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Trans woman wins complaint against newspaper for ‘tranny’ headline

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  1. Such a shame that the other complaints were not upheld. Rape support services are desperately in need of volunteers and financing. What does a person’s medical history and height have to do with her ability to help those in need?!
    I myself was put off from becoming a rape counsellor due to being a transsexual – I admire this lady’s courage to put herself forward and help people, despite the ignorance of those that feel the need to question her good intentions.

  2. Mihangel apYrs 4 Jan 2010, 2:59pm

    so in what way was this woman perceived to be unsuitable? Because that’s what she is, a woman, not a panto dame!

    Once someone transitions, they are to be considered as the chosen sex and their previous history buried unless they tell individuals.

  3. She should of won the other complaints against the newspaper. I red the article and it was based round ignorance and prejudice. The journalist who wrote it claims she is unfit because they expect a women of which she is. Next let’s expect an article on why a Muslim can’t be employed because he may bring a bomb to work or a black man because he will stab you.

  4. Mihangel: Surely the term “transsexual” by it’s Latin origins: trans; to change, should indicate that the person is in a state of flux. They were a man, they have become a woman. A transexual surely is someone who is technically neither until the transition is complete.

    Also, I believe the term is now ‘transgender’ as opposed to ‘transexual’ as this refers to their change in physical characteristics, rather than sexual preference.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, before some cross-dressing harpy descends on me like a ton of lipstick for being politically incorrect.

  5. “The Sunday Life argued that no offence had been intended in the use of the word ‘tranny’ …”

    So no offence has been intended – but plenty was given!

    “Belfast newspaper” … only 50% accurate, and I’m not referring to ‘Belfast’ !!!

  6. Mihangel apYrs 4 Jan 2010, 6:09pm

    RobN: I think you ought to address the questions to those on this board who know the answers. All I know is, is that once someone begins the transition there is a point at which they have to adopt their chosen sex fulltime (though maybe not undergoing physical re-assignment). At that point, they have the expectation and right to be treated as that sex. So in this case the M2F person is legally and socially female. My latin is non-existant, but once one has “transitioned” one is established as that sex.

    There are societal issues, but these shouldn’t be perpetuated by the media seeking sensation by making a lot about nothing (who’d take a bet that previously this newspaper would have complained about male PCs being excluded if a raped woman wanted a female officer?)

  7. @RobN

    Transgender or transgendered is a cover all umbrella term that covers everybody in the trans spectrum. On a whole most transsexuals reject the word being associated with themselves as its demeaning to associate them the same way as say somebody who dress in woman’s clothes for a sexual kick(not that there is anything wrong with that). Two very different gender identities are involved and in my opinion using transgender confuses both.

  8. Pumpkin Pie 4 Jan 2010, 10:48pm

    Mihangel: Surely the term “transsexual” by it’s Latin origins: trans; to change, should indicate that the person is in a state of flux. They were a man, they have become a woman. A transexual surely is someone who is technically neither until the transition is complete.

    As far as I’m aware, “trans” is Latin for “across”, the usage here implying someone who exists beyond traditional concepts of sex and gender. The use of “trans” here is different to how it is used in words such as “transition”.

    Also, these are scientific, psychological terms, not legal ones. A transwoman was never a man. She may have looked like one and lived like one, but she was not one. This is a source of contention with lawmakers. To a psychologist, to say someone has transitioned means that that person has completed their journey to a way of living that is appropriate for their gender. To a politician, transitioning seems to erroneously imply someone changing their gender (this is about as impossible as gay “conversion”), or having cosmetic surgery. Psychologists spend their lives studying things like this and know what they are talking about, politicians want to tick boxes, uphold the convenient status quo, and protect the traditionalistic mindsets of their precious little voters. I know who I’d rather listen to.

    Also, I believe the term is now ‘transgender’ as opposed to ‘transexual’ as this refers to their change in physical characteristics, rather than sexual preference.

    Abi answered this one just fine: transgender refers to anyone whose gender identity or sex is out of the norm, from transsexuals to crossdressers to intersexed people. I agree that the naming is certainly a bit odd.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, before some cross-dressing harpy descends on me like a ton of lipstick for being politically incorrect.

    How hilarious that you think you can make an intentional slur (“cross-dressing harpy”) against a group of people and then use the old “PC” routine to make yourself look like the victim. PC has done more for bigots than it ever did for minorities – now they can legitimise their bigotry by making themselves out to be the oppressed party. When I was growing up, we didn’t use these namby-pamby terms like “PC”: you were either “nice” or a “tosser”. Simpler times, eh?

  9. Mihangel / Abi / Pumpkin: Thank you for that enlightening explanation. I was always of the impression that you can change your sex, but you can’t change your gender (That’s what you are born with, however you might change things) – As for my little dig about harpies, I said it because whenever a mention of trans issues comes up, there is usually a crowd of them ready to rip your throat out for transgressing their unwritten rules about how they should be treated. I like many others, am completely ignorant of their situation, and in endeavouring to find out more get totally demonised for getting it wrong. I always feel I’m walking on eggshells. I suspect even the writers of this article were maybe ignorant, and certainly less than tactful in their description, but were not malicious in their intent.

    I’ve said it many times before, Trans people need to specify some kind of etiquette and explanation so that everyone else understands how to address them.

  10. OrtharRrith 5 Jan 2010, 12:06pm

    Just address us as the gender we present, it’s that simple – particularly if you encounter the person in well, person. IF further discription is required then as stated Transgender or Trans covers everyone but are in the process of, or have completed gender reassignment then the correct term is Transsexual (with one or two “s” depending upon if you are American or not). Many of us – although by no means all simply prefure to be addressed as the gender we have transistioned to – so for a MtF then Woman, for a FtM then Man.

  11. OrtharRrith 5 Jan 2010, 12:08pm

    As stated the term “Tranny” is offensive to many people, with it being as nasty as calling a black man “nigger” or a gay man “faggot”. Which is why it’s a relief to have a ruling such as this – although the fact that the rest of the complaint wasn’t upheld is very dissapointing.
    However if you ARE confused as how to address someone then ask them quietly what they prefure – it could be difficult for example with someone that is GenderQueer – that’s someone that presents as neither male or female.
    It can be complicated I’ll admit but it’s not difficult to simply be polite – “Crossdressing harpies” wasn’t polite, nor was making it look like you are the victim if someone found your post offensive (it wasn’t until the crossdressing harpies comment, incorrect but not offensive). No-one will be angry or upset with you for asking a politely worded inoffensive question online.

  12. Mihangel apYrs 5 Jan 2010, 1:03pm

    I think RobN remembers the bad old days (as I do) of the venomous drag queens who used to inhabit clubs that ought to have been condemned on health grounds. “cross-dressing harpy” is the kindest things one could say about them, who could turn an innocent young gay in to a quivering wreck in ten seconds.

    It doesn’t have any relationship to trans people who aren’t acting any sort of part

  13. LOL@Mihangel: Actually, I wasn’t referring to Dockyard Doris et al.
    To be honest, I’ve had some really aggressive replies back in the past – the stories of the 12yo boy wanting an op, and then everyone attacking me because I referred to a “he” instead of a “she” when essentially nothing had changed with that person. My attitude was, the kid wasn’t legally allowed to change until a certain age, so by that reckoning he was still a boy.

    I appreciate I have been known to wade into an argument on here spraying remarks like machine gun fire, but on some occasions I know when to tread lightly, and in this case I was vehemently attacked on all sides for not knowing the etiquette.

    * Hears distant cries of “I’m a Lady!!” *

  14. “My attitude was, the kid wasn’t legally allowed to change until a certain age, so by that reckoning he was still a boy.”
    But psycologically, she was female – and that’s what matters, not what sex organs are between one’s legs or what chromosomes they have.

    Even if a trans person has had no medical intervention, weather they are to be referred to as “he” or “she” in general conversation should be down to their personal choice. Unless there is good reason to bring one’s trans status into the conversation, that should be sufficient and not confusing at all. When you call a Male-to-Famale trans person a “he” because they have not had surgery, or you are reffering to them before the transition, you are effectivly bringing their private life into the arena and there is simply no need for it – it’s just offensive.

    If it is neccessary to discuss ones trans status, then saying things like “When they were a man” or “She was a boy before the operation” can be both offensive and inapproprite. Instead, just use terms like “before their transition”, or “before surgery”.

