Top barrister makes transition
A high-profile Adelaide criminal lawyer received the support of peers in the legal industry yesterday after making her first appearance in court having transitioned from male to female.
Heather Stokes, formerly David, has represented many well-known clients including former AFL footballer Fabian Francis and APY Lands chairperson Bernard Signer.
Sally Goldner of Transgender Victoria told gaynewsnetwork there is little surprise that someone in public life can still make the news when they transition.
“I think we’re still at the point where a transgender person is the first to transition, say in their field. So it’s the first known country singer, or punk musician, or astronaut, or anyone it’s still going to be news. That would be the simple answer as to why there is still that sense or pioneering to it,” she said.
“Anytime there’s news of a high profile person transitioning or when there’s public visibility for trans it’s good. I’m thinking here of when Paige Phoenix was on X Factor last year, in the US Chaz Bono going on Dancing with the Stars.
“For those sort of things the anecdotal evidence we got, when those sorts of things happened, was the clinics had an influx of people going wow, it’s okay to be who you are and they’re not getting totally ridiculed. It does make a huge difference.”
Goldner emphasised that the news of Stokes’ transition can be of benefit to transgender people.
“The impact will be hugely positive so once again transgender people have as much potential as anyone else to make huge contributions to society, to the economy. All you need is a fair go and we can do it,” she said.