This text is meant to provide some background information for my Anglo-American readers. It is written from an author’s perspective with focus on poetry. It applies to books written originally in Norwegian. Les videre
It is supposed to be the best in the world. I you get sick, you have the right to treatment and only have to pay little of it. If you pay most of the travel, you can choose hospital. Unless you have an illness that is rare. Then it is only possible to get treatment at one place. There might be just one doctor in the country who is allowed to treat you. So what if ze doesn’t want to treat you? Then you are screwed. Les videre
Those who has been reading here a while, know that the Norwegian GID-clinic has a monopoly and abuses their power. This has caused Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, who is transgender zerself, to take action and help several people in need of treatment. Esben Esther is the best known transgender activist in Norway. Ze is now at risk of loosing zer licence to practice bacause ze helped one person to get mastectomy. This would be devastating for the norwegian transgender population, as several people are dependant of zer courage and will to help transpeople in need. I urge you to take action and sign the petition!
I who sign this agree that:
1. Esben Esther acted on strong ethical gounds when he broke the law and that all charges should be dropped.
2. The GID-clinic’s national authority should be examined and questioned. They should only have monopoly on the surgically altering of genitals. Competent doctors should be made useful and more doctors should be taught trans-competence.
3. All gender/sex/body relted treatment should be on the gounds of the applicant, who should be treated individually. «The genuine» transsexual is a outdated theory and should be recognized as such. A variety of needs and ways of understanding gender should be included in the service of treatment.
The week or so before I told my best friend about my transition, we discussed the film Transamerica. This was back in the spring of 2006, when it was released. He said that he thought that the next fight for human rights in the western world would be about gender and transpeople.
Yesterday, the swedish newspaper SvD published an article about public awareness of trans-issues. It lists a growing number of public performances by transgender and transsexual people. Thanks to Trollhare, who directed me to it!
–Transfrågor och kulturen syns mer i medierna nu för tiden för att det är sensationellt och en av de sista gränserna som finns kvar att bryta, säger amerikanska transförfattaren T Cooper som skrivit boken Lipshitz six, or two angry blondes och var gästredaktör för Outs historiska transnummer.
Jens Rydström, center for gender-studies at the University of Lund, Sweden, offer several explanations to why transpeople are more visible in the media: The internet allowing people to play with gander in new ways, the end of the cold war and it’s segregation of the world in several domains, and most important; the vacuum left by the women’s movement and gay movement of the 1970s. Rydström goes on to underline the positive aspects of transpeople being more visible in media and hopes it is a sign of increasing equality and diversity for everyone:
–Om det är någon minoritet som fortfarande utsätts för diskriminering och trakasserier så är det transpersoner. Det här kan hjälpa till att avdramatisera könstillhörighet och jag hoppas det är ett tecken på ökad jämställdhet, mångfald och likvärdighet för alla.
Today I’m pleased to see an interview with Jonah Nylund, who I met at the conference in Poland earlier this year, titled «Pride general with a capital T» (my translation). Jonah is the new major of Stockholm Pride, Europride this year. He openly identifies as transgender (transsexual FTM) and gay.
It makes me wonder if it’s possible to have a transsexual as the head of anything GLBT in Norway. It would cause a big fight with the «national asociation of transsexuals» (LFTS). They actually recent labelling themselves as anything other than men or women and have previously tried to impose a great divide between «trangsender» and «transsexual». At the moment, the National Asociation of Lesbian and Gay Liberation (LLH) tries to respect LFTS, but it’s getting harder as the awareness of trans-issues rises within LLH.
At the moment there would only be room for a transsexual as head of anything this big LGBT-wise if the person consequently refused to talk about being transsexual. I hope to attend Europride in Stockholm to talk about my book and how it’s been to meet the media as a open transsexual, and to arrange a course in creative autobiographical writing for transpeople (in cooperation with KIM).
I participated last year and loved it, so I hope I’ll be able to do it this year too. The parade was the largest in Stockholm ever, and will probably be even larger this year!
Yesterday was a crazy day. I started on TV early in the morning and was mostly busy with interviews all day. I even got to talk some of my book, the reason why I do this media-thing in the first place. Norway is a small country and trans-issues are not very well known, so I’ve done a lot of educating. I’m not afraid to talk about myself, and some transsexuals find that intimidating. I’ve been told to shut up because I’m not representative for the whole trans-community, especially in terms of being gay. That makes me really angry, bacause it was one of the reasons I didn’t come to terms with my identity earlier. I haven’t heard from any of them this time, but I know where to go to get my head chopped off. I’ll just give it some time.
It’s exhausting to answer questions about myself all day, but I’ve got to meet many nice journalists and got some very positive comments from strangers irl and online. It feels good. And I do think what I do will benefit others in the long run.
Some things puzzle me a bit about how the media like to portray transsexuals. Why is it so important to print my old name? It doesn’t reveal anything about me, really. And very few people knew me by my intermediate female name and not by my male name. I’m happy that no one has tried to print my given name, bacause that would be a link to the past with a lot more consequences.
I try to make my gender-experiences less freakish by linking them to common human experiences, but it seems like the media don’t like that. I guess they would like to portray me as a freak. It doesn’t bother me all that much, because I think they’ll have a hard time to accomplish it. I honestly don’t think people see me as a freak, not in person anyway. And that is what matters.
Norway is a small country, in good and bad. I recently read Gender Outlaw’s post about transmen in the media, and how it makes him frightened of hate-crimes against transgender men, including questioning his own safety. I’m convinced that this is almost non-existent in Norway. I feel free to speak, free to be visible and free to talk to the media without facing the terror of hate and violence. It’s a real privelege! I wish everyone could have the same freedom of speach as I do! And feel safe.
(I’ve posted links to the interviews on my norwegian blog, but wasn’t sure if anyone not speaking norwegian would be interested.)
When I read about this topic last year, there was one thing that made the most impression on me: The fact that if a gay death-camp prisoner actually survived the war, he could be imprisoned by the new regime to finish his conviction-time, because the law against homosexuals still existed.
We learn to consider the fall of the nazis and the end of the war as a great event. But some kinds of evil just continued.
Another thing that has made me think, is the fact that some of the nazis were gay. And still are. One of the leaders of the patriot party, who’s only goal is to stop immigration and expell as many «foreigners» as possible, is gay. His argumentation is that especially muslims don’t tolerate gays, so they should be banned from the country. That scares me. I guess it’s part of realizing that no human is only good or only evil, and that we all have potential for both.
Written in response to Jacky’s post The Pink Triangle