moving critical masses
The louder a discourse, the more visible its topics, the greater the pressure on all social actors. Meaning: affected minorities can’t be the only ones to demand equality and equal opportunities – PROUT AT WORK takes LGBT*IQ topics one step further, thus influencing the political agenda as well.
Cultural and structural change are mutually dependent.
Allowing blood donations from gay, bisexual and trans* men
Changing the guidelines – making it possible to help
Even today, gay, bisexual and trans* men are de facto not allowed to donate blood in Germany. The German Medical Association’s “Guidelines on Hemotherapy” regulate who may donate blood and under what circumstances. The requirements state that “individuals whose sexual behaviour carries a significantly increased risk for the transmission of severe blood-borne infectious diseases such as HBV, HCV or HIV compared to the general population” may not donate blood for twelve months after their last sexual encounter.
While heterosexual individuals are only required to defer their blood donations for one year if they frequently change sexual partners, the deferral period for gay and bisexual men as well as trans* individuals (who are legally – still – considered men and to be having sex with men) applies without exception.
The third gender option
m/f/d/x: On the right to a gender – in everyday life and in the workplace
While we wholeheartedly welcome this step to reflect the gender of inter* individuals, we would like to briefly discuss some issues regarding the current implementation of the third gender option.
The third gender law is the bare minimum: The actual target group is significantly larger – so the legal scope should be much larger as well. In our opinion, all legal norms that were designed for the binary gender system should be adapted such that any mention of gender explicitly contains the term “inter*”. This would provide clarity for both inter* employees and their employers and in many cases eliminate the need to involve the courts.
The exclusive focus of the third gender option on inter* individuals leaves out queer, non-binary and trans* individuals as a target group. What is often disparaged as ‘quibbling’ and ‘special wishes’ of a few marginal groups actually has far-reaching legal consequences on closer inspection. These may concern legal proceedings that challenge the scope of interpretation of the third gender option or, on an individual level, may at the very least mean additional bureaucratic effort, legal uncertainties and personal consequences for non-binary and trans* individuals.
Employers, too, are being thwarted in their attempts to find their own practical ways to apply the third gender option. The fact that this law unquestionably influences work-related legal norms while that very influence hasn’t been fully elucidated – and even denied – makes long-term solutions impossible. A best-case scenario for employees – and a worst-case scenario financially – would see expensive measures implemented that could well turn out to be bad investments in the long term.
Likewise, we need to ask ourselves as a society what kind of signal this implementation of the ruling of the German Federal Constitutional Court sends. Does the introduction of the third gender option really make our society as advanced as we would like to believe? Or isn’t it rather telling that the ruling was implemented hurriedly, at the last minute and without taking into account the voices of those it affects? That the legislative reduced the matter to outward appearances and clung to pathologisation and the burden of proof?
The original ruling allows for a broader scope: We need a stronger right to self-determination for those who are best placed to decide who they are.
Our HOW TO No. 7 explains what gender really means in our society, what the introduction of the third gender option actually says and what this means for employers and employees. In addition, the guide offers a number of measures to help implement the law in companies and create an open and inviting work culture.