Have you never met a trans woman before?

Petra, you will recall recently shot to fame when he was made cover girl of WI life, has been busy up and down the Women’s Institute network conducting his own unique training programme for the women of the WI.  He also claims to have trained GPs and NHS Trusts – but who are we to argue?  At 78 years of age, it is now Petra’s time in the sun, after having to cruelly hide himself away for a lifetime.  

Petra’s presentation was exhaustive, lasting over 2 hours, but there was nothing I hadn’t heard before, or a version of.  They all have exactly the same story.  So that said, let’s play a little game, how many of these pearls of wisdom have you heard a trans activist mumble before? 

  1. Bizarre pseudo intellectual anecdote.
  2. My gender identity is female but I was assigned male at birth following a visual inspection of my genitals. 
  3. 1 in 100 babies have ambiguous genitalia. 
  4. 1 in 2,000 have truly ambiguous genitalia. 
  5. Littles babies have surgery on their bits!  [Sad face]
  6. I didn’t want to be a woman, I didn’t want this.  I am a woman. 
  7. I was about 3 years old when I began to develop my sense of self but I was put in short trousers and expected to play football. 
  8. I never clicked with the boys, they were from Mars. 
  9. When I was in junior school girls began to drift away because they perceived me as a boy and gender dysphoria started then.  It’s the same for trans men.
  10. My egg* breaking point was being sent to all boys secondary school. [The slang for an ‘unhatched’ trans person, it’s all a bit Pokemon]
  11. I always had an interest in fashion. 
  12. I always got on well with women.
  13. I treat women [pause] as equals. 
  14. Now I have a social attraction to trans women and non-trans women (also known as Cis women).
  15. Some women don’t like the term cis, but there’s nothing to be scared of.
  16. It’s a Latin and medical term.
  17. I occasionally crossdressed during my marriage for my mental easement and not for any other reason. 
  18. Lorraine was the same size so I had a good range of things to wear.   
  19. Transvestites were mentioned in the newspaper in the 70s but the term never sat well with me.
  20. I answered a questionnaire in 2002 put together by a trans woman psychological researcher which revealed that I was in the transsexual area. 
  21. I finally found the words to describe myself. 
  22. The internet allowed information sharing and I continued to educate myself.
  23. During a spell in hospital for colitis I researched the internet using my laptop and found a blog written by a trans academic who lived in male mode. 
  24. Bizarre pseudo intellectual anecdote, number 2. That academic had a similar experience as me, standing on some glass which had broken on a stone floor.   When a delivery came to the door and in bare feet they picked up a shard.   Three weeks later they went to A&E to have the shard removed.  This provided instant relief and they realised they had been suppressing the woman that was within and had to transition.
  25. It was not until 2016 that I first knowingly met another trans woman.  I went to a support group, fully dressed, with my wife.  
  26. I had four visits with the gender identity clinic and got a private HRT prescription, which my GP now prescribes. 
  27. I was seen by the Tavistock clinic within one year of referral. 
  28. The waiting list to be seen at the Tavistock is 4 years long. 
  29. I have had a mammogram but won’t be called for cervical cancer screening because [long pause].   
  30. I was invited to introduce a film a local festival because.  Which was nice.
  31. I gave a speech at the local Pride March because. Which was nice.
  32. My new passport has my correct name and my sex as female.
  33. Excitingly my passport does too.
  34. I don’t have a GRC though because it doesn’t allow me to self-declare.  We need GRA reform so that we can self-declare, just like we can on passports and driving licences.
  35. I can do 95 percent of what I need to do as a woman, but because I don’t have a GRC I can’t get married as a woman.  [Sad face]
  36. I will send you all the PDF version of my slides.  [They never do]
  37. I have also done TV interviews.
  38. Something something left handed and dyslexic people something something genes something something trans peoples.
  39. Something something right wing American religious groups. 
  40. Diversity is beautiful.
  41. Genderbread person is a scientific diagram, but it all comes from the brain, not the heart.
  42. I don’t like dressing sexily. 
  43. The only thing which is binary about us is being assigned at birth, the outside doesn’t represent inside.
  44. Don’t tell trans women ‘you’re brave’, you may think it’s a compliment, BUT IT ISN’T! 
  45. Don’t tell people about people being trans.  It is not for broadcast unless that person wants to share it.
  46. Younger trans men are very hunky – but don’t mention the coca cola guy to them!
  47. Let’s talk about non-binary people.  There is a perception on social media that most people  having top surgery, which is more than a mastectomy as it includes nipple reduction, are transman.  They are in fact non binary.  
  48. The current census shows that 0.3 to 0.75 percent of people are transgender that means about about 1 in 60 to 1 in 100. 
  49. My personal view is that 1.7 percent of the population are transgender.
  50. Had I had access to the internet I would have transitioned as a teen. 
  51. Trans men are lucky because testosterone is so powerful and they will develop properly, whereas poor trans women (sniff sniff) have to go through painful lengthy expensive treatment and nothing can be done about the voice. 
  52. Trans women cannot undo the damage done to the skeleton through a male puberty.
  53. Something something Klinefelters. 
  54. Something something CAIS.
  55. Something something the effect of testosterone on the developing foetus.
  56. Typically every village will have one trans person and one intersex person. 
  57. The default body is female. 
  58. You can have a person who has half ovary half testicle. 
  59. A lot of stuff about how the labial lips form in utero, giving me the chance to say labial lips a lot. 
  60. Caster Semenya. 
