Here’s the poster I presented at this year’s WPATH Symposium:
You can also download a PDF version here.
The magnet is a metaphor for anticipation, which is both a product of and shapes feelings, emotions and experiences of time. This process is mediated by both trans community discourses and medical systems.
It’s very important to note that the majority of research participants had good things to say about the health professionals who helped with their transition. However, there is also a high prevelance of transphobia and cisgenderism within medical systems and clinical pathways. Anxiety and mistrust of practitioners within the trans patient population is endemic, and this is compounded by long waiting times.
My wider research looks critically at how discourses of trans health are differently understood within and between community/support spaces, activist groups and the professional sphere; however, the purpose of this particular poster was communicate some of the difficult experiences that current patients have with waiting. It sparked some productive conversations and I hope that further work will follow from this.
Transitional Demands (Jess Bradley and Francis Myerscough)
Experiences of people from , and working with, transgender communities within the NHS – summary of findings, 2013/14 (NHS England)
Current Waiting Times & Patient Population for Gender Identity Services in the UK (UK Trans Info)
Speaks for itself, really!
…although, having said that, there is a powerful accompanying piece about bullying and suicidal feelings available on CN’s blog.
I have a special place in my heart for the National Union of Students Women’s Campaign. The Campaign is (broadly speaking) a truly inclusive, progressive body. I met some amazing women and learned a great deal about the contemporary feminist movement during three years as an elected volunteer on the Women’s Campaign national committee.
However, I was disheartened to hear about the Campaign’s poor record on trans issues in the past year; most notably, a female-assigned genderqueer committee member’s very place in the Campaign was called into question after they explained to other committee members that they do not exclusively identify as a woman. The poor manner in which this democratically elected representative was treated flew in the face of both the spirit and the letter of trans-inclusive policy passed in 2009.
I therefore find it heartening to hear that NUS Women’s Conference 2012 today passed new policy to ensure that this never happens again. Delegates voted unanimously for a motion that will change the Women’s Campaign standing orders in order to permanently clarify the membership of this autonomous liberation campaign.
The motion, entitled “Gender complexity and inclusiveness in the NUS Women’s Campaign“, notes that:
That not all those who are oppressed as women necessarily identify exclusively as women, or would choose the word ‘woman’ or ‘female’ to encapsulate their gender identity […]
Whilst the NUS Women’s Campaign does not have a large amount of explicit policy on issues specifically related to people with complex gender identities who self-define into the campaign, it has a duty to make its spaces safe and welcoming for them.
The following is therefore added to the Women’s Campaign standing orders:
The NUS Women’s Campaign is open to all who self-define as women, including (if they wish) those with complex gender identities which include ‘woman’, and those who experience oppression as women. The NUSWC affirms that self-definition is at the sole discretion of the individual in question.
This really should have come about without an individual being treated poorly, but it’s great to see Women’s Conference so ready to address the Campaign’s mistakes. Full credit to everyone who voted through the change!