The Contemplations, Rants & Reminiscences of DavidB327

Something Sensational To Read On The Train


A Lovely Evening
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davidbr1
Thursday 06 April was our first anniversary since leaving London.  Still getting to grips with the delights of Cheltenham, but we’ve managed to discover a few decent restaurants.  The only downside is that parking is somewhat problematic, in some respects worse than London.  Anyway, we went to the Daffodil. I’m not going to write a review of the restaurant, but I will say that the service was very attentive, and the staff were all very friendly.  There was a good, relaxed atmosphere, and I will be very happy to go back there in the not too distant future.  Camilla George will be performing at the Daffodil during the upcoming Jazz festival, but unfortunately it’s the same evening as Dee Dee Bridgewater.

We celebrate the anniversary of the day Christie Elan-Cane and I first met (06 April 1991).  We do this because we can not yet get married, because of the blinkered and uncaring  perspective of successive UK governments, advised by prejudiced civil servants hiding behind masks of anonymity.  When we eventually do get married (whenever and wherever that may be), it will be on 06 April.
The Same Sex Marriage Act has also been referred to as Equal Marriage by many, including politicians who knew very well that it was by no means equal.  People who do not identify as either male or female were left behind, and can not get married without denying their identity.  Clearly this affects not just the individual with a non-gendered identity, but also the person they want to marry.
So the fight for legal and social recognition for non-gendered people goes on.  It is not just in Christie’s interest that this leads to a successful conclusion, it is in my interest as well.  For this reason I am requesting that my LiveJournal friends continue to support and publicize Christie’s campaign.  Links to Christie’s Facebook page and Twitter account are below.

https://m.facebook.com/Christie-Elan-Cane-161936290517912/
https://mobile.twitter.com/christieelancan
 

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Originally posted by elancane at post
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



RBS GROUP

I’m really pleased to report that the entire RBS Group (includes NatWest and a number of other banks) have removed the requirement for personal customers to enter a gender in order to register to receive online banking services.

NatWest Bank customers can register for online banking here

Customers of other banks within the RBS Group can register on their bank’s website.

I’ve been advised that RBS are striving to further adapt its systems across all areas of banking provision in co-ordination with other banking service providers in order to make provision for customers who do not define their identity as either male or female.

Many thanks to Marc and the team at RBS for their continuing work on this significant issue.


PARLIAMENTARY EARLY DAY MOTION (EDM) 11

EDM 11 tabled by Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb calls upon the UK Government to follow the lead taken by countries that permit the issuance of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports.

More than 70 MPs have signed the motion so far and I’m assured that more signatures are on the way.

It is essential that EDM 11 achieves not less than 100 signatures to stand any chance of a parliamentary debate being held that is devoted specifically to the subject of ‘X’ Passports.

EDMs have no executive powers yet they can be highly effective in drawing political and public attention to important issues that would otherwise get ignored.

All MPs should be encouraged to support EDM 11. Is your MP on the list? You can find out here

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered

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davidbr1
Originally posted by elancane at post
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



Introduction of gender-neutral public announcements on London’s transport network

Regular travellers on London’s tube network might have noticed by now that new public announcements are being rolled out to replace the ubiquitous “Ladies and Gentlemen ……” with the more inclusive “Customers ……” or “Passengers ……”

Transport for London (TfL) management responded positively to my approach and suggestion that public announcements throughout the tube network should use gender-neutral terms.

I had noticed there was not much discernible change after a period of six months and followed-up to question how the change was being implemented. I was pleasantly surprised.

TfL management does understand the significance of the issue and the aim is not just to introduce gender-neutral public announcements on the tube but to establish continuity across London’s entire transport network, incorporating bus services where drivers are employed by other operators under TfL jurisdiction.

This represents an organisational change where ongoing training and guidance will be provided across the TfL organisation in order that employees become familiar with the new announcements. Some staff members have worked with the organisation for more than 20 years and need to acclimatise to the new terminology however new staff will receive appropriate guidance from the outset and eventually all TfL public announcements will be gender neutral.

I’d like feedback on your experiences traveling on TfL.

Write to Christie.Elan-Cane@ukgateway.net and let me know which areas, stations etc. are getting it right and where TfL needs to improve. This is a fact finding and not a name and shame exercise.

Your name and details will not be forwarded to TfL.


EDM 11

Don’t forget to contact your MP and urge their support for ‘X’ Passports. The aim is still to exceed 100 signatures in time for a parliamentary debate to be called before end of this session.

MP signatories to date.


Life Beyond Bizarre!

