The transgender revolution

A note from the editor

Vanessa Baird

The transgender revolution and how it could free us all

A couple of years ago, at a National Union of Journalists event in London, I heard a speaker from Trans Media Watch talking about the way in which the tabloid papers had ‘outed’ and hounded Lucy Meadows, a transgender schoolteacher who subsequently committed suicide.

The incident was an example of the gutter press at its most despicable – and ignorant. Trans Media Watch condemned it, of course. But they also set about working with even the most bigoted and offensive sections of the media to try to change the way in which transgender people and their issues were reported.

The work of transgender organizations is often two-fold – to provide practical and emotional support to transgender individuals, but also to undertake the massive task of educating non-trans or cisgender people.

This month’s Big Story shows some of the progress being made, as well as the many challenges ahead. Most of the stories and illustrations are the work of transgender writers and artists, from different countries, while invaluable help has come from Christabel Edwards and Jennie Kermode of Trans Media Watch.

Elsewhere in this edition: as Burma heads for the polls, what is in store for its ethnic minorities? Worldbeater, meanwhile, takes a closer look at Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister and darling of the ruthless.

Vanessa Baird for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

Keynote article.

Expressing a gender spectrum on their face – a trans person takes part in the 2015 Korea Queer Festival, held in Seoul.

Expressing a gender spectrum on their face – a trans person takes part in the 2015 Korea Queer Festival, held in Seoul.

Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

The trans revolution

It’s in the air – and calling for a mindset reset. Vanessa Baird tracks the course of transgender rights and their liberating potential for us all.

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The sun streams in through the open windows of a corner house in Old Street, East London.

Inside people are milling about, making coffee and tea, rifling though second-hand clothes – including an original Vivienne Westwood T-shirt. Buying hand-knitted bears, home-made cakes, and getting their nails done.

Most are teenagers, a few are parents, some are volunteers. The teens chat about the usual things – music, social media, college courses. And puberty blockers, hormones and transitioni...




Features.

CN Lester

Nine seriously easy things to do… to support trans people

Small things, as suggested by CN Lester. But if every cis – or ‘not trans’ – person followed them, we’d be living in a kinder world.

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Cole, one of the children featured in Louis Theroux’s BBC 2 documentary 'Transgender Kids'.

Where the children lead

Marti Abernathey picks a way through the panic, confusion and maltreatment that surrounds transgender children.

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Transgender – the facts

This New Internationalist fact spread looks the number of trans people around the world, the violence and discrimination they face, health, education, work, legal protections and vulnerabilities.

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This is transphobia: Verônica Bolina (left) as she was before being taken into police custody – and (right) after.

Staying alive

Visibility offers no protection for trans people in Brazil. Amanda Palha analyses the roots of violence and exclusion faced by her community – and its fight to stay alive.

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I am what I am

There are myriad ways of being transgender – and experiences across the world are equally varied. Illustrations by Jason Barker.

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Jennie Kermode: ‘I had to rethink everything about who I was.’

Ma vie en jaune*

Jennie Kermode on being ‘in the middle’.

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Trans-action

A collection of pro trans organizations, websites, support groups, books, movies and more.

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The votes of Burma’s minorities could be decisive in November’s elections – if they are counted. This man is from the Rakhine ethnic group, which makes up about 3.5 per cent of the population.

Minorities report

Burma’s elections this November will be closely contested - but will the country’s ethnic minorities finally be heard? Tina Burrett reports.

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Blog.

More than three million Europeans have sign a petition to stop the TTIP.

Global Goals vs TTIP: trading human rights for profit

Three million concerned Europeans signed a petition against a controversial new trade deal that will undermine human rights, explains Mark Dearn.

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Read more blogs...

Opinion.

Painting a pontiff: a New York City office building prepares to welcome Pope Francis.

A Pope in Washington

Mark Engler hopes that the pontiff will use his US visit to promote a message of social justice.

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Down with love

Love is a dangerous concept, argues Kate Smurthwaite.

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Agenda.

Under-mining Vedanta

A day of global protest marked mining giant Vedanta's annual general meeting. Samarendra Das and Miriam Rose report.

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Radical housing fix

Radical housing fix

Koren Helbig on a fairer, more equal way to solve Spain's homes crisis.

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Life after rape in DRC

Life after rape in DRC

Fergus Simpson visits a hospital helping Congolese women and children recover from conflict-related trauma and violence.

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Secret Agent Orange

Secret Agent Orange

Katie McQue on Agent Orange's toxic legacy.

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Introducing... Pierre Nkurunziza

Introducing... Pierre Nkurunziza

Richard Swift on the things you need to know about the president of Burundi.

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20 years ago in New Internationalist

20 years ago in New Internationalist

Chris Brazier takes a look back at what we were writing about 20 years ago.

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Sex workers take to the streets in Paris, July 2015.

Amnesty's sex scandal

Support for the decriminalization of sex workers causes uproar. Cristiana Moisescu reports.

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Maxwell Dlamini: 'I refuse to abdicate my responsibility.'

Defying the king in Swaziland

A pro-democracy campaigner refuses to allow the state to break him, reports Peter Kenworthy.

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Hungary's razor-wire welcome

Hungary's razor-wire welcome

The state argues it cannot cope with more migrants, but solidarity volunteers disagree, writes Lydia James.

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TPP stumbles

TPP stumbles

Trade talks stall amid ongoing protests.

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Regulars.

Letters

Praise, blame and all points in between? Your feedback published in the October 2015 magazine.

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Letter from Bangui: Sisters of Joy

Giving a voice to the voiceless, Ruby Diamonde's friend Tatiana is an inspiration.

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Open Window - Migration

Alex Falco Chang from Cuba with ‘Another Migrant Tragedy’.

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Southern Exposure: Daniel Patino Flor

The Ecuadorian photographer captures a moment of relaxation on Santay Island.

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A Mars bar from Tommy Chocolate

The dodgy dealings of bankers and financial traders continue to amaze and appal us. But few people realize that they, rather than governments, control the very creation of money, as Peter Stalker explains.

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Holding court: the German finance minister has big plans for Europe.

Worldbeater: Wolfgang Schäuble

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble: ruthless schemer and reactionary heavyweight.

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And finally... Meklit Hadero

Stories, silences and songs - the Ethiopian musician talks to Graeme Green.

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Film, Book & Music Reviews.

Real-estate evil in Ramin Bahrani’s punchy and passionate feature.

Mixed media: Film

99 Homes, directed by Ramin Bahrani; A Girl at My Door, directed by July Jung.

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Ya Balad – Bachar Mar-Khalifé’s dramatic exploration of homeland

Mixed media: Music

Ya Balad by Bachar Mar-Khalifé; Try To Be Hopeful by The Spook School.

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Mixed media: Books

The Underground by Hamid Ismailov; The New Threat by Jason Burke; The Wikileaks Files by Wikileaks; and America’s Dreyfus by Joan Brady.

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Also out there...

More reviews from the October 2015 magazine.

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