Online Piano Resources
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Margaret Dylan Jones
W.A. composer, pianist,
teacher, article writer
A Brief History of
Transgender, Transsexual, Intersex
and Cross-Dresser Events and Organisations
in Western Australia
Music related to this topic:
Androgyne Prophecy (1977 piano solo)
Page about. Listen on SoundCloud.
Watch the composer playing it in a YouTube video.
Second draft. As at 10 November 2004,
with minor amendments on 09 October 2015.
(See also igm-kucera-2002.html
letters to and from the Minister for Health, and other links at the
bottom of this page.)
Call for more info about events and groups (2004)
I'd particularly like to know more about what's been happening in
country areas and any groups which made a start but have since
wound-up. I have had input and feedback from several other current and
former members of TransWest, IFAS and other groups, but please feel
free to email me if you have corrections or more detail about the
Many thanks to the many individuals who have contributed their comments.
Chameleon Society of WA (Inc.) Formed about 25 years
ago [i.e. ca. 1980], still going strong. A well-organised group of
about forty members
who meet twice a month for cross-dressing and occasional educational
West Australian Transsexual Support Unity and Pride (WATSUP)
This is all I know "...there was a ts outreach worker back then ...who
worked for SIERRA. [the sex worker health support organisation] The
main TS support group at that time [what time?] was WATSUP (west
australian transsexual support unity and pride). The outreach worker
was excellent and was a main member of WATSUP...WATSUP dissolved for no
main reason, it just happened. Sierra was at the time of a liberal
government and hit financial trouble... or so i was told. (source: Dec
May 1997. First meeting of Gender Dysphoria Foundation of WA (GDFWA),
later known as TransWest: The Transgender Association of Western
Australia (Inc.). Initial meetings were held at SIERRA and then
from early 1998 at the Western Institute of Self-Help (WISH). The
organisation was incorporated on 20 August 1998. The group became less
active after July 1999 until a revival in June 2001.
1997. The International Foundation for Androgynous Studies (IFAS)
was established in Perth by Kai Chris Somers XXY (internationally known
intersex advocate), Professor Lou Landau (Executive Dean of the Faculty
of Medicine and Dentistry, UWA) and Dr Felicity Haynes (Graduate School
of Education, UWA). The aims were "to advance the health, well being,
basic rights, social equality and self-determination of those persons
who are physically or psychologically androgynous, namely, gays,
lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites, transgenders, transsexuals and
intersex persons." Incorporated on 11 January 1998.
I hold this little group, which may have only been two people, dear to
my heart. I found a classified ad in the personals column in August
1997 for 'Trannie Pride.' Even though there was not much of an
organisation they had me over for coffee a couple of times at their
home in Inglewood and were very helpful. I've lost contact with
Veronica and Nikkita but hope to catch up with them again someday.
1998 IFAS had delegates at the Third International Congress on Sex
and Gender, held in Oxford, UK.
19...? Many members of GDFWA (Inc.) leave the association after
clashes over lifestyles [??] I was told one-third were sex-workers,
supportive of sex workers, and one-third were not supportive of sex
workers. [This is all second-hand to me, I was a member but hardly knew
anything about what was going on. Is this accurate? Misleading? Can
this text be improved?]
January 2000. Unseen Genders, a week-long UWA Summer School
Extension course, was held at Kingswood College, facilitated by Dr
Felicity Haynes. Participants in the course were very diverse and
included a psychologist, a sexologist, postgraduate gender researchers,
pre-op and post-op male-to-female transsexuals, a transvestite, a 47
xxy intersex androgyne who was born with a penis and a vagina, other
androgynes (besides myself), lesbians, straight women, and straight
men. Every morning
for five days the whole group struggled to find a definition of male or
female. The task was to find an essential characteristic which only a
man, or only a woman, could have, and must have. (Remember, the people
in the course were all experts on aspects of this subject, in their own
individual ways, and we'd all been thinking about these issues for
decades.) We looked at chromosomes, genitalia, phenology (appearance),
fertility, personality, the list was endless. After five days we still
had no answer, because there is none. The question is wrong, the male /
female binary is, and always has been, a myth. To realise this was
tremendously liberating. The concepts of male and female really are
social constructs, there is NO essential male or female characteristic.
