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The Gender Recognition Lie

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In 2004, the UK passed some pretty exciting and world-leading legislation that allowed transgender people living in this country the right to live legally in their chosen gender without being coercively sterilised.

It requires that the individual live for two years in the gender (male or female) that they wish to go by from now on, that they wish to live as that gender until death, that they have received a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and that they present a body of evidence to a panel of strangers, all for the low price of £140.

For all that, you might, if you’re lucky, get something that looks a bit like a birth certificate.

I have friends who were refused on grounds such as not yet having had top surgery. Which, considering the legislation supposedly covers those of us who don’t want to be forcibly escorted out of the gene pool, seems a little… backwards.

The whole process is riddled with flaws. In fact, our close neighbours Ireland recently implemented a self-determination process. If you say you’re male, you are. Which makes sense if you think about it- being trans isn’t exactly a walk in the park. It’s the medical stuff (that we’re being bottlenecked into) that has serious and irreversible consequences, not the legal bit.

In any case, it turns out that “gender recognition” is a lie.

If a man gives birth to a child, he will be listed as the mother of that child, despite the fact that he is a man.

See, for a piece of legislation that supposedly granted us the rights to be ourselves without suffering sterilisation, it seems to really suggest that they’d rather we didn’t reproduce. Because, if we do, suddenly that legal status we thought we had is suddenly revoked.

I didn’t think this could be true. But I asked, and there are trans men who supposedly had gender recognition for years… until they made the mistake of using their uterus.

The Gender Recognition Act, 2004

In the civilised world they practice eugenics
-quietly!-
Make you run the gender identity gauntlet
Three years on the list at Leeds to be told
“We don’t do that here anymore
(but we used to
if that’s any consolation)”
-which it’s not

Ask you why you don’t want to be a real man
With scars on your chest
Injections at regular intervals
Over and over
-until heart disease gets you?
They’ll freeze your eggs
-at a fee, of course-
let you have your recommendation, then,
if it means so bloody much to you-
two years living in role
playing the part
football, beer, casual misogyny.

1970s stereotype
(so as not to confuse the panel)
and then find out it was all a lie
you’re not the man you thought you were
complete strangers know otherwise
better luck next time (if you can stand it)
next time, leave your womb at home-
the Act demands it.

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About parkerdell

Trans. Gay. Almost Jewish. Converting to Judaism, exploring the ways Judaism and the LGBT community shape my identity.

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