Life as a woman 3: Norrie

26 Nov



Norrie began life as a male, had surgery to remove his penis and hormone treatment, then tried living life as a woman.

But she found she wasn’t accepted as female by men or women. She became increasingly uncertain of her gender identity. She stopped the hormone treatments. When hooligans jeered at her for being a trannie, she responded “Well spotted!”

Norrie began investigating alternatives and concluded that she didn’t want an assigned gender, she wanted to escape the male-female binary and have a non-specific gender designation. She then launched legal action to have this option included on basic documents such as passports and birth certificates, as well as the usual male and female categories.

After years of struggle and disappointment, in May last year the High Court decided that a non-specific gender designation on passports and other basic documents is legal, and Norrie’s battle was won.

The ramifications of this decision are enormous, not only for people in Norrie’s situation as adults, but for babies born with a non specific gender. The conventional response to these children is for parents and doctors to decide as quickly as possible if they are to be designated male or female, then to surgical and chemically embed them in the chosen gender. Now such children can be legally registered with a non specific  gender designation, giving parents time to consider the best option for their child.

Norrie has smashed the constricting male-female binary, and brought legal acknowledgement of difference for gender diverse and intersex people. Norrie rejected life as a man and life as a woman, and chose life without orthodox binary gender performance.

People will stare

5 Responses to “Life as a woman 3: Norrie”

  1. goodrumo November 26, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    Reblogged this on iheariseeilearn.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. doug quixote November 26, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Excellent, Jennifer and my awed congratulations to Norrie.

    The High Court found that –

    ‘The [Births Deaths and Marriages] Act does not require that people who, having undergone a sex affirmation procedure, remain of indeterminate sex – that is, neither male nor female – must be registered, inaccurately, as one or the other. The Act itself recognises that a person may be other than male or female and therefore may be taken to permit the registration sought, as “non-specific”.’

    However, as regards Felicity, mentioned in two earlier articles :

    “Section 32DC of the Act provides for the determination of an application under s 32DA in the following terms:

    “(1) The Registrar is to determine an application under section 32DA by registering the person’s change of sex or refusing to register the person’s change of sex.

    (2) Before registering a person’s change of sex, the Registrar may require the applicant to provide such particulars relating to the change of sex as may be prescribed by the regulations.
    (3) A registration of a person’s change of sex must not be made if the person is married.”

    The sting is in the tail – this may be changed if same sex marriage is finally legislated. I note that a fresh attempt is before the parliament.

    Don’t hold your breath with this current parliament, but by the end of 2016 . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. paul walter February 12, 2015 at 6:30 am #

    There must be a lot of hurt in that.

    I know someone who I found out had the operation and found my attitude changed toward them without me wanting that kind of change.. I still dont quite get why that happened.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 12, 2015 at 8:20 am #

      The struggle to overcome what we took in from birth as truth is unending, PW.



  1. Is domestic violence gender-based violence? Two | No Place For Sheep - February 11, 2015

    […] is the aim of some in the community to challenge the performance of traditional gender roles, for example Norrie, who succeeded in having a non-gender specific category legalised for use on official forms. […]


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