Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC News 24 2pm News (wknd) -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) then I'll know that
everything's gonna be alright.

As for the Fischers, they're still planning
to hold their annual ram sale and have several hundred lambs
on the ground this year. The environmental,
physical and emotional recovery may take much longer, but it's clear there's still
a lot of fight in these farmers.

26 November, we were sort of -
in boxing terms, we were on the canvas,
out for the count. But now, we're back,
we're not even leaning on the ropes. We're out in the middle with the
gloves on and we're ready to go. That's it for this week,

That's it for this week, but you can catch up with the team
on Twitter and Facebook.

And of course, our regular Landline
every Sunday at noon on ABC TV. Bye for now.

Captions by CSI Australia

This program is not captioned. Caption It Pty Ltd.
This program is captioned by Caption It Pty Ltd. Hello. I'm Jane Hutcheon. Welcome to the program where my guest is the British Stephen
transgender activist Professor Stephen Whittle. Stephen Whittle became only the 13th female-to-male transsexual in the UK, undergoing hormone therapy and surgery. Married with four children, he's fought to change legislation to be recognised as a husband and father. Now a professor of equalities law in Manchester, he advises governments and has been honoured for his activism. Stephen Whittle, welcome to One Plus One.Thank you.What did you dream about when you were a child? What did I dream about when I was a child? Of being a train driver, of driving a digger. All the usual things - well I think mostly being a train driver. Doing all the things boys wanted to do never the things I was meant to dreamt about.Which was or which were? Christmas would come, I'd be given a doll. I wanted a cowboy suit. That was have
my big Christmas wish, was to have a cowboy suit.You had two older sisters, two younger brothers, born in Manchester but when you were born -I was a girl.- for all intents and purposes you were a girl.Yes. My mother said I came out, I was a little premature but she just presumed she'd had a third daughter. Years later she told me, when I was 2 and a half to 3, she realised I wasn't like my sisters.What was it that made her realise that? She just said everything I did, the way I played, the toys I wanted to play with, the clothes I wanted to wear - apparently we used to have huge fights over wearing clothes at a time when you'd think I wasn't even aware of it.So when was the first time that you knew that you were somehow in the wrong body? I was 10 and I can remember it so distinct ly. We had school sports day. There were girls' races and there were boys' races. It is iron ic, really, I knew I was always going to be in the wrong race. It was like that sort of huge flash from God, the light on the Road to Damascus, I remember couldn't to
stop crying because I was going to be in the wrong race. But I didn't know what to do about it then. It wasn't until six or seven years later that I managed to sort of find a way - that there was a possibility of not growing up to be a girl, a young woman, a wife, a mother but to do something different with myself.What about your friends? Did you confide in your friends? Did you confide with anyone in your family? When I was younger, my father had a very Victorian attitude to sex, I suppose you might put it. If somebody kissed on the television, he switched it off. It was never discussed. I'm still not sure how we ever found out about anything like that. But it was absolutely lines were rigid and he was clear: Boys would grow up, they would go into the navy or to
something like that and train to be engineers and girls would leave school, go to secretarial college, train as a typist and marry an engineer and recreate the model of family that he had. He never saw it beyond that so he was very rigid. You never felt - I never felt that I could ever confide in anybody. Even at secondary school, I went to an all-girls secondary school and people told everybody everything but I never thought I could tell them this.An all-girls, I suppose a lot of schools are gender segregated, including in this magnify
country, did that in some way magnify all the issues that you were feeling because you were surrounded -Completely. It was like when I was 11, 12, I got a library member card to the adult section of the local library. Very small medical section, I must have read every book in that section over the last five years. Going in after school and sitting and reading for an hour, trying to find me in them.But this thing at school was just like overwhelming. Summer came and everybody went into dresses, which I couldn't stand, and yet because it was an all-girls school, it was a very nice school, one of the best schools in the country - I got a scholarship there - which had no punishment and no praise so nobody ever told me off for how I was.The fact that I was different from everybody else was allowed to happen.That's pretty amazing. It is pretty amazing. I tell the story I became deputy head girl eventually and at prize-giving day, the headmistress pulled me into the book room, a very strange experience the headmistress pulling you in the book room. Yes? "I just want to ask you a question. On to
prize-giving day, you're meant to be on the platform so a couple of things I need to ask you. First of all, would you wear tights - stockings - for the day?". I said "Ooo". She said "Just for the two hours of the event". I said "Yes, you asked me I'm happy to do that". The second thing is "You have to sing with the choir, can you open your mouth and not sing any words?". I was such a bad singer "That's no problem, I've been doing that for years anyway". That sense of respect. When I left school finally at the age of 18, I remember my Latin teacher, who was also my form mistress, gave me a huge hug and say "Whatever it is you have to do, you need to do it". So years later - 10 years later when I went on a building job to take down part of her chimney and we met again, she said she just knew it had been the right thing.Let's go back in time. It is wonderful to hear you had a school would have
