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Sunday 11 October 2015


"Please respect Julianne's gender identity"

Posted in: Our Communities, Community
By Agender NZ - 16th November 2012

Trans advocacy group Agender NZ has written an open letter to the friends, family and colleagues of the late trans pilot Julianne Kramer, urging them in their time of grief to respect her gender identity.


Julianne_Kramer_1.jpg
Trans pilot Julianne Kramer was killed in a chopper crash last week
To the family, colleagues and friends of Julianne (Julian) Kramer, Agender New Zealand Inc.wishes to extend our deepest sympathy for the tragic loss of a child, loved one and colleague. It is natural at a time like this to grieve deeply, and to remember the person that has been lost.

However, the manner, specifically the gender, that Julianne’s family have requested that she be referred in fails to recognise a part of Julianne that was both important to her, and which played a major part in her life. This lack of recognition of Julianne’s feminine expression has aroused some strong feelings within the Transgender/Transsexual community.

 

While many of us did not have the privilege of meeting Julianne in person, we can certainly empathise with the struggle and heartache that most Trans people have when choosing to live their gender expression in the real world. By all accounts Julianne had adapted successfully, had lived as a woman for years, and was well regarded by her work colleagues. By press reports that it seems that at the family’s wishes, she is now being exclusively referred to as “Julian” and “he.” It saddens us that her family would want to deny something which was at the core of Julianne’s existence when referring to the person that they have lost. Is this how Julianne would have wanted to be remembered?

 

We realise that this is a hard time for the family and that respect for the wishes of the family is important, however we would ask that respect for what Julianne would have wanted also be considered. Many Trans people struggle to gain respect and support from their families. To see Julianne continually referred to as a “he” sends the message that our wants and needs, our struggle and hardship do not matter. That if we are not able to defend our gender, others can take it from us.

 

We understand that Julianne would have wished her family and friends to respect her, to refer to her as female and as Julianne. We sincerely hope that her family will be able to fully respect the memory of Julianne, and by doing so give respect to all Trans people, as they continue in the grieving process.


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Agender NZ - 16th November 2012