JOIN MONICA JONES ON +MARCH 14: TAKE ACTION FOR THE RIGHTS OF TRANS PEOPLE AND SEX WORKERS

The Best Practices Policy Project, the Desiree Alliance and Global Action for Trans* Equality are calling for US-wide and international action on +March 14, 2014 to support Monica Jones’ campaign for the rights of transgender people and sex workers.

Monica Jones, a human rights defender in Arizona and an advocate for the rights of transgender people and sex workers, was profiled and wrongfully arrested for “manifestation of prostitution” by a police sting operation and anti-prostitution diversion program known as “Project ROSE”. Ms Jones had been a speaker at a rally protesting Project ROSE—which is run by Phoenix police and Arizona State University’s School of Social Work—the day before. At the time of her arrest, she was not engaging in sex work, but was in fact walking down her street to the local bar.

On +March 14 at 8.30 am (US Mountain Standard Time) Monica’s case will go to trial at Phoenix Municipal Court. She will plead not guilty and an action is planned outside the court to show the City of Phoenix Prosecutor that we won’t tolerate the systematic profiling and criminalization of transgender people of color and sex workers. Simultaneously on +March 14, two sex worker rights advocates will be at the United Nations in Geneva to bring international attention to Monica’s trial and the ongoing human rights violations occurring in Phoenix and across the United States.

We call on people and organizations across the United States, in the region and internationally to show your support for Monica Jones and the issues she cares about. We encourage individuals, organizations, and communities to acknowledge the day in whatever way they feel safe in doing to raise awareness, to learn and share about the issues (it could be by viewing online coverage from the United Nations, it could be through social media action, by sharing a meal, organizing a public action, writing a letter to the press, through art and so on).

Please email us at bestpracticespolicyproject@gmail.com and director@desireealliance.org to tell us about the action you plan and if you would like us to highlight your action on our websites. If you wish to add your organization’s name to this call, email us and we would be happy to do so.

The hashtags #standwithMonica and #notyourrescueproject are being used for social media.

Update on ongoing harassment of Monica: Since refusing to plead guilty to the charges she is innocent of, Ms. Jones has been targeted four additional times by police officers while walking around her neighborhood carrying out everyday activities such as bringing groceries home or heading to her local bar. Each time, the police use insulting and transphobic language and threaten her with arrest, despite the fact that she is doing nothing more than simply walking outdoors. Across the U.S. and in Phoenix, transgender people of color are routinely targeted for harassment and hate-motivated violence, by both police and the public, and are frequently profiled as sex workers by police. Transgender people are also targeted for cruel treatment in prisons, including by guards.

Ms. Jones states, “I believe I was profiled as a sex worker because I am a transgender woman of color, and an activist. I am a student at ASU, and fear that these wrongful charges will affect my educational path. I am also afraid that if am sentenced, I will be placed in a men’s jail as a transgender woman, which would be very unsafe for me. Prison is an unsafe place for everyone, and especially trans people.

Monica Jones should not have to go to court to fight wrongful charges resulting from a discriminatory and arbitrary arrest stemming from a department in which she studies. Sign the petition to have the charges against Monica dropped.

First-ever survey of trans* and intersex advocacy organizations reveals glaring need for support, partners

FIRST-EVER SURVEY OF TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS REVEALS GLARING NEED FOR SUPPORT, PARTNERS 

Survey conducted by Global Action for Trans* Equality and American Jewish World Service shows groups face significant lack of funding

 

NEW YORK, NY / BUENOS AIRES, Argentina –Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE) and American Jewish World Service (AJWS) released today the results of the first-ever survey of transgender and intersex groups around the world in a new report, The State of Trans* and Intersex Organizing. The report is being presented on January 28 during the International Human Rights Funders Group’s 2014 San Francisco Conference.

The survey of 340 organizations documents the deep discrimination and multiple challenges facing trans* and intersex people and the organizing that they are leading worldwide to win their human rights. It also shows the significant funding shortfall facing trans* and intersex groups and the challenges and obstacles they face in obtaining resources to carry out their work.

While funding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) groups has grown in the past 10 years, the survey results show clearly that not enough funding has reached trans and intersex-led initiatives to address their priority issues.

“All around the world, trans* and intersex people face fierce discrimination, ceaseless violence and incalculable ridicule because of who we are. We also face barriers in pursuing education, obtaining health care and receiving fair treatment by police and other authorities,” said Justus Eisfeld, co-director of GATE. “While a small number of foundations and donors understand that trans* and intersex communities need support as we advocate for justice, most do not. We urge other donors to take up this opportunity to advance human rights and fund our movements.”

“Through hard work and innovation, trans* and intersex organizations have advocated their way onto the human rights agenda worldwide,” said Shari Turitz, vice president for international programs of AJWS, “However, this movement cannot take the next step forward without more active partners and funding. There is an opportunity here for bold funders who are ready to provide financial support to breakthrough organizing and advocacy.”

