The fear for regret

Earlier I wrote “”. About the panic that gatekeepers display when confronted with even the notion of possible regret of transitioning, and maybe gender confirming surgery. I wrote that regret is a common phenomenon in life, and why wouldn’t trans* people have the same right to regret as others of important decisions in their life? Continue reading

Nooit vroeg genoeg

Ik hoor en lees van veel mensen dat je genderideeën maar heel langzaam verandert, want een geschiedenis van duizenden jaren sla je niet als een bladzijde om. Dat heb ik nooit zomaar geloofd en nu geloof ik het echt niet meer. Sterker, ik ben meer en meer overtuigd, dat je niet vroeg genoeg kunt beginnen met het duidelijk maken dat er meer is. Continue reading

Er goed uitzien

Het eerste Nederlandse onderzoek naar transgenders en geweld is uit. Transgendernetwerk Nederland heeft 351 respondenten kunnen vangen wier antwoorden leiden tot de conclusie dat 43% het laatste jaar is beledigd, een derde is aangevallen en 54% is het laatste jaar een van deze zaken overkomen: beledigd, bedreigd of aangevallen. En vier op de vijf passen hun gedrag vervolgens aan en mijden de plek des onheils. In dit stuk beschrijf ik een aantal saillante bevindingen en ga ik in op een paar lacunes die ik bespeur. Continue reading

UN Free and Equal issues primer on intersex

The human rights of intersex people are getting ever more attention. The 2013 report by Special Rapporteur for the Convention Against Torture, Juan Méndez made a good start. His report resounds  like a bell sounding in a huge hallway for the trans* and intersex communities. Now UN’s Free & Equal has just published a primer on intersex. And treaty body committees give ever more critique.

Already for some time intersex organisations are knocking on the doors of the UN. Most of the time via shadow reports for treaty bodies such as CEDAW (women’s rights), the Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council, but also the CRPD (Rights of Disabled Persons), CRC (Children’s rights) and CAT (Torture). Very recently the UN HRCommittee that oversees the implementation of the Civil and Political Rights Covenant CCPR, asked Switzerland to disclose statistics on IGM practices. The full archive of UN recommendations and comments regarding intersex issues can also be found at Intersex Shadowreport, which is the result of the awesome work of Stop IGM from Switzerland.

In legislation nothing much has been reached yet, though May was a wonderful month in which Malta became the first country on the globe to criminalize intersex genital mutilation: all that is not vital is cosmetic and cannot happen without the person’s full, prior informed consent. The island nation has been followed by Chile that by ministerial order prohibits cosmetic interventions on intersex children. Outgoing president François Hollande of France is also willing to prohibit intersex genital mutilation became clear March 2017.

United Nations’ “Free & Equal” campaign of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights on intersex is now not new anymore. Still it is a good primer. The factsheet tells about the right to physical integrity and about discrimination. There is a column on what everyone can do and the paper clearly states that there is a right to remedy, to redress and compensation. It is a long awaited paper that makes clear the High Commissioner on Human Rights takes intersex issues seriously.

Find the factsheet itself at the UN Free & Equal site

Webinar trans health and human rights

On Wednesday 19 August I will hold a webinar on trans* health and human rights. Planned time is 4 PM Central European Time.

The seminar is inspired by the twitter feed of #Transhealthfail (, telling of worldwide dissatisfaction and abuse in the medical world – well known issues which need addressing in a more structured and organised way. Many states require medical procedures before legal gender recognition. That violates our rights, dignity and existence. Continue reading