On 22-24 of October 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine International Conference “Transgender issues in social and medical context” will take place.
The transgender phenomenona is comprehended in the context of many discourses — medical, sociological, political, cultural, religious, philosophical, etc. The multilevel character of this phenomena in combination with the inability of specialists and groups to go beyond the boundaries of definitions and categories, legitimized in certain fields, leading to the lack of understanding among human rights activists, medical professionals, public institutions, scientists and transgender people, which complicates the situation of transgender people in many countries of the world. Medical pathologization, the rejection of gender nonconformity in societies, discrimination at the state level, the high level of xenophobia and violence against transgender people make them one of the most vulnerable social groups in the modern world.
In Ukraine the ability of transgender people to affirm their identity and to integrate into the society is regulated by the Ministry of health decree No. 60, which is based on outdated pathologizing and dehumanizing approach within post-Soviet psychiatry, which reduces individuality and needs of transgender person to a set of symptoms. The Order includes outdated and contradictory set of diagnostic criteria, the requirement to spend 30 to 45 days in a mental hospital, the requirement of completion of the surgical procedures, including sterilization, as well as a number of socio-political demands to the contenders for the “change/correction of sex»: don’t be married, don`t have children, to have a «sufficient level of social adaptation”. This entire complex is designed to make the process of integration of trans* people to the binary gender system invisible and painless for society, forcing trans* persons to adapt to the imperfection of laws based on social prejudice.
The Conference aims to become a platform for communication, exchange of experiences, best practices and finding a common language between medical experts, government agencies, human rights defenders, researchers and trans* activists from different countries and different contexts. Our focus is at the juncture of human rights and medical discourses — as well as the phenomena of gender diversity. We want to create a space for bringing together people and institutions seeking to provide qualified medical services, ensure the implementation of civil and human rights for trans* people and protect them from discrimination and violence.