Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Sally Goldner, an Australian drummer, singer and stand-up comic, Executive Director for TransGender Victoria, treasurer of Bisexual Alliance Victoria and treasurer of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, listed in The Age Top 100 Creative and Influential People in Melbourne in 2011. Hello Sally!
Monika: In addition, you present "Out of the Pan" on 3CR 855 AM, covering pansexual issues, pansexual meaning "knowing no boundaries of sex or gender", including transgender, bisexual and polyamorous issues…
One that stands out is a performer. I thought I’d be interviewing the “character” – a strong, powerful woman - but all of a sudden I was interviewing the “real life person” – a vulnerable and totally different personality to on stage. I had to tear up my prepared questions and listen – with both ears and heart.
Another was an interview with a couple where one person affirmed their identity in an existing relationship. "We're starting out on this new adventure together...it's built a deeper level of trust and respect for one another." This was just so incredibly authentic and moving…still brings up a few tears thinking about it now.
|Delivering a speech.|
Three challenges are the shortage of knowledgeable and sensitive health professionals, the costs for surgeries and the severe shortage of funding for trans organizations. The latter is leading to a lot of burn-out. All the same, we are working on these issues and we are close to major breakthroughs.
While I was fortunate to have two wonderful mentors along with Kayleen and Julie, Kenton Miller (gay male) and Janet Jukes (lesbian), I was really taken aback by transphobia, biphobia and sexism from elements of gays and lesbians and other forms of prejudice that didn’t affect me directly, e.g. sizism, racism, ableism. I can grasp the “double standard” on intellectual level but it took a long time to understand the feelings involved – and I’m probably still not quite there.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in the Australian society?
The cost of surgery – say $A17, 500 (11,804 euros) is a major issue (and this can be worse for trans men with multiple surgeries). Trigger warning re violence: the rate of physical assault is 20-25%, 12 times the national average, although we believe it has at least stabilized and not getting worse. Christian and Jewish organizations are increasingly understanding of trans issues which is also promising.
|With (then) Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard,|
This gives us great scope to build links to rural areas where support for trans (and gay, lesbian, bisexual and intersex for that matter) is often less than cities and inner metropolitan areas. Further, the material would be easily transferrable to those working in say, housing or working with youth. It gives us a great chance to break down transphobia (and homophobia and biphobia) and increase understanding with all the benefits that result.
To purchase or watch Sally’s Story contact Sally via Facebook or watch at sallys-story.
Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender