My MP is not interested in trans issues. I feel disrespected. He takes two weeks to even pass on my concerns. Then I asked to see him, he took eighteen days to respond, ignoring that request. He will pass on my concerns again.
On 5 March, I wrote,
The Scottish government has now completed its consultation, but the English consultation has not yet started. When will it start? Now, it is an issue, with the papers printing endless stories about trans people, many in a negative light. They bias the argument against us by picking inconsequential stories and giving them undue prominence. A small but vociferous group of feminists violently objects to trans women. When people say trans women like me as a threat, they may provoke violence against me: if they see me as a threat they feel justified in defending themselves against me.
There is a tiny number of GRCs issued, 4712 to September 2017. We are a tiny group of people, but we are a symbol in many people’s minds for many feminist or culture-war issues. I want not to be noticed, because I fear violence.
I feel that when the consultation is completed, the passions will subside slightly. People will go on to debate other things. Until it is completed, now self-ID has been proposed it is a live issue. The more people get radicalised around it, the more danger I am in.
Will you put my concerns to the relevant authorities?
Will you find out what is causing the delay, and when the consultation might commence?
Will you speak out for self-ID, and against the fear-mongering and rabble-rousing against trans people like me?
On 20 March Tom wrote to Baroness Williams of Trafford, who responded on 23 April. “I am sorry for the delay in my responses,” but not for the delay in the consultation. The Government remains committed to taking action to remove the barriers faced by transgender people. What action? Discussions are ongoing about the content and timing of the consultation… we are continuing to engage with a wide range of stakeholders… including transgender, LGBT and women’s groups, to understand better what they want from the consultation.
I quoted this to a civil servant who said it means “kick it into the long grass”. Tom himself ignored my questions, just sending the response to me on 25 April. So I wrote to him again:
That letter does not address my concerns. In particular, why is a consultation promised for Autumn 2017 in July 2017 still not launched? So, how long will this pre-consultation “engagement” last?
And you- have you familiarised yourself with what self-ID means? It is a minor administrative change which only affects trans people. Will you speak out against rabble-rousing against trans people?
Can I see you about this?
No. Well, he does not propose how I could see him. He is encouraged by the commitment to equality, and hard work is underway to build a society that celebrates and benefits from the talents of everyone. No, actually, hard work is underway to set us against each other by creating hostile environments for immigrants, benefit claimants, and now trans people. The consultation, to be published in due course Ha! will aim to relieve the bureaucratic and medical burdens for those who want to change their gender… and reduce the stigma faced by the trans community.
He has written to the Minister for Women and Equalities, not Justine Greening who announced the consultation in July last year, nor Amber Rudd her successor, but Penny Mordaunt.
The UK is a world leader for transgender rights, he says. No, actually, it is behind Malta and Colombia, which have self-ID.
The hostile environment is for immigrants and benefit claimants. Rather than paying fair benefits to people in need, the government spends more on sanctions, often unjust, arbitrary decisions taking benefits away and causing the rise in need for food banks. Sanctions cost more than they save. The government’s cruelty costs money. David Davies MP is a backbencher, a mediocre man who fails, usually, to stir up hatred, but this time is working hard with particular feminist groups. What are they doing for transgender equality? Nothing. Anyway, in March next year with Brexit our human rights will end.