Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Attended a talk by Gina, a male to female transsexual last night. A lot of what she said made me quite angry - not at her, but at the prejudice and sniggers that she has to put up with on an almost daily basis. Trained as a solictor, she has had to take cleaning jobs, and says that she finds it extremely difficult to find work, despite being highly qualified. Members of her family have disassociated themselves from her, her doctor was clueless and had to rely on her to tell him how to proceed and she regularly gets abuse from members of the Great British Public. As I understand it, the current situation with transsexual people is that they have to live for a couple of years as a member of the opposite sex before they can be considered for medical treatment. As Gina explained, that only really works if the rest of society is prepared to accept that. But they're not. The suicide rate for transexual people is high - as high as 50%. Gina began her talk by pleading for acceptance, understanding and tolerance. It made me think about the way that gay people were classed as freaks or medical abberants and accordingly victimised in the 1950s. Gina is not a freak. But the rest of society is. Her outlook is that there's not much point in trying to change older people in society - their attitudes have hardened and they're too set in their ways. Instead, she is concerned with going into schools - talking to young people. She's remarkably brave and incredibly dignified. She also spoke about her ambivalence at being cast in with gay, lesbian and bisexual people, as well as transvestites. With LBGT it seems that the "T" is very much tagged on the end. People who try to be sympathetic tell her "Some of my best friends are gay" as if that makes it OK. Maybe we need to rewrite LGBT as TBLG?

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I am a probably the most pure example of a Type-A personality you will ever meet. I was always first finished at school and spent most of my time waiting for everyone to catch up with me. I wolf down my food before anyone else, jiggle my knees or tap my fingers when sitting, finish people's sentences (in my head), walk fast, talk fast and type fast, am always thinking of where I have to be next, find it hard to "relax" and am impatient, especially if I have to wait.

This has had its advantages over the years - I'm very productive - which has resulted in promotions at work. I used to be so fast that sometimes quality would suffer, but I think I've got over that. I seem to get a lot more done than most people, and I think it's the reason why I find it hard to put on weight. But there are downsides to it as well. I'm almost always on time - and can't stand people who are late - I view it as a form of power when someone makes you wait for them. I have a quick temper which can flare up and be over in seconds, which makes me rueful, but at least provides bystanders with entertainment. If I stop doing things I get bored, and I particularly don't like routines or monotony. I find relaxed Type-B's very difficult to be around - especially if they don't seem to possess a passion for anything. Diffidence or "slacking" annoys the hell out of me. Or at least it does for about five minutes. Then I'm over it and on to the next thing...

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