The fun things about Double eye infections are that you can’t see correctly before going to the doctor but during the treatment, you still can’t see. Things are a bit fuzzy for me as I am writing this but I feel it is all too important to not address it.
As many might know I live in Tasmania, Australia. Right now since the passage of Equal Marriage, the federal government gave states one year to fix forced divorces of those who are Trans and want to change their birth certificate. In all states and territories of Australia, this was done except Tasmania. Why? well, a lobby group has been trying to attach riders to the bill in an attempt to get a few other things fixed as well. But this has stalled the required legislation change. What this lobby group is trying to do is remove Gender Markers from Birth Certificates. It has stalled in such a big way because the public does not agree with this idea.
A friend of mine whom I respect on facebook posted something. It was very thoughtful and caring. But we ended up with one of the Key Lobbyists to these riders on the required legislation commenting on my thoughts on their riders. Below is the exchange the person is listed as they are a public figure and what was said was done publicly. Though out of kindness I am removing some names and some last names. I would hate people to flame them for their actions.
My friend wrote,
Another Mardi Gras without full marriage equality in Australia. I can’t celebrate until forced divorce for trans people is abolished in Tasmania.
I chose to reply with,
One of the shit things they did in trying to change the forced divorce. Was to add riders to the bill which has stalled the bill. The riders are causing a lot of issues such as an increased negative focus on the Trans community, hate groups blaming the Trans community, and Increased stereotyping. Overall these riders to the bill are just unnecessary and by all rights should be in their own bill to be debated on their own merits. But a few of the community have voiced their ideas as community-wide accepted. Once such person has even gone to telling the public that they will support it in time. Which we all know is not the way to sway the general public.
Then the Lobbyist called Martine replied,
Aleana, yes, that one such person is me. Seriously, if you think this is a shit thing, then you’ve a limited perception of trans rights in Tasmania. Forced divorce needs to end, but it will benefit only the handful of trans people whose marriages survive their transition. The additional amendments will benefit any person who has to deal with a birth certificate that doesn’t represent who they are.
Successive Tasmanian governments, since 2004, have refused or failed to act on these reforms – because they don’t want to offend their conservative constituents. So, we need to push for change at this time – because they have to table the relevant Act, to change the forced divorce provision. This is the only time the government can be forced to do anything, because the Act is tabled for amendment.
The government keeps saying it all needs to go to a Law Reform Institute review. Except, when you ask the Premier and Attorney-General if they’ll implement the Institute’s recommendations, they won’t even answer.
I cannot, for the life of me, work out how you can see the additional amendments as unnecessary. They’re about making everyday life much easier to negotiate, for young trans and GD people.
Yes, it’s creating some nasty public outcries. From people who’d like to keep trans and GD people where they are. You can outlaw bigotry and hate-speech, but it’s harder to eliminate bigots and haters. Do you not change laws, to avoid upsetting the bigots? They’re not going away.
Whether you believe it or not, this “one such person” is working with a bunch of clever and dedicated people to try for change that’ll not happen for years, otherwise. For the kids, future trans and GD Tasmanians. If some discomfort happens with this, I’m sorry – but take it up with the bigots doing the harming.
And, if you seriously think we should leave it alone, instead of upsetting the bigots, then I’ve no time to waste with you.
This was my chance to see how far the rabbit hole was going to go. I wanted answers so I replied,
Martine, We have both lived long enough to know about what riders do to the original bill. “For the life of me”, you all saw what it was doing to our community here in Tasmania. But instead of taking the time and educating the general public you left the riders in, resulting in still fighting an uphill battle. Even going so far as allowing a spokesperson to come close to letting the general pubic think we (the Trans Community) are spoilt children. In so many ways you should have taken a step back and higher a PR firm to run alongside this campaign. Their professionalism is disconnected and would never have release such a shocking statement that was put in The Advocate.
As I have said until you sway the general public you will never affect real change. To use some wonderful example that was done in a video about that change in America. You have a 30% chance of changing the law to the way you want. But without educating the public to be above that 30% nothing will change. Look I just so many others love the changes in Equal marriage. It was about time, that less than 30% is now the ones who now object to it. Why because the footwork was done.
I like so many others object being called a Bigot because I feel the riders that have been attached are too wide. The full impact of them has not been addressed. Nor has the general public been educated on that said impact. We (people like myself) have been ignored or pushed to the side “I’ve no time to waste with you”. Even though our reason is based on educated logic and is sound. I state openly and loudly that the Groundwork has not been done and the full impact has not been researched. I close with this last statement, The only way out of ignorance is through Education.
This is a rather long post sorry. But I think it needs to get out there. Hoping that this would be the end of it. She replied,
Aleana, was about to respond to every one of your erroneous statements. But, you seem to have formed your view on the basis of government misinformation and the media. The way out of ignorance is to perhaps check in with the people who’ve been lobbying for reform for the past fifteen years or so. Do this, maybe we can have a rational discussion. Cheers.
If you know me my opinions are mine. I do my best to research them and know what I am thinking as well as if I am lacking to ask questions. So, I replied once again. At the same time, I am getting a bit frustrated.
Martine, Well that was another backhanded attack. You see this is why people are not liking what you and the others have put out. You have the approach of a bull in a china shop. First of all my opinions are based on the fact that not the Media. Though I will say the story in The Advocate was not professional in any form. I am a (removed, you don’t need to know my resume’) You lost the ability to have a rational discussion the moment you brought in Bigotry vs. Education. As an excuse for poor research and planning on your part. Your lobby expected the leaders and the public to just roll over as you attached the riders. You thought that they would not take the time and pick apart your riders based on the shortfalls of them. Now you are face to face with a person who is an educated Transwoman and not a Bigot by any means who does not agree with the riders. Because you cannot logically address the shortfalls you go on the defensive and start attacking.
I am not here to be liked. I am here standing up to the sad attempt of railroading a poorly thought out legislation. As well as an even worse show of force to the General public. Telling us how we should feel about it, is an insult on the highest levels. Something that poor parents do to children.
As an informed voter, I look at all points to which I will vote on. The good, the bad and the ugly I am responsible for my votes. You have done no education to the general public. What you have told them is how they should feel about it. Then you also have not addressed the ripple effects of this nightmare. As well as the historical impacts of it. The voters are not stupid and it should have been given its own platform away from what was required by federal law and that was to end forced divorces.
But like you have stated in your comments to me “I’ve no time to waste with you” and the bastardization of my comment “The way out of ignorance is through Education”. It is clear that as with any standard lobbyist you have your agenda and to hell with anyone who might object to it, even if the objections are sound. In the end, it is all about what the lobby wants who cares about the impact.
I had a gut feeling that there was going to be a reply. I should have just walked away and stopped talking to a wall. But I had concerns about this add ons to the required legislation. So I hoped for a respectful reply….
Aleana, I’m so glad an educated person has turned up, on the tail end of 15 years of a lobbying campaign, to tell us how wrong we are. As mentioned earlier, I’ve no time in life to waste validating your high opinion of yourself. Sadly, in this instance you have nought but a half-baked, ill-advised clue. And it’s because your objections aren’t sound that I have no time for you. You’re pontificating. I’m busy.
I lost my shit, yup my reply was not what it should have been.
Martine, but not to busy to write another smart ass reply. While taking another swipe at me. One would think that in 15 years you would have learned to hire a PR firm to do your talking for you. Or at least learned how not to piss off a voter. You are not winning any points here and more people will read this and start to look deeper into that shady piece of legislation. Then they can develop their own point of view based on their research and asking questions about it. That should scare you, like I said Education leads people out of ignorance.
Yup, okay not very nice. But I was not going to stand there and get slapped for nothing. She replied again. Right now this is looking like a schoolyard bitch fight rather than two educated individuals in a debate. I even felt bad for highjacking my friend’s post. So I sent her a msg saying sorry for what was going on.
Aleana, honestly. No time for you. You’ve no idea, and I’ve no patience for you tonight. Every time you write one of your statements above, apropos “that shady legislation”, your ignorance does harm to the cause of trans & GD rights in Tasmania. If you can’t take the time to learn fact before rabbitting on, then don’t make uninformed commentary. You potentially harm the future of kids who stand to benefit. Stop, please.
It was about this time that I started to think about how can I turn this around. But Martine was starting to piss me off. Instead of remaining calm and composed the teeth came out and my final reply before writing this might not have been so kind. But Oh my to think I am stupid not to do my research and look at this issue on multiple sides, grrrrr. So please forgive my condescending tone in this last reply.
Martine, (exhaustive sigh) You might want to sit down because it is time for an education. Since time as we know it, a child comes out of the womb. The person on the other end looks at that child and sees a PENIS and says this is a male (or whatever is the equivalent). Shocking news if the child comes out without a PENIS the person on the other end says this is a female (or whatever is the equivalent). Throughout time there have been Intersexed children born and birth defects. Nowadays the person on the other end says Uhm doctor (this is a simple version).
Now for the shocker of the lesson, it is called Self-awareness. This is a key point where your lobby has FAILED. A child does not become self-aware of their body parts until the age range of 3-5 on average. Boys see something that dangles and think something to touch, girls don’t. Furthermore, this awareness does not come with a full cognitive understanding of those parts and what they mean until around the age of 7. So I am going to call a big Bull Shit on the issue that having a gender maker on the Birth Certificate at birth causes harm in this age group.
