of just what “Family Values” is!

Promise for trans pupils turns out to be less and potentially hollow anyway

Stumbling across the blog ‘UK Equality Bill Excludes Gender Variance‘, via TNUK, their latest post gave me food for thought about reality behind the recent press splurg about an umpteenth promise from Westminster to protect trans school students. The moment friends started telling me the news I was pretty sceptical of it proving to be any good, but following thatlongnamedblog’s go, I thought I’d dissect it myself.

Pulling the source of the story, a question and response in a House of Commons debate on schools, from Hansard* (not the easiest of tasks) we get this;

T9. [261322] Lyn Brown (West Ham) (Lab): I am sure that my [honorable friend] will agree that bullying in schools is insidious in all its many forms. Indeed, it has been reported that nearly half of all trans-gendered pupils attempt suicide before their 18th birthday. Will she tell me what the Government are doing to protect this very vulnerable group of young people?

Sarah McCarthy-Fry**: I certainly agree that this is a very vulnerable group of young people and that any bullying in schools is a cause for great concern. We recently committed to extending guidance on homophobic bullying to include trans-gender pupils. In addition, now that we have considered the many responses we received to consultation on the 2007 discrimination law review, I am happy to announce that we will extend the discrimination provisions to include trans-gender pupils in the forthcoming Equality Bill.

That was on the 9th March. Then on the 10th a (presumably) DCSF spokesperson told Pink News;

“The decision to extend protection in the Equality Bill is therefore a departure from existing policy but a logical one considering the similarity of experience of transgender children and that of lesbian and gay children, and given the decision to extend discrimination protection on grounds of sexual orientation to schools through the 2007 Sexual Orientation Regulations. The intention is to harmonise the protection against discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment with that of the protection on the ground of sexual orientation in schools.”

So;

  1. ‘It’s alright really there’s no abuse in schools just bullying, and bullying ain’t abusive, right?’
  2. The Govt is *still* treating TG as within ‘homosexual’, i.e. we’re just cross-dressing gay guys >_<
  3. Yet, despite being ‘just tarted up gay guys’, all those trans kids just have to continue to put up with abuse till whenever the “forthcoming Equality Bill” (more on this in a minute) turns up …rather than the government bothering to set up a temporary protection of all TG pupils via a secondary legislation measure extending the Sexual Orientation protections to cover TG. Something that’d take all of a day, and at worst a week, to do (seriously!)
  4. TG apparently = ‘the gender reassigned’. (More on this in a minute.)
  5. “gender reassignment” *vomit!*

TG vs ‘the gender reassigned’:

Despite no less than thrice saying this was going to cover all TG pupils, the DCSF drops in at the last minute that this is covering just “grounds of gender reassignment”. The Govt defined ‘Gender Reassignment’ in 1999 as;

“a process which is undertaken under medical supervision for the purpose of reassigning a person’s sex by changing physiological or other characteristics of sex, and includes any part of such process.”

So that’d be in effect narrow this down to just transsexed pupils who have managed the assault course / lottery of accessing medical care. Which isn’t all TG pupils by a long stretch.

Hollows promises?:

We’re told this’ll come in the “forthcoming Equality Bill”, a.k.a the Single Equality Bill. Now I checked, this hasn’t been introduced to Parliament yet. Now isn’t that an election I see on the horizon? Isn’t that a good chance of a Tory win I see (regretably)? And when was the last time you heard of a party fresh into government resurrecting it’s enemy’s Bills?

The (1st) Equality Bill was originally introduced in the House of Commons in March 2005, and didn’t get passed till Feb 2006. Taking into account the lost month due to the 2005 general election and 2.5 months due to the summer recess, that’s 7.5 months to get it passed.

Lets assume for example the Single Equality Bill is introduced next month, April. 7.5 months of Parliament from then is early January 2010. Now, given past practice, likely dates for the next general election are, in order of likelihood***; a) 4th June 2009, b) 6th May 2010, meaning this Parliamentary term will likely end either early this May, or early April 2010.

If it’s this May, anything could happen really, depending on the election results but prospects don’t look great. While if it’s April 2010, then we have basically have 3 months breathing room. Except this is assuming;

  1. the SEB gets the same priority as the 1stEB (unlikely given the economic fuss), and
  2. doesn’t get a harder ride, (unlikely given it contains the more ‘controversial’ issues they kept out the 1stEB to get that passed), and
  3. is not substantially longer than the 1stEB (no idea given they won’t make their fucking minds up!).

