Applications open for our first funding round

APPLICATIONS FOR THIS ROUND OF FUNDING HAS NOW CLOSED, THANKS TO ALL THAT APPLIED

Action for Trans Health are proud to open applications for the first funding round of our solidarity fund. Throughout the year, we raise money to help trans and gender variant people who for whatever reason cannot access healthcare treatment through the NHS in a timely manner. Our solidarity fund seeks to give small grants to those who face the most barriers to accessing healthcare. So far we have about £1500 to give away, but we hope to receive more in donations to increase what we can give away.

The application form for the solidarity fund is below (link). The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 12th June 2015. Information about what you can use the money for is included in the application form below.

Any money we receive in donations or membership fees between now and the deadline will be added to the fund and will go directly into a grant to help facilitate access to healthcare. You can join Action for Trans Health here, and donate by clicking the button below.

Action for Trans Health Solidarity Fund

 

Launch of Around the Toilet Project

The toilet is often thought to be a mundane space, but for those who lack adequate or accessible toilet provision on a daily basis, toilets become a crucial practical issue which can create and reaffirm feelings of exclusion and regulation. Disabled people, for example, frequently report that ‘accessible’ toilets are not accessible enough, while other studies show that diminishing numbers of public toilets can prevent older people leaving the house. Toilets can also present a stark visual and material enactment of a gender binary in ways that can be problematic for trans and gender variant people. Thinking around toilets and their function as material as well as socio-cultural environments presents an opportunity to consider forms of identity in multi-faceted ways.

Around the Toilet is a cross-disciplinary, arts-based research project exploring the toilet as a place of exclusion and belonging. Action for Trans Health are proud to be collaborating on this project with activists from Queer of the Unknown and the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, as well as researchers from Sheffield Hallam University, University of Sheffield and University of Leeds. This project is funded by the AHRC Connected Communities programme. Below is a short animated PowToon video which gives more background information to the project.

The project consists of a series of art and performance workshops and public debates in Manchester over the summer, with the aim of telling trans, queer, and disabled people’s experiences of public toilets. This work will then feed into a brief for architecture students at Sheffield Architecture School and culminate in a public installation. All events will be wheelchair accessible and BSL translated. If you want to participate in the artistic and performance projects please get in touch at info[at]actionfortranshealth.org.uk

If you can’t make to the workshops, you can always share your toilet stories or photos with us via twitter by using the hashtag #cctoilettalk. You can keep up to date with the latest Around the Toilet events here or by following the project on twitter

First Funding Round Deadline

Action for Trans Health raise money to give small grants to facilitate individual trans people’s access to healthcare.

We’ve saved up enough money to give away at least £1000 in the first funding round. We will make the application form available on the 29th May 2015, and the deadline for applications will be set for the 12th June 2015. Any donations or membership fees we receive up until the deadline will go straight into the fund. You can donate to the fund using the button below, and join Action for Trans Health here. Thankyou <3

Help us to provide access to essential healthcare today.

What the election results might mean for trans people

It would be a lie to suggest that I feel anything but devastated by the election results. A New Labour government are not much more than a millimetre away from their friends in the tory party, but even the smallest of differences save lives. Surveying the wreckage, Jess Bradley examines what might be in store for trans people over the next 5 years of a tory majority government, as well as picking out some silver linings.

The Coalition Government implemented the Immigration Act which restricted migrant access to the NHS and the Health and Social Care Act which removed a lot of responsibility for healthcare from the state as well as allowing for growing privatisation, alongside NHS, welfare, education, and local council cuts. Under a slim Tory majority, we are likely to see proposals for more cuts and privatisations of public services – already they have announced £12 billion in cuts to welfare representing 10% of the entire welfare budget. They also have their eyes on cutting the HIV prevention budget. As trans people are under-employed due to transphobic discrimination, and also represent a high risk group for HIV contractions, these cuts are likely to hurt us particularly. Further cuts to local council budgets are also likely, which will disproportionately impact on women’s and LGBT youth services. On the backdrop of this, it is unlikely that we will see the increase in the trans healthcare budget which we desperately need.