It may be possible to make a definition of male or female for very
limited purposes but not one that has general validity across a range
2000 IFAS had delegates at the Fourth International Congress on Sex
and Gender, held in Philadelphia, USA.
June 2000. InterseXions I. The first IFAS symposium on issues
of sexuality, identity and ethics.
Gender Reassignment Act 2000
The WA Parliament passed the Gender Reassignment Act on 16 March 2000,
under the Richard Court (conservative coalition) government. The Act
received Assent in April 2000 and came into effect in December 2001.
Instrumental in getting the bill presented was a small group called The
Gender Council of Western Australia. Little is known of the
since-disbanded council and the Collective of Australian Gender
Councils of which it was apparently a member.
The Act provides for:
- persons who have undergone reassignment
procedures to obtain a recognition certificate indicating that they
have undergone a reassignment procedure and are of the gender stated in
the certificate (which can only be male or female);
- the Registrar General to issue a new birth certificate showing the
person's re-assigned gender, where the person is born in WA (the
original birth gender and name will not be shown); and
- protection from discrimination on the ground of gender history when a
person has undergone reassignment procedures (via ammendments to the EO
Act which only cover persons with a recognition certificate ie.
A person must have undergone sexual reassignment surgery to be eligible
to apply for a recognition certificate. Pre-operative transsexuals or
people who have had partial procedures may not apply.
The Act also amended the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA) to include
protection from discrimination on gender history grounds in certain
cases. This protection is limited to persons who have been issued with
a WA recognition certificate or an equivalent certificate from
interstate or overseas (that is, fully-transitioned transsexuals who
state they are completely male or completely female).
There is a misconception that the Gender Reassignment Act provides
for protection against discrimination for transgender people. In fact
the Act has an extremely narrow focus and does nothing for transgenders
or pre-op transsexuals. The draft bill was produced in secret with
almost no consultation with the trans* community.
January 2001: First rehearsal of Girls, Guys & Others: The GGO
Quire. Founded and conducted by Mx Margaret Jones (transgender
androgyne), MusB(WA), DipEd, LTCL, ATCL, AMusTCL, AMusA.
Over a period of eleven months the membership included eight intersex
or male-born or female-born transgender or transsexual people, among a
membership primarily of cisgenders (ie. non-trans* persons). You may
know the term 'mixed choir,' which refers to a choir with men and
well this was a VERY mixed choir!
The quire's repertoire ranged through pop music, ninth century organum,
sixteenth century motets, negro spirituals, and music composed by Sarah
Collins, one of two other members with a composition degree, as well as
music by Margaret.
The aim of the group was to achieve a high musical standard and to
present people with variant gender or sexual physiology, and their
supporters, very publicly in a way they could feel proud of. We wanted
to raise the wider community's awareness and acceptance of the
transgender and intersex community.
During a period of just over ten months we had 43 rehearsals and gave
eight performances. Among other appearances we sang for an IFAS
function, won a third place in the Fremantle Eisteddfod, helped raise
the funeral expenses of Pascale in a Cabaret Fundraiser at the North
Perth Town Hall, and sang in the Pride Festival at the Fremantle Art
April 2001. IFAS and TransWest members made
submissions to the Ministerial
Advisory Committee on Gay and Lesbian Law Reform seeking,
among other reforms, the use of inclusive language in the new
legislation. This was despite knowing the terms of reference for the
committee specifically excluded transgender, transsexual and intersex
concerns. It is unlikely that, prior to 2001, any WA politician had
heard the term 'intersex,' which was introduced to them by IFAS and
June 2001. GDFWA (Inc.) was re-named TransWest:
of Western Australia (Inc.)
July 2001. IFAS member Alexander MacFarlane
became the first
Australia to get a birth certificate which does not say 'male' or
'female.' Its new, re-issued Victorian birth certificate says: "Sex:
indeterminate also known as intersex". Alex's preferred personal
pronoun is 'it.'
