Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Lobbying, First Day: Linda Voortman

Yesterday was officially the kick-off for my lobbying efforts, with an appointment with Linda Voortman of the Green Left (Groenlinks) party here in the Netherlands. I arrived early, just after 10 AM, so while I settled in for my 11 AM appointment I began a conversation with the woman sitting next to me, who turned out to be an aspiring member of the Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren). We ended up chatting for a while about our reasons for being there at the Tweede Kamer building, my situation and efforts and so on, until Linda Voortman showed up and showed me deeper into the building, through the many security measures, including RFID tags and airlocks.

As an aside, a juicy detail I heard from the security guard present at the X-ray machine was that guests for the controversial Party for the Freedom (Party Voor de Vrijheid (PVV)) have to be escorted into the building for security reasons.

Anyway, at around 10.30 AM I was already having my conversation with Linda Voortman. It pays to be early, I guess, as it got me half an hour extra during which we discussed the primary topics: improving the understanding of intersexuality under the general populace via the education system among other methods, and much more research into intersexuality and the development of protocols for the medical system.

I think Linda Voortman does share my conviction that the current situation has to change; she is going to discuss the matter with people who are involved in the medical world later this week, is actively asking for information on the subject including via Twitter, and she gave me a list of other politicians are other parties (VVD, PvdA, D66 and PVV) to also ask for their support, so that there can be multi-party support for this matter, which should help things move along much more smoothly.

The way home from The Hague was slightly eventful, with me having to take a detour with the train, due to a technical malfunction somewhere, and meeting this nice girl thanks to that with whom I ended up chatting and sharing my website's address for a while until she had to get off at Utrecht. It was very pleasant. I love random meetings like that. During the rest of the journey I mostly spent playing on my Nintendo DSi. Also fun :)

Another thing I discussed with Linda Voortman was my intention to set up this online magazine on intersexuality which was inspired by my good friend Vic. Linda was very much in favour of it, and expressed a willingness to write articles for it as well. So yesterday I registered the domain name www.intersection-online.com and put a design together. Next up is taking care of the programming side and making things work smoothly. With some luck it'll be up and running next week.

It was really fun to truly become a part of Dutch politics yesterday. I got the impression that the issue at hand is being taken seriously and that this year there'll be a discussion at least. It was also a very positive experience for me since it made me feel like I'm part of something again, a big contrast with the sensation of being lost and alone of the previous period.

I finally got the recognition for myself and the issue I represent from the media and common people last year, and yesterday from politics as well. Next up is the prehistoric world of medicine.


No comments: