TransGender Awareness 2013


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  • Transgender contributors to Pride Progress and Transformation
  • Fore word to “Transgender: Dimensions of Inequality in the South West”
  • Transgender is an umbrella term, that is meant to be all encompassing.
    Some people start their journey living as a transvestite or in certain situations in a gender role, some feel they need to go further and take hormones and have surgery.
    To be covered by Equality Law there is no legal requirement for you to be under any form of medical supervision.
    Trans people may be aware of “being different” from peers from a very early age. And if there is an intention to reassign then they may start to be come cross gender behaviour i.e. cross-dressing.
  • GIRES – Gender Variance in the UK: Prevalence, Incidence, Growth, and Geographic distribution 2009
  • We need to be very clear that this is not a mental illness. Because of the stress that people experience, both with physical changes, drugs, rejection by friends and family, and the loss of their support system, it does mean that Trans people often experience mental health issues, but these are not the root cause. We will come back to this later.
  • Article 8: the right to respect for your private and family life, your home and correspondence
    Article 12: the right marry and found a family
    Illegal to ask someone whether they have a Gender recognition certificate. This allows you to change your birth certificate, however, not all members of Trans community want to get one –divorce partner if you do get one.
    You can acquire a valid UK passport in your acquired gender
  • In any school with 1,000 pupils, 6 will experience transgenderism during their lives. There are likely to be others who have a transgender parent or relative.
    It is VERY difficult to collect data amongst the Trans community as they are fiercely protective of their confidentiality – particularly the transgender/cross-dressing community.
    Engendered Penalties – Whittle, Turner and Al-Alami – The Equalities Review, Feb 2007
  • Our LGB Network and Transgender Network were involved in a regional piece of work, called pride, progress and transformation which looked examined the peoples experiences in the SW and what the issues are here.
  • The International Endocrine Society (IES) 1 issued a draft set of guidelines in early 2008-DEC. 2 They are co-sponsored by the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE), The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), and Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society (LWPES).
    The guidelines recommend that some transgendered children as young as 12 years-of-age should be given medication to avoid puberty. This would greatly simplify sex reassignment surgery if they decide to undergo it later in adulthood.
    The main benefit from puberty blockers would be to avoid the inevitable body changes caused by puberty. For example, a male-to-female (MTF) transexual could avoid having her voice deepen, a masculine bone structure appear, her Adam's Apple enlarge, and hair growth on her face. A female-to-male (FTM) could avoid developing breasts, feminine shaped hips, and female bone structure elsewhere. Without these bodily changes, there would be less to correct during sex reassignment surgery.
    Another benefit of putting off puberty would be that the individual would be more mature and capable of making a settled decision in their mid-teens rather than their pre-teens. If, at the age of 16 or so, they decide to not proceed with sex reassignment surgery when they are adults, they can stop the puberty blocker medication and go through puberty.
    Blockers are now offered, but only after very extensive counselling, in the UK.
    Peggy Cohen-Kettenis of the Free University of Amsterdam Medical Center
  • Male / Female socialisation - One of the things Network members often comment on is how you have to get used to people speaking to you differently, for example the way men speak to men is very different to the ways men speak to women.
    Often you have to live for 2 years before they will prescribe you hormone therapy – this also presents people with difficulties as some people feel they need to have the hormones to have the confidence to live in their desired gender.
    Blockers are available earlier than this, and many transpeople who wish to permanently reassign may take hormones they have acquired off the internet – they are that desperate.
  • Before and during transition many people feel very vulnerable which can be increased depending on a number of factors.
  • NB – Have a genuine understanding of, and a commitment to Trans inclusiveness. I.e. not just ticking boxes!
  • NB- Truly embracing diversity -
  • TransGender Awareness 2013

    1. 1. Transgender Awareness workshop Bournemouth 23rd January 2013
    2. 2. “… I h av trappe e felt like a d g was fi in a girl’s b ay boy ve an d don ody since I why .. 't un .t be an here doesn derstand yb 't or wh ody who un seem to oI d me ev can talk to erstands . It af eryda fects y.” t ors s w a he ce h T “... judi from pre ome ious d c lig an re ds s.” n e frie lativ re “(follo wing a n assa police u imagin ) just could lt the e n how I or really de ot al co they w uld be feel with i Trans ere uneduc ng as is s ate pacifie ues. I felt u d in nh d and patron eard, ised.”
