UK Trans Population Finally Protected from Conversion Therapy

After two years of waiting, trans people have finally been added to the memorandum of understanding on conversion therapy, an issue which Karen Pollock has been following.

Almost a year ago, The Queerness featured an open letter to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, calling for trans people to be added to the memorandum of understanding on conversion therapy. There was considerable confusion as to why they had not be included in the first place, and a belief that this protection was vital to prevent the proven harms of conversion therapy.

Yesterday (Monday 16 January), gender was finally added to the Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy, which has been signed by the following bodies:

  • The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
  • The British Psychoanalytic Council
  • The British Psychological Society
  • The College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists
  • GLADD – The Association of LGBT Doctors and Dentists
  • The National Counselling Society
  • National Health Service Scotland
  • Pink Therapy
  • The Royal College of General Practitioners
  • The Scottish Government
  • Stonewall
  • The UK Council for Psychotherapy
  •  
    A clear and unequivocal statement has been released by some of the signatories.

    We the undersigned UK organisations wish to state that the practice of conversion therapy has no place in the modern world. It is unethical and harmful and not supported by evidence.
     
    Conversion Therapy is the term for therapy that assumes certain sexual orientations or gender identities are inferior to others, and seeks to change or suppress them on that basis.
     
    Sexual orientations and gender identities are not mental health disorders, although exclusion, stigma and prejudice may precipitate mental health issues for any person subjected to these abuses.
     
    Anyone accessing therapeutic help should be able to do so without fear of judgement or the threat of being pressured to change a fundamental aspect of who they are.

    The MoA means that any member of the signatory organisations cannot attempt to ‘fix’ someone who is trans, or treat being trans as a mental health condition which needs curing.

    Read more here: https://thequeerness.com/2017/01/17/the-slow-sands-of-time-uk-trans-population-finally-protected-from-conversion-therapy

    Brit Awards: Anohni nominated for Best British Female eleven years after Best British Male nomination

    Trans singer Anohni has been nominated for a Brit Award as Best British Female Solo Artist, eleven years after her Best British Male nomination at the Brit Awards. Anohni, previously known as Antony Hegarty was nominated for Best British Male Artist in 2006 as part of the band Antony and the Johnsons, after the release of their album, I Am a Bird Now.

    This year’s nomination comes after the 2016 release of Anohni’s critically acclaimed solo album, Hopelessness.

    Read more here: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/singer-gets-second-brit-nomination-first-best-british-male-2006-now-best-british-female/

    Directed by Nabil Produced by The Swordfight Cinematography by Danny Hiele Choreography by Jon Boogz

    ‘A hole in your chest where gender used to be’: Being non-binary in the UK

    Four people living in the UK explain what it’s like to be non-binary.

    Recent years have seen an unprecedented increase in awareness of transgender communities among wider society. In 2014, Time magazine declared society has reached a “transgender tipping point” and figures like Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox have become household names. However, despite the welcome interest in transgender communities, some transgender identities have received considerably more attention than others. Transgender identities and lived experiences can be much more varied and complex than binary ‘male to female’ or ‘female to male’ transition stories which dominate the press.

    Non-binary people can identify as transgender, but often not within the traditional gender binary of male or female. Rather, some non-binary people can identify as a mix of genders, or none at all. Some can feel their gender identity is steady and fixed, while others feel it can fluctuate by the day, by the hour or depending on the situation they are in. For many non-binary people, life can feel like being a minority within a minority.

    Here, four non-binary people share their experiences of what life is like for them living in the UK and their hopes for greater understanding and visibility for the future.

    J is 39-years-old and works at a university in London

    How would you describe being non-binary?

    Being non-binary feels like having this hole in your chest where something — my sense of gender — used to be, where you know that almost everyone else has something, and now I just… don’t. It’s not a painful lack, just a noticeable one that sets me apart from most other people.

    It means people who don’t identify all of the time as a man or a woman. Maybe they switch between those genders, or feel like a different gender entirely, or they don’t have a gender at all, or something different.

    Read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/what-does-non-binary-mean-what-its-like-to-not-have-a-male-female-gender-a7317086.html

    The Only Emmy-Nominated Show Starring Trans Actors Is the One You’re Not Watching

    At a time when representation on screen matters most, Her Story offers an authentic look at the trans experience.

    At last Sunday’s Creative Arts Emmys, Her Story became the first show produced, written by, and starring trans people to have its name called onstage.

    Available to stream for free on YouTube, the web series was nominated in the Short Form Comedy or Drama Series alongside such programs as Adult Swim’sChildren’s Hospital, Comedy Central’s Hack Into Broad City, and AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462. Whereas each of those nominees had network backing, Her Story is squarely indie. Funded by an Indiegogo campaign, where donors often gave as little as $1, the show was produced on a shoestring budget of $100,000. The stars thought Her Story would be something only a handful of their friends saw.

    Although the award went to Children’s Hospital, Her Story is breaking important ground in how trans narratives are portrayed onscreen. Even with the progress made by shows such as Orange is the New Black and Sense8, it’s still rare to see trans characters depicted as fully formed human beings deserving of respect, love, and intimacy. It’s even more rare to see them played by trans actors.

    By allowing trans women the chance to see their lives and struggles represented on television, Her Story is showing Hollywood how to do better.

    Read more here: http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/a48589/her-story-emmys-jen-richards-trans-stories/

    Laverne Cox says it’s ‘wonderful’ to be a ‘black, trans woman’ cast in CBS drama Doubt

    Laverne Cox has said she is proud to play her character on CBS legal drama ‘Doubt’.

    Laverne Cox

    Of her character, an Ivy League-educated attorney, the Orange is the New Black star said: “What’s so exciting about [the role of] Cameron and being on CBS is I’m an avid TV watcher and, growing up, I did not see people like me on television.” Speaking at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Cox added: “It’s wonderful to get to play a character like that. And to be a black transgender woman in that position on CBS feels really special.”

    It was announced last February that Cox had been cast in the legal drama by CBS. 

    The casting was hailed as a milestone for diversity on US TV, and the role was created specifically for Cox.

    Read more here: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/08/11/laverne-cox-says-its-wonderful-to-be-a-black-trans-woman-cast-in-cbs-drama-doubt/