I’ve sacrificed my career, my reputation and at times my sanity

I’m a lifelong feminist and trade unionist so I care deeply about the sex based rights of women and girls and our freedom to politically organise and discuss issues that impact us and our access to single sex services.

I’ve sacrificed my career, my reputation and at times my sanity. I have written blogs and vocally spoken out on social media. I have attended meetings and protests, raised in my trade union branch and discussed it with friends, family and workmates. I have completed the government’s consultation. I have sacrificed my own job by refusing to recant my views to my employer after I was reported by trans rights activists (one of them a former friend).

I lost friends and was ostracised out of two trade unions (Unison and the International Workers of the World union). The bullying I received contributed to a mental breakdown and I went off work on long term sick. I was then reported for ‘transphobia’ whilst sectioned in a mental health hospital because the stress of this issue and my employment problems triggered a manic episode.

My employer then told me they would start a formal investigation if I ever returned to work.

Paralysed with anxiety and attempting to recover from severe mental illness, my employer told me it was preparing to finish me on ‘incapability’ and pushed me to apply for early retirement at the age of 39.

My views on transgenderism were cited as evidence of bi polar disorder by my psychiatrist.

Distraught, I resigned instead and now subsist on benefits.  I have had no thanks or recognition from the feminist community for my sacrifices and I believe that prejudice against those of us who suffer from severe mental ill health is the decisive factor here. The lack of support is a major factor in my ongoing depression.I’m afraid I will never get a job again.

Sara , A socialist feminist and trade unionist