Dozens of gender equality groups have called out anti-trans politicians

katherine deves fair agenda transgender federal election womens rights equality womens equity
Image: SBS News, Fair Agenda

Dozens of women’s rights and gender equality organisations have signed an open letter denouncing politicians’ divisive rhetoric against transgender Australians in the federal election campaign.

Gender equity group Fair Agenda has put out a joint statement, endorsed by more than 50 women’s rights, gender equity and safety groups, calling for an end to the corrosive debate and instead focus on “real threats” to the equality and safety of Australian women.

“We all deserve dignity, respect and the freedom to be ourselves,” it reads.

“Together, we can create a future where we are all free to thrive, and support each other — regardless of our genders, the colour of our skin, or where we come from.

“But right now, in an attempt to gain prominence and attention, some political candidates are trying to foster division by attacking the rights of trans women to participate in sports as their authentic selves.”

The statement goes on to say across Australia, both community and professional sports have “already welcomed trans women and girls into their teams with appropriate guidelines to ensure a fair go for everyone.”

“Stoking hostility, uncertainty and misunderstanding harms trans women and children, preventing their full contribution and participation in our communities,” it reads.

“It moves us away from a community that values inclusion, dignity and respect; a community where everyone can feel and be safe.”

Address the ‘real threats’ to women’s equality and sport

The signatories are all organisations advocating for women’s rights, gender equity and women’s safety. This federal election, they want all politicians and candidates to address the “real threats” to equality for women.

“We denounce this attempt at division. We are united in our support of inclusion, dignity and respect for all women,” they state.

“There are real threats to women’s equality and participation in sport.

“[These include] public allegations of sexual assault, harassment or gendered abuse by male coaches in sports like gymnastics and swimming.

“Our political representatives should be prioritising the action needed to ensure all women are safe from abuse — in work, life and play — instead of targeting transgender women.

“Women’s equality means economic security; agency over our lives and bodies and freedom from sexual, domestic and family violence.

“We are united in our commitment to safety and equality for all women.

“[This includes] challenging the gender inequality and gender stereotyping that are drivers of violence against women.”

They all want “candidates and parties to reject any attempts to divide us and commit to what’s actually needed for a fair, safe and equal future for all women.”

PM Scott Morrison backs Katherine Deves

Sydney Liberal candidate Katherine Deves caused outrage for weeks over her offensive, now-deleted tweets about transgender people.

As co-founder of Save Women’s Sport, Deves has lobbied for sports to exclude transgender women. She also described trans people as “surgically mutilated and sterilised” and likened trans advocacy to Nazi Germany on Twitter.

This week, Katherine Deves walked back an earlier apology she made for the comments. And on Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison again backed her on the election campaign trail.

Anti-trans rhetoric is harming the transgender community

Peak group LGBTIQ+ Health Australia also warned the politicians’ comments and media coverage is harming trans and gender diverse Australians.

Last month national helpline QLife reported a 19 per cent increase in calls for support since the election started.

But on days of widespread media coverage of Deves’ views, QLife saw calls spike by 53 per cent.

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia CEO Nicky Bath condmned politicians for using trans and gender diverse people as “political footballs”.

“Conversations need to be led by experts in appropriate forums with care and understanding,” Bath said.

“The election campaign is not an appropriate forum.”

If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

1 Comment

  1. Cloe Sophia
    11 May 2022

    In 1984 the Sexual discrimination act was updated to state that more than two genders exist. And that all government departments need to update their data collection standards to comply with this.

    It has been over 30 years and the Government has not followed this piece of legislation. What does that mean for gender diverse people>

    It is the Australian Bureau of Statistics that set the data collection standard.

    Every Registered Training Organisation in Australia (which includes Tafe and other large orgs) and Human Resource departments has to report to the ABS,

    The Workplace Gender and Equality Act (WGEA) takes its cue from the ABS and the census has to comply with the ABS.

    So for the past 30 years, gender diverse people have not been able to identify as their correct gender at any RTO, Human Resource Departments and the census. And we are completely discriminated against and left out of the WGEA .

    This means no data has been collected about Transgender and gender diverse people by the government since or before the Sexual Discrimination ACT was amended in 1984.

    I was fired from three workplaces when I transitioned because in their words they didn’t know anything about Trans people.

    I propose that had the Government enacted what they were supposed to do, every Training Organisation and Human Resource Department in Australia would have known about Trans and gender diverse people since 1984.

    I have talked to the Human Rights Commission about this but the Federal Government is not accountable to the Human Rights commission!

    I believe this is a systemic oppression of Gender Diverse people . And it needs to end, now.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *