I wish that was a joke, but it isnât.
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 (âhermaphroditeâ) 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 worldâs ?rst transsexual MPâbut no, when we confront intersexual people in our own neighbourhood, we do exactly what pre-US Civil Rights racists did when they hung out âWhites Onlyâ signs.
Â Â For crying out loud, these two clients were bornÂ this wayâandÂ youâll be even more shocked to learn that the gym opened itself to aÂ human rightsâ violation by cancelling the two peopleâs memberships.
Â Â ImagineÂ if they wereÂ taken to courtÂ and how much business they would have lost if word got out.
Â Â Wouldnât it have been better to have pointed out to the prejudiced clients that if theyÂ couldnât 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, âThat looks a bit oddââas I did when I looked at some of the work that the New Dowse will be showing. I donât know anyone who has told me they are intersex, hence my surprise. Then again, I donât go around asking. I get over it. I accept that this is part of Godâs 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.