In 2014, the UK charity, Stonewall, had a new CEO: Ruth Hunt.
Ruth wanted to make Stonewall trans inclusive. Up until that point it hadn’t been. Part of that effort was to recruit an advisory group from the UK trans community.
I was on that group. I ended up as its vice chair.
We spent the next year and a bit creating a document called “A Vision For Change”, which detailed what we thought the areas that trans equality campaigning should focus on in Britain.
Then the Brexit referendum happened and Cameron ragequit. Theresa May came in and it was apparent there was very little government apetite for the stuff we wanted.
But May, who was there when the same Sex marriage bill went through under the earlier coalition government had had something of a damascene conversion to LGBT rights issues. Stranger things have happened (but not many!)
So she wanted something from our list that was quick, easy, and uncontroversial. Obviously we were disappointed, but she was presented with bringing Britain’s antiquated Gender Recognition Act up to date, and in line with other European countries, as something simple. We honestly thought it was. It’s an administrative change of very little significant consequence, and actually no significance at all outside the trans community.
And it would have been simple, had an eclectic collection of unpleasant, obsessive arseholes with privileged access to the UK press not decided to start a culture war over trans people at that exact moment.
A culture war which, at least in England, they basically won. In part, this war was why I emigrated to Portugal.
Here we are, seven years later, and the result of Scotland finally wanting to implement a watered down version of the “easy win” we presented to Theresa May is apparently that the current prime minister, Rishi Sunak, is willing to end the Union between England and Scotland over it.
So that’s my story. I am part of a small, elite cabal of LGBT people who wrote a document that is poised to destroy the last vestiges of the British Empire.
Go me! If there are any other governments you want destabilising, my bank details are available on request. I provide reasonable rates.
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