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We are really happy to announce that we will be opening applications for a new round of solidarity funding on the 29th October 2015 (deadline: 15th November 2015). This fund will be allocated to trans (including non-binary) and intersex people to help them access healthcare. At the moment, viagra 60mg we have about £1000 in the fund. Any additional monies raised through donations and Action for Trans Health membership dues between now and the deadline will be added to the fund. We would love to reach our target of giving away £1750 this Autumn, prostate so please get fundraising and donating if you can! You can see where the previous grants went here. Donate using the button below:

Help us to provide access to essential healthcare today.

Help us to provide access to essential healthcare today.

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You wouldnt catch me in a beauty pageant anytime soon, but I don’t knock the women for whom that is a thing they wanna do. But Miss Transgender UK’s first prize of gender confirmation surgery has left me speechless. Jess Bradley writes

A few days ago the Miss Transgender UK facebook page posted an update detailing the first, second, and third prizes for their beauty pageant to be held next week. The first prize is £5000 cash and a £10,000 worth of gender affirmation surgery, the second prize is £1000 cash and one facial feminisation procedure. The third prize is £500 cash and a makeover.

We started Action for Trans Health because we saw so many of our friends having to crowdfunds their transitions. We noticed it always seemed to be the prettiest, the whitest, the most middle class people who achieved their goals the quickest. We set up Action for Trans Health to do things differently. We believe that access to hormones, surgeries and other transition related treatments are basic, necessary, and life-saving. They are not prizes akin to a cruise or an open-top car. Making them prizes just makes our basic healthcare needs seem like luxuries: cosmetic and elective.

Our solidarity fund is overseen by a democratically elected committee who employ an independent funding panel to allocate funds according to who needs it most. This beauty pageant seems to be allocating funds according to who is the prettiest (read: most cis-normative looking?). I cant help but imagine how devastating and dysphoria-inducing it must be to get your hopes up of winning the “prize” to have them dashed because a bunch of strangers judged you to not be attractive enough. A whole bunch of people are desperate for access to trans healthcare, and I don’t blame anyone for entering such a pageant for those reasons, or indeed any other really. But I can’t support the idea of basic healthcare being a “prize” for those seen as most attractive in the service of a profit making venture such as Miss Transgender UK.

Our solidarity fund is just one part of what we do at Action for Trans Health, because we know that for all trans people to have access to healthcare, we need to campaign against the idea that our healthcare is cosmetic and elective. The campaigning work that we have done has been hard work, taking us from picket lines to Parliament and back again. We need more than spectacles offering healthcare to the few, but to build a movement which demands healthcare for the many. We hope that instead of giving money to Miss Transgender UK, you donate to our solidarity fund below… and instead of joining them at their pageant, you join the movement which fights for democratic trans healthcare today.

Help us to provide access to essential healthcare today.

Help us to provide access to essential healthcare today.

 

 

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Recently I was invited to speak on “the future of LGBT activism” at Manchester’s Political Pride. I was on the panel with Hope Winter-Hall, an original member of the UK Gay Liberation Front; Florence Okoye; member of the AfroFutures collective; and Alex Young, a trans activist and Christian. Hope talked about some of the tactics of early GLF and the importance of finding your own personal revolution. Florence discussed the intersections of queerness, blackness and futurism, and highlighted the need to queer all of our institutions. Alex talked about his experiences as a queer person of faith and the importance of understanding our experiences as both systematic and subjective. What follows is my thoughts about the future of queer activism, in a post gay marriage era. Jess Bradley writes:

Since the implementation of gay marriage, the LGB movement has been experiencing an identity crisis. We have “equality” now. Or at least, it seems so the straight cis people who determine third sector funding priorities. For large organisations such as Stonewall, this has led to a crisis of relevance: how can they justify their continued existence as institutions when LGB people appear to have legal equality? (Perhaps this is a problem that Stonewall foresaw, given its rather sluggish support of gay marriage).

