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CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE

NON-GENDERED

Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure


While anticipating a further announcement from the IPS/Home Office on the United Kingdom government proposals to change the current discriminatory policy that forces non-gendered passport holders in the UK to deny our identity (a policy that renders non-gendered people unwillingly complicit in our social invisibility), a few items that might be of interest:


Civil Marriage

Following my last entry, posted immediately prior to launch of a government public consultation on civil marriage, I want to reiterate how important it is that non-gendered people are not excluded from a benefit the government intends to make available to everyone else.

If gender-specific documentation is required in order to register a Notice of Intent for civil marriage, then non-gendered people will still be forced to compromise and deny our identity in order to enter into civil marriage with our partner, whether gendered society regards the partnership as gay or straight.

The government proposes that opportunity to enter into a civil marriage should be open for “everyone”.

What has emerged so far is NOT equality for everyone and is not acceptable.

It is VITAL that EVERYONE who supports this issue makes reference to the current lack of non gender-specific identity documentation in their response to the government ‘s online consultation.

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/equal-civil-marriage/

In the meantime, my partner and I have just celebrated our 21st Anniversary (21 years since the day we were first introduced – a pure chance encounter that changed both our lives forever). We have decided to register our partnership once I am able to enter into a civil marriage without the necessity to deny my identity – and we intend to marry on our Anniversary day.


Survey

Yet another survey, this one is being conducted on behalf of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/home/home_en.htm – as the name suggests, this is an advisory body of the European Union. It was established in 2007 by a legal act of the European Union and is based in Vienna, Austria.

The FRA helps to ensure that fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected. It does this by collecting evidence across the European Union and providing advice, based on evidence, about how to improve the situation where fundamental rights are breached.

This EU-wide survey is aimed towards establishing the level of discrimination and disadvantage experienced by LGB&T within the EU while drawing comparisons between EU member countries.

Respondents are initially asked to state whether they are LGB or T. Non-gendered respondents should select T, because I understand the questions are tailored based on this first response. There is an opportunity to be more specific further into the survey.

The format is essentially the same as the UK government surveys from last year, except one can only add further comments at the end with a 250 word maximum.

Worth non-gendered participation, if you can spare 30 minutes or so http://lgbtsurvey.eu


Council of Europe

A landmark conference took place in Strasbourg on 27 March 2012 to promote the implementation of the Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 on measures to combat discrimination against LGB&T https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1606669

It is extremely unfortunate the European institutions’ level of awareness of the issue of human identity outside the gendered societal structure is at an embryonic stage, and the situation is not helped when individuals and groups with a broader remit who nonetheless purport to represent our interests instead use inappropriate labels such as “gender-queer” in reference to persons who identify as neither male nor female within the course of their dialogue with the various governing bodies (notably, a label also favoured by medical professionals who seek to pathologise the issue).

It is hardly surprising that there was no reference to the social exclusion and invisibility of transpeople who identify outside the gendered societal structure within the key speaker presentation, or indeed that our respective figureheads are unsure how to present the issue within a context that would encourage international support rather than public ridicule.

However, I am reliably informed the specific “challenges” faced by non-gendered people was raised during the less formal discussions that took place between the UK government representatives and other delegates later in the day.


Nepal

Another first from Nepal

http://bluediamondsociety.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/nepals-first-gender-inclusive-toiled-unveiled-today-in-nepalgunj/

A public facility reserved specifically and exclusively for the use of “third gender and others” is not exactly what I’ve been advocating for here in the UK, but offers food for thought nonetheless!


The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered

Copyright ©2012 Christie Elan-Cane
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