“I’ve always said that, if you’ve got nothing else on your side, then always go to the law because…We couldn’t tell our story to the press because the press were part of the problem. We couldn’t just go and talk to MPs because MPs probably thought…they read the press and they thought we were toxic. So, the only thing we could do was to take problems up through the legal system. And the law is great because the law doesn’t do fake news; it looks at the evidence. And the cases we brought were particularly egregious and the evidence was particularly clear.”
“We shouldn’t have these hardwired differences that you pop out of the womb, somebody takes a look at your genitals, they write ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ on your birth certificate and that has stamped your future in terms of your expectations of the law for the rest of your life. That is a form of tyranny. And it’s grossly unfair because it precludes all the things that somebody can be in their life by saying ‘here are the limits’; these are the baseline expectations because you’ve got that little bit of flesh or you haven’t got that little bit of flesh.”
Christine Burns MBE
Christine Burns, MBE, is an activist fighting for transgender rights; she’s been involved in the trans community for several decades. She’s known for her work with Press for Change and has worked as an equalities consultant. She helped put together new employment legislation and the Gender Recognition Act, and wrote the first ever official guidance about trans health for the Department of Health.
Awarded an MBE in 2005 in recognition of her work representing transgender people, Burns is now an accomplished writer. Her latest book, ‘TRANS BRITAIN – Our Journey From the Shadows’ (published in 2018) was edited by Burns.
TRANS BRITAIN is the definitive history of how trans people have fought to legislate, inform, and come together to effect social change. It chronicles this journey in the words of those who were there to witness a marginalised community grow into the visible phenomenon we recognise today: activists, film-makers, broadcasters, parents, an actress, a rock musician and a priest, among many others. As the government moves to update the Gender Recognition Act, TRANS BRITAIN is everything you always wanted to know about the background of the trans community, but never knew how to ask.
Order your copy here: https://amzn.to/2LST750
Cheryl Morgan, Director, The Diversity Trust
Cheryl dedicates much of her time to addressing equalities issues and feels that there is still much work to be done. She comments: ‘I grew up in an era when shops still displayed notices saying, “No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish”. We’ve moved on since then, but we still have a long way to go. The ceaseless attacks on trans people in the national media, and the rise in hate crimes of all sorts since the Brexit vote show just how far we have to go.’
Cheryl, a trans woman, is an active member of the Women’s Equality Party (branch officer), a presenter of women’s interest show on Ujima Radio and a trainer/facilitator on The Diversity Trust’s trans-awareness courses. She’s also an expert on feminist science fiction.
She’s delighted to be able to make a positive contribution as a Diversity Trust podcast interviewer, quite rightly acknowledging that it’s ‘100 years since we got the vote, and the country is still run by men who have no interest in women’s issues. See the WEP Manifesto for detail’.
To find out more about Cheryl, please visit her website: www.cheryl-morgan.com.
Women’s Equality Party website https://www.womensequality.org.uk