Session 5, Models of Activism
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[00:00:00] This recording was made at the second the Asia Pacific Outgames human rights conference held in Wellington, New Zealand in March 2011. [00:00:09] My name is Susan Hawthorne. And I'm the Chair for this session today. The speakers on the program, [00:00:21] Kelly Ellis, who is a [00:00:26] barrister from Auckland. There are [00:00:30] two other speakers, they, Beatrice, Tara and Eric molesters. And I'm hoping they will come in very soon because they're on second. And the third speaker is Manny Mitchell, who is an intersex activist, educator, and wellingtonias. But I'll just briefly introduce people as they come up anyway. So Welcome to this session. I hope it'll be wonderful session as [00:01:01] everything has been so far. [00:01:04] And [00:01:05] it's great to be here. So over to you, Kelly, [00:01:11] who as I said before, is a barrister from Auckland. Thank you. [00:01:21] Greetings, people. And I just had to say it's great to be here and great to be in Wilmington, which is my old hometown, I won't spend much time on production. I'm a barrister, who has done criminal work for the last 20 odd years. And last couple of years, I've been involved in advocacy, on trans issues and a more formal way. Although over the years, I have to say that I've done a lot of pro bono, pro bono work free work for for trans people. And only the last couple of years I've I've been involved in a project called the trans advocates or pro Jake, which was founded with me by my good friend, and sister and Allison Hamlet, who was going to be here, but unfortunately couldn't, couldn't make it. But after creating a synopsis of what this presentation was going to be as most grateful for the organizers to slotted onto something and give it a hearing, which was models of advocacy. I thought marvelous. Now you know what I'm talking about. And I have to say that in terms of advocacy, my proposition which I'm going to put forward and probably a road to an extent, but I suppose that's one of the big issues about being trans as the day you can see things from both sides. But the proposition is that I still see approach to gaining trans rights, and through strategic advocacy, as perhaps a better way of going about things than trying to get that case and have that face give us victory and struggle for human rights. And I comparatively wealthy and liberal country like New Zealand, the most public or perhaps the most public and frequently fought battle as for the freedom of accused people before the criminal court, because of course, as with most countries, people who appear before the court being presumed innocent until proven otherwise, often struggle to get bail. And that is usually because of a previous history. But that struggle for bail. And the face of an accusation means that defense lawyers and that and my humble opinion, of course, this does sound so promotional. We are indeed one of the the front line fighters for freedom. And that might sound freedom fighter might sound like an overly grandiose description of what defense lawyers do. But the reality as we go into an adversarial arena, the court and we have to fight our adversary for the freedom of our clients. And so freedom fighter is actually very Matter of fact, way of describing a criminal lawyer. And indeed, that's what the quarters are those adversarial. It's a battle ground where there are winners and losers. And I suppose we can be grateful for having a state funded regime, which allows the fence lawyers to be paid. But the current government is on a program of locking up more people, while kept spending on defense lawyers that spends more money on police and the Prosecution Service run by the various crown solicitors around the country. The rights to silence even those up for review. Already there have been erosions to the rights of search and seizure not only by the court of appeal, but parliament, and also through various leaders, I'm sorry, various common law decisions and the Court of Appeal. [00:05:06] Recently, for example, a [00:05:10] lawyer went to the supreme court saying that the credit one gets for pleading guilty early was not to be seated the arbitrary fashion of 33% for a starter. And the Court of Appeals said, yes, you're absolutely right. It should be 20%. And so there as an example of the Supreme Court, when a defense lawyer was very able counsel, and I don't mean to simplify the case, in a way, which might seem critical of Amanda's argument, but he went to the Court of Appeal or something, and the Court of Appeals sent them away with lease, and no counsel wants to be on the name of a tariff case. And for example, that case Queen and he saw whenever you're trying to say, Your Honor, Your Honor, Your Honor, my client pleaded guilty at the outset, the judge refers to that case and says like a 24 St. And of course, this is the case, there's the name of council on it. And unfortunately, the vanity of almost all lawyers means that they don't want to appear. We don't want to appear as the Council on a losing assertion. And there are a number of these and I won't go through the entire erosion of rights for criminal accused over the last 15 years. But certainly the high watermark was about 1995. And since then, all sorts of things have changed the concept which some of you may be familiar with, of the fruit of the poison tree. In other words, if a search warrant or a search, or the extraction of a confession, as somehow infringes against the law, then you will not be able to as a prosecuting agency, enjoy the the fruits of that. Well, in New Zealand, just as an example, I bought on a case called this case called queens Shahid, which seemed a defense lawyer away with his tail leap between tail between his legs. But that was quickly gobbled up by the evidence act and 2000. The night which basically provided the new regime, which was, if they're gathering evidence is like catching fish, for certain first, you're only allowed to use a certain size neat. And if the Ranger, that's the court catches you, basically the new testers that there's a balancing test happens to you fish, and how bad was the infringement. And if you caught a big fish will then unless you've been fishing with dynamite or poison, you're going to get away with it. And if you need sighs isn't too too far away from the regulation, rather than forfeiting your crown, your car and your boat and all that kind of thing. The fishing Ranger will let you go. And that's what the court of appeals and Shahid wants done, and even on the same, and there's a moral to the story. Sorry, it's a little less long one, but, but I get now to the trans advocates mission, and we formed the organization, just an alliance of advocates for trans issues. And our mantra was, influence through presence. And we thought that if we simply saw you set your masculine to penetrated the structures of society with trans people, maybe that was going to be a better way than going and risking an adverse decision by taking a case to the Court of Appeal or whatever. [00:08:37] So in short, while it's all [00:08:41] great, and I turned my mind back to when we first started with the Equal Access to Justice Project, which is a university students at Oakland University, who assisted us with some of the work we've been doing, one brights back, mentioned that I don't know if you people know about it, but the lore surrounding when one can get one's birth certificate change to reflect the ones chosen gender, as a little bit ambiguous. And there have been various decisions which have come out which haven't worked at all that will, the Human Rights Commission has and its [00:09:16] view, said that the [00:09:21] law needs to be clarified on us. Now, the point is that there are a couple of ways of going about it one of these rights