experience like that. That would have been in the 1970s -60s, 70s, yes.You were, I believe, the 13th person to transition from female to male.Yes, and to receive hormone therapy.13 is not a huge number, it must be in the thousands by now.When did you know that all of this was possible? I knew it was possible to go from being a man to being a woman but there was never ever any mention of people like me. Then I was 17, I had a throat infection or something, I was going to the local doctor's for something and in the waiting room, there was a woman's magazine and there was a story in it of somebody who'd changed from being a girl to a man. I can see the picture of - the grey ed-out picture. It was like "That's it, it's possible". It was almost unbelievable. All I could dream about in that moment was how was I going to find the way to the doctor and I had to do it because, no matter how hard I tried, I could never see myself growing up.Growing up? Yeah. I couldn't envisage a picture of myself. When you think about when you might go to work and it was
things like that, the pictures, it was just black, it was blank. I tried to imagine from reading stories, the sort of women in them, could I be one Agatha
of those? That woman in an Agatha Christie who always wore tweeds and brogues? It wasn't me. I just had this blank.Stephen, at any time did you have depression, did you feel suicidal? Yes, of course I did. I mean, there were moments in my teens when I tried to kill myself. I was not very good at it! (Chuckles)Obviously.I just made myself sick and things like that. But I used to try and work out how I could kill myself in a way that wouldn't hurt my mother, for example.I would get very, very angry about things, particularly at school, and being made to see somebody about that and trying to explain to them how miserable I felt with being me. Just didn't work.So you started to live as a man and you took the hormone therapy. You had a number of operations over the years.I want to talk first about being in your body before we go on to how other people perceived you. At any time in that process, because some of those operations would have been horrendous, did you ever feel like giving up and that you were doing the wrong thing? I always had doubts as to whether I was the right thing.Really? I never had doubts about me but I had doubts as to whether what I was doing was the right thing in terms of the whole world and one's relationships. And, also, as I understand said to a doctor "I'm not stupid, I did do biology O level. I know that physically I'm female inside and on the outside" - people talk about the wrong brain in the wrong body and things like that. I remember saying to him "That's not what I feel like. It's not that I've got the wrong brain in the wrong body, it's just that none of it's working properly". There goes a very stupid person who never has doubts about this.You have to think very, very, very carefully before going ahead and doing such a - having such major changes, even just taking hormone therapy. Once you've been on it a year, you can't go back so you have to think very carefully. One of the things that worried me when I started hormone therapy, I stopped for three months at one point in the first year and I went and stayed with a friend who was at work all the time but I just thought for three months about the fact that I was giving up completely the option of ever having a baby. And how did I feel about that.My goodness.So you are always tossing the coin and trying to work out what's the best thing for you. When I was doing this, you had far less choice about it than you do now. There was a certain - the doctors expected you to be a certain person and to dress in a certain way and to - I remember being given pictures of 1950s pictures, people who looked like my father and like my mother on the front of knitting patterns by a psychologist, I was meant to tell him who was attractive. I said "Not one of these people, they're all too old". But it was a real rigid idea of how we would be.The way you tell it, because some people are quite proud to stand out from the crowd, it sounded like you wanted to be a valuable part of society, just accepted in the body that you wanted dob to be in? I had been in the Girl Guide, had a Queen's Guide, all these things. I had seen myself as somebody who could make a valuable contribution as a good citizen. That's all I ever wanted to be in my life, a good citizen, because that's what I makes the world work.In the later part of your life, you met a woman you fell in love with, you have had four children, you are a professor of law and gender equality but, before you got to where you got, you had a lot of people kicking you out of jobs, telling you you weren't good enough, that you were someone strange and I'm interested to know that when you introduce yourself to students every year, you tell them your story.I do. It's very important to me that they don't gossip - because they will find out and they'll make up the story. I want them to know the truth.What kind of response do you get? When I first used to do this 23 years ago, they were silent and mouths would drop open. (Laughter). The last two or three years, they stood up and clapped.Really? Yep. They stood up and applauded me. Considering half of those students at least will come that
