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YOUR STORIES
Share your experiences in AUSTRALIA - Let others know what it’s like to be LGBTI in your country! If an experience is meaningful for you, it will probably be meaningful for someone else. On whatever topic, whether good or bad, your story is how the world knows about your country and LGBTI life. By selecting tags that mark the topic your story, others can learn from your experience.
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in AUSTRALIA...
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Claudia James (user currently living in ARGENTINA) posted for readers on 27/05/2014
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HOW I GOT MY EX LOVER BACK..

I never believed in spell casters until my life fell apart when my lover of 6 years decided to call it quit. I was so devastated that i had an accident that left me bedridden. After 9 months of emotional pain and languish, a friend of mine introduced me to a certain spell caster, this was after I have been scammed by various fake spell caster. I was introduced to DR ISHAWURU ( A Spell Caster). In less than 72 hrs i saw wonders, my Lover came back to me and my life got back just like a completed puzzle... am so happy.. Dr Ishawuru have all kinds of spells from pregnancy to love,from employment to visa lottery winning. He has spell to stop divorce,spell to make someone look attractive and others. here's his contact for serious minded people only, it might be of help.... ishawuruspell@gmail.com. wow Dr. Ishawuru...thanks am so grateful as you saved my life.
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Lesbiangirlz (user currently living in AFGHANISTAN) posted for lesbian readers on 07/02/2014 +15
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Hello, today I'm completly in love of my girlfriend. The both are today searching a house in Asutralia to can live in a total liberty and love. In our country the same sex union is prohibeted. I'm so proud of the action of this country, it's an example for us, and all the gays! LOVE YOU AND PEACE GUYS
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falundafahao (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for gay intersex readers on 09/08/2013 +4
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Saving gays, we are in action!
Dear friends,

I was shocked to know the news of President Obama’s announcement of gay ambassadors.

Master Li Hongzhi once said that homosexuality is not human behavior, it is incest, immoral and crime. The homosexual people lose their sensibility and are psychologically dirty and abnormal, they are bad people and will be first eliminated by God.
Homosexuals not only violate the standards that gods set for mankind, but also damage human society’s moral code. In particular, the impression it gives children will turn future societies into something demonic.


Do you want to see your own children to be homosexual?

Falun Dafa has for the first time throughout the ages provided the nature of the universe to human beings, which will help homosexuals find themselves again, and break out of that dark state of mind..
Join us now, and follow the works of saving gays from being eliminated till the end!

Master Li bless you!
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Leigh Johnston (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex straight readers on 12/03/2013 tagged with human rights, laws and leadership , marriage / civil unions, illegality of female to female relationships
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Hello ILGA friends, I wonder if you could help my 2 girlfriends gain some support and attention by posting the following link to your webpages and any social networking page you oversee. They are about to marry each other and have invited someone special to their wedding!!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152635449140554&set;=o.26012002239&type;=1&theater;&notif;_t=photo

The more attention we get the more exposure and chance of the girl's dreams come true! Please read. Thank you for taking interest, as this is in all our interests!

Kind regards,
Leigh Johnston
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(user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for readers on 20/01/2013 tagged with intersex, gender identity +5
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Sex and Gender Diverse” discussion paper on terminology
By Morgan on 9 January 2013.

Summary

A view has been developing within OII Australia that the terms “sex and gender diversity” (SGD) and “diverse sex and gender” (DSG) are confusing the media, activists, lawyers, politicians and the public about intersex.

We believe they do this because the terms are euphemistic, abstracted, conflate identities and biology, and lack legibility. We believe that misconceptions are partly generated and perpetuated through the poor use of umbrella terms, often by third parties. They are misused in ways that elide differences between intersex and trans groups.

We believe that a move away from obscure innovative terms would make information more intelligible to a general audience, and an international audience. We believe that consistency and clarity in terminology would help us to talk more effectively about intersex, and more easily help us work together on areas of common concern with trans and other communities.

The purpose of this discussion paper is to illuminate some of the issues, and help to agree a way forward that promotes clarity, simplicity, and consistency, in a way that help achieve positive change.

It concludes by suggesting that a single, unifying umbrella term is not actually required. Terminology could vary, in the order of words to describe joint actions by/for intersex and trans communities, but it should use the term “intersex” to refer to intersex.

Download in PDF format

Download this discussion paper in PDF format: Discussion paper on SGD/DSG (updated 9 Jan 2013).

Evidence of confusion about “SGD”

Evidence of confusion about the nature of SGD and DSG is widespread, and is not limited to OII Australia. Peter Hyndal said, at the launch of the DSG Health Report:

There’s been all this talk of “sex and gender diversity” this evening. It seems to me that very few people really understand what that term actually means. “Sex and Gender Diversity” is a term that describes two different groups of people.

The first are intersex…
Being intersex is a biological reality.
It has nothing to do with a person’s gender identity. And It has nothing to do with a person’s sexuality.

