ISGD rally pics

Pic by Matt Akersten from Same Same’s gallery of photos from the rally. More Photos here: http://www.samesame.com.au/gallery/15867/ISGD-Equal-Rights-Raally-at-Parliament.htm

ACTIVISTS BRAVE CANBERRA COLD FOR INTERSEX, SEX AND/OR GENDER DIVERSE PEOPLE’S RIGHTS

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ACTIVISTS BRAVE CANBERRA COLD FOR INTERSEX, SEX AND/OR GENDER DIVERSE PEOPLE’S RIGHTS
(includes Budget angle)

 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

About 180 people gathered on the lawns of Parliament House, Canberra yesterday for Australia’s first ever national rally by intersex, sex and/or gender diverse (ISGD) people.

Buses of ISGD people and their allies came from as far away as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to attend the historic rally, which prevailed on a bitterly cold, windy day, where the temperature struggled to reach double digits.

Intersex, transsexual, transgendered, genderqueer and androgynous people spoke of their experiences of discrimination, harassment and violence during the rally, which highlighted the need for equal treatment under Commonwealth laws.

GRIFFEN JONES, member of the Still Fierce ISGD activist group, said: “We are making history here today. I look forward to the time when those of us who are from rural places can return there and be welcomed instead of harassed.”

NORRIE talked about how they have been embroiled in legal system for the past year trying to get their ‘sex not specified’ document reinstated: “Since I went public with my experience, I’ve heard from people across the globe who also want a ‘sex not specified’ document. It’s resonated with people from many places, including Iraq and Russia.”

ZOE BRAIN, an intersex woman and rocket scientist from Canberra who lectures at the Australian National University (ANU), said that things were changing, and that ISGD people and groups such as Still Fierce were making a difference. “People are working on things now and listening because of your pressure.”

TRACIE O’KEEFE, sexologist and spokesperson for the Sex and Gender Australia (SAGE) group, argued for Medicare rebates for ISGD people.

“We want full Medicare for ISGD people – we don’t want a penny less. If you have a heart transplant it’s covered by Medicare, same with a hysterectomy. Why can’t you have it for gender or sex health?

“It’s a false economy because if you are not giving people financial help, they may become depressed and be on welfare for the rest of their lives. Do the maths.”

O’Keefe noted that the 2011 Australian Budget, released by the Federal Government on Tuesday, placed a heavy emphasis on ‘welfare to work’ measures. In the Budget, it was emphasised that we need to get people into the workplace, but we can’t if ISGD people are not protected. ISGD people are discriminated before they even get their foot in the door, then if they do get a job they are discriminated against.

“We want ISGD people off welfare and back to work where possible but we can’t do that unless they have full protection in law.”

Labor Senator LOUISE PRATT came down from the House to speak with representatives of the rally, telling them that a range of cross-bench federal politicians were looking at the issues they raised.

Activists also delivered a list of demands to a representative of Greens Senator SARAH HANSON-YOUNG, requesting that she forward it to Prime Minister JULIA GILLARD.

A full list of the demands can be viewed at: https://stillfierce.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/intersex-sex-or-gender-diverse-isgd-rally/

ENDS

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:

Tracie O’Keefe

0403 398 808

MEDIA RELEASE: HISTORIC ISGD RALLY AT PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HISTORIC ISGD RALLY AT PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011

History will be made in Canberra on Wednesday, when Australia’s ISGD communities hold their first ever rally for equal rights.

Intersex, Sex and/or Gender Diverse people (ISGD) are groups of people who may be intersex, transexed, transsexual, transgendered, genderqueer, cross-dressers, androgynous, without sex and/or gender identity, and people with sex and/or gender culturally specific differences.

The rally – to be held at 1pm this Wednesday on the Parliament Lawn, Parliament House, Canberra – will mark the first time ISGD people have staged their own independent rally to call for equal treatment under the law.

