For the latest issue of the ETH magazine "life" queer*z was interviewed on the topic of diversity and inclusion. Nevertheless, you won't get to read us.
In the latest issue of the ETH magazine "life". is about diversity and inclusion. For this, we were asked by ETH to tell us how the inclusion of trans people at ETH is going. It turns out: it doesn't look so good.
After a long interview in which we talked about the various hurdles and oppressions we experience as trans people at ETH, the editors removed our contribution from the article again - because, according to ETH, it did not contribute to a constructive discourse.
We are not poster children for more diversity points
For us it is clear: ETH would like to show trans people around as diversity trophies in order to pretend to be progressive. But trans people demanding their rights? That's a bit much to ask.
Inclusion is more than we-love-you.
Inclusion means - according to ETH - that diversity becomes normality. We disagree: diversity exists and therefore does not need to be made normal - not everyone conforms to the norm, and that is a good thing. Real inclusion rather means actively abolishing discriminatory structures.
Addressing people with the wrong pronouns for them, denying them access to restrooms, or not allowing a third gender option on university documents is discrimination.
Multi-layered discrimination of trans people at ETH
At ETH, there is no non-binary gender option on university documents, and there are no gender-neutral locker rooms. There are, according to the wiegEHTs? survey of the VSETH trans students, who are addressed with the wrong name, with wrong pronouns. A psychiatric report is required for the change of the gender entry - an unjustifiable encroachment. All this is discrimination practiced by ETH or tolerated by it.
ETH tolerates violent and oppressive structures and practices. As long as ETH closes its eyes to this reality, we cannot in good conscience pretend that trans people are poster children of diversity. Inclusion is not a simple "just accept us as we are!". Inclusion is more than that: it is the awareness that not everyone has the same opportunities, and that all of us, including ETH as an institution, must actively contribute to removing discriminatory structures and barriers.
If we experience discrimination and violence at ETH, because of the structures of ETH, that is not inclusion. We don't just want our pronouns to be accepted - we demand that ETH and its members stop treating us with violence.
Detailed coverage of the topic is available at the Zurich student newspaper. A short message also at 20min. Also the Daily Gazette has since reported on the story.
An critical classification by Noemi Ehrat is also available from the Zurich student newspaper.
Press: Questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, see also infos on queerz.ch and twitter (@vereinqueerz).