The second group of people we refer to as part of the term “Sex and Gender Diverse”, are people whose gender identity happens to be different from cultural assumptions of ‘normality’. This includes (but certainly isn’t limited to) people like me – who were born female, but who identify and present in the world as male… [1]

Particularly egregious examples of a lack of understanding can be seen in the press coverage of that launch. The SX/GNN report referred to intersex twice, in opening and closing the article (our emphasis):

The Diversity in Health: Improving the health and well-being of transgender, intersex and other sex and gender diverse Australians report was launched at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday, November 27 at an event sponsored by the convenors of the Federal Parliamentary LGBTI Friends Group

Alliance Chair, Susan Ditter, said… “The recommendations … provide a solid foundation … to improve the health of transgender, intersex and other sex and gender diverse Australians.”

The bulk of the article was given to two interviews of trans people, and a summary statement by the Alliance Chair.

The publisher identified the report’s key concerns:

It recommends reforms and greater protections for DSG people in five key areas, including health, education and community services, identity recognition, health care, legal protection as well as greater research and evidence about the issues commonly faced by those in the community.

One of the major recommendations is for the Commonwealth to direct Medicare to remove the gendering of medical procedures and rebates, so that people can gain access to rebates for procedures which are appropriate for their bodies, regardless of their gender. According to the report such coverage should include, but not be limited to, medically necessary transition processes. [2]

The Star Observer titled its coverage “Trans issues back on national agenda”. The word intersex was mentioned twice (our emphasis):

Top transgender and intersex advocates refreshed their lobbying efforts in Canberra…

The National LGBTI Health Alliance organised the roundtable with transgender, intersex, queer and Indigenous sister girls from most states and territories. [3]

The issues that the press coverage expanded upon were solely based on an interview with Sally Goldner:

“I feel like we are at a cusp but I think public understanding of what transgender is is certainly increasing all the time.”
Goldner said Australian transgender people were still missing out because they faced a “shortage of social justice” despite increasing public awareness around gender diverse issues.
“Going back to last year when the passports improvements were announced there was barely a backlash,” Goldner said.
In September 2011, the Australian Government announced new guidelines for transgender people applying for passports. Before the change, transgender people were forced to undergo sex reassignment surgery before their gender could be changed on their passport which severely limited travel overseas.
The government relaxed the standards by allowing transgender people to present a statement from a medical practitioner supporting their gender. [3]

Both press reports presumed the existence of a homogeneous “DSG people”, or “DSG community” of interest, and the issues expanded upon are about transition, which strongly implies that transition is a DSG issue, rather than primarily a trans issue. Some of the issues mentioned in the interview with Sally coincided with changes to guidelines for intersex people, but that was omitted.

An uninformed reader of both articles would likely assume that trans, intersex and DSG are synonymous. A little informed reader would likely assume that transition is a, perhaps the, intersex issue [4].

Outside the LGBTI communities, the Australian Human Rights Commission published the Sex Files report in 2009, as part of a “sex and gender diversity project”:

The biological definition of sex is based on whether a person is male or female. However, there are also people who are born not exclusively male or female and are intersex. The phrase sex diversity as a term recognises the complete spectrum of sex identity.

For people who define sex as biologically determined, gender is viewed as socially constructed. From this perspective, gender can be determined by how a person looks, dresses or acts. People can express a gender identity that is masculine, feminine or something else. Gender identity does not necessarily match with sex. [5]

The use of “sex diversity” appears to be an unnecessary case of mirroring the use of “gender diversity”. The document establishes a reasoning for discussion of “sex identity” that appears dated and inaccurate. Further, the Sex Files report did not take account of existing practices in some States whereby intersex people can obtain identity documentation on the basis of administrative correction to birth registration details.

In its submission on the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill Exposure Draft (HRAD), in December 2012, the AHRC has found it necessary to use more explicit language around intersex, in an effort to ensure inclusion in the proposed bill:

Recommendation 6: The Commission recommends that, in addition to protection against discrimination based on gender identity, the Bill also provide protection more directly against discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex characteristics, intersex status, or gender expression. [6]

Self-descriptions of intersex within intersex communities

When intersex groups self organise, or speak, the terminology of “sex and gender diversity” is never used. It’s clear that “SGD” or “DSG” are terms used by others to include us, not terms that we use ourselves.

An example that demonstrates this is the seven demands of the second International Intersex Forum, held in Stockholm in December 2012. These also show what are actual intersex issues:

Between 9-11 December 2012, the second International Intersex Forum took place in Stockholm. This event brought together 37 activists representing 33 intersex organisations and supportive institutions from all continents.

