Category: transgender

Transfamily starts today!

24 Jan , 2014  

Well, I can only be awake at 730 AM on a Saturday for a good reason…and today there is good one for sure!

Today is definitely a Gorilla Monsoon of WWE fame moment – history made in Melbourne. 🙂 25 January 2014 is the first meeting of Transfamily, a group for family (in the broadest sense) of trans* and gender diverse people and supporters in general e.g. friends, work colleagues etc. Excitement and adrenalin build without caffeine…

Things happen when they happen and while this has been floating in my head for nearly ten years, it has happened largely because of Lynette McDonald #adoptedmum and the Opening Doors program Thanks to Sarah Burton for connecting me to the program, to the awesome Alex Mills (A.M. – altruistic mischief) program co-ordinator and the 2013 Opening Doors crew.

We’ve gradually built some sense of a foundation for trans people here in climate-diverse Melbourne over the last 10-15 years – acknowledging of course there is still much to be done – but support for those around trans has lagged behind. Today it catches up in a big way. With a Facebook group recently starting for cisgender partners of trans, gaps are being filled – so much exciting stuff!

I’m going to dedicate today equally in two parts. The first is to Nanette Rae McGregor.
Nan did so much with P-FLAG in the 1990’s and whether you know it or not Nan, you helped light a flame inside me re this need. I still have an email exchange with you from 2005 about such a group (that’s accounting training, always back everything up) about having a box of tissues on hand – I’m now making the mental note to stop at the supermarket on the way. There could be happy tears too…

The other dedication is of course is to the families and supporters of trans* and gender diverse people. We, the trans people can’t do it alone; no person can do it alone on anything really. To have you with us and strengthen our allies is just enormous.

See ya there people!

Trans people wanted for new year’s story

30 Dec , 2013  

trans people wanted for new year’s story – journo received my name via a trusted source

Hello Sally,
Thanks for your time on the phone this morning. I’m working on our New Year’s Day coverage and I’m looking for someone who is planning to make a major change in their lives in 2014. I thought it would be great to interview someone from the transgender community who is in that position. More…

Tropfest goes Troppo

9 Dec , 2013  

(From me as an individual; not on behalf of any organisation I represent).
There are many perspectives to the debate about Tropfest winner (sic) “Bamboozled” ; I add mine as a person who among many other facets is transgender and an occasional stand-up/spoken word performer.
I run by the guideline when doing stand-up of “unless a person identifies as part of that group, they don’t make jokes about it.” As someone who is a person (emphasis) with many facets including transgender and performer, I can - and do - take the Michelle out of myself on those facets. I also used to sit and watch people who didn’t identify that way and who thought they had incredibly funny material about trans that I knew wasn’t funny at all. The good thing was - virtually no one else laughed at their material either.


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.

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…