Buses carrying campaigners are coming from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to the rally, which has received the personal support and endorsement of CLOVER MOORE MP, Independent Member for Sydney; WARREN ENTSCH, Federal MP and Chief Opposition Whip; and SARAH HANSON-YOUNG, Australian Greens Senator.

TRACIE O’KEEFE, member of Still Fierce: Sydney Intersex Sex and/or Gender Diverse collective, which is organising the rally, said the protest was a response to various inequalities and injustices faced by ISGD people in Australia.

“Unquestionably, all ISGD groups of people in Australia are legally marginalised in every state in many ways,” she said.

“Many people cannot get their birth records or documents changed to the correct sex when it has been incorrectly stated or they have changed their sex status.

“Others whose sex and/or gender may be other than strictly male or female are unable to have identity documents that reflect their true identities.”

O’Keefe said the discrimination against ISGD people included serious instances of child abuse and denial of medical treatment.

“The practice of unwanted surgeries on intersex children without their permission to ‘normalise’ their genitalia is sanctioned under the sinister veil of enforcing normality, instead of being seen as child abuse,” she said.

“Many sex and/or gender diverse young people who want medical treatment are denied it unless they are intimidated into going through the court system to gain legal permission.

“Meanwhile, full Medicare and pharmaceutical benefits for those ISGD people who cannot afford treatment is still only a pipe dream. They are discriminated against in comparison to people who seek other health needs from Medicare.”

O’Keefe said that in addition to Wednesday’s rally, a list of demands (available on the Still Fierce website) would be handed to Federal MPs.

BASTIAN FOX PHELAN, Still Fierce Sydney member, added:

“For many years I have been bullied and harassed verbally and physically for looking visibly gender variant or ‘in-between’. If we can at least protect ISGD people by creating laws that are inclusive of all intersex, sex and/or gender diverse people – including transgender and transsexual people – we might be able to start addressing the appalling high rates of violence experienced by trans women and other ISGD people.”

Sydney-based activist NORRIE, whose story made global headlines last year when Norrie was issued with what was believed to be the world’s first ‘sex not specified’ registration document (revoked shortly after by the then NSW Attorney General), said:

“Concepts of man or woman just don’t fit me; they are not my actual reality. I’ve spent a whole year fighting to have my ‘sex not specified’ document reinstated, which has been frustrating and left me in a legal limbo.  Governments need to govern for all people, not just those who fit into certain boxes.”

The rally has the backing of the Australian Federal Greens Party, Australian Socialist Alliance, Australian Health and Education Centre, Sex And Gender Education Australia (SAGE), Femme Guild Sydney, Scarlet Alliance, Equal Love Canberra, Young Lawyers Human Rights Committee (NSW), CRAVE Metropolitan Community Church (Sydney), Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) Student Union Queer Department [RUSU Queer Department], The University of Melbourne Student Union Queer Department [UMSU Queer], WA Gender Project, Still Fierce Melbourne , The Seahorse Society of NSW, University of Sydney Queer Students, and National Union of Students [NUS].

The rally comes on the back of last week’s report by the Australian Human Rights Commission, which urged the Federal Government to implement anti-discrimination laws to protect people on grounds of sex/gender identity, as well as sexual orientation.

ENDS

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Tracie O’Keefe: 0403 398 808.

List of demands can be read at: https://stillfierce.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/intersex-sex-or-gender-diverse-isgd-rally/

GET ON THE BUS!!

Hello fierce friends!

The first ever Intersex, Sex &/or Gender Diverse Rally is fast approaching!

Still Fierce Sydney wants to know – do you want to jump on the bus with us?

We are selling tickets for the official Still Fierce bus to Canberra on May 11th. Tickets are only $25! Amazing!!

To book your ticket for the bus, please email Still Fierce for bank account details: stillfierce[at]gmail.com

If you want to pay in cash, you can deposit directly into our account using the details above or you can pay in cash at our next meeting on Tuesday May 3rd at 7pm at Tutu, 22 Enmore Rd, Newtown.

You need to pay for your ticket as soon as possible! Like, immediately! If we fill this bus, we can work on filling a second bus. The more, the merrier/fiercer!

Keep it fierce!

STILL FIERCE

No-labels picnic for Intersex, Sex &/or Gender Diversity Day, Tuesday April 26th

Following on from last year’s totally amazing No-labels picnic day, Still Fierce Sydney would like to invite you to the 2nd annual No-labels picnic!

This is also the second International Intersex, Sex &/or Gender Diverse Day and we encourage anyone outside of Sydney to organise their own celebration.

A celebration of intersex, sex and/or gender diverse folks!
…A space to build and create networks!
An open and supportive space!

For people who are intersex, transexed, transsexual, transgendered, trans*, cross-dressers, androgynous, sinandrogynous ( without sex and gender identity), genderqueer, people with culturally specific sex and/or gender differences and their families, friends, and supporters.

There will be music, activity spaces and plenty of people to talk to and hang out with. Bring whatever you feel like contributing such as food, drink, musical instruments or just yourself!

Come along and find your label, lose your label or burn all of them!

If you would like to get involved in organising/performing please contact us! stillfierce@gmail.com

There will be Info about the ISGD rally in Canberra on 11th of May & STILL FIERCE folk to talk to and answer questions.

Intersex, Sex &/or Gender Diverse (ISGD) Rally

Come to Canberra for the first ever ISGD rally!

May 11th, 2011

1.00 pm Canberra Parliament Lawn

Still Fierce and Allied Organisations

The rally is supported by Still Fierce Melbourne, Sex And Gender Education Australia, Australian Health and Education Centre, Australian Federal Greens Party, Australian Socialists Alliance, Femme Guild Sydney, Scarlet Alliance, Equal Love Canberra, Young Lawyers Human Rights Committee (NSW), CRAVE Metropolitan Community Church (Sydney), Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) Student Union Queer Department [RUSU Queer Department], The Univeristy of Melbourne Student Union Queer Department [UMSU Queer], WA Gender Project, The Seahorse Society of NSW, University of Sydney Queer Students, National Union of Students [NUS], Clover Moore MP Independent Member for Sydney, Warren Entsch Federal MP and Chief Opposition Whip, Sarah Hanson-Young Australian Greens Senator

We call upon intersex, sex and/or gender diverse (ISGD) people and their families and allies to rally outside Federal Parliament on May 11th, 2011 to highlight the need for the Australian government to address the inequalities in law and human rights suffered by these groups of people.

ISGD people will also celebrate the 2nd International Intersex, Sex and/or Gender Diversity Day on April 26th.

Intersex, Sex and/or Gender Diverse people (ISGD):

These groups includes people who may be who may be intersex, transexed, transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, androgynous, without sex and/or gender identity, and people with sex and gender culturally specific differences.

Confirmed speakers for the rally from different organisations will be speaking on the Parliament lawn.

We call on the federal and state governments to implement the recommendations of the 2009 Australian Human Rights Commission’s Sex Files Report, review inequalities in the law for ISGD people and to outlaw unethical medical practices forced on intersex children. We invite other groups to join us in rallying for the rights of ISGD groups of people and we are open to suggestions for further addition to our demands.

Contact Still Fierce Collective for more information: stillfierce@gmail.com

Our demands are below:

Equal rights for ISGD People

Intersex, sex and/or gender diverse (ISGD) people include those who are intersex, transexed, transsexual, transgendered, cross dressers, androgynous, without sex and gender identity, and people with sex and gender culturally specific differences”

Memorandum of Demands
1/ Implementation of the AHRC Sex Files (2009) recommendations
2/ Legal protection against enforced medical treatment of ISGD children
3/ Federal antidiscrimination laws protecting all ISGD people
4/ Full Medicare funding for medical and psychological procedures needed by any ISGD people
5/ Full Marriage rights for ISGD People.
6/ Enshrinement of the right to establish ones’ own sex and/or gender identity in federal law.