August 2001. After repeated representations to the state government
from TransWest and IFAS, the WA Equal Opportunity Commission set up the
Working Party on Gender Identity, which met regularly
for six months to
develop reforms for the WA Equal Opportunity Act. The working
recommendations were to introduce a new ground potentially called
'gender identity,' to cover transgenders, pre-operative transsexuals,
intersex and others. The working party was comprised of EOC staff and
community representatives including three members of TransWest and
IFAS. To date (November 2004) the Attorney General has made no comment
on the recommendations.
October 2001. InterseXions II Seminar. "Beyond Medicine:
Sexualities and Genders".
IFAS' first international conference.
February 2002. First of five IFAS educational fundraiser video
screenings about people of diverse genders, sexualities and sexual
physiologies held in 2002. The first night's programme was Redefining
Sex: Is it a boy? Is it a girl?, excerpts from an episode of The
Secret Life of Us about a CAH baby, excerpts from an episode of All
Saints, and Building Identities, a 30 minute final year
student documentary that draws parallels between a bi-cultural Malay
woman in Perth and a bi-gender androgyne music teacher. Later
programmes included Bombay Eunuch, Southern Comfort, and Different
for Girls and were held in conjunction with FannyJ Productions.
2002. During this year and at the invitation of the WA Police,
TransWest gave several educational talks to police academy students on
transgender and transsexual issues.
February 2002. First gender reassignment certificate
issued by the Gender
Reassignment Board. By November 2004 twenty-six
been issued, including one to a female-to-male transsexual.
The Acts Amendment (Lesbian and Gay Law Reform) Act 2002
The Family Court Amendment Bill 2001
April 2002. Submissions in 2001 to the newly-elected State
from local gender groups and individuals to support the gay &
lesbian law reform process called, in part, for the use of inclusive
language. We are very pleased to see that inclusive language has been
used in some parts of the reformed laws. Because of this the new recognition
of all defacto relationships automatically
relationships involving transgender, transsexual and intersex people.
This is despite the fact that 1) the public consultation
developing the legislation specifically excluded addressing
transgender, transsexual and intersex issues, and 2) the terms
transgender, transsexual and intersex are not used in the legislation.
Among many other measures the changes provide for the
resolution of de
facto property and maintenance disputes. For the first time in WA,
heterosexual, homosexual, transgender, transsexual and intersex de
facto relationships are covered. Recognition of de facto
is the only aspect of the current gay and lesbian reforms which is
applicable to gender variant and intersex people. Recognition of de
facto spouses in all qualifying relationships provides them with the
same property and maintenance rights as married couples. De factos are
now recognised for many, but not all, purposes under Western Australian
law. The provisions now cover relationships of 'any two people'. Note
that the term 'same sex' is not actually used in the legislation.
2002. Margaret Jones, androgyne, TransWest member,
became the first
trans* person to successfully complete the Gay and Lesbian
Service (GLCS) 22-week Volunteer Telephone Counselling Course.
student group of ten was notable for the inclusion of an intersex
person, a male-to-female transsexual, a gay male cross-dresser, and
Margaret, a transgender androgyne. While the intersex and transsexual
students were unable to continue for the full twenty-two weeks due to
illness their eager involvement was of great benefit to all the other
Margaret wrote "The course threw up many challenges for me
did not cater for gender issues, and did not cater for sexuality issues
as they relate to trans*persons. Misunderstanding and transphobia among
the gay and lesbian community, which is a major problem, was hardly
touched on. After completing the course I was surprised to discover
that statistics on trans*, cross-dressing and intersex calls were not
accurately collected [by the GLCS telephone counselling service].
"However, Carol's contribution to the sessions was a highlight I looked
forward to each week and my already deep respect for professional
counsellors was increased. I learnt many useful things about
counselling---there is a lot more to it than meets the eye!"
