Sunday 28 May 2006

Behind the Times

The Times Online has an article by one Ali Hussain that typifies the very worst of societal attitudes towards Transsexuals.
A TRANSSEXUAL who moved to the UK because he feared persecution in his home town in America is seeking £500,000 compensation from his former British employers.

He says he was demoted in Britain after he underwent surgery to “feminise” his face and breasts.

Josh Bussert, 41, who now calls himself Jessica, is claiming for sex discrimination and victimisation against Hitachi Data Systems on the grounds that he was demoted from a senior information technology job.

“I am not a slacker,” said Bussert. “I’m a hard worker and my change of sex does not affect my performance.”

Well obviously his change of sex cuts no ice with Ali. The sneer quotes around "feminise", the "now calls himself", the constant use of the masculine pronoun... it all contributes to the inescapable impression that Ali Hussein has no time for such... TRANSSEXUAL subhuman filth.

From the Independent's article, written by somone a little less antedeluvian :
Ms Bussert says she was shocked by the "transphobic and bigoted" reaction she encountered after changing sex.
As typifed by Mr Ali Hussain.
She claims her business trips abroad stopped and she found herself working for colleagues who had been promoted while she was away having facial feminisation and breast surgery.

Her wife Sharon, 40, to whom she has been married for 15 years, says she was terrified her partner would commit suicide during the ordeal. "She was quite serious about her situation," she said. "I am saying this as the person she lives with. I saw it."
Transsexual support groups said last night that it was not unusual for transsexuals to face discrimination after they had changed sex.
It is also not unusual for the sun to rise in a generally eastward direction.

The Grauniad handles the complexities in the recommended way :
For Josh Bussert and his wife, Sharon, their former home in Indiana was "a great place to bring up kids". They lived with two of Mr Bussert's three children from his first marriage and two girls the couple adopted from Haiti 12 years ago. But when he decided to change his gender, small-town America did not seem like the right place to be.

"About 45 minutes away from where I lived in Indiana, about three months before I left, a 19-year-old transsexual woman and a friend of hers were brutally murdered and, because that wasn't good enough, their bodies were set on fire. That's the kind of environment that we were worried about," Jessica Bussert says.

Josh Bussert had started working for Hitachi in the US in January 2001. At the end of 2003 he was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition in which an individual's biological sex is at odds with his or her psychological gender. Mr Bussert, who remembers wanting to be a girl from the age of four, was in effect a woman in a man's body.

That month he applied for a transfer to the UK branch of the company, covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Busserts, who are still a couple and say they are closer than ever, decided to move to London, which they saw as a more accepting and tolerant environment.
By October 2004 the physical changes were creating pressure to reveal the truth, she says. She broached the subject with Mr Larkin light-heartedly, but "he made it quite clear that he did not want any of 'those people' working for him. I quickly passed it off as a joke but he was becoming suspicious."
Exactly. Before transition, "he" is appropriate. After, and whenever in the present tense, "she".

I must admit, I find it quite extraordinary that I'm actually in a genuinely oppressed minority. One subject to insulting articles in the Times Online, not to mention the greatly increased risk of being murdered.

I consider it a challenge.

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