Trans*Pride Berlin 2022
Hello Trans, Inter and Nonbinary people, all queer people and allies!
We are nonbinary.berlin, an active community of nonbinary people that’s been around since 2018. We meet regularly each month, organize events, have fun, talk about problems we face, play games or just hang out, support each other, and take political action.
We were here on this stage a year ago and talked about the need to legally recognize, among many other things, our self-determination rights. A year went by and we could read exactly the same speech now.
Except that now there is a new government, and the coalition promises new changes. Finally the initiators of the Gender self-determination law (Selbstbestimmungsgesetz) are in the government. Now they announce they are really going for it. And this is what they propose:
- Every adult will be able to go and change or strike their gender, and change their first name accordingly, directly in the Standesamt, based on their own declaration, without any letter from the doctor, or psychiatric evaluation. They can change their mind and registry again after 1 year.
- For children under 14, Caregivers can declare the change. From 14 to 18, teens need a signed agreement from their caregivers.
- This should bring the process of changing your legal gender-marker and name to the same level of requirements of any other process done on the Standesamt level.
- Outing people by using previous names or gender markers will become illegal and punishable
- Trans and intersex people who underwent involuntary sterilizations and mutilations will be compensated.
However, medical procedures have been left out of the law, in an attempt to pass legislation in a gradual process of smaller, and therefore faster and more feasible chunks. While this approach may be acceptable, a lot remains to be seen.
- When it comes to public funding of gender-reaffirming medical procedures: Would they still be pathologized despite the new law? Or will changing one’s legal gender open the door to demanding the participation of health insurance providers in relevant medical procedures?
- And what about trans and nonbinary children who aren’t supported by their caregivers and can’t deal with finding legal representation? Will they be forced to go through puberty and live with their deadnames and wrong legal gender marker? The new law will supposedly include some kind of counseling and representation, but more specifics and assurances are needed.
- The law currently in place to protect Intersex children from non-consensual, irreversible reproductive and genital procedures, is also lacking, because it leaves a loophole for practitioners to declare a procedure medically necessary, and leaves children and later adults exposed to the subjective interpretation and worldviews of parents and doctors.
- Compensation for past suffering of trans, intersex and nonbinary people who were forced to undergo procedures isn’t enough! There must be a comprehensive processing of their suffering. This is the only way to ensure that such damaging, non-consensual operations become history forever.
- And something else, that I’m sure many of you struggle with and still remains unclear, is what accommodations public and private companies should offer, to avoid discriminating against nonbinary, intersex and agender people. Will they have to include new gender fields in registration forms? Will they come up with a gender neutral salutation? And how about adding gender-neutral toilets and changing rooms in their establishments? We think they really should!
It is pretty clear that politicians do not understand what it means to be a trans, inter or nonbinary person, when they write on their homepage that this law should harmonize the laws for all trans, intersex and nonbinary people, but in the press conference they only talk about the giving people who “invented a sexual identity for themselves, or just have one that is at odds with their biological sex” the opportunity to “adjust the actual gender when the biological sex is different”. We are also outraged at the way the Minister of Justice repeatedly said more or less that being trans, inter or nonbinary doesn’t mean we are mentally or physically ill, and therefore we deserve basic human respect and services from the government, so this law is meant to give us a piece of normalcy.
First of all, Minister, we don’t want your cis-sexist normalcy! We are not here to aspire to being normal, if what you consider as normal is being endo-cis.
And more importantly, many of us do struggle with mental illness and disabilities, in part also because of the trauma, abuse and hardship the gender-binary and cis-sexist society has put us through. And we still deserve to be treated with basic human respect and get basic services from the government! We, and every other physically or mentally disabled person in Germany and around the world, all deserve self-determination, fair medical care and help when we need it. So don’t use us for your ableist agenda, and don’t try to fit us into what you consider to be “normal”!
This is also why we do not need special laws for Trans, Inter and Nonbinary people. This law should be for every person who wants to change either their name, or gender or both their name and gender. Equality begins with equal rights for everyone. We should also ask - Why does self determination for body, gender and names only start at 18? And how can we ensure that caregivers do not act against the will of young people under 18?
Legislation and legal struggles are important, but we could never really put our trust entirely in governments and courts, and we have other things on our minds too, and other ways we can be there for each other and get help and support.
We have been through a couple of harsh years now. All of us have been through COVID isolation and the struggle of losing community ties and activities. In 2019 we were organizing large demonstrations and many events, and these days, many of us are still unable to join them. A huge number of people, especially communities of color, migrants, working class communities, elderly people, disabled people and people with pre-existing health and mental health conditions, have been brutally impacted by COVID. There is an increased feeling that each person is by themself, that the only way to stay safe is to keep the distance between each other. But we know that relying on our communities is an important tool for survival. For many of us, it’s a necessity. Solidarity and care can be our biggest strength! So let’s stick with each other, care for each other and stick together!
In this context, we’d like to mention that this Pride Month, there was no longer a clear call to wear masks at demos, even though COVID has been tearing through our community in recent weeks again. This means that more vulnerable comrades, our elders and the ones with health issues and disabilities, are effectively excluded from these demos. We can and should do better! We have to find a way for true solidarity when organizing events and political action, so that everyone can participate.
If you are nonbinary and are struggling to connect with others, join our community. You don’t have to fight alone! Find us under nonbinary.berlin online, on social media, and here, in person in this demo.
Everyone should be able to freely choose their gender!
Everyone should be able to freely choose their name!
We invite you all to raise your voices and chant:
Trans rights are human rights!
Inter rights are human rights!
Nonbinary rights are human rights!
Last update: 2022.07.31