Diversity Unplugged

Trans people in the spotlight. Why now?

September 22, 2023 Diversifying Group Season 2 Episode 1
Trans people in the spotlight. Why now?
Diversity Unplugged
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Diversity Unplugged
Trans people in the spotlight. Why now?
Sep 22, 2023 Season 2 Episode 1
Diversifying Group

We're back with our new re-branded podcast, Diversity Unplugged!

In this episode, we chat with Eva Echo about what's in the news with trans people, why have they suddenly been put in the spotlight and also, what does matcha taste like?

Follow Eva here: https://www.instagram.com/evaech0/

Sources used in the episode:
- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-64184736
- https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-plans-to-reform-process-of-changing-legal-gender

Learn more about Diversifying Group

Show Notes Transcript

We're back with our new re-branded podcast, Diversity Unplugged!

In this episode, we chat with Eva Echo about what's in the news with trans people, why have they suddenly been put in the spotlight and also, what does matcha taste like?

Follow Eva here: https://www.instagram.com/evaech0/

Sources used in the episode:
- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-64184736
- https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-plans-to-reform-process-of-changing-legal-gender

Learn more about Diversifying Group

00:00:00 James 

Hi, Yani. 

00:00:01 Yani 

Hi James. 

00:00:01 James 

Hi, thank you for making the journey. How you feeling? How's your journey? What happened? 

00:00:08 Yani 

On my journey 

00:00:11 Yani 

I'm not gonna lie, I did take a cheeky detour because I was like, you know what I'm feeling? I'm feeling bougie and fancy. I need a beverage, and I'm going to do a podcast today. So I went to my favourite coffee shop around my local area and got a Macha latte; iced one, but then they put a shot of Violet. 

00:00:33 Yani 

Like, you know, like part of, like, yeah, you know, and I was like, ohh never had this before. 

00:00:34 James 

The flowers? 

00:00:37 Yani 

So yeah, that's. 

00:00:38 James 

Did it taste of? 

00:00:39 Yani 

Parma violets. Yeah, but with Macha it's it's great. 

00:00:42 James 

What does Matcha taste like? 

00:00:45 Yani 

I describe much. 

00:00:50 James 


00:00:53 James 

I've had matcha but I just I don't know how that would interact with Palma Violets. I don't understand. So was it like eating a drinking a Parma Violet? 

00:01:02 Yani 

Yeah, but with an earthier taste. 

00:01:06 Yani 

Welcome to my food podcast, where I describe food terribly. 

00:01:10 James 

Yeah, you can you. 

00:01:11 James 

Can speak to that camera there. That's your. That's your. 

00:01:13 Yani 

It's earthy and sweet matcha with violet. Yeah so that was my way in; and earthy/bougie was my vibe. So what was? How was yours? 

00:01:27 James 

So I had I had someone come up to me when I was at the at the gate and they asked to walk through the gate with me. 

00:01:36 James 

And they're like, OK, they were. Excuse me. Yeah. And I took my. It's like, hello...? 

00:01:43 James 

And she she went ohh, can I just walk to the gate with you? And I I was like I-I don't... no? And she went ohh. Please? 

Sorry. No. She's like "OK then" and then. 

00:01:59 James 

I just. 

00:02:00 Yani 

That was. 

00:02:01 James 

I then went and I went a little bit away from them because, like, I was a little bit scared because I'm just scared of all people talking to me when I'm. 

00:02:04 Yani 


00:02:07 James 

On the transport network because. 

00:02:10 James 

People and then went through and they were still there on the other side of the barriers when I walked. But it was just very odd. I didn't. 

00:02:17 James 

They were very polite, like normally when people like push themselves to the barrier with you, you don't really have a choice and they just kind of like shove. Like busy they shove in with you. But this person was exceptionally polite, so I hope I hope they managed to get where. 

00:02:24 Yani 

Yeah, yeah. 

00:02:31 James 

They wanted to go. 

00:02:32 Yani 

That was a really polite interaction. 

00:02:34 James 

It was. 

00:02:34 Yani 

That's why is it really confusing to me 

00:02:36 James 

Yeah. Polite, polite, fair evasion. Yeah, yeah. 

00:02:50 James 

Who are you?  

00:02:51 Yani 

Oh, who am I? Hi, I'm Yani King. My pronouns are she/her and I'm a diversity inclusion consultant at Diversifying Group. 

00:03:01 James 

And I am James, James Burns and my pronouns are he, him, and I am the digital marketing consultant for Diversifying Group 

00:03:09 James 

Thanks for coming here. I'm really, really grateful. This is the first episode of Diversity Unplugged! 

00:03:17 Yani 

I'm very excited. 

00:03:18 James 

So today in this brand new. 

00:03:20 James 

Series of Diversity Unplugged. 

00:03:22 James 

We are seeing Eva Echo. 

00:03:25 Yani 

I am very excited. 

00:03:26 Yani 

I'm a big fan. I am very fan. 

00:03:27 James 

Yeah. How long have you known Eva Echo for? 

00:03:29 Yani 

For maybe just over a year, yeah. 

00:03:32 James 

And how and what did you find? How did you find them? 

00:03:34 Yani 

I just... I just love how like they call the stuff out on on social media. Like it's just like it's just like well. 

00:03:43 Yani 

I'm trying not to swear. 


Yeah. And you can see. 

00:03:47 Yani 

It like, yeah, I'm just like, oh, that ******** with that ****. You can't just paste up. And I just like how they just call it out and says it how it is, but also explain it in such a way that it's very accessible to everyone. And that's why I really love them. 

00:03:47 James 

We can we. 

00:03:48 James 

Can bleep it out. 

00:04:03 Yani 

Very, very excited and I can't wait for the conversation. 

00:04:06 James 

And what I'm gonna learn. Yeah. Welcome. Hi. 

00:04:10 James 

Hello, thank you so much for coming down to to talk to us. I I really appreciate. 

00:04:14 James 

But who are you? Tell us a bit 

00:04:18 James 

about you. 

00:04:19 Eva 

Well, my name is Eva Echo. My pronouns are she/they... Where do I begin? I'm an activist writer, public speaker, I'm director of innovation at Birmingham Pride. I'm one of the directors at Trans in the City. And I'm also an ambassador for the charity 

00:04:34 Eva 

Diversity role models. 

00:04:37 Eva 

I'm also a bit of a bit of a loudmouth on social media. I like to call out social injustice and just challenge it, really. And I basically kind of use my platforms and my positions to do what I can for the LGBTQ+ community, especially the trans community. 

00:04:54 James 

Nice, cool. And when did you pick 

00:04:57 James 

Up the mantle? 

00:05:00 Eva 

I don't think it's an active choice. You know, no one ever thinks never. Ohh, I'm gonna be an activist. Actually came out and thought I'll just medically transition socially, transition and then I'll just slot back into life and it never happens. Naively, I started a blog. 

00:05:20 Eva 

Online. And thought no-one's gonna read it. 

00:05:22 Eva 

There are millions of pages online who's going to read mine, but people did they connected and I think through that I realised quite soon after me coming out, which was about six years ago. It's not just me, this issue of trans healthcare, trans rights and things like that. It goes way beyond me as an individual. What? 

00:05:42 Eva 

Can I do what can? 

00:05:43 Eva 

I do with my privilege?  

00:05:44 Eva 

Which so just, I don't know. Help. Help others. You know whether it's those around me now or the next generation so that they don't have to go through what 

00:05:52 Eva 

I went through. What can I do to make things a little bit easier? And I just kind of started from there really. So I kind of fell into it thinking I'll just have a dabble. No idea what I'm actually doing. I don't think there's ever an instruction manual. 

00:06:06 Eva 

Activism. Yeah. Yeah. So just kind of went from that. And I really love it. I think I'm so. 

00:06:12 Eva 

I'm so neuro spicy and so stubborn. 

00:06:16 Eva 

When I get my teeth into stuff. 

