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Comment: Trans people need equality to get our marriages, confiscated by the state back

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  1. I think (trying to be objective – and I have many times said on PN that I do not fully understand transgender issues and am willing to learn, so if I am wrong ….) that there are probably at least three issues here:

    i) Making new marriages gender blind i.e. in terms of opposite sex, same sex or however you quantify the gender in a couple involving one or more transgender people – it is a marriage entered into freely with consent for a monogamous relationship. Civil marriage should support the couple with gender not being a question of concern. Achieving this would ensure future marriages for those couples wishing to engage in a civil marriage would be able to do so.

    ii) Tackling the issues of marriages of couples where one (or both) of them have undergone change in gender and where those marriages have not been given the legal recognition that they (at least in many if not all cases) should have been given.

    iii) Preventing the rhetoric and deceptions of some right wing

    1. individuals and some extreme (and grotesque) religious organisations in terms of the lies and distortions that they seek to use either about marriage itself or about the issues that would (more likely would not) occur should marriage be more fair and equal in the UK.

      All three issues are interwoven in each other to a large extent.

      I do wonder if issue two might be easily dealt with either as a statutory instrument or small clause (or act of its own) to resolve what will become historic issues only, if the other factors are dealt with properly.

      I am sure most transgender people want equality of marriage both for themselves and for the wider LGBT communities. I am sure most gay people will feel the same about their own equality and that of transgender people and others. I am sure (by human nature) we all tend to concentrate on the interests that will benefit us, that should not prevent us seeking to support others who may experience similar distortions in law or in lies told.

  2. So is that a bloke masquerading as a woman, or t’other way round?

    1. I think Janice is a crazy fool masquerading as a bigot!

      1. Paddyswurds 19 May 2012, 2:43pm

        …quite possible that Janice is masquerading as a human being, rather……

      2. Do you Stu? What exactly makes me a ‘bigot?’ Is it the fact I hold an opposing view to yours?

        I’m merely unsure as to whether the person featured in this article is a woman dressed as a man, or a man dressed as a woman. Is this question enough to make me a ‘bigot?’

        1. Yes, it is enough, since it is clear that the article is about a lady called Sarah Brown.

        2. Sarah Brown 20 May 2012, 9:01am

          Um, I’m me, dressed in my clothes.

          1. Ben Foster 20 May 2012, 8:34pm

            you don’t need to justify yourself to trolls like that, Sarah. You look just fine.

        3. Yes I do Janice

          I believe you are showing intolerance of someone who differs. Which is the dictionary definition of a bigot.

          Now, if I misjudge you, then please explain how you are not showing intolerence – because its crystal clear to me and others on here the level of your intolerance (in this comment alone – although I do recall other bigoted comments you have made in the past).

    2. Paddyswurds 19 May 2012, 2:41pm

      …and knowing will enhance your life how exactly??…..

      1. Just interested, Paddy.

    3. Hodge Podge 19 May 2012, 2:42pm

      People like you think they’re dead clever, that they’re the only sane people left in the world fighting against political correctness, and that we’re all just following the diktat of what the Guardian is saying this week.

      That’s just patronising, and a good way to dismiss the argument. I actually believe in trans rights on a logical level. Have the guts to test your convictions, not just implicitly smear your enemies as naive.

      Either that or you’re a particularly boring troll and I’ve written this little essay for nothing.

    4. That There Other David 19 May 2012, 3:04pm

      What a thoroughly nasty piece of work you are.

    5. “So is that a bloke masquerading as a woman”
      Are you?

      1. No, I’m a woman who accepts that I am a woman.

        1. you are a transphobic bigot.

        2. “No, I’m a woman who accepts that I am a woman.”

          You should get out more.

        3. Just like many trans women accept the fact that their gender is female – so if you actually KNOW (in your head) that you are female, you have a lot in common with most trans women – so perhaps you should have a little more compassion.

        4. When you say that “I’m a woman who accepts that I am a woman” you clearly know that your gender is female – i.e. that your mind is female. If this is the case, you have an awful lot in common with trans women who also know that their gender is intrinsically female – so perhaps you should have a lot more understanding and compassion instead of trying to be ‘oh so clever’ with your silly remark.

        5. You are lucky to be satisfied with your gender. Shame on you for being so cruel to people who have struggled for the same satisfaction.

    6. “So is that a bloke masquerading as a woman, or t’other way round?”

      You should try speaking English.

      1. Spanner1960 19 May 2012, 4:43pm

        I think they were trying to affect a Yorkshire accent, for some bizarre reason.

        1. Bizarre would be the operative word.

      2. I beg your pardon, Will?

        I was under the impression that ‘t’other’ was an accepted abbreviation for ‘the other.’ However, this may no longer be taught in schools.

        I recommend checking with your English teacher – I’d hate for you to use this abbreviation in one of your exams, only for you to be deducted marks.