  61. The human condition is very complex, not just as simple as xx or xy – it’s totally wrong. 
  62. The regret rate for gender confirming surgeries is much lower than the rate for surgery generally. 
  63. Someone I know has a daughter who was on puberty blockers until she was 18 and then she came off them and had a normal puberty and is now happy in her own body and very well adjusted. 
  64. Puberty blockers allows young people to decide who they are and then at 18 they can move onto cross sex hormones and surgery. 
  65. The 2010 Equality Act allows transgender people to use whatever toilets and changing rooms they like. 
  66. A domestic violence charity has been taking in trans women since 1998 and there has never been any problems, in fact they are more likely to be abused. 
  67. Follow the money – religious far right, America, something something, bad. 
  68. Liz Trust [sic] is anti trans.
  69. Even though the cost of applying for a GRC has been reduced to £5, it costs at least a thousand pounds to gather the evidence required – the consultant who writes the report charges two to three hundred pounds. PER HOUR.  [Sad face]
  70. A religious far right group has funded the Bell case. 
  71. Something something Jake Graph [sic].
  72. Keira Bell is a young man who was on puberty blockers and then had surgery, which required two referrals.  Four years after the event he decided he wasn’t a man and decided to be a woman. 
  73. He has ignored the fact that he was assessed regularly and thoroughly.   
  74. Trans men who come off hormone treatment are left in the same position as trans women, having to try to reverse the ravaging effects of testosterone.
  75. The Good Law Project have reversed the worst aspects of the Bell ruling. 
  76. I support the Good Law Project.
  77. Trans people are twice as likely as LGBT people to commit suicide and 4 times more likely as the general population.
  78. I know a young mum with an 8 year old son under the GIDS service.  Mum has been left scared by the legal challenges and wants her son to go on puberty blockers. 
  79. [Posts a Sophie Labelle cartoon depicting a discussion about female toilets – Labelle is the ‘adult baby’ trans-identified cartoonist] *see end for more information
  80. Do trans women have an advantage in sport, you ask? The default body is female mode. Trans men will develop muscle and shoulder expansion but the skeleton can’t change. I can’t show you photos of them and most of them pass. You never hear about them. They have oodles of testosterone buzzing around their system.
  81. My testosterone is in the peri-menopausal area, close to zero and lower than any of yours. Considerably lower. It means I don’t have any muscle and have no strength now.
  82. I can’t open jars.
  83. I got the Daily Mail to donate money to Mermaids for the interview I gave them and I donated my fee to them to (total £2,000). (Curiously Petra’s age is given as 74 in the article, but he told us he was 78 at least twice.)
  84. [General commiseration about the state of things with audience member who had a trans parent.] Please contact me. I would like to speak with your parents on my weekly Zoom call.
  85. I update my presentation all the time, I did ask for feedback from trans men but my requests were ignored, even though I asked nicely. [Sad face] Trans women did respond.
  86. This government is Trumpian.
  87. There is a double whammy in the GRA process that if you had your surgery outside of the UK the surgeon’s report will be invalid. Trans men are left in a situation where they can only have top surgery and possibly a hysterectomy, but they can’t have bottom surgery in the UK anymore.
  88. If trans women have been on HRT for more than two years, they lose a lot of muscle bulk. Their skeleton might be slightly heavier, meaning they may have a sporting disadvantage.
  89. A trans man was forced to play on the women’s wrestling team, but because he was on testosterone he was no match for the females. He is a complete male. The women were understandably upset.
  90. Trans women have been using female loos for a very long time.
  91. I’m not interested in hanging around in the toilet.
  92. If you look in the press for a woman who was attacked in a loo, it is never a trans woman who is the attacker.
  93. These things never happen.
  94. An attacker could just put a sign outside saying ‘male attendant’ and put on some overalls.
  95. If you introduced a law saying loos have to be based on biological sex then you will have a lot of trans men in women’s loos.
  96. Testosterone is a strong drug which buzzes around their system. How would you feel if you saw one washing their hands when you came out of the toilet? Be careful what you wish for.
  97. I am doing more transgender awareness training. This is my 14th talk for the WI.
  98. I don’t think of myself as a trans activist, but I am.
  99. Yes, a small percentage of trans people are paedophiles. Same maths applies to women – just think of Myra Hindley. She was just the minority.
  100. I am autistic and my wife has told me that I don’t have a great amount of empathy.
  101. Something something Jake Graph [sic].
  102. Yes, having the wrong sex recorded on my health record does cause problems.
  103. I will be training an NHS Trust soon.
  104. Gender confirmation surgery FTM is more complex than for those having it MTF.
  105. Twitter and Mumsnet is a hotbed of nastiness, we must carry on trying to whack the rats.
  106. Everyone in the village is rooting for me.
  107. You can’t argue with bigots.

So, how did you score? Sorry, but anything less than 30 then you’re an embarrassment. Anything over 80 perhaps think about setting up your own transgender awareness training business.

*Additional information on Sophie Labelle

Geez did you see that trans person walk into the bathroom? I feel so unsafe!

Why? Did they attack or threaten you in any way?

Well, no …

Did they have a weapon? A gun?

I don’t think so … It’s just weird, you know.

Then you’re not unsafe, you’re uncomfortable. And they’re probably the one legitimately feeling unsafe, seeing how inconsiderate some people are.

Script from cartoon from Sophie Labelle – Petra kindly gave us the time to fully digest its message

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