They have dealt with this crisis of relevance is to incorporate the T into their work. Trans people are politically relevant right now, what with the “transgender tipping point”, Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, and more visible areas of concern that need addressing (transphobic violence, healthcare, etc.). Of course, they could have incorporated the T into their work a long time ago, but made a strategic decision to do so now as the threat of funding irrelevance outweighed the threat of pissing off TERFs and other transphobes. This is an observation not (necessarily) a criticism. Organisations like Stonewall strategically choose to operate in a way which pleases their funders and that necessarily involves avoiding controversy in order to keep their staff in work. Organisations like Action for Trans Health have a different set of priorities and use a different set of strategies, but perhaps if our interests align at some point we will work together. (Riffing off what Hope said, I think having a sense of what your interests are is part of understanding your own personal revolution).

Whilst the increased attention on trans issues which comes with Stonewall incorporating the T is a good thing, I tend to think that simply incorporating new identities into the existing ways of doing things might not be all that. Do we simply keep on adding new identities when the ‘old ones’ become less politically relevant? How much does this incorporation of new identities involve lipservice and how much involves an institutional change? Perhaps we need to do things differently, use a new set of tactics which involve incorporating the most vulnerable from the offset not just when its politically convenient.

If we need a new set of tactics and priorities, then what? At this stage, I would like to return to the specific moment of getting gay marriage, because I believe it holds a lot of answers to the current question of priorities, strategies and relevance. Gay marriage is, in the history of marriage, a bit of an anomaly. In the past, in Europe and the US, marriage has generally tended to be an institution foisted upon new groups without their consent, rather than something actively asked for. Marriage was devised as a way of denying aristocratic women property rights, then was applied to the working classes to create more stable (read: manageable) nuclear family units, and to black slaves and ex-slaves in the US to tie them to their master’s estates. So it is interesting that LGB activists have seemingly asked for gay marriage, in the most part within a wider set of demands, and how the official response has been to assume that was all that was being asked for. Its also pretty interesting that the Tories, hardly known for their love of the queer community, were the ones who passed the law. Perhaps this was to try and shed their image of being the “nasty party”, or perhaps gay marriage, too, offers something useful in terms of managing populations.

I am reminded of a recent conversation I had with my racist uncle. We were talking about the immigration crisis and the fact that many migrants are Muslim. He said “Why are you defending Muslims? If you go ‘over there’ you won’t get your gay marriage”. In saying this, my uncle created a conflict between queers and Muslims: we (white, non-Muslims) are “tolerant” to gays, more “civilised” than the racialized Muslim other overseas. (Its interesting how my uncle is only ever concerned about gay rights when he has something racial to prove, it’s a shallow solidarity). This construction of Europe as a bastion of tolerance is widespread (see Israel’s pinkwashing of the conflict with Palestine for another example) but blind to history: most countries with anti-gay laws had them passed by European colonial powers, or more recently by neo-colonial theocratic leaders installed by the US with the backing of Europe. Its also blind to the fact that many Muslims are queer, and many queers are Muslim. Simply put, you’re still homophobic if your vision of tolerance towards queers only extends to the white non-Muslim ones. My friend and comrade Sonia talks more about this in her blog inspired by this discussion here.

Drawing on this phenemona, Jasbir Puar in her Terrorist Assemblages talks about how gay marriage is being used to codify a Western set of values in order to justify the othering of black and brown people in Europe and the global south. Essentially, gay marriage and other LGBT issues are being played off against race. This dynamic is shown with UK marriage as at the same time we see the implementation of same sex marriage legislation, we also see changes to immigration legislation which restricts the spouses of British citizens from getting citizenship unless the citizen earns over a certain amount (which started of around £18k, although my friend said recently it had risen). As such, whilst we see same sex couples being incorporated into the institution of marriage, we also see a whole bunch of immigrants whose partners earn less than the required amount excluded. At the same time we also have the spousal veto for married trans people, whereby their partners can veto their legal gender recognition, also excludes a significant amount of trans people from the institution of marriage.