Now let us look real hard at the age 7 it is about time that a child might start going to school. If that child is exhibiting issues linked with being Transgender or Nonconforming. Laws should be in place already that protect this child as we are in Australia, not the US. Your lobby knew all the above information. But instead of seeking for an update to existing laws about changing birth certificates in line with the International standard of the WPATH model. Your lobby thought it would be a great idea for a fight to remove the maker via a opt out. This will change nothing have you asked every parent who has or had a child with these issues if they would have chosen the opt out if there was one offered at birth?
The next thing you did not look at because as with any lobby group your focus is on what you want and not always about the cold hard facts or what is right. Here is some simple points that you have either overlooked or just don’t care about.
1) Tasmania is the only state that would be doing this? So what about the requirements in other states that need this marker? Where is your answer to that?
2) On a Federal level, you have not addressed the impacts of such things as the Census and the costs as well as the overall impact of the change.
3) You have also not addressed the issue of Military service and its requirements.
4) Passports, even though it is not on the item it is still being tracked. How many men to women get a passport?
5) Medicare & Centrelink, have you addressed those issues?
6) Legal services, I know it might be shocking but the courts will want to know during “Issues” that may arise. Have you addressed those?
7) Medical, you have not addressed these issues unless it is about how a person feels. News flash, Batman, infant mortality is tracking Male and Female births worldwide. Then you have also not addressed such things as Birth defects that are also being tracked and compared with the gender markers and locations of birth. There is a large list of issues in the medical section.
Look I could really keep going with the lack of professionalism that you and your lobby group has done. But 1-7 is a great start, in the end, this rider has caused problems, That it cannot address or is unwilling to. You have had several hours to ask my concerns and address them in a very public forum. But instead, you have wasted my time and yours with your vile and petty attacks. What do you expect a reader to see when they read this post? Because if it is anything other than a lobbyist who’s selfcentered approach to a persons concerns. Is that of attacking them trying to bully them into submission. You have accomplished that. But it will take more than you to bully me. In fact, all you have done is cemented my thoughts not only on you but this legislation.
One more thing as free education goes. It costs nothing to be kind, but for every one person that you are unkind to seven more will be told or find out. This is a very old rule in retail with a bit of a twist for those in the public eye. I am going to share this, people are going to see it and read about it. Hopefully, they will dive deeper into the issues that I have raised. Maybe they will solve those questions that you could have done. Maybe they won’t, but they might see the costs outweigh the benefits that you are trying to create. For me, my choice is made and tonight you were the reason for it, it is not a positive one. Time will tell who is right or wrong and if this was your 30%, not the public’s.
Now look we all start as children. Every child who is Trans has the very same issue. But the end results are vastly different. This group could have done so many things differently. This rider should never have taken place. It should have had its own time to be addressed. The last question that I think is in my mind is, do the costs of this idea outweigh the results. In a nutshell yes. Because of one group’s little idea we are looking at millions of dollars to be spent for a few people who are saying “my feelings are being hurt because of when I was born this was on my Birth Certificate”. This group could have looked at adjusting laws that are already in place for changing a Brith Certificate. BTW a member of parliament clued into this and started that discussion. I think this is the wisest choice, as well as having the least amount of ripple effects.
The biggest error I have seen so far is the story in The Advocate newspaper. Then the issues of telling the public that we will like it in time. Never tell me what I am going to like, that is not your job. To be 100% honest I am sick and tired of Lobby groups who take the ear of our leaders and not listen to the public. I am also tired of seeing so much money being wasted because of these fools and their errands. Just think what could be done with the money that this change wants and has not been calculated. Why because they don’t know or they are really scared to tell you the public. That is where the real harm lies. I have heard it from people in the US who know what is going on in Tasmania, they don’t like it and ask why is my community doing this. I have also heard this from local friends. My answer is simple this is not my doing and I don’t feel it should be blamed on my community. Just because a small minority are making noise.
In closing let me say this. I respect every child who is going through what I did. I hope that their families are able to find peace love and acceptance for that child. I have seen it in a friend of mine with their child and it is beautiful. Though the future we are fighting for them should not come with a price tag that is hidden behind lies. It should also not be at a price tag that ignores the WPATH guidelines. Yes, it can be hard to deal with people getting our gender wrong, or our names, or our pronouns, or whatever. But we also cannot keep running around saying my feelings are hurt if we want respect and equal treatment. It is a big world out there and it is time some of us face the facts that there are going to be those who do not like us. There are going to be issues that do not work for us. News flash that is part of being an adult, no one ever said it was going to be easy or fair.
Wow Ally, What can I say. How rude of Martine. Kindness is free – it doesn’t cost to share it. Some of the worst bigots show themselves up from the very groups who accuse others of bigotry. Well said. Hope your eyes get better quickly. Love you, Jackie 🙂 xo