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April 9th, 2014

Apr. 9th, 2014

Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure


Borrowing again from the words of dearest Freddie, the hammer has finally fallen on Culture secretary Maria Miller MP who announced resignation from ministerial role today. It remains to be seen whether criminal proceedings will follow and I’m not going to comment further on her finances other than suggest that, in order to be able to “move on”, she could start the process by repaying the £45,000 of public money currently sitting in her bank account. Not doing a link here either because I don’t want to inflict further pain upon my Facebook readers (where most of my posts on this website are copied) with projection of another image of her.

While I have no misapprehensions that her replacement as head of DCMS and the Equalities portfolio will be any better, I am so pleased that Maria Miller has gone.

She was the puppet, put in place by a Tory led coalition government, to oversee the deliberate abandonment of pledges made to trans* community during the period of her predecessor Lynne Featherstone MP. Having been involved in the government’s ‘engagement process’ for the trans* equality action plan while under the direction of Lynne Featherstone, I subsequently tried on numerous occasions to ‘engage’ with Miller and Helen Grant MP and did not receive one single reply (although I did get auto-responses that indicated my emails had been successfully delivered). Furthermore, I was completely frozen out of the ‘engagement’ process as GEO personnel changed under Miller’s stewardship and the issues I cared about and fought for were not being discussed any more.

There was consolation the passport policy ‘review’ process was already under way, an action that Miller and co. could not get away with dropping. And, as readers of this site will know, the review was no more than a sham. As the Australian Federal Government embraced ‘X’ and the New Zealand authorities were working on improving an already enlightened policy on ‘X’, the UK government was interested only in how the issue of ‘X’ passports and the wider issue of legitimate identity for people who do not define as male or female could be shafted.

And the UK government has, under Maria Miller’s dubious stewardship as head of DCMS, gone to extraordinary lengths to do just that – although the government has not succeeded in its efforts and has only dug itself into a hole when the course of events eventually will become public.

But Maria Miller, awful as she was, was acting under instruction. She was put in charge of trans* issues because she did not give a damn but she was not ultimately responsible for the government decision to renege on a commitment to improve the lives of ALL trans* people.

I am glad she is gone but far more questions still remain unanswered – and the damage that was done during Miller’s period of high office needs to be undone.

A brief note on Whitehouse petition – now over 92,000 signatures and on course to reach target.

It was pointed out that petition accepts signatures from outside the US although you will need to register on the Whitehouse website beforehand. And I’ve tried it and it works! However, word of caution, I’m not sure whether views from outside the US will be included in the count when the petition closes and I assume a manual assessment will be made. But it looks as though outside help will not be needed as this petition is well on course to reach target of 100K signatures before close.

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered


Christie Elan-Cane

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