00:06:19 Eva 

And any sort of injustice I feel like I have to correct it. And there's this urge of wanting justice. And I can't for some reason rest. I sound like Batman now, but I can't rest until there is justice. 

00:06:38 Yani 

Happens like a lot of people. 

00:06:39 Yani 

Especially working in DNI, so I'm a diversity inclusion consultant and there's always a pathway that you're like, oh, I didn't realise that I would fall into that. But then you look at everything in your life like. 

00:06:49 Yani 

Oh, actually, yeah, I. 

00:06:51 Yani 

I can see why I'm that now. 

00:06:52 Yani 

Now it's like things just like. Yeah, I was talking about this when I was a kid. I was talking with my parents, and I was talking about at, uni, and then all my friends. And then suddenly like, oh, now I'm here and I can't settle if, like, there's 

00:07:03 Yani 

Something I wanna call out. I have to just how do I do it in my power to do it. And yeah, and that's something I really love about you is like, that's. So we were talking about this podcast idea I was like. 

00:07:13 Yani 

I think this is a really good guest to put on, because I really love their activism on online and I love how you call it 

00:07:19 Yani 

out. I just. 

00:07:21 Yani 

Love it and you do it so well and also you just like you connect with so many people. So when you did your video saying so. 

00:07:28 Yani 

Sorry and like it was just so like. 

00:07:32 Yani 

Authentic. And it came from so humanistic place and and I think that's why why everyone like is so appreciated of you and. Ohh yeah. Sorry. I'm just like. 

00:07:40 Yani 

having a fangirl moment now 

00:07:44 Yani 

I'm doing a podcast, what? 

00:07:51 Yani 

We all fall into it basically by accident, sorry. Now that's off my chest. 

00:07:57 James 

Well, that, that's that's actually a really good first, I guess like thing talk about is that you legally took the NHS to court over there like treatment of trans people in, or treatment of trans people in the healthcare system. 

00:08:12 James 

Can you tell us a little bit about that cause that was, that was fascinating I that crossed my like news feed independently of knowing who you were. So that really... that went somewhere. 

00:08:23 Eva 

Yeah, I mean, I guess that's peak activism when you get to that level. For me, the moment I heard that this was a possibility, I'm like. 

00:08:32 Eva 

Yes. Where do I sign? So yeah, working with good law projects and some other claimants. We basically took NHS England to the High Court for a judicial review because of the trans healthcare waiting times at the moment. So NHS England has an 18 week referral to 

00:08:49 Eva 

Treatment target and the idea is 92% of patients referred are seen within 18 weeks for their first appointment and by and large that does happen. However, with trans people it's openly measured in years. So you're looking at around five years for a first appointment 

00:09:09 Eva 

at the moment and then this is without mental health support. Yeah. So for me personally, I remember coming out that moment of euphoria, that moment where I think, hey, well, this is me. 

00:09:21 Eva 

Only to be told, yeah, we don't know when we can see you. It's like this huge anti climax and... 

00:09:28 Eva 

I remember how that was such a kick in the teeth and I thought, well, if there's anything I can. 

00:09:33 Eva 

Do to help fix it. Challenge it definitely so working with the good law project we spent. I think it's about two years or so. Building the case, trying to negotiate, trying to speak to NHS England about our. 

00:09:42 James 

Wow, OK. 

00:09:48 Eva 

Concerns and we were basically citing that it's unlawful to leave patients waiting in limbo and not actually. 

00:09:57 Eva 

Create anything or put anything in place that makes sure that you do better. So yeah, we. 

00:10:02 Eva 

We said that. 

00:10:03 Eva 

It was unlawful because it's it's a legal target, you know, what's the point otherwise of having a target if there's no? 

00:10:12 Eva 

If there's no real needs, and if you feel like it, you feel. 

00:10:14 Eva 

Like it? If not, don't worry. 

00:10:18 Eva 

And because people's lives are at stake, I've lost, you know, good, good friends, because they just can't wait any longer. Yeah, and for trans youths, it's even more important because you've got this limited window for puberty blockers to be able to to take effect. And contrary to what people say, it's not like they just hand out puberty blockers like Tic Tacs. 

00:10:37 Eva 

(Other candy is available) Yeah. I mean, there's a long waiting period for trans youths as it is. And then when you get there, there's a very robust diagnosis system, which takes a long time. So the sooner trans you get on to that, that that kind. 

00:10:57 Eva 

Conveyor belt if you want to call it that, the sooner they can start reaching that that puberty blocker point. Otherwise, what's the point of having puberty blockers? If by the time they're on a waiting list for about 3 years, you've missed it? Mental health trauma on top of that and yeah. So we we basically took them to the High Court. 

00:11:18 Eva 

We were there last November. Unfortunately, we we weren't successful last November. 

00:11:25 Eva 

Because the the, the, the judge basically said that it wasn't a legal target, it was just more of a a duty target, more of an administrative target. But when we submitted our application or made our intentions known to appeal, he did actually 

00:11:45 Eva 

say he would allow an appeal against his own decision, which for a High Court judge is very rare to allow it, and he did cite at the time that there was a good, you know, good prospects that the Court of Appeal judges would find differently. So we went ahead with the appeal. 

00:11:50 James 


00:12:02 Eva 

But that's not before. We also secured a decision within that judgement, although the the main part of it wasn't going our way, the judge did agree that trans youths are covered under the Equality Act because NHS England were arguing that under the Equality Act, you have to 

00:12:23 Eva 

propose to undergo gender transition now under eighteens. 

00:12:30 James 

Is that in order to 

00:12:31 James 

Be protected by the equality. 

00:12:31 Eva 

Yes, because the wording within the Equality Act is very specific, right is undergoing, or proposes to undergo gender transition. 

00:12:41 Eva 

But when you are under 18, you can't. You're not allowed to surgery, you can't have HRT. 

00:12:47 Eva 

Umm. Puberty blockers. You know it's it's reversible. So and even then access to them is very difficult. The only thing you can actually do is socially transition. Yeah, but we were able to to demonstrate that that in itself is all you can do. And therefore that is that trans youth's intention or proposal 

00:13:07 Eva 

to undergo. That's their commitment and that's all they can do at that point in their lives, and therefore 

00:13:13 Eva 

that they are- they are doing it and therefore they are covered. So we'll, you know, we're we're really, really happy that we managed to get that. We went to the Court of Appeal recently. So our case was heard and unfortunately we weren't successful again they ruled that it wasn't a legal duty and and that is incredibly frustrating. 

00:13:33 Eva 

Yeah, cause where does it leave? I mean, at the moment in England alone, there are about 2800 patients waiting for a first appointment with no mental health support, no end in sight. And my particular gender clinic is the laurels in Exeter. 

00:13:48 Eva 

And and I was. I've been on that list since 2017 and I still haven't had a first appointment. A recent, I think it's a Freedom of Information request. Recent one found that the average waiting time at the laurels is about 90 months for a first appointment. Now, when you get there, it's not just 

00:14:09 Eva 

"Here's your diagnosis." You have to be assessed by two independent clinicians. There's a wait in between those appointments. If you need further assessment, then obviously more appointments. 

00:14:21 Eva 

If you are then diagnosed, you're then put on another waiting list to begin HRT, which from the moment you have your first appointment could be two years. Before you begin, HRT and HRT itself is a long process. It's like two or three years. Yeah. And then if you want gender-affirming surgery, you've got a wait of about 

00:14:41 Eva 

12-18 months, depending on what type of surgery. So by the time you've actually 

00:14:47 Eva 

gotten anywhere? It's probably been the best part of like 9 years for me. It's probably looking about 10-11 years before I reached that stage where. 

00:14:58 Eva 

I could put myself forward for gender affirming surgery. 

00:15:01 Yani 

Yeah. See, you said Exeter; So my friend went to University of Exeter and then they must have gone to the laurels with them. That gender clinic. And then they graduated and then they moved back home. 

00:15:18 Yani 

Which is all the way in Kent, but they didn't want to stop going to the laurels because. 

00:15:24 Yani 

Because they didn't want to get, like, lost in the system in the NHS. So they were travelling down all the way from Kent all the way to Exeter. 

00:15:31 Yani 

And that's a 

00:15:31 Yani 

long journey just so they could get that access and that's just isn't it just shows how. Ohh, hello rage just shows how 

00:15:42 Yani 

difficult it is. 

00:15:43 Yani 

And then they it. 

00:15:45 Yani 

I remember them going. I was working with them. They were going down like they would take annual leave just to go all the way down there, stay the night, go see their appointment, then go. 

00:15:54 Yani 

Back and just to have like one appointment just to say like, yeah, OK, you can go do this now. And just to have that all those barriers. 

00:16:02 Yani 

Is in the way, yeah. 

00:16:04 Yani 

Meanwhile, you say about the tic tac thing. Other candy is available, contraception when you're like a teen girl, and they were like, Yep, sure. Just take all this stuff. All the mental health 

00:16:14 Yani 

That goes with it. 

00:16:15 Eva 

Yeah, fine. Same with antidepressants if. 

00:16:17 Eva 

You if you go to a GP and. 

00:16:19 Eva 

OK, I'm feeling down. You know, I've not been in the best of moods. They're so quick to issue, and the presence these days literally just handing them out. No. You know, you don't need a clinical diagnosis or anything like that. Yeah. And I think it's worth pointing out that when we look at HRT, it's like the stuff I'm on is the same stuff that menopausal women are on. Like, there's no difference. They can literally go into a GP. 

00:16:40 Eva 

talk about their symptoms and 

00:16:42 Eva 

I wouldn't say fast track. 

00:16:43 Eva 

But compared to trans people, yeah, trans women, they can get access to HRT and begin treatment so much quicker. In fact, some pharmacies are able to now issue HRT to save the weight and the the pressure on GP surgeries. So certain pharmacies are able to to issue prescriptions for for basic over the counter medicine. 

00:17:04 Eva 

But for trans women, you have to have a diagnosis from 2 independent clinicians, who then must make sure that their opinions about your transness meet and and are agreeable. Then you have to see an endocrinologist. Then they'll assess you. Then they can say, yes, you can have HRT. And I think it's also worth saying that 

00:17:24 Eva 

before gender dysphoria, clinics were set up. 

00:17:28 Eva 

HRT and trans people were treated with in the primary care system, so within GP, the idea of the gender dysphoric clinics is to alleviate pressure from the GP's because of demand. 

00:17:41 Eva 

At the end of the day, GPS, as long as we train them, they know what to do. It's the same stuff. Puberty blockers are. They are not. They are not a trans people think as much as everyone associates puberty blockers, as you know, trans youths. They are routinely prescribed to 

00:18:01 Eva 

to youngsters going through precocious puberty and and you know they don't need this 

00:18:07 Eva 

clinician to diagnose them, they are able to just say here's the prescription. Probably missed out the steps there. By and large, it's so much easier and but The thing is, the moment you say trans is like, ohh, hang on a second, let's shut those doors. Let's see what else we need first. And it's just it's a result of the fact that trans people are so medicalised. 

00:18:29 Eva 

We're so politicised at the moment that you can't do anything regarding a trans person without there being so much scrutiny, yeah. 

00:18:30 James 

Yeah, yeah. 

00:18:37 Yani 

Have you seen anything change in like the past of? 

00:18:40 Yani 

Well, since you started transitioning so six years. 

00:18:45 Eva 

There's been more trans people coming out. Yeah, that's for sure. 

00:18:50 Eva 

And that's attributed to just people wanting to be themselves. You know, as much as some people say it's a phase, it's a trend. It really isn't, you know, like we we think back to 

00:19:01 Eva 

Do you remember when, like it was found upon to be left-handed and there's, like, you know, if if people at school are, you know, you read about them getting, like, hit on the hand if there's an old school kind of teaching system, you have to use a right hand because that was accepted. It wasn't accepted to be left-handed. But people are naturally 

00:19:21 Eva 

left-handed. Yeah. And when that was kind of lifted and it was OK, it was acceptable. There's a sudden boom in left-handed people. Yeah, almost overnight. And that's not because everyone decided to think you. 

00:19:31 Eva 

know what I'm going to jump 

00:19:32 Eva 

On this they were just hiding who they were. Yeah, and. And that's essentially the same thing with, with with trans people. So there has been a huge increase. Yeah. And I guess that does scare people. It's like, you know, who are these people who've come out of the woodwork all of a sudden? Where are they coming from and why now? And we look at social factors. 

00:19:53 Eva 

Like for example a pandemic. 

00:19:55 Eva 

We've all gone through a global pandemic that's really put life into perspective for all of us. Yeah. You know, a lot of people. 

00:20:03 Eva 

Who may be thinking I'm going to take this chance to be me because I could have died during that pandemic. Who knows what could have happened? I'm going to do it. Plus also when we're in lockdown. 

00:20:15 Eva 

You can't go out and express yourself and you start thinking well. I need to be me and that drives this notion that. 

00:20:22 Eva 

Now you deserve to be you. Yeah, regardless. So it gave people a lot of thought. I think most importantly, social media has allowed people to connect. People to see that. What? You know what is possible. When I was younger, I had no representation at all. Being a person of colour, being queer, I never thought I could be 

00:20:42 Eva 

me. Yeah. And now seeing on social media that it is possible, it's it's really inspiring for other people. Yeah. When I first started on social media as me, I really found it inspirational to see 

00:20:56 Eva 

that there are people despite societies objections. There were people just thinking, you know what? I'm just going to be me and. 

00:21:03 Eva 

I don't care.  

00:21:03 James 


00:21:06 Yani 

Yeah. I think also during lockdown we had a lot of time just. 

00:21:08 Yani 

Staring ourselves. 

00:21:10 Eva 

That banana bread and and crossing and all that. 

00:21:14 Yani 

Yeah, that was great. 

00:21:16 Yani 

I mean, apart from the rest of it, Animal Crossing. 

00:21:18 Yani 

And banana bread. 

00:21:18 Yani 

Was great, yeah. 

00:21:21 James 

That, yeah, the situation that places us there horrendous but... 

00:21:23 Eva 

So great. Yeah, I think we all had our meltdown in our own little way. 

00:21:27 James 

Ohh absolutely yeah. 

00:21:41 Eva 

My wife and I have a like we we used to have a tattoo studio that we ran together and gradually when I came out, I took more time away from that. So I was managing, but I stepped away to kind of get involved with activism and get involved with other organisations more. But yeah, when when lockdown here we were like 

00:22:01 Eva 

What do we do? So yeah, for me, there's like this three-week period of. 

00:22:06 Eva 

Just. Yeah, complete meltdown. I was drinking gin for breakfast. I was playing Animal Crossing at ridiculous times. Yeah. 

00:22:12 Eva 

Just yeah, life came to a standstill. Life had no real meaning. 

00:22:18 Eva 

But for me, that was an awakening because it forced me to interact with the world differently. And that's for the first time I actually use social media and like use video. Yeah, before I was so scared I would like I do media interviews, but I'd insist on some sort of read back. I'd have to if it was video, I'd have to scrutinise it. I was really uncomfortable with who I was. 

00:22:38 Eva 

But being in lockdown, I just thought you know what? 

00:22:42 Eva 

I can't change any of this. Yeah, if I want to communicate with people, I have to think of other ways. Started doing Instagram lives and all sorts. And I think for. 

00:22:50 Eva 

Me, that was a catalyst towards communicating with people, reaching out to people and being able to use my platform a lot more. 

00:22:59 James 

I love that. I my my experience over lockdown was similar to yours of but it sort of gin for breakfast it was more like wine at lunch. Nice. And so I haven't become a wine connoisseur. It's still like Red, White, Rose. Yeah. 

00:23:14 Eva 

Just the colours. 

00:23:16 Yani 

The cheapest one, why do you say house? 

