Parties and parades aside, Mardi Gras season is also a time for self-reflection. In that spirit, the Gender Centre will host a light-hearted debate to examine how relevant the grouping of GLBTI is and how the trans community relates.

While recognising the historical significance of such a grouping in the face of prejudice, the debate, scheduled for February 18, will raise questions of where do we fit in? and have we reached a point where we would like the general public to recognise our differences as well as our similarities?

Community identities Stevie Clayton, Katelund Povey, Rachael Wallbank and Katrina Fox will take part. The debate will be moderated by Julie McCrossin.

Transgender and intersex are different from gay, lesbian and bisexual communities in that T and I usually require medical intervention, which in turn requires a series of gatekeepers who define gender according to medical and legal terms, a Gender Centre spokeswoman said.

None of which suggests that transgenders would not or should not support the causes of the G, L and B communities and conversely it would be a pity if the G, L and B segments of society were to cease their valued support of T and I rights. It is however possible to be sympathetic and empathetic with the rights of others without feeling a sense of complete identity.

info: The Where Do We Fit debate is on February 18 at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, 7pm. For more information on this free event call
9569 2366.

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