Victorian Greens reiterate their support for transgender people

The Victoria Greens have reiterated their support for transgender and gender diverse people following a wave of discussions about transgender health care and rights.

“The Victorian Greens reject any suggestion that trans rights should be up for debate.” the political party said in a statement posted online.

While prominent party members, including federal leader Adam Bandt, had all been sending messages of support to trans and gender diverse communities since last week, this time they acknowledged the spark that started heated online discussions was from City of Melbourne Councillor Rohan Leppert.

Leppert shared his views on the medical treatment of transgender people, Victoria’s laws that ban conversion practices, and his concerns that women were “opting out” of being lesbians. Debate around the treatment of transgender people intensified after The Age newspaper published an opinion piece from writer Julie Szego.

“We assure the community and our members that views questioning the identity of trans and gender diverse people and their access to gender affirming healthcare are not representative of the position, policies and values of the Victorian Greens,” the party said in its latest statement addressing community concerns.

“The Victorian Greens are proud of our track record as the strongest advocates for trans rights at all levels of parliament. We will always support our transgender, non-binary and gender diverse communities, and stand alongside them in their fight for equality.

“The concept of gender identity, the existence of trans and gender diverse people, the need for trans and gender diverse people to be able to access gender-affirming healthcare and the importance of keeping trans and gender diverse people safe through evidence-based policy, are not up for debate.

“We apologise for the hurt caused in the last week,” the party said. “Debating the validity of trans people through the media is exceptionally harmful. We saw the tragic impacts of LGBTQIA+ people being forced to justify their existence during the Marriage Equality and Plebiscite ‘debate’.

“The Victorian Greens reject any views that erase or deny a person’s gender identity, and recognise that those views can and do cause deep harm to trans and gender diverse people.

“Trans rights are non-negotiable. We see you, hear you and affirm your right to feel safe and supported both in our party, and across the country.”

The party said they were taking an open letter signed by many members and supporters of the party seriously.

The letter urges the Australian Greens Victoria implement the recommendations of the branch’s Trans, Gender Diverse and Non-Binary Member Inclusion Strategy, demonstrate commitment to implementing recommendations and reform with reports and tracking, and work with gender equality advocates on periodic reviews of culture, policy and equity.

“The Victorian Greens are taking the open letter addressed to us very seriously and will be taking action on the concerns raised. We affirm our ongoing commitment to better supporting our trans, gender diverse, and non-binary members.”

OIP Staff

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