An Inconvenient Truth: Why the RNLI has tried to silence me

One Sunday night several weeks ago I found two police officers from the Greater Manchester Police, who on behalf of the Dyfed-Powys Police issued me with a very intimidating so-called ‘desist from harassing through social media’ notice in relation to a person in the management of the local RNLI Station concerned.  I was told that if I continued to post on social media about this, I might get a criminal record.  I had to sign that I had received the notice.

So let’s get this straight: AS A TRANS WOMAN I AM THE VICTIM OF DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOUR BY THE RNLI  – but the police, the EHRC (Equality & Human Rights Commission), Stonewall, and any number of other agencies and people that are supposed to uphold the rights of #LGBT people – could do nothing about it.  But when a local RNLI manager complains to the police about what I am saying on social media, which was the truth – I AM THREATENED WITH A CRIMINAL RECORD.

This was a blatant attempt to silence my campaign for justice and for the RNLI to stop their cover-up.  I regret I am therefore no longer able to name the individual concerned who persuaded the local police to take out this notice against me, and also I cannot now name the local Station in which he is a member of the management team.

The main point I made (yet again) was this:

I was told by the local management that I was rejected ‘because the Station is too “macho” to have a trans woman volunteer,’ and because the local Station by their own admission could not ‘cope’ with a trans woman as there would be ‘gossip’.

Doesn’t that mean that I was rejected because I am transgendered?

Of course, the two individuals concerned have also denied that they said this.  That was to be expected.  They would deny it, wouldn’t they?

The simple truth which they cannot dispute is:

  • The RNLI REJECTED my volunteer application.
  • Their local management rejected me after I discussed with them that a member of their shore crew referred to me in the wrong gender as ‘this gentleman’, in front of a group of nursery children and their parents (highly embarrassing) – whilst supposedly ‘training’ me in the role of Education Officer – by demonstrating (poorly) ‘how to do a talk to visitors.’ (This person DID eventually apologise by letter for what he did, which I regarded at the time as a minor issue anyway. However, a member of the local management whom I am now unable to name has intractably refused to apologise regarding HIS behaviour, which was far worse, throughout all our proceedings with the RNLI).
  • I invited them to our home and discussed the misgendering incident in a non-confrontational way, but this now ‘impossible-to-name’ individual was very defensive. HE was highly reactive, in fact, which is ironically what RNLI Headquarters accused me of, some weeks later, as their fabricated reason for my rejection.
  • Two weeks after the meeting at which we discussed the ‘this gentleman’ incident, the  local management asked for another meeting with us, at which they rejected my volunteer application outright, saying they were rejecting me because their RNLI Station was too ‘macho’ to be able to ‘cope’ with a trans woman as a volunteer and they feared there would be ‘gossip’ about me.  (Pretty cowardly?) Naturally they have later denied that they said this, because to admit what they said would prove my assertion that I WAS rejected because I am transgendered.
  • I reiterate: they DID NOT give as their reason for my rejection on 16th June 2015 that I was ‘highly reactive’ – this was only concocted as the excuse for my rejection some weeks later, in a rude and dismissive letter from the RNLI (so-called) People & Transformation Director.
  • My wife Jane was a witness to both the meetings in our own home with the RNLI local management, and has confirmed my account of what happened and what they said. She herself was very upset.
  • The actions of the RNLI locally and at Headquarters level in rejecting my volunteer application BECAUSE I am transgendered – AND FOR NO OTHER REASON – WAS discriminatory against me as a trans woman.
  • Consequently, I HAVE been discriminated against as a member of the trans and LGBTQ+ community by the RNLI.
  • Two damn right I later used social media to try to get justice, but I only told the truth about what happened, and I make no apology for that.  But it occurred AFTER the rejection and discrimination against me on 16th June 2015, because I could not get the RNLI to address this properly, and because of the misinformation and untruths they have subsequently perpetrated.

If their local management would care to have a meeting with us face-to-face (which I have already offered to do via RNLI Headquarters, but they have declined to meet us) – Jane and I would be happy to put the above points to them ourselves, and see if they care to tell the same untruths and misrepresentations about it to our faces.

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