The Forum agreed to affirm the principles of the first International Intersex Forum and extended the demands aiming to end discrimination against intersex people and to ensure the right of bodily integrity and self-determination:


To put an end to mutilating and ‘normalising’ practices such as genital surgeries, psychological and other medical treatments, including infanticide and selective abortion (on the grounds of intersex).
To ensure that the personal, free, prior, and fully informed consent of the intersex individual is a compulsory requirement in all medical practices and protocols.
Creating and facilitating supportive, safe and celebratory environments for intersex people, their families and surroundings.
In view of ensuring the bodily integrity and health of the intersex child, psycho-social support and non-pathologising peer support be provided to parents and/or care providers and the child`s immediate family instead of surgical or other medical treatment unless such interventions are live-saving.
The provision of all human rights and citizenship rights to intersex people.
The provision of access to one`s own medical records and any documentation, and the affirmation of the intersex person`s right to truth.
The acknowledgement and redress of the suffering and injustice caused in the past. [7]
A similar example can be seen in the open letter on intersex to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, signed by Australians Gina Wilson and Tony Briffa. It begins:

We are writing to discuss the grave situation of human rights abuses of intersex people worldwide. We are concerned about the specific uses of prenatal Dexamethasone (DEX), nonconsensual medically unnecessary surgeries on infants and minors, the gross mistreatment of Pinki Pramanik, and the recent addition of intersex people under the language of “DSD” (Disorders of Sex Development) to the DSM-V. [8]

Further examples are the submissions on the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill (HRAD), Exposure Draft, by OII Australia , AISSGA , Tony Briffa . OII Australia state, in the first paragraph:

OII Australia is a national body by and for intersex people. We promote the human rights of intersex people in Australia, and provide information, education and peer support. OII Australia is a not-for-profit company, recognised by the Australian Taxation Office as a charitable institution. We are not publicly-funded; we rely on the contributions of our members. [9]

The AISSGA state in their first paragraph:

The Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) Support Group Australia Inc. (A0041398U) is a peer support, information and advocacy group for people affected by AIS and/or related intersex conditions, and their families. [10]

Tony Briffa states:

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on the exposure draft of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 (Cth). I am particularly pleased the Bill aims to include people born biologically both male and female; otherwise known as intersex. I am one such person. [11]

Further, the terms SGD and DSG are not in general use on the websites for OII Australia or AISSGA, except where quoting or critiquing works using those terms.

While all submissions by intersex people and organisations to the HRAD use the same language, “intersex”, the terminology has historically been contentious.

Historically, the term hermaphrodite was used in educated western contexts. That term now has a specific meaning in biology to indicate biological entities that have what, in mammals, are sexually dimorphic reproductive parts. The term intersex has been used since the early 20th century. Since 2006, medical discourse has used a term that most intersex groups in most countries find problematic and contentious: Disorders of Sex Development.

Disputes around language in intersex communities focus on the use of intersex rather than DSD, the validity of the term hermaphrodite, and differing perspectives on the use of the medicalised language, such as the word “condition”.

Intersex is an umbrella term

SGD or DSG are often described as an umbrella term. For example:

Sex and gender diversity is an “umbrella term” that describes two different groups of people – intersex people and gender diverse people. [12]

It’s rarely recognised that intersex is an umbrella term, just like trans, or gender diversity. It’s an umbrella term for a broad range of very different medical diagnoses, and what medicine currently calls “disorders of sex development”.

A good demonstration of how Intersex is an umbrella term or abstraction, is given in the AIS Support Group HRAD submission:

The Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) Support Group Australia Inc. (A0041398U) is a peer support, information and advocacy group for people affected by AIS and/or related intersex conditions, and their families… We also provide support to those with related intersex conditions like Partial and Complete / Gonadal Dysgenesis, MRKH (also known as Vaginal Agenesis), 5a-Reductase Deficiency, 3b-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Deficiency, 17-Ketosteroid Reductase Deficiency and 17b-Hydroxysteroid Deficiency. (The previous name for AIS was Testicular Feminisation Syndrome). [10]

Because intersex is an umbrella term, it’s already an abstraction. It should not be abstracted further into “sex diversity”, and then further into “sex and gender diversity”.

Trans as an umbrella term

The search for new terminology appears to come from within the trans community, and is seen in the desire to acknowledge the inclusion of transgender people, transsexual people, genderqueer, sistagirls and other identities. Terms used to refer to the broader trans community include “gender diverse” and “trans*”.

In practice, reporting of the Diversity in Health report launch also demonstrates that “sex and gender diversity” is typically represented in the LGBT/LGBTI media as a new term for trans.

It’s essential that trans people feel included in terms that are designed to include them. Nevertheless, intersex people should not need to be drawn into a debate about terminology to describe trans.

Mixing identity terms and biological terms

The dovetailing of identity terms with a biological term is unhelpful, and it results in presumptions that intersex is also an identity term.

An example of this is the HRAD submission by A Gender Agenda, Canberra which states:

A Gender Agenda works with the sex and gender diverse community which includes transsexuals, transgender people, intersex people, cross-dressers and other sex or gender variant or gender non-conforming people as well as their partners and other family members.[12]

In this particular case, intersex is sandwiched between transgender people and cross-dressers, both forms of gender diversity. We believe that this placement of the term intersex should be discouraged as it contradicts A Gender Agenda’s assertion that sex and gender diversity refers to two distinct groups. See also the submission by the ANU College of Law “Equality Project” [13].

