ACON praises Cricket Australia’s trans inclusion policy

ACON, who runs Pride in Sport, Australia’s first and only sexuality and gender diverse sporting inclusion program, spoke out this week following widespread commentary around Cricket Australia’s announcement of a new inclusive policy that welcomed transgender people.

The organisation said they were aware of increasing media commentary that was strongly critical of Cricket Australia’s new policy.

“While we respect the fact people are free to hold personal opinions on all matters, we would encourage leaders in Australia to act in a manner which is inclusive of all Australians, and to refrain from using language that adds to a culture of division within Australian society – that in turn makes the lives of vulnerable people harder.” the organisation said in a media statement.

The statement followed a radio interview where the Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the move to include transgender people in the game was “heavy handed” and “mystifying’.

ACON argued that “while most trans and gender diverse people live happy, healthy and connected lives. Unfortunately this is not the case for all, as evidenced by studies that demonstrate trans and gender diverse people shoulder a real and pressing burden of mental health issues. These experiences are directly related to stigma, discrimination and transphobia, and not the result of trans and gender diverse people being who they are.

“Data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance state that trans and gender diverse adults are nearly eleven times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population, with 35% of trans and gender diverse adults having attempted suicide in their lifetime.

“Yet, when trans and gender diverse people are accepted and able to participate in their community as their affirmed gender, mental and physical health outcomes dramatically improve.

ACON applauded Cricket Australia’s commitment to include trans and gender diverse people in their game at every level, and to ensure all people can experience the most inclusive, safe and respectful culture sport can offer.

In 2014, Cricket Australia was one of several major sporting codes that signed up to the Australian Anti-Homophobia and Inclusion Framework for Australian Sport, and in 2016, also participated in the Pride in Sport Index: a national benchmarking framework to evaluate efforts towards better inclusion for people of diverse sexualities and genders, and intersex people within their codes.

ACON said Cricket Australia, as a member of Pride in Sport, had continued to rightly demonstrate their passion for inclusion and diversity, ensuring that everyone involved in the sport – both on and off the pitch – feels welcome and included.

“We urge all leaders and commentators to ensure that a truly a safe and cohesive society in Australia includes our most vulnerable populations. It is only when those on the margins are meaningfully included that we can hope to build the health, wellbeing, safety and inclusion of all Australians. Unity, not division, must be our ultimate goal.” ACON said in their media statement.

Source: Media Release

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