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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 25, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 52
French sex-ed document stirs up furor
Mislabels Trans people, activists say
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French sex-ed document stirs up furor
Mislabels Trans people, activists say

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A new sex-ed document issued by the French Ministry for Education has LGBT activists up in arms over its mislabeling of Trans people.

According to ANT (Association Nationale Transgenre, or National Transgender Association), the new sex-ed information offers few, if any, accurate facts about Trans people. The government document is 'Transphobic,' 'insulting,' and 'ignorant,' ANT says.

The new document, titled 'Fighting Against Homophobia: The Struggle for All Women and All Men,' was written jointly by the French Ministry of Education and its 'preferred partner,' the Inter-LGBT group.

In spite of the participation of an LGBT rights organization, the document grossly misrepresents Trans people, ANT charges.

The document begins by saying that a 'Trans person may be a transvestite (they have not changed their biological sex, but dress in clothes more usual to the opposite sex) or transsexual.'

Then it shifts immediately to the issue of cross-dressing, stating that 'there is currently no biological or psychological recognized basis for trans identity.'

ANT has condemned the term 'transsexual,' which is almost universally rejected by France's Trans community because it centers Trans identity in sexuality.

ANT also challenged the document's focus on 'changing biological sex,' saying this reflects the French government's insistence on gender reassignment surgery before it will recognize the self-determined gender of Trans individuals.

The policy has been denounced several times by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe.

The government document also makes no positive proposals for supporting Trans people within the French education system, ANT said. Even simple measures, like allowing Trans people to use their preferred first name, were ignored, the group charged.

ANT is demanding that the Ministry of Education admit its own transphobia, withdraw the document immediately, and issue new guidelines the focus on positive steps toward supporting Trans students and teachers.

Delphine Ravisé-Giard, the president of ANT, said that 'ANT is increasingly disturbed by the inaction of the government on transgender rights.

'We ask the Ministry of Education to take all necessary measures to respect the gender identity of Transgender students throughout their schools, to take all necessary measures to respect the gender identity of Transgender teachers, and the outright withdrawal of this insulting, transphobic document.'

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