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No Reason To Celebrate

With all the talking around this year’s Tel Aviv Pride Parade, the transgender community feels that this year it doesn’t have a reason to celebrate anyway. “Last year, our community gained amazing momentum,” transgender organization Maavarim writes, “this year, we have nothing to feel happy about.”

Signs for demonstration against transgender discrimination: “The trans community demands respectful living, access to health services, protection from discrimination, education for gender tolerance” (photo: Maavarim)

This year we have no reason to celebrate. Last year, our community gained amazing momentum – from the Tel Aviv parade being dedicated to the trans community, renovation and establishment of community projects, interviews with the media, or activities in the Knesset. We don’t stop, nor will we ever stop, fighting to make a change even if every time we turn to the authorities and agencies they give us the cold shoulder. Two transgender women and one trans man committed suicide last year, and the only official reaction, that came after pressure from the community, was convening a committee where we didn’t get any answers to our questions.

The Interior Ministry postponed its answer to the sex change on identity cards, and rolls the responsibility away. In the Women’s Advancement Committee the ministry ignored us, and the State Control Committee didn’t even send a representative. The conduct of the Sex Reassignment Committee of the Ministry of Health is done clumsily, not transparently, and with no formal procedure that was already supposed be published! Beyond that, the committee receives and approves numerous applications, but allows only one operating room, that runs once or twice a month.

Again and again we find ourselves on the streets. Apartments for transgender men is delayed and every day that goes by, another trans man that could’ve been helped finds himself alone. Also, the emergency shelter that should provide assistance for those over the age of 18 has not yet opened. Every day that the shelter is not functioning another one of us is dependent on the mercy of others, or rolling into the street. Transgender students also remain unanswered – there’s no procedure of the Ministry of Education concerning the treatment of young trans people in our society, and the change in the Student Rights Law is not implemented.

No matter what will happen, we will continue with the youth groups, with workshops on body language, Dreams project, the group that gives a voice for trans women, and the bazaars. We will continue to sell Binders, receive calls and requests via Bruchot Haba’im project, and accompany people to National Insurance and do everything else we can. We will continue to organize visibility and memorial days, to be interviewed for any media outlet, and make the most fabulous trans visibility there is.
So no, we do not intend to celebrate this year. We have nothing to feel happy about. We will, as always, protest where people will protest, to do whatever is needed, and reach out a hand to anyone who asks for help. You can find us, in a glow-green color, wherever we have to stand and fight for our lives.