Speech for the Radical Queer March Berlin 2019
Before introducing our group, we would like to say that some of us feel strongly against the exclusion of BDS from this march, some of us feel different about it and there are strong emotions attached to each of our positions. However, there is one thing that unites us all here today and is the fight for trans*, inter* and nonbinary visibility and rights! ✊🏽✊✊🏿
We are nonbinary.berlin. In 2018, some of us realized that there was hardly any form of a self-organized group for nonbinary people in Berlin – and so we decided to change it. We started a monthly meeting and since then we have been meeting for more than a year every first Monday of every month at 7 pm at Aquarium. The meeting serves as a platform for nonbinary people to meet each other in a safer space, have fun, build networks and friendships, talk about problems we face, play games or just hang out.
We support each other by talking about personal stuff: like figuring out how to come out to our family and friends, how to navigate pronouns or where to find the best surgeon or medical care, among many other things we usually struggle with. A lot of our discussions are related to the struggle of changing our names and legal gender and getting rid of our deadnames on all kinds of paperwork. Life as a nonbinary person gets difficult at times between pronouns, gendered social, bathrooms and work situations. So having friends by your side to keep your head up is very important.
The people at our meetings come from all over the world and we speak mostly English and German, but there are many other languages spoken within our group, so if you don’t speak any of these let us know and we will do our best to facilitate translations. After a first voluntary introduction round, we split up into smaller groups playing games, sharing skills, clothes, make-up tips or just siting together and talking about this-and-that or making big plans.
Besides dealing with the problems related to the oppressive binary world on a personal level, many of us started to engage in political actions – like joining demonstrations, making huge nonbinary flags, collectively putting pressure on fitness clubs, for example, to change their changing room policies, starting a trans inter* nonbinary sauna or joining an action-group at the Charité training program to force the University to give lectures that aren’t transphobic and pathologizing nonbinary and inter* folks. So that one day maybe the genital-mutilation of more than 2300 inter*-children under 6 years old each year in Germany will stop. Some of us are organizing information meetings concerning the new law for changing your gender marker and helping each other by teaming up for visits to administrative offices so that no one has to face these intimidating situations on their own.
There is a new law in Germany, introduced in January 2019, that makes possible to choose between 3 gender options or have no gender marker at all. The German government was forced to introduce this law following a ruling by the German Supreme Court in 2017. That ruling made it very clear that trans* inter* and nonbinary people must have the possibility to change their names and legal genders without a doctor’s report. In addition, a third option outside the gender binary had to be added to the Registry.
What followed was, of course, not the recognition for ALL nonbinary people that we all hoped. The German Government, led by the right-wing Minister of Interior, was forced to reluctantly introduce a new law. They opted for a minimal solution that left trans* and nonbinary folks out in the cold: only inter* people who could prove their so called medical condition through a doctor’s certificate were going to be able to get their names and genders changed, resulting also in further pathologization.
This is bullshit!
However, the law was put together so quickly that it was poorly worded, which then created a loophole for nonbinary and trans* folks to change their names and genders nonetheless. Or at least, those who can find a doctor willing to certify that they have what they call a gender variant. Even though the Minister of Interior threatened us and the doctors willing to certify with repression and high fines, a lot of us have and are still changing our names and getting rid of our gender marks. We will not be intimidated!
☞ Stop trans* inter* and nonbinary pathologization!
☞ We demand that all people can freely choose their gender!
☞ We demand that all people can freely choose their names!
☞ Stop the genital-mutilation of intersex children!
☞ Support all queer, nonbinary and inter* refugees!
☞ Resist the gender binary!
☞ Nonbinary identities all around the world are valid!
Last update: 2019.07.28