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Ruth Pearce @NotRightRuth
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This evening I'm tweeting from the opening ceremony of the #wpath2018 conference in Buenos Aires. WPATH president Gail Knudson is welcoming us to the organisation's first ever conference in Latin America.
Brief speech of welcome from Argentinian Federal Minister of Health Adolfo Rubinstein. He's highlighting the importance of rights and healthcare access that takes sexual and gender diversity into account. Highlights Argentina's progressive Gender Identity Law. #wpath2018
Something I don't expect we'll hear about today which is nevertheless very important - the first ever Argentinian non-gendered birth certificate was issued yesterday under the Gender Identity Law, opening it up to explicitly recognise non-binary and intersex. #wpath2018
Knudson back on stage, acknowledging that 60% of WPATH's membership is from the USA. The organisation desires to extend its membership internationally so is creating regional organisations such as EPATH (European Professional Association for Transgender Health). #wpath2018
Not mentioned by Knudson - CPATH (Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health) was founded long before EPATH, but unlike EPATH, USPATH etc is an entirely separate from WPATH. #wpath2018
Now hearing about the formation of USPATH. It seems like a pretty good organisation in a lot of ways, but I don't see how this helps to expand membership beyond the US. #wpath2018
Knudson showing graph of WPATH membership stats. Looks a lot like one of those growths of gender clinic referral rates. Increase from 1277 to 2213 members in just the last two years. #wpath2018
Knudson: The board recognised that majority of new members were from North America and Europe. Decided to make effort to grow organisation in Latin America. Held meetings, supported the creation of BRPATH (Brazilian Professional Association for Transgender Health) #wpath2018
Knudson: WPATH's outreach work in Latin America has been reflected in growth of membership in these countries. #wpath2018
Knudson: Another initiative to support international membership is WPATH's Global Education Initiative. Training courses run by volunteers who want to expand knowledge. Mostly taken place in US so far but intention is to grow from here. #wpath2018
Knudson notes that existing Version 7 WPATH Standards of Care have been translated into many languages, supporting expansion of knowledge and trans-specific care around the world. Thanks Aaron Devor and (I think) Walter Bockting and Eli Coleman for work on this. #wpath2018
Something that doesn't get mentioned at events like this (so I'll mention this) is that some of the WPATH Standards of Care translations are funded by @GIRESUK #wpath2018
Draft recommendations for Version 8 WPATH Standards of Care will be published on Tuesday. #wpath2018
Knudson discussing existing work such as WPATH input into (for example) new Endocrine Society guidelines and ICD-11, and future partnerships with organisations such as reproductive health bodies like the International Planned Parenthood Federation. #wpath2018
Knudson discussing WPATH's international advisory board. Originally individuals - now shifting towards ensuring representation of international organisations such as @GATEOrg #wpath2018
Knudson: WPATH is sponsoring a hospitality suite for trans and non-binary attendees at #wpath2018. This will be in Pacara A on Floor 5 of he conference venue. It will be availabvle during the normal opening hours of the conference.
776 people have registered for #wpath2018 so far - and still more are registering as we speak.

