Friday, 27 July 2007


From a mailing list I'm on.
I am sorry to say that the Department of Foreign Affairs has made
changes to the legislation in Australia regarding TS girls being able
to get an interim passport with their female gender on it.

Previously girls in Oz used to be able to get an interim female
passport, provided that they could show proof that they had
transitioned, and were travelling overseas for the purpose of SRS.

Now they will have to travel passports with 'male' on them, until
after the surgery, when they can then apply to change their birth
certificate. This is such a backward step and is going to cause a lot
of distress and increase the danger of travel for T girls.
Especially in the current climate of suspicion and paranoia around
terrorist threat.

Just thought everyone should know.

And from another:
I was the Girl M...... was talking about, who turned up to the
Passport Office to be confronted with this distressing new reality.
It seems this change had been snuck in under the radar. I was so
shocked. It made their request of me bringing a letter from my
presiding doctor, stating I was going for Reassignment surgery, a
complete waste of time. This is really a SAFETY Issue. I rang up to
complain & the people higher up in the passport office had not even
heard of this change. All I can say, is that we haven't heard the end
of this backward stupid & dangerous amendment.

Another shock I had was the man dealing with my application kept
calling me "sir". I was dressed in a bright fuscia business skirt
suit. There was no doubt I was presenting as a professional, well
dressed Female. He said "sir" three times before I twigged. I
corrected him by saying.."Ma'am"

He looked at me in the eye & replied "sorry sir, it says on this
form (My new altered birth certificate) that you are Male......Sir"
I scowled back "As a common courtesy, Call me Ma'am".

Of course, I also put in a complaint against him. It was the first
time I had ever been vilified by anyone in over two years of living
full time & here I was getting it from a government department. As a
co-worker said when I told him the story... "Why am I not surprised"

And another:
Hi Zoe and everyone,

Yes, some moves are afoot at present through SAGE to address this.
Tracie is going to ask some internationally recognised people to make some representations and argue the case.

The legislation that was snuck through, is a cynical and reprehensible attempt by the current conservative government to repeal an important right as an underhanded and ill-thought out 'quickie" response to the upcoming challenge being mounted by M....... and myself, to the decision of DFAT to deny a full female passport to myself after SRS, for the reason of an existing legal 'heterosexual' marriage.

Our case is strong, and they are peeved, but there is no excuse for this totally unnessary repeal of an existing right. It flies in the face of the UN guidelines for fair treatmant of gender-variant people and places us in clear danger when forced to travel with inappropriate documentation.

This case will be familiar to those with long memories, it is almost 2 years since we went to Phuket and applied to have my documentation amended.
The hearing is on 12th September. We'll let you know how it goes.....

This is petty. It always was a possibility that we'd face if we made a fuss though. That rights existing for decades, rights actually enshrined in legislation, could effectively be withdrawn by bureaucratic or ministerial fiat to punish us for being uppity, and not knowing our place. Now unless the Australian Passport Regulations 2005 (as amended to July 18 2007) have been changed by Parliament, it's also against the law. But that doesn't seem to matter to them, as I've found out in the past.

If it wasn't for the fact that the ALP has been even less supportive, offering pious platitudes while the rusted-on Catholic Socialists quietly block any attempt at helping TS and other IS people, I'd change my vote.

As it is, I'm considering my options. I think I'll apply for a passport again.... write a few letters to newspapers... see if I can get the public informed of what has happened. Make a fuss. But not today. I'm too angry to act with full rationality, and this one is too important to act on without cool, calculating intelligence.

1 comment:

Lloyd Flack said...

The Department of Foreign Affairs has still not delivered what I asked for. I politely asked for the heads of these people. I was perfectly willing to pay for the taxidermy myself.