Quickhit: Trans men still fighting mandatory sterilisation in WA

Amanda Banks writes in The West Australian:

Transsexuals in landmark case

Two female-to-male transsexuals should be able to keep female organs that allow them to bear children and still be legally recognised as men, it was argued in a landmark test of WA’s gender reassignment laws yesterday.

The Court of Appeal case is expected to set a legal precedent which could define the extent of medical intervention required for females to have their gender reassigned to male. The appeal was launched by Attorney-General Christian Porter to clarify reassignment legislation which came into effect 10 years ago.

It follows a State Administrative Tribunal decision which overturned a ruling of the Gender Reassignment Board of WA and authorised the men’s gender to be changed from female to male.

Lawyer Steven Penglis, representing the two men whose identities are suppressed, submitted yesterday that the law did not require people to be sterile for gender reassignment. Mr Penglis said such a “fundamental and profound” requirement would have been clear in the legislation. […]

But lawyer George Tannin, for the State, argued the men should not be legally recognised as males while retaining the “capacity” to have children. He said neither could be described as permanently infertile. Mr Tannin, who broadened the appeal amid concerns it should cover issues relating to the interpretation of the legislation in the public interest, submitted that the “gender characteristics” referred to in the laws included external genitals and internal organs.

Categories: law & order, violence

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9 replies

  1. You can’t see because there’s an internet and, for those of y’all in Australia, an ocean in the way, but this is my cringey face. Yes absolutely agree with the sentiment expressed by Mr. Penglis.
    But ow the language. It’s painful. Eegh. The people represented in this suit are men because they say they are and governments (including that of the country and state I live in) just need to catch up. As do newspaper style guides, please. They are men; their genitals and reproductive organs are male genitals and male reproductive organs. Yes, this means that such a man would have a male clitoris and a male cervix and a male uterus and fallopian tubes and whatall.
    It’s okay, really. A person has gender: the whole person, not bits of them. It’s not about genitals.
    .-= kaninchenzero´s last blog ..Re: Trust Me =-.

  2. What I don’t understand is why it matters to the government what gender someone is? Where is the benefit in saying “you can be male, and you, but you aren’t allowed to”?

  3. Baby-making bits! They still have baby-making bits! They can’t be men, ’cause we still ownz them! The state rests its case.

  4. Urge to smash inanimate objects rising… (Not a particularly helpful or erudite comment, I know, but I’m too pissed off to say anything else).

  5. @nephron, it oughtn’t matter. There are some things that government does that apply only to people who have certain organs — say, providing certain types of health care to people who have a cervix. But those things aren’t related to those people’s gender but their anatomy. I know more than one man who has a cervix. I know more than one person who has a cervix who isn’t a man or a woman.
    Other stuff — marriage inequality, military conscription based on gender, that sort of thing — is gender-based discrimination and not anything an ethical government should be doing.
    @Nacey, I can’t fault you on that. This is vile. It’s the state of affairs where I live — many documents can’t be changed or are very difficult to change without genital revision surgery that typically results in permanent sterility. Cis people control access to the things we need. They set up the hoops and we hop through, even if it means denying parts of ourselves. (Ask me how I know!)
    .-= kaninchenzero´s last blog ..Re: Trust Me =-.

  6. kaninchenzero – I don’t even know what to say that isn’t trite or coming from a place of privilege, so I’m just going to reiterate my rage at this. It’s just so fucking horrible.

  7. Why do we even need gender on ID? If the photo matches, it’s your ID. If it doesn’t match, you need to update your photo. It should be as simple as that. I can see for medical purposes only that medical personnel might need to know what organs you are currently in possession of, and health insurance companies too, but anything past that? Bring on the unisex toilets and ungendered ID.
    Disclaimer: I am cis-gendered so I may not know what I’m talking about.

  8. Oh, this makes me angry.
    @ Katherine: “Why do we even need gender on ID?”
    Which, by the way, I do NOT think is a good reason! But that’s why. Every other reason they give comes back to that.
    In other words, I agree with you 🙂

  9. I bet anything they are thinking that if we allow “men” to give birth to babies then it also gives rise to birth certificates that – shock! horror! – indicate the baby concerned legally has two fathers.
    The person who gave birth would be automatically listed as the mother (despite being a male and legally having a male name) and the person who provided the sperm would be listed as the father (another male name). Hey, presto! Same-sex parents who have totally equal legal rights with respect to that child. No more situations where one half of the same-sex couple (and therefore the person who carries equal parenting responsibilities) has no or limited legal rights.
    It would open up a scary can of worms for the fundies, wouldn’t it? I can just hear them screaming, ” slipperly slope!!!”

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