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Agender urges respect for killed trans pilot's identity

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 16th November 2012

Julianne Kramer
Transgender advocacy group Agender has written an open letter to the family, friends and colleagues of killed chopper pilot Julianne Kramer, urging them to respect her gender identity.

The 52-year-old chief pilot and instructor at Wakatipu Aero Club was killed last week when the Robinson 22 helicopter she was piloting crashed into Criffel Range in the Cardrona Valley.

While she was transgender and identified as female, police and subsequently media have referred to her as male at the request of her family.

Kramer was farewelled at the City Life Church in Queenstown on Wednesday, and Agender has since released an open letter to her friends, family and colleagues.

It expresses its deep sympathy, but says the manner specifically the gender, that Kramer’s family have requested that she be referred in fails to recognise a part of the pilot that was both important to her, and which played a major part in her life.

“This lack of recognition of Julianne’s feminine expression has aroused some strong feelings within the Transgender/Transsexual community,” it says.

“We realise that this is a hard time for the family and that respect for the wishes of the family is important, however we would ask that respect for what Julianne would have wanted also be considered.

“Many Trans people struggle to gain respect and support from their families. To see Julianne continually referred to as a ‘he’ sends the message that our wants and needs, our struggle and hardship do not matter. That if we are not able to defend our gender, others can take it from us,” Agender says.

“We understand that Julianne would have wished her family and friends to respect her, to refer to her as female and as Julianne. We sincerely hope that her family will be able to fully respect the memory of Julianne, and by doing so give respect to all Trans people, as they continue in the grieving process.”

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