Transgender Day of Remembrance 2013

19 Nov , 2013  

On this Trans Day of Remembrance, I reflect on the amazing strengths of trans people. These include our ability to survive, our courage, our resilience, our ability to speak out and tell the truth about our lives and where it gets a chance, the amazing attributes of trans people such as the creative genius of Lana Wachowski or the political leadership of Georgina Beyer. I think of our ability to build, slowly in some places, faster in others our allies across society and community.
Yes, I reflect also on those we have lost through transphobic hate crimes. TGEU’s monitoring service sadly reports 239 known murders in the 12 months to 31 October 2013. I remember those we have lost to transphobia in general such as inadequate medical care, unemployment or homelessness. I state the extremely obvious: 239 too many.
I ask people to pause for a moment on this day and remember this apparent paradox; remember those lost and remember trans strengths too.
For whatever reason I am also thinking of a trans woman who sadly left us in 2004 (from causes other than transphobia), that person being Jenny Phillips. Jenny was hugely involved in Victoria’s GLBT Anti-Violence Project and was also an editor of Seahorse Club of Victoria’s magazine, the Seahorse Times. At the end of every column she wrote she quoted 2 lines from the song, sung by John Farnham and written by Andy Qunta, Keith Reid, Maggie Ryder and Chris Thompson being “You’re the Voice.”
We’re not gonna sit in silence
We’re not gonna live with fear
We will stand and speak and we will live with courage. We will courageously seek out allies of all sorts and thereby paint into a corner those who would oppose us and our rights. Every person is entitled to live authentically in line with their soul and that includes trans and gender diverse.
Peace and strength to all on this day.

A better way to drive the bus: where to next for true marriage equality?

23 Oct , 2013  

Marriage forum in Melbourne Thursday 24 October 6 pm – be there!
From me as an individual and not on behalf of any organisation.
I strongly urge people who are less than satisfied with the process  – all of that process since 2004 – that led to the less than satisfactory outcome in the ACT re marriage to RSVP and attend the function below tonight.
I naturally ask people to be respectful at all times to all people, including panelists and organisers.
Simultaneously, it’s also time to ask panelists the hard questions in a respectful way. Direct questions. Questions that go to the bedrock of what community really means.

I don’t see myself getting married any time soon. In the words of Max Kauffman, “I never knew what real happiness was until I got married. And by then it was too late.”

Ok…seriously. In one sense marriage doesn’t affect me personally. But it does in another way…

In the last three days I have communicated with dear valued friends with broken hearts and torn emotions – both for themselves as individuals and as the amazing community contributors and leaders they are. When highly emotionally intelligent and principled people such as these people are in this much pain – Houston, there definitely has to be a problem.
I have admired the dignified and mature restraint on social media from intersex, trans, gender diverse and strongly allied people who clearly feel the ACT scenario is a case of “thrown under the bus.” Yet I can feel that same pain as experienced by my close friends seeping through my computer from those who I don’t know as well – or even those I don’t know at all. All these people are empathic and want to celebrate the ACT scenario with and for their cis allies – but obviously cannot do so with a free and full heart.
No-one need be thrown under the bus. No-one needs to be left at the back of the bus. This is *BGILT Australia in 2013. We all have a right to have our hands on the wheel – and we are better off when we drive the damn bus together. We can go faster and go further when we work together. The fantastically co-operative process that led to the addition of 3 attributes to federal law this year, including the world-first intersex protection – shows that win-win co-operation can be done – and done very easily.
We therefore have a right to ask in a win-win way – what’s stopping similar co-operation happening re parts of the marriage campaign?
And more to the point – we have a right to some bloody good answers. And “bloody good” is about as butch as I get – so when I say it, you know I mean it!
*BGILT – I’ve put in that order coz it’s alphabetical. It has nothing to do with my being bisexual and putting B first for that reason – honest and for true. J

launch of Heaven Bent – LGBTI stories on religion and faith

14 Oct , 2013  

The book, edited by Luke Gahan and Tiffany Jones, will be launched in Melbourne by Tony Briffa who is the worlds first intersex Mayor and personifies all the colours of the rainbow!

