Advocates slam Scott Morrison “gender whisperers” comment as harmful to trans youth

Advocates slam Scott Morrison “gender whisperers” comment as harmful to trans youth

Scott Morrison has been slammed for peddling “harmful” and “ignorant” rhetoric around trans and gender diverse young people after the new PM called instructors in trans inclusion in schools “gender whisperers”.

Morrison made the comment on Twitter earlier today in reference to a Daily Telegraph article which discussed the provision of training for teachers to recognise when students in their classes might be transgender.

Greens Senator Janet Rice came out swinging, calling Morrison “anti LGBTIQ”.

“Scott Morrison’s barely settled into the job, yet he’s made every effort to demonise young LGBTIQ people. He has done so much damage in such a short time,” Rice said in a statement.

“On Monday he refused to condemn dangerous LGBTIQ conversion ‘therapy’ and the ideology that drives it, saying it wasn’t an issue for him.

“This morning he posted on social media that a program to help teachers identify trans and gender diverse kids is gender whispering, saying ‘let kids be kids’.

“The article quoted an unqualified ‘gender expert’ with links to the Australian Christian Lobby who has been a candidate for Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party.

“Well I’ve got news for the Prime Minister – some kids are trans. Some kids are gay, lesbian, bisexual. Some kids are questioning their gender or sexuality.

“And they need to be supported by their families, communities, schools and their representatives in parliament.

“He said to Australians last week that the Liberal party is ‘on your side’. He clearly forgot to mention that only applies if you’re heterosexual and cisgender.

“It’s pretty clear the Prime Minister doesn’t give a rats about young LGBTIQ people.

“LGBTIQ young people experience worse mental health outcomes than heterosexual young people, and it’s because of behaviour like this from our so-called leaders. It’s totally unacceptable and harmful,” Rice said.

Advocate and performer Jordan Raskopoulous responded to Morrison’s tweet, saying, “We don’t need to educate adults to identify struggles that young people might be encountering. Let kids suffer without help or guidance.”

The counsellor and gender expert interviewed for the Daily Telegraph‘s story, Dr Elizabeth Riley, said Morrison had missed the point.

“Let kids be kids? That’s exactly what we are doing…and a lot of that is letting children be themselves,” she told SBS.

The Daily Telegraph‘s story prominently featured comments from anti-trans campaigner John Whitehall, who has compared the medical consensus to treat gender dysphoria humanely to practices like lobotomies and eugenics.

The newspaper’s use of Whitehall as a so-called ‘expert’ – despite having no peer-reviewed research published on the subject – drew fire just two months after The Sunday Telegraph was similarly criticised for using a transphobic slur in a headline.

Transcend founder Rebekah Robertson tweeted, “You know the polls are bad when they start kicking trans kids around again.”

“Another example of how wickedly toxic the political environment is when attacking kids seems your surest bet to win a few votes. Who’s abusing who?” Robertson said.

“Jesus Christ @ScottMorrisonMP,” tweeted footballer Hannah Mouncey. “You do realise kids who are happy and comfortable in themselves is a much better alternative than kids who are miserable and will likely attempt suicide at some point?” Executive Director and prominent LGBTI rights campaigner Sally Rugg pointed out the extremely poor mental health outcomes for trans youth, which are far and above their cisgender counterparts even in the queer community.

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health Board of Directors released a statement reaffirming the rigorous research and processes which have established medical approaches to treating gender dysphoria.

“WPATH urges restraint from the use of any term – whether or not formally recognized as a medical entity – to instil fear about the possibility that an adolescent may or may not be transgender.”

WPATH said that “comprehensive research and education on the facts about transgender peoples’ lives and healthcare needs is necessary for both youth and guardians – and inexperienced providers” to address health disparities for trans folks.

Morrison came under fire yesterday for refusing to acknowledge concerns over conversion therapy, despite LGBTI Australians overwhelmingly suggesting that outlawing the practices is a top political priority.

Perhaps by no accident, the Australian Christian Lobby’s managing director Martyn Iles yesterday posted a blog entry on the ultra-conservative lobby group’s website titled “Sin. Evil.” which called trans people part of “a tide of darkness”.

“I am getting reports from parents in Victoria whose children go to schools where gender and sexual ideology is ruining lives,” the entry reads.

“Best friends are now lesbian couples, anxious kids are now gender dysphoric, as they are fed a steady diet of sexualised and radical queer theory.

“People often ask me why I bother so much about moral issues like abortion, euthanasia, gender-bending ideology, religious freedoms.