October 2002. IFAS hosted the Fifth International
Congress on Sex
Gender, utilizing facilities at UWA. Professor Milton Diamond, from
the University of Hawa'ii-Manoa and Tony Briffa, President
of the Androgen
Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group (AISSG), gave keynote
The programme included concurrent seminars, workshops on gender
identity and an optional Conference Dinner, participation in the Pride
Parade, an Art exhibition, and a riverside barbecue. There was a
special focus on intersex people, and one-hour seminar papers, two-hour
workshops and art works were also featured on themes such as the
medical model, legal reform, gender violence and regional gender
identities. The congress was possibly the largest global gathering of
people who have MTF and FTM identity with leaders in the field of
medicine, activism and ethics. Speakers included an array of local,
national and international MTF, FTM, Trans*, LGB and intersex
advocates. They included Jamison Green (USA), Professor Milton Diamond
(USA), Stephen Whittle (UK), Tony Briffa (Vic), Kai Chris Somers xxy
(WA), Ken Dollarhide (USA), David Paterson (NZ), Craig Andrews (NSW),
Jack Powell (NSW), Mariette Pathy Allen (USA), Ray Goodlass (NSW),
norrie mAy-welby (NSW), Tarquam McKenna (WA), and Felicity Haynes (WA),
among many others.
Remembering Our Dead (Hate Crimes)
November 2002. TransWest hosted the first Perth vigil of
(international) Transgender Day of Remembrance, to commemorate
dozens of trans* people murdered in anti-transgender bias crimes
world-wide each year. This was organised by TransWest member
Sarahjayne, the local representative of Remembering Our Dead, an
international organisation started by Gwendolyn Ann Smith in California
some years ago that has now become an annual international event held
in over 90 locations in eight countries. The 2002 vigil was held in a
Early use of Mx or Mix
07 December 2002. This is the date of the earliest record I
have found of my official use of the honorific title 'Mx.'
See my YouTube video where I discuss my use of Mx and Mix,
and the inclusion of Mx in 2015, for the first time, in the Oxford
Dictionary (online version). I'm glad Mx has joined Mrs, Miss, Mr and
Ms but in the video and my blog I disagree with the OED's definition and
their description of how it has been used.
I began using Mx and Mix after hearing that an intersex person in
Victoria (Australia) was using them. Ever since then (i.e. for well
over a decade) I've had almost all my bills addressed to "Mx
Margaret..." including credit cards, tax bills, bank statements etc.
The date is determined from a formal letter from my
endocinologist, Dr Tim A. Welborn
(Nedlands, Western Australia), addressed to my GP, Dr Bede Rogers (Hay
Street, Perth, WA). It reads:
"7th December 2002...
RE: MX MARGARET JONES, AGED ...
This 46 XY person has determined a direction for the
atypical gender dysphoria that she has demonstrated for some time...
Cc: Mx Margaret Jones"
In 2004 the Australian ABC television show George Negus Tonight did a
seven-minute feature on me wherein they called me "Mx" or "Mix" and
showed me playing my piano solo "Androgyne Prophecy." The transcript: abc.net.au/gnt/people/Transcripts/s1158647.htm
The music: soundcloud.com/mix-margaret-dylan-jones/sets/androgyne-prophecy-piano-solo,
X Marks the Spot
ca. January 2003. Perth-based IFAS member Alexander
MacFarlane became probably the first person in the world to get an
intersex passport after the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
changed its passport processing system to allow an X in the sex field.
The X signifies unspecified sex or intersex and is the only other sex
category allowed under International Civil Aviation Organisation
guidelines for machine-readable passports. Alex told the West
Australian newspaper "Intersex individuals should not have to break the
law, by pretending to be male or female, in order to vote, marry, hold
a licence, or own property."
February 2003. TransWest, in common with a large coalition
groups, made an extensive written submission to the WA Minister for
Police, Michelle Roberts MLA, strongly opposing her draconian green
bill on sex work (Prostitution Control Bill). The bill was later
defeated in parliament.
February 2003. A group of transsexuals and cisgenders (ie
persons) split away from TransWest to form a new group called TransCommunityWA,
to cater exclusively for transsexuals
transgenders. It appears the group had disbanded by the end of the year.
