Saturday, August 18, 2007

Transgender Awareness Day events in WGN

Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Transgender Awareness Day events in WGN Today is Transgender Awareness Day, and the Wellington branch of trans social and support organisation 'Agender' seek to remind Kiwis that "Sex is between the legs, Gender is between the ears." In a San Francisco all-night café called Comptons in August 1966, transgendered people fought back for the first time against the harassment, abuse and discrimination heaped on then by the wider community and specifically the local Police, explains Claudia McKay, President of Agender NZ. "This is still significant today, because all transpeople -- wherever they are -- need to acknowledge those who first stood up and said ‘No more’ to the abuses suffered by this community literally for centuries, within western society," says McKay. "Much has changed for transpeople since the rebellion at Comptons Café forty one years ago. Many of those who were there are now dead, those that are alive can say it is easier to live as your true self now, and yet, even now many people in the wider community do not understand, or carry misconceptions about us that all too often shows its ugly side in words and deeds." McKay notes that in a few weeks the Human Rights Commission will release the results of its enquiry into discrimination against transgender people in New Zealand. "We believe that our community is one of the most discriminated against of any minority group in the country and this enquiry, which is the first National enquiry of its type known to be conducted anywhere in the world, will shed light and make recommendations that if acted upon will significantly improve the lives of thousands of transpeople in Aotearoa." Today, August 15, Agender will honour its heroes and challenge New Zealanders to be tolerant of all difference, not just those considered to be politically correct. A stall will be erected in Midland Park in Central Wellington from 11am to 2pm today where the public can meet and learn from and about the trans community, "who are, in reality, part of the whole, not some separate unit to be abused and discarded. "We contribute to society and want everyone to know it," McKay makes clear. Agender has also organised a discussion panel of several members from across the gender spectrum tomorrow, for open and honest answers regarding transgender identity and issues. Following a brief introduction from each panellist, they will all share some of their stories, and invite questions from the audience. "Don’t be shy, this discussion is open to everybody and anybody so it would be fantastic if as many of you as possible would be keen to come along," says Agender's Jaimie Veale. The discussion will be held on Thursday August 16 at 5pm, in Meeting Room 1 of the Student Union Building, Kelburn Campus, Wellington. Refreshments will also be provided. A poster with further details on the event is available to view on the link below.
Ref: Agender (m)

No comments: