There’s a big and meaningful election taking place in the UK later this week. One of the controversies has been the difficulty trans people have had registering to vote. Basically, in order to register to vote, the local electoral register bunch have to be able to trace your records, and ideally attach you to a National Insurance Number. BUT, if you are a trans person who has changed their gender on their lists, you’re usually put on a separate system by the national insurance people – in theory, this is good, because this separate department means that you won’t be outed to your employer or anyone as trans, and means when you phone up, you usually don’t have to deal with a pig ignorant wankstain. However, it means that the electoral register people can’t check you properly via that method, so they end up assuming you’re imaginary or a sneaky fraudulent bastard, and usually ask you to send extra pieces of ID to prove you exist and aren’t an evil plot created by an unusually lazy criminal. This, however, throws up problems too – passports are incredibly expensive. Well, they’re about £80, which for some people perhaps isn’t a prohibitively huge amount, but in a community that still has rather high unemployment rates, it really is. And if you’re not someone who can afford to go abroad anyway, then you’re basically having to pay £80 to vote. Which is utterly fucking absurd. Whilst getting a replacement driving license is cheaper, it’s still a lot of money, especially if you’re living on Jobseekers. A provisional license is cheaper again, but not something you can get if you’ve already passed your test, and not something one should have to purchase in order to be permitted to vote; requiring a certain income to vote is not true democracy. There was a statement released saying that local election office-folks around the country would be spoken to, and encouraged to accept deed polls accompanied by old ID etc., but giving trans people an extra heap of bureaucratic crap to deal with on top of the existing file-cabinet of bollocks we have to lug around if we want to see a GP, or re-name exam certificates etc, it builds up and just discourages people who often already feel on the peripheries from taking part in the democratic process.
I’m quite fortunate that I was able to register, since I have a provisional license, so I just sent along a copy of that, which was fine in the end. But getting a somewhat terse letter asking for proof of your existence, and reminders of what the penalties for pretending to exist when you’re imaginary are is hardly an encouraging and inclusive response to not being able to check someone’s records.
Anyway, in personal news, I’ve been put on different medication now. It’s early days still – but currently my head feels like a cardboard box full of sponges, and I can barely sleep, and I’m getting the weird background nausea again. I’m absolutely exhausted, but my brain just won’t switch off. In better news, I finally saw that person I’ve long held complicated feelings for. It was a pretty wonderful day, to be honest. I hope they remain unaware of my uncomfortable feelings – they seem to be. It was the brightest I’ve felt in a long while, just hanging out in the garden and taking the piss out of one another. I really wish I could stop these feelings, though, as they’re damned inconvenient and the stress of them finding out and it ruining our friendship is tough to manage, at times. It’s strange, I usually pride myself on being able to subdue and suppress feelings, but for some reason this absurd human being makes me beam like a twat, and feel kind of….completely relaxed but excitably thrilled at the same time. It’s probably just chummy friendship mixed with tiredness and the weird weather lately, that’s all.
Hopefully the election all goes well, and hopefully at some point I SLEEP FOR MORE THAN THREE HOURS AT A TIME. Good luck in your respective realms!