…oh, and that they actually introduce it in fucking time! (early July)

tl;dr - Promise to protect all TG pupils from abuse in schools is a sham – it’s only going to cover TS pupils who have access to medical supervision. Also it’s 50/50 as to if the legislation it’s promised via will come about soon or ever!

* the official record of Parliament

** McCarthy-Fry is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Children, Schools and Families, i.e. 3rd in rank at the English Dept for Children, Schools and Families.

*** The present parliament will expire at midnight on 10 May 2010 … which would make the absolute last legal date of the next general election 3 June 2010. But Labour has since coming to power preferred to hold general elections around the 4th anniversary of the last, coinciding with local and/or EU elections. This year’s local and EU elections are on 4 June 2009, and 2010′s local ones would fall on 6th May 2010 following the ’1st Thursday on May’ tradition.

Know your symbols (EuroDSD = BDSM ?)

An article by Sophia Siedlberg on OII’s (Organisation Intersex International) website, which I got via TNUK piqued my interest when I saw it mention that a group called EuroDSD’s had a triskelion (or “threefold yin-yang” as Sophia calls it) as it’s logo.

EuroDSD is a recently formed pan-european “project” of medical people interested in intersex conditions. The “DSD” in their name represents the term ‘Disorders of Sex Development’, which is a disputed term amongst people with intersex conditions, and is notably used by Zucker and pals as part of their attempt to further pathologising intersex conditions and intersexed people, within their demonisation of all gender varience.

Anyway, this is EuroDSD’s logo;

which regardless of the group’s motives couldn’t help but make me laugh, since I’m rather familiar with triskelions*, and know that particular one well in this form;

the BDSM symbol. Which has also been incorporated into the BDSM Rights Flag;

Both the BDSM usages have been going since the mid-90s and at least 2005 respectively. So whatever the story behind EuroDSD, or their opinion on consensual slavery and hot bondage sex, I think they’re going to be a tad embarassed. :P

* being both a symbology geek and a kinksters (someone into BDSM).

Trans care for under 18′s to be centralised!

Via the TNUK list yesterday I heard the below bit of news, published in the magazine of the National Children’s Bureau and the National Youth Agency.

Cutting away the fluff, in essence a move is set to be made on April 1st (yeah, the irony always seems to escape government) to transfer “commissioning” of transgender-related care for under-18′s from a local level, i.e. “PCTs”, to an unspecified “national level” body(ies). Whether this applies to only England, or the whole UK isn’t covered. Nor, if it is UK-wide “national level” means there would be equality of care across the UK or if the devolved regions would have autonomous control (and thus the ability to fuck up) …or if “national” with regard to England, means *national*, or if it means those regional Strategic Health Authorities. …Also, no mention of what here is being regarded as trans-related care? Does it included making science-informed sensible decisions on hormone regimes? Does it include facial hair removal, counselling, etc, etc?

Me thinks a letter/email to the DoH requesting clarification is required.

“Commissioning” is NHS-speak for ‘deciding what treatments to offer to a patient, and stumping up the money to fund it’. It doesn’t cover ensuring there is a facility or staff, which meet their contracting out criteria (some places, like Wales won’t contract to non-NHS providers), to provide such treatment. This is a problem in and of itself, due to, as far as I understand, there being no coordination of treatment provision. Therefore, it’s just left up to individual Trusts and other bodies to set up treatment provision units if they have enough internal demand or feel they can make a profit out of care contracts from other trusts, hence, in part, the progressive loss of Gender Clinics in recent years.

Putting aside the few missed out critical details, I presume this will mean a substantial improvement in care for the under-18s, if only for there being a uniformity of commissioning across at least England …or each English SHA. While of course such commissioning could be really shit in one body or another, the reduction in magnitude of involved bodies (from a few hundred, less than 10) makes the task for the trans populus of sorting them out when they ‘go bad’ significantly easier.

Separately I think this is a massive and notable event due to what the move signifies. That the Westminster government has conceeded, if not in words, in actions, that local NHS bodies can’t be trusted to treat (at least a subgroup, of) trans people!

