Busy first year for Vreerwerk

Looking back at 2012 I can say: we have been busy! We have started some important advocacy, wrote about essential problems  and initiated quite some discussions. The activities consisted mostly of writing, discussing, lecturing, training.

For education I did quite some writing and trainings. Articles in Dutch and English are published on the Vreerwerk website, and smaller news also on the Facebook page. Several publications are translations from important Spanish articles. There is already a lot of publications that are translated from English to Dutch, but there is more in the world. In an act of decentralizing English and giving more space to (original or translated) Dutch work and to in the non-Spanish speaking world totally unknown work, I translated several articles:

You never know what you got until you read about it in the DSM

A whole booklet has been published in Dutch on depathologisation of trans identities. Written by vreer, by Thijs Witty and by Trinidad Bergero (translated, not written for this occasion). If you read Dutch, have an interest in the background of trans discrimination and want to know more: buy it, it’s only € 7,50. If you want to improve your Dutch: also buy it! ;o)


I’ve had the privilege of traveling the globe a bit again this year for some conferences and meetings. Except for one voyage to Kenya all in Europe: Sweden, Ireland, Turkey.  The travels of a trans gospel preacher ;o)

Transgender, Health and Human Rights conference in Linköping, where I engaged in depathologisation debates and in ways to increase Norwegian high level advocacy.


ILGA in Stockholm: participating in the 2nd International Intersex Forum and the world conference. Again, engaging in discussions on trans* and Intersex stuff plus some human rights defending and advocacy work. In preparation an article on intersex advocacy with the UN has seen the light


Trans Pride in Istanbul where we encountered and worked with many trans activists. Probably something comes fromt that next year.


 4th European Transgender Council in Dublin: holding workshops on gender normativity, engaging critically in debates on intersex and on legal gender recognition initiatives. Elected as a board member for Transgender Europe.


At a grantee meeting in Nairobi for Mama Cash discussing on how to deal with trans and feminism in East and Southern Africa. I have been invited as an outstanding gender queer outsider to give a different perspective on gender norms

We have done several gender education lectures and trainings at:

cieeCouncil for International Education Exchange. Guest lectures on Trans, gender and intersex in the Netherlands


sitWorldlearning program on Intercultural Perspectives on Sex, Gender and Identity. Guest lecture on the construction of trans in the Netherlands.


TGEU Council2012_logo4th European Transgender Council. Workshops on gendernormativity. And when are you trans enough? What norms play in our ideas of being trans?


biconHolland Bicon. Again: explaining gender normativity. What does it mean in daily life? Concepts as hetero-normative behaviour and cisgender privilege. Confusion as a method to get clarity.

cocWorkshops for national and for Amsterdam based LGBT sex educators. Making them aware of their own norms, giving a different perspective on trans and on themselves.


As a side project I advised to two undergraduate students with their papers on sexual education in the Netherlands through SIT.

Vreerwerk has organised the trans demo in the yearly Pride march protesting the delay in legal gender recognition legislation and helped shape Queeristan, yearly Amsterdam based queer festival.

In the field of advocacy we helped an intersex person in the Netherlands to quickly with as little hassle as possible change her gender marker on her birth certificate to the for her appropriate F. Only with a doctor’s letter stating she has a sex variation; no proof of medical intervention considered. According to the court cases database this was the first intersex case in ages it seems. Intersex children with “deviant” genitals still get genitally mutilated at early age and sex registration is based mostly on chromosomal makeup when the genitals aren’t unequivocal enough. Expert sex assignment stil go through the civil registry.

Some work in progress for the coming year is

  • A project in transgender health and Human Rights research and advocacy

  • A project on queering the LGBTI scene in the Netherlands

  • Gender education to companies, enterprises, institutions and higher education (ongoing)

  • Expand work on UN intersex advocacy, start consultancy on the theme

  • Other translations from Spanish (fragments from Testo yonqui, by Beatriz Preciado and other work)
  • More writings on national and international trans and intersex developments in the field of legislation, policy, advocacy

So yes, I think I can say “We’ve been busy!”

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