Saturday, April 15, 2006

Transgender Petition to the United Nations

As citizens of the world, we petition the United Nations to revise the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from "all women and men" to "all people". The United Nations stands for human equality and freedom from discrimination for any reason, including gender. Yet the term "women and men" is exclusionary of all people whose gender cannot be described by either category.

We also urge that you change the term "sex" to "gender", within Article 2, "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."

The transgender population of the world is rapidly growing, yet we face grave misunderstanding, prejudice and injustice on a daily basis. In the absence of recognition as a distinct and equal subset of humanity, transgendered people do not receive equal protection under common law or human rights. Many instances can be referenced where transgender people were not afforded equal rights nor freedoms, and have been subjected to atrocious and inhumane treatment at the hands of law makers and society at large. (See links at right)

We urge the United Nations to take a leading role in including the transgender population through use of the phrase "all people", rather than excluding them by using the term "all women and men". This simple step would go a long way in setting precidents for the equal recognition and protection of all human beings of the world.

EXISTING TERMINOLOGY

Preamble: "Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women."

Article 2: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."

Article 16(1): "Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.

PROPOSED TERMINOLOGY:

Preamble: "Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of all people."

Article 2: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."

Article 16(1): "People of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.






For more information and to sign the petition: http://transgenderunity.blogspot.com


2 comments:

Karen Reeves said...

I hope people will please read the above article and support this petition !

Alysyn said...

This is a baby step. Admittedly. If there are misgivings regarding the nature of this petition, let them be voiced, then move beyond them and do something proactive...

As in any protest, there is no guarantee that we will be heard; but if we remain apathetic then I guarantee that we will not be! What is an appropriate motivator for us?? Do we honestly wait until one of "our own" is subjected to dehumanization and the violent treatment that so often results?

I have a little secret to confess to everyone - every single person on this planet is "our own". Narrow it down? Okay. Every single person on this planet who identifies themselves within the transgendered spectrum is "our own", and it is just as much a crime if we do nothing while so many of our own are brutalized...The sin of Omission is just as incriminating and indicative of our character (or lack of!) as is the sin of COMmission that these, who place themselves as our judges and executioners around the world, are guilty of.

We stand so adamantly upon the foundational understanding that our identity as transgendered persons is innate, not willingly chosen. Yes, we may "decide" to follow this path based on those leanings, but did our options in life include the choice to opt out of our expressive qualities on whatever level each of us feels compelled toward? I would venture to say that the resounding answer would be an earthshaking "NO".

The question before us is "how long did it take to get where you are right now, at this moment, in your life?" Even if you've only recently begun to explore yourself, where, even in your mind, did it start?

Each step was crucial, from realization to actualization - but no step was more important than the first one. If you had not taken that first step, whether physically or psychologically, then there would never have been a second step...or third...

This petition is a first step. It may seem small, and even, to some, insignificant, but it is necessary if we are to begin our journey of a thousand miles...

Alysyn A. Bourque