Homosexuality was legalised in England and Wales 55 years ago. The Sexual Offences Act 1967 permitted homosexual acts between two consenting adults over the age of 21. Arguably that – and subsequent liberalisations – really only benefited men; sex acts between women were never criminalised.
But what does it mean to be a lesbian in 2022? This week* Kate Harris – a lesbian and co-founder of the charity LGB Alliance – broke down in court under cross-examination from a male barrister. Michael Gibbon KC, counsel for the charity Mermaids, put it to her that ‘lesbians can include someone who is a woman as a result of gender reassignment.’
Desperate patients are turning to the private sector
It’s never been easy to get gender reassignment surgery on the NHS. More than a decade ago, when I was living in Birmingham, I was referred by a psychiatrist to a Gender Identity Clinic in London. NHS England funded seven adult clinics: none of which were anywhere near me. I had to take six days off work just to attend a series of brief appointments at the Charing Cross GIC in Hammersmith. My first assessment came in May 2012, six months after that referral. Four years later, I was eventually discharged after my surgery.
Liz Truss is right about sex and gender. But if she is to get the country through the next winter she needs to think again about her ‘bonfire’ of workers’ rights.
Why was Jamie Hunter allowed to compete against biological women?
It could put women at risk
Elaine Miller is one of the grown-ups. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, with a specialism in pelvic health. She also jokes about it. Her comedy show, Viva Your Vulva: The Hole Story is currently playing at the Edinburgh Fringe. It’s a good one: the production has won awards and a five-star review. Miller is forthright – her audiences are warned about ‘strong language and swearing’ – but her performance is more than mere entertainment. In Miller’s words,
“The aim of the show is that the audience leave knowing what a pelvic floor is, what it does and where to take theirs if they think it is a bit broken. It is evidence based, and so counts as CPD – possibly the funniest thing about it.”Elaine Miller
The policing bible could not be clearer: ‘Police officers must not take any active part in politics. This is intended to prevent you from placing yourself in a position where your impartiality may be questioned.’ But has anyone told the British Transport Police?