        1. “I recommend checking with your English teacher – I’d hate for you to use this abbreviation in one of your exams, only for you to be deducted marks.”

          I went to university. I suggest you try do the same, maybe a low level certificate for starters. It might help you lift yourself out of the archaic English and archaic ideas.

    7. from your use of “t’other” I assume you are from yorkshire, you make me ashamed to be a yorkshireman, you dispicable bit@h

      1. Nope. I’m from the fine county of Surrey, in the South East of England! Although Yorkshire (in particular North Yorkshire) is a fine place to spend one’s time.

        From your appauling mis-spelling of ‘despicable,’ I assume English is your second language.

        1. You are a transphobic bigot, spelt correctly.

        2. Paddyswurds 20 May 2012, 1:01pm

          You shout about spelling while your own spelling is appalling… “appauling” Really?
          btw…Are you really Lumi Bast?

        3. You should read his Janice, it might explain why you can’t use all the keys on your keyboard:-

  3. Where’s that twisted cow Lumi Bast to comment on this story with her usual brand of hate and prejudice? I love seem that sick b.itch sit her hate speech and then demand equality, its soooooo refreshing.

    1. I am sure she will be along later.

      She will have the error of her ways pointed out again.

      1. We appear to have her English cousin online tonight.

  4. Spanner1960 19 May 2012, 4:41pm

    “What does it mean to define something as being for “opposite sexes” when many trans people fall outside the male/female binary?”

    Sorry, but can somebody please explain what that actually means?

    I was of the assumption that even transgender people had a defined role, so ‘he’ became ‘she’ etc.
    From what I perceive, this is nitpicking.
    The planned new legislation would encompass all genders and sexualities, so why is this an issue?

    Or am I missing something?

    1. Anna-Jayne Metcalfe 19 May 2012, 4:51pm

      This issue doesn’t just affect trans people – there are plenty of people out there who do not identify as either male or female. They aren’t necessarily trans, but might be. Equally well they might be intersexed or cisgendered biologically.

      1. Spanner1960 19 May 2012, 5:29pm

        Come again?
        That sounded almost like English for a minute.

        1. When I was at college, there was an individual in the same class as me who was hermaphrodite – born with sexual organs of both sexes. Now, I am going to have problems where with pronouns, please don’t anyone be offended. The individual LOOKED like a male in that he was masculine in stature, had an adams apple, spoke with a gruff, male voice. But usually wore gender neutral clothes, slacks, t-shirts, etc., had a female name and asked for pronouns like ‘her’, ‘she’, to be used in reference to ‘her’. Told you I was going to have problems. Anyway, she had been assigned ‘male’ status on her birth certificate because the doctors made the decision for her parents. She spent her adult life trying to have the birth cert changed and to get realignment surgery to become more outwardly female. This was 25 years back when that sort of thing was even harder than it is now and birth certs could not be changed with regard to gender,.

          1. She wanted nothing more than to be a woman legally and as far as possible, physically, and to live as a lesbian with her girlfriend.

            Legislation that would have saved her a lot of heartache is much, much needed and well overdue.

            Anyway, although I wasn’t sure exactly what Anna’s point was, it triggered the memory of this class colleague from college who seemed to fall completely outside all of the parameters and I felt the need to share.

          2. Ben Foster 19 May 2012, 5:59pm

            Genes, it sounds like the legal definitions of gender failed her from day one.

          3. Sarah Brown 19 May 2012, 6:39pm

            Some people do not identify as being either male or female. Some people even undergo surgical and hormonal intervention to help realise this identity, just as male to female and female to male transsexual people can. The difference is that the “end point” is neither male nor female. Such people don’t generally have an “opposite sex”.

            I hope that makes things a bit clearer.

        2. Anna-Jayne Metcalfe 19 May 2012, 6:10pm

          Well, I do try. :grin:

          “Cisgender” is a way of describing people who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity. “Gender Congruent” is an alternative way of saying the same thing.

          You can look at it this way: the majority of the population is cisgendered/gender congruent, with a subset of the population intersexed and/or trans (that’s a simplification, but it’ll do for these purposes).

          However, gender identity is a *very* complex thing, and genderqueer or intergendered people are probably as likely to be cisgendered as much as intersexed, trans or whatever.

          I think the key point is this: People are complicated, and trying to fit them into little easy to comprehend boxes for the purposes of the law is ultimately doomed to failure.

          So the only way to avoid injustices of the type described in the article is to make CPs and marriage gender neutral (the former to cover gay couples where one partner transitions).

        3. Spanner1960 20 May 2012, 11:06am

          Thank you all for the information. I can see this is obviously a very complex and convoluted issue I had not appreciated before.

          Can anybody tell me what the state of play is regarding transgender religious marriages is? When the church says “a man and a woman”, is that defined by gender at birth, or what that person chooses to be?

