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Transitioned headteacher Guardian article

(13 Posts)
terfsRus Tue 13-Mar-18 10:23:07

www.theguardian.com/education/2018/mar/13/headteacher-hull-transition-school-trangender

I really don't know what to think about this, but I suspect it's the usual pushy agenda on kids who may be confused about their sexuality. They are just being shoved into the 'transkids' umbrella. I really worry about gay rights and am baffled as to why Stonewall is supporting this.
I mean, good on the teacher for making a stand for her/him/self but some of what the article describes smells like shutting down dissent to me.

SisterNotCis Tue 13-Mar-18 11:01:22

The cynic in me says the school was rated requires improvement in 2016 and at the 2017 revisit remained requires improvement so perhaps it was timely to find a new career path.

stickyice Tue 13-Mar-18 13:26:21

I don't see the relevance.

She is a former Headteacher and it isn't really clear how strong an impact she has had in head teaching - so why would she be expected to speak to Whitehall?

I am not sure that teachers should really become experts of LGBT issues?

I didn't get the relevance of the 1 percent gender non conforming.

There are plenty of people who must be in some ways gender non conforming but still accept their biological sex.

stickyice Tue 13-Mar-18 13:35:36

Also isn't part of the point of cross dressing to make other people feel uncomfortable?

So thereby it seems to follow that if people let her know that her change of gender makes them feel uncomfortable are they not just being honest with her?

womanhuman Tue 13-Mar-18 14:06:19

I just read it and was horrified by their continual use of ‘lgbt’ when they meant t. I know/have known loads of lgb’s in teaching. It’s completely irrelevant because it doesn’t come to the classroom.

rowdywoman1 Tue 13-Mar-18 14:20:55

It's fascinating how many people try to make a career out of selling their personal choices to others - especially children.

If you look at the school's Ofsted report from March 2016, the whole school 'required improvement', including leadership which was heavily criticised. At the Ofsted follow up visit in February 2017, the Principal (I presume Claire Birkenshaw was still in post then) was absent (along with a number of other senior staff ) and the school was being run by an Assistant Head alongside their teaching duties. The follow up letter states that few of the key Ofsted recommendations have been implemented.

I would normally never criticise leadership deficiencies like this in public - it's a hard job being a Head. But it always fascinates and irritates me in equal measures when people set themselves up as role models of 'excellence' and create an alternative (and no doubt lucrative career) for themselves off the back of what....? Their previous successful career as a Head ? Evidently not.

So presumably it's their personal choice to transgender and everyone falls over themselves to comment on just how special and brave that they are and how much they have to offer and politicians and the press fete them. Not because they were a hard working Head who managed a school so well that children were able to meet their full potential but because.... they decided to change their sex. And they want to ensure that children follow their example.

Triliteration Tue 13-Mar-18 16:57:35

There is in this narrative, yet again the issue of bullying. Instead of his parents and family discovering his dressing up and allowing him to express himself and offering loving acceptance, they told him it was wrong and deviant.

The idea that trans is something inherent seems very often to be skewed by bullying. How can we tell if he would have taken a different path if his parents had been accepting? Perhaps he could have lived his whole life as a feminine man. The feminine tendencies might be inherent, but the path he’s taken was probably driven by that whole “forbidden fruit” narrative.

The other thing that struck me (as it does so often with these “coming out in middle age” stories) is the risibility of suggesting this person is oppressed. He’s lived life as a man. There’s a good chance he’s been promoted over better qualified/suited women to headteacher. Then when he is failing at that, he “comes out” and is feted, given a new job, told how brave he is, is the subject of newspaper articles etc.

There may have been some oppression when he was a child, and he may have felt part of him was stifled, but how many women live with that every single day of their lives, but don’t have all his advantages? I just find the whole celebratory tone about coming out quite sickening.

stickyice Tue 13-Mar-18 17:54:24

On the dressing up aspect - I guess I was coming from the view of when I see obvious men cross dressing and having hyper feminine clothes, I personally find it strange. in that I feel it is a really stereotypical view of women that is presented and I feel it is often presented to provoke a reaction or a double take by others.

I do accept that people are free to dress like that. But as an example i went out to a bar recently and there was an obvious big male dressing as an older lady - think purple rinse and lace underskirts and he was parading around like he was some kind of super cool bravado type.

I found it uncomfortable, I didn't real expect that but I couldn't deny my feelings but I felt really uncomfortable. I double checked my safety as I had arrived at this venue alone. My instincts kicked in and I made sure I gave this individual a wide berth.

Now David Bowie I always saw as a genius as I did Prince - they both were so accomplished and creative and had so much more to say than how they looked. But to be honest if I had a son who went to his grandparents to dress up in an ultra feminise way and then hid that from me I would find it strange. I would also be pretty disappointed that he had this constrained view of women.

Total digression from the thread I suppose but in this case the head teacher obviously looks very male as do many trans women thereby we play the game and pretend and address them as they like to be addressed but I just think trans people need to accept people being wary and say mixing up the pronouns and so on.

nooka Tue 13-Mar-18 18:28:45

I see the language is ramping up now. Not just a man trapped in a woman's body but 'life in a strangers body'. It's totally nonsensical. People with body dysphoria feel dissociated from their bodies but the body you have had from birth can never belong to someone else so to have the government recognise that as this article states is just bizarre.
Of course trans people are not the borg but on the one hand we are all supposed to recognise people as their 'new sex' and observing that they are in fact not of that sex is evil and wrong, and on the other hand we have this individual saying that it is important to have trans role models who presumably want to be recogised as trans and not as simply the sex they are presenting as. Personally I'd much rather do that than have to pretend men are women and vice versa but if it is so very wrong to 'deadname' etc then that's not possible.

Not terribly sure anyone is really going to be saying 'Claire's really good' given their history as a head isn't exactly stellar though. Also how anyone can say that trans issues have been pushed under the carpet with a straight face in the current environment is beyond me.

But poor Claire 'yet to be invited to Whitehall'...

HairyLittlePoet Tue 13-Mar-18 21:46:12

Every time I read a story like this I rage for the girls in the school who are being instructed by a man in ultimate authority over them that HE embodies being a woman, and that being female is all about your brain. A man forcing the girls to pretend they are like him.

The horror of transgenderism is that it isn't about individuality, it's about ensnaring everyone else's existence and twisting it out of all recognition, in order to announce it matches your own - and forcing everyone else to submit to this distortion of themselves.

We're all unwilling participants in this pantomime and I hate it.

rowdywoman1 Tue 13-Mar-18 22:23:23

I've been thinking about the letter they received from Amber Rudd. I wonder how many congratulatory letters she wrote to individual teachers in schools who carried on working throughout chemotherapy or other serious illness, or who returned to work after a bereavement, or who juggled supporting partners or children with critical illnesses, or care for elderly parents alongside managing their teaching commitments and their commitment to children and equality. There are so many adults in schools (and elsewhere) who quietly contribute to ensuring a society free from discrimination and who tackle hatred and intolerance on a daily basis. I can't help wondering how many of these merited a personal letter from her.

It's such a distortion of values that some individuals are 'celebrated' as role models, not because of how they make children's lives better but because of something they have done essentially for themselves.

cromeyellow0 Tue 13-Mar-18 23:33:55

Weirdly the same thing just happened in Massachusetts. Poor performing headteacher comes out as gender fluid:
www.itemlive.com/2018/03/04/swampscott-principals-leave-now-indefinite/

Triliteration Fri 16-Mar-18 08:34:40

It’s a get out of gaol free card isn’t it?

“I know I wasn’t performing well as a head teacher, but really it was just because I couldn’t be myself.”

Poor me, I’ve had it so tough.

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