Monday, 31 July 2006

Four Pieces of Good News

The first : Medicare Australia came through, and I now have documentary proof of my medical sex, and also that I'm being treated for medical code 1269T. Which is to say, "Moderate to severe androgenisation in non-pregnant women (acne alone is not a sufficient indication of androgenisation)." And that Authority is required for this one, it's not a common-or-garden prescription, special authority has to be granted for this diagnosis by the Health Authorities.

I'm conveying the original by hand, along with a helpful letter from my PhD supervisor stressing the neccessity of international travel in the course of my studies, to the Australian Passport Office tomorrow. That should cause a feline-avian mixture.

The second : Some searching of the phrase "Manual of Australian Passport Issue" on Hansard brought me this little gem, from a senate committee back in 1996. :
Section 724 of the *Manual of Australian Passport Issue* refers to a letter that was sent to transgendered people. You have enclosed an extract from that letter in your submission to us, and I thank you for that. It is the letter sent to people who have the gender identity on their passports changed. You indicated that this letter was prepared on the basis of advice from the Attorney-General's Department. Is it possible I could have a copy of that advice?

Mr Hamilton —It is in theory, but never underestimate the capacity of a system to lose a piece of paper! I am sure we will not lose it on purpose. We will get it for you.

CHAIR —The letter indicates that the issuing of the passport does not indicate the government's view of the general legal status, but it is done as an administrative matter. Who made the administrative decision? What level was it made at? Was ministerial approval sought in making the decision?

Mr Hamilton —I am going to have to check the file. The ministerial submission does not cover that. These go back some years, I believe.
So it doesn't appear to be Subordinate Legislation with the force of Law, it's merely custom, tradition, and dates back over a decade. And based on what the Attorney-General's opinion of what the law probably was at that time.

There have been some significant legislative changes since then, not to say the Re Kevin decisions that make the whole thing hopelessly obsolete.

They're bound by the Law, and what the Law says is that they can ask for data to determine my Identity and Citizenship, and that's all.

The third : I managed to get my Laptop connected to my home broadband connection, rather than having to rely on the Wireless network at the ANU. This means I have Skype and other XP-only goodies available at home now, but there's something far more important. You see, the post-surgical gynacological exercises after the genital reconstruction surgery I'm getting are rather rigorous. In fact, 2 sessions of 2 hours per day. Very undignified, and requiring privacy. I can't afford 4 hours taken out of my day, so having a laptop to work on while, um, "dilating" will mean I can work as well as, well, not play, but.... I think I'll leave it at that. Biological dilation is recommended, but I won't be ready for that for some time, if ever.

The fourth : Is this. I'll quote it in full.
Venus, Mars, an Australian Passport, and Belgian Chocolate

Congratulations to Zoe, the brains behind A. E. Brain, on the first anniversary of her transition. You go girl!

Go check out Zoe's blog. Liberal, pro-Bush, and a space geek ... what's not to like?

I'm fighting legal battles, I'm making preparations for major surgery, I'm doing my PhD and being a parent, I'm continuing the process of Transition, and with all of that on my plate, something like this really makes a difference. I've had far too many e-mails and messages of support in my travails to enumerate, and this kind of thing really boosts my morale. Thanks. Thanks one and all.

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