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August 20, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Trans Representative

Hi! I’m Emma, the newly-elected trans* representative for UniQ. So you may be wondering about what that * means. Hint: it wasn’t a typo, and it’s not just there for decoration. The asterisk indicates that the term is inclusive; that is, I am not speaking strictly of transmen and women. Gender is a super complex thing, and there are about as many gender identities as there are studded belts at a Tegan and Sara concert.  MtF. FtM. Transgender. Intersex. Genderqueer. Agender. Bigender. Takatāpui. These are but a few of the many terms you may hear bandied about. Turns out people are complicated and diverse? I’m going to give a brief run-down of what those terms mean; for more detailed information, I suggest you get in touch with my good friend Google.

MtF or FtM are initialisms referring to transgender people. MtF means ‘male-to-female’ and refers to the transition from the gender assigned at birth to the gender the person identifies as. FtM is the inverse, standing for ‘female-to-male’. Other commonly used terms include “transwoman” and “transman” respectively.

An intersex person is one whose body cannot be simply categorised as either male or female. They can possess indeterminate or atypical combinations of features that are usually used to distinguish sex (thanks, Wikipedia).

I personally identify as genderqueer. It is generally used as an umbrella term, describing those who don’t identify as male or female. Genderfluid people feel that their gender is not static, but that it changes over time. “Agender” refers to those who do not identify with any gender. Someone who is bigendered identifies as having two genders. Takatāpui is an inclusive term for queer people within Māoridom.Turns out people are pretty complicated!

One of my responsibilities as trans* rep is to revive the currently-defunct Gender Club Society. This is a group centered around discussions, workshops and seminars on gender issues. Our first event will be held in the Student Union Building after the mid-trimester break. It will be a discussion called ‘Our Language, Our Bodies, Ourselves’ . There’ll be a presentation on the relationship between discourse and identity as it pertains to trans*/intersex/non-binary (etc.) people and bodies. Then we can have a chat about it! You can share your thoughts and experiences and ask questions in a supportive, open, inclusive environment. You should totally come. It will be informative and awesome. Maybe there will be baking!

I want Vic to be a safe space for people of all genders. If you have concerns, questions or comments, feel free to email me at

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