Legibility to third parties

The word intersex is not commonly understood. There are multiple reasons for this, including:

lack of resourcing for any intersex-specific organisations or communities.
a pathologising medical environment.
deliberate obfuscation by some trans groups who define trans as intersex for political objectives [14].
increasing societal familiarity with trans issues, and a tendency to see intersex through that perspective.
In this context, consistency and clarity are critical to ensure that intersex voices are heard. Linguistically mashing intersex with trans, sex and gender diversity does not do this.

In an international context, “Trans” and “Intersex” are the terms that are most commonly recognised, even in documents where both distinct groups are discussed. A model report showing how the two distinct groups can both be discussed in a report without obfuscating intersex issues can be seen in the European Commission report “Discrimination against trans and intersex people on the grounds of sex, gender identity and gender expression” [15]:

European societies are based on norms derived from the simplistic idea of a dichotomy of two mutually exclusive and biologically defined sexes to whom different roles and behaviour are traditionally ascribed (the binary gender model). People who do not easily fit these norms, such as trans and intersex people, encounter numerous difficulties, both at the practical level of everyday life and at the legal level. Obviously, this is not acceptable in a legal union such as the European Union whose founding Treaty, according to Art. 2 TEU, is founded on respect for human dignity and human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities…

With the present report, the European Commission’s Network of Legal Experts in the Non-discrimination Field wishes to contribute to the European Union’s efforts to combat the disadvantage suffered by trans and intersex people. The report examines the legal treatment of discrimination against trans and intersex people on the grounds of sex, gender identity and gender expression, in particular in EU law, against the background of the difficult position of trans and intersex people in our societies. [15]

New terminology: objectives and suggestions

We believe that it’s ok not to require a single, fixed umbrella term. Given that trans and intersex are already both umbrella terms, it’s ok to talk, for example, about intersex people, and trans/gender diverse people.

In terms of naming common joint actions, such as an LGBTI Health Alliance working group, proposed terminology should:

Recognise that intersex and trans are two distinct communities and avoid presumptions of a homogeneous commonality of interest and needs.
Not erase the needs and issues of one community, but promote visibility and understanding of both communities.
Promote clarity about what it means and who it refers to.
Be legible to a broad audience, including Australian but also internationally.
Be concise.
Be easy to disambiguate.
Avoid abbreviation in ways that imply a homogeneous community of interest.
Not necessarily be a single fixed phrase: terminology could vary, both in the order of words to describe intersex and trans communities, and even in descriptors for trans communities.
Most importantly terminology should:

Reflect usage within the communities it refers to. In the case of intersex communities and organisations, this will involve clear use of the word “intersex”.
Suggested possibilities depend on the preferences of trans representatives but might include, for example:

“Intersex, and gender diversity working group” (note Oxford comma)
“Trans/gender diversity, and Intersex working group”
“Intersex, and trans*/gender diversity working group”
“Working Group on Gender Diversity Issues and Intersex Issues”
Download in PDF format

Download this discussion paper in PDF format: Discussion paper on SGD/DSG (updated 9 Jan 2013).

Feedback

We welcome feedback on this discussion paper at info@oii.org.au, or on our Facebook post about this article.

References

[1] Peter Hyndal speech to Parliamentary Friends of LGBTI, 27 November 2012, supplied by author.
[2] SX News, 3 December 2012, Report sheds light on how to improve DSG health, http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/9866-report-leads-to-hopes-for-change-for-diverse-sex-gender-community.html
[3] Star Observer, 27 November 2012, Trans issues back on national agenda, http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/2012/11/27/trans-issues-back-on-national-agenda/90110
[4] We’re aware that some intersex people, including OII members, change gender documentation, but transition is not an intersex issue, as can be seen from the demands of the second International Intersex Forum, following.
[5] Australian Human Rights Commission, 2009, http://humanrights.gov.au/genderdiversity/sex_files2009.html
[6] Australian Human Rights Commission HRAD submission, https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/comittees/viewdocument.aspx?id=6c5b537d-5f1b-4032-88b3-2676906599d9
[7] ILGA Europe, 12 December 2012, The Second International Intersex Forum concluded, http://www.ilga-europe.org/home/news/for_media/media_releases/intersex_forum_2012_media_release
[8] Hida Viloria et al, 20 December 2012, Open Letter on Intersex to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, http://oii.org.au/21442/open-letter-un-high-commissioner-human-rights/
[9] OII Australia submission, direct link: https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/comittees/viewdocument.aspx?id=3954ffb3-5e39-4b64-a490-a05cbf045294
[10] AISSGA submission, direct link: https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/comittees/viewdocument.aspx?id=6bd0e894-f22d-410d-b680-7d1992695893
[11] Submission by Councillor Tony Briffa JP, direct link: https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/comittees/viewdocument.aspx?id=26df272d-4f77-492f-80c6-aa81c9734a1e
[12] A Gender Agenda, HRAD submission, direct link, https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/comittees/viewdocument.aspx?id=c1aa64fb-0cdf-4cca-b65a-72c68f14d479
[13] See, for example, the HRAD submission by the ANU College of Law “Equality Project” direct link https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/comittees/viewdocument.aspx?id=91a173b8-0238-4d67-83d0-d5c9bd8a307a
[14] See “Trans as intersex, crossing the line” by Tracie O’Keefe, http://www.thescavenger.net/isgd/trans-as-intersex-crossing-the-line-56934-369.html, and the rebuttal by OII Australia, http://oii.org.au/13651/isgd-and-the-appropriation-of-intersex/
[15] European Network of Legal Experts, 15 June 2012, Discrimination against trans and intersex people on the grounds of sex, gender identity and gender expression, http://www.migpolgroup.com/publications_detail.php?id=356
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Gina Wilson (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for intersex readers on 20/01/2013 tagged with intersex
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We have moved to oii.org.au
By Admin on 15 January 2013.

