Call for information about realities for transgender people in Australia
In two weeks time, when friends and colleagues of mine will be marching in Brisbane’s Pride rally, I won’t be there. Instead, I will be flying to Seoul. This is for the International Bar Association conference. I am honoured to have been asked to be part of a panel to discuss transgender issues around the world.
While I have prepared my responses to the set questions, I am keen to hear from transgender Australians- to hear what they might say about the reality of such things as:
- getting served in the shops
- riding public transport
- walking down the street
- obtaining and holding down employment
- going out
- domestic violence
- acceptance by friends and family
- treatment in the family law courts
- access to IVF and assisted reproductive treatment
- going to prison
My hope is that transgender people are treated like everyone else. I know- as a gay, married man, that walking down the street and holding my husband’s hand has at times subjected me and him to homophobic abuse and death stares, as I wrote about 2 years ago. I am also aware from reading research, talking to researchers, and talking to transgender friends that transgender people are a vulnerable group.
Research undertaken last year, for example, as to 25 transmen who wanted to become pregnant, that all decided not to proceed through IVF clinics- despite anti-discrimination laws- and to access sperm online or through friends. None of them had been made to feel welcome.
If there were any doubt about differences, how Mayang Prasetyo was treated makes that plain. She was a transgender woman living in Brisbane, who was murdered and then dismembered by her partner. Her death was an illustration of the higher rates of domestic violence facing transgender people. When the Courier-Mail reported her death, it focussed in a shameful way about her occupation and gender, rather than the horror that she had been subjected to. After a torrent of criticism, it later apologised.
I ask anyone who wants to let me know to please either message me on Facebook or to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org .