Accelerate Australian rainbow reforms right away.

Accelerate Australian rainbow reforms right away.

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Sally Goldner AM started this petition

Open letter to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Ministers for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus

Dear Prime Minister, Minister Butler and Attorney-General Dreyfus

Congratulations on your electoral success on May 21 and appointments to your portfolios. I’m sure there’s a sense of excitement at the start of this new era for the Australian Labor Party.

First up, I’m a 56-year-old trans and bi/pan woman. I’ve been involved in LGBTIQA+ communities for over 25 years. While I’ve seen progress for some of that time for the people I care about, for the last 9 years at a national level I’ve seen progress for my communities vary.

While Australia achieved marriage equality, a disproportionate burden of the distress, pain and sacrifice during the postal survey in 2017 fell on trans, gender diverse and non-binary (“trans”) people. The attack on the Safe Schools program, the wedge tactics used in the Religious Discrimination Bill debate earlier this year and what we saw as outright hate speech during the campaign have also left trans people emotionally wrecked. Many would say that’s putting it mildly. And at times, there was silence and a shortage of support from those with influence when instead trans people needed affirmation and respect. The insufficient amount of direct access to many in Parliament for all of LGBTIQA+ people, in this case in particular for trans people, has left many of us feeling abandoned and devalued.

On election night, there was some sense of relief for LGBTIQA+ people. At least, a significant source of the hate was stopped. It finally felt liked we had moved out of reverse gear…but only into neutral with the handbrake on.

But not going forward …not yet.

We need you to release that handbrake, shift into drive and accelerate so we can fully share in that sense of excitement that you are feeling.

We need some clear commitments and a timeframe for quick action to help clear that pain. We need more than full equality for before the law for rainbow students and teachers. Trans and others need specific reforms showing we are truly valued as part of Australia – and we need them enacted quickly.

Here are some things you can do now for trans people:

  • a meeting with you and trans people and supportive family members to hear from us. While there are many supportive people (allies), only we can tell you what we have experienced and what we need now;
  • the establishment of a working group of trans people and family members;
  • inclusion of trans, gender diverse and intersex people in the Fair Work Act to achieve consistency with the Sex Discrimination Act;
  • full public funding of trans surgeries and related treatments; and
    education campaigns across the community to increase understanding and squash harmful exaggerations and lies about trans people

Similarly, bi people need education campaigns across the community to increase understanding, visibility and connection and a working group of bi people to lead these initiatives.

While neither intersex nor asexual/aromantic are my lived experience, we need an end to unnecessary surgeries on intersex infants via national legislation as part of Intersex Human Rights Australia’s Call for Action https://ihra.org.au/39860/call-for-action-2022/ and similar peer-led education campaigns for each group.

We don’t accept inquiries, investigations or reports into any of these issues – we have had more than enough of those already. We need action – and we needed it yesterday. During the campaign, Prime Minister Albanese stated he could promise little and then exceed expectations. No better time than now to start exceeding expectations for LGBTIQA+ people.

The Greens are keen, the teals are for real and the independents want to mend it. We need you, in the spirit of co-operation and ending the culture wars that was part of your campaign, to move quickly to work with them and accelerate towards equality for all LGBTIQA+ people.

SALLY GOLDNER AM

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