To me, the question of what the LGBT movement does now that we have gay marriage is obvious, the marriage legislation is quite clearly pointing us towards a focus on immigration and anti-racist queer activism, and changes to gender recognition legislation and abolition of gender gatekeepers more generally. However, for the LGBT movement to focus on the rights of LGBT asylum seekers / immigrants or trans people excluded from basic healthcare / recognition, necessarily involves a change of focus away from existing models of activism led by white cis LGB people. This is increasingly relevant as Europe’s leaders fail to address a growing refugee crisis internationally and UK governments slash funding for healthcare and various social support mechanisms. Following what Alex and Florence said in their speeches, we need to understand that white cis LGB experiences do not always produce the same understandings or priorities as those of other groups, and that part of queering our activist institutions involves a radical openness to collaborating with other groups and letting other people lead. This should occur alongside an openness to allowing ourselves to make mistakes as we learn about other peoples experiences, and a commitment to educating ourselves so we “fail better” next time.

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In our June/July 2015 funding round, page we gave away £1, look 646 to trans people to facilitate access to healthcare. It went to fund or part-fund various things, such as initial assessments with a private doctor, binders and packers, contributions to a post-surgical sick leave, and travel costs to GICs.

Heres what one of the recipients said about receiving the fund:

This money is such a lifeline: I feel as if I can finally get things moving. Thanks so much to Action for Trans Health, and its donors and sponsors. Things like this never happen to me, I am so chuffed!

We are currently raising funds for another funding round, hopefully for Autumn 2015. You can donate to the next round below:

 

Help us to provide access to essential healthcare today.

 

In the interests of accountability and transparency, we are providing some identity statistics about what sort of people applied to the fund and where the money went. The grants are allocated by an independent funding panel on the merit of their applications and not based on their identities. However, we are looking at ways in which we can encourage people from unrepresented groups to apply and ways in which to support them through the application process.

– There was a wide range of ages represented in those that applied to the fund, but 18-21 year olds were very highly represented. This is probably due to the strong links we have made with the LGBT student movement.
applicant age
– This wide range of ages were represented in the grant recipients too.
agerecipients
– Most of the applicants were non-binary. Applicants were equally split between those who are affected by transmisogyny and those who are not.
gender applicants
– Most of the grant recipients were non-binary identified, with a 40/60 split between those affect by transmisogyny and those who are not.
gender grants
– Grant applicants were primary from England, with one applicant from Scotland and none from Wales or Northern Ireland. The applicants from England were very geographically dispersed, roughly equal across North, South, and the Midlands. One grant recipient was based in Scotland, the rest were roughly equally spread across England. We need to look into encouraging more people from the Nations to apply for the fund.

– Most applicants were from a white British background, with a roughly equal spread of people from other white, mixed and South Asian backgrounds. No applicants were black, which is an area we need to work on.
race applicants
– There was a 50:50 split between white and people of colour in the grant recipient group.
race grant
– Most of the grant applicants had a non-straight sexuality from a variety of identities including queer, pansexual, polysexual and gay/lesbian. This spread was also reflected in the grant recipient group.

– Most applicants were from a working class background, this was also reflected in the grant recipient group.

– 30% of grant applicants either had full time or part time caring responsibilities. A slightly higher percentage (36%) of grant recipients had either full time or part time caring responsibilities.

– 46% of grant applicants define as disabled compared to 75% of grant recipients
applicant dis

grant dis
– Applicants were from a wide range of religions and religious backgrounds. About 30% of applicants were atheist, 30% Christian, and the rest spread evenly across other faiths, including Hindu, Muslim, Pagan and Jehovas Witness. Grant recipients were 38% Christian, with the rest spread evenly across Hindu, Muslim, Pagan, Jehovas Witness, and other faith backgrounds.

– Most grant applicants were living with family (31%) or homeless (23%). Grant recipients were from roughly similar housing situations as the applicant group.

applicant housing housing grants

 

This was all the data collected about the applicants and recipients of the Summer 2015 Solidarity Fund. If you have any questions about the Solidarity Fund, please get in touch at info[at]actionfortranshealth.org.uk. You can donate to the next funding round using the button below:

Help us to provide access to essential healthcare today.

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Recently I was asked to speak at a panel debate addressing whether or not the LGBT movement is inclusive. What struck me was how the organisers and other panellists were operating on the assumption that inclusion is a good thing, online so much so that it seemed like an obvious natural fact which didn’t need qualifying. This may have been a sign of operating on a shared understanding of what inclusion might mean which may or may not have been obvious to the average audience member. However, web because inclusion can have a variety of meanings within different contexts, buy information pills I think it’s important to pin down what we mean by inclusion: Inclusion for whom? Inclusion into what? Inclusion on what basis? Jess H Bradley writes

When talking about inclusion with reference to the LGBT movement, it seems relevant to note that the current way of doing LGBT activism relies heavily on the notion of recognition and inclusion. This mode of activism argues that LGBT people should be recognised and included in all areas of life, and mainly seeks to implement this recognition and inclusion through changes in the law. The legal reforms seek to do two things: bring LGBT people into the fold by making it illegal to exclude us (ie. laws banning discrimination in the workplace or in the provision of goods and services); and those that seek to exclude, through punitive methods, those who harm us (ie. through hate crime legislation).

The successive legal reforms around LGBT issues have filtered through into the workplace where the language of inclusion has been taken on as normative ideals. Big employers now proudly proclaim how inclusive they are on their websites, send their LGB(T?) employees to Prides in corporate sponsored floats, and compete to be listed on Stonewall’s Employers Index. The fact that the Employers Index makes up such a large and visible part of Stonewall’s operation is testament to just how much the inclusion-into-the-common-sense narrative has caught on. There is even now an entire field of human resources, called “diversity management”, which is dedicated to administrating the inclusion of marginalised groups within the workplace.

Since recognition and inclusion are the main goals of the LGBT movement currently, it stands to reason that inclusion has become the normative ideal for conversations about the makeup of the LGBT movement itself. LGBT groups are adding representational roles for people who face multiple oppressions. ‘Intersectionality’ seems to be the watchword of LGBT activist gatherings. The NUS LGBT Campaign recently voted to become the NUS LGBT+ Campaign in order to signify an inclusion of a myriad of identities. Some trans groups are adding an asterisk to their name to symbolise that they are inclusive of non-binary people, whilst some LGBT societies are even adding representatives for straight and cisgender allies.

Whilst the LGB(T?) movement has been successful at implementing legal reforms along the lines of hate crime legislation and laws banning discrimination in the workplace, as well as wider cultural gains within the workplace (along the lines of integrating diversity/inclusion within a corporate social responsibility narrative), these gains have limited impact on the vast majority of LGBT people’s lives. Inclusion of LGBT people in boardrooms of big business only benefits those of us who can perform professionality, something that is likely to only be available to those of us who are cis, white, middle or upper class, non-disabled men. And at closer inspection, the field of “diversity management” seems to be more about putting your employees who are from a visible minority at the front of your marketing photos to sell the company as inclusive, rather than actually removing barriers to access within employment.

