Written evidence submitted by Debbie Heaney (GRA0046)

 

I shall start with a quick introduction.
 

My name is Debbie Heaney and I'm 43 years old, still living with my parents (mum passed a few years ago, so make that parent).
 

Working part time at 14 hours per week.


Despite English being my one and only language (Fifer born and bred) my language skills are not the best, the result of being shy and quite during early life I didn't really learn to communicate properly, I'm more a numbers person.
 

Never been in long term romantic relationship let alone married or had kids.

I wasn't given the name Debbie at birth (and that doesn't really matter right now) and “Debbie” is only really 11 years old if you think about it. I transitioned at college 2009.

Thankfully I’ve never really had any problems of any kind (touch wood, and such like for good luck) accessing anything such as support services or health care. If anything support services have been really, really nice to me.
 

Getting a job though was a nightmare. 10 years unemployed (2010-2020) and whilst I can’t prove it I’m highly certain my transgender identity put people off.
 

I got into volunteering though. One in 2016 and a second in 2018. That was a life saver (literally a life saver!).
 

Two different things, with one of them giving me a promotion from volunteer to paid staff. That has to set a bit of a record? 2 year long job interview.
 

But the majority of the people (staff and customers) are really nice and properly address me as I have asked them to.

The government have been promising changes to the GRA for years to make it easier to change gender but in the end they back down to the bigots.
 

Not a forward thinking and progressive thing to do if you ask me? Perpetuating old fashioned ideas.

So here is my take on Transgender Issues.

 

Yes keep the need for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria as with at least one properly trained and registered person it makes it official that the person is not who we thought they were. With it being official then that gives the transgender person legal protection from the backwards thinking, small minded, cold hearted, sub-human idiots.

 

Yes. Individuals should still be required have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years before then getting surgery. After all surgery is complex, risky and technically a one way thing. So we still need to make sure this is what they want. I would allow them to start HRT/TRT near on immediately though. After all it “IS” possible to be transgender but not seek surgical intervention.

 

As for obtaining the GRC (Gender Recognition Certificate).the question is asked:-
“Why is the number of people applying for GRCs so low compared to the number of people identifying as transgender?”
 

I’ve downloaded the application pack and listened to other people experiences of doing so. 16 pages off form filling is too long. All you really need it (1) Old Name (2) New name (3) and couple of pieces of proof you have been living as you for 2+ years.
 

I don’t have proof for just the last two years continuous, as is asked for, but I have found and kept some stuff going back 10 so that should count so with patchy proof spanning 10 years that should do, shouldn’t it? Think about it. I shouldn’t have to spell it out, it’s simple maths/logic.
 

And by all accounts it take months to get the Certificate through. Why so long? For that eye water fee it really should be quicker than that. And it is also possible that the panel {Cough cough} (“experts” help mess up my life so I don’t trust them) can say “No” and keep the fee.
 

When I die I want it to be me that is buried/cremated and remembered not a long forgotten shadow of who I tried to be just to try and keep others happy.

I am me.
 

I am not who others want me to be.
 

How many people have heard the saying “it’s what is on the inside that counts”?
 

I’m willing to bet nearly all / all of you have. So why keep judging people by what’s on the outside?
 

We are between the ears. We are what is in our hearts. We are what we do now and not what we have done in the past.
 

We are not what is between our legs. We are not the shape of our chests. We are not our pasts.

 

 

 

October 2020