An Intersex Mayor in Australia

Tony Briffa, mayor of Hobson's Bay, Australia
Hobson’s Bay has elected a new mayor, Tony Briffa. This interests me because Briffa is open about being intersex.

He tells his story in depth on his website. In part, he writes:

I feel very comfortable having accepted my true nature. I am not male or female, but both. I am grateful for the years I lived as a woman and the insight and experiences it gave me. I am still “Antoinette” and have now also incorporated and accepted my male (“Anthony” or “Tony”) side. I feel whole. I’ll continue to live as Tony but I feel I am now at a point in my life where I can celebrate being different.

He also provides a long list of links relating to media surrounding his journey. He discusses the mistreatment that the medical status quo visited upon him as an infant:

They diagnosed me with an intersex condition called “Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome” and the treatment paradigm – likely elsewhere in the world – dictated that I was to be raised as a girl, any male physical attributes had to be surgically removed if possible, and I was not to be told the truth about my condition.

Doctors castrated him, told his parents to raise him as a girl, and to never reveal the truth to him. Some doctoring.

[I] lived as a woman until I learned the truth about my condition and sought to find out who I would have been had the medical profession not sought to “normalise” me.

This (mis)treatment is common for babies born intersex. Western medicine has a pathological need to force cultural beliefs about gender onto non-conforming infants’ bodies. THE GENDER BINARY MUST BE MAINTAINED AT ALL COSTS! Even if that cost is medically-unnecessary infant genital mutilation.

To learn more about what happens to intersex babies and children, I recommend the website of the Intersex Society of North America. Their definition of intersex is quite good.

Information Wants to Be Free

There’s a war against information being waged by the West. We Westerners love to look down at “other” countries and scoff at their censorship—it’s a sign of repression, of a backwards government or culture, of out-dated religious or cultural intolerance, it’s anti-science, anti-education, anti-truth.

We turn a blind eye to censorship in our own societies because it doesn’t fit with our narrative of superiority or exceptionalism.

Perhaps we are actually getting more censorious or repressive than we were in the past. I personally think that we are only now learning about a long-present censorship in the West due to the extraordinary efforts of certain individuals, and the pressures exerted by groups of these individuals coming together and pointing out wrongs.

Because we love censorship in the West. America tolerates a large amount of it, and it appears that Australia emulates this shining example. We tolerate it, and we deny its existence. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Our capitalist economy is supposedly based in part on an equal access to information. That’s supposed to be how consumers make their choices, based on truthful and complete information about products. That’s supposed to be how voters make their choices for who leads the government. So the benefits of misleading the people are very high.

Information wants to be free. Here are some examples of the Western struggle to obtain information in the face of governmental and corporate repression.

Australia Confiscates Passport of Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange
The first government to really take action against a truly pro-democracy website, which reveals government lies, militarism, and human rights abuses perpetrated by powerful people. Australia understands the necessity of cracking down on such an unrestricted flow of “state secrets”. Because if a state needs to keep something secret from its people, you better believe whatever it is would make the people pissed, thereby challenging the people with the power and the money.

Glenn Beck Rails Against Local Input, Diversity at Radio Stations
Some activists have finally pushed the FCC into considering decisive action to break the corporate take-over of the public airwaves. Beneficiaries of corporate near-monopoly are very angry. Might local people be able to decide for themselves what issues they care to hear about, what music they care to listen to? Might marginalized groups have more access to the airwaves? THE HORROR!

The AP Discovers News Readers Like Fact-Checking
After a few intrepid outsiders began calling out mainstream media in America after it became essentially a government and corporate propaganda arm during the Bush years, some news outlets took the charges semi-seriously. Greg Sargent talks about how the AP came around to implement FACT-CHECKING into their reporting. Hilarity ensues as blatantly false statements made by powerful people are publicly called “false”.

Australia Ends Its Global Gag Rule

The Australian reports:

13-Year ban on Australian foreign aid for abortion has been overturned by the Rudd Government, despite [Prime Minister] Kevin Rudd being opposed to the policy shift.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has followed the lead of US President Barack Obama, who has scrapped the policy preventing non-government organisations using official funds overseas to advise about abortions or provide services.

“This was a difficult decision. This is a deeply sensitive area. It’s one where strong views are held deeply and very personally. …” Mr Smith said yesterday.

“I was left with the very distinct impression that the substantial, if not the overwhelming majority of the parliamentary members of the Labor Party believed that this was also the correct outcome.”

…Mr Smith said the change would mean women in developing countries had the same options as those in Australia, if local laws allowed terminations.

But he said that Australian aidfunding would still focus on avoiding abortions through family planning.

Yay!

The Mysterious Case of the Non-Related Identical Twins

Dorothy & RosabelleDorothy Loader and Rosabelle Glasby are identical twins. But not if you ask the Australian Department of Immigration. You see, different families adopted them, and it took 50 years for them to find each other again. And in fifty years, they had different nationalities: Rosabelle was in Australia, and Dorothy was in Malaysia. Dorothy wants to move to Australia to be with her sister, but the authorities claim they are “not related for the purposes of immigration” and denied her request.

I wrote about their story before.

Well, Rosabelle’s husband Marc has asked that I share a website they have created to try and reunite these sisters. On the site there are suggestions for how you can help. Check it out. Their story is crazy and Orwellian to the max.

Reality No Match for Australian Department of Immigration

Twins
Identical twins not related for purposes of Australian immigration

Australia’s Department of Immigration is really taking a page right out of USCIS’s book. One of the women pictured above is a citizen of Australia. The other, allegedly her “twin sister”, is a threat to the security of every good Australian.

From Perth Now:

A WA woman has been told by Australian authorities that she’s not related to her identical twin sister.

…Adopted by different families shortly after their birth in Malaysia, Mrs Glasby and Dorothy Loader were separated for almost 50 years before finally meeting last September.

…In a letter to Mrs Glasby last month, DIAC state director Paul Farrell explained that despite the circumstances, the present laws meant Ms Loader would not be eligible for family migration.

Clearly, Paul Farrell can see right through these women’s nefarious plot. As my roommate pointed out, and as the above photo makes clear, the Malaysian “sister” is none other than Osama bin Laden with radical facial reconstruction and fake papers!

Heckuva job, Farrell. You have masterfully detected a fake “family” that shouldn’t, no- mustn’t, be reunited. Australians can take a deep sigh of relief that their way of life has been successfully protected from terrorist, Australia-hating immigrants.