Binary phone poll hits local LGBTIQ+ community members

Western Australians have reported receiving an automated phone poll from anti-transgender organisation Binary, and just as has occurred in other states questions have been raised around the polls’ questions, which have been described as leading and out of context.

Brendon Entrekin is one of the people who received the poll on Monday night, he was alarmed by the way the questions were put forward.

“It didn’t sound that professional, it was quite amateurish, but the questions were so incredibly leading, they didn’t even pretend to be running an objective poll the questions were ridiculous.”

While his first reaction was to hang up, Entrekin decided to see it through to the end and answer all the questions.

“I realised if I didn’t they’d have even more skewered polling, so I thought I might as well do it and share that I disagreed with their propositions. It would have been a horrible experience for a transgender person to sit through though.”

Entrekin said the poll was predominately focused on transgender women in sport and people being sued for voicing opposition. The poll comes as Binary voiced their support for Tasmanian Senator Claire Chandler’s stance against the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination body.

When it came to the description of people in the questions, Entrekin recalled it always referred to ‘biological men’ in women’s sport, rather than saying transgender women.

“They didn’t mention that people would have transitioned, or that there are conditions attached, it left the impression that giant bearded men were trying to take over women’s sport. If you didn’t know the context, it would have sounded ridiculous.”

One member of the local transgender community also received the poll call as they sat down to dinner, and described to OUTinPerth their frustration at hearing the questions that were being put forward.

“I felt angry. The questions were so clearly angled against trans people. A lot of people won’t know what they are actually talking about and will choose a side on the issue without any real understanding of it.” they said.

“I felt scared for young vulnerable trans people who are in the middle of all the turmoil of transition and could be driven to the edge by the numbers in a poll like this. I felt stressed and anxious because it sounds like trans people are about to be used as a political scapegoat.”  The man, who was assigned female at birth, requested not to be publicly identified due to concerns about their job security.

Brian Greig from rights organisation just.equal said it was clear Binary was preparing to target WA voters in the lead up to next year’s state election.

“It’s clear that Binary, which is the residue of the No Campaign from 2017, is targeting voters in the lead up to the state election in March next year.

“Binary is a front-group for the religious right and is specifically anti-LGBTI. It fear-mongers about Safe Schools, trans people and opposes banning conversion practices.

Greig said WA politicians had a responsibility not to give credence to their reports which he described as “dodgy surveys”.

“Their modus operandi is to launch misinformation campaigns and dodgy surveys just  before elections, and were active recently in the Tasmanian Upper House election and current Queensland election.

“Politicians in WA must be made aware of their dishonest strategies and be prepared to defend the LGBTI community against their attacks,” Greig said.

Graeme Watson

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