transgender & intersex rights

In response to the election of right-wing billionaire Donald Trump as president elect in the US, a “Dump Trump” protest was organised on November 12.

The action was in solidarity with African Americans, Latinos, LGBTQIA people, the disabled and women, all of whom have borne the brunt of attacks by Trump and his supporters as they exploited xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, homophobia and misogyny during the long election campaign.

I have no doubt that the plebiscite would have been won: it would have been a huge opening to build a mass movement for marriage equality and demolish the opposition. But I shared fears that the “No” campaign would have hurt our youth.

US soldier Chelsea Manning, serving a 35-year prison term for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, ended her hunger strike on September 13 after the Army said she will receive treatment for her gender dysphoria, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

Chelsea Manning, the US army private who leaked classified information about US war crimes to WikiLeaks, announced on September 9 that she has begun a hunger strike to protest the lack of respect and dignity from prison and military officials.

“I need help, I am not getting any,” Manning said in a statement. “I have asked for help time and time again for six years and through five separate confinement locations. My request has only been ignored, delayed, mocked, given trinkets and lip service by the prison, the military, and this administration.”

The Victorian government announced new legislation on August 18 aimed at simplifying the process for trans and gender diverse (TGD) people’s to change the sex marker on their birth certificates and records. This has rightfully been welcomed as an important step forward for TGD people rights.

The new legislation, which follows similar legislation in the ACT and 2013 changes to policies regarding sex markers on Commonwealth documents, is a start towards eliminating medical gatekeeping on the lives of TGD people.

The Victorian government tabled a bill on August 18 to allow transgender, gender diverse and intersex people the right to specify their gender on new birth certificates.

The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2016 also ensures couples will no longer be forced to divorce if one partner wishes to change the sex recorded on their birth registration.

People will be able to nominate as male, female or specify a gender diverse or non-binary descriptor.

Mexico is leading a campaign to demand the World Health Organization declassify transgender identity as a mental disorder in its global list of medical conditions.

The petition is based on a study published on July 28 in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal. After more than two years of research, it concludes that transgender people are not “mentally ill”.

In a tableau becoming horrifyingly common, a transgender woman of color was found dead in Ohio on July 30, the victim of an apparent homicide.

Skye Mockabee was found unresponsive in a parking lot around 8 a.m. on July 30 in Cleveland, Ohio, reports Cleveland.com. Mockabee had an apparent head-wound, and the individuals who found her called EMS. She was declared dead at the scene. She was 26 years old.

Police are providing few details about Mockabee's death; no suspects have been arrested, and no possible motive for her murder has been given.

Bolivia has approved a new law that allows transgender people to change their name, sex and gender on birth certificates and other official records. LGBTI rights activists in Bolivia see the law as a groundbreaking sign of growing tolerance in Latin America.

Forty people began the process to change their personal information on identity documents and bank accounts, and alter their professional titles on the day the law passed.

Supporters of equal marriage rights will again take to the streets in Sydney and Melbourne on August 13. The date marks 12 years since the John Howard government — with Labor support — passed laws banning equal marriage.

In the past 12 years, thousands have mobilised across the country demanding an end to the ban.

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