1/ Implementation of the following AHRC Sex Files (2009)
recommendations

Recommendation 1: Marital status should not be a relevant consideration as to whether or not a person can request a change in legal sex.
Recommendation 2: The definition of sex affirmation treatment should be broadened so that surgery is not the only criteria for a change in legal sex.
Recommendation 3: The evidentiary requirements for the legal recognition of sex should be relaxed by reducing the quantity of medical evidence required and making greater allowance for people to self-identify their sex.
Recommendation 4: The special needs of children and young people who wish to amend their documents and records should be considered.
Recommendation 5: A person over the age of 18 years should be able to choose to have an unspecified sex noted on documents and records.
Recommendation 6: Information on the process and criteria for the legal recognition of sex should be easily accessible and user-friendly.
Recommendation 7: Documents of identity and processes required for the legal recognition of sex should not reveal personal information about a person’s past identity in relation to sex.
Recommendation 8: Laws and processes for the legal recognition of sex should use empowering terminology.
Recommendation 9: Where possible, sex or gender should be removed from government forms and documents.
Recommendation 10: The federal government should consider the
development of national guidelines concerning the collection of sex and gender information from individuals.
Recommendation 11: The federal government should take a leadership role in ensuring that there is a nationally consistent approach to the legal recognition of sex in accordance with the recommendations of the AHRC paper. We as ISGD people do not want a national board that acts to police people’s sex and/or gender. The states and governments work cooperatively
with state and territory governments through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) process to amend their respective legislation and policies in line with the recommendations in the AHRC paper, particularly in relation to birth certificates or identity documents.
Recommendation 12: The federal government should consider establishing a national office to advise and assist the public and federal government in relation to changing legal recognition of sex, as an alternative or precursor to the national board put forward in Recommendation 11. in the AHRC report,
Recommendation 13: In the event that Recommendation 11 fails to result in sufficient support from state and territory governments, the federal government should consider legislation to: amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to ensure that the protection against marital status discrimination applies in the context of married persons seeking to amend their birth
certificates, to effectively override the existing discrimination under state and territory births registration legislation or establish a minimum national standard in respect of legal recognition of sex in documents and government records in line with the recommendations in the AHRC paper.
Recommendation 14: The federal government should harmonise policies, procedures and legislation relevant to the legal recognition of sex in federal documents and records.
Recommendation 15: The federal government should take immediate steps to ensure that all federal government departments and agencies provide clear and accessible information relevant to legal recognition of sex in documents
and records and how those documents and records can be amended, such as by including a page on the department or agency’s website dedicated to this topic.

2/ Legal protection against enforced medical treatment of ISGD children

Prohibition of enforced non consensual surgery, hormones or other treatments on ISGD children who are not in a life-threatening situation until they are old enough to give informed consent, in other words cognitively aware, not age specific. This must also include psychiatric or psychological treatment.

3/ Federal antidiscrimination laws protecting all ISGD people

Requirement for a future Bill covering anti-discrimination law protecting intersex, sex and/or gender diverse people

