The Australian newspaper slammed for transgender coverage

The Australian newspaper transgender equality australia auspath
Photo: The Australian

LGBTIQ advocates have lashed The Australian newspaper for “appalling” coverage of transgender issues in a new “Gender” section on its website.

Headlines in the new section include “They’re castrating children”, “Transgender project ‘out of balance’”, “Sex not a matter of belief”, and “Corrupting kids’ thinking”.

“Medicalisation of gender is dividing our society and abusing our defenceless young,” one op-ed claims.

Responding on Monday, Equality Australia lashed the newspaper’s “disgraceful obsession with humiliating trans people”.

“The rights and existence of transgender people is not up for debate,” the group tweeted.

“Conservative religious fringe groups are determined to divide Australians using misinformation and fearmongering about transgender people.

“Trans and gender diverse people are a part of all histories and cultures. We will continue to celebrate their existence, fight for their rights, and to lift up their voices and stories.

“We won’t capitulate to the hate-fuelled agenda of a few loud bigots.”

Writer Benjamin Law pledged to donate to The Gender Centre on behalf of anyone who cancelled their Australian subscription.

“The Australian has now set up a dedicated page to demonise and spread misinformation about transgender and gender-variant youth,” he tweeted.

“Promoting fringe anti-trans extremists while campaigning against medical experts and kids hospitals. Struggling to think of anything lower.”

Stigma and discrimination impacts mental health of transgender people

In 2017, landmark Australian study Trans Pathways found that 80% of young transgender people had self-harmed.

The study also found 48% of the trans young people had attempted suicide.

Researchers found issues like “peer rejection, bullying, issues with school or university, and a lack of family support” were key factors impacting their mental health.

The Australian furore follows Prime Minister Scott Morrison criticising Cricket Australia’s policy supporting transgender players as “heavy-handed” and “a sledgehammer”.

Responding to the comments, LGBTIQ health organisation ACON said leaders must act in a manner “inclusive of all Australians, and to refrain from using language that adds to a culture of division within Australian society.”

“Most transgender and gender diverse people live happy, healthy and connected lives,” ACON said.

“Unfortunately this is not the case for all, as evidenced by studies that demonstrate trans and gender diverse people shoulder a real and pressing burden of mental health issues.

“These experiences are directly related to stigma, discrimination and transphobia, and not the result of trans and gender diverse people being who they are.”

“Data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance state that trans and gender diverse adults are nearly eleven times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. Thirty-five percent of trans and gender diverse adults having attempted suicide in their lifetime.

“Yet, when transgender and gender diverse people are accepted and able to participate in their community as their affirmed gender, mental and physical health outcomes dramatically improve.”

ACON urged all leaders and commentators “to ensure that a truly a safe and cohesive society in Australia includes our most vulnerable populations.”

“Only when those on the margins are meaningfully included can we hope to build the health, wellbeing, safety and inclusion of all Australians,” they said.

“Unity, not division, must be our ultimate goal.”

Trans and gender diverse people experiencing distress can contact national LGBTIQ+ counselling service QLife on 1800 184 527 or via online webchat from 3pm-midnight every day.

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