November, 2011
ISSN 1179-0210
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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