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Fighting for Our Lives

Audio from the online event hosted by Queer Endurance/Defiance and the Wellington Workers' Educational Association. A special thank you to the participants and organisers for allowing the event to be recorded and shared

Text from the Facebook event page: Today in New Zealand, the position of trans people is better than it has been in many generations. But we have not achieved equality. And across the world, the gains of the struggle for trans rights are endangered, pushed back, often into a state of affairs worse than what came before. We see violence and oppression redoubled.

Why? We believe trans oppression is intimately bound up with class oppression. Kayden Scott, Elle Brocherie, and John Ashborne will speak on what transness is, where the arguments used to justify bigotry against trans people come from and why they're wrong, and the vital place of working class struggle for power in trans peoples’ fight for liberation.

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Details

  • 00:00 - Tristan-Cordelia
  • 02:15 - Kayden Scott
  • 19:45 - Elle Brocherie
  • 37:45 - John Ashborne

Summary

"Fighting for Our Lives: Trans Politics and the Working Class" is a recorded online event hosted by Queer Endurance/Defiance and the Wellington Workers' Educational Association, which was held on May 12, 2022. The 53-minute recording features discussions from Elle Brocherie, John Ashborne, Kayden Scott, and Tristan-Cordelia.

The event delves into the assertion that, while the current status of trans individuals in New Zealand has seen improvement over the years, equality has yet to be fully realized. Globally, gains in trans rights are under threat, with increased incidents of violence and oppression. The speakers address the interconnection of trans oppression with class oppression and challenge transphobic rhetoric. The event's agenda included individual presentations followed by an open discussion where participants could contribute and the initial speakers could offer responses to raised points.

The conversation began with Kayden Scott, who provides an understanding of what it means to be trans, the term's origins, its modern and historical perspective, and the diversity of gender expressions and identities within various cultures. They emphasize that the existence of trans people in various societies has a long history, rooted in culture and tradition, but also subject to misconceptions and erasure. Kayden elaborates on the myriad gender identities beyond the binary, underlining the complexity of trans experiences in both personal and societal contexts.

Following Kayden, Elle Brocherie discusses transphobia, its various justifications, and counters the principal arguments underpinning anti-trans biases. Elle highlights the economic, social, and health disparities faced by trans individuals in New Zealand. They disprove misconceptions about the so-called 'pressure' to transition, particularly among youth, and challenge arguments that acceptance of trans women threatens the progress made in women's rights. Elle articulates that the trans struggle intertwines with women’s rights movements, as both aim to dismantle exclusionary ideologies. They also shed light on the history of diverse gender identities across different cultures, debunking the myth that trans identities are a modern phenomenon.

John Ashborne then connects the liberation of trans individuals with the struggles of the working class, deeming the fight for trans rights inseparable from broader class struggle. Ashborne critiques the capitalist state, arguing that any progress made within its framework is inherently reversible because it rests on a family structure that predisposes women to oppression and rigidly enforces a gender binary that results in trans oppression. They assert that lasting trans emancipation can only be achieved through revolutionary struggle and the overthrowing of a class society, where the elimination of private property and dissolution of the traditional family could allow for the full development of individual autonomy.

The event concludes with the consensus that both class and gender liberation are deeply interconnected and necessitate joint activism for systemic change. The recording is an educational piece on the intersection of class issues, trans rights, and activism in New Zealand.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Tags (computer generated)

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Record date:12th May 2022
Audio courtesy of:Queer Endurance / Defiance
Location:Online event
Metadata:View metadata
Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004670).
URL:https://www.pridenz.com/fighting_for_our_lives.html