This is an interview with a former Bournemouth resident, a transgender man. Quotes have been edited for clarity.
It once got to a point that I never wanted to leave the house.
Q: As a Bournemouth resident, did you ever feel that you were treated differently?
A: Most of the people mind their own business. I did get stares very often, though. Many were staring daggers at me, almost accusatorily.
It once got to a point that I never wanted to leave the house. If I wanted food, I went to the local Sainsbury’s fifteen minutes before it closed. I don’t know if the staff ever knew me, but new staff, mostly students, always used to give me the same quizzical stares.
Q: You talked about being thus silently abused. Were you ever the victim of violent abuse, as 2 in 5 trans people are?
A: That statistic is pathetic. It shows how badly trans people are treated.
I was never violently attacked in Bournemouth. Maybe because the only bars and clubs I visited were the ones in the Triangle (LGBT-friendly). I never enjoyed myself there, it was almost like only the young and hip gays [sic] and lesbians had fun.
I always used to laugh when Bournemouth’s clubs were praised in a magazine.
Q: The press recently covered a debate in Parliament about transgender rights, with the government not committing to any reforms. What do you think about this, especially as a former Bournemouth resident?
A: The NHS, and lack of GICs (Gender Identity Clincs), in Bournemouth is a big sore point. My GP never knew how to properly treat me here, which isn’t her fault, it’s the government’s for not training [sic].
It’s up to the government to make it easier to transition and be recognized as trans. Bournemouth had a fair few charities, so I never felt too bad, just irritated (with the government).
Q: How would you sum up being transgender in Bournemouth?
A: I faced such comparatively low amounts of discrimination I feel special.
The UK really needs to up its game and become tolerant.