maanantai 1. toukokuuta 2017

Chilly and versatile April 2017

This April has been full of different things, some somewhat usual and some not.

One of the items of the month is the trans legislation. As I have told before, there are some severe defects in the current law which regulates the change of official gender. The worst is the one which demands a person to be castrated/infertile before the legal gender change. This is the one international civil rights authoritative have blamed Finland. The other one is the age limit of 18 years. The third is the connection of legal gender change to medical studies which makes the whole process really long – and also very expensive to the society.  

The previous government made a paper for the initiative to change the two first defects. However the Christian Democrats blackmailed the other parties in the government to stop the process. The current government is not willing to do anything to the matter due to the True Finns, very populist racist and anti LBGTIQ party.

But we won’t give up...

Last summer a network called (Trans law) was founded. It has been active in this matter to promote better trans legislation. Actually the goal has been thrown even further, to the right to totally determine one’s gender – as it is allowed in Denmark and in Malta.

One of the branches of the network is an informal LBGTI network consisting of members of parliament. Together with it the panel discussion about the matter was held in the beginning of the month. All the parties in the parliament was present in the discussion where the representatives were asked if the back our aims. Surprisingly only the Christian Democrats were strongly against and their representative even tried to use her authority as a gynaecologist to assure the gender dysphoria could probably be just a phase in young people’s life – I hope she’s never going to meet such a person at her professional practice! Even the representative of True Finns was for our initiative, though she had to admit she’s one of the very few people in the party thinking this way.

                   At the Parliament promoting the better trans legislation.

In the end of the month the network organized open discussions in Helsinki and Turku. The main issue was what kind of official gender registrations we should need to avoid problems. In Finland we have the end of personal identification number indicating the gender male or female. For some transgender people present in the discussion wanted to continue this practice because it is so important for them to have this code number changed. On the other hand non binary people didn’t like the idea because these two codes don’t indicate their identity and they can have severe problems with such misgendering almost daily. So the next proposal was to add “other” or “gender X” to third alternative. But this practice would out some people who don’t want to be outed. For me the best solution would be a personal identification number without any gender codes – gender things for example for statistical purposes could easily be in background data and not showing in the identity card. This kind of practice would also be in coherence with international aviation regulations and would not threaten people’s safety when travelling in LBGTIQ-unfriendly countries.

                    Kasper Kivistö as a speaker at open discussion session  

What comes to another political issue, implementation of non discrimination legislation at workplaces, I was interviewed in a labour union magazine. The brief version is here. I have prepared material for education in this issue and quite soon I could educate shop stewards and HR personnel. I only have had difficulties in finding partners for it’s quite hard to do it totally on your own.

My personal life has had night and day activities. What comes to nights, I’ve been at Mummolaakso (The valley of old ladies) ball and at the theatre seeing a piece with drag ingredients called Jemina

                              With Thea at Mummolaakso ball

                        With Tuija, Hannamaria and Susanna at Jemina performance
The biggest day activity has been my new bicycle. So far I have used my spouse’s bike but I wanted to have my own. We went to the bike store to buy it. There were two trainees who mostly wanted to hide from us. Finally I managed to nail one of them and found a nice lilac DBS with seven gears. The regular sales person was also a bit confused and asked first to whom the bike will be registered – the thing which was more than obvious. He also managed to spell my male name in a way it was not Finnish at all!  
After all the bike was nice and I will use it when biking to work next time.

There also was another incidence in April which wasn’t particularly pleasant. But maybe it just belongs to women’s life these days...

When I was shopping in a big market at a mall I hear a voice behind me. The voice came from a rather small black guy dressed in a dressy white suit jacket and a baseball cab. The voice said some flattering comments of my look and proposals to do something more with him. I tried to ignore the incidence. 

When I went to my car some fifteen minutes later in a car park hall I heard the same voice: He had followed me all the way! I replied that’s something like "Hey, now I don’t like the situation" but he wouldn’t stop. So finally I turned to him, looked straight to his eyes and said: "Beat it!!"   

It worked.

However I felt very uncomfortable after the incidence. But maybe someone would say: "Welcome to women’s world!"

If he spotted me as a trans person it may have showed the sad situation of the sisters in some other countries where trans women are regarded as free chase. Afterwards I thought I could have spared a little of my time to make a conversation with him to make some facts in Finland clear about the rights of women and especially of trans women. But the situation in big car park with no one near us was too creepy so maybe it was better just to get rid of him.  

And to close up the month.... 

The weather has been chilly and there has been a lot of showers of water in every possible forms. At the end of the month even the ground was covered with about five centimeters layer of snow. My spouse had been ill quite a long time and she was too impatient to just be at home. So we decided to go a bit southwards and took a ferry to Tallinn. 

The First of May is one of the big events in Finland. It's celebration starts on 30th of April - the student may start it even a week ahead. The day is both for students and workers. The tradition has it's nice parts but on the other hand it is celebrated mostly with lots of alcohol which makes the celebration rather unpleasant every now and then. In Estonia First of May is not such a big event: The students go mostly to the university town Tartu and the tradition of worker's day is not very popular due to not so happy reminiscence of the Soviet era. So Tallinn was rather peaceful and the celebrators there were mostly Finns.

Because the weather forecast was awful also in Tallinn we had organized a sort of indulgence day for us. It included mostly indoors activities like some shopping (naturally...), different kinds of care literally from head to toe, ...

                                                 ...a nice dinner, ...

                              ...swimming at the hotel spa pool... 

                                       ...and some Fresita for a recovery drink or night cap.

Unlike the forecast has said the weather was not that bad and in fact the sun started shining which made the spa warm like in summer. The nice thing in this kind of spa swimming was that we could go there straight from our hotel room and avoid any confusion concerning the dressing room.

It seems we managed to bring the sun and warm air with us while the weather has totally changed while we made our trip back to Finland. So I hope May will be warmer and better for any kind of outdoor activities.

                                         Waiting for summer at home at First of May 


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