We are a group of transsexual men and women — different human beings sharing one thing. Each of us knew early in life that something was wrong.
Physically we were defined as one sex but had internal dissonance that we were the other. It manifests to us as an overwhelming body/mind miss match, but its cause is not assumed or yet known.
Faced with this we did what most people would do confronting gender dysphoria — seek help from doctors, be examined, look for causes, try solutions and only after lengthy physical and psychological assessment consider surgical and hormonal transition to adapt our sexual characteristics.
Some of us are passing through this process. Others completed these stages decades ago. We accept our transition is an accommodation but it is the recommended medical pathway.
With safeguards this process works. We are able to live happy, productive lives and contribute to society in many ways.
Our legal rights were once few but we lived peacefully and respectfully with others and got on with our lives.
Things changed around the turn of the century when the GRA (Gender Recognition Act) was created in the UK. Parliament in 2004 was told by doctors that about 5000 transsexuals would apply. 15 years later 4910 have. So this was not reflecting a sudden fad. It was well predicted by medicine after decades of study.
Things have altered dramatically and we are very concerned. The GRA was a mutual bond of trust between us and society. For the right to be legally defined as the sex we transition into, we accept a need for lengthy assessment and gatekeeping. We also accept exemptions where in things such as refuges, shortlists and sports one on one assessment is made and we can be excluded.
Then Stonewall, a charity advising the government, promoted a ‘transgender umbrella’. We 5000 transsexuals were made one tiny part of 500,000 now defined as trans or transgender.
There is a bewildering array of others, from those who are genuinely gender confused or identify as both genders, live as cross dressers, or appear to have psychological problems. We are as puzzled by such concepts as many others.
The reason is simple — these are transgender variations. They come from discomfort with ability to expressgenderroles.
Transsexualsare not driven by gender expression — but have dysphoria caused by rejection of their bodily sex. Its cause is not known but it produces severe distress. The important need of transsexuals to physically transition results from this cause and there is a consequent lack of necessity for physical transition for those who are trans gender.
We respect the rights of transgender people to express their lifestyle without repression.
However, gender and sex are not the same and some of those seeking to remove all gatekeeping were in the past medically excluded from the NHS transition process because they did not have this dysphoria. Different treatment protocols and protections for society may be appropriate in both cases and could be compromised if treated as being equivalent.
As such we fear safety is at risk for those transitioning unwisely without considering all options or being assessed for appropriate causes. Cases of de-transition are being reported more often when, with gatekeeping, these were rare.
We also worry about children who may be put on irreversible medication too young for them to be sure whether they are trans gender or transsexual or something else that may not require it.
Much more research is necessary but is often blocked by activism claiming it is transphobic. We regard it as nothing of the sort, but rather essential to offer better options for an insidious medical condition we wish upon nobody.
Consequently we believe that as transsexuals we cannot continue as part of this Stonewall umbrella, which, we feel, conflates a sex based medical condition with lifestyle choices and gender expression. And makes statements and decisions we disagree with profoundly.
Without claiming to know causes for either condition nor arguing that sex can be literally changed we see real dangers in equivocating things that require very different treatment and have consequences that will also impact themselves on society differently.
We feel that, in listening to this advice, government planning for self-ID into safe spaces that are currently well gatekept by psychiatrists is doing a disservice to many people — notably women and girls, the 5000 transsexuals for whom the GRA was written specifically and the many thousands of others it may inadvisably encourage to transition by making it too easy to do so.
Potentially this will have serious long term irretrievable consequences on those for whom gatekeeping may before have given time for careful thought or deterred such actions.
Therefore, the undersigned, as transsexual men and women, formally advise that we no longer wish to be considered part of the Stonewall umbrella.
At present we are 14 who have taken this stand but we believe that there are more of you ready to offer support. If you feel able please make that known.
If you are transsexual and agree with our concerns, add your name, or a user name, initials, or just an occupation to this statement.
Signed:- Amanda Dee, Emma Haywood, Jennifer Kenyon, Leanne Mills, Jenny Randles, Melissa Symes, Gillian (electronic engineer), Sarah (broadcast engineer), Sarah (university lecturer), Zia, FP (business owner), JY (support worker) & usernames — babywantsbluevelvet & seven hex.