By Wei Thai-Haynes

It’s 2022 and the political landscape trans people navigate is still dire: current Prime Minister Scott Morrison has recently endorsed Claire Chandler’s anti-trans ‘Save Women’s Sport Bill’ – a knee jerk response to the Religious Freedoms Bill falling apart.

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Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has decided to be a milquetoast fence-sitter on the bill – recently ‘coming out’ as ‘anti-woke’ while erasing the existence of trans men.

Mainstream media is about the same: yesterday, on the official day of TDOV, the Herald Sun published a ‘think piece’ which amounts to little more than the same tired old rhetoric about ‘womanhood’ and how trans rights activists are somehow destroying the fabric of society. 

The rest of the world is no better: US collegiate swim champion Lia Thomas continues to be subject to bigotry from media ‘commentators’, trans children have been restricted from healthcare, and parents of trans children have been ruled ‘abusers’ by recently passed Texas and Florida state laws, with Arizona not far behind following suit.

It is not enough to just stand idly by and call for recognition when lives are at stake – that is why this Saturday I will be taking to the streets with Pride in Protest to demand that we be more than just visible.

What Are We Fighting Against?

The Religious Freedoms Bill, while currently not in parliament, is far from dead: Scott Morrison and the Liberals have made no promises it won’t return post-election, and Anthony Albanese has maintained the need for ‘Religious Freedoms in Australia’ indicating Labor may well doctor up some legislation should they win the Federal Election. 

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Claire Chandler’s ‘Save Women’s Sports Bill’ – which is chock-a-block with bioessentialist garbage and would ban trans children from participating in school sports as their affirmed gender, was first heard in February with a second hearing moved – it is imperative both of these legislative attacks fail.

What Are We Fighting For?

We’re also going on the offensive: Pride In Protest has put forward a slate of demands which call for an emboldening of unionists to get Transition Leave on the log of claims across all workplaces in Australia, call for an end to sex worker discrimination in the form of denial of service provision, housing and employment via the addition of sex workers to the anti-discrimination act, and for an end to police brutality against not just the trans community, but all communities by defunding the police.

The government has made its aims clear: it wants to paint a target on the backs of every trans person in this country. I will not sit in silence while state-endorsed bigotry works its way through the machinations of parliament, you shouldn’t too.

Join Pride In Protest this Saturday at 1pm at Town Hall, as we take to the streets to demand our rights!

 

Wei Thai-Haynes is a member of Pride In Protest and a current Director on the Board of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

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