Likewise, hate crime legislation has very little positive impact on the lives of LGBT people: the laws do not deter violence from being enacted against us; they simply seek to bind those found guilty of hate crime to harsher punishments over longer periods of time. As people from marginalised groups are more likely to be disproportionately policed, hate crime legislation results in putting increasing numbers of people from marginalised groups in contact with the criminal justice system. Further, hate crime legislation constructs homophobic, biphobic and transphobic violence as something which is particular to a specific form of bodily violence or harassment, ie. the violences that are often characterised by those with political power as “working class violence” – random personal assault and verbal harassment. However, the very real violence conducted by those with political power, such as the decision by judges to deport LGBT asylum seekers to almost-certain death or denying someone access to healthcare because they are nonbinary, are not within the scope of legislation. Yet through hate crime legislation, the state establishes itself as the only acceptable medium for opposing all homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic violence, which decreases the LGBT community’s capacity for addressing those other violences enacted upon us by the state and its actors. Since homophobic, biphobic and transphobic state violence is disproportionately enacted on the more marginalised members of community, usually those that face multiple oppressions, hate crime legislation actually reduces the chances for the LGBT community to coherently organise against those violences, resulting in the direct or indirect exclusion of people who face multiple oppressions from the movement.

So hopefully I have shown how the outward politics of recognition and inclusion operationalise an illusion of inclusion which actually enacts certain exclusions against marginalised people. Similarly, the internal politics of inclusion within the LGBT community itself is in danger of enacting its own exclusions.

The plus in LGBT+ and the asterisk in trans* are perfect examples. The addition of the plus seeks to include a myriad of identities but does not name them (either in the acronym itself or in discussions around adopting the plus, in my experience). How do we include a group if we do not know who they are and what their needs are? And if membership of the “plus” is not explicitly and openly discussed, are we inadvertently opening up our spaces to identities we didn’t mean to, because everyone has a different understanding of what is included within the plus? Similarly with the asterisk, if we add the asterisk to denote inclusivity of non-binary people, but we don’t implement our politics and practices to open up our spaces: are we really being inclusive? (This isn’t an argument against the plus or the asterisk necessarily, just the way they are being used. If we want to be more inclusive we need to do better).

Inclusion in and of itself does not inherently hold value for our movement. We understand this, as our movement is built on a series of exclusions that maintain its coherency. We have LGBT-only societies, bars, campaigns, and organisations. Within LGBT, we might choose to organise separately as lesbian and bisexual women or as trans people, because we understand that sometimes excluding men or cis people can provide us a safer space where sexism or transphobia is less likely, which is useful both in terms of our mental health and in terms of creating capacity for organising. Yet an uncritical adoption of the politics of inclusion often leads to the destruction of safer spaces and the inclusion of straight-cis people on our committees or on our staff. By allowing straight cis people to have positions of political power within our movement (as opposed to background, supportive roles when we need them), we decrease our capacity to organise coherently and effectively.

Go to an LGBT conference or gathering and it will soon be clear that the LGBT movement is increasingly framing of the inclusion of people who face multiple oppressions through the lens of intersectionality. Intersectionality theory was developed by black feminists (such as Kimberlé Crenshaw and Patricia Hill-Collins) to understand the interactions between race and gender. A black woman’s experience cannot be understood primarily in terms of being black and being a woman as independent factors, but rather these factors combine to be greater than the sum of their parts. Through examining the experiences of black women, it is argued, we can gain an understanding of how the systems of racism and sexism support each other. It is impossible, then, to talk about intersectionality without talking about the interactions of race and gender.

Yet intersectionality, as often operationalised by my fellow white queers within the LGBT movement, is increasingly being used refer to any group of people who face multiple oppressions. A white disabled gay man might frame his identity as intersectional as he is marginalised through both homophobia and ableism. Intersectionality is increasingly being used as a synonym for ‘inclusion’ or ‘diversity’ without specifically referring to race and gender; and is being used as a shorthand for “we need to include people who face multiple oppressions” without a coherent engagement with the reasons why this is desirable or a particular commitment to changing policies or practices. This is in danger of de-radicalising ‘intersectionality’ and de-centering black feminist voices, individualising intersectionality as being about “diverse individuals” and enacting its own illusions of inclusion without actually being inclusive.