00:23:22 James 

But you can't go to the supermarket, and say 

00:23:23 James 

I'll have the house. 

00:23:25 James 

Sainsbury's House wine please. Or like whatever it was, it was. Yeah, it was. It was a. It was an interesting time. But Animal Crossing that was my escapism. Yeah, no. Me neither. 

00:23:34 Eva 

Not been back since I've probably had my island repossessed by Tom Nook. 

00:23:39 James 

Well, he doesn't charge interest on your loan, so he's a very, very patient creditor. 

00:23:44 Eva 

That said, that raccoon scares me. 

00:23:48 James 

But he's a friendly face of capitalism. It's all fun. 

00:23:52 James 

Talking about seeing more, trans people being more visible and it's very interesting you say that actually because the census for the first time published data about people, people expressing their gender identity and 

00:24:12 James 

And so, officially, census data in 2023 said that 262,000 people over the age of 16 said that their gender identity was different to their birth sex and and obviously the actual real figure will be much higher. But 

00:24:26 James 

I have a small appreciation for the fact that stuff like that is now actually being looked at and slightly measured by at least an apolitical arm of government. 

00:24:37 James 

One thing. So when I was when I was researching this podcast, researching things to talk about in this podcast, one thing that really, really like really struck me was the change of attitude that government has had over maybe the past, like five or six years. 

00:24:53 James 

Because when when "Tresse" May was Prime Minister, that is Theresa May for people who are normal, she. 

00:25:06 James 

She was announcing let me just find it. She announced that. 

00:25:12 Eva 

She wants to reform, yeah. 

00:25:13 James 

The Gender Recognition Act. Yeah, and I just. 

00:25:17 James 

I want to read a quote, because this is the Conservatives in 2018 and this is the Conservative government, so the unchanged political party that is still in power now, yes. But just yeah, five, five years ago; it's been it's been harrowing five years 

00:25:36 James 

Yes, but just the the tone of this press release that they put out really struck me. So Theresa May said. 

00:25:45 James 

Last year I committed to carrying out a consultation on the Gender Recognition Act and I'm pleased to be able to launch that today. What was clear from our survey is that transgender people across the UK find the process of legally challenging their gender overly bureaucratic and invasive. I want to see a process that is more streamlined, demedicalised , because being trans should never be treated 

00:26:04 James 

As an illness and then the Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Morton said. 

00:26:11 James 

The discrimination and bigotry that the trans community currently faces is unacceptable in today's society. We need a culture change in response to our national LGBT survey. Trans people have told us that the current system to legally change their gender isn't working, and they find the process bureaucratic, costly and intrusive. We want to help people thrive and to go about their daily life. 

00:26:32 James 

Living in the gender they chose without intrusion or fear of humiliation, this consultation is a better chance for us to change the current system for the better and I look forward to. 

00:26:40 James 

Hearing everyone's views. 

00:26:43 James 

And I found that really hard to read because it I was shocked that that is the same. Well, it's not the same Conservative government, but it's the Conservative government that has remained unchanged. Ish. 

00:26:58 James 

Save 9 prime ministers and the yeah, but like I was just so shocked that the party that was in power then is the party that's in power now and they're now just spouting the complete opposite. 

00:26:59 Eva 

We've had a. 

00:27:00 Eva 

Few chancellors since. 

00:27:13 James 

And if you have any thoughts on that 'cause, I just mine was shock, I just didn't have any other words other than just being totally surprised. Not surprised, but totally surprised you know? 

00:27:21 Eva 

I mean, I think the the biggest surprise is. 

00:27:23 Eva 

That the the MP's that backed that potential reform are the same MP's that are now saying trans people are dangerous. 

00:27:33 Eva 

You know this trans agenda, but I don't know. We're out to steal single sex spaces. Changing rooms... 

00:27:41 Eva 

Women's rights and all that. 

00:27:43 Eva 

And you only have to look. 

00:27:44 Eva 

At the top because. 

00:27:47 Eva 

That's where it comes from. You know, when we look at a Conservative government that is clinging on to power right now, they need something. And they had a really strong 80-seat majority under Boris Johnson. And that's just kind of been spaffed away 

00:28:06 Eva 

Over however many months 

00:28:08 Eva 

And it's gone downhill for them, really. So they need something. And what's more divisive than trans people and migrants? They're hmm. They're the two things that really get people talking. Now, when we look at the trans people. 

00:28:22 Eva 

The Conservative government was committed to creating change. They were very open to it. 

00:28:29 Eva 

But that public consultation also gave rise to gender critical views, and since then those views have just been snowballing. A lot of misinformation out there, a lot of just just straight up lies at the end of day. 

00:28:46 Eva 

And it because those views came to prominence. It's really made people think, ohh, hang on a minute. Have they got something? Well, no, they haven't. But these people are really well connected and they have, you know, financial backing. They've got a lot of power, a lot of sway and connections with 55 Tufton Street. So. 

00:29:06 Eva 

They hold a lot of power, so when we look at a government that is clinging on to power and they see people who are able to help them, then it's a no brainer that they they come together and they really work together and think you know what. 

00:29:21 Eva 

If we work with you, let's portray trans people in a certain way, then that gives us favour with the public. And yeah, it really has gone downhill ever since. You know, when we look at other countries, Ireland have had self ID since 2015. Not a single issue. In fact, they were quite shocked that there was hardly. 

00:29:41 Eva 

Any take up 

00:29:41 Eva 

Of it, you know it's there. 2022 last year was Argentina's 10th anniversary of Self ID, though the first country to to introduce it 

00:29:53 Eva 

And when you look at a country like Argentina and you think the UK, Argentina, why are they beating us on something so simple on basic human rights? But you know, they've not had a single incident of it being abused. Any men don't putting themselves through this system, cisgender men and I might add. 

00:30:01 Yani 

Yeah, yeah. 

00:30:13 Eva 

Putting themselves through this system to, you know, to to attack women, to, to, to abuse women. 

00:30:20 Eva 

There are more and more countries are adopting this. Only recently Germany I think was yesterday announced that their proposal to amend their gender recognition laws have been accepted. It still needs to go through Parliament. But yeah, that that is along with similar, you know, similar lines to Ireland, Argentina, other countries where it's more of a statutory. 

00:30:31 James 


00:30:40 Eva 

declaration. Scotland, the end of last year, it was Scottish Parliament's longest consultation period of about six years. Cross party support is unanimous. 

00:30:45 James 

Yeah, I was. 

00:30:57 Eva 

It got blocked from royal assent and the reason it got blocked was because there was allegedly conflicts with the Equality Act, even though the documents clearly stated there is no conflict even on the government's own website, it stated there are no conflict. Suddenly this this fear 

00:31:16 Eva 

cropped up and everyone's like, hang on a minute. Women's spaces are going to be removed, you know, women's rights are gonna be taken away. But the fact is, trans rights enhance women's rights. Trans women are women. Trans women go through, you know, virtually the same oppression as women. 

00:31:36 Eva 

Therefore, we need to work together, not segregate all the different types. I mean being trans is it's just one part of our identity. Trans is, as is an identifier. You know, if you take out trans and you put black in there Jewish, it's it's suddenly OK to be saying that black women are dangerous. 

00:31:56 Eva 

Jewish women are dangerous. They're here to take your rights. 

00:31:59 Eva 

No, but why is it OK to do so with trans people? So yeah, that's that's been blocked from royal assent. And when we look at legal recognition. 

00:32:10 Eva 

It has nothing to do with single sex bases. One was the last time anyone had to produce a birth certificate to go into a changing room, going to a toilet. In fact, many people have gender neutral toilets at home. 

00:32:21 Yani 

Yeah, this drives me mad! 

00:32:21 James 

Every every bathroom in every. 

00:32:26 James 

Home is gender neutral. 

00:32:27 Yani 

It's like what? Why are you getting so? Like, I was like, oh, I can't go in there because it's it's not, it's gendered. And I'm like, but where do you 

00:32:34 Yani 


00:32:35 Yani 

Like everyone does it, like, get over yourself. 

