Thursday, 21 January 2021

Cautiously optimistic

I am pleased to hear that the new man in Washington acted immediately to end discrimination against LGBT people and that the White House website has reinstated its LGBT pages that were wiped as soon as Trump came to power. It seems the new president will also end the ban on trans people in the US military any day now. This can only be good news for the trans community in the USA and help influence other governments too. This time four years ago I expressed forebodings about Trump's regime (Farewell Mr Obama) but it turned out worse than I (or anyone else) expected. Trans people deserve a break from the hate and need time to recover and build. I am optimistic.

I used to work in government, until it dawned on me that the main purpose of government is to brutalise. Authority is an imposition that plays on fear and hope in similar measure. It's bullying by another name. Who you are or what you do is usually subject to approval from callous officials and narcissistic politicians who change outlook and attitude in pursuit of their careers. I have some sickening stories involving some pretty evil people from my days in the ministries in London. Next hallowe'en I might sit you down by the fire and tell you them. Brrr!

I am trans because that is how nature made me, yet getting professional help or public recognition or avoiding discrimintion involves the intervention of government that will either help or harm depending on the prejudices of its members, its staff and its voters. In 2018 I wrote this post explaining why I won't approach doctors or clinics about being trans (Why I won't ask my doctor ... ). Following the Trump experience, and Britain's chaos and discrimination in the last 5 years, and the genuine possibility of fascism returning to Italy, one has to be cautious and not hope, assume or rely on governments to act or continue to act in our interests. In relative terms, news from Washington is good, at least for another four years. 

What makes me most hopeful for the trans future, though, is that a young generation has been growing up with far fewer prejudices about gender and sexuality than there used to be. And simply making our presence known by being out, by being visible, makes people aware that we are just trying to get on in life like anyone else. We haven't yet reached critical mass to ensure that being trans is no longer something to discuss but is just accepted, but slowly we'll get there. So the shift in US government policy is another small step in the right direction.


A dip in the archives

This illustrated article from The Paris Review about a short-lived trans magazine in Weimar Germany, The Third Sex, is worth reading. It also shows how some found their true selves under one regime ... only to lose that opportunity under another.

A Lost Piece of Trans History


Sue x

Cari lettori italiani

Il cambio di governo negli Stati Uniti rappresenta una vera inversione di rotta e un futuro più sicuro per il mondo transgender. Però la crisi di governo qui in Italia mi preoccupa. Troppo spesso la nostra vita è ingiustamente condizionata da chi si trova al potere invece di essere trattata come un fenomeno naturale e normale.

Sue x




  1. "...main purpose of government is to..."

    I worked in local government for a stint and there seemed to be a lot of faffery. I think a lot of people wanted to help and make things better. However, in the government hierarchy, if you get someone who's, well, frankly a d*ck, that doesn't half mess things up.

    1. Tell me about it! Inefficiency and makework are the stuff of government too. Rigid hierarchies are a disaster everywhere (the Peter Principle - people get promoted till they reach their level of incompetence). Whitehall, however, was full of sociopaths who were often efficient but had no direct interest in what they did, perceiving their job merely as a means to advancement and/or the need to oppress; people who create rules and regulations because they do not recognise humans as generally capable of co-operation and social bonding. The cold inhumanity still disturbs me even after all this time.

      Hoping the weekend is stress-free for you.

      Sue x.