Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kathy Anne Noble, a transgender activist from Australia, the founder and president of Agender Australia, and Changeling Aspects, a support group for transgender people located in Brisbane and Australia. The author of “Two Lives: A Transsexual's Story and the Fight for Recognition" (2011) now out of print. Hello Kathy!
I Moved to Australia in 1980 and became a Citizen in 1988. I have 4 kids from both marriages still living, 7 grandkids and 8 Great grandkids. My kids are spread across the world, in Australia, the UK and America. I finally transitioned in November 2001 on the Gold Coast, 45 minutes South of Brisbane. This year sees my 13th birthday as Kathy. Both of my wives are now deceased, and I miss them both.
I have been on the Board of Queensland Healthy Communities, and Open Doors, a group for the young, questioning their gender/sexuality. I have recently stood down from the LGBTI Legal Service in Queensland. I feel that 2 years on any committee is enough, and believe that others can give new emphasis to problems. I am still working with younger Trans* people and helping them to understand what is required to amend documentation.
We must accept the fact that very few of us are going to become a fully-fledged woman, as we have not had the training given by our Mothers and Sisters, so have to have a crash course in order to achieve as much femininity as possible. I am thankful that much of this will disappear, now that younger Trans* people have access to puberty blockers, and all that will mean.
My wife died in 2000. For the guys it was a little harder, but that came good to, over time. I have been extremely lucky in keeping friends and work mates, but more important has been the fact, that I have made many new friends within and outside of the Trans* community.
I am privileged to say that I work with many now, and can draw on the experience of those older (Trans* time) ones. I am only sorry, that many have not recorded their life experiences, so others can read and understand the enormous differences that were faced 40, or 50 years ago, as to now. We have lost much of the History of the Trans* community.
As many choose not to have surgery, or more likely, cannot afford it, this means that although we can legally amend our passport, we still cannot amend our birth certificate, except in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) since March 2014. This could and does lead to some hairy moments if going into hospital. There are many other instances that we also face in society.
|With her daughter at the book launch.|
Many are portrayed in the media in not a good light. Wrong pronouns, names and being savaged on many occasions. Most books are by Trans* people and their life stories. Some books that talk of Trans*, Two Spirits and Cross dressers as characters again portray the character in good, bad, and abysmal ways. Films usually use us as a fun element. There are of course some that really hit the spot, and others that are purely Trans* orientated.
I have many friends in both, but would dearly like to see a National Trans* group in vogue. This is because, our problems are so much bigger and misunderstood by many in the L&G community. It will be difficult, as we are so fractured as a Trans* community, that I wonder if we will ever be able to set one up, and be able to promote our cause and problems to Canberra.
I am trying to find out, just how this will affect those in that situation here in Australia and New Zealand. There is also the attempt to organize a National Trans* group, and my ongoing work with governments and legislation. The work with the Trans* young and getting professionals and society to understand us more.