Accented by the colours of the transgender and Sandum flags, the Office of the Sôgmô released a poster on the evening of IV Martio (4 March) concerning growing transphobic behaviour on the part of several intermicronational politicians — politicians whose names were not made public at the time of the publication of the poster. Over the past few weeks, the Office of the Sôgmô has been kept in regular communication with the government of Zealandia over Their Majesty’s gender identity and the impacts this has on diplomatic communication between Zealandia and Sandus, and Zealandia and other parties. As Their Majesty’s identity has become increasingly more feminine, shown by the move from the masculine name of Håkon to the feminine name Annika, the Zealandian government has contacted more micronational heads of states and foreign ministers to register this change in identity and address. However, some micronational politicians have outright refused to accept the new style of address.
Without publishing the names or states that are guilty of this behaviour, one micronationalist argued that Their Majesty should have appropriate macronational documentation of this gender and name change — effectively a barrier to harmonious discourse between micronations and a disregard for the sincere request of the Zealandian sovereign. Another pair of micronationalists both argued that they would not address Their Majesty in a manner befitting their identity in internal discussions and non-diplomatic discussion; perhaps what both of those micronationalists do not understand is that all communication between two heads of state or heads of government are, by nature, diplomatic communication. There is no barrier between the two, unless the two speak privately. And, should they speak privately, it is merely decent that others should respect their wishes.
The Office of the Sôgmô attached a message to the poster, deriding the behaviour of several micronationalists who misunderstand the role of cisgender privilege in issues facing the trans* community. This is the text of that message:
Trans* people face incredible daily challenges that the majority of the population can not understand. From basic healthcare services being denied, to tremendous administrative and legal challenges for changing names and genders across jurisdictions, trans* people face an uphill battle.
Don’t complicate their lives.
The State of Sandus is a progressive micronation endowed with the spirit to fight for the liberty of oppressed and suffering peoples who simply wish to live their lives according to the principles of self-determination. Sandus has a proud record of fighting for the rights of all people, especially trans* people — from commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), to policies for donating chest binders to trans* people who can not afford them. No matter if you are a micronationalist, you should always respect a transperson’s preferred name, preferred pronouns, and their dignity. Do not scoff at the responsibility you have to respect other people’s identities and lives, otherwise they will not respect yours: it is a human right to treat all people with dignity.
« All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. »
– Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Furthermore, their lives are complicated in ways you may not imagine if you are cisgender. Not only may certain people face certain challenges, but certain people may be at different stages of understanding their identity and coming out to friends, family, and coworkers. If someone has asked you to respect their identity when they do not feel comfortable asking that from their own family, it is only decent that you respect their sincere wishes even more.
In the past, various micronational politicians have refused to address other people with their preferred name or pronouns. The most obvious cases are those of Jonathan I of Austenasia and Annika Lindström of Zealandia. The ironic part is that some of those who refuse to address these heads of state by their preferred pronouns or names have argued in the past to be addressed in certain ways: such as Bradley of Wyvern’s request to not be addressed “Monsieur”, as is the Sandum cultural way of addressing. Even more others expect transpeople to provide unnecessarily complicated documentation – even macronational documentation for micronational business. This forms unnecessary barriers between people, nations, and states.
Fight oppression, fight for dignity. « You have nothing to lose but your chains! »
Diplomatic relations between Zealandia and Sandus have been shaky in the past. Both states have shared positive and negative relations, but the strong LGBTQ focus of both states has been a uniting factor for common relations. Sandus will respect the identity and wishes of Their Majesty the Monarch of Zealandia, as it is Sandum custom to respect the identities and decisions of all peoples in matters relating to their self-determination. We hope that all peoples and states make an effort to respect the self-determination of all peoples, considering it to be the best course of action in reducing the suffering of all people.