My November 2017 was full of important things for me. It also was important for many fellow trans people as well.
The most important thing for all was the name bill.
The initiative was full of discriminating features in spite of our statements to officials and politicians. We had a campaign organized by many national trans organizations and the Finnish Amnesty International. Before the bill passed the parliament our campaign organized a happening where the members of the organizations told about the discriminative features of the bill and what these would easily lead to. We invited members of Parliament to hear of us but there was only one present. She claimed the bill is the best they could get in the political conjunctures we just now have – there are too many populists and conservatives in the Parliament just now.
The member of Parliament Johanna Karimäki (The Green Party) at the name bill happening
The same week I had a call from the Ministry of Justice. The official claimed the bill is far better than we have assumed in our campaign. For example the possibility of having both man’s and woman’s name is not mentioned at all, but it is not forbidden, either. So she claimed there would be a possibility for intersexual and non binary people and transvestites to get such a name if the identity is indicated somehow clearly. That kind of interpretation was new to us and of course we were delighted. The bill was discussed twice in Parliament and in the end of November it passed. So we still have a lot of work to help the ministry make instructions to the officials. There are some horrible examples in name change situations where the officials have seen the opportunity to be very severely discriminating.
The other thing was TransHelsinki happening. The name bill happening was a part of it. The other was a half day seminar where I also told about the current situation of the name bill. And of course there also were much more interesting presentations on other issues.
At the seminar
After the seminar we had an instant idea of going to eat somewhere. Because of the Pikkujoulu season we didn’t find any free restaurant table in reasonable waiting time so we ate Indian fast food – which was delicious anyway.
After the seminar with friends
The TransHelsinki is always around the 20th of November, the Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is a remembrance day for trans people round the world during the year. This year the number of known cases was 325. We had a committed happening on the stairs of the House of the Parliament. I opened it with the president of the National LGBTI organization Viima Lampinen.
Opening the TDOR happening with Viima
A choir singing Imagine
There were some music and lots of candles. The names of the murdered people were announced. The weather was terrible with heavy wind and lots of wet sleet. The members of Parliament were invited but again there was only one. The reason was the day Monday when they use to go home district to do their political work there.
Back home. I had a wide-necked hat to keep my glasses clear during the opening of the TDOR
The same day 20th of November was very important to me also in other way. I had told my boss about Anukatariina earlier in November. This day I told about me to my closest colleagues. It was a success, they were very delighted and hugged me warmly. We instantly made a plan for lectures about me and the multitude of gender to the students we teach.
Actually this kind of education is not new for me. In November I lectured about the issue to sexual therapists. My part took an half an hour but they wanted to ask me lots of questions and it took 45 minutes.
As a vice president of the Dreamwear Club I took part of the representative assembly of Seta. This time it was held in Mikkeli, a small city in eastern Finland. This time there were no difficult issues to make a decision.
With Kristiina and Tuija at the representative assembly
The local organization had organized the Mikkeli Pride at the same time. It was the first time for it, but there were 350-500 marching in the parade. It also was my first Pride parade in dark daytime – the dark starts there before 4 p.m. this time of the year. The hilarious people had all kinds of light with themselves to oppose the darkness – both the physical and mental ones.
The Mikkeli Pride stage, Iina Särkkä opening the parade
The Dreamwear Club marching in the darkness
The crowd at the Mikkeli market place
With Andy and Tuija at Mikkeli Pride Afterparty