packs from the Equal Access to Justice Project to go to the high court and get a declaratory judgment, because of the states the only law on it is in the district court. And that is that a lower court does not have binding authority on any other court and New Zealand, even though there's a very well reason to say, okay, it's called re, Michael. But as I said, to the brights back, there was a time when I was of that view, 20 years ago, when I first came into the Lord looked at myself as a young man with a dream but experiences shown that wise, counsel a very careful about the cases they take to the High Court, the Court of Appeal, or the Supreme Court. So moving on that just, I want to just quickly mention a case which is coming up soon. I can't mention the name of but I can't give very much information about it, because it's all suppressed, but it's an immigration case. And the judge has made a decision, which is going up review. And the challenge to the yellow the challenge to the decision is that the judge used the phrase, lifestyle choice, when it came to somebody having being trained, and said that she had made this lifestyle choice. And it was up to hear the consequences. This is how we're going to argue what the consequences that flow from that choice, on who heat because it was a choice. And then decision was an all honesty, the pinion High Court review is going to be a scary one. And of ammonia involved on the periphery, basically, as a sort of a trains, treadmill, offering input on claims issues. But that's the kind of thing where the High Court come out very easily and Ill informed High Court and I have disgrace that the High Court is very, very rarely at all informed. But there's always the risk of a decision coming out, which is not favorable. And the decision came out and it wasn't favorable that could ever would have binding, binding effect on lower courts. So taking a little bit of a step back from wanting to win the big case and make one's name and all that kind of thing. And of course, that was all well and truly beaten out of me by repeated appearances. And of course appealing through the years. It came to me that over the last 20 years, I've argued constantly with judges over the use of names and pronouns for cranz clients. And it's, I won't repeat the comments, but usually it's challenged that as a man will leave will be referred to as a man. And I've had some quite teaching level arguments. And you know, it's not good head and teach you level agreements with judges, because after all, you're trying to persuade them, and but digging my toes and on that, over the years, has given me sore toes. But it's interesting to see that having transitioned and appearing in front of them. Now, that use of pronouns, they all hide together, right. And it's a not talking about something which just happened to change over the years, I'm talking about a judge I appeared in front of say two years ago, and argued the tops. Now they all make that effort. And I think to myself, trying to win these cases, trying to do it through actual advocacy, maybe graduate influence happens rather than sort of trying to web hooks, the snake on the head, maybe it happens by trying to saturate from the bottom up. And this is the model of advocacy, and certainly post homosexual Law Reform Act. It has been easier for gay men and gay women to I suppose because of as sort of a knock on effect to be present in a lot of parts of New Zealand society, [00:13:54] in advance, probably has almost more influence. I mean, let's get real the the homeless Secret War form build, and they actually changed what women weren't or were allowed to do with each other. But I'm absolutely sure that its creation of a slow but inevitable sea change of influence throughout the country makes it easier for everybody within the rainbow community. And looking for hits, geographically opened, the number of gay and lesbian woman practicing up the criminal band is probably roughly roughly proportionate to the population. And then is phenomenal. Because I go down to go all over the place. I don't find gay lawyers at the criminal bar who are based in Oakland, they just don't have them and the white cat I for example, and infecting Why can't the valley just really lit recently lit women? Do we're at the some of the top level criminal work and when I say lead them, we're talking about old style patriarchal structures, which create a situation where there are no women doing talking criminal legal work. And I suppose what leave put the proposition of either all the women and the white cattle are dumber than the blokes. And that would really take some doing, or more likely that the environment and the pike here, though, is just not as conducive to women doing well and more than others. And and when I think about the number of trans lawyers doing criminal law, well, I think I might just form the New Zealand transgender criminal Bar Association right now. Because I think, and please speak up if there are any, because I'm very keen on making contact with other cranes, lawyers who are appearing in courts on a regular basis, but we say to be rather few and far between very few and far between. But the point is that for trans people, we can take a big lesson from the way gay men and gay women have penetrated and sort of soaked their way and to the bad, and the cheap the status by simply being there and doing it rather than fighting for specific cases for lesbian rights or gay rights or whatever. Just being there has a remarkable influence. And as I said, the homosexual law for make certainly formed the road, but it's been far from paved, and the mainstreaming of diversity in the open courts, I have to say, as it's very happening, and if the Lesbians and Gays have effectively shown trans people where the goal was pointed the way I'm in a website, are roaders the same. But at again, such acceptance within the justice system is probably more productive to go the way that they have, rather than as I said, climate pursue that big case where one risks the adverse decision. And while that might sound pathetically gun shy, the reality is that on this particular issue about when or when you can't get your birth certificate changed to reflect your chosen gender. While I've looked for cases over the last two years, it seems that the ones that get turned down almost invariably are ones where the application could have been made better. And, and different litigation strategy could be used, for example, we can apply for these changes to make these court applications in the main centers by the consent of the Department of Internal Affairs, who is the other party in the proceedings, and could require that you make your application on the end of the tag or district court, but as indicated that it's happy to have them heard and the main centers were there, I said there was a more liberal and informed beach. So looking at this, you think the best way of getting trans people on what is getting influence is getting trains people on the ground doing things and getting them on the ground doing things is something which is done by still not necessarily. Not necessarily by [00:18:33] going for that but case. And as a closing remark I say, in the end, we have to wonder, what is the fish that flourishes most in New Zealand rivers. And the biggest and the longest living fish in the rivers is the deal. And it lives at the bottom of the river. And it very rarely breaks the surface. And no matter how big the bowl desirable house with the characters, it hangs in the grows to a ripe old age. Where is the most hunted fish in the river, the one which lose people from the Americas to come here. Of course, there's the rainbow trout. And that splashes on the surface surface attracts a lot of attention. And some might say that it's very successful. And a lot of respects, survival is guaranteed because they're farmed and reintroduced, reintroduced into the rivers. But the point is, is the eel which grows to be the biggest, strongest and most flourishing fish in the river, rather than the one which splashes the surface. So thank you for your time, man, ladies, gentlemen, friends and others. [00:19:46] Okay, our next speaker is Manny Mitchell. And she, as I said before, is an intersex activist and educator and willing Tony and she's talking about what does the eyes then for in LGBT I and should it be there? Welcome, man. [00:20:11] So and I want to thank the conference organizers for the opportunity to have this talk today. And it's not an answer. What I'm hoping to do today to is to achieve the starting of a conversation because you those of you who have been coming to conferences would have noticed for roundabout the last 15 years that I have started, [00:20:38] appear. [00:20:40] And I've heard people talking over the last two days appropriately know what their why's that there. And the interesting thing is that some of the people who will be advocating for it not to be there and to six people themselves. But before I start, I want to acknowledge those who are not with us today. And for myself, in particular two friends who are no longer here, here the McAlester, an American and Max. Max who was my closest friend, he together helped me unfold my into six reality. Because when I was born in 1953, and sex was something that you didn't talk about, it was an issue of silence and shame. And so I grew up as a child, really not understanding who I was, or having a language to talk about myself. So in 1996, I had the extraordinary opportunity of going to America, to the world's first gathering of intersex people. Now, I say this was some nervousness. So let's be clear about this. This is a first gathering of intersex people and a modern Western context. Because I'm very aware that we've got people in the room today and special greetings to you with our culture's we're under six realities have been known for thousands of years, and to six people had been gathering under another names and other teams. But and I and I loved and cultural context to this Western context. There were nine Americans and I was there representing the world. And it's even hard now remembering the fear, that was the amongst all of us, and the hope, you know, what bought this group of people together to do to imagine that there could be a different reality outside this shame, fear filled reality that all of us had lived with. And Heather died, as you can see, in 2007, he there was not an intersex person, he there was a gay lesbian artist who developed a burlesque troupe and traveled around America, celebrating large bodies, and celebrating sexuality, and would often talk about trends and disease issues, and her work an amazing, wonderful person. And he either died of ovarian cancer in 2007. Now, as we talk about issues and rights, and America, you get good medical care if you have insurance. And artists and people who are traveling on the road, often don't have insurance. And so by the time the community got together, and they did, and raised an enormous amount of money, and he that was a pragmatist, and he decided that probably her chances of surviving radiation and, and treatment were very poor. And so with permission of this, people who had raised the money, she took herself off to Paris, and had a wonderful couple of months in Paris celebrating herself. And as I say, died in 2007. max, my friend was raised as a female person, we're going to talk in a moment about the details of under six, left and as the south of America and realized that blade reality was probably problematic and decided to live as a main Mex head, a vagina that was constructed from a mahlerian remnant as a child, and developed a very rare form of cancer. But because Max was living as a men wasn't entitled to female healthcare. So by the time that the insurance company decided that Max, the men could actually received gynecological support and services, the cancer had developed 35. So I'm just putting that out and teams of one of the reasons why I should be there is for health reasons. And team and I think that the rainbow banner is an appropriate place for that. So kudos to max and Heather. [00:25:19] Going. [00:25:22] Some of you will have heard, during the conference, people referring to see them not a local, wonderful lesbian musician, he would have been very large in the conference, and Hetchy still being with us, and so tragically died very suddenly, last year, again from cancer. [00:25:45] I'm sure she's here in spirit. [00:25:50] And we've talked about the the catastrophic disasters that are impacting, paying to do this. And I want to go back a little bit and just acknowledge my Australian colleagues that terrible floods that occurred in Queensland. We know what's been going on here in New Zealand, and what is currently unfolding, and Japan but I'm also mindful of the tsunami that struck the Asia Pacific region several years ago. [00:26:19] So back to the eye. [00:26:24] So what are we talking about when we talk about intersex now, a definition that I'm comfortable with is a physical body that someone has decided is not standard, male or female, and it's important, the medical definition shifts and changes and he's underneath that umbrella. And it's all under six as it's a reality and also shifts and changes. So under that umbrella at the moment, and the waist is at least 30, different director miserable conditions. And as I say, what what is on that list changes the what was under the umbrella when I was born is not the same as it is now. [00:27:11] And, you know, it's important. [00:27:15] And dcx, we talk about what the incident is incidences where the condition is visible and able to be diagnosed, the general a great figure is probably one and 2000 life booths. But we have research coming out of several countries, Hawaii in particular, where it's clear that the number in incidence is much higher, and maybe as high as one in 100. But most of those conditions and visible they're not diagnosed, and they certainly are not known to the person with the condition. This is a really important point. So as into six people grow up and become adults, we are located all across the Jindal gender and sexual orientation met. Those of us who will stand and be visible and identified as an intersex person are incredibly small and number, this, this remains a shame fear issue. And for people to remove themselves from that blanket that surrounded them as a child is very difficult. And what I know is when you've grown up in a situation, where it's very clear that there's something wrong with you, and something that needs to be fixed. you aspire as a teenager to be normal, and to blend into society to not be different. And so so to go through that evolutionary task, as a teenager and reach a place where you're comfortable with it, you are or even in a place to work that out. I was in my early 40s, before I began that work, and I only started that work after completely collapsing, I loved really, as a female person, that's who I thought I was. But it was a very plastic false place. I performed a few like the the role that I thought made my parents comfortable, I didn't realize that until I was in a position to unpick that for myself. It's not easy to go, Okay, I'm a different person, and then work out what that differences and and again, I say that in the West, because up until recently, we had no images, we had no reference point, there wasn't a place where I could go and say, I'm like that person. That's one of the wonderful things that's changing is people are visible. And now there are reference points for our young people. And I can see the difference that that's making. [00:30:05] So I Another point is adults, many indices