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French trans woman continues fight to be recognised as female

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  1. de Villiers 12 Oct 2010, 6:32pm

    This is despite the fact that France is a secular Republic.

  2. Words are failing me as I try to convey the gross, hateful transphobia of a gay website describing sex reassignment surgery as “sterilisation”, and smearing our much valued surgeons by that, when the surgery is our greatest wish, and it transforms our lives totally for the better.

    I was born unable to bear children, which is the only reproductive role I could ever wish to play. Reassignment surgery enabled me to have sex, allowed me the joy of that. Enabled me to live.

    Those who campaign against our surgery will have a special place in hell.

  3. Justus Eisfeld 13 Oct 2010, 11:10am

    I do not think that this is a campaign to ‘smear’ surgeons – rather it is a campaign to give those who do not need surgery to live in their preferred gender a chance to actually do so. There is a big difference betweenhaving the *right* to obtain the surgery you want and need and having an *obligation* to do so. The fight is to have the right and not the obligation. Of course all trans-related surgery should be accessible to all who want and need it, free of charge or at minimal cost. That includes that the work of surgeons should be duly recognized and valued. There is a big difference between the government requiring sterilization and a trans person wanting and needing genital surgery. The government has no business de using for us what kind of surgery we should have, but it has the obligation to make any and every surgery we need available to us.

  4. de Villiers 13 Oct 2010, 12:13pm

    “Stérilisation” is the French word:

    La militaire a déjà refusé de fournir la preuve d’une quelconque stérilisation chirurgicale, en août 2009, devant le tribunal de grande instance de Nancy, au nom du respect de son intégrité physique.

    En juillet 2009, le commissaire aux droits de l’Homme du Conseil de l’Europe, Thomas Hammarberg, avait estimé que “les personnes qui souhaitent faire reconnaître leur identité de genre ne devraient pas être obligatoirement soumises à une stérilisation ni à aucun autre traitement médical”.

    Depuis, sous la pression du conseil de l’Europe, le ministère de la Justice a annoncé que l’opération chirurgicale de stérilisation, pudiquement appelée «opération de réassignation sexuelle», ne doit pas être systématiquement exigée, «dès lors que le demandeur apporte la preuve qu’il a suivi des traitements médico-chirurgicaux ayant pour effet de rendre irréversible le changement de sexe, et de lui conférer une apparence physique et un comportement social correspondant au sexe qu’il revendique».

  5. I don’t get the impression they’re describing srs as ‘sterilisation’ so much as the french government demanded surgical sterilisation in order to recognise transition (e.g. hysterectomy or vivisection). It doesn’t seem uncommon for governments to demand we’re sterile before recognising us (which is a whole nother world of wrong).

  6. Justus Eisfeld:
    > I do not think that this is a campaign to ‘smear’ surgeons –
    > rather it is a campaign to give those who do not need surgery to
    > live in their preferred gender a chance to actually do so.

    It is patently clear, thank you, what the campaign is about, but the method being used, by those who do not need surgery, is to smear the sex reassignment surgery we do need with the worst possible term from the abuses that led to our present human rights laws. They talk of “compulsory sterilisation”, which equates our surgeons with the worst butchers of the 1930s and 1940s. This is a clever ploy intended to make sex reassignment surgery totally unacceptable to governments and human rights activists. It joins the long list of other lies used against it, ranging from the outcome being “artificial” and it being “unproven”, to sexual satisfaction being impossible afterwards, most needing further corrective work, and that it increasing suicides – all being untrue.

  7. Remember this: ‘On ne naît pas, mais devient plutôt, une femme’?

  8. de Villiers:
    > “Stérilisation” is the French word:
    >
    > La militaire a déjà refusé de fournir la preuve d’une quelconque
    > stérilisation chirurgicale, en août 2009, devant le tribunal de
    > grande instance de Nancy, au nom du respect de son intégrité
    > physique.
    >
    > En juillet 2009, le commissaire aux droits de l’Homme du Conseil
    > de l’Europe, Thomas Hammarberg, avait estimé que “les personnes
    > qui souhaitent faire reconnaître leur identité de genre ne
    > devraient pas être obligatoirement soumises à une stérilisation
    > ni à aucun autre traitement médical”.
    >
    > Depuis, sous la pression du conseil de l’Europe, le ministère de
    > la Justice a annoncé que l’opération chirurgicale de
    > stérilisation, pudiquement appelée «opération de réassignation
    > sexuelle», ne doit pas être systématiquement exigée, «dès lors
    > que le demandeur apporte la preuve qu’il a suivi des traitements
    > médico-chirurgicaux ayant pour effet de rendre irréversible le
    > changement de sexe, et de lui conférer une apparence physique et
    > un comportement social correspondant au sexe qu’il revendique».

