As gentle rain falls outside, Dunedin recovers from a warm yesterday. Checking weather for today I thought they’d left a zero off the wind figures. 11km/hr? Really? Not 110km/hr? Just teasing.
This week St Andrew’s has focused on Peace. Through film, lecture, song and poetry, story and visuals, Peace has been celebrated 100 years after WWI. Well done, Paul, whose idea Peace Week was and everyone who pitched in. My personal thanks to Norman who took the Gathering on November 4 and to Jim who will lead on November 11.
On November 18 we’ll commemorate another kind of war which goes on. The fight for acceptance and resources for the trans community continues. It’s the 10th anniversary this year of the Human Rights Commission report which identified unacceptable discrimination. Reaction from the right people has been very slow or non-existant. In New Zealand, gay rights are supported better than gender rights. I’ve written about some of this on our website. Check the following links: http://www.standrews.org.nz/words-may-hurt-you/ and http://www.standrews.org.nz/gender-identity-night-well-attended and http://www.standrews.org.nz/st-andrews-welcomes-gender-affirmation-surgery-cap-being-lifted/
I’ve learned the word ‘cis’. You are cis when your biological body matches the gender you feel. Imagine if straight/cis people woke up one morning and found they had to defend their orientation or their identity or both; that they were denied jobs, or found getting accommodation difficult or that their health needs were not considered important . We would hate it and because we were in the majority, we would probably soon fix that.
As a result of various factors, life expectancy in the trans community is shorter than for other communities. In 2014 the life expectancy for trans women in the Americas was only 30-35 years; in the States the life expectancy for trans women of colour is 31 years. It is good to read a trans woman was granted NZ residency recently on grounds she was safer here than at home in the UK. Any greater acceptance we have in NZ needs to be nurtured. This so often is a life and death matter. This year several key members of the NZ trans community have died and we will especially remember them on 18 November .
So tell others, and come yourself on Sunday 18 November at 10am so we can celebrate this brave community and mourn with them that we’re not yet getting it right. To give a flavour of last year’s Gathering, here are the opening words:
Here we gather, all sorts of people:
tall, thin, hairy, wide, hairless, vertically challenged
Here we meet, all sorts of people:
different colours, personalities, interests and political flavours
Here we include all sorts of people:
lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and questioning, intersex and hetero
Here we all are in this special sacred space:
Together we are one
On Sunday 11 November Jim will be leading a Gathering focused on Armistice and Peace. Come, be with the St Andrew’s community on this historic occasion.
To view the full e-news click on this link: https://mailchi.mp/93eb0ca67ee8/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-1432373