Belinda Johnson

belinda-thumbMelanie and Belinda met through a mutual friend in 1995. At the time Belinda was a male and Melanie was dating someone else. It was from the first moment they met they both felt a connection but time and circumstances prevented them from actually dating until 1997 after the borth of Ashlynne (Belinda’s step daugher) when both were single. Later that year they became engaged and were married in 1999 with friends and families present.

Melanie entered the relationship aware that Belinda had some gender issues. Both were happy together however and loved (and still love) each other very much.

In 2000 they had a son named Nathan. and moved to Canberra for Belinda’s work. In 2004 Belinda informed Melanie that she was actually transsexual after years of conflict within herself. Understandably there was some tension, but just like any couple whom truely love each other they both rose above adversity.

They both moved to the Latrobe Valley in 2008 and in Early 2009 Belinda started to take steps to change her Gender from male to Female. Late in 2009 Belinda flew to Thailand to have GRS (Gender Reassigment Surgery). Upon return to Australia Belinda’s children found her to be a much happier individual with more time for them, playing games or just being there for them when needed. Melanie took some time to adjust but the old adage ‘love conquers all’ held true.

Belinda had read the HREOC report on equity and diversity that recommended that those whom have undergone surgery whilst still married should be entitled to legally change there gender – under Australian law Belinda was still considered legally male until a gender afirmation was conducted at the Births, Deaths and Marriages.

To Belinda and Melanie’s dismay the only way such a document can be issued is if the individual is single. So after many hours of therapy with both psychologists and psychiatrists, hormone treatment, endocrinologist visits and one of the most invasive surgeries in the world to anatomically change Belinda’s body the Victorian AND Federal government still say she is legally male. Despite the fact that the decision for this small but vital piece of paper was made by individuals whom have little or no specialist knowledge in the treatment of Gender Identity Disorder (a medically recognised condition) and despite that the medical community overwhelmingly agrees that Belinda is a woman.

The solution? In the eyes of the law is simple…. divorce Melanie after 12 years of marriage as a loving couple. Discrimination based on a medical condition is illegal under Australian law as well as a a violation of a fundamental human right.

Belinda is an attractive, intelligent (IQ 157) and graceful woman. She is happily married to her wife of 12 years and they have two well adjusted and charming children. She is a competiton grade ballroom dancer who has come third in a number of events.

Why should I (or anyone else) be discriminated against based on a medically recognised condition? Why should I have to divorce my wife, just because some politician says so?

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