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August 4, 2008 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Transgendered People are Awesome

We can all be wonderful creatures who express ourselves in curious and delightful ways. But we become twisted up in to fitting or rebelling from whatever others do, and it’s difficult. So we write about it.

With the passage of the Civil Unions bill and widespread (though by no means complete) support for homosexuality, it seems that we’re reasonably comfortable to express ourselves in homosexual ways. But, lest we grow complacent, we need to observe that our society is much less accepting of other forms of personal and romantic expression. Polygamy and sadomasochism are still generally frowned upon by the majority. Even more worrying is our treatment of transgendered people.

More times than I care to remember, friends of mine have spotted a person who has clearly altered their gender, and remarked something along the lines of “who do they think they’re fooling.” What my friends don’t seem to realise is that the people they’re insulting did not choose to change their gender from the one forced upon them at birth – indeed it’s unlikely anyone would put themselves through the pain of trying to convince others that their immediate perceptions are incorrect.

What makes being transgendered so difficult is that, whereas most homophobes accept that gay people are actually gay, a great many otherwise tolerant people simply refuse to consider transgendered people by the sex they identify with. Being constantly referred to as ‘her’ by everyone and their toddler at the supermarket is a painful experience when you know, deep in your heart, that you’re not a woman. As a dear friend of mine once wrote: “I know I’m a special kind of man and blah blah blah, but really. I would trade all the insight that my female upbringing gave me for the ignorant reality of a proper body.”

It’s really fucking painful to see what we put him and others like him through. Even many of those who consider themselves liberal still find it necessary to make snide remarks every time they see a transgendered person. Georgina Beyer tried to get the current Labour government to legislate against prejudice based upon gender identity, but withdrew the bill on the Solicitor-General’s advice that the current Human Rights Act already outlaws such discrimination. But this doesn’t change the fact that we still treat transgendered people badly, and that sometimes this treatment is simply too hard to bear.

Unfortunately, you can never entirely change your body. You can never get back the childhood you lost because you were in the wrong body, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Being transgendered takes a whole lot of courage and determination, and I want you all to know that you’re awesome people, and I have the deepest admiration for you all.

Letter of the Week: Fuck Unicomm

To all Unicomm residents, lets wake the fuck the up and organize. We’re being exploited and it’s bullshit. We haven’t had access to half the services we were promised last year, such as the gym, the McKenzies laundry, the bar. We’ve received no compensation for the extensive renovations that have been going on for the entire year, including the jack hammer right the fuck outside my window every fuckin morning. Management’s response to these renovations was an apology, a promise that all construction work was over, and a shitty icecream night – and now it’s started again. McKenzies might as well not even have a roof it leaks so bad, eighth floor Cumberland are so pissed off they sought legal action apparently, and we now have to go through the seemingly pointless process of wasting our cellphone credit on those power cards. Not to mention the hideously expensive laundry system. What the fuck?

And the most infuriating part is, Unicomm is owned by the ninth largest corporation on the planet – the Dutch ING Group. The only reason a multi-national corporation like ING would accquire an asset such as Unicomm is to invest in that asset, which is to profit from it, which means some fuckwit corporate CEO is sitting in an office in Europe makin money off us.

So for fuck’s sake let’s do something. Those posters were so encouraging but nothing seems to have come of them? And yeah I tagged the lift. It took a shitload of weight off my chest, and it resulted in those posters. And every resident should be taking similar action. Fuck Unicomm. Let’s make demands, organize a dialogue with management to try and reason, then respond accordingly in solidarity.

Rise up. It’s fun.



About the Author ()

Tristan Egarr edited in 2008. He threw a chair once.

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