Transgender: Top Ten Stories 2013

December 31, 2013 in General

1. Transgender Prisoners Breakthrough: Due to the tireless work of  Kelly Ellis and her associates at the Equal Justice Project, after years of lobbying and patient presentation of evidence-based proof, transgender assignment policy was changed within the correctional system. Whereas beforehand a transgender prisoner had to have already transitioned through reassignment surgery, which exposed preoperative transwomen to possible sexual violence within male prison facilities, to be placed within an appropriate-gender women’s prison, now gender reassignment and transitioning is viewed as the continuum that it actually is. Kelly and the EJP are now campaigning for transitioning transwomen and transmen to be able to start transitioning from their own funds, and for ongoing transitioning to be funded through government. Well done!

2. Kelly Ellis, Labour MP:  The aforementioned transgender lawyer is also contemplating standing for Labour at the next election.

3. Chelsea Manning: The transitioning transwoman in question has been a controversial figure. She leaked confidential government information about military activities that may have compromised the safety of US service personnel in the field, which now includes lesbian and gay service personnel. While supported by transgender rights groups, and US and international antiwar groups for this action, she was criticised by more conservative lesbians, gay men and transsexual former service personnel for the same action. New Zealand’s Queer Avengers held a solidarity demonstration for her in Wellington.

4. AB 1266: California passed an excellent transgender child safety policy which insured that they could change clothes and undertake ablutions in appropriate gender children’s changing rooms and toilets. The grossly misnamed “Pacific Justice Institute” tried to gain enough signatures for a binding citizens referendum against the new state legislation, but fell short of the authenticated signatures required by government scrutiny and verification processes. Good thing too, as they turned out to be engaged in mendacious scaremongering with no basis in fact whatsoever. What a surprise. The California “National Organisation for Marriage” appears to have nothing better to do now that Proposition 8 is dead and marriage equality is now a reality in California, so they’re aiding and abetting this pathetic tissue of lies.

5. Georgina Beyer: New Zealand’s (and the world’s) first transgender MP is now undergoing kidney dialysis. Everyone wishes this beloved community icon the very best.

6. Australian Federal Antidiscrimination Laws: Embarrassingly, while New Zealand transpeople are forced to rely on a fragile and questionable Crown Law Office opinion instead of full legislative inclusion, all jurisdictions of Australian government, from the federal to the state and territory level, now include gender identity within antidiscrimination laws that deal with employment, accomodation and goods and service provision. For once, it’s “Advance Australia Fair (er than Us?)”

7. The Unknown Russian Transwoman:  Amongst the esclating number of LGBT victims of hate crimes, employment discrimination, harrassment and homicide, an unnamed Russian transwoman was butchered by a group of transphobic murderers in Moscow.  With three hundred other murdered transwomen and transmen, this is why we commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance each year.

8. Bill C-279: Having passed Canada’s House of Commons, Bill C-279 was proceeding through the Canadian Senate- that is, until Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued the Senate to avoid disclosure of embarrassing scandals that have now pervaded his ailing administration. How long will the Canadian trans community have to wait for coverage of gender identity under the antidiscrimination Canada Human Rights Act? Grrrr!!!

9. REAL Women of Canada: New Zealand’s Family First works with this rabidly right-wing Canadian antifeminist, antigay, antiabortion and transphobic group, which was the only Canadian Christian Right organisation to argue against the inclusion of gender identity within the Canada Human Rights Act when it came to Canadian Senate hearings earlier this year.

10. Transphobic Bigot of the Year: It’s a toss up (and I do mean toss up, because they make me want to chunder!). Do we choose (a) Asenati Lole-Taylor, New Zealand First List MP and moral panicmonger against street sex work, and particularly whakawahine/ fa’afafine street sex workers? (b) Camille Paglia, overrated libertarian lesbian art critic who referred to Chaz Bono as “Chastity” and pathologised his transitioning? (c) Bob McCoskrie, for reprinting the lies of REAL Women and the Pacific Justice Institute on his Family First website?

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