1. Such a Bill must protect all Australians not just special interest
groups.
2. The Bill must include protection against discrimination on the grounds of being intersex, sex and/or gender diverse.
3. Protection must be extended to the workplace.
4. Protection must be extended to all public places without exception.
5. Only private dwellings should be exempt and anytime the public is invited in they are no longer deemed private.
6. The Bill needs to state that some people are physiologically intersex and intersex is determined by a persons’ personal physical experience. Some people have sex diverse features that they are other than stereotypically male or female although they may not have a medical diagnosis of intersex. Neither should be hierarchal.
7. The Bill needs to recognise that gender diverse presentation is a normal part of a multi-faceted healthy culture.
8. People need to be able to bring complaints for sex and/or gender discrimination.
9. The present system at the AHRC is little more than window dressing when Attorneys General refuse to attend conciliation and the AHRC exempts itself from its own guidelines. Any future system needs to compel government departments to attend conciliation; since Australian governments are presently by far the greatest discriminators against ISGD people and anything less would be a farce.
10. Complainants need to be able to bring cases against private individuals, hospitals, medics, corporate bodies, educational institutions, clubs, and government departments. In short, the whole of society.
11. Applicants need the ability to bring cases without the burden of costs should they lose otherwise it just becomes a rich mans’ law.
12. Cases for discrimination on the grounds of being intersex sex and/or gender should not be confused with sexuality.
13. The laws should not get into a redundant class system of labels of who is included under the Act because all Australians need to be protected from such discrimination.
14. Such a complaint involving violence should be treated as a hate crime.
15. For a person suffering discrimination as a child, their guardian needs to be able to bring a case on their behalf.
16. Adults need to have the ability to bring cases for the mistreatment they suffered as children including forced medical treatment administered against their interests and without their permission. The second arm of this clause also needs to be that adults can bring cases for medical treatment denied them as children including hormones and surgery for transitioning children. Children also need to able to have a court-appointed guardian to help them access treatment when it is refused, including emancipation from their families.
17. Any appeals process needs to be presided over partly by members of the public. The present system is incestuous between government departments.
18. The applicant needs to have people from special interest groups on such an appeal panel who have a common understanding of the issues involved.
19. The present situation in Australia that allows nonconsensual procedures on children, labelled as necessary surgery, singles intersex out as category needing positive discrimination measures.
20. We suggest that the AHRC and attorney generals FAG follows the thinking of the Sex Files Report and use the phrase sex and/or gender diverse (SGD) people, plus the word intersex (ISGD). In total this would be protection against discrimination on the grounds of being Intersex, Sex and/or Gender Diverse.
21. Government-funded educational institutions need to be compelled to teach about the whole spectrum of human sex and/or gender diverse identities.

4/ Full Medicare funding for medical and psychological procedures
needed by any ISGD people

Presently pregnancy, menopause, andropause and reproductive technology, are all fully funded by the Medicare system but establishment and maintenance of sex and/or of gender identity is not which is sex discrimination. All Medicare items need to patient specific not sex specific. All ISGD people should have the right to claim needed treatments as fully funded Medicare items on a parallel means tested basis as with pregnancy, menopause, andropause and reproductive technology.

5/ Full Marriage rights for ISGD People

Legal marriage needs to be between consenting adults regardless of their sex and/or gender

6/ Enshrinement of the right to establish sex and/or gender identity in federal law

Federal protection needs to be in place to protect the right to legally establish a sex/or gender identity other than on the original birth certificate for all ISGD people.

CALL OUT FOR PERFORMERS, ART, PARTICIPATION & VIDEO MESSAGES FOR STILL FIERCE: TRANS DAY OF REMEMBRANCE 2010

STILL FIERCE: TRANS DAY OF REMEMBRANCE 2010

Saturday 20th November at Serial Space [33 Wellington st, Chippendale]

CALL OUT FOR PERFORMERS, ART, PARTICIPATION, VIDEO MESSAGES

Still Fierce: Sydney Intersex, Sex and/or Gender Diverse Collective is looking for Intersex, Sex and/or Gender Diverse [ISGD] performers, artists and participants for the upcoming Trans Day of Remembrance performance night.

Continuing on from last year’s event, we are aiming to create a space that not only remembers and is respectful to those who have experienced hate crimes, but one that displays the amazing strength and defiance of the ISGD community.

If you would like to perform, dance, sing, read something, create an installation, submit a painting, drawing or anything else, please get in touch with us! Our email is stillfierce@gmail.com

Also, if you would like to be involved in organising for the day, we
meet every Tuesday at 7pm. Email us to find out where!

If you live outside of Sydney, we want to hear from you! Still Fierce is also looking for videos of support. We’re presenting a talk and workshop in the afternoon before the performance night. As part of the afternoon events we will screen video messages from people overseas, interstate or from folks who can’t make it to the event.

If you would like to send a video please email stillfierce@gmail.com

xx STILL FIERCE