Tasmanian Labor members have voted at their state conference to call for transgender people’s gender confirmation surgery to be covered by Medicare.
Local advocate Dana Endelmanis addressed the conference on Sunday to speak about the difficulty she experienced reconciling her gender identity in her youth, growing up in the state’s north-west, The Examiner reported.
“Trans, intersex and non-binary Australians continue to be denied fundamental healthcare rights and continue to be told that many procedures which are life-changing, and in some cases life-saving, are nothing more than cosmetic and elective procedures,” she said.
“That is an insult to the concept of universal healthcare.
“What gender-diverse Tasmanians want is not to be placed on a pedestal or to be given special dispensation but to be afforded the same basic rights that we deem to be universal.”
Tasmanian delegates will now take the issue to federal Labor’s Shadow Health Minister Catherine King at the party’s national conference in December and request she commit to the idea.
Conference delegates also backed a motion for the state wing of the party to lobby their federal colleagues to fully reinstate the Safe Schools LGBTIQ anti-bullying program, should Labor win the federal election in 2019, The Examiner reported.
In June, LGBTIQ advocates welcomed the Tasmanian state government’s commitment to removing the requirement that trans Tasmanians be unmarried before their gender can be updated on their birth certificates, but said the reform should go further.
“We welcome the Government’s commitment… but this is just one of the unnecessary hurdles to fair and equal treatment for transgender and gender diverse Tasmanians,” Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson Martine Delaney said at the time.
“We are talking to the Government about also removing the requirement that transgender people must have surgery before their gender is officially recognised on their birth certificate.
“Some transgender people can’t have surgery for medical or financial reasons, and it is unfair to leave them in legal limbo.”