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Mix 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 material below.

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 talks. www.chameleonswa.com


================

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 2002)

================

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.

================

Trannie Pride

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, one-third were 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 of uses.

===============

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. post-ops).

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 women, 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 Centre.

================

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 TransWest advocates.

================

June 2001. GDFWA (Inc.) was re-named TransWest: The Transgender Association of Western Australia (Inc.)

================

July 2001. IFAS member Alexander MacFarlane became the first person in 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 party's 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: Multiple 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 certificates had 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 government 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 includes relationships involving transgender, transsexual and intersex people. This is despite the fact that 1) the public consultation process for 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 relationships 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 Community Service (GLCS) 22-week Volunteer Telephone Counselling Course. The 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 participants.

Margaret wrote "The course threw up many challenges for me because it 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 and 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 addresses. 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 the annual (international) Transgender Day of Remembrance, to commemorate the 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 member's home.

================

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...

Dear Bede

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, AND mixmargaret.com/androgyne-prophecy-piano-solo.html


================

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 of community 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 non-trans* persons) split away from TransWest to form a new group called TransCommunityWA, to cater exclusively for transsexuals and not 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 applications for 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 maintained 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 accommodation (billetting) service for trans*persons and their partners. Some users 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. TransWest conducted the first professionally-run workshop for persons with gender dysphoria ever held in WA, utilizing the expertise of Carol Peers (DipEd, BachEd, Masters of Health Counselling), in conjunction with FTM Australia. In '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 actually 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
ZERO INTOLERANCE

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 (international) Transgender 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 number of 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 supportive 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., Phoenix, WISH 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 trans* and intersex writers, and the other is open. Closing date is 31 January 2005. [This competition was cancelled]

===============

6th Annual (International) Transgender Day of Remembrance

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 Margaret Dylan 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:

http://fs20.formsite.com/Margaretand/form209924213/index.html [current at September 2015]

===============

About TransWest flyer (current as at 8 November 2004):

TransWest: The Transgender Association of Western Australia (Inc.)

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 government.


We seek to:
  • support persons of such diverse gender identities as transsexual (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 intersex persons & cross-dressers.
TransWest members have been active in providing assistance and 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.

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 gender community.

We offer:
  • Information resources
  • Cheap or free social events and activities
  • Referral to doctors and many other service providers
  • Formal meetings
  • Group support and social meetings
  • Individual support
  • Email list for members only
  • Newsletters
  • 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 policy makers
  • Participation in the annual Pride Fair Day and Pride Parade
  • Links with many other groups, including a support group for SOFFTS (Significant Others, Families, Friends of Transsexuals) called Butterflies, which only cisgender (non-transgender) people may join.
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.

Please note that we seek to foster at all times a friendly and 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 Australia (Inc.)
PO Box 1944
SUBIACO WA 6904
www.geocities.com/transwest_wa/
Jayne (Convenor): 0402 593 021
transwest@westnet.com.au
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)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_history (also goes right back)

The IFAS definitions of androgyne and intersex:

http://mixmargaret.com/androgyne-definition.html




mix-margaret-d-jones-148by200.jpg

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