people are conservative, they're invisible. And I'm certainly aware that many of them are deeply homophobic. And as I say, you will have people who are incredibly uncomfortable with it being on a banner. The team and the six is a relatively modern one. It came into usage during the 1950s. I haven't ever been able to find out who first started using it but it certainly appears and medical tix during the 50s. Prior to that, in the West, the term was pseudo, hermaphrodite, and hermaphrodite. And again, comes out of a very an accurate idea or concept that comes from Greek mythology. So that I idea of somebody having a fully formed penis and breasts, which at now is actually not possible. And I just want to take a moment and re acknowledge that and the six realities exist. And many cultures know this, there's two, there are many other cultures as well. Where the under six reality has been recognized and valued and culture. It's not always like that there are two extremes there are other cultures where and to six people were recognized it booth and eliminated. So the story hasn't always been positive. I've put all this text and here and I'm hoping that you can read it. So the sex treatment model grew out of it. And as you can see in the 50s. And it came about through a conjunction really of a whole lot of secret things. And it's quite interesting to understand that so the development of bit of surgery. And it's interesting because microsurgery developed massively during the Second World War, changing understanding of gender and sexual orientation. And so we had this notion start to develop in the 50s, late and large part by a New Zealander dr. john money, who but who had a theory that all of us are born as a blank slate, in terms of gender at birth. And that game that comes from socialization. But part of that also was in terms of socialization, having a normal or congruent body. So the theory was that you could assign a gender, it didn't matter which one. And then so long as the body was physically, congregant, and the parents, it was huge emphasis on on the parental responsibility, so long as they raised the child correctly, the child would grow up with normal, normal orientation, and it's really important, again, I'm thinking about why they really belong on the banner. If we unpack this, the theory behind this is that the child is going to grow up heterosexual. So they will identify and the gender assigned to them. And that the sexual orientation will be heterosexual, though that's sometimes stated, but not often stated. And so this model came into being and and one of the things I'm very aware of, I don't want to criticize it totally, because the birth of an under six child and Western culture has been very problematic. That was in the 50s. And I don't think that that's changed it. So this is a little bit more detail about the modern model that was developed, and john hopkins university, and it's really interesting that it flew around the world and was invaded as best practice very, very quickly. And of course, it's gone on to be used and most countries and cultures around planet is now also at this point want to acknowledge that the team and to six has been changed and is no longer used in medical literature. It was replaced six years ago with a much more advanced terminology of DSD. So disorders of sexual development has the now modern team, most intersex people find this massive step backwards. So I do want to acknowledge that the birth of an intersex child, as I say, creates this anxiety. And I'm going to put for hypothesis shortly. So [00:35:03] this is one of the references that is quite often referred to out of a piece of medical literature. So next to perinatal death, genital ambiguity is the most devastating condition to face any parent of a newborn said this was one person few, but I think it would be supported by a number of medical people that this is a catastrophic situation that is only worse by the death of the child. [00:35:40] So what are we talking about? We're talking about being a baby That's born with this different body. And, and I don't know what it's like another cultures But typically, and Western culture when a child is born, the first question that's asked, Is it a boy? Or is it a girl? I've had the privilege of working with a very senior midwife here in Wellington and we actually have developed and the midwifery course of program and I know absolutely, that was information and what's time midwives very easily find the language to be able to have a conversation with a mother, that's not a panicked full of anxiety, conversation with a can be a different outcome. But typically, the birth of a child at the moment, and many, many sittings around the world is one filled with extreme anxiety and concern. So my understanding of really what was going on came from a conversation that I had with a mother in Australia, how the going on time. Okay. And I was asked to speak to this mother, not at the point I had the conversation with you here and the sixth child was about 15. And I came in to talk to the mother and she was still talking without stop Two hours later when I had to leave because I was going to another appointment. And what the woman explained to me, I didn't really understand at the time, so my understanding came later. And she explained her child was born and and the was shocking the ring, she knew that immediately. And the child was taken away from here, and to sleep completely alone for about five minutes. And after five minutes, the senior medical specialist came in and he he's he started the conversation that he had some very bad news for here. And I have to tell you, this child was perfectly healthy, other than the indices condition, he sat down beside here and use the word and six. And, and she she must have had some training because she knew what he was talking about. She said he carried on talking because his lips were moving. But she had absolutely no memory of what he had said. And she said what happened in my head was I started to think about my baby. And I thought about my baby growing up, and how terrible my baby's life would be. And I thought about my child and becoming a teenager. And she went on in this narrative until she raised her child being a sexual being. And she was absolutely convinced that her daughter is she didn't know that gender, but it would be her daughter would be a lesbian, and that she would have no grandchildren. And it is unpacking that, that I started to realize that the what goes on and the birth of an intersex child as this very ancient response to difference. And what goes on as a response to homophobic responds based on the parents side. And I think unconsciously on the medical team, I don't think that this is a known or understood an emotional phenomena that's going on. And so even today, typically, the response is that we way that society looks at the child and doctors make a decision whether this is a male child or female child, and they still absolutely believe in the paradigm of binary. And being typically the surgery is carried out even earlier, the surgeons like to do the surgery within the first six weeks, because they are showing me that that's the best cosmetic results. How often this is occurring? Well, I know at one stage last year here in New Zealand, and this is not a large country, that there were five children waiting for this surgery. And these are the reasons that are given by medical people for the surgery to occur. [00:40:14] As you can see, it's quite a long list. And and my question and the conversation that I want to carry on when we get to question time is, as a queer community, I believe that this is an issue. Absolutely. That affects all of us. And I don't believe that the treatment of intersex children will improve greatly, until we deal with homophobia on planet is and people feel comfortable with having a child who is different. We don't know how that child's going to grow up. They may be the most outrageous Queen on the planet. And with a very different gender and sexual orientation or the most conservative piece and the street that is absolutely not known when the transport. [00:41:05] That's the issue. Thank you. [00:41:19] Thank you, Manny. And just before we go on, have Beatrice and Eric arrived, no looks like they're not coming. Okay, so we have heaps of time for questions and discussion, which I think is great. Because there are lots of things that have been raised by both Kelly's and man these talks. So please, [00:41:44] ask your questions. Okay. [00:41:49] There's a microphone coming. [00:41:53] A roving mic is coming. [00:41:55] I'd like to ask mommy. So in your view, being an intersex person, when is the best time for an intersex baby to be? Well, do they need for Firstly, did I need to have an operation? What is your view? I'd like to know, [00:42:13] right? Well, I will give you my view. [00:42:18] It's not mine exclusively, but my [00:42:23] perfect world would be that the child's loved. Absolutely the child needs agenda because the reality is that we do live in a binary world of male and female, so it's appropriately. But I think one of the things that the transgender community is given planet is a gift as even in the most normative body. And we don't know how the child's going to identify when they grow up. So all things if the parents were given the toes to love that child and and deal with the issues, because I'm absolutely understanding that there will be issues as the child grows up, and there's age appropriate conversation so that the child isn't filled with fear and shame, they realize that they have a different body, but it's a different okay body. And when the child reaches teenage years, and again, it will depend on the development of the child. But at some point, they will realize what their gender identity is. And they make decisions around whether or not they have surgery, we have lots of examples of six people who have grown up without to tree. And so we know that people can have wonderful, healthy and very sexually active lives with different bodies. So that's not the issue. But as a teenager, if the child decided that, yes, they did want surgery. And people were reasonably comfortable, they weren't doing it just to be normal. And that's what they wanted in they should have access to the very best surgery that's available with the most competent person. So an answer to your question, it's something that would occur as you are an adult. [00:44:22] Yeah, we talked about this, when we were presenting working out this session, I think it's really important that we don't go racing out the door and stoning to death students, that wouldn't be a good outcome. This is a process and a journey. And it will happen when societies comfortable with difference and when we deal with homophobia. So we were on a journey here, and yes, I would like it to change today. And for it to be different. But that's unrealistic. What can you do? Go and talk to people and include this in your conversations? And as that ripples out? And we talked more and talk about difference and different genders and different sexuality? And how do we fit that into our rainbow? Is it even appropriate that we fit it into the rainbow should and the six people go off and form another group? You know, should trans people be there? [00:45:18] That's the next step. And then [00:45:22] to have that version for that other kind of society and say, you know where we've come from so far, that's part of the journey part of Africa. But maybe we're heading into a new place that's different. And that'll be hard. For those of us who are older, you know, we've come from a much more rigid place. But I think there's an invitation there to get excited about them. Okay, so this, this new step might be exciting for all of us. [00:45:48] Hi, my name's yen. I've got a question for money, which is, how, how and who decides what gender the child is? [00:46:00] Does the parent have a choice and whether the child [00:46:02] receives the surgery or not, [00:46:04] at least in New Zealand, quite a complicated question. And it would vary where the child was. But But typically, what happens at the moment is the gender of the child is defined from quite a complicated medical criteria. So the history would tend to say that, say people with a client filter condition, typically a male people with this carry a type of the CH are typically female. So it's not a random allocation of gender, but it's still given and the belief that it's an absolute, so there would be extensive testing carried out and then the doctors would come back, and they wouldn't say where our base cases they would say your child as male or female, that's the first part of it. The second part is that it's still very difficult to make male genitalia. So the overwhelming decisions that have been made in the last 15 years have assigned and the six children are more typically, females. So I think that is changing. That's one of the things that's changing. And it's interesting, because it's a complete reversal. So during the Victorian time, they, and it wasn't medical thinking it was legal thinking was that it was considered an appropriate to deny the rights and privileges of maleness to someone who might possibly be. So in the Victorian era, typically, and under six people were assigned male gender as I was when I was first born. But more and more parents are, you know, becoming informed thanks to the internet. Several years ago, I had parents approached me the child had been born in a smallish provincial city. So we're not talking about a village, we're talking about a fairly large place, these parents did not want the child to be operated on. And the consulting clinicians told this family that if the child grew up to be a mech, an ex murderer, not to blame them. And this family had difficulty receiving any kind of medical care at all. In this area, this is New Zealand about six years ago. So his parents can not go along with it. But it's a very, very difficult thing to do. [00:48:43] Kelly, money do you think that [00:48:47] the the common ground that under six people here with trans people is the fact that many Miss Jane Doe booth and face the transition at a later stage and battles the common ground, trains and look to singles. [00:49:03] And it's common for some and the six people say seven to six people reach adulthood and believe absolutely, that they were assigned the wrong gender and and then go through transition, if those of you who are familiar with DSM or know that if you are under six, you cannot be diagnosed with gender identity disorder. So it becomes very problematic then to transition and no way that a transgender person would. And often the patient has had genital surgery already. And sometimes I've already been given hormones. So a person who wishes an intersex person who wishes to transition faces enormous obstacles. And there's a small but growing group of six people in it fit into that category, who go while I was born with this very unusual and different body and there's part of me, that's masculine part of me that's feminine. That's just how it is. And I'm going to hold it as a as a reality outside the binary. And so it's, it's not a clear cut path overwhelmingly than most intersex people would identify as a female or male. [00:50:24] Kelly, I just wanted to ask about what role you see the media playing in the sort of strategic advocacy that you talked about as a help or a hindrance. [00:50:34] I initially trained as a [00:50:35] journalist, and I have to say that I've done wish to dog [00:50:39] journalists, but if you've got us up with a [00:50:42] long spoon when you're dining with the devil, and I don't think that may