00:32:40 James 

I mean, I live in London and I dream to have two bathrooms like I like... wow. Just imagine. Imagine the privilege. This is. This is very like very London specific. Mine is forcibly gender neutral. 

00:32:57 Yani 

Yeah, all your. All your other guests, like your female guests can go to. 

00:33:00 James 

The other bathroom. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's just like, yeah, it's just like, this is. 

00:33:02 Eva 

Not there. 

00:33:04 James 

The man bathroom. 

00:33:05 Yani 

The man bathroom for the man. 

00:33:05 James 

It's like. 

00:33:07 James 

Like what? What it. It's just it's crazy. 

00:33:10 Yani 

Yeah, I went to a gig on Sunday, and they had gendered toilets on this festival. 

00:33:17 Yani 

And then it was a very like it was a very queer gig. So it was like, boy Junius Mooner, Ethel Kane and Soak and. 

00:33:24 Yani 

Everyone was like why? 

00:33:25 Yani 

Are they gender toilets and everyone 

00:33:27 Yani 

Was like, read the room. 


Are you doing? 

00:33:31 Yani 

And it was that whole like. 

00:33:33 Yani 

It was great because all of us are behind each. 

00:33:35 Yani 

Other just like this is ridiculous. 

00:33:37 James 

But even then, like I've been to so many, I've been to as if I'm going out all the time, I can't afford it. Like I've been to so many like gigs, venues and spaces that have "gendered" toilets. They'll be like they'll be expressly done that way. But the toilets are then cubicles, and they are 

00:33:57 James 

Like there is nothing like, there's no differentiator and like I'll be with like my female friend and we'll be like, is your cubicle and we'll just, like, open the door, go like it's it's the same. And that that's just expresses to me how even more stupid it is because... 

00:34:14 Eva 

Yeah. Look at 

00:34:16 Eva 

Trains public transport, like on coaches, trains. They are all gender neutral toilets and no one had an issue with any of this until just fairly recently. Yeah, I think it's worth pointing out that had the Scottish gender recognition reform been allowed royal assent, then it would literally. 

00:34:37 Eva 

Prove everyone wrong. All those people in power in certain influential spaces who are have been saying for years. You know this will be detrimental to women's rights if it goes through. Give it six months, 12 months, two years. 

00:34:52 Eva 

Nothing changes. You're gonna look pretty stupid. Yeah. And you know when you've got government clinging on to power who are saying we've got to protect women's rights. If this is allowed to go through and nothing happens, they'll just be proven liars. And that's when people start thinking, well, what else have you not been honest about as well? So it does chip away. 

00:35:12 Eva 

at that, and there's even more reason for them to find reason to block it. But yeah, I mean, when we look at things like Section 28, it was Scotland that repealed Section 28 first; leading the way against Scotland are are creating this and 

00:35:29 Eva 

If Scotland hadn't have repealed Section 28 when it did, who knows what would have happened for that for the UK as a whole in terms of LGBTQ+ education and and it takes 1 country or one system to go against the grain to really prove that it doesn't change anything. In fact, yeah, you know, it actually liberates people. Yeah. 

00:35:50 James 

Yeah, it's... 

00:35:52 James 

I find it really fascinating that the government 

00:35:57 James 

have picked this battle to cling on to power with because I'm sounds sounds very cynical and a bit harrowing. It's like I'm kind of used to the immigration like migrants, refugees argument. That's that's the drum that's been beaten for a long time and 

00:36:12 James 

obviously, the political consequences of 

00:36:16 James 

that are being felt; mentioning no specific big political events that have happened maybe in 2016 and about June. 

00:36:24 Eva 

Certainly not beginning B. 

00:36:25 James 

With no it would. It wouldn't be and 

00:36:30 James 


00:36:32 James 

I guess it it I'm I'm curious as to why this group of people and why now? Because I don't know. They always seem to manage to stoke up some kind of like argument over migration. It's just like... 

00:36:45 Eva 

You need something else to. 

00:36:46 James 

argue about and it just 

00:36:50 Yani 

I think it's like so if you look at like the media, I think it's like a just a massive buildup. 

00:36:53 Yani 

From just different things. So like so, one thing that we're. 

00:36:57 Yani 

Doing ohh hello. Why do I keep getting you? 

00:37:00 Yani 

So one thing that we've been doing as a company is we've been trying to produce more white papers and something that I'm working on is a media analysis of trans experiences. 

00:37:10 Yani 

particularly workplace and and basically I had the greatest joy of going through different papers, Daily Mail for three days and tracking over like the past five years. 

00:37:22 James 

Did you have some time off afterwards? 

00:37:24 Yani 

There was a lot of. 

00:37:24 Yani 

Time going... 

00:37:25 Yani 

Need a coffee? Yeah. 

00:37:28 James 

Yeah. And then you then you reading the Daily Mail and you've got, like, caffeine jitters.  

00:37:30 Yani 

It's like, yeah, cortisol but yeah. So I've been doing that and you'll just see, like, there's a lot of things I've just build up and you're like, oh, so This is why. 

00:37:44 Yani 

This is happening and. 

00:37:45 Yani 

Things like Stonewall and having that people getting angry with what they were doing and they had like mermaids, and then it's just like just trying to build up and then trying to move away from things that that we're actually doing. So you can just kind of see it and track it and. 

00:38:00 Yani 

I think well, you'll find out in a few months when we publish it the paper, but you can see this build up in like the number of articles and it's it's particularly 2021 is when it's just like. 

00:38:09 Yani 

We're gonna do this. We're gonna go hard at the trans people, yeah. 

00:38:12 Yani 

And it's particularly around... Ohh also Stonewall, mermaids and then freedom of speech within universities. Hmm. And it was people who have what they call it. What do they call it under the is it gender, critical voices or gender critical views. 

00:38:32 Yani 

Are being banned from these spaces in university. 

00:38:38 Yani 

And basically does not allow him to have that freedom of speech. And that's building up. So obviously the government has been like, oh, that's a highlight thing. Let's do that. And then because they're friends with the media, they're just like, yeah, keep on doing that because, you know, that's spiralling. 

00:38:46 Eva 

Yeah, pretty much. 

00:38:51 James 

So they're they're using the university is not allowing gender critical voices as like their gateway. 

00:38:58 Yani 

Yeah. And other things are happening. So like Stonewall and more rejecting Stonewall because. 

00:39:04 Yani 

Of their. 

00:39:05 Yani 

Something around trans. 

00:39:07 James 

I I don't. I I don't understand this, maybe I'm maybe I'm not well read enough. 

00:39:10 James 

I need. 

00:39:10 James 

To get a new job, but I don't understand why people are rejecting Stonewall, like what's happened? 

00:39:16 Yani 

It was around. It was basically they were having a lot of recommendations that people were feeling uncomfortable with and they weren't sure about it, but they were trying to adopt it. But people in the company were uncomfortable with it and it was basically around 

00:39:32 Yani 

recommendations around... 

00:39:36 Eva 

Trans inclusion, yeah. 

00:39:37 Yani 

It's trans inclusion basically, and and things one of them was toilet. So it comes back to the toilet problem which is not a problem because everyone has a gender neutral toilet at home and it was that recommendation. And then Ohh another spice they add in there as well. JK Rowling. 

00:39:55 James 

I was. I was really hoping to. 

00:39:57 James 

Not talk about her. 

00:39:57 Yani 

I know, I know. 

00:39:58 Eva 

That's a whole 

00:39:59 Eva. 

'nother topic. 

00:40:01 James 

Topic. Yeah, we need another episode for that. Yeah, I don't. 

00:40:04 Yani 

But basically because of that and just being the terf kind of sentiment just fueled that, yeah. So it's just like all these little. 

00:40:14 Eva 

it was a pile-on the end of the day. They they took something that they could spin and media really ran with it. 

00:40:16 James 

Yeah, yeah. 

