A transgender man from Scotland was charged with “obtaining sexual intimacy by fraud” by not revealing his biological sex.
Chris Wilson, an Alberdeen native, is 25-years-old and facing jail time. Wilson is being accused of lying about his age and not revealing his biological sex on two separate occasions.
There were two instances of fraud in each case. The first case occurred in 2008 when Wilson was twenty-years-old and the girl he was intimate with was either 15 or 16. The legal age to have sex in Scotland is 16. However, the intimacy in question only went so far as a kiss.
The girl learned from a friend that Wilson was born a woman, but has identified and lived as a man since he was young, explained Wilson’s lawyer, Shelagh McCall.
The other relationship where fraud is in question occurred in 2010. The young woman, who was fifteen-years-old at the time, but told Wilson that she was 16. Wilson told her that he was 17 and the couple developed a sexual relationship.
“It would be unacceptable for trans people to be prosecuted for not disclosing their gender history to prospective partners” Nathan Gale from the Scottish Transgender Alliance reported to 429Magazine. “Obviously there are other factors involved in this case and other details which we may not know of. However we are seeking an urgent meeting to clarify the position of the Crown Office on this.”
Scottish newspaper, called The Scotsman, reported that, “Christine Wilson, [Wilson’s legal name] 25, had been confused about her sexuality since childhood and acted and presented herself as a male.”
Wilson is now enrolled in a gender reassignment program, which is only provided for people who are transgender.
This interpretation brings to the surface an issue of misunderstanding on the difference between sex, gender, and sexuality.
Sex and gender are frequently used as interchangeable words, however there are nuances that define them. Sex is assigned at birth and is determined by chromosomes and genitalia. “Sex refers to biological differences; chromosomes, hormonal profiles, internal and external sex organs” reported Monash University: Medicine, Nursing and Health Services. Gender, on the other hand, refers to behavior. “Gender describes the characteristics that a society or culture delineates as masculine or feminine.”
Sexuality (different from both sex and gender) is defined as the capacity to have sexual feelings and or a sexual preference. Neither sex nor gender determine one’s sexual orientation.
The question raised in the Wilson’s case is whether or not a transgender person shouldb be held legally responsible to reveal their biological sex before pursuing intimacy.
“We are, at the moment, urging for clarification from the Crown Office. We are very concerned for the person involved” said project development manager for the Scottish Transgender Alliance, Nathan Gale, reported byGay Star News. “We are very concerned for trans people because it could set a precedent forcing them to reveal their gender history to new sexual partners.”