Our website address is now oii.org.au, which we feel better reflects our status as an Australian not-for-profit and charitable organisation.

You can continue to reach us via oiiaustralia.com, or oiiaustralia.org, but you’ll avoid redirection time if you update your bookmarks!

A good selection of our links have been tested, but please let us know if you discover any strangeness.
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Gina Wilson (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for intersex readers on 20/01/2013 tagged with intersex
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By Morgan on 19 January 2013.

As well as a travel document, a passport is one of the most important identity documents a person can hold. It’s important when opening a bank account, talking to a recruiter or employer, or renting or buying a property.

‘X’ passports have now been available for just over 10 years. The West Australian newspaper reported in ‘X marks the spot for intersex Alex’ on the first ‘X’ passport on 11 January 2003:

A QUIET trailblazer from Perth’s Hills has become the first in Australia and probably the world to hold a passport aknowledging that not everyone is male or female. Alex MacFarlane, 48, is intersex and wanted a passport recognising it. Women have a 46XX chromosome mix and men 46XY. Alex is 47XXY, a form of androgyny shared by about one in every 1500 to 2000 babies.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade initially baulked, saying its computers could deal only with an F or M in the sex field of passports. For Alex, choosing M or F would have been lying. “I should not have to commit fraud because of a department’s production inadequacies,” Alex said.

Late last year, after months of correspondence from Alex, and an inquiry from The WestAustralian, the department had a rethink, deciding to change its passport processing system to allow an X in the sex field. The X signifies unspecified sex or intersex and is the only other sex category allowed under International Civil Aviation Organisation guidelines for machine-readable passports.

Alex was born in Victoria, which allows the recording of “indeterminate” sex on birth certificates, as a result of campaigning by Tony Briffa.


In 2011, the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) revised the policy to allow more people to obtain an ‘X’ passport, on the basis of a simple letter signed by a medical doctor. A board member of OII Australia noted this in a submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill, Exposure Draft. The submission, #579, reads:

In my life, the most difficult and, indeed, damaging experiences that I’ve had have been where people have incorrectly judged me on the basis of my legal gender or my presentation. When the current government broadened the eligibility for a passport with an ‘X’ sex descriptor, I took the option…

I have plenty of medical documentation showing my status, and my GP (who stood with me through diagnosis and who I’m immensely grateful for) was obliging in providing me the summary statement needed to obtain an ‘X’ passport.

The Passport Office states:

“this initiative is in line with the Australian Government’s commitment to remove discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or sex and gender identity” – Australian Passport Office, https://www.passports.gov.au/web/sexgenderapplicants.aspx

It is therefore hugely disappointing to me that the current proposals in the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill, Exposure Draft, explicitly reject protection for people, like me, who are intersex and who do not fully or “on a genuine basis” identify as one or other sex.

This is inconsistent with the recognition given to me by the Commonwealth. I don’t personally regard my passport as marking me as a member of a third sex or gender. I’m uncomfortable with that notion. Rather, I see it as an opt out of a system of belief that I can’t live up to.

This is also inconsistent with the bill’s intention to otherwise protect people who are perceived to have a protected attribute, or who associate with people who possess such attributes.

For the first time in my life, I can understand what trans people go through when they change their documentation. Obtaining an X passport is very different in many ways – I haven’t changed my appearance or name. I use the same (male) toilet as before. My need for testosterone hasn’t changed and, in fact, I needn’t have gone through any of the surgical experiences I have had to be able to qualify for the passport.

Nevertheless, the passport presents some challenges…

The current proposals do not live up to the government’s stated intent of removing discrimination.

The explicit lack of inclusion of people who do not identify as male or female would mean that, if/when people like Alex and this OII Australia member are directly discriminated against, we have no legal recourse.

This is an issue that we will be raising with the Senate Inquiry during oral hearings in Sydney on Thursday 24 January.