The LGBT movement has a lot to learn from the insights from intersectionality theory and what can be drawn from that to all people who face multiple oppressions. Yet we must be mindful to ensure that we do not appropriate intersectionality and make it about something other than black women, and that where we do use insights from intersectionality theory to extrapolate wider we recognise the role that black feminists have taken in developing this work.

Chief among those insights is how people who face multiple oppressions have a greater understanding of how LGBT-phobia works as they do not just understand LGBT-phobia but also its interactions with the other systems of oppression that they are affected by. This recognition is important as it shifts the narrative from including those who face multiple oppressions only when it is convenient to those with more political power within the movement, to actually prioritising the inclusion of those who face multiple oppressions over those that do not. This necessarily involves a wholesale political and cultural change within the LGBT movement, but it promises to pay dividends. A quick look at the history books will show how the movement has been most active and effective when people who face multiple oppressions have been at the helm, e.g. the Stonewall Riots (led by trans women of colour and homeless queers), the lesbian women’s movement (led by women), the HIV/Aids movement (led by disabled / chronically ill queers), and of course, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (led by class-conscious queers).

Making this change happen within the LGBT movement will inevitably involve a shift in politics and practices away from those that appeal to the most privileged within the movement to a politics that speaks to those intersections created by multiple oppressions. To achieve this, the LGBT movement needs to move away from the “recognition and inclusion” model of legal reforms which promises to help only those that can perform as a neoliberal professional subject, and towards politics that actually promise to work for the majority of LGBT people. For trans people, a reform of the Gender Recognition Act promises a greater positive impact than the ever increasing criminalisation of over-policed communities as a result of hate crime legislation ever will. Developing a critique of work, alongside resisting cuts to welfare, promises to help more LGBT people (especially those facing multiple oppressions) who are unemployed or underemployed than celebrating the handful of corporations who have gay men on their executive boards will. And instead of celebrating these executive gay men as “successful diverse citizens”, a politics that seeks to expand citizenship to LGBT asylum seekers could save lives. And a trans politics which not only advocates for greater access to trans healthcare, but actively engages in the fight against NHS cuts and privatisation, and organises for worker-patient control of all healthcare… Well, that would be something.

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Upcoming DIY trans-feminist festival in Manchester, this web from the 19-21st of June 2015. Trans people and respectful allies welcome.

We are looking for people to contribute workshops and activities, hospital organise debates or skills sharing sessions… get in touch via the booking form with your ideas!

In the spirit of DIY, remedy attendees are expected to contribute something to helping make the festival work. This could be helping out on a welcome stall, cooking, organisational work such as making sure workshops run to time, staffing a creche, and/or donating money to cover costs of putting the workshops on.

SCHEDULE
19th June: evening dinner together, then watch a film
20th June: workshops and skillshares during the day, poetry and acoustic music open mic in the evening
21st June: workshops and skillshares

VENUE AND ACCESS
The venue is a large empty house which the organisers are moving into shortly after the festival ends. As such, festival attendees are asked to be respectful of the space and of the neighbours. Venue details will be made available after booking and closer to the time of the festival.

Renovations are planned to put an access ramp into the venue so the ground floor of the venue (where workshops and activities will take place) will be accessible. If this work is not completed on time, we will source a portable ramp.

The venue is a 10 min bus ride on a regular service from Manchester city centre.

Some food will be available on a donation basis. Some crash space available at the venue, please let us know if you need this when booking. Dry space, so no alcohol or drugs which arent for health stuff please.

BOOKING
Please book your place by filling in the following form. You can use this form to express an interest in running an activity at the festival.

See you there!

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APPLICATIONS FOR THIS ROUND OF FUNDING HAS NOW CLOSED, information pills 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

 

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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

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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.

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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, approved but even the smallest of differences save lives. Surveying the wreckage, nurse Jess Bradley examines what might be in store for trans people over the next 5 years of a tory majority government, visit this 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.