I am not a man or a woman, I am a transexual

Transcript of a speech given at Hackney Pride September 2010. Transman and anarchist communist Jamrat Mason discusses gender, sexuality and sexism and the wider relevance of transgender issues in society. One paragraph that was omitted from the speech on the day for reasons of length is included below in square brackets.

“My name is Jamrat Mason and I have a vagina. I’m involved in East London Community Activism but today I’m here to speak “as a trans person” about transgender issues. The term “transgender” is a broad term that refers to to a massive spectrum of people who in some way veer away from the gender written on their birth certificate. So, I cannot, in any way whatsoever, be representative of transgendered people. I can only talk about the world as I see it, from where I’m standing, as a transexual.

I’m a lucky tranny. First of all because I’m alive. And secondly because I have a family who loves me. That shouldn’t be lucky, but at the moment, it is. My own experience is quite unique so I thought I’d give you a quick history: At 3 years old my first sentence was “I’m a boy”, at 7 years old when I was still convinced that this was true, my parents took me to a psychologist. The psychologist said I probably have “Gender Dysphoria”. My parents talked to my school and allowed me to cut my hair and wear a boy’s uniform. When I was 8 I was referred on to a specialist in London (on the NHS) who I saw until I was 18. When I was 12 I legally changed my name which my granny paid for. So I’ve been living as male since I was about 7 or 8. I went through a full female puberty and eventually got testosterone when I was 21. I had surgery when I was 22. I’m 24 now so I’ve looked like this for about 2 years.

It’s not my intention to simple ask for a complacent acceptance of trans people- for people to just stop insulting us and beating us up… I want to talk about transphobia as an issue that affects all of us- and that we can all play a part in fighting. We must, as a society, be better at gender. Read the rest of this entry »

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