International Transgender Day of Remembrance commenced in 1998 to mark the violent death of trans woman Rita Hester in the US.
In the 12 years since, it has become a key day on the trans calendar. Prejudice against trans people comes from the same evil seed as any form of prejudice – and all manifestations are unacceptable.
Many trans people understandably, however, find this day sad and uncomfortable.
So I ask people to also consider the many positives of trans people – the amazing insights into sex and gender and potential of trans people.
Your mobile phone would not exist without its ability to multiprocess – a process invented in the 70s by the genius of Lynn Conway, a trans woman.
Some people might have seen the story on Sunday Night (Channel 7) recently ago about Captain Bridget.
Bridget was born with a male body, and has had to fight to keep her job in the Defence Force because there is no federal equal opportunity law protecting GLBTI people.
She and two others in the ADF – one of whom I’ve had the honour and privilege to meet – basically told the ADF, “just bring it.”
So now the ADF have realised it needs to cover medical costs not covered by Medicare.
Bridget has had to endure the sensationalism of “taxpayer’s money” type media sensationalism over the ADF’s correct decision to fund the gap.
The Sunday Night report ended with the comment “after all this, Bridget and Tammy will have another fight – trying to stay married.”
Because of Australia’s callous inequality in marriage laws, Bridget faces an horrendous decision. Stay married and not have documentation that matches who she is … or divorce.
But clearly Tammy and Bridget love one another. Where are the “irreconcilable differences” that could be grounds for divorce?
The lack of marriage equality affects all of us and we’re all in this together.
When it comes to striving for and achieving our rights, we won’t be stopped and we won’t be silenced.
An edited extract from Sally Goldner’s speech at the Equal Love rally on November 20.
Sally is spokesperson for TransGender Victoria and part of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.