Don’t forget to read my latest blog on HuffPost UK. Events that led to the start of my campaign for legitimate identity as a fundamental human right. Far more bitter than sweet.

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered

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davidbr1
Originally posted by elancane at post
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



Life Beyond Bizarre!

Just a quick note that my latest blog can be found on HuffPost UK


The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered

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davidbr1
Originally posted by elancane at post
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure




CALLING UPON PRESIDENT OBAMA TO COME THROUGH FOR ‘X’ PASSPORTS IN THE US

Calling upon President Barack Obama to push the US Department of State and its associated agencies for the fast introduction of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports in the US right now!

Please retweet!


The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered

Our Silver Anniversary
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Wednesday 06 April turned out to be a lovely day, and everything that I had hoped for. Thanks very much to everyone that passed on their best wishes for both of us.
In the evening we had a wonderful meal at Celeste, the restaurant at the Lanesborough hotel in Knightsbridge. We’ve been there many times over the years, but this was our first visit since the hotel’s refurbishment.
The cuisine had changed from Italian to French. Another change from the Apsleys days was the appreciation that some customers are vegetarian. There’s a vegetarian tasting menu, and vegetarian options in the a la carte menu, so no need to worry.
On the drink side, we started with a glass of champagne, as one would expect on an auspicious occasion. To accompany the food, we opted for Musar. It’s a great wine, from an area (the Lebanon) that could well do with our support.
The service was attentive and friendly,and everything went at our pace. There was also live music, from a pianist, who played a mixture of classical and popular music. It all helped to create a very relaxed atmosphere. Can’t wait to go back there.
Whenever we have a romantic evening, my mind turns to our beloved Campania, and in particular Sorrento. So even though we spent an evening at a French restaurant, Pavarotti’s version of this Neapolitan song is the perfect accompaniment to this post. Return to Sorrento we will, and indeed also Capri – but that’s another story.

In my post of 17 March I inadvertently neglected to include an important final paragraph. This was with reference to how I felt, after learning of the untimely death of David Bowie. Since I am now 60 myself, this was a reminder of how little time we have available to us. It reinforced to me the need to make the most of the time I have to spend with Christie. I would like to think that we will both be around to celebrate our Golden Anniversary, but one can not make such assumptions. So in the meantime I will strive to focus on what is really important, and not dwell on non-productive, less important matters

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbUfpQ9Nmbw

Our Silver Anniversary Beckons
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davidbr1
On Wednesday 06 April 2016 it will be exactly 25 years since I first met Christie Elan-Cane. That evening started at Sadler’s Wells, where I saw a performance of Onnagata by the Lindsay Kemp Company. After the theatre I went to the club Smithys, where I met Christie. We were introduced by a mutual friend. It was a remarkable coincidence that this should happen, as both of us had only known our mutual friend for a short time. I guess that could be construed as being destiny. Well wherever you are now Janey, I will be forever in your debt. I hope you are doing well.
I am very proud to be Christie’s partner. The love and support I get from this wonderful person is a great comfort. It is a wonderful feeling, knowing that there will always be someone there for me. Given that we have been in a stable, loving relationship for well over 20 years, it will not be a surprise that we both earnestly want to get married. Yet at this point in time we are prevented from doing so. Currently we could only get married by denying Christie’s non-gendered identity. Neither of us are prepared to do so.
The previous Tory led UK government were responsible for the now notorious Trans Equality Action Plan, and for the implementation of legislation that was originally Civil Marriage. The latter eventually became Same Sex Marriage, though it has been also referred to (incorrectly) as Equal Marriage. The Liberal Democrat party betrayed their liberal principles. So called gender inequality within the royal family was tackled with great gusto. This got a lot of attention, but was hardly a priority. Yet the human rights of a vulnerable minority were ignored. I may well vote Liberal Democrat again in the future, but I am no longer a member of that party.
I remain at heart an optimist. I believe that one day we will be able to get married. If we have to relocate to another country in order to achieve that, then so be it. My relationship is more important than anything else, and certainly my country just happens to be where I was born.

The death of David Bowie in January came as a great shock. He was such an iconic figure for both of us. I have always loved his music. I could not choose a favourite album, but Station to Station has always been for me one of the best. As our anniversary approaches, this song suits my mood just right. The lyrics are spot on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbpMpRq6DV4

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davidbr1
Originally posted by elancane at post
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



EARLY DAY MOTION 660

More than 60 MPs have added their signatures to EDM 660 in support for ‘X’ Passports in the UK.