The survey looked at the financial and organizational capacity of trans* and intersex groups around the world, most of which provide critical support and services, including legal aid, health care, advocacy and leadership training. These groups are fighting discriminatory laws, empowering people to become trans* and intersex activists, and educating the public about trans* and intersex issues.

Below is a summary of the major findings of the survey:

  • The trans* and intersex movements are young, diverse and growing rapidly. Almost one-third of the groups surveyed were founded in the past three years, indicating likely further growth in the coming years
  • Groups feel strongly about the need to strengthen their ability to provide direct services to trans* and intersex communities while continuing to work to change societal attitudes and advocating for laws and policies that respect and promote their human rights
  • Most trans* and intersex groups work locally, with only a few global and regional organizations
  • While more than half of the groups surveyed are led by trans* and intersex people, a surprisingly large number are not
  • Nearly half of the trans* and intersex groups that responded to the survey are not independent organizations, but rather are programs of larger organizations with broader mandates beyond trans* and/or intersex work—and 42 percent of those groups reported having little or no say in financial decisions about their work
  • Across the board, trans* and intersex groups operate on scarce resources, with more than half with a current annual budget of less than $10,000
  • The groups surveyed do not have significant financial stability, with 68 percent reporting having no reserves or savings at all
  • Trans* and intersex groups face enormous challenges in obtaining funding, such as not being able to find donors; not having the capacity for lengthy and complicated applications; or having needs that are different from donors’ goals. A large number of groups also complained about LGBTI or HIV and AIDS funding not reaching trans* or intersex groups
  • The groups reported that government funding—whether from state or provincial governments, national governments or foreign governments—is the least likely source of funding for trans* issues overall
  • Groups have three strong priorities for additional support to build their organizations and movements: networking and exchanges with other trans*/intersex groups; skills training, including fundraising; and mentoring programs for group leaders
  • Lack of data on the number of trans* or intersex people in society appears to be a barrier for some donors, who may believe that the problem is not “big enough”

You can read the full report and a summary of findings here.

About Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE)

GATE is an international not-for-profit organization that works on trans* rights at the global level, supports trans* movements worldwide and makes critical knowledge and resources available to trans* activists. GATE focuses on the reform of the International Classification of Diseases, access to funding for trans* movements and global HIV policy.

www.transactivists.org

 

About American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

American Jewish World Service is the leading Jewish organization working to promote human rights and end poverty in the developing world. AJWS advances the health and rights of women, girls and LGBTI people; promotes recovery from conflict, disasters and oppression; and defends access to food, land and livelihoods. We pursue lasting change by supporting grassroots and global human rights organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and by mobilizing our community in the U.S. to advocate for global justice.

www.ajws.org

Declaración de GATE en el Día Internacional por la Eliminación de la Violencia contra las Mujeres

GATE convoca hoy a una nueva conmemoración del Día Internacional por la Eliminación de la Violencia contra las Mujeres.

Notamos con profundos rechazo y preocupación que las mujeres trans* continúan siendo uno de los blancos más constantes pero invisibles de la violencia generizada, la cual golpea con particular virulencia contra las trabajadoras sexuales trans*, las mujeres trans* en prisión o en otras instituciones de encierro, las mujeres trans* negras, las mujeres trans* en zonas de conflicto armado, ocupación, o desastres naturales, las mujeres tras* de comunidades indígenas, las refugiadas, migrantes, las mujeres trans* que viviendo con VIH y las defensoras de derechos humanos.

La violencia de contra las mujeres afecta gravemente también a niñas y adolescentes trans* en distintos lugares del mundo, donde su su identidad y expresión de género provocan violencia y expulsión por parte de sus familias y comunidades, así como su exclusión de los sistemas de educación  y salud. Muchas niñas y adolescentes trans*, o cuyo género varía de la norma, viven en la calle, sobreviven en refugios hostiles o están bajo custodia institucional. El rechazo familiar y social las vuelve vulnerables a ataques sexuales, la violencia institucional, el abuso de sustancias, el VIH y el suicidio. La falta de acceso a procedimientos de afirmación de género a menudo implica un riesgo sanitario elevado, asociado con el uso de siliconas  y hormonas sin supervisión clínica.

La violencia de género afecta también a niños y hombres trans* y cuyo género varía de la norma, quienes son discriminados, excluidos y castigados con el fin de imponerles una identidad y expresión de género compatible con su asignación al sexo femenino al nacer –incluyendo la violencia sexual y reproductiva. Esto ocurre especialmente en aquellos lugares donde es o bien imposible o bien inseguro vivir como hombres, o con otras expresiones de género, fuera de la norma social que corresponde a su género de asignación.

La atención mediática creciente sobre la niñez trans* a menudo produce y reproduce formas naturalizadas de exposición que constituyen otra forma de violencia contra l*s niñ*s trans que debe ser desmantelada con urgencia. La patologización actual de la diversidad de género en la infancia es una forma particularmente insidiosa de violencia generizada, puesto que eleva los estereotipos de género al rango de indicadores para la salud mental. Por lo tanto, los diagnósticos se vuelve un modo normativo de asegurar la reproducción de esos estereotipos a través de su imposición medicalizada en la infancia. GATE llama hoy a rechazar con firmeza todas las formas de patologización de la diversidad de género en la infancia.

La violencia transfóbica sigue hiriendo y asesinando a mujeres trans* en todo el mundo, y urgimos a los estados a prevenir, investigar y remediar estos actos de violencia. Sin embargo, sentimos que es necesario destacar la necesidad, igualmente urgente, de reformas legales –para descriminalizar la identidad de género, la expresión de género y la diversidad corporal, para eliminar aquellos requisitos para acceder al reconocimiento legal incompatibles con los principios de derechos humanos (tales como la esterilización, las modificaciones corporales irreversibles, el divorcio y el diagnóstico psiquiátrico), para garantizar el acceso a la atención de salud de afirmación de género y la reducción de daños, y para brindar protección contra la discriminación.

Finalmente, GATE quiere reconocer y felicitar a aquell*s activistas trans* que trabajan, todos los días y en todas partes, a menudo arriesgando sus vidas una y otra vez, para que un mundo sin violencia de género sea posible. 

Mauro Cabral & Justus Eisfeld

Co-Directores.  

 

 

 

Declaración de GATE en el Día Internacional de Acción por la Despatologización Trans*

Este año, como cada año, GATE se une a la celebración del Día Internacional por la Despatologización Trans*. Hoy, 19 de octubre del 2013, activistas, grupos y redes de trabajo a lo largo de todo el mundo se unen bajo una afirmación en común: nuestras experiencias de corporalidad, identidad, amor, sexualidad, género y sus múltiples expresiones no son y no deben ser clasificadas como patológicas.

La patologización trans* afecta a diferentes comunidades de diferentes maneras, pero sus efectos son siempre devastadores. La clasificación diagnóstica de las personas trans* como mentalmente trastornadas es, inclusive en el día de hoy, un requisito legal en muchos países para garantizar el reconocimiento legal de la identidad de género cuando ésta difiere del sexo asignado al nacer. En muchos países, la misma clasificación es requerida a fines de controlar el acceso de las personas trans* a procedimientos de afirmación de género (tales como cirugías y hormonas) y para asegurar su cobertura, en el caso que sea posible. Más aún, estos diagnósticos que nos patologizan han sido, y todavía siguen siendo, usados para promover y justificar violaciones a derechos humanos, incluyendo la institucionalización forzada y los tratamientos sin consentimiento (tales como terapias de conversión). La actual identificación de la existencia trans* como patológica afecta negativamente a la realización de nuestro derecho a la salud de diferentes maneras: a fines de evitar el daño causado por la patologización, muchas personas trans* prefieren evadir el paso por todas las formas de atención sanitaria; por otro lado, las necesidades reales de salud de las personas trans* son perjudicadas o ignoradas en el contexto de un sistema biomédico obsesionado con diagnosticar, tratar y “curar” nuestra identidad y expresión de género. Esta dinámica es particularmente dañina, por ejemplo, en relación a la intersección de la patologización trans* y la respuesta al VIH. Asimismo, aquell*s niñ*s cuya identidad y/o expresión de género contradice las expectativas normativas de la cultura, sufren con una particular virulencia los efectos negativos de la patologización.

En este momento, la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) se encuentra en proceso de revisión de la Clasificación Internacional de Enfermedades. Se espera que la Asamblea de Salud Mundial vote en la aprobación de su onceava versión (o CIE-11). GATE alienta a la OMS a adoptar una posición firme a favor de los derechos humanos de las personas trans*, eliminando aquellos diagnósticos que patologizan a las personas trans* y género-variantes, y evitando la introducción de nuevos códigos diagnósticos dentro del capítulo sobre cuestiones de salud mental de la CIE. Reconociendo la centralidad de este proceso para el presente y futuro de nuestras comunidades y la experiencia clave de las personas trans* en estas cuestiones, nosotr*s también solicitamos que la OMS expanda las oportunidades para una activa participación trans*, incluyendo el acceso a información clave sobre el proceso. 

