Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Defining the word transsexual

Our members have noticed the start of a new internet group - Transsexual True Meaning - seeking to redfine the word transsexual. 
We were surprised by this for two reasons.
Firstly, as the originator of the group admits, transsexual has a well established definition that has existed for over 60 years
Here is the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) entry:
:- A person who has undergone treatment in order to acquire the physical characteristics of the opposite sex.
The Cambridge English dictionary is similar
:- Used to describe a person who has had medical treatment to change their sex.
It adds an example of appropriate use in a sentence

:- Bagger, who started life as a man and had a sex change operation, made history by becoming the first transsexual woman to play on the Ladies' European Tour.
Regardless of the rights or wrongs of a transsexual woman taking part on a ladies sporting tour - which we do take seriously - the meaning of the word is made clear by these world renowned authorities.
As you can see it differs from transgender in that it involves those who specifically alter their body physically to live as the opposite sex.

We wish to make clear that we do not make the claim that biologically we can change sex as the dictionary definition might imply. However, we do what is medically possible toward that aim.

Transsexual is not simply a feeling or dressing up to resemble a man or woman by expressing gender stereotypes. It involves medically assisted major bodily change.
Trans activism is pressing for self ID and has a much looser and wider concept of what the word transgender means. They have attempted to absorb transsexual into it and that idea has gained traction.

As a consequence we transsexuals have become very protective of the word, much as women rightly have of their definitions.

Trans activism accuses us of being old fashioned but the term says what it is and differentiates from the often non medically routed transgender identity which we consider important.

Not because we are better. We believe every person must earn respect through concern over the rights of others. Surgery does not change that.

However,transsexual and transgender are different and it sometimes matters - to put it bluntly - if a trans person has chosen to retain their natal sex organs (as many transgender do) or altered their body and removed them (as most transsexuals do).

It gives to others added information when judging a person in their presence.

So using this word accurately matters, not just to us but often in particular to women.

Of course, it matters to men, too, and there are transsexual men. About 30% of transsexuals transition female to male and make whatever bodily changes they can make too.

Which brings us to the second concern. This new site wants to redefine transsexual as a person who is sexually attracted to a transgender person - because such people presently have no word to apply as others have heterosexual and homosexual.
We think this suggestion was well intended and we cannot speak for how those who are in relationships with transgender men or women feel about themselves.

They are free to decide if they are gay or straight in their perception and we would not seek to instruct that choice.

As for someone in a relationship with a transsexual person most of us have one and these are again open to the individual to define as they prefer.
There are transsexual women married to women and others married to men. The same is true for transsexual men. The proportions do not seem very different from non transsexual relationships. Though, of course, there are different social consequences that we would not seek to minimise.

Transsexuals under the present GRA rules since 2004 have been able to marry heterosexually and - since same sex marriage has more recently been legalised - can do so homosexually as well.
Our spouses are what they are. Men, women, straight or gay, and need no special word to define their relationships with us.
Indeed we suspect a heterosexual man married to one of us (and they do exist) would probably find it offensive to be told that they are now a transsexual for having such a loving relationship with someone they regard to be a woman.
So, with respect, we would ask transgender people NOT to appropriate the dictionary definition of what we are - transsexual - in much the same way as they seem to be trying to dispute the dictionary definition of the word woman. That is equally unreasonable.  
We make clear we do not consider posters defining the word woman to be transphobic. They report the true dictionary description of the word much as we have done above with the word 'transsexual'.

We support the official definition of  the word woman.

So we request kindly that transgender activists please leave the word woman alone and allow the word transsexual to mean what it has meant since medically defined in the 1950s.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Transsexuals and crime statistics

We have been concerned by several stories in the media about horrific sounding attacks by 'transgender women' - on both men and women.

A major issue is over the impact this has on crime statistics - specifically - How are these crimes being recorded?

There seems an implication that police are relying on what the arrested person declares their sex to be and does not make further checks for fear of being accused of transphobia.

In our view this would be unacceptable if it results in figures for violent assaults carried out by women to be escalated in future records.

We wish to point out that under 5000 people in the UK have legally altered their sex via the existing Gender Recognition Act, which requires psychological assessment and medical approval in order to do so.

Self-ID might be employed via the Equality Act in certain circumstances for access to spaces, but in our opinion legal sex should be what is recorded in terms of legality such as criminal charges and, even then, trans status could also be indicated if it were relevant.

Of under 5000 people who have legally altered their sex marker only at most 3000 are transsexual women who have also obtained a copy of a legally altered birth certficate denoting this.

The chances of all the recent 'trans women' arrested for violent offences being in that number are slight, given the estimated 500,000 transgender people in the UK.

Police are allowed to access birth certificate records during their investigation of a crime even for those who are in this 3000. It is necessary to do that for the true facts to be established and transparency against abuse of identity during the commission of any crime - such as fraud  - to be possible under the current rules of the Gender Recognition Act.

We wonder how often police are actually doing this - and if not, then why not?

As transsexual women we support that right of access in legitimate circumstances such as these.

We feel it is important that correct information is entered into crime statistics and that it is a betrayal of women not to do so as the impact on them from misleading data left for future generations is clear if this is not done.

It is also a betrayal of transsexual women such as the authors of this blog - who followed all the existing rules.

We were medically and psychologically assessed in a process that involved lengthy physical transition because we believed that society deserved that level of reassurance.  And we willingly left the decision on whether our birth certificate marker should be changed to doctors, not our own feelings.

If we achieved a change of legal status in the right way and yet accept that police should still have access to accurate information, then how can it be right to not correctly record someone in official statistics?

Especially not someone who has had no medical and psychological assessment but is simply self-identifying to the authorities as regards their apparent change of sex?