I was the first barrister to transition from male to female in practice at the employment and discrimination bar in 2011. My Chambers are Old Square (London and Bristol). I knew I was ‘different’ from an early age and realised I was trans in my early teens. Unfortunately I suffered anti-trans discrimination in my first career but that put me on course to be a lawyer. Chambers were completely supportive of my transition at the ripe old age of 48. I often lecture and speak about trans law matters and I have been described as the ‘go to’ lawyer for gender reassignment discrimination by Chambers and Partners. I act equally for employers and employees. It is sometimes hard to separate the law from the rhetoric, particularly from campaigning organisations and individuals at either end of the spectrum of opinions about trans rights.
It is disappointing to see the way some in politics and the media have come recently to use trans people as a ‘political football’ and validate the unpleasant views of those who would have no voice were any other protected characteristic under discussion. Equality is not a ‘cake’ such that if I take a big piece, you can only have a small piece. Rather it is (or should be) an incoming tide that floats everyone’s boats.