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Wikimedia Foundation QueERG: LGBTQ+ Speaker Series

QueERG's LGBTQ+ Speaker Series is an effort to provide people involved with the Wikimedia Foundation to hear from and interact with thought leaders connected to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer communities.

It is organized by the Wikimedia Foundation QueERG in an effort to promote safe spaces and a greater understanding of the diverse communities both working within and served by the Wikimedia Foundation.


June 2017: Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Living Persons
Trans lives and Wikipedia: Representation and impact

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 - 20:30 UTC

Watch recording on YouTube

Pax Ahimsa Gethen, aka Funcrunch.

About Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Pax Ahimsa Gethen (User:Funcrunch) is a queer black trans vegan activist, blogger, and photographer. Assigned female at birth, Pax has legally and medically transitioned to male, but identifies as agender and uses gender-neutral pronouns (they/them/their).

Pax writes about gender and social justice issues, with a particular focus on cissexism (discrimination against and erasure of transgender and non-binary people).

Pax owns an event photography business, Funcrunch Photo, and makes their photos freely available under Creative Commons licensing. Pax currently lives in San Francisco with their partner Ziggy.

An active Wikimedia volunteer, Pax is involved with the LGBT Studies and Women in Red WikiProjects. At the inaugural Bay Area WikiSalon in April 2016, they participated on a panel discussing transgender issues, and talked about their experiences and frustrations with trans coverage on Wikipedia. Pax also gave a presentation on this subject at WikiConference North America in October 2016 (abstract, slides).

In June 2016, Pax created a proposal for the Inspire Campaign to combat harassment by protecting user pages from editing by anonymous and new users. Six months and an RfC later, this idea was implemented on the English Wikipedia via an edit filter.


  • 41% of trans and gender non-conforming adults have attempted suicide
  • 54% of trans youth have considered suicide
  • March 31st is Transgender day of Visibility
  • There has been a TransMarch in San Francisco since 2004
  • Non-binary awareness:
    • Say: "Hello everyone" or "distinguished guests" instead of "ladies and gentlemen." Say: "You all" instead of "you guys."
    • If you don't know the gender of someone's spouse, say "spouse" or "partner" instead of husband/wife or girlfriend/boyfriend. Don't assume.
    • When distributing surveys, don't ask about gender unless that specific information is necessary for your goals. If asking about gender is necessary to a survey, don't assume binary gender
    • Don't have just male/female/transgender on form (trans is not a gender)best is to have fill-in-the-blank, including for Mrs./Mr field. If can't have fill in the blank, then offer these choices for gender: Female, Male, Other, Prefer not to say
    • Honor a person's name, regardless of official ID documents. If official ID is required for an event, do NOT speak the person's name aloud.
    • For women's events, be inclusive by saying "trans and cis women welcome" (versus just "trans women welcome", which tacitly suggests they aren't also women)
    • Offer gender-neutral bathroom if possible; for shared rooms, recognize and respect queer identity and sexual orientation
    • Off-limits questions - it's exhausting to be a trans person and get questions all the time: whether someone is "actually" male or female, sex life, genitals, whether they have had "the surgery," previous name (might seem innocent, but for trans people it can be hurtful to discuss), questions about immediate family