    In the case of transexual vs transgender, I don’t think there is any widely accepted consensus. However my view is that ‘sex’ reffers to ones physical sex (chromosomes, genetalia, etc) where as ‘gender’ reffers to how one identifies psycologically. Therefore, “transexual” refers to someone who is in the process of changing their physical sex (taking hormones, undergoing surgery, etc) whereas “transgender” referrs to someone who is ‘genderqueer’ as someone mentioned previously; they might identifiy with neither gender or both, somewhere in between, or change from time to time.

    But I digress – untill this becomes a lot less of a taboo subject, there will not be enough open discussion and education, and until that time we will be a very confused bunch all using different terms.

  15. Ashley: “Until this becomes a lot less of a taboo subject, there will not be enough open discussion and education, and until that time we will be a very confused bunch all using different terms.”

    Which is precisely what I said. However I don’t see it as taboo, I see it as people that are so self-obsessed about their own gender they assume everyone is persecuting them. The sooner trans people of all persuasions come out of the changing room and started being open and explained to all us uninitiated what the hell it’s all about, the better.

  16. OrtharRrith 5 Jan 2010, 10:25pm

    @RobN.
    Please bare in mind that gender identity and particularly any surgery is an intensly personal thing – which is in part why the Sunday Life was wrong to print the story. Many trans do not want to talk about their genitals and just want to get on with their lives as best they are able. So “The sooner trans people of all persuasions come out of the changing room and started being open and explained to all us uninitiated what the hell it’s all about, the better.” doesn’t really work. IF the trans person wants to talk about it then by all means but otherwise… Some, like myself; are happy to educate, but many of us just want to be left alone to live our lives.

  17. OrtharRrith: I appreciate that one cannot directly compare the typical “coming out” of a lesbian or gay person with the anxiety and worry that I’m sure must accompany anyone preparing for an op, but 40 years ago, it was probably much the same for them, in an often hostile world.

    I have found in my experience that most homophobia is not malicious, but born out of ignorance and misinformation, which tends to propgate more of the same. I think homosexuality is certainly more acceptable amongst younger generations these days because they know some gay or lesbian that has told them the facts, not what they heard “round the back of the bike shed”.

    Maybe trans people should try to take a leaf out of our book and be a little more open about who and what they are, rather than duck for cover every time they are approached. Ignorance causes fear, and fear can cause violence. The more ordinary people can understand, the more the minorities will become accepted.

  18. OrtharRrith 6 Jan 2010, 3:31pm

    I agree that those not affected by transsexualism or transgenderism need to be educated, although I think many trans people will not want to be more open about themselves and their condition. Being gay is one thing, and the bigotry dirrected at gays is as bad; but in many cases being trans is more obvious. This makes trans people an eaasier target in many respects and so many trans people don’t want to draw any further attention to themselves. Look at the papers for examples of what happens when trans people are either more open or discovered, it’s incredibly nasty – what the Sunday Life/Belfast Telegraph prinited was the very tip of the iceberg – and it’s not just the papers, those same papers websites are filled with transphobic comments by the general public, So it’s hardly supprising that most of us don’t want to stand up and announce “I’m transsexual” to the world.

    “I have found in my experience that most homophobia is not malicious, but born out of ignorance and misinformation”
    I can’t comment on homophobia but I have experienced transphobia that is malicious as well as born out of misinformation, and believe this to be a common finding amongst my trans brothers and sisters

  19. @RobN:
    Have you thought that maybe Trans people themselves are not the best people to be doing the educating?
    Each trans person has his or her own personal experience and many do not go beyond that – many trans people will not be ‘in the know’ about the issues that don’t affect them personally – they have no need. (Having said that, I do know of a few that do go out of their way to learn and help others).
    Anyway the point is, would you expect say, people who suffer from a particular condition to educate people about that condition? Probably not. The responsibility should not be placed on the trans people – rather the people in the know, i.e. those that treat trans-people, as well as researchers and scientists, should be consulted.

    If those folks at the Sunday Life had bothered to pick up the phone and speak to someone at say, the Gender Identity Clinic and make an attempt to learn something about what they were writing about, then maybe there wold be no need for a court case.

  20. check out ; grp.gov.uk
    for updates of the law on transgender.

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