As I’ve a million times before the flaw in “localism” (the principle that all decisions should be made on a local level) is the prevaling abscene of compassion for minority groups or expertise at local levels.

Surely the next step is to look at similar moves for trans care for the over 18s.

Health – Reform of gender identity support

Children & Young People Now, UK
12 March 2009

Moves are afoot to speed up access to support services for young
people with gender identity issues. Neil Puffett explains.

Children experiencing gender identity issues are set to get better
access to vital help next month when support services go national.

At present, children and adolescents can, in theory, access the Gender
Identity Development Service (GIDS), established in 1989 and based at
the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

It is the only service in the UK for young people up to the age of 18
who believe they may have been born the wrong sex, but many experience
problems securing a referral.

Faster access to services

Treatment available includes expert psychological observation,
assessment and support, possible suspension of puberty to allow
children more time to decide what they want, and hormonal medication.

The service also liaises with schools in an attempt to ensure teachers
are aware of specific circumstances in order to reduce the likelihood
of bullying.

Existing arrangements are funded through individual primary care
trusts (PCTs), which means the speed of referrals varies from area to
area depending on local budgets and expertise.

But from 1 April these services will be commissioned at a national
level, which experts say will help children get faster access to the
help they need.

However, some argue more progress is required, both socially and
medically, to ensure children affected by gender identity issues get
the right support.

Last year, 64 children and adolescents were referred to the service.
An estimated three-quarters of these are expected to become
comfortable with their gender by puberty.

Despite hopes that the changes will lead to big improvements in access
to services, controversy surrounds the way those with a definite
desire to change gender are treated shortly after the onset of
puberty.

Christine Burns, a member of the Department of Health’s LGBT advisory
group, says the service does not administer drugs to suspend puberty
until the age of 16, a policy which goes against the practice in other
countries, including Holland and the US.

“Some of the physical changes at puberty, such as a male’s voice
breaking, are irreversible, while others are very expensive, or
involve invasive surgery, to remove,” she says.

“If you use drugs that block the body’s hormones and postpone the
onset of puberty, you buy a bit of time for the child to become older.
That way if they decide when they are 16 or 17 they are definitely
going to change gender for life, they start with the best possible set
of circumstances.”

Her view is backed by Margaret Griffiths, liaison officer at Mermaids,
a family support group for children and adolescents with gender
identity issues.

Focus on gender education

Griffiths believes these drugs should be available – in the right
circumstances – part way through puberty, because the full
transformational experience can be hugely traumatic, with a number of
children attempting suicide as a result.

She says more focus should also be placed on educating children about
gender issues to help prevent bullying.

“Those of us on the committee actually prefer children to be treated
early with more proactive and consistent treatment,” she says. “We
also believe children should be educated from an early age about
gender issues and the affect that not accepting them can have.

“For some of these children, gender issues may be just a phase they
are going through, but it can cause a lot of problems. They can be
extremely lonely, finding it difficult to join social groups. They
often contemplate suicide and some succeed.”

CASE STUDY – WHEN A CHILD IS BORN THE WRONG GENDER

Sharon Brown’s daughter Nicky is 15. Born a boy, she was diagnosed
with gender dysphoria at the age of seven.

“It wasn’t a surprise,” says Brown. “You could see something was going
on from a very young age. I raised it with my GP when she was four,
but he told me to see how it went. By the time she was seven I had
become aware of the work at the Tavistock clinic and asked for a
referral.

“Fortunately the mental health services guy I saw had worked at the
Tavistock and referred us immediately. It was a lucky break because I
know other parents have had real trouble getting a referral.

“The Tavistock diagnosed her with gender dysphoria. They came and
spoke to teachers at her school and helped us to deal with bullying
issues.

“As she became older, she was dreading the onset of puberty. She was
being badly bullied at secondary school and took four overdoses.

“At the Tavistock they believe children cannot be certain until they
reach puberty, so they do not use blockers before the age of 16.

“My GP was very supportive and eventually we got treatment in the US.
It costs £6,500 a year as we have to travel to Boston every month. I
think if we hadn’t, she would not have been with us by the age of 16.”

Children & Young People Now is the official publication for members of
the National Children’s Bureau and The National Youth Agency.

© Haymarket Media


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