In Support of Captain Bridget Clinch

Captain Bridget Clinch is a pretty awesome woman. It’s because of her that the Australian Defence Force changed its policy, which banned people undergoing or contemplating gender reassignment from serving. She risked the job she loves — the job she’s wanted since she was a teenager — in order to be able to serve openly and honestly as a woman.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that everything is hunky-dory. Captain Clinch is going to have to divorce her wife — although they remain very much in love — in order to be legally recognised as a woman. Australia’s regressive policy that does not allow for same-sex marriage means that she will not be allowed to transition legally while married to a woman. (And yet, somehow, the opponents of marriage equality claim that they are protecting marriage — cognitive dissonance, much?) Furthermore, Captain Clinch’s story is presented to the world in articles like this one from the SMH, which consistently misgender her.

As our own Queen Emily reminded us on the recent transgender day of remembrance, it’s not just explicit acts of violence that threaten the lives of transpeople. Things like this–misgendering, not honouring the relationships that transpeople have formed, threats to dreams and livlihood–all make the world less safe for women like Bridget Clinch.

This is unacceptable.

Captain Bridget Clinch, I support you.



Categories: gender & feminism, Politics, social justice, Sociology

Tags: , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. That article was horrible to read, when it should have been a celebration of the courage and spirit Bridget has shown in challenging the ADF’s policies.

  2. Captain Clinch or the writers of the SMH and Julia Gillard’s homophobic policies? Hmm, I know who I’d rather have defending my country. I’m thrilled that she’ll still be able to do her job, even in this climate of ignorance and hate.
    The laws giving almost equal rights to de facto couples of any gender are of great benefit, but as Captain Clinch and her wife show, are hardly the end of the road. Best wishes to both of them, and I hope that Parliament and the press catch up with her courage soon.

  3. Fortunately, news.com.au is doing a better job than the SMH: they know how to use the correct pronouns. (I’d avoid reading the comments though.)

  4. My heart is with Captain Bridget, and also my support, all of it. She’s done a courageous thing, made a huge change, she should be very proud of her bravery. And the thought that she has helped so many others like her with this victory can’t hurt either.

  5. Why avoid reading the comments? Three were supportive. One was supportive, though misgendered. One questioned the use of tax-payer funds, and used the female pronoun. Two questioned the use of tax-payer funds, but used neither pronoun. The remaining two of the nine comments (at the time of writing) were misgendered and unsupportive.
    Nine comments is hardly a statistical representation of the community, and the comments themselves aren’t as overwhelmingly vitriolic, or villifying, as I expected from your advice not to read them. Such advice sounds like censorship of the views of others and is unnecessary given the general level of support they demonstrate.

  6. Such advice sounds like censorship of the views of others and is unnecessary given the general level of support they demonstrate.

    I hope this doesn’t horribly derail the thread, but saying “don’t read that” is not censorship. It’s not even refusal to publish: the comments remain there at the link for reading if one wants. It was a piece of advice: advising others not to read something isn’t even the second cousin once removed of censorship.

  7. My support is behind Captain Clinch 100%. It sickens me that, during what shoukd be a time of triumph, the SMH manages to pull this shit. Grr 😡
    I’ve written an emai to them. Hopefully it’ll have some effect.

  8. @Sheryl When I read them, there were a few supportive comments, but also a lot of people saying that Captain Clinch shouldn’t be allowed to keep her job because she initially signed up as a man, and many more suggesting that she should not receive any government support for her position. If the comments are, on the whole, now more supportive than that, then I’m very glad for it. As Mary said (thanks, Mary!) my suggestion not to read the comments was nothing even close to censorship.

  9. Way to go Captain Clinch. Boo hiss SMH. Badly done.

  10. Thanks for the support. The Age had the primary article it was a little better. Oh and we aren’t getting divorced either, we don’t bow to pressure.

  11. Bridget — it’s lovely to see you here! 🙂
    My apologies for the mistake regarding the matter of divorce — that’s wonderful news.

  12. Well technically after surgery you have to apply to BDM to change your gender, they require you to be not married as well. So we have another annoying fight on our hands but we aim to stay married and change my gender on my paperwork.

  13. Hi Bridget 🙂 We’ll be wishing you good luck then! And if there’s anything the Hoyden mob can do to support you in your fight I hope you’ll let us know 🙂

  14. Check out the response PharaohKatt got from the SMH. Well done PK and the Sun-Herald editors!

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