    Repeating the smear in French doesn’t make it any more acceptable.

    The fact that the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe was so terribly ill-advised to ti himself use the smear in a public statement is the strongest possible evidence of how far this disgraceful lie has already travelled since first being floated in a paper by Prof Whittle in the 1990s.

    It must be stopped.

    Our surgeons take every care to ensure that we are freely and gratefully consenting to our surgery. Pushing the idea that we are actually under duress from the legal system makes our consent worthless, and effectively reduces us again to the level of the mentally incapable. No surgeon would dare to offer sex reassignment surgery under those circumstances.

    Those who do not need surgery, and therefore have no comprehension of our need, and no sympathy for it, clearly realise exactly what they are doing. This web site shouldn’t be helping them.

  9. John777:
    > I don’t get the impression they’re describing srs as
    > ‘sterilisation’ so much as the french government demanded
    > surgical sterilisation in order to recognise transition (e.g.
    > hysterectomy or vivisection). It doesn’t seem uncommon for
    > governments to demand we’re sterile before recognising us (which
    > is a whole nother world of wrong).

    Your impression is faulty. It is exactly sex reassignment surgery that is being described as sterilization, indeed ” compulsory sterilization”. What else do you think is being referred to?

    If people wish to be regarded as legally male whilst bearing children, or legally female whilst fathering children, then they should make their case for that, not work to deny surgery to those of us tortured by having a body that is utterly alien to our needs.

  10. John777:
    > …the french government demanded
    > surgical sterilisation in order to recognise transition

    It is not the French government, but the local courts, who are, absolutely rightly, independent of government.

    In France your local court is the sole power that can change one’s legal status, and the evidence they require varies according to those sitting in judgment. This follows from transition being required to be possible by a European Court of Human Rights judgment. Before that, France, which had been one of the first countries where sex reassignment surgery was done, went through many years when, due to an unholy alliance between religious forces, so-called-feminists, and psychoanalysts, transition was illegal.

    People have to appear in person and be judged on their appearance, manner and speech, and evidence exactly the steps they have taken. Some courts, advised by control-freak “experts”, have required total adherence to the protocols laid down by unenlightened gender clinics, which refuse treatment until the mid-twenties and provide sub-standard surgery from surgeons who have little experience. This has put many in fear of being unable to live in their own country if they have surgery by better surgeons outside the country.

    In a country where, thanks to the Napoleonic Code, you may only do what the law allows, it is these court hearings that decide if ones official papers, including the all-important Identity Card, can be changed at all, and in what manner. Changing a name to one considered suited to the “other sex” is part of this. If the court refuses then you may not have a “female” name.

    Quite how, in that context, someone who wishes to still be able to father children can reasonably argue to be recognized as legally female should make fascinating hearing. And that’s exactly what the court in question has asked to be told. Instead it seems the plan is to smear sex reassignment surgery as compulsory sterilisation.

    It is a system that needs changing, root and branch, but not by smearing sex reassignment surgery. That is the most extreme transphobia.

  11. I am bemused as to who is being accused of smearing whom in this instance. The word “sterilisation” is very clearly being used by the French authorities NOT as an accusation, but as a requirement.

    My piece here is based on talking with Delphine, with her lawyer, and reading both the French Press and also some French legal opinion on the topic. I can absolutely assure readers that my intent is absolutely NOT about smearing those desirous of srs.

    Anyway, as various posters have commented, it is pretty clear in the French…and oatc: may i respectfully suggest you find someone to translate the French and provide the gist of what is being said as well as a literal translation.

    Until recently, the French courts demanded sterilisation as the start point for recognistion of gender re-alignment. Delphine is asking the courts to recognise her gender before she takes that step: in effect, to bring her gender recognition, for legal purposes, into line with the position as it is in the UK and some other countries now. The EU Human Rights Commissioner supports that position. What’s the issue?

  12. Jane Fae:
    > I am bemused as to who is being accused of smearing whom in this
    > instance. The word “sterilisation” is very clearly being used by
    > the French authorities NOT as an accusation, but as a
    > requirement.

