Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich has warned the NSW’s minority Dominic Perrottet government that he would withdraw his support if the Premier continued to make comments against the transgender community.

The Perrottet government, which does not have a majority in the NSW Parliament, relies on the support of Independents, including out gay MP Greenwich. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Perrottet is likely to meet Greenwich and trans advocates next week. 

Trigger Warning: This story discusses transphobic comments made by political leaders, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

Premier Perrottet had earlier this week waded into the debate on trans sportspersons in female sports, while supporting Liberal candidate Katherine Deves. The Liberal candidate for the seat of Warringah has faced backlash for making homophobic and transphobic comments.

Perrottet had told the media that his position on the issue of trans girls playing in female sports was that, “girls should play sport against girls and women should play sport against women.”

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The Premier had joined the Prime Minister in rejecting calls to sack Deves. “I have a very strong view that people should have rights to raise issues and have public debate without being cancelled. And I agree with what the Prime Minister said yesterday. I think Australians are sick of treading on eggshells,” Perrottet told media persons. 

Stop Bullying Trans Youth, Warns Greenwich

Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich (left) with Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore (right) at the 2022 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Independent MP Greenwich accused Premier Perrottet of picking on vulnerable trans youth. Greenwich in a post on social media said that he was “extremely disappointed in the NSW Government and concerned for young trans people”.

“Hearing that trans kids are asking their parents ‘can I still play sport with my friends’ is heartbreaking,” Greenwich posted.

In a statement provided to Star Observer, Greenwich said that  he had “maintained a very cooperative working relationship with the Perrottet minority government, but it would be impossible for that to continue if trans youth continue to be picked on by the Premier.”

“The Premier has chosen to talk about transgender youth without reaching out to talk to them or their families to understand the challenges they face or the impact his words are having.”

The MP pointed to the impact the very public debate would have on young LGBTQI persons.

 “Verbal bullying against transgender kids has turned to violence in the schoolyard and has led many transgender kids to feel too afraid to go to school or participate in the activities like sport that can support their social, emotional and physical development,” said Greenwich.

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The Independent MP pointed out that the NSW government’s own health strategy “highlighted a mental health crisis amongst transgender kids, which sees shockingly higher rates of self-harm and suicide attempts.”

“I am appalled that the Premier has chosen to add to their experience of stigma, discrimination and exclusion,” said Greenwich, adding, “Fair-minded people don’t want vulnerable kids bullied by political leaders.”

PM Morrison’s ‘Captain’s Pick’ Candidate Faces Backlash

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Liberal candidate Katherine Deves.

Prime Minister Morrison’s “captain’s pick” candidate for the seat of Warringah, Deves, has faced calls for her to be dis-endorsed by the Liberal party over her anti-LGBTQI views. 

Deves had apologised and deleted her Twitter account, after her posts describing transgender persons as “surgically mutilated” and saying she was “triggered” by the Rainbow Pride flag came to light. 

More public comments made by Deves continue to be exposed, including when she trolled US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in now-deleted tweets calling gay surrogacy “a human rights violation” and “a vanity project”.

In another deleted tweet, Deves equated crossdressing men to “sexual predators, even serial killers”

“Transvestism is very common amongst sexual predators, even serial killers. So how are we women supposed to tell the difference between the ones who are a threat and the ones who aren’t? Easier for women to exclude all males from spaces where we are vulnerable,” Deves had tweeted in September 2021.

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

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