Brigitte Lewis and yours truly reading excerpts and possibly other fab contributors on hand to give autographs Marie Clark Alyena Mohummadally Eric Glare


Hares n Hyenas
63 Johnston Street, Fitzroy 3065

When: 630 PM 16 October 2013.

A little trans baby comes of age

26 Sep , 2013  

14 years ago, a little queer baby of all gender identities was born.

The little baby was named Transgender Victoria. It had queer parents and relatives and God-parents as part of its tribe to give it wisdom and guidance – just what a child needs to get a good start in life.

The child therefore stayed close to its soul as it grew up.

Close enough to time, last night the child had a mitzvah. All the family and friends, queer or otherwise, came.

There was food, speeches, laughter and a drop of alcohol too – just like any good mitzvah and subsequent party. J

Like any parent, guardian or relative, last night Aunty Sally was proud, a little blissfully dazed and a little emotional seeing that the little baby was growing up in the right puberty on the way to adulthood.

Like any blossoming young adult, teenage Transgender Victoria now has new friends and adults of its own in its life. In this case, this means a corporate sponsor, major partners in the government sector and NGOS, politicians and more.

Like any relative, Aunty Sally nurtured the little child. Aunty she may be – it was a parent-child relationship. Like many parents etc, Aunty Sally had fears at times for the child because she just wanted it to grow up safe and happy and strong.  And the child has grown up. Now Aunty Sally’s relationship to the child shifts to an adult-adult relationship.

Thank you to all the adults, Kenton Miller, Janet Jukes and Kayleen White who are its parents and even though she probably doesn’t know it, to Julie Peters who Transgender Victoria’s (fairy) god-mother.

Thank you to Lauren Christopher, Brenda Appleton and Jayne Monroe who are its aunties.

Thank you so much to family members Gavriil Alexandrs, Sarah Rogan, Lou Cooper and Grace Lee who organised the mitzvah so efficiently with lots of other friends and family helping out.

Thank you to all the family and friends who came.

The young adult and some relatives might be a little emotionally hung over for a while. Be assured you will hear about the young adult continuing to grow up after we clear our heads a bit. J

The young adult, having been nurtured well as a child, is ready to do lots of nurturing for others. With family members Grace, Sally, Lauren, Brenda, Gavril , Lou , Sally C and Nikki the young adult will have lots of loving, wise and good-humoured relatives as mentors to guide it.

And given that 101 family and friends turned up to the mitzvah, the wedding/similar ceremony – whenever it happens – will definitely be a big queer event!

Federal law update

22 Sep , 2013  

There have been lots of developments over the last few months for trans and gender diverse (and other parts of the rainbow too). Here is yours truly chatting with the fab Cannon O’Saurus on BENT TV about them.

Please spread far and wide.

PS The interview was recorded in late July – where at 8:05 I mention “we don’t have a date” [re federal EO law] the laws are now definitely in force.

Reflections of a Jewish trans woman on Yom Kippur

14 Sep , 2013  

Reflections of a Jewish trans woman on Yom Kippur:

What does a trans woman do with her Kippah and Talit after affirming her identity?

I always remember the Bar Mitzvah (Jewish coming of age ritual) held close to my 13th physical birthday (1978). I remember wearing for the first time my Kippah and Talit. I admit I didn’t feel I had moved from boy to man (even allowing for nerves over all the readings and the speech at the party afterwards). With hindsight, I obviously could never move from boy to man because I never really could be a male of any age. More…

We won’t be fooled again

7 Sep , 2013  

A thought…regardless of one’s political viewpoint…
Aunty Sally remembers 1996 when Howard was elected. There was some belief he would be moderate – and of course that turned out to be a furphy. People were caught off guard somewhat…
We know what Abbott is like already – remember he was an architect of the Howard era. While some will give Tony a honeymoon, for those who oppose him – don’t.
For example, he said “we’ll stop the boats from day one.” That’s today. So if one boat turns up – hold him to it.
One budget cut that wasn’t mentioned…he campaigned on trust…can he be trusted?
And so on…
In the words of “The Who…”