Surely it’s trans people that are the very slim portion of LGBT groups statistically, the trans population is very small as part of the LGBT group let alone the general populous. It’s not then surprising that a lot of LGBT groups probably have few or no T members so minimal connection with T issues mainly just the LGB ones which they’ve done really well on in the last 20 years.
Saying that from a legislative area trans people have been amazingly accommodated by the law, there are set processes in place you can legally change, often from state funded medical programmes etc etc and considering how it is argued trans people are there has been a near silent revolution in this area and it’s now the kinks are being worked out.
I personally think the jumping down the neck of people perceived by some to have done wrong by calling Manning he, including boing boing as well I might add. Its a fair assumption considering the military are keeping him in a male prison to argue he is not living as a woman yet.
I think people need more than for someone to say I’m a woman and that’s enough, that might be enough for trans people but not most people… Normally people start living under a new name and living as a woman (hormones etc don’t matter it’s the symbolic thing I think people need to see) and they’ll say she (although again I think it’s fair enough to refer to Manning as him in the past tense) but here it’s a mess because he announced this at the wrong time where he couldn’t possibly start the public transition.
I also think in general trans advocates (and non-trans people white knighting) are going to have to accept not getting called the pro-noun you want immediately with nothing else to back it up is going to be tough are going to be an issue they may just have to deal with and stop alienating people.
There is an excellent BBC Radio 4 The Report from earlier in the year about trans issues and particularly feminist reaction to it. and some of the people on bought up the problems without easy answers and legit concerns you mention as well as things like access to gender specific services for vulnerable people (basically women’s shelters, rape crisis centres etc) where trans women, particularly pre-op, cause a problem because their presence can be to the detriment of the women there. One of the people interviewied who was a social worker at a women’s shelter told of specific time where a legally female alcoholic pre op trans woman who looked like a man couldn’t be refused access to the service but because of her clothes she had a clearly visible penis caused a lot of distress to the women there and for them, many the victims of horrible domestic abuse and/or rape the place that was supposed to be a male free place, and a place of safety stopped being that.
That’s one example but there is going to be a lot of stuff like this and at the moment the trans community and LGBT groups actually interested in this matter should understand they need to compromise and win battles one at a time with a long term goal in place through gradual change. I’d suggest for starters not trying to force everyone to say she when referring to Manning (and trans people in general) but only when they start living as a woman and giving people a bit of grace to make the he/she swap and after a certain period of time then you can start correcting people,
Being shouted at by self righteous people for calling Manning he isn’t going to help. I genuinely think not just these revalations themselves brining up problems but at least in some circles (ones that basically support trans rights) trans advocacy groups have done harm in their po faced, overly sensitive, black and white reaction to a complex issue.