This article references suicide, transphobia and homophobia.
The NSW Government has officially rejected One Nation MP Mark Latham’s cooked anti-trans Bill. All I can say is: thank fuck.
ICYMI, Latham wanted to introduce something called the Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) bill. Is your red flag radar tingling? It should be!
The Bill was full of transphobic bile. It wanted to amend NSW’s Education Act to stop schools from teaching about trans, non-binary and gender diverse people.
More specifically it wanted to ban teachers from discussing “the ideology of gender fluidity to children in schools”, whatever the fuck that means. It’d also would have stopped them from supporting trans and non-binary students.
Latham then chaired a parliamentary inquiry into his own Bill. Cool! Great!
It wanted to add even more recommendations, which included requiring written parental consent if students wanted to be part of a LGBTQIA+ discussion or support group.
Parental consent would’ve also been required for trans students to be referred to by their chosen names.
Thankfully, the Bill has now been firmly shut down by the NSW Government.
The response came from the Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell.
She gave a number of reasons why the NSW Government rejected the Bill. That included the fact it could target a marginalised group (uh, yeah).
“The Bill may lead to targeted discrimination against a marginalised community which already experiences poorer mental health and wellbeing outcomes,” Mitchell wrote.
“Other provisions may impact schools’ legal obligations to protect and support all students.”
In the Government’s response, Mitchell highlighted stats about the mental health of trans and gender diverse kids.
“72 per cent of gender diverse young people have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder,” said the response.
“48 per cent of gender diverse young people have attempted suicide in their lifetime.
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) young people are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers.”
Can’t believe we’re still having to say this in 2022 but we need to be uplifting, empowering and supporting trans, non-binary and gender diverse youth.
The move has been celebrated by LGBTQIA+ activists.
The government has rejected One Nation’s Bill in its entirety, along with every recommendation that would have negatively impacted trans students, instead affirming their right to a quality education in a school where they have a place and feel valued.
— Equality Australia 🌈 (@EqualityAu) March 16, 2022
Teddy Cook was the only trans person invited to give evidence during the committee’s hearings. Teddy is the acting director for community health and wellbeing at ACON.
“All children flourish and succeed when they are affirmed and supported for who they are,” he said in Equality Australia’s statement.
“It’s fantastic to see the NSW government today stand by trans kids and their families, who already face so many barriers, and experience disproportionate levels of bullying and harassment.”
It’s absolutely great that the NSW government has shut down Mark Latham’s Bill. But now we need to actively to commit to supporting all trans people, all the time: not just in the face of vile transphobia.
If you’d like to talk about the issues raised in this story, you can call the QLife LGBTI peer support hotline on 1800 184 527 or chat online.
QLife operates between 3pm and midnight daily.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.
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