In Aotearoa, trans people born overseas are usually stuck with the wrong sex marker on their identity documents. The government said they would look into developing a solution, but now it’s been put off indefinitely.
Most transgender asylum seekers, refugees, and many migrants do not have ID with their correct gender marker. This makes it difficult or impossible to access essential everyday services, including things like opening a bank account, and seeing a healthcare provider.
Refugee travel documents are not an acceptable substitute as most services do not recognise these.
Currently, it’s possible to apply to for a “Declaration as to sex” through the Family Court, which goes some of the way toward making identity documents, and accessing services, more equitable. However, that process will be taken away when the new administrative process for NZ birth certificates rolls out in June 2023.
The government said it would do some work to address this disparity, as it’s important that trans people with overseas birth certificates can still access accurate identity documents which they can use in NZ.
However, Department of Internal Affairs has now announced that this work is being deferred, and statements committing to doing this work have been removed from it’s website.
Rainbow refugee-led organisation Rainbow Path has put together a detailed post, outlining the issues as they stand, and what we can do to support this essential work to be done. Rainbow Path is leading the work on this, and we encourage everyone to follow their blog and social media and support their actions.
This year we worked together with T-Action, a transgender organisation in Russia, to bring you Russian translations of some important resources.
The resources are about healthy relationships with yourself and others. We are releasing these for Trans Day of Visibility, 31 March 2023 #TDoV.
Trans people in Russia are currently illegalised, and it is illegal to “promote” being transgender in Russia. This means that being visible poses very real danger to a trans person, and makes it incredibly hard for organisations like T-Action, which do similar advocacy to us at Gender Minorities Aotearoa.
Trans people cannot be visible without freedom from laws that criminalise us.
We stand together with trans people in every country where laws are hostile to trans existence. We are very grateful to T-Action for their continued work to support trans people, for reaching out to us, and for translating our resources.
We hope that these translations will benefit trans people in Russia, as well as Russian-speaking trans people in Aotearoa, and across the world.
Message from T-Action
Visibility is a form of empowerment.
We become stronger not only when we become visible to the cisworld, but also when some trans communities become visible to other trans communities.
On Transgender Day of Visibility, trans initiative group T-Action announce a precious collaboration with Gender Minorities Aotearoa. We proudly present you a Russian translation of resources from “The Transgender Guide to Sex and Relationships” – as translators Aleksandr Grin, Inga Grin and Anna Polyakova believe, one of the best materials on the web, created by trans people for trans people.
In a situation where any talk about transgender and sexuality is prohibited by outrageously unfair laws, an ability to access such materials is a necessity for Russian-speaking trans people. We are grateful for the opportunity to publish the translation on Gender Minorities Aotearoa website.
As we all continue to face challenges and discrimination, it is important to remember that we are not alone, the community is looking after us and ready to give us a place to belong, listen and help.
Despite the geographical distance and cultural differences, we can find common ground and work together toward a world where trans people are free to live, love, and thrive without fear of discrimination, rejection, or violence.
T-Action is the major trans organisation in Russia operating since 2014. Our mission is to empower transgender people, strengthen the trans community, and raise trans awareness and trans sensitivity in society.
In 9 years of its work, T-Action has made a “trans revolution” in health care services in Russia:
– Educated hundreds of medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other professionals about transgender physical and mental health.
– Conducted research projects about the life of trans people in Russia with medical institutions – that had never been done before.
– Changed perceptions and beliefs about transgender people in the Russian medical, media, and social field. Organized programs, research, and activities with professionals from different areas.
– Organized a Trans*Fest – a unique annual festival with educational events made by the community for the community (not for the people outside, as many trans-related events have to be). Each Trans*Fest is visited by hundreds of trans people throughout the country, both online and offline.
– Empowered many transgender people themselves to be proactive, to know, and to protect their rights.
In current times T-Action was declared a foreign agent and as a result, announced its liquidation. Instantly, a new group was founded with exactly the same goals and activities which works with and for so-called ‘kilkots’.
Within the trans community, Kilkot is a well-known mascot of our group – half-cat, half-fish, a kind of cat-mermaid – and our audience is well aware of it and associates it with us. This way, our audience easily understands the context, and, in the end, it’s just fun if we are accused of “propagating kilkotism”.
The 2023 census will count transgender and intersex people for the first time.
After many years of activism from a wide range of people in our communities, including protests, banner drops, submissions, and lots of other tactics, we’re here. This is a huge win.
While some of the wording and changes are not what we advocated for, and there are some mixed feelings, it is nevertheless a step forward toward a society which recognises trans and intersex people as part of the community.
So while we don’t stand behind all of the ways it’s being done, and we understand the frustrations with it, we also do support making the most of the situation, filling the census, and continuing to push for it to be better.
Here are the Census fact sheets, as well as links to find more info, and where to give feedback.
This workbook discusses different kinds of communication, and provides tools for listening and responding in different types of situations.
This resource for transgender adults is from our online course The transgender guide to sex and relationships. You can download an interactive version from inside the course, which you can fill out on your device.
This booklet explores some of the positive and empowering ways that intersex people feel about their bodies.
This resource is from our online course The transgender guide to sex and relationships, made in collaboration with Intersex Aotearoa. It is designed for intersex and transgender adults, and may not be suitable for younger viewers