In de Nederlandse pers heef het geloof ik verdomd weinig aandacht gehad. Er was gelukkig wel enige aandacht voor het feit dat Nederland achter een verklaring stond in de Algemene Vergadering van de VN ten gunste van LGBT. Netjes ook dat minister Verhagen de ambassadeur van de paus (de nuntius) op het matje heeft geroepen in Den Haag over de gedragingen van het Vaticaan t.a.v. seksuele oriëntatie en genderidentiteit.
[05/01/09] During missions to member states of the Council of Europe, I have been reminded of the on-going discrimination many face on account of their gender identity. Transgender persons encounter severe problems in their daily lives as their identity is met with insensitivity, prejudice or outright rejection.
There have been some extremely brutal hate crimes against transgender persons. One case which received media attention was the murder in Portugal of a homeless, HIV-positive, Brazilian transgender woman, called Gisberta (Luna) Salce Junior. She was tortured and raped by a group of young men, thrown into a well and left to die.
My discussions with non-governmental organisations defending the rights of transgender persons indicate that a number of such hate crimes go unreported – even in serious cases. One of the reasons appears to be a lack of trust in the police.
Some people seem to have a problem with the mere existence of human beings whose outer expression of their inner gender identity is not the same as their gender determined at birth. Aggression against transgender persons cannot however be excused as resulting from ignorance or lack of education. These attitudes cause serious harm to innocent and vulnerable people and must therefore be countered.
I have been struck by the lack of knowledge about the human rights issues at stake for transgender persons, even among political decision-makers. This is probably the reason why more has not been done to address transphobia and discrimination based on gender identity. The result is that individuals are discriminated against all over Europe, in areas such as as employment, health care and housing.
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