A lo largo de la historia reciente, la necesidad médica, legal, bioética y económica de diagnósticos relacionados a lo trans* ha sido afirmada frecuentemente. La ley de identidad de género aprobada en Argentina el año pasado, desafía esa asunción naturalizada, demostrando que la despatologización trans* puede ser una realidad, no sólo para l*s adult*s y adolescentes, sino también para l*s niñ*s. Más allá de los diferentes términos (trastorno de identidad de género, incongruencia de género o disforia de género), los diagnósticos relacionados a lo trans*, al ser aplicad*s a niñ*s, patologizan inevitablemente la diversidad de género en la infancia. Independientemente de las futuras corporizaciones, identidades, sexualidades y expresiones, estos diagnósticos operan en pos de perpetuar normativas distinciones entre experiencias de género saludables y patológicas, forzando a l*s niñ*s a encarnarlas.

GATE continúa su compromiso con el movimiento internacional por la despatologización trans*. Como parte integral de nuestro compromiso, compartiendo la visión de la Campaña Internacional STP, anunciamos el día de hoy el lanzamiento de una tentativa de un año de duración enfocada en despatologizar la diversidad de género en la infancia – no solamente a fines de despatologizar nuestro presente y futuro, sino también despatologizar nuestro pasado.

 Involucrate, hoy.

Mauro Cabral & Justus Eisfeld

Co-Directores

GATE – Global Action for Trans* Equality.

 

Para información acerca del trabajo del GATE en la reforma de la Clasificación Internacional de Enfermedades y la campaña internacional para despatologizar la diversidad de género en la infancia, contáctate con nosotros:

E-mail: icd@transactivists.org

Skype: mauro.cabral

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/globalactionfortransequality

Website: http://www.transactivists.org  

 

GATE Statement on the International Day of Action for Trans* Depatholoziation

This year, as every year, GATE joins the celebration of the International Day of Action for Trans* Depathologization. Today, October 19, 2013 activists, groups and networks around the world unite with a common affirmation: our experiences of embodiment, identity, love and sexuality, gender and its multiple expressions are not and must not be classified as pathological.  

Trans* pathologization affects different communities in different ways, but its effects are always devastating. The diagnostic classification of trans* people as mentally disordered is, even today, a legal requirement in many countries to grant legal recognition of a gender identity when it varies from the sex assigned at birth. In many countries, the same classification is required in order to control trans* people’s access to gender affirming procedures (such as surgery and hormones) and to ensure, where possible, their coverage. Moreover, those diagnoses that pathologize us have been, and are still used, to promote and justify human rights violations, including forced institutionalization and treatment without consent (such as conversion therapies). The current identification of trans* existence as pathological affects negatively the realization of our right to health in different ways: in order to avoid the harm caused by pathologization many trans * people prefer to avoid accessing all forms of health care; additionally, trans* people’s real health needs are diminished or ignored in the context of a biomedical system obsessed with diagnosing, treating and “curing” our gender identity and expression. This dynamic is particularly damaging, for example, at the intersection of trans* pathologization and the HIV response. Likewise, those children whose gender identity and/or expression contradict normative expectations in their cultures suffer the negative effects of pathologization with particular virulence.

 At this time the World Health Organization (WHO) is in the process of revising the International Classification of Diseases. The World Health Assembly is expected to vote on the approval of its eleventh version (or ICD-11) in 2016. GATE encourages the WHO to take a resolute position in favor of trans* people’s human rights, by eliminating those diagnoses that pathologize trans* and gender variant people and avoiding the introduction of new diagnostic codes under the ICD chapter on mental health issues. Recognizing the centrality of this process for the present and future of our communities and the key expertise of trans* people on these issues, we also request the WHO to expand the opportunities for active trans* participation, including access to key information about the process.

Throughout recent history the medical, legal, bioethical and economic need for trans* related diagnoses has been frequently affirmed. The gender identity law passed in Argentina last year challenges this naturalized assumption, showing that trans*depathologization can be a reality not only for adults and adolescents, but also for children. Trans* related diagnoses, in spite of their different wordings (gender identity disorder, gender incongruence or gender dysphoria), when applied to children, inevitably pathologize gender diversity in childhood. Regardless of future embodiments, identities, sexualities and expressions, these diagnoses work toward perpetuating normative distinctions between healthy and pathological experiences of gender, and forcing children to incarnate them.

 GATE continues its commitment to the international movement for trans* depathologization. As an integral part of that commitment, and sharing the vision of the International STP Campaign, we announce today the launch of a yearlong effort focused on depathologizing gender diversity in childhood – not only to depathologize our present and future, but also to depathologize our past.

 Get involved, today.

 Mauro Cabral & Justus Eisfeld, Co-Directors 

For information about GATE’s work on the reform of the International Classification of Diseases and the international campaign to depathologize gender diversity in childhood, contact us:

E-mail: icd@transactivists.org

Skype: mauro.cabral

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/globalactionfortransequality

Website: www.transactivists.org