2012年6月5日 (IDAHO Trial on MingPao)
■明報報料熱線﹕email@example.com / 9181 4676
Why This Is Important
For twelve years Associate Professor Sam Winter of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has been working in rights and health for transgender people. There are transphobic people at HKU , as anywhere else. So his work in this area has benefited from the fact that he had ‘tenure to 60’ (that is, security of employment until 60).
Sam’s work now faces the axe. Why? He is approaching 60 and A KEY COMMITTEE HAS DECIDED THAT IT WOULD NOT BE IN HKU’S BEST INTERESTS FOR SAM TO BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE HIS RESEARCH AND WRITING, AS WELL AS SERVICE BEYOND THE CAMPUS, AS A FULL-TIME STAFF MEMBER OF HKU..
So what has Sam’s work involved? Well, he has been active working for enhanced rights and health for transgender people in the Asia-Pacific region and worldwide. He has been a vocal advocate for diagnostic reform in transgender health, arguing that the current psychiatric diagnoses applied to transgender people are inappropriate, and undermine their health and rights. He has written widely on trans issues; in journals in health, psychology, law and history. He has written chapters for books and encyclopedias for the general reader. He was recently commissioned by the Lancet, a leading medical journal worldwide, to lead a team writing the initial article in a short series on transgender health. He teaches on trans issues, and his courses on this subject are among the most popular and best evaluated courses across the whole campus.
Sam is a member (and in some cases has helped set up) a range of groups in Hong Kong and across the region working for transgender health and rights. He has recently written a report for UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) on factors influencing HIV risks among transgender people (report due out in next few weeks). He is a Board member of WPATH (the World Professional Association for Transgender Health); the only Board member from Asia. He has been appointed to a key WHO Geneva Working Group on diagnostic reform in the area of sexual health and disorders.
All this work is due to come to an end if he is removed from HKU.
Does anyone get to work at HKU beyond 60? Yes. Lots. For a start the Vice Chancellor is above 60. And many associate professors like me continue employment beyond 60 too. The overriding consideration — the consideration that prevails over all others — is whether it is in the UNIVERSITY’S BEST INTERESTS to continue to employ the person concerned.
So what is the problem with continuing to employ Sam Winter?
Well, it can’t be his work performance. Independent reviewers recently rated his work in the three key areas of teaching, research and service as excellent, excellent and excellent. And his courses are popular, with even more demand from students likely from next year. He is well regarded by colleagues and students. Over 230 students wrote to the Vice Chancellor voicing support for his case.
It certainly is not that HKU needs to cut staff. His faculty is planning to hire a whole load of new people next year. And it can’t be that Sam’s health is bad. So far it is great. So what is the problem?
IT IS HARD TO ESCAPE ONE CONCLUSION – THAT THE PROBLEM IS THE AREA OF WORK SAM WORKS IN – RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY FOR THE RIGHTS AND HEALTH OF TRANSGENDER PEOPLE.
There are very few scholars working in this area in Asia. After Sam is removed there will be no one working exclusively in this area in HK. So please help save Asia-Pacific transgender health and rights research and advocacy at HKU. Sign the petition now. And if you like write to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tsui Lap –Chee today at firstname.lastname@example.org.Click ‘petition letter’ above to see sample.
More on Sam Winter’s work : http://web.hku.hk/~sjwinter/general/
GET TO KNOW THE ISSUES Make time to speak to your gay colleagues, friends and family and find out about their experiences as a gay person at work. They will have ideas about how your workplace can be made more gay-friendly.
MAKE IT PERSONAL Talking about experiences of your own, about gay family-members and friends you have, or stories that gay colleagues have shared with you (check with them first!) can help others understand why it’s important.
BE YOURSELF For inspiration on how to be an effective ally you need only reflect on your own personal values. Ask yourself, and your colleagues, how would you like to be treated at work?
ASK FOR HELP Everyone worries about saying the wrong thing but if you’re taking a positive step you’ll find that gay colleagues are happy to answer your questions.
BE VISIBLE Make clear public statements about the importance of gay equality to you and your organisation. Making a public commitment to gay equality will help people understand it isn’t a tick-box exercise.