More information

Direct link to “name withheld” submission, #579 (PDF)
Direct link to OII Australia’s submission, #12 (PDF)
All submissions to the Senate Inquiry
Our FAQ on ‘X’ passports
The current (and undated) DFAT Policy on ‘X’ passports
‘X marks the spot for intersex Alex’, The West Australian press report on Alex MacFarlane (PDF)
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(user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for gay transgender bisexual readers on 16/01/2013 +5
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(user currently living in NEW ZEALAND) posted for readers on 18/11/2012
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Erick (user currently living in UGANDA) posted for gay lesbian transgender readers in response to this story on 01/08/2012
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Rob (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for gay readers on 21/07/2012 +5
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john (user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for gay readers in response to this story on 08/02/2012 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention
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Hi there Lloyd.

Afer reading your post on Australia and how accepting it is for people who maybe gay, I am just wondering if there are any issues on homosexuality and the travelling community over there? Not as in tourists but gypsies? I am thinking of doing some research out there but need to first see if this is worth while. There isn't much literatue on this online and in library's in UK. If you could get back to me on this that would be much appreciated. Thanks John
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(user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for intersex readers on 19/12/2011
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OII Chairperson and OII USA director Hida Viloria’s letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking for full intersex inclusion in White House LGBT initiatives

http://oiiaustralia.com/15981/oii-chairperson-oii-usa-director-hida-viloria-letter-us-secretary-state-hillary-clinton-intersex-inclusion-white-house-lgbt-equality-lgbti/

Intersex people - some 4% of the global population - remain amongst the most discriminated-against of all human beings. Intersex newborns are killed in parts of Africa and Asia.

Intersex babies whose genitalia do not closely resemble medicine’s ideal of the perfect male or female genitals are subjected to nonconsensual cosmetic surgery on their most intimate, private body parts.

Intersex people of all ages are denied fundamental human rights and have no protection against discrimination.

The motivation for these abuses? Homophobia. As with the rest of the LGBTI community, homophobia causes intersex people enormous suffering whether they are, in fact, attracted to their own apparent sex or not.

Hida Viloria of Organisation Intersex International - the world’s largest organization of intersex people - is appealing to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to fully and equally include intersex people in the State Department and White House’s global human rights work.
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Gina Wilson (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for intersex readers on 30/09/2011 tagged with intersex
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In an act of breathtaking hypocrisy the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) has released pathologizing guidelines for the treatment of intersex children and adults who reject their birth assignments.

WPATH has for many years been considering the effects of pathologizing language on the mental health of trans individuals. The diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) was considered especially unhelpful as it categorized their natural differences as a mental illness.

In an effort to move away from concepts that contributed to the problems rather than easing them WPATH has revised its Standards of Care (SOC) to include less pathologizing language and treatments that focus on medical needs rather than pathologizing and characterizing trans as a mental health problem.

With breathtaking arrogance and hypocrisy, WPATH then reclassifies intersex as people with Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) and see those of us who reject our birth assignments as being in need of the counsel of a mental health professional.

WPATH does this without the input or inclusion of a single intersex person. Indeed the WPATH membership requirements preclude being intersex as a reason for belonging to this organization.

Not only are intersex people excluded from membership of WPATH, we are pathologized without our contribution and without WPATH seeking any intersex input whatsoever.

WPATH would not formulate a Standards of Care for trans people without considerable trans inclusion and widespread trans consultation. That WPATH is prepared to do what they have done to intersex people shows the complete misunderstanding that trans professionals have in respect of intersex and their disregard for both our rights and for our wellbeing.

Gina Wilson
President, Organisation Intersex International Australia Limited
Sydney, Australia
oiiaustralia.com
oiiaustralia@bigpond.com
+61 (0)418 290 336
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Lloyd (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex readers in response to this story on 16/09/2011
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Also, sorry, I meant to add my email address for support. I live in Australia and will try to respond to all people for support. boogienights@mail.com. Please note: this is not a hoax, and I cannot send any money! It is simply for people who want to have correspondence with someone for support regarding issues with sexuality. Thanks, Lloyd
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Lloyd (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for gay lesbian readers on 16/09/2011 tagged with human rights
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Hi I'm Lloyd, I am 27 and live in Queensland, Australia. Life is pretty good for gay people in Australia. Although it can be a fairly masculine culture, things are changing and we have hate laws and anti discrimination laws. I consider myself lucky. I am all too aware of what my gay brothers and sisters around the world face in too many countries. For this reason, I have been letter writing, campaigning and just had my first article printed in a magazine about the situation in Ghana. I believe the most powerful forces of homophobia are religion and misunderstanding. I salute those who stand up for their rights in the harshest of environments. I also send my best wishes and love to those that are persecuted. If you have access to the internet, hop on...it's a big world, and you will find out you are not alone! There is nothing wrong with you. There are forces against you. I hope things will change for the better for us one day. With love, Lloyd.
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Yachting Gate (user currently living in GREECE) posted for gay lesbian readers on 07/06/2011 tagged with tourism +0
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Introducing S/C Panorama and M/Y Falcon Summer 2011 (available in groups of 45-50 passengers / available in groups of 10 passengers)

The myth comes truth,
Live your myth in Greece and enjoy unforgettable vacations aboard your private yacht. Enjoy the freedom, flexibility, glamour and life style that a professional ‘private’ yacht has to offer and fulfill your expectations. Enjoy the life at sea, sailing, swimming, sunbathing, water sports, gastronomic flavors, island’s night life, with the combination of history and culture.