have been long enough yet really to dine with a lot of journalists, because unfortunately, trends is still the scene as being a freak show. And I don't mean to sound critical of, of gay male culture, but the creation of all these drag shows, and that kind of thing creates this, this version of, of trans people being you know, blonde beehives and, and sequins and that kind of thing. And so I look up to the, the news media overall was being damaging to trans people, particularly when you start looking at your the TV, these reality shows, whose reality with Sergeant Majors going off and being subjected to multiple, multiple medical procedures or funded by the camera, which is staring up their suitably creative vagina. And if you start looking at this model of, of media presentation, I think that's really bad. And I think it creates something which an idea that trans people are mostly something which most of us and because, of course, those of the visible trans people, the ones who make it into the, into the govt magazines, and that kind of thing. It's, I have to thank George Bush, for this one, I think one of the few things I think I'm for was, we don't know what we don't know. So I mean, all the trans people there who are flying beneath our radar just never get we just don't know about. So our perception, as when I say our talking about the the public perception is what they see in the new idea magazine, that's what they see. And in the magazines, and as what they see on the TV. And most of us, our reality is pretty different from there. So I think that the media trying to manipulate if I use that phrase, or have something a little more neutral, trying to make the best use of the media is something which even somebody who is reasonably familiar with journalism such as me, even I look it up nothing, it's a very, very problematic and scary thing to do. And I don't mean to sort of, I mean, here I am, appearing and four courts a day, some days, probably have sort of appear and more public for the most trans people during the course of a week. And usually the journalists there. And usually I manage to keep more always change to keep my head down fair enough that they write about my clients and not about me, sort of treated. And you know, it's only going to be a matter of time before somebody new idea person something, finds their shorter space and wants to pick up on those the why that picked up on bob moody and that kind [00:53:38] of thing. So [00:53:41] it's worrying and problematic from a trends advocates point of view, if you do have a public profile, and unfortunately appearing and courts regularly creates this. And so I'm left with the dilemma of you know, what do I do Dr. Try and sort of manage the release of information so that as I can find it influence at all, I'm just trying to keep my head down, and especially when journalists around the place Now usually go for the ladder, which might seem a little cowardly. But we've all got to make our way through our lives. Don't we? [00:54:14] Hope that answers. [00:54:15] Thank you. And this question here. [00:54:21] This is where money I wanted to ask if you were using in your work some models of gender, which were non medically models of gender. [00:54:34] It's not that I'm using a model, it's that I've lived and unfolded with friends a new model. So I reality that's neither exclusively male or female, didn't exist when I was growing up or not one that I had access to. So I, some of us who made and California you're in 1996 realize that we we didn't even have the language. I mean, how do you start talking about something English is so binary. And so we became very close friends, we see you and pray, regular use of the Internet. So in the first few years, we read each other leaders and then underneath arrived now we've got Skype. And we talked to me talked and we danced ourselves a new reality. I mean, I'm now aware, through my own research, that there are other cultural realities, and how wonderful that was to find that and find new realities to to help a film what we were doing. So it was a both an exciting and difficult thing to do. And I think, now we're starting to get things written. So I think it will be written up soon as a model. But this model doesn't exist anywhere. substantively. And and and the waste anyway. But thank you for your question. [00:56:02] Like [00:56:04] a question up the back. [00:56:08] Hi, Molly. Hello. I'm just wondering if you, I've been in a position of supporting students before, and I really struggled to access resources to support that work. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions for resources. [00:56:28] The organization that I run the intersex Trust has some resources. And our focus, we haven't been an advocacy peer organization or an education training organization. And so one of the things one of the goals that we've made for this year is to make the resources that we have more widely available. So that will include a number of DVDs, little leaflet, and hopefully with funding this year will be able to provide mobile more resources for people like yourself, I think one of the really important things will be this whole idea of fluid ness and plus thickness. Rather than creating something you know, you have to be like this because as I say under six people are hugely varied. And and the primary task for most of us is getting past that shame and fear and isolation, which is surrounded so many of us and as we've grown up. [00:57:32] couple of questions here. I think [00:57:36] I've got to actually from a land costly money. Yeah, I just wanted to say that I think the one of the most valuable things from that presentation for me was the importance of the link that you make between the way that we culturally respond and medically respond to intersex children and people and the link, the very strong link with homophobia and [00:58:01] it's a hypothesis. On my I think [00:58:03] it's an extraordinarily good one, to the degree that for us to culturally maintain the concept that heterosexuality is normal, in realize absolutely, categorically upon believing that it's true that there are, you know, normal men and normal women and and intersex people challenge that assumption. So, I'd like to go one step further and say, you know, not only will, the issue of dealing respectfully and appropriately within to six people will be addressed only once we deal with homophobia. But to flip that around a bit and say that anyone who is serious about dealing with homophobia has a responsibility to be taking, taking on intersex issues and talking about them, regardless of whether we ourselves are intersex or not. That's my that's my point. Good. And I'm sorry. [00:58:54] No, no, let's keep talking, then I'll make my point. [00:58:59] I K. One of the things that I wanted to say, because it'd be very easy to sound like I'm demonizing the medical profession I'm not, I'm acknowledging as a construct. And one of my trustees is sitting here in the audience day Margaret Sparrow. And Margaret and I have presented at multiple conferences around the world deeply chair and challenging this paradigm. And I know that our work certainly has found is so it's, if it's sounding like I'm putting all doctors into this box, I'm not. And and I think one of our sicknesses is that the work hasn't gone as far as we would have liked. So there are people thinking, and there are people willing to take on what I'm inviting everybody to take on today. And I just want to acknowledge the support of Margaret and network. [00:59:53] Margaret, did you want to say something? [00:59:56] Particularly for the question, Who asked about resources, that in 2008, the school curriculum, recommended money story, as a resource for secondary schools. And what the trust would like to do is, in fact, to provide a copy of money story for all school, all secondary schools, in New Zealand. And if anybody feels so inclined, [01:00:27] they've got a millionaire sitting in the audience, just wanting to give away some money, [01:00:32] which we'd love. We'd love your donation. [01:00:37] To get second seconds, right. Yeah, we're sorry, I'm so I'm [01:00:40] just this one was Kelly, which is why I stopped there. Sorry. Just it was just a, I guess, a comment. I come from Australia. And one of the things that we've found really useful, and that I was thinking about, as you were talking about, you know, is do we get changed by actually litigating or on the more, you know, advocacy based ways of achieving change. And one of the things we found it really useful in Australia is to be using discrimination complaint mechanism and going through the Human Rights Commission in the ICT, but also federally, because I don't know if the process is the same is the same here. But in Australia, when you make a complaint, you get a chance to do a mediation process. And by being strategic and engaging usefully in that, and positively in that process, we've actually managed to get some real really good positive conversations with people that are sitting around a table that wouldn't otherwise ever sit around the table. And it's a much less adversarial model. And, and in Australia, you end up when you reach agreement, you end up with a binding binding agreement at the end of that, that, that people actually need to act on, we've got some fantastic policies, changes in direction out of doing that very quietly. So [01:02:04] let's gamble on hate to say that in terms of complaints, I mean, I do mostly criminal work, and there's only one of me and so I try and sort of, to an extent, stick with my nothing but also try and incorporate as much as I can or not. But one of the interesting things is that complaints, and New Zealand is a system where complaints are dealt with the strangest way. And while say in America, you might end up with a tremendous fight over whether a normal or non operated on trans woman can go to a woman's person that might result in a huge litigation and might end up you know, in the highest court. In New Zealand, we seem to have this amazing way of of absorbing the issues. So I don't want to get too much into anecdote sometime Be quick. But the trans client on the means president is required to give a urine test to avoid being becoming an identified drug users. So if you fail the test or refuse to give the test, you get that status, she was also asked to be searched, and the only male prison Ward was there. And she said, none of you are going to search my bra I refuse. And they said, Okay, that's fine. You're now an identified drug user. And we've got seven days to lay a charge for the visiting justice comes on to deal with things. So anyway, on hold on to the present about this, and what did they do the neighbor light the charge. So on one hand wallet, sort of, you know, you think they'll be a great opportunity to litigate and to mediate and create awareness and that kind of thing. But the system rather than having to address these, you know, attitudes and rules, which were formed in the 50s. And perhaps even earlier, simply avoid that by sort of an encompassing the what's happening. And it means that, for example, we do have one normal all that I know of trans woman and a woman to present and that woman and not being identified as drug users, because they've refused to leave a blog search their brand. And so I think that's sort of, you know, that's, it'd be nice to be able to do everything. But as I said, I think the old transgender Bar Association is a pretty sparsely populated, but I have to just make one point just forgot to mention, because I was running out of time was the Human Rights Commission's transgender inquiry report has an absolutely brilliant executive summary, which is available on the website and I use this on a regular basis, I printed off it's only about eight, a four pages, I think jack will probably correct me if I've got it wrong. But a nixing net to submissions and putting it in front of judges, as is astonishing the results that I've got. And just normally speaking, what they do is they fudge I mean, I had a client who had was looking at ideas jail for chopping off a guy's fingers, she tried to cut a strike and steal his wallet. And she'd normally be getting a his jail for his most terrible tragic upbringing, booted out of home lived rough, worked on the streets, addiction, all the kinds of things which are, you know, we so commonly hear about, and I'll put all this in front of the judge and safety, and not only will it be harder for her as a trans woman and person, but also, you know, if you start looking at the causes for her getting here, that many and varied anyway, the judge was just a baton to his mother was doing quite well, Lee. And at the end of it said, Well, look, I'm going to give us a six month discount, because it's going to be tougher for her and a men's prison. But I can't recognize all the other things that you've raised, and then gave a five, he gave a four and a half years child. So again, that's a way of, you know, I'm not critical of the job for fetching it. But she did not want to stick her neck out and, again, create a situation where she would be quite possibly appealed by the crown solicitor's office, and ended up creating a potentially adverse decision for her as much beta to dismiss the submissions on the point that this is being trans contributed to the economic and, and legal difficulties. But what you did was get the result which was fair, and just so again, I'm sort of doing stuff by stills and not taking exception when your submissions are dismissed, so long as the bottom line is one which accords with your expectations. So it's a long winded answer. [01:06:48] Okay. And I was just gonna say, just really quickly, in terms of the resources, that one of Manny's amazing strengths is that she bridges so many different country immunities and creates discussion in dialogue with lots of people and my paid job, I work at the Human Rights Commission. And we had this exact same question about whether or not intersex people would be included in our transgender inquiry. We had had people we knew that both trans people and intersex people were doing marginalized and suffered human rights violations in this country. And we had a on a long list of priority actions we had needing to have an inquiry into the experiences of both. And from the beginning, we thought, shall we put them all together? Should we do to Should we do one what what should we do? And we talked with Manny and others, and it's, it is also that question. I'll stand over here. [01:07:54] It's also a question of [01:07:57] being strategic about the balance, you know, Canna community is the community at a place where actually other people coming in and doing an inquiry is useful, or doesn't make them more prone to that does that prove that community apart, and basically, the advice we got as it wasn't an intersex community and our hero at that time, and I think Manny would say this, too, isn't. And it wasn't a safe thing to do. It wasn't an avoidant people, he would want us to mix it all together. So we did a transgender inquiry. But having said that, there was some intersex people, some people with into six medical conditions, who would hate to be called into six people. Some mean a woman who had some experience in the life that was relevant to the experiences and to six people who wanted to come and share these stories. And mostly, we got the people that Kelly referred to, who had some intersection with our community, either because we're neighbors on the street, the other girls they need on the street, were trans woman with aka honey, or because they had decided to transition later in life, because they were given, you know, the