    3. 3. “there is hope on the horizon that young transpeople will not have to tolerate what we have gone through; but other areas of concern have not changed and it is the job of this report to highlight those areas.” Krys Vere-Bujnowski Former Co-chair, SWTEN
    4. 4. ‘Gender dysphoria’  Identification with or wish to be considered as their true gender (not that assigned at birth)  A spectrum of identities – gender variance  Emerging evidence: brain anatomy and physiology in transsexual people develops in the womb. (Atypical Gender Development – A Review, International Journal of Transgenderism)  Not a mental illness, but is often treated as one by medical profession
    5. 5. Trans-lation  Transsexual - someone whose gender dysphoria is such that they need to deal with it through transitioning – usually with medical assistance - to a gender role different from that assigned to them at birth.  Transgender - a broader term that includes all those who experience some degree of gender variance, in most cases requiring no medical intervention (GIRES 2009)
    6. 6. Trans people ...  Are all over the world – not just a Western thing  Have existed always - through recorded history  Cross all economic and social boundaries  Are part of a natural variation  Want no more than to be themselves, in peace  Are entitled to dignity, respect and confidentiality
    7. 7. Current legislation  Human Rights Act 1998  Article 8: right to respect for private & family life  Article 12: right to marry and found a family  Gender Recognition Act 2004 • GR Certificate: able to change birth certificate  Equality Act 2010 • Protected characteristic ‘Gender reassignment’ • No need to be under medical supervision
    8. 8. UK Statistics Are far from accurate - best estimate approx 21 in every 100,000 people are transsexual (GIRES)  A school with 1,000 pupils will have 6 who experience gender dysphoria during their lives.  Others likely to have transgender parent or relative  80% of trans people have encountered problems (The Equalities Review 2007)  34.4% said they thought about or attempted suicide or self harm (The Equalities Review 2007)
    9. 9. Early years  Children usually know how they fit within the gender spectrum by about age 4 or 5. (GIRES)  When young the common experience (is) having no-one to talk to, or no-one who could be trusted to listen... (SWTEN report) “I have felt like a gay boy trapped in a girl’s body since I was five and don't understand why… My head is messed up over this stuff and there doesn't seem to be anybody who understands or who I can talk to. It affects me everyday.” (young PP&T contributor)
    10. 10. Early years  80% of those who go on to transition knew by the time they were 8 years old that their gender identity was at odds with society’s perception (Gender Identity Research & Education Society)  “...the school environment and community (has a key role) in securing or undermining the well-being of Transgender children and young people”.  “Problems during school years create barriers for individuals in fulfilling their academic, creative, professional and economic potential”. (SWTEN report)
    11. 11. Puberty and the ‘pause button’  Changes at puberty “can be terrifying and repulsive to a transgendered person”.  International Endocrine Society (IES) – recommends ‘puberty blocking’ for some young trans people "People are always afraid that (puberty blocking) will be harmful for the children. But what they never take into account is that it is also harmful to not give them this treatment.”  Clinics in Australia, Canada, Germany, the U.S. and the UK have started to offer treatment to young trans people to prevent the onset of puberty.
    12. 12. Transition  Process of moving towards living in true identity  A fundamental, extremely stressful, life change  Typically  Loss of friends, jobs, family, home - often all in one go  Male/female socialisation needs to be unlearned and new behaviours acquired  Required to live in identity for 2 yrs prior to medical treatment  Hormone therapy and surgery not widely available in UK for under 18s
    13. 13. Vulnerability to Social exclusion, bullying, abuse Isolation Loss of essential emotional support – family Loss of security – home and employment Loss of confidence and self-esteem Risks to mental and physical health and wellbeing  Self-harm and suicide: overall attempted suicide rate 34%; 50% for teenagers (SWTEN report).      
    14. 14. Health and well-being: Messages from PP&T • Local support services/groups are important • All service providers/all sectors - publicise and practise trans inclusiveness • All staff (and volunteers) need awareness training, and to practice respect • GPs: attitudes and clinical knowledge key surgery-based trans specialists • Mental health services: more counselling, more timely, more Trans aware
    15. 15. Health and well-being: Messages from SWTEN Early intervention in schools to create a specific, proactive, committed response to the needs of Transgender young people, including • active anti-bullying policies • police working with schools to address trans issues of safety • awareness training for staff and governors • trans issues described and introduced into PHSE and other (e.g. Science) parts of the curriculum
    16. 16. How you can help  Visibly embrace diversity as an individual and/or organisation (e.g. E&D posters)  Have up to date anti-discriminatory and antibullying policies that are publicised and enforced  Make it easy to report Transphobic incidents  Spread awareness and understanding – training for staff and service users  Provide a mentor who can help trans people – good pastoral care
    17. 17. “It takes so much to strength and courage s keep going as a Tran tle person that there’s lit e.” room for anything els (SWTEN report) judice rst pre gious wo “...The e from reli m has co nd relatives.” a friends PP&T “... those closest to trans people often have the most difficulty accepting gender transition...” PP&T Support from education bodies is vital in meeting the needs and promoting the wellbeing of Transgender children and young people. (SWTEN report) The exp eri years ha ences of early ve effect on a profound individu als’ self develop ment ... (SWTEN report) “I c h gen ose to d shie er ide conce a n from ld my tity co l my fa n PP& abuse mily a flict to T or a nd m ttac y k.” self
    18. 18. Ruth’s Story Ruth was born in a male body but knew from the age of 16 that she wanted to be a woman. Learn about her hormone treatment and surgery, and how she feels now:
    19. 19. My journey: Trans people share their experiences -
    20. 20. Some useful links  The Beaumont trust:  GIRES - Information for trans people, their families and the professionals who care for them:  Press for Change:  NHS website: An Introduction to working with Transgender people: h/@en/documents/digitalasset/dh_074254.pdf  SW Transgender Equality Network – to get involved and find out more, including local groups, research and general information:  Transgender Information: Text: 0781 609 3291