80 MPs supported EDM 47 for ‘X’ Passports in the last parliamentary session. An incredible achievement!

Now aiming for 100+ signatures for EDM 660 before end of this session – and still enough time to achieve.

Has your MP signed the motion?


Contact your local MP and urge their support for EDM 660 – MP contact details can be found here


Spectator item

Following on from my 29 January 2016 entry on this site, I have lodged a complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) in response to item that was recently published by The Spectator magazine.

I will update further in due course.

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
 

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davidbr1
Originally posted by elancane at post
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



Is the UK Government about to U-Turn on ‘X’ Passports?

An announcement last July that ‘Transgender Equality’ was to be the focus of a fledgling Women and Equalities Committee’s inaugural inquirytook many people by surprise.

On 14 January 2016, the Select Committee duly reported its findings and key recommendations.

One particular recommendation predictably found attention – that “The UK must follow Australia’s lead in introducing an option to record gender (sic) as “X” on a passport.

The recommendation was in sharp contrast to current Government policy “…..it is not Government policy to identify such people for the purpose of issuing non-gender-specific official documents”.

The Committee’s recommendation for ‘X’ Passports was definitive whereas recommendations pertaining to wider issues surrounding non-gendered identity were opaque. The Committee suggested “a wholesale review of issues” and that “The Government must look into the need to create a [third] legal category …… and the full implications of this.” with an admission the issues were “beyond the scope of our inquiry”.

But there was nothing opaque about the recommendation for ‘X’ Passports. The UK Government “must” introduce ‘X’ as an option. As is often the case, the truth hides behind smoke and mirrors.

Committee Chair Maria Miller previously had ultimate responsibility over an extensive ‘Equalities’ portfolio while Government was furiously backpedalling to renege upon an earlier commitment to consider proposals for the issuance of ‘X’ Passports in the UK. Government backpedalled so furiously that a policy review by the former Identity and Passport Service, now HM Passport Office (HMPO) was effectively nothing more than a sham.

The UK Government’s rejection of ‘X’ Passports appeared on the surface to have been a decision taken unilaterally by HMPO.

HMPO’s discriminatory policy was about to come under legal scrutiny through a proposed judicial review application.

In October 2014 HMPO was stripped of its semi-autonomous ‘executive agency’ status and lost the independence that blurred the lines on policy decision making. HMPO is now part of the Home Office therefore Government cannot remain distanced on this issue.

HMPO’s position is untenable given the overriding need for non gender-specific documentation as highlighted in the Committee’s report. Maria Miller has effectively distanced herself while HMPO favours the upholding of a shameful discriminatory policy.

More details about background to this can be found here

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
 

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davidbr1
Originally posted by elancane at post
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure




Spectator Article

The Women and Equalities Committee’s ‘Transgender Equality’ report was targeted by controversial commentator Melanie Phillips in a dangerously ill-informed article that recently appeared in right-wing publication The Spectator.

Phillips took issue that my non gender-specific pronoun ‘per’ was recognised within the report whilst completely failing to note the valid point I was making when I reminded the Committee that the former coalition government’s discredited trans* equality action plan was “all plan and no action”.

Among other things, Phillips decried the Committee’s positive stance on trans* depathologisation and described the encouragement of transphobic hate crime reporting as “sinister”.

An accompanying podcast featured a discussion with Phillips and a representative from the Civil Service trans* support organisation ‘a:gender’. Far from challenging Phillips on her reprehensible views, the a:gender representative appeared to cede to them. But a:gender does have form in this respect. This organisation’s dinosaur views are further to the right of the political spectrum than Phillips could ever hope to be. A trans* ‘support’ organisation that does not believe in personal autonomy nor does it believe in the fundamental right of legitimate identity. The organisation is vehemently against the principle of non gender-specific option ‘X’ for those who do not define as male or female because they feel that provision for non-gendered people somehow undermines them! Its senior members cannot accept the reality of trans* experience outside stereotypical male and female gendered roles and they seek to deny legitimacy to those whose identities do not fit into their limited world view. There is no logic to their argument. Just old fashioned ignorance and bigotry.

One must ask therefore, what exactly is the message being conveyed by a:gender away from the public gaze? The group’s senior members act as policy advisers to the UK Government on trans* issues and yet they are unaccountable to those whose lives are impacted by Government decisions because they are not ‘public’ figures. With this in mind, one might begin to understand why there has been such a distinct lack of progress on trans* issues in the UK and why commitments made by Government under the trans* equality action plan never got to see the light of day.

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
 

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