A wall a bit easier to climb?!
It was a very productive meeting organised by Sophia Christina Botha to raise her concerns regarding transgender people with disabilities and for me to ask some probing questions and find out just what exactly is going on here – noone is actually speaking about this beyond, “how great it is!” I have championed Sophia from the outset and feel trans*disability rights is a space she can thrive in. So many trans*people as they age become unwell, or have problems accessing services due to not only being disabled, but also being trans. Sadly, trans*people with disabilities face abuse from not only the public at large, but from within the GLBTIQ community itself.
Stonewall recognises this, and their Chief Executive, Ruth Hunt, addressed many of Sophia’s (and my) concerns regarding the recoupling of GLB & T.
Sophia’s friend and fellow activist, Natasha Kennedy, also took part, and as Sophia explained to me, it is quite a daunting prospect for a person with Asperger’s to engage at this level, which can be stressful, and Natasha Kennedy (pictured right) was a great support. I was brought in on Skype to take minutes and raise additional concerns that many trans*people have spoken about with me privately, some of the questions needed to be asked but Ruth did go off message (which in places did feel well rehearsed) to answer some of these and we got to the nitty-gritty of the issues. Some of which I will go into later along with Ruth’s responses.
Image taken from my perspective after the video conference call. (L) Ruth Hunt (CEO Stonewall), (Middle Top) Sam (Transgender Zone), (Middle Bottom) Sophia Christina Botha (Disability Rights Activist), (R) Natasha Kennedy (Transgender Activist).
However, I was impressed with the answers given she shot from the hip, and I did prefer that to the somewhat CEO ‘Apprentice-business speek’, and it also was important to raise a number of concerns about how Non-GLB trans*people (or perhaps a trans couple, whereby a trans-identified man marries a transgender woman, they may now identify as ‘straight’) will sit within this new framework, the whole issue of ‘Gay Licence‘ (see: http://library.transgenderzone.com/?page_id=2976) came into play that she quickly adopted as a term and that is useful (this is important as although I invented the term, unless it is understood beyond this page, it will have little impact). I hope she uses it in a speech sometime – more on that later. Continue reading…