00:40:22 Eva 

And they highlighted company after company that had, you know, allegedly. 

00:40:26 Eva 

Walked away from this Stonewall programme, but what they didn't report was how many companies stuck with it 

00:40:32 Yani 

Yeah, so many. 

00:40:33 Eva 

Yeah. So many are are still part of that inclusion programme and still use Stonewall and you know, we don't hear about that. So it plays into this very carefully painted picture of how things are for trans people at the moment. 

00:40:48 Eva 

And yet it's really shocking that the media 

00:40:50 Eva 

are essentially out for 262,000 people in England and Wales. Scotland has its own census data and you know we we don't know what what the make up of trans people are up in Scotland. But when we look at England and Wales, 262,000 that we know of. 

00:41:10 Eva 

Of that roughly 45,000 identify as trans female. So. 

00:41:16 Eva 

I mean, when we talk about trans rights in the media, it's always trans women that they're talking about. Never trans men, always trans women. But they say trans people because then they they they're not discriminating, are they? They say trans people, but it is trans women. Yeah. So when you look at the government and the media going after 45,000 people roughly. 

00:41:22 James 

I was, yeah. 

00:41:36 Eva 

Why, when we've got about 64/65 million people in in the UK cost of living, there's problems with migration, people can't get houses. 

00:41:46 Eva 

This is there is so much going on, but they're choosing to focus on this tiny, tiny minority. Yeah. And you have to ask yourself why. Yeah, when you know everything came out about Boris Johnson and his various scandals, which that itself is. 

00:42:03 James 

Various scandals is the most charitable expression of. 

00:42:08 James 

What Boris Johnson has done 

00:42:10 Eva 

Whether it's, you know who's paying for his wallpaper, whether it was a cheese board, or whether it constituted a party, or whether he misled Parliament whenever that happened, he did, yes. 

00:42:19 James 

Which we did, which he did officially. We can say that. 

00:42:23 Eva 

PMQ's would happen on a Wednesday on a Thursday. There would always be an article about trans people to just deflect away from what was revealed most recently with the Stockholm 

00:42:36 Eva 

Barge situation with Legionella. 

00:42:39 Eva 

The scandal around that and the government knowing that the water was contaminated. Yet, still going ahead with that anyway. 

00:42:46 Eva 

When that came out suddenly. Oh, the government is looking to cut down on gender neutral toilets and and you raise them? Yeah. Why all of a sudden were being shifted towards trans people again. And if it's not migrants, it's trans people. So if there's a problem surrounding their migrant policy, the obvious one is trans 

00:43:05 Eva 

people throw the all the. 

00:43:07 Eva 

And and that's it. Yeah, we're just a 

00:43:09 Eva 

punch bag. 

00:43:10 Eva 

We don't want to be, we just want to 

00:43:12 Eva 

get on with what we do 

00:43:13 Eva 

we're really boring people. We you know, we... 

00:43:16 Eva 

We go to work, we come home from work, we play. 

00:43:19 Eva 

With the dog. 

00:43:20 James 

Are you saying we partake in the capitalist system? 

00:43:24 James 

We all do. We all do. We all do. It's classic dead Catting, though, isn't it? Like it is. It is just like, well, look over here. And it's it's the same dead cat that they somehow manage. 

00:43:33 James 

Get a lot of mileage out of. Yeah, every time. Every time. Yeah, yeah. 

00:43:35 Eva 

Yeah, people fall for it. The same cat in the same position. It was like, oh, wow, dead cat. 

00:43:40 Yani 

Yeah, I just wanna get angry about something. And it just like it has to be the same dead cat. I do wonder. Like just in my head, it's like government gets together in little rooms like "do do do do do:. And they're like, which one do we choose today? And. 

00:43:51 Yani 

That's how I imagine the government. 

00:43:53 James 

I'm. I'm imagining it like evil Malcolm Tucker. Like, that's that's how I imagine the government being exact like. 

00:43:59 Eva 

Wheel of fortune like Wheel of misfortune. 

00:44:03 Eva 

To tell you. 

00:44:04 James 

And every everything is trans people. Yeah, it's like, oh, it's it's the green trans people today. Yeah. 

00:44:10 Eva 

Trans people with a different colour. 

00:44:14 James 

Yeah, it's. 

00:44:17 James 

I don't want to say it's harrowing, but it is. It is harrowing. I just don't. I just don't like to say it's harrowing cause that makes me sad, and that is part. 

00:44:19 Eva 

It is. 

00:44:26 James 

Of the problem, but I think. 

00:44:28 Eva 

That is the problem if people, if as a community we don't acknowledge it, society, we don't acknowledge it, we bury our heads in the sand, it will become even more of a 

00:44:39 Eva 

problem. Yeah. 

00:44:42 Eva 

And you know, I always think of the film Don't Look Up. That speaks volumes about how society's attitudes can lead, will be our own downfall, because we we just refuse to acknowledge what, you know, the elephant in the room. And yes, as a community, we are battered 

00:45:02 Eva 

we are so tired, we're mentally exhausted, but we're also resilient. We've been around for hundreds of years in various cultures. We are still here no matter what has been thrown at us. 

00:45:13 Eva 

So we can get through this and I'm certain we can, but we just need to get through this little hump. I say little. It's not little, but in the grand scheme of things it's fairly trivial. We need to be able to move through this. Not saying that, you know, trans rights, trans lives are trivial, but when we look at the bigger picture, things that affect 

00:45:34 Eva 

all of us. It's it's a trivial matter to focus on. So the more we can band together, acknowledge the problem, that's when we can move forward, because you can't really have allies, and you can't really move. 

00:45:47 Eva 

Forward if half the people don't understand what the problem is, don't understand where the problem is coming from. Don't really understand. You know how it how it's going to affect. 

00:45:57 Eva 

Them because trans rights are just the, you know, the tip of the iceberg. If they can do this to us, they can do the similar things to migrants. 

00:46:06 Eva 

what else 

00:46:07 Eva 

are they capable of? We are the Guinea pigs for society, and transphobia has a huge knock on effect and people just don't realise. But you know, there are stories 

00:46:17 Eva 

of people being abused being assaulted because they're, you know, people mistaken for being trans. And over in the US, there was an athletic, I think it was a university or college athletics and one athlete was accused of being trans 

00:46:37 Eva 

Purely because. 

00:46:40 Eva 

She was winning and she was doing so well and she didn't look feminine enough. 

00:46:46 Eva 

And because of that, she was called. She was trans, therefore unfair, so-called biological advantage. Yeah, let's strip her of her titles and all the parents complained to the the College Board School Board just because she didn't feminine enough. We start policing what it is to be a woman. 

00:47:05 Eva 

Your your shape. How you present everything, it's really scary. 

00:47:10 James 

Yeah, and. And she wasn't trans? 

00:47:13 Eva 

Wasn't, no. 

00:47:14 Yani 


00:47:15 Eva 

And she was just a great athlete. Yeah, that's it. 

00:47:19 James 

And that's the point. Isn't that what, like the lift, the heavy lifting thing? Like big, big muscle person, all that kind of stuff. It's just like it is just small. Is biological advantage, and like gender doesn't come into it so much. I don't know. 

00:47:35 James 

As not very sporty, but like the sport is just about who, whose body can do that thing best. Yeah, like that is fundamentally what sport is, with rules but like. 

00:47:44 Eva 

But when we look at male sport, like for example Michael. 

00:47:48 Eva 

Helps. He's revered because he he dominates his sport. He does so well. He does have many biological advantages and he's celebrated for that. Yeah, but when women have some sort of biological advantage, what's going on? You know, you're trying to infiltrate women's sports. 

00:48:04 Yani 

Now all of this is basically just a challenge of power because we talk about power being most power and then and then within, I guess, like the social context is like who has the power? Oh, we need to get that power away from the. So we have more power and like, if so in sport that context, I guess in sport it's just like ohh, she's trying to challenge male power. So we need 

00:48:23 Yani 

to take that away. 

