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"Historic" trans and intersex gathering held

Wed 16 Mar 2011 In: Out Games News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Almost 100 people have gathered in a historic meeting of trans and intersex people from across the Asia Pacific region. Held ahead of the Outgames Human Rights Conference in Wellington, the Pacific and Asia Trans and Intersex Hui attracted almost 100 people to the St Andrews on the Terrace Hall yesterday. It's the first time such a group has met in the AsiaPacific. There were also contributors from Argentina, Europe and the US, including the co-directors of Global Advocates For Trans Equality. “It just grew out of a little idea,” says hui coordinator Jack Byrne. “I was very lucky to go to the first ever International Congress on Gender Identity and Human Rights …[in Barcelona] in June last year. And a small group of us that was from Asia and the Pacific met together as a group there and then I just wanted them all to come here so that people here could feel a part of our region and could feel part of an international trans human rights movement,” he says. “And I thought, well there is the AsiaPacific Outgames, let's make it happen. But I had no idea how we would make it happen. The Outgames got some funding from the Netherlands Government to bring people from the Pacific and we just kept asking and asking and asking overseas funders for money to bring people from Asia, and it eventually came through about three or four weeks ago.” Byrne says his team worked to the wire with the last Visas approved 72 hours before the hui and the last flights booked 48 hours before. “And they're all here,” Byrne says happily. “It's all been a leap of faith,” he says. “Because trans humans right movement is one whose time has come.” Byrne says the terms, knowledge and experience from the hui is going to influence the human rights movements both nationally, regionally and internationally. “I think it's probably the largest gathering I've ever heard of, of FTMs from Asia,” he says. “When I went to Barcelona I think there was one trans man from Asia and I think we've got about eight or nine trans me from all over Asia. So it's a groundbreaking time.” The day opened with people introducing themselves, then looked at where links exist and don't. It then moved on to a discussion about the key issues for trans and intersex people in the region, saw presentations from people from all over the world, then looked at setting up a regional trans network. “It's exciting,” Byrne says. “It's historic.” The Wellington AsiaPacific Outgames will end with a massive Revolution party at Estadio on Saturday night and has two double passes to give away! To enter just email telling us the best thing you have overheard at the games, for our Overheard at the Outgames file! Daily News staff - 16th March 2011

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 16th March 2011 - 8:47am

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