“From time to time it is suggested to me that we shouldn’t ‘impose’ morality on others,” he wrote.

“Good laws restrain evil – that is God’s mandate to governments. Bad laws permit evil to flourish.”

Morrison’s deployment of ACL rhetoric – like Tony Abbott’s before him – gives an indication of this government’s attitude towards LGBTI people.

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7 responses to “Advocates slam Scott Morrison “gender whisperers” comment as harmful to trans youth”

  1. The only advice I can give everyone is GET THESE NUTCASES OUT AT THE NEXT ELECTION. Morrison didn’t even vote on marriage equality, too frightened to put his vote where his morals are… in the toilet.
    If these people get in at the next election, you can bet a whole lot less funding for QUILTBAG organisations and an increase in legislation to make it fine to discriminate against people they don’t like.. which seems to be everyone who isn’t male and white and cisgender!!
    Australia is at this point going backwards morally and ethically and politically.

  2. Just what does anyone expect from an admitted Pentecostal Christian.
    He has publicly claimed that he is a “Good Christian Family Man”
    This is the same man who imposed the harshest, most cruel and sadistic living conditions on Children, Women and Men – people who fled their homelands out of sheer desperation, in fear for their lives from all sides. The fear of Isis/Deash terrorists, the fear of their own Governments and their interfering US, UK and Australian Forces who were, and are, prepared to kill indiscriminately and then pass it off as “collateral damage”.
    The sadism, the total lack of Compassion the blatant hatred by John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott, Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek – all of whom have gone along with this outrageous treatment of Human Beings has not been seen since the end of World War II.
    Of course Morrison is on the warpath against all of us who do not adhere to his style of Christianity.
    They are not Christians and if Jesus were to come back he would be the loudest in his condemnation of these fake Christians.

    • Plibersek and Shorten voted YES on same sex marriage in the House of Reps six years ago. They backed it all the way last year. What have they done to show “blatant hatred” Robert? Or is it just your blatant hatred of all Labor politicians whether they support gay rights or not?

      • The ALP are far from committed to the welfare of LGBTIQ+ people Dave – just look to NSW AP Opposition Leader trying to appease voters in Western Sydney by going soft on Safe Schools. They ought to be ashamed of themselves – bloody opportunists the lot of them.

        • Completely agreed. I should have explicitly stated that Robert was correct to bag out Rudd and admit that he left out Gillard. My points were specific to Plibersek and Shorten, your points are entirely valid even though as not being from NSW I haven’t followed it closely.

          In the case of western Sydney where the No vote was high, I’d just point out that those voters vote Labor for sound economic reasons, their collective homophobia exists but it doesn’t resonate at the ballot box, only in “statistical surveys” (thanks Liberals). Labor is wrong to back down from Safe Schools to appease these folks because it’s the ethical thing to do AND not a vote-changer anyway.

  3. It doesn’t get much more ignorant and offensive than this from the new Prime Minister, Daily Telegraph and Pseudo-Psychologist and former Christian Democrat Candidate, when it comes to the topic of alleviating some of the pain experienced by transgender and gender-questioning children.

    But it also doesn’t get much better as a Green, understanding that our Federal LGBTIQ+ Spokesperson goes on the attack, using all the right terms, all the right words to put these nut jobs back in their place and show that the Greens truly understand the struggles faced by trans and gender-questioning youth in a world so mind-numbingly heteronornative it has, up until now, silenced us.

    Thank you Janet Rice, you are a hero! This is why I’m proud to be a member of the Greens.

  4. ScoMo certainly seems to be declaring war on the LGBTIQ community. It’s a steady drip feed of whispers. Its much worse in some ways than the more openly homophobic Howard because it’s the same thing, just more insidious.

    I repeat a point I’ve made in previous comments: why aren’t the media taking an interest in what ScoMo actually believes? He’s a Pentecostal convert – you know, the worst sort of Christian (and I have lots of time for progressive Christians, this is not blatantly anti-Christian comment). Pentecostals overwhelmingly reject science to the point of believing the world to be less than 8000 years old based on all the X begat Y begat Z stuff in the bible. They reject evolution based on centuries-old arguments completely refuted by modern molecular biology. Sco-Mo is all about religious freedom, presumably including anti-vaccine madness by groups like the Christian Scientists.

    Converts of any sort are often the most hardcore. Ever lit up in front of a reformed smoker? This is the same thing only a million times worse because he’s leading our government and he lists his favourite hobby as going to Pentecostal church where they’re living in a very different universe to the rest of us sinners.