As a transsexual woman, I am a major supporter of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights, as it has been the driving force behind the transformation changes in gender equality legislation in the last decade.
Although human rights law is quite complex and applies to how the state treats its citizens, the basic principle is simple and if we all could live by it, many laws would be unnecessary.
Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
When I ask people in my workshops if they could live with it immediately, say yes ...
Until I emphasize the important word in that statement. All - murder, drug traffickers, pedophiles, sex offenses, rape, terrorists ...
Ah - all but ... I hear people say. But we can not do it. Human rights must be applied to all.
Who can make decisions about the exceptions? If the issue is a matter of national security, do we give someone the right to withdraw human rights from secrets? There can be no exceptions.
After changing my sex I had some minor issues with children in the area and made friends see the local trannie. And if I could not see, they would scream, knock on the door or throw stones to get my attention. I put this up for a few years and since October 2008, things made a trip to the worse.
First I noticed a hole in a window where a stone had been thrown too hard. I ignored it until next week when another window was broken, so I called the police and reported this as a hate crime. Nothing was done and next week it got worse.
I first thought it was a hailstorm until I opened the French windows and realized that a bunch of about 20 children all threw stones over my rear fence. And that was just the beginning. Every night between 5 and 20 children aged 12-15 attacked my house from the back and the front throw the stones, mud and abuse before they disappeared in the dark back allysen.
I called 999 (911) no less than 11 times in the next two weeks and lived in constant stress. All windows, including the French windows were broken and I had to board them to prevent further damage. The police were around my house every night in cars, on bikes and on foot, but the kids still avoid them.
I had no idea who they were, for many wearing hoodies and balaclavas to avoid being recognized. I was afraid to leave the house at night if they could come into my house and spray paint the decor, something I knew had been done with other gay and transgender people in the city.
Finally, it reached a crescendo. They passed my house on bikes that threw clay on the walls and windows and I lost it. I grabbed a pull-out washbasin and went out to meet them - I was ready to remove the head with heavy aluminum coil.
Come on a little ... I shouted. All thought of treating them with dignity and respect was gone. A young boy stood there, clay in his hand. Come on, then I yelled and then wondered why are you doing this to me?
Well, are you a man or a woman, did the answer come?
I threw my weapon and began to answer his question. He let go of the clay he was on and arrived and before I knew he was united with others, everyone was shooting questions like me.
Five minutes later, I found myself green outside my house and delivered a transgender awareness center to about 20 young people and when they removed their balaclavas I know it was everywhere.
I spent about 10 minutes talking to them before the police arrived and they spread but I never had another problem after that.
It was over because I treated everyone with dignity and respect.
If I had hit one of them with that pole, I would have been arrested and the problem of escalating, with parents who added the problem.
Treating people with dignity and respect does not mean that we do not imprison people or punish them seriously for crimes. This means that when we do, we do it with dignity and respect, even when they failed to treat others in that way.
If you take this approach in all your contacts with staff and customers, you will never fall in line with the Equal Opportunities Act.