“End #Gender?”


Have you seen H&M’s new jumper? I tried one on today fully intending to buy one as I think it’s a pretty cool idea. However, it didn’t fit very well so I decided agin. Anyways, that’s not the point. Like I said in a tweet earlier this week, some of you may feel that I post rather a lot about gender and you’d be spot on, I do.

I don’t, as the title of my blog asks want to “end gender,” as that would be a pretty futile ambition. What I’m trying to do by posting as much as I do is to raise awareness of gender, and the fact it is not the binary concept that most of us are brought-up to believe. There are many people far more qualified than I able to give you a more comprehensive explanation of gender as being on a spectrum. My aim is merely to highlight this to you and hope that you might be interested enough to further your knowledge and understanding of the gender spectrum.

I will continue to post on a regular basis on all matters relating to gender and gender identity in the hope that I manage to raise peoples’ awareness of the subject matter. As I myself become more gender-aware, I hope that it will improve my understanding and help me provide the best possible care for my patients and also the ability to support friends who happen to be somewhere on the spectrum, just not maybe at either end where society would like to place them.

To those who read my posts, thank you. Changing peoples’ perception and understanding of a concept that is so ingrained in society and culture is no mean feat. It is something that will take time, and many more posts from people like myself who are interested in opening peoples’ minds to the incredibly complex and far from binary concept that is gender.




#LGBT+ visibility as an @WeAHPs


Earlier this week I ran a poll on Twitter asking:


Said @mandslgbt badge looking like:


Whilst the poll only gathered 14 votes, the discussions that went with it were, I feel, the most important outcome. I even inspired the great @AmandaBoldersto to blog about it! 😂 The Twitter poll stemmed from a conversation I had with Amanda back in July @UKRCO2017 in Manchester. As you can see from the poll results above, although a majority agreed they would wear such a badge, the undecided’s and no’s combined were of a greater number. Now of course with so few participants it’s very difficult to draw any significant conclusions, however, I include some of the anonymised comments below to give you a feel for the discussion:

  • Think this is a personal choice to wear 🏳️‍🌈 if complys with uniform regs and is to be recognised by trusts but not funded by trusts.”
  • “Visibility important for patients and staff. Can identify as an LGBT+ ally rather than declaring your own sexual orientation”
  • “We need to support each other and help our colleagues to support our patients better”
  • I see how it could make some pts more comfortable. And I love the strong role model idea. That works in all walks of life. I hope it’s a bridge to a future of better understanding and acceptance where it’s no longer needed.”
  • “Don’t hospitals ban the wearing of anything indicating a religion? Or just crosses on necklaces?”
  • I WISH we lived in a world where no one felt they had to advertise their status to make others feel more comfortable. It makes me sad that anyone would be more comfortable about ‘admitting’ (sounds like it’s a crime), their status because other people were wearing a badge (although I understand why). I wish we could all just be people who fall in love with other people
  • “I’d wear it. However I’d be anxious of the reaction of pts when they ask what it means.”
  • “The enhanced awareness is obviously good but the labelling makes me pause. Not sure I agree. A slippery slope perhaps?”

I myself, happy to be open about my sexuality in both my private and work life with friends and colleagues would be unsure about wearing such a badge openly ‘advertising’ my LGBT+ status to patients. Whilst I appreciate the arguments put forward in support of wearing such badge, I personally do not think (at present, at least) it is something I agree with. As in the comments above, we do not allow staff to display badges declaring their religion, so why should we favour one protected characteristic of the Equality Act (2010) over another? Surely if we go down the route of wearing badges to ‘advertise’ our own particular protected characteristic, be it LGBT+, religion, marital status etc., then most likely we’ll all end up wearing a badge of some description!

Interesting discussion though. Thanks @AmandaBoldersto for asking the question in the first place. I hope the discussion continues though and maybe this is a future topic for a paper in radiography!

Thanks for reading!

Ben (🏳️‍🌈 😂)