from British Muslim families, that is really something. Yeah.You are also an incredible activist and you pushed from the beginning to be legally married, to be the legal father of your children. I suppose a lot of people would ask why was family so important to you and what steps you had to go to to be the legal guardian of those children? When I met Sarah, my wife, it was at a party. I remember. I walked in the kitchen, I looked at her, one look, I thought "I want to live with her for the rest of my life". Then said "Stop being so stupid, she won't even look at you" but we became friends. Six weeks later we became a pair. For me, it was always love at first sight. For her it was a little notch on the bed post. But 37 years later, we're here. I had honestly thought that somebody like me would never have family. I mean, I couldn't even keep a job so the idea that anybody would allow me to even adopt or foster children or anything else was absolutely out of the question. But, of course, Sarah would ultimately, I knew, the question would arise she would want children and how did we deal with that. When we approached clinics and doctors about her having sperm donor for her to have children, the first response was "No, completely no". I had just finished a part-time law degree in the evenings - I'd decided to take the law degree after I lost a job because I literally was sick to death of being sacked. Trying to hide this thing - I had half my life in which it was really hidden, I was a Scout leader for 10 years, nobody knew. We lived in a house where none of the neighbours knew, yet, every time I got a job and the paperwork would have to be given, somebody would find out, I'd lose the job. There were times when I was very depressed, I thought I was going to have a breakdown, Sarah was always there for me. Always. She never ever ever doubted I was a man. Even to this day she says "I know you're a man because you never remember the names of the children's friends". She said "I know them all but you don't". We became a solid partnership. When clinics said that they wouldn't treat her, to me, what they were saying was that she would never be a good enough woman to become a mother because she loved someone like me.That to me - I was so angry.She was so upset. We decided to challenge the clinical system and take them to court for the right for her to have a child, or at least to try and have a child. They gave up at the doors of the court. First go, she got pregnant with our first child. We had four kids over five years. Bit quick.We've always told them the story of the man who gave a gift so that we could have children. Why I can't make sperm. They've never ever ever questioned that I'm their dad. They're older now. I've asked them would they like to know more about the man who gave the gift. My daughter responded and said "One father is enough for everybody. I'll be in psychotherapy for the rest of my life if I thought I had two"! That's a certain humour element to it but there's also a realistic element to it. But I knew Sarah would want to have children, we'd have to fight. I took the law degree and when they said "No", I was "Hold on a minute, I've just done this". I can play their game. I can play in the same ballpark as them and, if I'm clever enough, I'll be able to get the ball. That's what we did! You trained yourself, in a sense, to be able to challenge the law -Absolutely.- exactly where it needed to be challenged. Every step of the way.Every single step of the way. I learnt to read law, read case decisions. It is not just what you do in the law degree, it is the hard work afterwards. At that point, I never thought I'd get a job as a lawyer because of who I was. Originally I was working in the building trade at that point, I started doing some teaching on a Saturday for the Open University, I loved teaching. Eventually got a job bringing computers into the law school. My friend who taught me said "If you're here" - I started a part-time PhD, she said "If you're here and they see you, eventually they'll ask you to teach". Six weeks later somebody said "Is that you Stephen? Did you get your law degree? Can you teach some criminal law for me?". I said "When?". "2 o'clock this afternoon" and gave me the book. I've been very, very Metropolitan University
fortunate Manchester never
Metropolitan University has never ever questioned who I am, always thought I had a right to be and, further more, have allow ed me to progress through the promotional ranks to the position I'm in now.Ultimately your story is a good one.Yes.Can I ask you: Of all the awful things that have been said and done to you all through your life, including some things that your family have said and done, how did you prevent yourself from being nasty and negative and angry? I always say - or my wife always said "Behind every successful man, there's a very surprised woman". I would honestly say that Sarah gave me the sort of support you couldn't ever have asked from God. She was always there. She was always balanced. She would get angry sometimes about things but, between us, we would make a way of realising that negativity was not the way forward in life. We didn't want to - she said it to me one day "If you're ashamed of yourself, how are we ever going to make our children proud of you?". She was right. We've had nights where we've sat and cried together and there's been times when - I remember sitting on the stairs once thinking "That's it, I'll kill myself" and the dog came up "Before you kill yourself, I would like feeding", oh right, brought back to reality, brought back to a home, a place that's strong. One of the things that happened when we moved into our last home where we've been 21 years is somebody - they sent letters to thousands of people saying that we lived in this house and that we shouldn't be allowed to, our children shouldn't be allowed to go to school with their children. I was devastated. Sarah said police