00:48:25 Yani 

It's just power. It's just, yeah. 

00:48:26 James 

Yeah. And then trans people are collateral damage in basically the seizing back of power because, like, it's, it's an attack on women, right? Broadly, isn't it? And then it is. Then they go well, we're going to also then focus on this group because it's the smallest and easiest group to take advantage of because they are even more oppressed. 

00:48:45 James 

Than the wider group. 

00:48:47 Eva 

Let's punch down on the obvious 

00:48:49 Eva 

The thing is like when we look 

00:48:50 Eva 

that the situation of trans women in sport, there's been a recent study long term study that confirmed there is no biological advantage. A lot of the gender critical people seem to underestimate the power of HRT. Yeah, like yes, my skeletal structure is slightly bigger because of testosterone at puberty. 

00:49:10 Eva 

I can't do anything about that, but being on oestrogen means there's loss of muscle mass, so I actually have less muscle mass to support a slightly larger 

00:49:20 Eva 

frame. So that's not a an advantage. That's a disadvantage. Yeah, our testosterone levels. Everything's carefully monitored on a very regular basis. The anti androgens that we take reduce your testosterone levels right down to way below that of a cisgender female's natural testosterone level. 

00:49:41 Eva 

But that doesn't get spoken about. You know, it's always testosterone. You've got this natural advantage. But look at the Williams Sisters in tennis. No one has ever thought. Why do you keep dominating? Look at your build. What are you on? Look at your genetic makeup. No. They are celebrated for. 

00:50:00 Eva 

And and trans women. If people have an issue with trans women, it's because they don't see them as women. They see them as men, and therefore the problem is men, not women. 

00:50:15 James 

Moving more positively and thinking about the future 

00:50:19 Eva 

That wasn't positive(?) 

00:50:22 James 

Well, moving even MORE 

00:50:24 James 

Positively think about the future. We were we were talking about allies earlier and I think that's 

00:50:29 James 

that's some important stuff to talk about about allyship. 

00:50:32 James 

I am what? What would you say? Like the perfect ally would be and the imperfect ally. And how do you become? How did you become the ally that 

00:50:42 James 

you want to see. 

00:50:45 Eva 

I'll start with saying the imperfect ally, the bystander, the one who sees something happen but chooses not to do anything about it, because that makes you complicit. That makes you just as guilty. 

00:51:00 Eva 

We have to kind of remember, you don't have to understand somebody fully in order to respect them. You know, you don't have to be on board with their choice. That's absolutely fine. You just need to be able to respect them as a human being. And you know, if you want if someones gender critical, that's fine, you know. 

00:51:18 Eva 

Gender critical thinking doesn't really affect me to the point where they can have these thoughts as long as they don't act upon them to the point that they are doing now and physically causing my life a 

00:51:32 Eva 

problem. You can think what you want. You know there are flat Earthers out there. Still they don't impact on the progression of society. We just kind of let them have their own little corner. 

00:51:42 James 

Yeah, and their Netflix documentary? Yeah. 

00:51:44 Eva 

That's well, yeah. But yeah, we need to acknowledge that. 

00:51:49 Eva 

There is a line and when that line is crossed, people lose their lives, people are hurt and that's just the beginning of it and 

00:52:00 Eva 

the the bad ally is the person who ignores that, who just thinks I'm fine. You know, I'm doing all right in my own little corner of the world. I'm just going to plot along. I support it, but as long as it doesn't affect me and the fact is all social injustices are interlinked. 

00:52:20 Eva 

and will affect you at some point. Yeah. So I want allies to really step up the pandemic. Was I like to call it a classroom period? You know, we're at home 24/7 with our computers. That was our only way of connecting and pronouns 

00:52:36 Eva 

were on the rise; or the idea of using pronouns. People came out of pandemic, adding pronouns to their bio to their e-mail signatures, which is great. We need to do a bit more than that. Now you know pronouns in the e-mail signature are not going to save lives. We need people to take a step beyond that 

00:52:57 Eva 

And do more. And the good ally is one that does the opposite of all that is happy to use their privilege, recognises that there is an injustice and that they have the power to say something, to challenge something, even if it's just going to HR at work and saying, you know what? 

00:53:16 Eva 

Gender neutral toilets. We will have them at home. Why don't we just do something here? Why don't we just stick a sanitary towel bin in every single toilet here? Even if it is gendered, you know, just recognising what you can do to open the door for trans people or other, you know, marginalised groups within your workplace. Little things like that be proactive. 

00:53:36 Eva 

Don't wait until someone prompts you, yeah. 

00:53:38 Yani 

Hmm. What is something like active that someone can 

00:53:42 Yani 

Do to become an ally and overcome their bystander-ness? 

00:53:47 Eva 

Visibility, I think, I mean like visibility is huge for us as a as a community because we are saying we're here. Yeah, you know, no matter what's going on, we are still here and it normalises our existence. We need allies to be visible as well to be not not just visible allies for us, but visible allies. 

00:54:07 Eva 

to other allies; be an ally for other allies. Show them that there's nothing to be afraid of. You can do it. It's really simple. You can do things in your own little way, but just do it. You know, I'm sure there's a certain sports brand that, that, that use that phrase as well, but literally. 

00:54:23 James 

Other sport brands are available. Thank you. 

00:54:25 Eva 


00:54:27 Eva 

But yeah, that that's all it takes. And it's really simple. It doesn't cost anything at all. It's just think about what you have and put yourself in the position of others. Do they have that? If not, yeah. What can you do to to pass that on? 

00:54:42 Yani 

Yeah. And there's also, lots of different things that I think I think that's one really important thing for an ally is just to. 

00:54:49 Yani 

Have those questions and then actually go and actively go ask those questions and then go search for those answers and do it in the way that is good to do for you and how you learn because amount of time. So I always go on about this because I'm not a big reader. The amount of times like go read this 

00:55:07 Yani 

book and I'm like... 

00:55:08 James 


00:55:08 Yani 

It's so many pages and it hurts my brain and they move around. 

00:55:12 Yani 

So what I do is I go look at things like videos online or like Ted talks or like you, your social media like those activists online to see what they're saying and then things like TikTok because that is also in my concentration span. 

00:55:31 Yani 

Yes, I am that person. I think it's really important because when you have that basis, you feel comfortable and then you can be that person who can show up and be visible. 

00:55:40 Eva 

Be that visible ally. I think Tik Tok's a great example. 

00:55:43 Eva 

Of allyship and activism that's accessible because it's little what 20-30 second videos and when we look at the attention span of people these days. You know, whenever I put out a reel and I look at the the analytics afterwards, you can see, you know, after 30 seconds, it just dwindles. People don't have the patience. 

00:56:04 Eva 

You're scrolling or doom scrolling on your feed. You just want that info there and then really, really quick and we've become a society where information is readily available. We want it quicker and quicker and quicker. You know, these days we don't even have to wait for a web page to load up, but we want it. We want it there. We're. 

00:56:20 Eva 

hungry and one criticism I would say of 

00:56:25 Eva 

of ourselves as a community. 

00:56:28 Eva 

We shouldn't have to do the educating. Yes, there is. Google, to all allies, I would say, you know, don't be afraid to to, to knock on Google's door and see what Google has to offer. But that said. 

00:56:44 Eva 

Anyone can put something out on Google? Yeah, it might not be right so that yes, whilst I agree that we shouldn't be... 

00:56:52 Eva 

You know, having to educate everyone to re-live our trauma in doing so until we are fully accepted, we've still gotta put in the work ourselves. We can't 100% rely on allies. And yes, it's daunting. And I understand that there are those who don't want to do that, and that's fine. But those who are within the trans community and are able to. 

00:57:12 Eva 

I implore, you know, just... 

00:57:14 Eva 

Please step up and don't be afraid to do some teaching. Yeah, because the the quick we can do that the better. Yeah. If we just simply say I'm not to Google, you can go and figure it out yourself. Yeah, you could be sending them to a gender critical page. 

