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Jul 27 2013

Brighton Trans-Pride

As the UK’s first Trans Pride event is staged this weekend in Brighton, one of its organisers Sabah Choudrey talks about the challenges of having a transgender identity.

The Trans Pride event being held in Brighton is aimed at tackling that. Over 350 people are expected to attend events including a beach picnic. Mr Choudrey told the BBC:

“I hope that this event will increase visibility…showing people that we are a community and that it’s not a fetish or some kind of freak show or a strange medical phenomenon.” Sabah Choudrey spoke about Trans Pride at ‘Queer Day Out’ on Brighton Beach

The NHS guidance on transgender issues identifies Gender Dysphoria as the “discomfort or distress” caused by a person’s sense of their gender identity. It is not seen as a mental illness in itself but says “the associated pressures… and social stigma… may result in clinically significant levels of distress.”

Activists in the trans community hope with more visibility, society will change and it will be less difficult for people who want to explore their gender identity.

“Trans history is very dark and it isn’t as progressive as gay history really.” Mr Choudrey said. The hope is that visibility will help stop more transphobic

So if you are in Brighton? Go out and have some fun.

13 comments

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  1. 1
    Henry Hall

    The elephant in the room is that only some of the people who are transsexual are dysphoric or have ever been dysphoric. (Dysphoria is anxiety with melancholy).

    None of the establishment activists nor the NHS nor the civil service want to see that elephant. They all want to go on with eyes tight shut.

  2. 2
    Sassafras

    Gee, Henry, what an utterly vague and ominous statement to make. What exactly are you trying to say about this “elephant in the room”?

  3. 3
    Henry Hall

    I’m trying to say that many transsexual people have no dysphoria and have never had any dysphoria.

    And that those positions of power act on an unjustified assumption that all transsexual people have anxiety with melancholy. Also known as dysphoria. It’s simply not true. Some transsexual people do have actually dsyphoria but many do not.

  4. 4
    Sassafras

    First off? Dysphoria is not limited to your definition of it. It does not only mean “anxiety with melancholy”, not even in a mental health context. Gender dysphoria is defining characteristic of being transsexual; it is what causes someone to seek medical transition.

    Secondly, what’s your point? Why does “anxiety with melancholy” even matter in discussions of trans people’s rights? What actions that people in “positions of power” take on your supposed “unjustified assumption” are so objectionable? Are you trying to say that only people with your definition of dysphoria deserve equal rights and health care?

  5. 5
    Henry Hall

    I’m sorry it is necessary to spell it out, but apparently it is so herebelow:

    Gender dysphoria is a subset of dysphoria and each is a psychological condition. Gender dysphoria is defined as a disorder, both in UK law (Section 25 of Gender Recognition Act 2004) and in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Gender dysphoria is therefore classified as a psychological disorder. A matter of taxonomy, or if you prefer – of nosology.

    Transsexual people are people who seek or strive for FTM or MTF changes of their documentation, legal status and somatic sexual characteristics.

    Within Britain’s NHS, services that specifically address the needs of transsexual people are limited to those who meet the appropriate so-called Gender Dysphoria Protocol and Service Guidelines which include but are not limited to those who obtain at least a provisional diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a gender identity clinic. Those specific needs of transsexual people include primarily medical assistance with changing their somatic sexual characteristics.

    But many transsexual people have no gender dysphoria, not as classified by medical professionals, nor indeed do they have any dysphoria of any kind. The reality on the ground is that they get their needs met using the NHS by feigning dysphoria, specially gender dysphoria, to health professionals who collude with them. This unfortunate deception is a source of much of the problem, but people do whatever they need to do in order to access the medicine they need.

    On point is that only some of the people who are transsexual are dysphoric or have ever been dysphoric, and that the establishment activists, the NHS, and the UK civil service refuse to see that in any context of transsexual transgender.

    The European Parliament resolution of 28 September 2011 on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity at the United Nations addresses this issue and none of the UK establishment activists, NHS, or UK civil service honour, or even acknowledge, the on-topic spirit of (among others) item 13 of that resolution as to the nature of medical and administrative support for the transsexual, transgender, journey (ie FTM or MTF).

    So that then is the elephant in the kitchen. That the phenomenon of transsexual people devoid of gender dysphoria is swept under the carpet in the UK thus depriving such people of their human rights including specially those granted to British people under the ECHR effective from 1953. We can only hope that the upcoming Prof. Steve Fields review addresses these human rights issues.

  6. 6
    Sassafras

    Except, Henry, that you didn’t actually say what your POINT is, you just made the same vague claims with more words. You haven’t said how you know that a significant amount of trans people are faking gender dysphoria (or even that it happens at all), or even what that amount entails; you just keep using vague words like “many” to give the issue imaginary weight. And you haven’t said why that’s a problem big enough to merit mention on a blog post about trans people standing up for their civil rights. If you’re arguing that the requirements for medical transition are too strict then OK, but I can’t tell because you haven’t actually said what your point is.

  7. 7
    Henry Hall

    POINT is that the needs of UK transsexual people who are devoid of dysphoria are not being addressed.

    This is in large measure because establishment activists, the NHS, and the UK civil service wrongly deny our existence.

    It’s big enough to merit a comment because of the innuendo in the blog that the NHS guidance on transgender issues which orbits around a concept of Gender Dysphoria is somehow valid or truthful as to transsexual transgender issues.

    I’m sure it doesn’t apply to Sassafras, but other interested readers who have not read the previously mentioned European Parliament resolution may find it at:
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2011-0427
    That resolution clearly calls for medical and other government support for the journey to be disentangled from mental concepts (such as dysphoria). See especially the call for depsychiatrisation (as a matter of human rights) in part 13 of the resolution.

    Some transsexual people do indeed need psychiatry for dysphoria. Just as some people with cancer and some pregnant women need also psychiatry for their dysphoria. The European Parliament has roundly condemned the psychiatric diagnosis of homosexuality and of transsexualism and called for member states to depsychiatrise the transsexual transgender journey.

  8. 8
    Henry Hall

    I should have written “ignore our existence’ rather than “deny our existence’. We do not even get the courtesy of a denial.

  9. 9
    Sassafras

    Well, OK, then; I am all about making transition as easy and painless as possible for anyone that needs it. The previous phrasing made it difficult to tell if you were speaking in support of trans people who don’t have dysphoria, or whether you were using them as a means of denigrating all trans health care. There are a lot of transphobes who use anything they can to make it seem as if we’re all lying about being trans. I apologize for misunderstanding and taking an adversarial attitude.

  10. 10
    Pen

    Hmmm, it seems to me that the NHS is an institution that exists solely to provide medical care to people who need it, with quite a high threshold for ‘need’ at the moment. Just try ‘needing’ adult orthodontics or even spectacles. So I think the NHS in not being inequitable in reserving its treatments for transgender people whom it thinks can show significant need. We might wish it would serve us all more liberally but it that case we, or someone, is going to have to pay more taxes and direct them towards that kind of spending.

  11. 11
    Henry Hall

    Mostly agreed, but I’m not so certain about the “solely”. The NHS Constitution says ” … 2. Access to NHS services is based on clinical need, … ” crucially important words unchanged since 1948. Clinical need is paramount.

    To my mind, the significant clinical need of transfolk is manifest. But it is not homogeneous. In some people there is a psychological condition so severe that inadequate coping or even suicide is a material risk. In others there is gross somatic disfigurement pursuant to endocrinological factors.

  12. 12
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  13. 13
    get the facts

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