Some would say that my recent experience with discrimination is small compared to what other people have to go through, and I agree to some extent. But sometimes it's the smaller incidents of exclusion and misunderstanding that can grow or develop into bigger issues... Barring transgender contestants from mainstream pageants is just wrong.
Today the Women and Equalities Committee has published the first ever inquiry by the UK Parliament into Transgender Equality. The report follows months of witness testimony and calls on the Government to address the specific needs of trans people. The committee has produced over 30 recommendations, built around the principle of a universal right for individuals to determine their own gender identity and have this respected and recognised.
As much as self-definition of legal gender is a very welcome step, it absolutely must be done right as otherwise it will likely be another fifteen years to get it fixed. If the government does decide to drastically revamp the Gender Recognition Act, and I sincerely hope that they do, it is imperative that they do it in full, open consultation with trans and non-binary people...
They're out there you know, your transgender child. They're living their life with a vitality that you've never seen. Taking their new name, and maybe a changed body, out into the world. A world that's slowly changing for the better as the tolerant and the kind assert the truth that people are people, and we all deserve to be treated with respect.
I am worried that recruiters, policy gurus, senior managers and executives continue to reinforce the binary thinking in the workplace. While celebrities can help with broader social acceptance for trans people, it's the daily reality of finding and being at work for all trans people that still needs to change.