This legal case centres on a prisoner who wished to access, NHS funded, Sexual Reassignment Surgery during a prison sentence. Covered by The Times here: KK appeal for SRS
In anticipation of the general denial on this issue I include, as always, the official, judicial transcript. KK: Legal Challenge for SRS.
There are a number of interesting aspects to this case. Firstly the recurrent appearance of the same clinicians whose advice is sought. There does seem to be quite a small number of specialists in this field. A feature of this case, once again, is the claimant’s complicating history of sexual offences. This is not unusual, in the cases which leave a trail in court paperwork. Another recurrent theme is the vexed notion of what “living as a woman” means. This resists definition and exercises the minds of our specialists, and the judiciary, far too little. Here we are told the claimant is 60 years of age, was sentenced “as a man” and has been given an indefinite sentence for public protection (IPP). We also discover that the bar for obtaining Genital Reassignment Surgery (GRS) is lower for a prisoner who will never be released than for those with the possibility of parole. There is no rationale given here for this policy.
The legal claim is made on a number of grounds. One of these is whether there exists a protocol which discriminates against prisoners wishing to access sexual reassignment surgery. Another aspect of the case is a rarely articulated concern about regret, in post-operative transsexuals. Here it is adduced as a factor in the, efusing the prisoner GRS. The existence of post-surgery regret is not denied. Instead, the argument hinges on the lack of peer reviewed research showing prisoners are at a higher risk of regret. The Trust, for its part, denies there is any such protocol.
Below is a reminder of the criteria to access genital surgery. It can be done from age 17, mental health conditions are no bar they must merely be “controlled”, a patient is allowed to progress even if they are “unwilling” to undertake hormone treatment. Furthermore the prospective patient should not be judged on how they perform their gender. God forbid we assign arbitrary expectations to performative gender, it might make us suspect the entire ideology is underpinned by reductive, sexist stereotypes. The absence of any externally verified way of measuring “Living as a Woman” does, however, beg the question how is this being measured? How can you assess if a male person is really of the female gender? What does living in the female gender role mean?
How can you possibly assess whether this identity is being adopted correctly if you don’t have pre-conceived notions of what “living as a woman” entails? Is it possible that this is a tad sexist?
Another revealing admission is that many of those who claim the status of “woman” in fact have no bodily modification at all. So living as a woman does not require anyone to be divested of that very male of appendages. One could be forgiven for assuming the penis part of the male anatomy which would give rise to dysphoric feelings. Yet it seems not to be the case. A large number retain their male anatomy. At the same time we, second class women, the biological kind, are expected to share our intimate spaces with the new, male-bodied, version of womankind. We hear much of the comfort surgery can bring to sufferers of Gender Dsyphoria. Where is the consideration for the discomfort of ,unbepenised, women forced to share our intimate spaces?
Cue cries of “transphobia” for wishing to be free of all genders of penis when women are in intimate spaces.
The next excerpt from the case provides more information on the sexual offences committed by the prisoner. Here we learn that the defendant begain offending in the 1980’s; when he groomed and abused a young girl, at the age of 12 . The defendant was, at that stage, 32 years of age. The girl endured this for four years. He served just one year. He was still sexually offending in 2006.
The claimant is late to a belief they are really a woman. He remained trapped in a man’s body at age 51. The claimant professes, to the therapist below, that his sexual offending may cease if he is allowed to transition. The therapist offers an alternative view. What if his attraction to the child images is related to him having missed out on 51 years of being a girl (WTF!). He may, in fact, be at a higher risk of offending after gender reassignment. He then proceeds to amend his statement with the outrageous implication that he resorted to offending to “vicariously experience womanhood”. Because nothing screams woman louder than sexually offending against a pubescent, female teen and downloading child porn! Types furiously…
Again there is a lot of evidence that males, who retain a sexual interest in females, and wish to transition, also have co-existing paraphilias. But hey, what could possibly go wrong!
Dr Lorimer is well aware that masochistic fantasies are not unusual. A cursory acquaintance with sections of the community reveal a correlation with interests in BDSM. Indeed here is a Masters Thesis about how sado-masochistic, role play helped one transwoman cement their identity. Naturally they played the submissive role. BDSM & Transgender Identity
Cross-dressing usually has an erotic component but the prisoners states this was not the case for them. Well he would wouldn’t he? Fetishising a female identity is pretty much the essence of the movement but I would say that wouldn’t I?
Fetishising sexual roles, with notions of submission and dominance, seems to be a core feature of how many males experience their female role. Acting female in a male prison is vastly different from women’s material reality, as pointed out below:
Here we find that the prisoner remains in a category C Male prison. Since they have been “in role” for 10 years in a male prison it rather begs the question about lack of safety in the male estate. Dr Barrett makes it clear they are not able to make a referral for a Gender Recognition Certificate. As we found out from earlier cases there is no bar to obtaining a GRC, from within prison, even with convictions for sexual offences against women. There are always other clinicians and a wealth of private providers that the prisoner can approach. Good to know. I was worried for a while.
We soon learn that the prisoner has been moved to an open prison. We are not told if this remains in the male estate. The prisoner has, however, been granted accompanied and unaccompanied visits to the local town. This is to gain that all important “real life experience” of living as a woman, whatever that means! This is a prelude to release. Prisoner also has hormone therapy increased. Below is another revealing statement that acknowledges that most denied of phenomena: “detransition”. When word gets out that Dr Lorimer has used this word will he be cancelled?
The prisoners sexual offences are deemed to “complicate” the picture for our clinicians. Further confirmation is provided below. Here we have a prisoner presenting as female, in the male estate, for 10 years! Again Dr Barrett makes it clear the imprisonment of a patient is no bar to obtaining GRS and, additionally confirms female prisoners are being made to share accommodation with pre-op males.
Yep Dr Barrett you bet the experience of living in the female role is artificial. I agree with you but probably for different reasons. Late transitioners, with a history of sexual offences, are a red flag but you can’t say that can you? We must not undermine the notion of a man trapped in a woman’s body. #AcceptionWithoutException. Though Dr Barrett comes pretty close with this gem of a contribution about Women “living in female bodies!” (spoiler there is no other kind ). Yes! We tend not to groom female children and perform oral sex on them.
So without wishing to labour the point the prisoner is denied. No mention is made of the obvious reasons! You know the late -transitioning, sexual offence history and interest in child porn. No. The real issue that seems to justify the refusal is a failure to demonstrate real lived experience, as a woman, because prison is an artificial environment! Whilst a male cos-playing as a woman is not artificial, in any way!