Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yeah, that would be me!

So I was scrounging through links to TG news articles and found this one:

The person being interviewed seemed somewhat vexed that the human rights and equal opportunity commisions blog mixed Intersex and Transgender issues together. Why when she went onto the HREOC discussion forum there was even a crossdresser on there!

Yeah, that would be me!

I also am one of those quoted in the pdf report of initial consultation too.

I think all this seperate issues stuff is really misguided.

Why? Because I think it's rather certain that all the groups she and others want seperate have at the heart of things the same issues, just different aspects of them. Like two sides to the same coin, or different faces on a cube.

Example: Intersex people want surgical 'normalisation' of children stopped while Transgender people want medical treatment for transgender children. So that would make them opposites right?

Nope. For starters the reparative therapy of Dr Zucker et al is a psychological version of the medical treatment of the Intersex children, a painful stressful and often unsuccessful attempt to 'normalise' the child. Psychological trauma too can be permanant making the two similar enough even if distinctly different.

See A child can't give 'informed consent' to medical procedures or psychological ones. So any decisions made on their behalf should be minimal with the main aims being to maximise the freedom of choice of the child once they reach maturity sufficient to be considered able to make those choices! We need to keep the child alive and healthy of course but we don't want to make permanant choices for the child that there is a reasonable possibility that the child will regret having been made if we have the option of waiting.

So then if we follow this to it's logical conclusion the Intersex child should have minimal treatment for their condition to enable them to make their own minds up on what kind of surgery is right for them. For the Transgender child hormone blockers to delay puberty give them the same choice! They neither go through male puberty nor female puberty till they are able to decide for themselves from a fully informed perspective.

The same principle, the same result. It's exactly the same issue, just two different expressions of the same right!

And that right extends to all children. I know guys who were upset that they were circumcised as children. Plenty of people are horrified at the practice of female 'circumcision'. Sure these are cultural/religious practices and people have a right to their culture and religion. But they have a right to reject some or all of the culture and religion they are raised as too! People convert, they give up religion too. So then making a decision for a child based on permanant body modification because of cultural and reliious reasons is wrong because the child once mature enough may regret the choice made on their behalf!

So then this same right applies not just to the Intersex community or the Transgender community but to the entirity of humanity!

Let the Intersex kids decide for themselves, let the Transgender kids decide for themselves, let the Jewish and African and Aboriginal and all the other kids who may go through initiations or permanant body modification rituals decide for themselves!

The rights of these children to make their own decisions about their own bodies is very important. If the child is not mature enough to decide for themselves any decisions made on their behalf should not be guesses as to what the kids will probably want nor ever what the parents want for their kids but whenever options exist permanant changes should be put off till the child is old enough to be considered competant enough to decide for themselves!

Now the medical treatment issue doesn't concern me directly so long as I consider myself a crossdresser and so long as being a crossdresser doesn't prevent me getting medical treatment (a possibility but a lesser one than for many others) but there are still plenty of issues I personally share with the Transexual and the Intersex communities.

Anti-discrimination and Anti-villification legislation is patchy at best from state to state. That effects all of us!

If someone assaults me will they know if I'm a Metrosexual? Genderqueer? A Crossdresser? A Drag Queen? A Transexual? Intersex? Nope. They will just perceive that I don't fit into their views on gender and apply violence accordingly.

That makes it everyone's issue! In fact when stated as: 'Gender identity and expression' it covers not just all those catagories but literally everyone! Someone could be discriminated against for being too masculine a man or too feminine a woman too. Those words mean everyone is protected.

You see lots of people want everyone dealt with seperately, but thats not how human rights work. They are always as broad as possible. They can't be equal or universal if they don't work that way!

Does freedom of religion only cover the Abrahamic religions? Just Christain denominations? No, of course not! It covers Shinto and Daoism and Parsee and the Yezidee and even Agnostics and Athiests!

And thats why while the different needs of Intersex and Transgender people need to be represented they are still just different variations of the same basic human rights that everyone should have!

Thats why everyone has a right to be there. Thats why we need to understand the basic philosophical principles behind these issues.

Fighting for seperation is unjustifiable. Either we all should have the same rights or we shouldn't. The right of a child to not have others make permanant choices on their behalf that can be put off till the child is old enough belongs to all children. The right of someone not to be discriminated against or villified because of their gender identity or expression also belongs to everyone!

So then lets not leave anyones needs out, lets not leave anyone with less rights than others. Lets all try and learn about and understand each others needs and work towards satisfying them all.

So there is indeed a crossdresser at the HREOC forums on Sex and Gender Diversity Issues. And it's good that one is there.

Yeah, that would be me!


perpetual law student said...

I have to agree with you battybattybat,
this person seems to want to move in every increasingly small circles, somehow i dont think Christine would like some of my posts on the HREOC blog either.

I believe there is a lot of inaccurate waffle from christine presented as if it is fact too.

ok i still have half a years worth of my law degree to go but i wonder what her credentials are to be making such brash , stark statments.

the smaller the group of fish the smaller the tank,

her talk of post op preop langauge has no relevance in guy's lanagauge either.

I just hope nobody relies on that podcast for real information, because it was ull of fallacy

Battybattybats said...

Because so many gender diverse people of all the various catagories are closeted or stealth or face substantial discrimination we are under-represented in all sorts of proffessions including media related ones.

So I expect it can be difficult for media such as that one to find people with both a good understanding of the topic as well as good media and communication skills who can provide interviews and such at short notice.

So often it'll end up that people become spokepersons because of their life experiences whether well suited to that role or not.

Sure there are some few who rise to prominance through their life stories and charisma but because of the medias limited exposure the focus is generally on that persons singular journey/experiences/issues so much of peoples perceptions of the issues of gender diversity are informed by the particulars of that persons experiences and biases.

Part of what the broad gender diverse community needs is (a)competant informed and unbiased spokespeople (spokesperson) who can articulate all these issues quickly, efficiently to the public at large and who can provide good 'soundbites'.

They needn't even be especially gender-diverse themselves so long as they have the rhetorical skill and authority to convey our needs well and the understanding of the issues required to understand what those needs are for all the various subsets involved.

The answer isn't in seperateness where smaller groups have less power and all the individual voices get drowned out.

The answer isn't in promoting one view as predominant or typical as that just shifts the border of 'other' just a little and leaves plenty still out in the cold.

The answer is in pushing a diversity of experiences and needs that are all associated and related, in educating ourselves to the needs of those who stand with us so that we may support them and they support us.

That way no-one gets left out or left behind.

But where can we find (or how can we train) such advocate/s?

LOL, it won't be me that's for sure! Succinctness does seem to be a problem for me. I go to write a paragraph and end up with a page!