    As an abandoned requirement. And then you use it again, equating it with sex reassignment surgery. You should have taken pains to make clear that “sterilisation” is being used as a propaganda term by those active against sex reassignment surgery, while those who need the surgery, and those have greatly benefitted from it, object strongly to the smear. So you are being accused, and this website, which, as a gay business, needs to be especially aware that gay and lesbian people have a long history of misunderstanding and denigrating, and calling for and end to sex reassignment surgery, and so needs to be clear that it isn’t doing that, or assisting in such pressure.

    > My piece here is based on talking with Delphine, with her
    > lawyer, and reading both the French Press and also some French
    > legal opinion on the topic. I can absolutely assure readers that
    > my intent is absolutely NOT about smearing those desirous of
    > srs.

    It is not people desirous of SRS that you smear but the surgery itself, and the surgeons. And if it isn’t your intention then you need to take a lot more care. And in the meantime an apology would be in order.

    > Anyway, as various posters have commented, it is pretty clear in
    > the French…and oatc: may i respectfully suggest you find someone
    > to translate the French and provide the gist of what is being
    > said as well as a literal translation.

    That isn’t respectful, its patronising. And I’m bilingual in French, so I’ll pass on having someone assist me, thank you all the same.

    Women with a history of transsexuality are not necessarily incompetents in need of assistance, you should know.

    > Until recently, the French courts demanded sterilisation as the
    > start point for recognistion of gender re-alignment.

    Gender doesn’t get re-aligned. Please stop talking nonesense.

    You are furthering the propaganda against sex reassignment surgery by harping on a requirement which has now been abandoned.

    > Delphine is
    > asking the courts to recognise her gender before she takes that
    > step: in effect, to bring her gender recognition, for legal
    > purposes, into line with the position as it is in the UK and
    > some other countries now.

    She is trying to get them to recognise a change of sex without showing any irreversible change and they aren’t buying it. That’s a shame if she doesn’t need any irreversible change to feel completely a woman, but, then she’s really lucky if she doesn’t. Rough with the smooth.

    What she is trying to do is get a country that has rigorous requirements but then provides a clearly changed identity, with the highly flexible requirements of a country that provides very unsatisfactory changed identity. That would be a neat trick, but it could lead to people in France losing their clearly changed legal identity, without being consulted, which would be extremely unfair.

    As I’m sure you know, UK law recognising gender (although not recognising a change of sex, despite the European Court of Human Rights having ruled that it was a change of sex that had to be recognised|) was only passed after parliamentarians were falsely told that reassignment surgery would be required in all but the most extreme of medical circumstances (whereas in fact legal recognition is now being granted with only a vague verbal commitment to seek surgery and even some intact rapists now have female birth certificates) but the price required was a national register akin to the sex offenders register, a duplicate rather than replacement entry in the public index of births, which is easy to identify, a new birth certificate which is again easily spotted as as being issued as a result of “gender recognition”, an offensive and retrospective mental illness diagnosis by a member of a magic circle to therapists, a permanent government file of the most intimate sexual details imaginable – all of which many of us find unacceptable, leaving us excluded from legal recognition – and a right of anyone to object to the presence of someone “recognised” in single-sex circumstances.

    Would the French like to have those problems?

    > The EU Human Rights Commissioner
    > supports that position. What’s the issue?

    There is no such person, Jane. you mean the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner, who, unfortunately has been grossly ill-advised to equate sex reassignment surgery with sterilization, as I have already explained.

  13. I mistyped:
    What she is trying to do is get a country that has rigorous requirements but then provides a clearly changed identity, _to_adopt_ the highly flexible requirements of a country that provides a very unsatisfactory changed identity.

  14. France is, by far, the most transphobic State in Europe. And sterilization, not credibly changed genitals, is exactly what that State explicitly requires from trans’ people to change their papers. That’s the facts.

  15. 1/ “a backwards tendency that is now digging its heels in and relying on technicalities to prevent trans men and women from asserting their gender”

    There are no technicalities, only arguments based on a non-application of fundamental human rights texts, so based on injustice.

    2/ “Hormone treatment is still not considered sufficient for her to receive legal recognition but she no longer needs to undergo an operation”
    but
    “What the court did say was that Ms Giard, who has now been living as a woman and undergoing treatment for several years, now has two months to prove that her “change of sex” is “irreversible””.

    In other words, mandatory sterilization is required for Delphine’s rights to be obtained, which is in infringement of fundamental human rights texts (Treaty of Rome, European Convention of Human Rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights) as well as texts indicating the position of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and The Unitied Nations)

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