          1. It is defined by the gender on your birth certificate. This can be changed by Gender Recognition Certificate.

          2. essexgirlbecky 20 May 2012, 3:02pm

            Although as far as religious marriage is concerned, the Gender Recognition Act amended the Marriage Act of 1949 as follows:

            “A clergyman is not obliged to solemnise the marriage of a person if the clergyman reasonably believes that the person’s gender has become the acquired gender under the Gender Recognition Act 2004”

    2. I can not give you all the detail but it goes something like this, if one of a married or civil partnership then changes their gender they can not just continue. The Marriage or CP is ended. Then they need to make a nrew partnership.
      I am sure there is more, maybe someone with the full detail can copleted the picture,
      Which is why the LGBT+ LibDems propossed it at the Liverpool in Conference 2010
      Don LGBT+ LibDems

      1. It’s not true though.

        I’m Intersex. The 3BHSD form of CAH, and atypically symptomatic.

        When we married, I looked male – mostly. A few years after we married, I was diagnosed as an “undervirilised male” anyway, something we now know is caused by androgen insensitivity.

        I looked male. I was asexual. I fell in love with another woman.

        20 years later, I had a long-delayed, partial female puberty, leaving me looking about as female as I looked male. That rather set the cat amongst the pigeons, MRI and PET scans, gene tests, ultrasounds, things not available 20 years before.

        The diagnosis is now “severely androgenised non-pregnant woman”. I’ve always been biologically female, I just didn’t look like it before puberty.

        Our marriage has not ended. It hasn’t even changed very much, I may have looked mostly male, but I certainly didn’t have male instincts.

        That’s Reality. If the Law doesn’t recognise that, the Law is, and I mean this literally, Insane. Delusional. Ignoring Reality.

  5. My wife put me first: she retained her original birth certificate so we are still legally married.
    All her other official documents show her as Mrs and female.

  6. Ben Foster 19 May 2012, 5:53pm

    “We had both convinced ourselves that it was just paperwork, and didn’t really mean anything, but we were wrong. It hurt deeply, and it still does. We had a wonderful civil partnership ceremony with friends, but I wish I could take it all back.”

    More than anything I have read so far, this paragraph shows WHY marriage and CP are not the same and why we ALL need marriage equality.

  7. feministplus 19 May 2012, 6:55pm

    Is it not also true that the consultation ignores the problems of those in the opposite situation, i.e. trans people forced to dissolve their civil partnerships and get marriages?

    1. Richard Gadsden 25 May 2012, 5:01pm

      It’s true, but there are many fewer such people.

      There may even be a few people who had to get a marriage dissolved to get gender recognition and then got married again (after both of them had changed their legal sex).

      But the marriages would not be continuous – which affects the rights they have.

  8. My partner and I “married” in what was then termed a civil ceremony BECAUSE it was in the registry office. Now that is seen as a marriage and after being together for over 30 years AND married for over 25 years we feel it is wrong for us to have to “break” that marriage for me to receive a GRC (which even though I am post-op I will not receive because I do not fit enough of the GRC panel’s criteria). The GRC means I can then change my birth certificate to suit my new gender and we can have a “civil ceremony”.

    The church goes on about the sanctity of marriage, yet here they expect us to cancel ours and have a civil ceremony instead, because of my SRS! We are being victimised because we found a way to happily remain together. To me that is wrong, wrong, wrong!

  9. First, and most importantly – Sarah, I’m so sorry about what’s happened to you.

    We’ll try to get it fixed, and back-dated, so this inhuman and inhumane situation becomes just a bad memory.

    Second, the Big Picture – I’m in a similar situation. There’s an additional complication in that I’m Intersex, so disqualified from a diagnosis of “Transsexuality” under the WHO’s ICD-10 diagnostic manual.

    So despite a UK birth certificate saying “boy”, and having (mostly) female anatomy, looking like, identifying as, and living as a woman, I can’t get a GRC. No matter what my OB/GYN says, or what reconstructive surgery I’ve had.

    We celebrated our 31st anniversary recently. Here in Australia, divorce isn’t possible, Interim GRC or no, as our relationship hasn’t broken down.

    We wouldn’t divorce even if we could. Sure, it would only be sensible, logical, it would gain me human rights… but the cost would be too high, even if it were possible.


    1. Sarah Brown 20 May 2012, 7:34pm

      Zoe, thanks for this.

      I’m aware that government policy is currently very weak on these issues. Would love to talk more about it with you, if you have the time, at some point?

  10. Sarah, I remember seeing over on lj the build up and photos from your civil partnership ceremony. The evident pain has always stuck in my memory. I hope we can push enough to get yours, and those in the same situation, your marriages back. My relationship has broken down in the process of transition but I’m not going to stopmaking noise about why equal marriage is important to trans people.

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