Autodetermination of gender identity - open letter to the Office for Equality and Social Policies of the government of Andalucia
Sevilla, 9 November 2015
Re: Law 2/2014, from 8 July, comprehensive law on the non-discrimination based on gender identity and on the recognition of the rights of transexual persons in Andalucía. (Boletín number 139 from 18/07/2014 - http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/boja/2014/139/1)
Article 2: Right to autodetermination of gender.
With this letter - with copies to several organisations on trans* and lgbt rights – I, Andreas Speck, NIE YXXXXXXXC, living in (....) Sevilla, demand that the Government of Andalucía and the administrations of Andalucía which depend on the Government of Andalucía respect my gender identity as guaranteed by Law 2/2014 in article 2 (Boletín number 139 from 18/07/2014). In the explanation of the reasons for the law, it says: “The free autodetermination of the gender of each persons has to be affirmed as a fundamental human right.”
Therefore I demand that the Government of Andalucía and the administrations of Andalucía respect and recognise my gender identity freely determined as genderqueer, that is to say I define myself neither as man, nor as woman, but outside of the binary gender system. As a consequence I demand that I shall be referred to in a neutral form, neither as man/marculine, nor as woman/feminine, but using neutral pronouns and adjectives which do not assign me a determined gender (and not in the masculine form, which I do not consider as neutral) – see for example: Creating a Neutral Gender in Spanish - for a feminist, egalitarian and inclusive language (Construyendo Un Género Neutro En Español – Para Una Lengua Feminista, Igualitaria E Inclusiva), http://www.sophiagubb.com/construyendo-un-genero-neutro-en-espanol-para-una-lengua-feminista-igualitaria-e-inclusiva/.
In the report “Born Free and Equal: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in International Human Rights Law (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/BornFreeAndEqual.aspx), to which the reasons of Law 2/2014 also refer, several non-binary gender identities are included under the term transgender. However, the term which to me best defines my gender identity is genderqueer, as the term transgender can also refer to gender identities within the spectrum man-woman.
I wrote in My Genderqueer Manifesto: “I define myself as genderqueer, because the binary gender system which only allows me to define myself as man or woman does not suit me. It is a system that is too narrow and rigid, and which excludes human diversity, and which obliges us to define ourselves in terms that do not represent us.” (https://andreasspeck.info/content/my-genderqueer-manifesto – 27 February 2014).
There are already some countries that do recognise gender identities ourside of the binary man-woman. The Australian Supreme Court passed a sentence on 2 April 2014 in the case of NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie  HCA 11, 2 April 2014, S273/2013, http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2014/11.html that the sex of Norrie, a transgender person, has to be recognised (and registered) as “non-specific”. In my case, and because Law 2/2014 does not include the change of the legal sex, I only demand from the Government of Andalucía and from the administrations that depend on the Government of Andalucía that they recognise my gender identity as genderqueer, as article 2 paragraph 2 of the law allows me to do.
As I wrote in My Genderqueer Manifesto: “Defining myself as genderqueer is a form of resistance to the binary, a form of breaking the gender norms, of way of creating uncertainties and complexity. The gender binary – the idea that there are only “men” and “women” - is still a system that is very hegemonic, and so it is difficult to escape from it. But at the same time it is a system that is extremely violent, especially because there are quite some people who are not clearly “men” or “women”. The violence against intersex people is nowadays slowly being made visible, but it is up until now only very seldom recognised.”
I would understand the non-recognition of my freely determined gender identity as genderqueer not only as a violation of the Andalusian Law 2/2014, bus also as a violation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, which prohibits in its article 2.2 discrmination “as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. The Comittee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights included gender identity among "other status" in its General Comment no 20: “Gender identity is recognized as among the prohibited grounds of discrimination; for example, persons who are transgender, transsexual or intersex often face serious human rights violations, such as harassment in schools or in the workplace”. (Non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights (art. 2, para. 2, of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights))
I am expecting a positive response to my request.
- My Genderqueer Manifesto, https://andreasspeck.info/content/my-genderqueer-manifesto