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October 11th, 2015

Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure


I’ve been invited to attend the third oral evidence session for the Commons Select Committee trans* inquiry scheduled to take place on Tuesday 13 October 2015. I am on the second of two panels sitting in the course of the third session which is due to start at 10:30am with the second panel at 11:30am approximately. The earlier panel will discuss how current law impacts upon trans* equality and the second panel are there to recount our ‘personal experiences’ of being trans* in the UK.

Personal experiences!!!!

So much detriment – and with so little time! Where do I start?

I shall undoubtedly find a few specific examples to provide for the benefit of the Committee but how does one cram more than 20 years of social invisibility, exclusion and marginalisation while having one’s identity and one’s very existence denied by one’s own democratically elected government into a quartile section of one hour?

It will be an interesting experience, given that I’ve been critical of Committee Chair, former Equalities Minister Maria Miller on many occasions in the past and I take nothing back.

I’ve been far too busy to get anxious and, cannot believe I am saying this, I am looking forward to it!

The oral sessions are broadcast live on Parliament’s own TV channel. I understand that Tuesday’s session should be available for replay shortly thereafter http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/women-and-equalities-committee/news-parliament-2015/evidence-transgender-inquiry-third-15-16/.

I will update here when I get a moment after (if?) I emerge from the other side.

I want to thank again my friends at K&L Gates who arranged for submission to be presented on my behalf due to the fact I was about to go away when the inquiry was announced at short notice.

And many thanks to everyone who’s been supportive during a particularly frantic period.

Until then, will leave you with transcript from a floor debate that took place in the Commons in January 2014 when Maria Miller, responding as Equalities Minister for the former coalition government, was asked what assessment she had made of the feasibility of issuing non gender-specific official documents to people who do not identify as a particular gender. The question was asked in the context that it corresponded with the tabling of a series of parliamentary EDMs in support of ‘X’ Passports that were signed by a number of Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs during the two previous parliamentary sessions (signatories that include the current leaders of both parties). Looks familiar? http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2014-01-30b.1003.6

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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