CW: Transphobia, Mental Health
Today is Tuesday, the day when I normally write something for Trans Joy. But this week I don’t feel up to that. I still believe in the project and I want to keep writing about the positive side of trans experiences. But to write that right now wouldn’t be honest, it wouldn’t be true to how I feel, and it wouldn’t be right to my readers.
As I discussed last week I’ve been dealing with a lot of bullshit recently, and the thing about being trans and outspoken is that never really goes away. It just kinda hangs around, the same arguments over and over with people who treat denying our humanity as some kind of game.
And then there’s the thing that happened last week. In a select committees hearing the UK equalities minister took an explicitly anti-trans stance. Protection of “single-sex spaces”, mysterious “checks and balances” to keep trans people from abusing the system, and denying trans young people agency in their healthcare choices. All of these are transphobic talking points taken straight from hate groups such as Womens Place and LGB Alliance, and coming from the lips of a cabinet member.
This would roll back some of the hard-won protections trans people currently have and will cause immense harm. For many young trans people going through puberty is intensely traumatic, puberty blockers (which are also prescribed for other reasons such as children going through puberty very early) pause the process and allow them to have agency. Study after study show that this form of medical intervention has an overwhelmingly positive effect, with improved health outcomes (trans young people are at incredibly high risk of serious mental health problems) and very few cases of people regretting their choices.
This is policy based on prejudice and lobbying, not medical evidence and certainly not engagement with the trans community. This denial of access to medical care is wrong, it undermines the principle of informed consent in medicine, and it will destroy lives.
I am scared, I am angry, and I am tired. I started Trans Joy because I didn’t want those things to define my experience as a trans person. But neither will I deny that this is part of my life.