Dr Anja Ravine: Gender identity is not a choice

Dr Anja Ravine is transgender and a past member of Pride WA’s organising committee. Dr Ravine now works in Sydney as a genetic pathologist.

Previously in Perth, Anja was for some time professor of medical genetics at the University of Western Australia.

Speaking on Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas’ recent remarks about trans and gender diverse people, Dr Ravine believes the apology was delivered “with a surrounding strong sense of authenticity.”

During his apology, the Lord Mayor said of his comments; “I know they are not encouraging of people who wish to live their lives the way that they choose to live their lives.”

Dr Ravine contacted OUTinPerth to share her thoughts on Zempilas’ apology.

“Gender identity is not a choice,” Dr Ravine said.

“Similar to the experiences of many other transgender people, my own sense of gender incongruence goes back to early childhood.”

“Self-recognition and later self-acceptance took time, particularly in a world where the social cost arising from personal honesty can be so high.”

“In fact, I spent a lot of past energy hoping that it would all go away. Now I see it as a personal strength and a more sanguine Anja continues on.”

Dr Ravine says she accepts Zempilas’ apology, and is greatly heartened by the extent of change in his commentary about the matter, notwithstanding his ongoing remarks about the notion of choice.

“The Lord Mayor’s apology now opens up an opportunity for further strengthening of Pride WA’s long-standing positive relationship with the City of Perth.”

OIP Staff

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