PUT WORDS INTO PRACTICE Whether you’re the CEO or a line manager, people watch you and take cues from your behaviour. Don’t simply talk about gay equality, challenge homophobic behaviour, become an ally or sponsor of the network group and attend events like Pride.
DEMONSTRATE LEADERSHIP As a leader being visible and saying ‘gay equality at work is important’ can powerfully affect the culture and tone within an organisation, a division or a team. It also demonstrates the organisation’s values to stakeholders, clients and customers.
MENTOR AND SUPPORT GAY STAFF Their sexual orientation is relevant to their experiences in the workplace and understanding this will help you to manage them better and help them to perform to their full potential.
HOLD COLLEAGUES TO ACCOUNT No-one can personally drive every single equality initiative. Holding colleagues to account on what they are doing to advance gay equality at work is one of the most effective tools that straight allies have.
MAKE IT NATURAL There’s no right or wrong way to be a straight ally. Be yourself so that your colleagues know gay equality isn’t something you’re doing because you have to, but because you want to.
|香港女同盟會自2006年起，致力推動家暴條例 修訂，保障同性同居伴侶。於2008年與中文大學心理學系合作，進行「香港同性伴侶關係 及衝突處理研究」，為亞洲首項同性家暴研究。該報告指出，49.9%成人受訪者曾遭同性配偶身體攻擊、身體損害及/或性暴力對待。自家暴條例修訂後，女同 盟獲多個社福機構邀請分享同性家暴的資訊，讓更多前線社工了解，以助防治家暴的發生。|
Would you be interested in joining such a network? If so, please contact Jose Maria Lorenzo Villaverde, who is doing PhD research at the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen, on same-sex marriage and registered partnership in Spain and Denmark (see http://jura.ku.dk/phd/blaa_bog/villaverdejose
). He can be contacted at: email@example.com.
3. Upcoming conferences (with some content) on sexual orientation law
(those marked with * did not yet figure in my previous list)
* 2nd AsiaPacific Outgames Human Rights Conference, Wellington, 16-18 March 2011.
Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships in Europe, Trier, 11-12 April 2011.
Conference organised by ERA – Academy of European Law. See www.era.int/cgi-bin/cms?_SID=28ba5e54a67607d09e8a167802bf8b43669629cc00102065238492&_sprache=en&_bereich=artikel&_aktion=detail&idartikel=121959.
Equality and Justice – LGBTI Rights in the XXI Century, Florence, 12-13 May 2011.
See above and www.equalityandjustice.eu.
International Day Against Homophobia, Nottingham, 17 May 2011.
Conference organised by the University of Nottingham, as part of the research project “Citizens in Diversity: A Four-Nation Study of Homophobia and Fundamental Rights”. Abstract deadline 31 January 2011. See www.equal-jus.eu/node/113.
* Justice in the Balkans – Equality for Sexual Minorities, Belgrade, 27-30 May 2011.
Information about this follow up to a similar conference in Monte Negro in 2009 will become available at www.lu.se/justice-in-the-balkans.
Company Pride Platform, Amsterdam, 1 July 2011.
Information about this conference will become available at www.companyprideplatform.org.
* LGBT/Queer Studies: Toward Trans/national Scholarly and Activist Kinships, An International Conference, Madrid, 3-5 July 2011.
* Naming and Framing: The Making of Sexual (In)Equality, Madrid, 6-9 July 2011.
Conference of the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (IASSCS). The 2011 Conference theme focuses on the multiple ways that equality and inequality are articulated through sexuality. See www.iasscs.org/2011conference.
* North American Outgames Human Rights Conference, Vancouver, 26-28 July 2011.
National LGBT Bar Association Career Fair and Conference (Lavender Law), Los Angeles, 8-10 September 2011.
* European Geographies of Sexualities Conference, Brussels, 8-10 September 2011.
ILGA-Europe Annual Conference, Torino, 27-30 October 2011.
Mutual recognition of registered partnerships and same-sex marriages within the territory of the European Union: a restriction on the freedom of movement of EU citizens and members of their family? Strasbourg, 18-19 November 2011. Conference organised by the French organisation of LGBT professionals L’Autre Cercle.
* And the biggest of them all: World Outgames Human Rights Conference, Antwerp, August 2013.