The Gender Construction Kit has come on a long way since the last time I visited. If you’re looking for info and resources on transitioning in the UK then it’s a good place to start:
“An authoritarian party, which aims at capturing power to impose its ideas, has an interest in the people remaining an amorphous mass, unable to act for themselves and therefore always easily dominated... But we anarchists do not want to emancipate the people; we want the people to emancipate themselves.”
trans feelings, hindsight, 1/n
It’s true for some people, but I didn’t “always know” I was trans. With hindsight, though, there’s stuff I missed, or ignored, or explained away over the years that I can interpret as trans feelings now, and I think it might be helpful to write about that. There’ll be a little biography involved but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum.
trans, uk, private hrt cost
(Private hrt cost me about £800 to set up, in two instalments, plus another £150 every six months for monitoring appointments. They have a shared care agreement with my GP so prescriptions and blood tests are on the NHS. That’s not a negligible amount of money, but it’s possibly more affordable - or crowdfundable - than you might think from hearing about American medical bills.)
@ghost_bird One last point: the establishment of a year-round (summer term too!) trans care team, comprised of folks from the health center, disability office, students rights office, admin/admissions, and LGBTQIA+ group/office. It doesn't have to be big, just a team that understands they might be called on to weigh in on stuff, advise, or direct trans students with questions to the appropriate department.
The latter is a HUGE deal.
One of the things about being trans, especially pre-coming out or early in transition (and by early, I mean the first 3 years or so), is the near-constant lack of spoons.
Having to go from office to office to office, often in person, only to be met with bewilderment or discomfort at *every place*, and not getting help, and being sent somewhere else...meanwhile whatever issue I had was still pressing...all on top of classes, homework and work *and dysphoria*...that's just bullshit. People give up.
There needs to be a confidential intake website or phone line that trans (or any LGBTQIA+ student OR teacher/employee) can call to be directed where to go to solve an issue, and that number/website needs to be given out during crush or intake or orientation or whatever the uni calls their first week.
Orientation or crush is actually a great place to make it clear to all students at once, especially the questioning ones, that trans people are *part* of the university, not just an issue the university is "dealing with".
trans guys PH, university, transphobia mention
@ghost_bird Also, for god's sake, if there's a health center or a clinic attached to the university, give them not just "how to be supportive to trans patients" literature.
But ALSO give them literal diagrams of the changes medically/surgically transitioned bodies might look like they have.
Gynecologists for instance need to know, in advance, what trans guys who have had bottom growth or surgery might look like, or the issues they present with.
We're perfectly normal, not a fuckin science accident to gawk at, or get mad about because we upset narrow definitions of feminist body positivity!
And that trans guys might still want to have he/him pronouns, even if we come in for a pap test or breast exam/surgery consult. Guys have tits too.
I’ve been reading about the rise and fall of Lymeswold cheese:
@ghost_bird Something more specific to academia : enable name changes in published papers.
In case you need to argue for it, here is a good reference :
@shad @ghost_bird Yeah, and same for staff. Trans student rights are arguably the first priority, but most diversity policies over here seem to assume trans people just vanish once they turn 30 or something.
Also making sure that administrative procedures require information like sex or gender only when these are are demonstrably required for the intended purpose. Which can be framed as privacy law compliance.
(e.g. payroll insists they're legally mandated to call me Sir Caroline without ever answering me asking which law they're talking about, and it's only funny the first year or two)
good: my uni changed my name in the system, email, cards, diploma etc. without me being able to change the legal name
bad: the bureaucracy around this was complex and demanding
bad: terf professor published article, no statement (afaik) from the uni
@ghost_bird promotion of queer artists and queer art shows etc. queer cultural events, art shows, concerts etc.
@ghost_bird like i obvi never went to college, but I live around a big university and am quite familiar with the services they offer.
From my life I think the following would be cool:
Drug and addiction resources aimed at trans ppl, addiction is high in our community
Sex education, but not just like safe sex and such. Like proper models of consent, ways to explore bodies etc. they do that here, like I went to a presentation on female orgasms and such here, but was very cis oriented
@ghost_bird There's always lists of students that professors (and their helpers) get each semester. At my university averyone is classified M/F on that list. So I suppose these lists should have a non-binary option, or gender could be taken off it entirely.
Pronouns could maybe be added to such lists or replace the gender slot.
Getting a lot of good replies in this thread - would it be okay to share anonymous quotes with people working on trans inclusion at my university?
@ghost_bird One of my TAs of a small seminar/discussion group emailed us before the first class to just give some general introduction stuff and she also asked us about pronouns and said "let me know if you want me to use a different name for you than what's on the register, that's no problem." I was really impressed with this because she was very matter-of-fact about it, and asking in email meant no one had to out themselves in class.
Easily accessible trans policy!! My uni has a great policy on what support students & staff coming out as trans can ask for but I had to do some really determined googling and nobody I talked to, staff or other trans students, had heard of it. I feel like there’s so much contorting yourself through hoops/loopholes and bureaucracy obstacle courses anyway, it would be good to have everything on one webpage thoroughly linked from elsewhere, maybe with the other pastoral care stuff
@ghost_bird ooh! the student union got a fund to buy gender-affirming clothes etc and then gave them out to people who wanted them discreetly - that was pretty cool, and wouldve sped up my trying out a binder a lot if I’d heard about it the year before. I don’t think they’re still doing it though.
Less ‘boys on the left, girls on the right’. That’s happened at least twice with people who were not weird otherwise abt my whole deal.
@ghost_bird Also, definitely more gender-neutral toilets that aren't just the accessible ones with a sign tacked on, and make sure they have a frigging menstrual products bin in them, and make sure they're at least as prevalent as gendered toilets so we don't have to walk right down the hall and two flights of stairs, and make sure it's clear where they all are.
Also make sure the computer systems don't force us into a gender binary.
@ghost_bird oh this just reminded me of a thing we have at our university that I actually really like
Its called the Safe Zone advisory board and basically participants attend several trainings and educational panels led by LGBTQ+ folks and can get certified as an ally which comes with a sticker they can put on their door and I feel like it actually means something because they have to like put in the effort and go to those sessions
@ghost_bird a lot of the first stuff for me is literally just like make things function for trans students: ability to change name in all the software and class rolls and stuff, bathrooms for everyone, including specifically gender neutral ones, make dorms and housing accessible and accepting
I think support networks of other trans students, faculty, and staff would be good
Education of teachers on trans issues and actually incorporating them into the curriculum
@ghost_bird If there are example syllabi, or syllabus standards, they should have an inclusiveness clause. And chosen name policy.
@ghost_bird Pronouns on staff pages. Educate staff a little on trans interaction norms - like, being ok with if folks call their partner their partner instead of wife/husband, or if their presentation varies don't make a big deal of it . A clear ombudsperson to go to for mediation help if there are persistent microagression problems.
@ghost_bird i guess having the chosen name on the lists would really help. I have a friend who can't convince her university to change her name because she hasn't made the legal change yet.
Older. Trans. She/her.
A fire is burning in Bird Spirit Land.