Half the population are bullied ... most only recognize it when they read this
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Transsexuals | Intersex
The number of people in the UK who have undergone or are undergoing gender reassignment is unknown but thought by the Department for Education and Employment to be in the region of 5000. Given the stigma and taboos that surround transsexuality the true number of people wishing to undergo gender reassignment could be considerably greater.
Whilst medical treatment has improved considerably, employment law has lagged behind. in P v. S and Cornwall County Council (1996 IRLR 347; ECJ) the employment tribunal felt that P's dismissal after announcing he was to undergo gender reassignment did not fall within the scope of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 but asked the European Court of Justice to decide if this was a breach of the equal treatment directive. Following the positive ECJ ruling, the Sex Discrimination Act 1974 was amended by the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999. An employer can no longer treat less favourably any person who has undergone, is undergoing, or plans to undergo gender reassignment.
Society's attitudes to transsexuality have changed considerable over the last thirty years. Whereas once a transsexual or transvestite would be labelled as a pervert, or worse, today such people are treated more sympathetically. Discrimination still exists, as it does for most minorities, but times are changing. The recent BBC TV series Paddington Green followed the story of Jackie McAuliffe, a transsexual who worked as a prostitute to earn the money to pay for her operation. Many transsexuals find employment denied to them and as a consequence the only way to fund their transition is through prostitution. Such was the viewer interest that follow-up programmes were made and Jackie appeared in a two-page spread in Radio Times. In another recent case which received widespread coverage, a vicar who underwent a sex change operation returned to her church duties with the support of the majority of her congregation.
There are only four Council of Europe nations who continue to refuse to grant legal recognition to the reassigned sex of transsexual people: Andorra, Ireland, Albania and the UK. Neither has the UK government acted to resolve some one the anomalies resulting from gender reassignment, eg the altering of gender in National Insurance records. This is significant as the age at which pension contributions cease is different according to gender.
Whilst most people believe that human being are either "male" or "female", the range of human sexuality - both physical and psychological - is much more varied. An intersex person is anyone who does not fit exactly into the current definition of "male" or "female". Such people are regarded as misfits and make easy targets for bullying.
In fact, it could be said that intersex people are bullied the moment they are born when medical professionals insist that the baby conform to their belief in the "normality" of male or female genitalia and apply pressure to the parents to allow them to perform corrective surgery. Parents, often in shock, give their permission having been persuaded that surgery is in the best interests of their child.
A largely-unrecognized effect of harassment, discrimination and bullying is psychiatric injury. Concealment is thought to be a contributor to depression. See the page on stress for details of injury to health caused by bullying and harassment..
Bully OnLine is a gold mine of insight and information on bullying which identifies the different types of harassment and bullying, and exposes the main perpetrator, the serial bully. Everyone, whether transsexual or not, knows at least one person in their life with the profile of the serial bully. Click here ...who has this behaviour profile in your life?
Have a look through this web site to recognise the bullies and bullying in your life ... start with Am I being bullied? then move on to What is bullying? To find out what you can do about bullying, click Action to tackle bullying. Have a look at the profile of the serial bully which is common to sociopathic managers, harassers, stalkers, rapists, violent partners, abusers, pedophiles, even serial killers of the organized kind.
If bullying and harassment have caused injury to your health, commonly diagnosed as "stress", see the page on injury to health and the one on the psychiatric injury of trauma, a collection of symptoms congruent with the diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
Press for Change is a national support group for transsexual matters and campaigning in the UK.
The Beaumont Society provides support and information for transvestites and their families.
The Clare Project provides a safe meeting place for transgender individuals in the Brighton and Hove area of East Sussex. Their web page provides links to other organisations supporting transgender individuals.
The Gender Trust helps adults who are Transsexual, Gender Dysphoric or Trangenderist, ie those who seek to adjust their lives to live as women or men, or to come to terms with their situation despite their genetic background.
TransGender Zone at http://www.transgenderzone.com/
Transgender Equality: advice from the TUC on Trans rights in the workplace
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