Badass 12-year-old reveals what it’s really like to live in in 'post-gender London'

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Jasmine Andersson
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She might be just 12 years old, but London school student Margot Paisner could teach the likes of Donald Trump a few lessons about gender. 

Discussing gender neutral bathrooms, her male friends who wear make-up and marching as an LGBT ally for Pride, the Paisner has written a fascinating insight into what it’s like to live in “post-gender London”.

“One of my best friends is a 12-year-old boy… I don’t think about what it means beyond the fact that he’s funny and better at applying eyeliner than I am,” she wrote for the Evening Standard.

“The other day I saw a sign in the unisex loos at a restaurant in the West End that said, “We don’t care who you are or what you are but wash your hands”.

Speaking about attending Pride, which celebrated its 45th anniversary this year after 50 years since homosexuality was partially decriminalised in 1967, Painton joined in with the celebrations with rainbow-coloured hair.

“I felt proud to show solidarity with the LGBT community. But it wouldn’t occur to me that my attitude is showing tolerance particularly, because it’s second nature. My friends and I handle gender fluidity with a shrug,” said Paisner.

Reflecting upon Education Secretary Justine Greening’s proposals to streamline the process of changing gender are underway, Paisner’s childhood indicates that the youth of today are hopefully one step closer towards achieving gender equality. 

“Among my friends people are appreciated for being different but that may not be the case in broader society. Greening’s plan will make people question labels,” she wrote.

An attempt to speed up and de-medicalise the process for changing gender will be proposed as an amendment to the Gender Recognition Act, which will challenge the need for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, as well as evidence of being under the transition process for at least two years. 

Under the new legislation, gay men would also be allowed to donate blood three months after they last had sex with a partner, rather than a year after.

“Change to the blood donation rules are also welcome,” said LGBT rights charity Stonewall.

“However, while this is an important move, it’s vital that this is a stepping stone to a system that doesn’t automatically exclude most gay and bi men.”

LGBT people are invited to take part in the government’s National LGBT Survey so that they can better understand the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people living in the UK. 

You can take part by clicking the link here.

Photos: Rex Features


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Jasmine Andersson

When she isn't talking about her emotional attachment to meal deals or serenading unfortunate individuals with David Bowie power solos in karaoke booths, Jasmine writes about gender, politics and culture as a freelance journalist. She wastes her days tweeting @the__chez