In an appearance on The Project last night, 13-year-old trans advocate Evie Macdonald said she was disappointed in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s response to her video challenging him on his “gender whisperers” tweet.
Macdonald spoke to Carrie Bickmore about the challenges she has faced as a young transgender person and how she reacted to Morrison’s appearance on the show following his “let kids be kids” comment.
“There are thousands of kids in Australia that are gender diverse,” she said.
“We don’t deserve to be disrespected like that through tweets by our Prime Minister – I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of attitudes like this.”
“I want kids to be allowed to be kids, and I want parents to be respected as parents of those children,” Morrison said after watching the video.
“I don’t think teachers get to take the place of parents and the choices families make – [my comments were] referring to a practice that has been put in schools where others are coming into that conversation and getting between parents and their children.”
In last night’s interview, Macdonald said she was frustrated that Morrison couldn’t recognise the hurt he had caused.
“Well I mean, he didn’t apologise, so that was a little disappointing,” she said.
When asked what she wanted Morrison to apologise for, Macdonald said he should say sorry for the promoting the idea that “kids should be kids – unless they’re gender diverse.”
“The comment ‘kids should be kids’ is exactly what we’re doing,” her mum said. “We’re giving them an opportunity to have a happy childhood.”
The Project was criticised for deadnaming Evie as part of the interview – the practice of using a name a trans person’s birth name instead of their chosen name.
“[W]hen even The Project is casually deadnaming its trans guests, it’s a reminder that all media has room to do better,” writer Liz Duck-Chong tweeted.
some trans people are open about their histories, prior names, and use language like “used to be a boy/girl” or “born in the wrong body”. others prefer to use language that affirms that they’ve always been who they are now (myself included), eg. “as a young girl” for trans women
— men don’t @ me (@lizduckchong) September 19, 2018
Macdonald said classmates came up to her at school the next day and congratulated her over the video, and that the response has been “pretty amazing”.
You can watch the full interview below.