Whilst UKIP only managed to get one seat, the total vote share for UKIP now places them as the third party, above the Lib Dems. This is a massive concern, indicating a rise of racism and xenophobia within the UK public over the past 5 years. This can be partially attributed to right-wing media peddling its bile, but it would be disingenuous not to also address the fact that the Labour, socialists, and the radical left have spectacularly failed at challenging these racist narratives in the media over the last 5 years. This needs to be a central part of our organising over the next 5 years if we are to challenge the rise of the far right and their racism, sexism, transphobia (and other ism’s). UKIPs rise is likely to have consequences for the Tory Party’s plans for a referendum on EU membership – it is likely that the UK will leave the EU, or at least vote to reduce our political involvement within it. A significant proportion of human and worker’s rights legislation comes from the EU, and as such a “no” vote is likely to harm the trans community and other marginalised groups.

Whilst the collapse of the Lib Dems out of the Coalition will mean that the Tory Party will not be “checked” by them, it also means that the Tories will no longer be able to blame all their failings on a rather hapless Nick Clegg. David Cameron is also likely to find it increasingly difficult to control his own rowdy back-benchers. The only outside support in Westminster outside of his own party will be the Northern Irish MPs.

The SNP landslide in Scotland means that there will be a guaranteed anti-austerity block vote acting as a significant thorn in Cameron’s side, which you wouldn’t have been able to say if those seats had gone to the Labour Party. The results in Scotland point to the general populace wanting a viable anti-austerity option which if Labour have any sense they will learn from and move towards the anti-austerity left too. And so it might be harder to implement cuts and privatisations than the tories had bargained for, especially if the Labour Party does lurch leftwards (the Labour leadership election will be a good test of whether they will). The Tory Party’s concessions to increasing powers to the Scottish government might mean health services (including transition related services) might be significantly different above the border than below. We shall see.

The Green Party and Plaid Cymru held onto their seats with a slight increase in majority. Despite the Green Party’s Rupert Read, the Greens had better than most LGBT policy, as did Plaid (who specifically addressed trans healthcare in their manifesto). Some MPs, such as Lib Dem Julian Hubbert, who lost their seats were known for tabling trans friendly motions (presumably in Hubbert’s case at the behest of Sarah Brown). This might mean the trans community will need to find another pet MP who is willing to take these discussions forward – perhaps Caroline Lucas might be good as she seemed supportive when we met her at Brighton Trans Pride last year.

The election results seem bleak, but not all is lost. The 1992 election which similarly shocked the country with a fourth term Tory win heralded a time of creative and effective resistance against austerity. We will need to look out for each-other and other oppressed groups, create networks of solidarity, listen to eachother, and build our own coalitions to fight austerity. Our advice is: join a union. Join Action for Trans Health. Join other radical organisations. Pay membership dues if you can. Get organised: Fight back.

Trans People in Immigration Centres: an update

Last month we wrote about our recent Freedom of Information request detailing the number of people who the state recognise as being trans who have been held within immigration detention centres in the UK over the last three years. We sent out a series of new FOI requests to find out more information.

We can reveal the breakdown of trans people held in each centre over the last three years is as follows:

Campsfield House, nr Oxford – 2

Dover – 1

Heathrow – 7

Morton Hall, Lincolnshire – 1

Tinsley House, nr. Gatwick – 6

Yarl’s Wood, Bedfordshire – 9.

 

The Home Office didn’t want to tell us about the location of the 5 current trans people incarcerated, or the countries to which the other 21 inmates had been deported too. They couldn’t shed any light as to whether any of the inmates had received transition related healthcare whilst incarcerated.

We are going to do some follow up work involving a FOI request to NHS England regarding the trans healthcare in immigration detention centres, and getting in touch with groups supporting those incarcerated to see if we can find out any more information.