A world famous destination
Greece with its 4.500 islands amazing coastlines and quaint ports is ideal for small ship cruising, rather than for ships carrying hundreds of passengers. World famous destinations such as Mykonos and Santorini, well known islands such as Syros and colorful ports of call such as Kios, Ios and Sifnos are offering a wide variety of Hellenic Cyclades.

Proposed itinerary
Piraeus – Kea / Kea – Syros / Syros – Mykonos / Mykonos – Dilos – Paros / Paros – Ios / Ios – Santorini / Santorini – Sifnos / Sifnos – Piraeus

Our proposal
Our proposal is to exploit the magnificent Greek Island with the ultimate way: By chartering a unique sail cruiser for larger groups of 40-50 passengers, or a Falcon 100 feet class motor yacht for smaller groups of 10 passengers.

Finally
Our experienced crew always lager to deliver everything you desire, will provide high quality services tailored made to passenger’s needs, offered an upscale environment with safety.

Booking Details (open dates)
Yacht Cruiser Panorama (carries 40-50 passengers). Available only for groups of 45-50 passsengers / booking availibility: one (1) week on July from July 9, 2011 to July 14, 2011 and two (2) weeks on August from August 12, 2011 to August 25, 2011 / Cruising speed: 10 nautical miles per hour / Yacht cost per day: 12.000 € / Cost per passenger 300 € per day X 7 days for 2.100 €

Motor Yacht Falcon (carries 10 passengers). Available only for groups of 10 passengers / booking availibility: July, August, September 2011 / Cruising speed 25 nautical miles per hour / Yacht cost per week: 58.400 € / Cost per passenger 584 € per day X 7 days 4.088 €

For more information visit us at www.yachtingate.gr or sent your e-mail for booking details.

Thank you
The Yachting Gate Group
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posted for readers on 02/06/2011 tagged with lgbt families
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It is not currently legal for same sex partners to marry in Australia. One of the main differences between heterosexual marriage laws and domestic partnerships in Australia is that heterosexual marriage makes it much easier for a foreign partner to immigrate to the country, whereas a same sex partner can't marry and then immigrate. Instead, same sex partners must find other ways and usually are unable to work in the country for a full 3 years after moving there. The first year is required before an unmarried partner can even apply for a visa that would recognize what they call a "de facto" relationship, i.e., serious/long term/marriage equivalent. On the other hand, heterosexual couples can marry in an entirely different country and still move immediately to Australia so long as one of them is a citizen.
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al (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for straight readers on 25/04/2011 tagged with at the work place +4
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fags and dish lickers keep getting better jobs than they are qualified for because of winging to the gov,i am sick of these sodimites benefiting from my taxes and knowledge because as we all know they gag on a penis or lick a vegina and call it making love "i dont think so"MENTALLY ILL DOGS
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I am a homosexual male, living in Australia. I have been fortunate to live in a country where I can be as open about my sexuality as I like. Reconcilling this with my faith, however, has not been easy. Not only do I consider myself gay, but also deeply religious. My Christian faith has been my strength in times of despair and worry, and I cannot imagine ever not believing. What breaks my heart is that less and less people are practicing their faith these days, or even HAVE faith. Is it really becoming that foreign or strange, or even corny, to believe in God and sing His praises in church every Sunday? Of course, practicing one's faith isn't just a once-a-week thing, it's an all-the-time thing. Making such a huge commitment is a scary thing, but I think it's one we all need to make. There are so many gay christians out there who are comfortable about practicing their faith. So go on... take that leap of faith today!
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Phil Walcott (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for gay readers on 19/05/2010 tagged with human rights
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The Age of Consent in Australia is now the same for all people. It's sixteen (16)across the board. Please change the information on your site to reflect this.
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Gina Wilson (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for intersex readers on 19/05/2010 tagged with intersex
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OII Australia has completed it's incorporation . We now have an Australian Company Number (ACN) 143 506 594.

We welcome new members to our organisation. Full members must be Intersex. We have Associate members and organisation membership for those who are nopt Intersex but wish to support our push for full inclusion in Human Rights legeslation.
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Angela (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for intersex readers on 15/04/2010 tagged with intersex, at the work place, hate crime and violence prevention, health, human rights, laws and leadership , marriage / civil unions
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I wish to thank ILGA for that rarest of rare things - the inclusion of intersex people in its activities on behalf of equality and human rights.

It is wonderful to see that ILGA uses the inclusive acronym LGBTI (hopefully) throughout its website and in all its literature and communications.

Why am I being so full of praise for the simple inclusion of a group human beings whose prevalence in all parts of the world is between 1:60 to 1:100, and closer to 1:25 to 1:50 in some parts of the world?

Because outside of ILGA intersex people are habitually, routinely EXCLUDED from almost ALL efforts to achieve equality, human rights, protection against discrimination and vilification, and the right to patient-centred healthcare, EVEN WHEN WE SPECIFICALLY ASK TO BE INCLUDED.

Exclusion of intersex from reform efforts around the world is standard practice.

The use of the acronyms LGBT instead of LGBTI in the LGBTI media is standard practice even when including token intersex content.

The use of LGBT instead of LGBTI by global and national equality and human rights efforts and organizations is standard practice.

Every use of LGBT instead of LGBTI is a red flag waved in the face of intersex people telling us that "we do not want you" and "you are not good enough for us". In effect, intersex people are legally less-than-human, subhuman,

Exclusion of intersex from major law reform and legal bills on behalf of equality, human rights and even hate crimes acts is standard practice.

Intersex is excluded from the UK's Equality Bill.

Intersex is excluded from ENDA in the USA.

Intersex is excluded from the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the USA.

Intersex is excluded from the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers statement on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Intersex is excluded from IDAHO, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Intersex is excluded from the Human Rights Campaign in the USA.

Intersex is excluded from national health reforms.

Intersex is excluded from national censuses.

Intersex is excluded from the LGBT National Equality March and related organizations in the US.

Intersex exclusion is such a universally standard practice that we frequently use two related tags on the OII Australia website - "intersex exclusion" and "intersex-exclusive".

And that is just the merest tip of the iceberg.

Genital cutting is practiced against intersex newborns to make our genitals cosmetically resemble those of non-intersex newborns, without our permission, at enormous cost to our lives.

Genital cutting is also known as IGM - Intersex Genital Mutilation, as well as non-consensual experimental cosmetic genital surgery. These newborns are also sterilized and are required to take expensive, often hard-to-obtain HRT - hormone replacement therapy - for the rest of their lives or suffer potentially fatal ill health.

This persecution is a form of genocide and it is global.

And that, as I say, is just the merest tip of the iceberg.

Some relevant reading for you:

What is Intersex?
http://oiiaustralia.com/about/intersex/

On Genital Cutting
http://oiiaustralia.com/about/genital-cutting/

OII Petition to International Olympic Committe regarding Intersex Athletes
http://oiiaustralia.com/oii-petition-international-olympic-committe-intersex-athletes/

Medical “Normalisation” of Intersex Newborns… Why Not?
http://oiiaustralia.com/medical-normalisation-intersex-newborns/

Intersex Excluded from UK Equality Bill?
http://oiiaustralia.com/intersex-excluded-uk-equality-bill/

The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Goes Out of Its Way to Exclude Intersex
http://oiiaustralia.com/council-europe-committee-ministers-exclude-intersex/

beyondblue’s Exclusion of LGBTI is a Disgrace
http://oiiaustralia.com/beyondblues-exclusion-lgbti-disgrace/

OII’s Objections to the APA DSM-V Committee’s Proposals on Intersex
http://oiiaustralia.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post;=7446

Email by Chris Somers xxy of OII to Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006, asking for intersex inclusion in the Census
http://oiiaustralia.com/email-chris-somers-xxy-oii-australian-bureau-statistics-2006-intersex-inclusion-census/
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Angela (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for intersex readers on 03/03/2010 tagged with armed forces
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A high-ranking medical member of the Australian armed forces told me the other day that intersex people are excluded from service if it is believed that our medical status gets in the way of being able to serve. How that is determined seems to be fuzzy though. Many intersex people, just like many non-intersex people, need to take HRT for example. Is taking HRT grounds for exclusion from service?
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Angela (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for intersex readers on 03/03/2010 +5
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I would love to have'intersex' be one of the choices in 'What does your lived experience relate to?' as well as some more that directly relate to intersex.
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Stephen (user currently living in BELGIUM) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex straight readers in response to this story on 23/02/2010
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We've amended the site and the Australian page now tells about the unequal age of consent in Queensland. Thanks for this comment.
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Ted (user currently living in SOUTH AFRICA) posted for gay readers on 01/02/2010 tagged with marriage / civil unions, marriage +10
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This is a happy story! I live in South Africa, In late 2006 SA became the 5th country in the world to allow gay marriage/civil unions by 2007 I married the love of my life & have been married happily ever since. This was a triumph & a justice for human rights.
I'm now in the process of immigrating to Australia with my life partner & we are both ready to stand up with the LGBTI of Australia! It's up to all of us to join hands in peace & dignity & aspire all human beings to LIVE & LET LIVE! Australia's leaders will hear the cry of the people especially when we all stand together as a proud nation. To all Australians you have my support & millions of others! stand united & never give up your fight to dignity, love & respect. Peace to all LGBTI!!!!!
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(user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for readers on 07/01/2010 +10
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My Lived experiance relates to Intersex.
Please change your selection box to Intersex . Intersex individuals are not Intersexual!
In your what does your experiance relate to you need to have an Intersex box if you wish to have your organisation include Intersex stories and be inclusive of Intersex.

I understand you are doing this with good intentions however these kind of omissions give the impression Intersex is inclusion is windowressing

Gina Wilson OII Australia
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