February 2003. Provision for genders other than male or
female was made
on the Australian Electoral Commission's enrolment
form, due to
representations by Alexander MacFarlane, XXY. "The AEC has now
introduced procedures to cater for those people with a gender other
than male or female. This means staff processing
enrolment from other genders will now be able to follow a standard
procedure. It is not necessary for any special arrangements to be made
when you lodge an enrolment form with a gender other than male or
female... a modification [has been] made to the enrolment form
replacing the words male and female with one box and the word gender."
(Sue Sayer, AEC Director Enrolment, February 2003)
Perth Gender Centre Umbrella Group
April 2003. The WA Sexology
Society (WASS) hosted an open
forum on the
question "Do We Need A Gender Centre?" Most of the 21 or so people in
attendance were cisgender (i.e. non-transgender). A white-boarding
process was used to determine a long list of points which could be
considered in more detail at subsequent meetings under the name "Perth
Gender Centre Umbrella Group."
May 2003. The Perth Gender Centre Umbrella Group
had its first
meeting under that name. 22 people attended, including six from
TransWest, three from the Freedom Centre, two from Phoenix and one from
the Chameleons. There were nine queer or trans* groups represented, six
of which were brought in and encouraged to participate by TransWest.
Please forgive the labelling, but we counted about two cross-dressers,
four FTM transsexuals, six MTF transsexuals, and one transgender
androgyne. There were three cisgendered academics. Elena Jeffreys very
expertly facilitated. The group was not an incorporated body, it had no
constitution, no rules, no office bearers and no funds. It was never
intended that it would become incorporated or have any formal members.
Most of the time at this meeting was spent working out a process to
follow in heading toward the goal of establishing a gender centre. This
entailed much discusion of committee structures, quorums, voting
rights, and representation methods for various community groups.
Unfortunately, queer and trans* community support was not
and attendance at monthly meetings steadily declined until the process
ground to a halt around the end of the year. The demise of this process
demonstrated the highly destructive consequences of personality
politics and gender policing.
For more details see perth-umbrella-group-2003.html
June 2003. First use of TransWest's emergency
(billetting) service for trans*persons and
their partners. Some
of the service had been fleeing stalkers and abusers or been unable to
find accommodation with other providers because of their trans* status.
September 2003. Myth Conceptions workshop.
first professionally-run workshop for persons with gender dysphoria
ever held in WA, utilizing the expertise of Carol Peers (DipEd,
Masters of Health Counselling), in conjunction with FTM Australia.
'Myth Conceptions,' a successful workshop specifically for sixteen
transgender and transsexual people, stories were told and heard in an
interactive situation which was emotionally safe. The session focused
on myths, beliefs, values and labelling and how these have an impact on
the lives of all people.
Protest March at Pride Parade
October 2003. TransWest seems to have been the only group
protesting at the Pride Parade. While other groups were celebrating
their wonderful and hard-fought gains in the State government's gay and
lesbian law reforms, from which transgenders and transsexuals benefited
very little, we marched with placards held high. Some of the texts were:
BIOLOGY IS NOT DESTINY
Still not in Equal Opportunity Act. Not happy, Jim
Live outside the SQUARE you Think IN
Genitals do not maketh a ....man...woman...or androgyne.
Remembering Our Dead (Hate Crimes)
November 2003. The keynote speaker at the 2003
Day of Remembrance vigil was Democrats
senator Brian Greig.
The 2003 event, again organised by Sarahjayne and TransWest, was held
at UWA and began with a brief invocation after which the names of those
who died over the past year were read aloud as a candle was snuffed
out, one for each name.
August 2004. After a reorganisation 18 months earlier the
financial members in TransWest hit a record high of thirty
transgenders and transsexuals, including male-born, female-born and
intersex persons, making TransWest the largest group of trans*persons
ever seen in WA. The association re-affirmed its deep committment to
providing an emotionally safe environment, respecting each individual's
self-identified gender, and respecting individual choices. We know that
there are more than two genders, but we also respect those transsexuals
who are quite sure they are really meant to be 100% male or 100%
female. And though the association does not cater for the needs of
cross-dressers, we offer them our respect also.
