2018:JUL-OCT: UK simplifies
gender change procedure.
Transgender contestant at Miss
This is continued from Part 1
2018-JUL: UK government plans to streamline gender change for transgender persons:
Penny Mordaunt, the minister for women and equalities, has launched a public consultation on changes to the Gender Recognition Act of 2004. It defines the procedure by which a person declares a gender change and obtains a new birth certificate. She said:
"In response to our national LGBT survey, trans people have told us that the current system to legally change their gender isn’t working and they find the process bureaucratic, costly and intrusive. ... We want to help people to thrive and to go about their daily life, living in the gender they choose without intrusion or fear of humiliation. This consultation is a chance for us to change the current system for the better and I look forward to hearing everyone’s views."
Estimates of the number of transgender persons in the UK range from 200,000 to 500,000. But since the law was passed, only 4,910 individuals have obtained a gender recognition certificate.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
"What was very clear from our survey is that transgender people across the UK find the process of legally changing their gender overly bureaucratic and invasive. I want to see a process that is more streamlined and de-medicalised -- because being trans should never be treated as an illness."
Cara English, is the policy engagement officer at Gendered Intelligence, a transgender charitable organization. She said:
"Meaningful reforms to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) are desperately needed if we’re going to make the process easier, less bureaucratic and exclusionary for trans and non-binary people. It’s encouraging to see the government take the needs of LGBTQI people seriously, recognizing that the GRA needs to be reformed to make it more transparent for those who need to access it. This consultation is all about highlighting the lived experiences and needs of people disenfranchised from the current GRA and giving value to their voices." 1
2018-JUL to DEC: A transgender contestant enters the Miss Universe Pageant:
Born Ángel Mario Ponce Camacho, and now called Angela Ponce, she is transgender. She has taken hormones and underwent gender confirmation surgery at the age of 16. She won Spain’s beauty pageant in June and became "Miss Spain."
She told the New York Times:
"There are women with a penis and men with a vagina, because the only key part of being a woman is to be and feel like a woman. ..."
What strikes me is that a lot of the criticism has come from women and people from my own collective, just when women are taking to the streets to ask for recognition. I find it weird that some women don’t tolerate that I go to a competition to represent my country as the woman that I am. ..."
"If we want progress, we just have to stop looking whether what other women are doing is good or not." 2
Before the start of the competition, gesturing to her head, she said:
"I always say: having a vagina didn’t transform me into a woman. I am a woman, already before birth, because my identity is here. ... Outsiders say what I can and cannot do, what I am and what I am not. No, I’m sorry. To be a woman is your identity. It doesn’t matter if you are white, black, if you have a vagina ... if you have a penis. ... You can empower yourself like I have and turn something negative into your biggest strength.
Children are born without prejudices and I think that if we talk to them about diversity from a young age, ... we can create a new generation of human beings who are raised a lot better, more tolerant and respectful."
Guillermo Escobar, president of Spain’s beauty contest, said that the judges:
"... simply valued her as a great woman. ... She is a pioneer, sending a message of equality and respect. ... my hope is that we will eventually have many more candidates like her and this will no longer make the headlines." 2
Angela Ponce said:
"What I feel by being the first transgender contestant at Miss Universe is a big sense of responsibility, it gives me a lot of pride, and personally I'm very proud to have made it here. I've been in the press, on TV, and I've put the conservation on the table. It was a topic that was not spoken about, what does it mean being a transgender person.
"Today, there are positive references. People speak about the LGBT community, and the transgender community. Before it was always underground and never spoken about. I think that people are more and more informed. All these prejudices come from disinformation. ..."
"We don't have the same rights, but we have the same obligations. At school, disinformation is what becomes prejudice, the bullying, the fact that you feel alone, excluded. I always say that it's not that you feel like a woman. You already are a woman. A transgender is not a man or a boy who feels like a woman, she's already a transgender person. There are no wrong bodies."
Ponce has advice for all transgender girls and women.
"We have to be happy, feel free, go with the flow, have less prejudices, have more love and be more tolerant of everything," 3
Miss Spain proud to be first transgender contestant to compete in Miss Universe pageant
On DEC-16, in Thailand, the final 20 women were selected from among the initial 93 contestants. Angela Ponce was not one of them. She said:
"I don’t need to win Miss Universe. I only need to be here."
Co-host and model, Ashley Graham, said that Angela was:
"... everything you’d expect from the reigning Miss Universe. She’s smart. Driven. Beautiful. But her path has been anything but ordinary. And nothing short of extraordinary." 4
Other controversies continue in Part 3
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Owen Bowcott, "Trans people to be able to register new identities more easily," The Guardian, 2018-JUL-03, at: https://www.theguardian.com/s
- Michael Foust, "Miss Universe to Feature Transgender Contestant: ‘Being a Woman is to Be and Feel Like a Woman’," ChristianHeadlines, 2018-JUL-16, at: https://www.christianheadlines.com/
- "Miss Spain proud to be first transgender contestant to compete in Miss Universe pageant," ABC13 Eyewitness News, 2018-DEC-17, at: https://abc13.com/
- Josh Jackman, "Miss Universe pays special tribute to Angela Ponce as she makes history," Pink News UK, 2018-DEC-17, at: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/
How you may have arrived here:
Original posting: 2018-JUL-05
Latest update : 2018-DEC-18
Author: B.A. Robinson