00:57:29 Eva 

You could be sending them to the Daily Mail or whatever, whatever else. So the only way to make sure 

00:57:35 Eva 

the information is accurate is to just tell them ourselves. Yeah. And I know it's repetitive. I know it's tiring, but it's the quickest way we can get there.  

00:57:46 Yani 

And I think also it's really important that I think it's a very I think that in British society and I think there's lots of times that you said something and like that is a very British society thing as well is that we're really scared of getting things wrong. Yeah, like we build ourselves on such a a British pride thing of like we did this right, even like our history. 

00:58:06 Yani 

Look at everything we've taught in history, like our history classes, everything rule Britannia. 

00:58:11 Yani 

And so we are scared of getting things wrong. Even like learning a language. Always a bit like. I don't want to say things cause I want to offend someone. It's like, well, part of learning is to get things wrong. Otherwise you'll never learn. Like when you when you started walking, you fell down. That's getting, you know, that's 

00:58:26 Yani 

getting walking wrong. 

00:58:27 Yani 

Yeah. So you need to get things wrong, be scared of getting things wrong. But in the in the 

00:58:31 Yani 

end, you'll get it right. 

00:58:32 James 

And context is massive there. 

00:58:34 James 

Like if you are getting things wrong in like a learning and educational context then you'll you'll get lots of forgiveness from everyone because they're going like well, like you're learning about me and my society or my my group like thank you. I'm grateful. But like here's what you need to know. 

00:58:50 James 

For next time, yeah, if if. 

00:58:52 James 

You are... 

00:58:52 Eva 

Intention. That's that's so. Yeah. Especially when trans people have had a lifetime in our own little heads to come to terms with this thing called gender dysphoria and gender identity, we've been wrestling with it for a long, long time. Yes. You know, and I recognise that some people don't come out until later on in life. They 

00:59:10 Eva 

Don't realise that's absolutely 

00:59:12 Eva 

fine, but when they do, there's still that, that process. But allies and cisgender people don't have that. They don't have the luxury of a lifetime inside someone's head trying to figure it out. You're having to fast track your own 

00:59:26 Eva 

journey your own transition to adapt to allowing trans people into your lives, and that takes time. We can't force that, you know, think back to how many times at school when teacher says this is what you need to learn. Here's the formula and you go... 

00:59:41 Eva 

OK, but why? Yeah. 

00:59:42 Eva 

If it's thrown at you, it's really hard to digest. Yeah, and I think that's why social media is so powerful. Because like with Tik toks, it breaks it down into bite sized pieces. And it's easy, it's accessible. And that's really, really important in terms of educating and normalising who we. 

00:59:58 James 

Yeah. And it's also like 

01:00:01 James 

TikTok is more of a storytelling platform. I think ultimately human beings, we all share the the wants to share our stories and to hear other peoples. Yeah. And that's always what you see being most successful in breaking 

01:00:13 James 

Down bigotry or like breaking down someones misconceptions about something is like when you relate it to something that they understand that's in their life that's part of their story and going like well, that's all we do. We just we we tell stories, as a species and I think that's why TikTok and social media has been much more successful in in positively 

01:00:33 James 

proliferating society with more visibility across all oppressed people is that it's just 'cause people are actually sharing who they 

01:00:43 James 

are like, what's what's underneath the..? 

01:00:45 Eva 

And financial privilege as well and everyone can afford books. Yeah. You know, to some people, it's what, £10, £20, £30 fine. Hmm. Not everyone can afford that social media. It's there. It's free. You know, as long as you can gain access to to the Internet, you can't. I mean, and. And even then, some people can't. So... 

01:00:54 James 

Yeah, yeah. 

01:01:03 Eva 

The more we can educate people, we can break things down and make that information readily available and accessible. The more people we can reach and we don't exclude anyone. Yeah, sadly. You know, even as a as an LGBTQ+ community, we, we're not always as inclusive as we could be. You know, we talk about inclusivity, we want to be in. 

01:01:22 Eva 

We're not always very tolerant of others. And I think there needs to be a bit of reflection on our own part as well, because sometimes our own internalised homophobia and transphobia does get in the way and we do have our own unconscious bias. We're not perfect. We're talking earlier about, you know, Lizzo and how people who you revere. 

01:01:29 James 

Yeah, yeah. 

01:01:42 Eva 

People you would see as angelic or on a pedestal, they can do no wrong. Yeah, but no one's perfect. And as long as we're able to acknowledge our weaknesses and our intents and to learn and do better, that's the most important thing. Yeah. 

01:01:58 James 

I think that's a really good point to like to stop because yeah, I got everything and. 

01:02:05 James 

We are, we are. 

01:02:05 James 

Hitting the end of our time as well. 

01:02:08 Yani 

Is there anything you want to say that you think that you? 

01:02:10 Yani 

Wanted to say. 

01:02:12 Eva 

One message I'd give to all trans people is something I.. 

01:02:17 Eva 

I've only come to realise in the last few years and that's your own kind of beautiful because. 

01:02:23 Eva 

No matter. 

01:02:24 Eva 

What is going on in the world politically... 

01:02:28 Eva 

You are you. You're there's only one of you. And I remember when I was at school, I got bullied to hell. Like, just for being a a kid of colour and bad at sports. I still colour. I saw them, let alone gender identity and sexuality on top. But I really felt like I needed to fit in and I couldn't. And it wasn't until I came out that I realised. 

01:02:50 Eva 

All these times I wanted to fit in. 

01:02:53 Eva 

Why? Why do I want to be a carbon copy of somebody else and that held me back. Yeah. So since then, I've been saying to everyone but your own kind of beautiful. Just just be you. Yeah. And by embracing that you are unlocking a power from within a power that allows you to to be resilient to, to take chances. 

01:03:13 Eva 

To really put yourself 1st and focus on your own well-being as well because you deserve it. And yeah, yeah, I'd say to anyone watching or listening. That. 

01:03:20 Eva 

Be your own kind of beautiful and just go with it. 

01:03:25 James 

There's anything you wanna plug? Anything that's coming up for you at all. Going anywhere, seeing anything doing anything? 

01:03:29 Eva 

I'm I'm actually doing a Ted talk in November. 

01:03:33 Yani 

*GASPS* Sorry, I love those. I'm fangirling. 

01:03:39 James 

Congrats, that's awesome. 

01:03:40 Eva 

I've recently announced I've had to sit on it for like well, since the beginning of the year. 

01:03:46 James 

You must've, been bursting at the seams.  

01:03:49 Eva 

I was. 

01:03:49 Eva 

Like sitting on a drawing pin. 

01:03:53 Eva 

I really wanted to tell people. 

01:03:55 Eva 

Most importantly because it's TEDx women, it's a very specific TEDx women event. I've been approached to do TEDx events in the past, and I've never really felt comfortable. Because, you know, when you just know when a something's right for you. When I had this opportunity, I really. 

01:04:14 Eva 

So this this is the one because. 

01:04:16 Eva 

TED talks are fantastic, but we need a space for women's ideas. We need a space to be able to normalise what it is to be a woman, to be able to network, to be able to share. Yeah. And for this to be part of a specific TEDx women event. It's for me. It's almost like a dream can come true, so it'll happen in Teesside. 

01:04:38 Eva 

Later this year, tickets are available, but yeah, for me that's what I'm really, really looking forward to. 

01:04:45 Yani 

I'm so excited. 

01:04:46 James 

For you, are you gonna buy the whole front row? 

01:04:48 Yani 

Yes. Yeah, just just be me, yeah. 

01:04:52 James 

And just pictures of Yanni, just. 

01:04:53 James 

Look at me like that. 

01:05:02 James 

Thank you so much. Thank you. Yeah, me too. Thank. 

01:05:02 Eva 

Yeah. Thank you. 

01:05:03 Eva 

Thank you for having me, I really enjoyed it. 

01:05:05 James 

You thank you and 1st podcast done tip.