wrong gender. So the or because they lived in a small community, and the only other person who was vaguely like them was an was a trans person. So that was kind of like their family or their family, they became part of it. And so at the back of the inquiry, there was a chapter because when we heard those stories, and I can remember those submissions, and they were some of the most powerful we got, and everyone cried. They were really, really, really powerful submissions and, and there were some people who came to the most of our submissions, there weren't people sitting down and writing long phones, they were people coming really tentatively into one of our Human Rights Commission offices or Indonesia, and they came to the community center, and being really scared to come in here and in finding some family we make. And we set up a room with a couple with food and drink and people set the before they came and shared this story and some share with others, the taffy and support them and some didn't very much in private. But sometimes it was the first time someone meets another intersex person. So so we end up with the intersex chapter at the end, because we couldn't hear those stories and not share them with others and are there and that's very uncomfortable for someone to six people that they are there because the front of the of the of the documents is transgender inquiry. So it's a hard things you have to kind of make that call each time. And we made a call based on the people who were there the people who were the enemy to pass on these stories. And then since then, money so so it also means we need all of you have your the conference, you've got a little rectangular orange pamphlet, this is to be who I am on it. And it's got a picture of pity to well, and also have a two woman Nestle, Shira, and it gives you the URL to find the website. And if you go there, it'll take you to the transgender inquiry website. Once again, we added an i page. That's an uncomfortable page. But it's the only place to have visibility at this stage. So you can go to that page. And you'll also see the little updates of the small amount of work we've done since then, which is large, you know, Margaret, and Marnie have been a part of it. Other people who are here at this conference have been a part of it. And that's we've held two roundtables. We're into six people have set in the room with health professionals, endocrinologists, predominantly, and pediatricians. And and there's also been some Human Rights Commission people there and some academics, and we've said, what does it mean to look at these health issues through the lens through human rights lens? And I'm always so touched by him and he does to one of those very, very, very generous people. Some of them are the people here I often think of money as a bit like more analytics and like the huge amount of generosity he has in his approach to people. Money. You are, You are the bridge, you make it safe. Cuz the last one we had, we had payments of one to six people, the ATO in any of you who do you do this activism know, the huge potential tensions we have with all of those people in the same room, and you make it safe for all of them. So just another resources, their website page, and it's got the minutes from both of those roundtable discussions, which I think has some really good things about, you know, the questions that people might have. [01:12:50] Thank you. Any more questions? [01:12:55] Okay. Thank you very much for the for the great presentations. I want to ask money, two things. One of them when I am an intersex activists from from Latin America, and some of my friends and I they're always wonder how are we going to build an understanding of intersex issues different than the understanding that is produced and exported by the us all the time? I wanted to know your opinion about about that. And it's possible to think about intersex issues in, in the terms of around cultures or globally is global south. Understanding. The other issue is that most of the time when we talk with the people around us, we talk about medical practitioners, we talk about what it's been doing to children right now about our own histories. And we have started talking, we have started talking about human rights. And and some of us believe that at this time to start talking about some kind of reparation, including legal preparation to say, Well, you know, we need to protect innocent children that are still not born. But we also need to take care of our own community of intersects all those, you know, it seems that our we can talk about intersex issues in an abstract, you know, to say we need to stop surgeries in the future. But most of us are people that have been deeply hurt by surgeries that have had plays many years ago. We need not only a human rights, recognition of that, but a human right answer, a very concrete answer. [01:14:47] And thank you for your beautiful questions. And there's numerous no attempt to answer them. Absolutely. They're the dominant narrative that has come out in the early years has been the American now. And I want to acknowledge Cheryl chase for at least kicking the door open. And I think and part our answer is here at this conference. Because we have multiple narratives presenting themselves and people saying, This is our culture, this is how we see it. You know, don't impose your Western narrative on us. I think that the under six narrative has to be a multi face narrative and come out at different places. And it will be grassroots that will come from the different countries, and they are different histories. You're absolutely right. A lot of the focus has been on children and the future. And there are thousands of us. And that's why I always introduce my presentation with Heather and Max. Because many of us, our health realities have been massively compromised by what happened to us as children that has not been recognized. The his pain knows that I'm aware of financial compensation. I have a wonderful doctor. She's a fantastic person around everything except under six. And I'll give you a story for many years is wanted to do a ginormous smear. And I've said to my doctor Neely can't do it. I don't have standard plumbing, and obviously a new medical training. There is she saw me as female. So several years ago, she asked me and I, I was angry, and I lost my temper. And I said do it. She was very excited because she got a tiny child speculum. So I sprayed my legs, as I did many, many times as a child. And she went to try and do this and she can't physically have a body that's not possible. And the shock on her face. What is the model? For those of us with these different bodies? How do we keep safe? What What should our doctors be doing with us? Those of us that have had hormone treatment? You know, what would what should we be looking out for? We know a lot of treatment is prophylactic taking away parts of our body because it might develop cancer. But what should we be looking at for what should our doctors be looking out for? And I agree, there's probably enough of us now to start working collaboratively and go back to two medical people and say we have these different bodies, how do we take care of them wherever we fit in that gender sexual orientation? Let [01:17:44] thank you for your question. [01:17:47] Thank you. Thanks to both Manny and Kelly and it seems to me that we have a multitude of sexes and only two genders and somehow there's a [01:18:00] it's a bit hard to make it all work. [01:18:04] And obviously that has in that conceptualization has impact on all of us and as does the homophobia that has been talked about in the session today. So thank you, thank you to the speakers and thank you to your really fabulous questions and I hope you enjoy the rest of the conference.
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