The campaigner gives her view on why trans rights are moving further into the mainstreamby Serena Kutchinsky / January 22, 2015 / Leave a comment
In Prospect’s January 2015 issue I identified transgender rights as one of the big debates for the coming year. With the battle for equal marriage won, the spotlight is increasingly falling on trans issues. The journalist and activist Paris Lees responded to my piece with the below comments.
Gender can only really be a personal choice—everyone has a gender identity, whether that means you see yourself as a “career woman” or a “man’s man”. How we think of ourselves isn’t usually that relevant when it comes to the state, but for trans people it can mean there is a conflict. So much time is wasted on changing documentation when people transition genders, but why do we even have to have a legal gender? Why even have someone’s gender on their passport? Why can’t we just be people first and foremost. Sometimes it’s hard to see outside the system, but the people who aren’t treated well by that system are often the ones to point out it flaws. Feminists were the first to question: why do we have Mrs and Miss when a man is just plain old Mr? Now trans activists are asking, why do we have to have a gendered title at all? It’s an interesting debate that will only grow as more and more people challenge what it means to be a man or a woman.