The erasure of the (LGB)T in British society

4 mins read

I guess this is when our Darwinian society has been brought to a startling halt. It seems our faltering government cannot bear the heavy load of governing and after passing marriage equality and securing protection of human rights for a fraction of their population, they have thrown in the towel.  Their actions (or lack of) show clearly where they stand on the protection of transgender rights.

The UK government’s disdainful response to protection of minority citizens’ rights is no secret and now transgender people are at the hands of their government’s inaction.  This is clear from the work of the present government’s missed opportunity to amend the current unrepresentative gender recognition act into the modern day. The bill’s main objective is to aid transgender people in living their lives as the gender they identify with. However, like all bills there is many pitfalls in the act.  One of the more notably damaging errors to the bill is the mandatory requirement that trans people live in their assigned gender for a minimum of two years until they are officially allowed to change their name.  This clause is evidence of the lack of authentic research that could have been gained by talking to trans people themselves when creating this act. As the clauses lengthen the time these individuals go without support which can have a damaging impact on their mental health.

In response to the limited yet powerful public outcry on this clause the government has shown its far too common dismissive attitude and shows no interest in further amendments.

However, the government is not solely at fault; as our society culture has a part to play in this discrimination. Britain, as a culture has a way of disguising our bigotry within comedy and slapstick then pushing it under the carpet and denying it ever happened . It wasn’t that long ago where staple British comedies like Rab C Nesbit and the IT Crowd used a poor excuse for trans characters as satire barley acknowledging their human existence let alone their identity. Yes. Nowadays, there are far more authentic portrayals of trans characters, however they are commonly fleeting moments in soaps and will usually get killed off coincidently shortly after they  arrive. Moreover, their  portrayals always seem false, as if producers are trying to meet a diversity standard, and it’s just not good enough.

This harmful rhetoric surrounding transgender people is much more than just a joke but a complete disregard for the people in question, with a bewildering focus on the impact of the majority instead .

It’s the families that quickly turn over the channel when a rare trans character appears, hiding their flushed faces in a nature documentary, our health system writing people off as mentally ill and assuring them it’s just a phase, a school kid crying every morning because she just wants to wear a skirt like the other girls, and doesn’t understand why she cant.

Its time Britain removes our stiff upper lip and embraces our diverse nature and differences rather than turning a blind eye because that is where our society truly fails. 

Featured Image Credit: BBC

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