November, 2011
ISSN 1179-0210
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CMDHB draft guide open for public consultation till 21 February

CMDHB logo

The project team from Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) have just released their draft good practice guide for health professionals working with trans people. Gender Reassignment Health Services for Trans People within New Zealand is now open for public consultation.

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Kia ora, talofa lava, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, nisa bula vinaka, kia orana and welcome to the November 2011 edition of the To Be Who I Am e-newsletter. This issue is full of new resources for schools, health professionals, employers, youth workers, trans people and their families including:

  • a trans human rights poster to be launched on Transgender Day of Remembrance
  • FAQs for schools as part of the Commission’s new online fact sheets: Trans people: facts and information

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RSVP for trans community meeting to discuss the draft

Trans people are invited to join a community video-conference to discuss CMDHB’s draft guide. This will be held in the Human Rights Commission’s Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch offices from 3 – 5pm on Monday 14 February.

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New trans resources for NZ schools

  • How can schools support trans students and their families?
  • What name and pronoun should be put on a trans student’s school documentation?
  • What uniform or dress code applies to trans students?

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Health professionals’ meeting to discuss the draft – 14 February

Counsellor Mani Mitchell and Psychologist Daniel Eakins have confirmed the details of a Wellington meeting to discuss CMDHB’s draft guide. This meeting is for health professionals working with trans people. The details are:

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Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance poster

The 20th November 2011 is the 13th International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). Two New Zealand commemorations are being held a week later on 29 November. They are a chance to remember Diksy Jones who was killed in Upper Hutt in 2009, aged 64. Diksy was a quiet, gentle, cabinet-maker who loved old cars, cricket and cats. TDOR also demonstrates the power and resilience of trans communities speaking out against violence, proudly being who they are.

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List of health professionals regularly working with trans people

CMDHB’s draft good practice guide will include a list of health professionals who regularly work with trans people and have agreed for their contact details to be made available to other professional colleagues. This section of the guide is still in development.

Anyone interested in discussing being included can contact CMDHB on

Launch of Trans Respect Poster on Transgender Day of Remembrance

Trans Human Rights Poster

On 20 November, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), the Human Rights Commission will release a poster affirming the human rights of trans people. Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the poster says “trans people are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

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Kia ora, Welcome!

Kia ora, talofa lava, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, nisa bula vinaka, kia orana and welcome to the February 2011 edition of the To Be Who I Am e-newsletter.

Counties Manukau DHB is about to release its draft guidance for health professionals working with trans people. Inside this issue you will find details about a trans community video-conference and a Wellington meeting organised by local health professionals to discuss this draft resource. Plus find out how to register for the Pacific and Asia regional trans and intersex hui being held in Wellington on 15 March, the day before the Outgames human rights conference.

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Large changes to WPATH Standards of Care

Wellbeing image

It has been ten years since the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) revised its standards of care (SOC). The latest version, released on 25 September 2011, explicitly states that “being transsexual, transgender or gender nonconforming is a matter of diversity, not pathology”.”This is a momentous occasion,” said WPATH Revision Committee Chair and University of Minnesota Professor, Eli Coleman, as he launched the new SOC.

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Meetings to discuss trans health resource

Medical Image

Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) is just completing its draft resource for health professionals working with trans people. As soon as it is available, the draft resource will be circulated as a special edition of this email newsletter. Your comments will be needed to make this resource as useful as possible for health professionals and the trans people they support.

A video-conference has been set up on Monday 14 February to get community feedback on the draft. Psychologist Daniel Eakins and counsellor Mani Mitchell are also organising a Wellington meeting in February for health professionals to discuss this resource.

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First NZ resource for health professionals working with trans people

Image of a health professional

Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) has published the first resource for New Zealand health professionals about working with trans people. It  is available as an online guide on the Ministry of Health’s website.

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Update on human rights issues for trans people in NZ

Cover of Human Rights in NZ 2010

The Transgender Inquiry’s final report was released two years ago. What progress has been made since then and what further changes are necessary? These questions are asked in the sexual and gender minorities’ chapter in Human Rights in New Zealand 2010. It concludes that there needs to be a continued focus on legal recognition, the rights to education and health, and explicit protection for trans people under the Human Rights Act.

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Worldwide campaign: Being trans is not an illness

STP2012 logo

On 28 September the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to remove gender identity disorders from its International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The resolution suggests that, instead, the WHO should develop a “non-pathologising reclassification” as part of its current review that aims to produce a revised ICD in 2015.

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Pacific and Asia regional trans and intersex hui

Hui Logo

Come and meet your trans and intersex whānau / family from the Pacific, Australia, Asia and beyond. Local trans and intersex activists are hosting a regional gathering 15 March, the day before the Outgames human rights conference.

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Historic legal recognition decision for Australian trans people

Sex Files report

A 6 October 2011 decision by the High Court of Australia allows trans people in Western Australia to alter their identity documents without first having major surgery. The decision is in line with the findings of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2009 Sex Files Report which recommended that surgery should not be required before a trans person could legally change their sex.

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Outgames Human Rights Conference – important dates to save $$

Outgames conference logo

Register for the Outgames human rights conference before Monday 7 February, to save $25 on the Outgames participation fee. Other important dates are listed below including Friday 18 February, the deadline for applying for a SS4Q youth scholarship to the conference.

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Easier for trans and intersex people to change Australian Passport details

Australian passport

Trans and intersex people in Australia can now change the sex details on their passport to female (F), male (M) or indeterminate / unspecified / intersex (X). Sex reassignment surgery is not required. A letter from a doctor confirming the trans or intersex person’s gender identity can be supplied instead.

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UN Secretary-General stands up for trans human rights

UN logo

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has spoken out against human rights violations based on gender identity or sexual orientation twice in recent months. This progress has come about in part because of the powerful statements made by trans, intersex, lesbian, gay and bisexual activists on panels held at the United Nations. Watch this moving speech by transpinay activist Sass Rogando Sasot from the Philippines on Human Rights Day 2009.

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Massive Steps at the United Nations

ARC International's logo

This year there have been “massive steps” taken internationally to recognise sexual orientation and gender identity human rights, according to ARC International. Their co-founder, New Zealander John Fisher, attended the Wellington Outgames human rights conference in March. Read ARC’s e-bulletin to find out what is happening internationally on these human rights issues and how you can be involved.

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Sharing international successes

ARC International logo

Do you want to know what is happening internationally to improve human rights for trans people? How are people using the Yogyakarta Principles to make a real difference in their communities? Here are links to online resources explaining how the Yogyakarta Principles are being used successfully around the world.

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Challenging forced sterilisation

Activist Guide

One case study in the Activists’ Guide to the Yogyakarta Principles focuses on the work of Transgender Network Netherlands. They are using the Yogyakarta Principles to challenge the legal requirement that trans people must have undergone sex reassignment surgery in order to change their sex / gender details.  The Netherlands is one of a number of countries where trans people are pushing for similar law changes.

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For more information about the Transgender Inquiry, please contact Jack Byrne at or 0800 496877

Further Information is also available from our website

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