TransWest seeks to foster at all times a friendly and
environment for all people with gender issues, and their families.
'Gender policing' is not tolerated and confidentiality is respected at
all times. We want to educate, empower and encourage individuals on
their journey towards an improved quality of life by reducing their
feelings of isolation and alienation.
Social events and meetings were first held at SIERRA.,
and WAAC, but over the last two years these have been at many members'
homes in twenty Perth suburbs and country towns.
September 2004. At Fair Day TransWest announces its first poetry
competition on trans* and intersex themes. One category is for
and intersex writers, and the other is open. Closing date is 31 January
2005. [This competition was cancelled]
6th Annual (International) Transgender Day of
November 2004. Again held in the Education buildings at
UWA and organised for the third year in a row by TransWest.
All text above (except for quotations) is copyright © Mx
Jones, 2004-2015, and may not be reproduced in any fashion without her
explicit permission. Permission is unlikely to be denied for reasonable
uses. Contact Margaret at:
[current at September 2015]
About TransWest flyer (current as at 8 November 2004):
TransWest: The Transgender Association of Western Australia
The association began in 1997 as the Gender Dysphoria Foundation of WA
Inc. (GDFWA) and was re-named in June 2001. TransWest acts as a support
group, a lobby group and an educator of the general community and of
target groups such as politicians, employers & ministers of
religion. A volunteer peer-based association, it is not funded by
We seek to:
TransWest members have been active in providing assistance
information about gender issues to many other groups including the WA
Department of Education and Training (DET), members of parliament, the
WA Police, the International Foundation for Androgynous Studies (IFAS,
based in Perth), B-LEGITS (a committee within the State School
Teachers' Union), Gay and Lesbian Equality WA (GALE), Phoenix, the
Queer Unionists in Tertiary Education (QUTE) caucus within the National
Tertiary Education Union, the Gay and Lesbian Community Services (GLCS)
and others. Many projects have been undertaken in conjunction with some
of these groups.
- support persons of such diverse gender identities
(pre-op, post-op & non-op, both MtF and FtM), transgender,
androgyne, genderqueer and others
- support our members irrespective of their stage of
transition or their
intent to transtion
- work for the recognition of our rights
- develop and maintain links with organisations for
TransWest has made submissions and petitions to government
on a variety
of issues. Two of our committee were on the 2001 Gender Identity
Working Party convened by the WA Equal Opportunity Commission which
produced a report for the Attorney-General recommending changes to the
EO Act. Committee members frequently spend time with new members to
help them find friendships and develop support networks within the
Full membership (for people experiencing gender dysphoria)
is $30 per
year July to June ($20 concession). Associate membership for the
partners and families of transgender people is $10.
- Information resources
- Cheap or free social events and activities
- Referral to doctors and many other service
- Formal meetings
- Group support and social meetings
- Individual support
- Email list for members only
- Emergency and short-stay accommodation register
- Workshops (eg presentation, communication skills)
- Education and training to other organisations (eg
schools, the Police
Academy, unions, employers, doctors, counsellors)
- Advocacy through lobbying politicians and other
- Participation in the annual Pride Fair Day and
- Links with many other groups, including a support
(Significant Others, Families, Friends of Transsexuals) called
Butterflies, which only cisgender (non-transgender) people may join.
Please note that we seek to foster at all times a friendly
supportive environment for all people with gender issues, and their
families. 'Gender policing' will not be tolerated and confidentiality
is respected at all times. We want to educate, empower and encourage
individuals on their journey towards an improved quality of life by
reducing their feelings of isolation and alienation.
TransWest: The Transgender Association of Western
PO Box 1944
SUBIACO WA 6904
Jayne (Convenor): 0402 593 021
As at November 2004
Links to other resources on the history of *trans and intersex:
http://www.transgenderzone.com/features/timeline.htm (from 203 BC
through to 2010)
(also goes right back)
The IFAS definitions of androgyne and intersex:
Online Vocal Resources
All about Margaret