"Right, we're going to the police station". First thing, report it, found out what these people are doing. They said they were holding a public meeting. The policeman said "I'll come with you". His wife came. Our neighbours came. The neighbours there. Students from work came. In many ways, by being out eventually - we tried keeping it a secret and it was torture. Always wondering whether you'd say the wrong thing. Always terrified of being found out. But once we decided to have children, if you're going to tell your kids, you've got to tell everybody else, and we discover, actually, most people didn't make one iota of difference. In fact, if anything, made them more certain to support us.So let me ask you, if you were confronted on this tour in Australia, wherever you go, someone comes up to you face-to-face and says "You are a woman" or something - I don't do
know - something horrible, what do you say to them face-to-face? I'd say, look, I understand gender as being very complex just like you do, I don't have easy answers to it but does it matter? Surely, should
just the fact I'm Stephen should be enough. It's enough for my family. It's enough for my workplace, my employers. It's enough for the British State. I often say when people start going on, I say "Trouble is you frame it all wrong". You think marriage is about the first night and sex. It isn't. Marriage is about a night 60 years later, a morning, when somebody gets up, puts a smile on their face as they make the porridge for somebody who doesn't even recognise them any longer, that's what real marriage is about. This is one of the most important things we need to do with all of these debates, is we need to re-set them, re-frame them so we talk about the reality of what these things are about.When you look back over the span of your life, you currently have MS but you seem to be in good physical health, does that add an extra burden to your work? Do you see your life as burdensome today? No. I mean, I have MS. Lots of people have different things. I'm going to die one day of something. Having MS has been at times a real pain. I've had times where I've not been able to walk properly. I still get very tired. I have to think very, very carefully about how I'm going to travel or anything like that. What's important to me is that, like any aspect of life, you don't give up. You don't think it's the end. I don't know when my end will come. It will come one day. But, in the meantime, I've got a lot of life left to live.If you had been born 10 years ago, would your life be easier if you decided to do the same thing? I think in some ways it is easier nowadays for Trans people. It is still very hard for children, very hard for children, to know how to approach this with parents but, also, our generation of parents, my children's generation of parents, are much more open to the signs. As I said, when my mother finally knew, she said "I always knew". Nowadays parents ring the help line and say "My son has a problem" or "My daughter has a problem, I think it may be ...". In some ways, it's easier. I also think it's harder because there are choices. All sorts of different choices and ways to do it. You can decide to have surgery, you can decide whether you've got a firm gender or a gender in between or bits of both. All of these decisions to make.So in some ways I think for young Trans people nowadays, it's a more complex life they have to address but at least it's there. When I was trying to find other people like me, it was desperate.You talk about finding other people like you, your wife obviously is one of your anchors, what about your family? Did they all come to accept you? My family found it very, very difficult. My father never called me Stephen until he died. Never, ever called me Stephen once. It was always "Him". Point "Him there". I used to freak him out, every time we had a family do, he went to the loo, I'd go to the loo too to try and get his head around it. But he was nice enough to the kids, that was the important thing. My mother was an amazing support. There were one or two times when it was too much for her. There were a couple of times she went "I don't want this, I don't want this, why couldn't you the
just have been?" But most of the time she wasn't amaze - she was an amazing support. My siblings have been mixed. My mother once said "They find you really embarrassing. They want you to stop doing this stuff". "What do you mean?". "Television, radio". I said "I will stop one day but I will only stop when not one child had to go through what I went through ever again". It is very interesting because I think I'm almost coming to that point.Really? Yeah. I see in so many parts of the world that we're seeing changes we could never have imagined even 10 years ago.Well, thank you for being so embarrassing on this program.(Laughter).It's been such a great pleasure to meet you.Thank you very much for Plus One
inviting me. Thank you.One Plus One is available on iView. You can browse the archives or contact us through the website. Stay in touch and leave comments via Facebook. You can also follow me on Twitter. I look forward to your company next time, from me, goodbye. This program is not captioned.

Clive Palmer insists he is still fighting for the people of Queensland but can't say if workers at his nickel refinery will be reinstated.It is a great tragedy. We didn't let those workers go. Clive Palmer, the people, the administrator decided to close up shop and freezed the bank accounts for the business in doing so. Also ahead - a new survey shows broad support for Visa free movement between some Commonwealth countries. US President Barack Obama weighs in on the presidential race, warning contenders to avoid fanning tensions. And Nick Kyrgios threatens to walk off the court in a heated exchange with an umpire.I don't want to play in more. It is (bleep).Don't use bad words. by CSI Australia
This Program is Captioned Live