Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A Horrible Example

From the Basingstoke Gazette:
A would-be transsexual is annoyed that a manager who was suspended over her discrimination claims is now back at work.

The YMCA suspended the manager of the shop in Winchester Street, Basingstoke, after former volunteer Philis King accused her of making derogatory remarks about her in front of colleagues and customers.

But Miss King, who is living as a woman in preparation for a NHS sex change, was never told the outcome and said she was shocked to learn the manager was working there again.

She also discovered that a volunteer who backed her has been sacked for ‘bringing the YMCA into disrepute.’

The sacked volunteer is Sharon Riley, a 48-year-old mother-of-five from Ferndown Close, Beggarwood, who, like Miss King, started working at the shop in May, having volunteered for various charities in the last 15 years.

She said she had not approved of the way Miss King had been treated and had said so. She added: “It’s soul destroying. It’s not like I have done anything wrong. I told the truth and said what I saw.”
Under the "Standards of Care", surgical treatment will be refused if the patient is neither employed, doing volunteer work, nor studying full-time for a period of 12 months beforehand. In the UK, it's two years. So the consequences to Ms King are rather more severe than a mere temporary loss of job.

The dismissal of Ms Riley is a warning to all others who might speak up about what they saw. And to state the obvious, it brings the YMCA into disrepute far more than anything any individual is capable of doing.


Justine Valinotti said...

What people forget is that the YMCA is still a religious organization. Expecting it, or anything it operates, to be respectful, much less accepting, of trans (or, for that matter, gay) people is wishful at best.

What's really upsetting is that not only doe we, as transgenders, face discrimination; the people who defend us--and the people who speak out against those who treat us as they wouldn't treat anyone else--face penalties for doing so. No wonder people who are willing to befriend us in private are not willing to speak up for us--or, in some cases, even to be seen with us publicly if our identity is known.

Sophie said...

It is not quite accurate to say that "surgical treatment will be refused if the patient is neither employed, doing volunteer work, nor studying full-time for a period of 12 months beforehand" as per the SOC. That may well be the interpretation that an individual therapist, or an entire health system, may make but the Standards actually state that the ability to do those things should be reviewed. Just because one is not doing them does not necessarily imply that they are unable to.

I am retired. I am not working, going to school or doing significant volunteer work. The only thing my therapist is looking to see is that I have a social life that brings me out into the world. I know that in countries where there is a NHS of some sort their policies are somewhat more restrictive than those held by many individual therapists in the U.S. but it is called a "Real Life Experience" and not a test anymore. I think that the letter, and the spirit, of the SOC is to ensure that one does not hole up in a room somewhere having pizza delivered for a year and call it a real life "experience".