Uniting to find a voice within the trans, queer and intersex community
Kristyana Finch thinks the trans* community is often muted by division.
There is an undercurrent of disillusionment in the trans/gender diverse community. We are a minority among minorities, under the banner of LGBtqi we sit in limbo without true representatives or action. We fail to take our place in the acronym and make it our own. Some complain with real reason but in truth offer no options. I entered this community and all I saw was a void. I have slowly found people who are making efforts but there is no cohesive force binding those efforts.
Politically we are muted by our division. Our needs lack urgency for we are incapable of presenting a unified pressure on the policy makers. It’s easy to placate an individual, the request is listened to, the argument is appreciated and the individual is patted on the head and sent on their way. It is not enough to claim to represent a community. You must have the support of the group you wish to represent. No individual, whatever their experience has the right to claim the confidence of a community without the support of the community, this is where so many fail.
People who have the power to make a difference also have the opportunity to ignore problems that have no apparent support. An individual who claims that they represent a community without community support, will at best be used as a token for policy makers to claim their support for a minority. They will effectively obstruct true progress as they only speak for themselves or their small cliques. They are often manipulated by policy makers deliberately to obstruct with small funding arrangements keeping them in check.
To change our situation we need to separate from the past and unite. We need to create a national group of activists and especially of advocates. Petty differences needs to be left in the past and we need to create a positive attitude to ensure we have a healthy discourse among our group . With unity we will have power, the power to change our future, to ensure that no one need follow the same uncomfortable path we did. The power to change the way we are viewed and the way we are treated. We the gender diverse community have to raise our status in the LGBtqi because that’s how it stands now. TQI NEEDS TO BE CAPITALISED.
We need leadership with consultation and inclusion. It’s time for us to take our stand and build a strong coherent structure of our own. It must cross the boundaries of the states and individuals and truly represent our needs. Lateral hostilities must cease, ego must be set aside with opinion, a national body must be a reality. An opportunity for bringing this to fruition is coming in October this year in Adelaide: the third biannual ANZPATH trans health and community conference. In conjunction with the community this presents a wonderful chance to change the future.
As a member of the conference organising committee, I am keen to see this become an intrinsic part of the discussion. There is already discussion underway, it is time we controlled our own destiny, it is time for gender diverse people to be heard without the filter of the LGB. In my mind it is time to separate sexuality from gender. That's my next subject!