I wish that was a joke, but it isnâ€™t.
Â Â I went to preview a New Dowse exhibition on transsexuality, intersexualityÂ and the transgender community with its communicationsâ€™ of?cer Mandy Herrick and coincidentally, was told by a friend last night about a situation at a gym in New Zealand.
Â Â They had two intersexualÂ (â€˜hermaphroditeâ€™) clients. Other patrons petitioned the owner to remove them, otherwise they would not pay their fees.
Â Â Shame on us as New Zealanders.
Â Â We go around saying how open-minded we are, scoff at other nations, point out how we had the worldâ€™s ?rst transsexual MPâ€”but no, when we confront intersexual people in our own neighbourhood, we do exactly what pre-US Civil Rights racists did when they hung out â€˜Whites Onlyâ€™ signs.
Â Â For crying out loud, these two clients were bornÂ this wayâ€”andÂ youâ€™ll be even more shocked to learn that the gym opened itself to aÂ human rightsâ€™ violation by cancelling the two peopleâ€™s memberships.
Â Â ImagineÂ if they wereÂ taken to courtÂ and how much business they would have lost if word got out.
Â Â Wouldnâ€™t it have been better to have pointed out to the prejudiced clients that if theyÂ couldnâ€™t acceptÂ the situation, then they couldÂ take their business elsewhere?
Â Â Â Or go so far as to build an extra changing roomÂ and encourage moreÂ open-minded clients all round?
Â Â I was pretty shocked that this went on.Â
Â Â I am not prejudice-free and I will freely admit to thinking, â€˜That looks a bit oddâ€™â€”as I did when I looked at some of the work that the New Dowse will be showing. I donâ€™t know anyone who has told me they are intersex, hence my surprise. Then again, I donâ€™t go around asking. I get over it. I accept that this is part of Godâ€™s plan and everyone is created in His own image.
Â Â And there is a clear right and wrong in this case. Hopefully as time goes by more of us will look at this story and equate it to the racism of earlier times.