Met with Argentinian activists this afternoon - something we heard was how inaccessible the conference is to local health advocates. Conference fee amounts to average annual wage.
Personal view: if WPATH is to be truly accessible to an international membership and to actual trans people, the organisation needs to introduce sliding scale fees and bursaries that acknowledge and aim to address economic inequality. #wpath2018
Talking of economic inequality, on to tonight's first keynote speech from Sam Winter, of Curtin University, Australia. His talk is entitled "Opportunity Denied: Employment Discrimination Against Transgender People in Southeast Asia". #wpath2018
Winter: WPATH gets criticised from time to time (I note he's been a vocal critic himself) but the organisation has also undertaken important advocacy work and a growing focus on social issues, both more publicly and less so. #wpath2018
Winter: WPATH's best work is done when it advocates for trans rights. #wpath2018
Winter shows another one of these graphs with an exponential growth. This one shows enormous annual growth in peer-reviewed published work on social issues affecting trans people. #wpath2018
Winter: Employment is one such important social issue. Forced unemployment and underemployment due to transphobic discrimination is a personal, social and economic issue, affecting mental and physical health. #wpath2018
Winter citing research suggesting the international trans unemployment figure is 15%. Notes that this figure is likely a "gross underestimation" in many countries, and doesn't account for underemployment, which is also prevalent. #wpath2018
Winter: Research on trans (un/der)employment constitutes only 5% of research on trans social issues. Need to move beyond survey research of trans population, for instance through undertaking at job audits to look at trans employment discrimination. #wpath2018
Winter now reporting on findings of research looking at legal gender recognition and employment discrimination in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam. Partnership between Curtin University, the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network and United Nations Development Program. #wpath2018
Winter: Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam do not have formal legal gender recognition; Singapore does, but it is a particularly onerous process. Consequently, trans people in these counties are required to out themselves in applying for jobs. #wpath2018
Winter: Pilot scheme sent CVs out to three or four job sectors in each countries. Produced pairs of equivalent CVs & counted "positive" responses ("come for interview", "tell us more") vs negative ("not interested", "no response"). Tested and amended until equivalent. #wpath2018
Winter: Once paired CVs consistently received equivalent responses, they targeted 3000 more jobs and added a trans marker to one CV in each pair. e.g. a trans woman paired with a cis woman, a trans man paired with a cis man. Collaborated with local trans orgs. #wpath2018
Winter: Found evidence of substantial discrimination against trans job applications. Cis applications 54.5% times more likely to be offered interviews than trans applicants across all four countries. Very high statistical significance. #wpath2018
Worth noting gender difference also: cis women 64% more likely to be offered jobs than trans women, cis men 44% more likely to be offered job than trans men. #wpath2018
Winter showing specific findings from Thailand. The more positive the response from the employer, (e.g. "come for interview" as more positive than "call us"), the less likely trans people were to get it. #wpath2018
Winter: One of the researchers working on the project was trans. At the end of the project, they described how seriously the work impacted on their mental health. Told team leaders they should think very seriously about hiring trans people to do this work in future. #wpath2018
You can read a report based on the work Sam Winter was describing, "Denied Work", here. It sounds like a very important publication indeed. #wpath2018…
Now for tonight's second keynote. Lawyer and legal scholar Tamara Adrian joins us from Caracas, Venezuela, to talk "Trans Legal History in Latin America". #wpath2018
Adrian starts speech with extended sarcastic homophobic/transphobic diatribe about men with vaginas, women with penises, needing to protect children from this kind of corruption.

"This is the discourse you are hearing from all around Latin America at the moment". #wpath2018
Adrian: There is a world campaign against "gender identity" - and women's rights, gendered rights, reproductive rights. Notion that "gender" is ideological, and therefore unreal.

Used in campaigns against both women's rights and trans rights. #wpath2018
Adrian: Argentinian Gender Identity Law has set an important standard for similar laws around the world. #wpath2018
Adrian: New law in Uruguay takes trans rights further step forward, with:

- gender recognition
- protection in accessing schools and jobs
- 1% government jobs reserved for trans people
- reparations (in form of pension) for trans people who survived past dictatorship
Adrian notes that the introduction of reparations in the Uruguay law provides an interesting precedent for trans rights and gender recognition law, acknowledging and attempting to account for past crimes against trans population by state. #wpath2018
Adrian notes that backlash against trans rights legislation can limit its impact, such as in Chile, where trans adults gained legal recognition but trans minors did not. #wpath2018
Adrian: In countries such as Brazil, trans rights (including legal recognition and access to healthcare) have followed judicial decisions rather than legislation. Raises questions about how new government might react to this. #wpath2018
Adrian: Through Latin America, expansion of trans rights law has been opposed by Catholic church. Where this hasn't prevented laws from existing at all, it can sometimes limit their scope, for instance through disallowing marriage in particular circumstances. #wpath2018
Adrian: We see in examples of Latin American legislation how progress comes from Global South. European gender recognition laws follow Latin America example (although in many cases they are not as progressive as Argentinian law, and none as much as Uruguay). #wpath2018
Adrian: People spreading international moral panic about "ideology of gender" are very powerful and well-funded, usually by conservative religious organisations. #wpath2018
Professor Adrian ends by drawing links between Spain's orange anti-trans bus, Trump's rhetoric, and Catholic opposition to trans rights laws in Latin America. We know who the enemy are. We have to respond with science, evidence, and dreams of a better future. #wpath2018
That's it from the opening plenary! There will now be a welcoming reception and poster presentations.

I'm presenting a poster for the @transpregnancy project tonight - come and find me at board 29. #wpath2018
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