Transgender Fantasy Land
The recent statement by Little Athletics Victoria that “If a child athlete identifies as a particular gender, then that’s how we treat them. We don’t try and overcomplicate things” shows just how crazy our society is becoming on the question of being male or female.
In 2016 the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2016 (Vic) was defeated by just one vote.
As I pointed out in my speech that Bill would have allowed “any person over 18 years of age whose birth is registered in Victoria to apply as often as every 12 months to change the sex descriptor recorded on the person's birth certificate to any sex descriptor the person believes is the person's sex.” There are extensive lists of possible sex descriptors including the following:
- 'demiboy' for a person who identifies partially with being a man or with having masculine characteristics;
- 'third gender' for a person who identifies as neither a man nor a woman; and
- 'trigender' for a person who shifts between the male, female and third genders.
If the Bill had passed, all Victorians would have had to go along with these changing fantasies.
It stated, “If the record of a person's sex in the person's birth registration is altered under this Part the person is a person of the sex as altered”.
I warned about the practical implications for women and girls:
“In our society, unlike some others, we do not have a rigid segregation of the sexes. We mix freely as women and men in business, commerce, political and social life. However, there remain areas and activities where access or participation is, for good reasons, limited to persons of one sex or the other. Facilities such as bathrooms and change rooms, single-sex gyms and women's refuges create a safe space for women and girls in particular. No doubt men also value the privacy of men-only facilities.
If the law is changed to require all Victorians to treat a man as a woman just because he declares that he believes he is and has accordingly had his birth certificate changed to declare this as a legal fact, it is clear that such spaces will no longer be safe for women.”
The Bill was not only targeted at adults but would also have allowed “a child's sex to be changed annually to male, female or any sex descriptor of choice on the application of the parents of a child.”
I noted that “the World Professional Association for Transgender Health notes in its standards of care that gender dysphoria in childhood does not inevitably continue into adulthood and that only 6 to 23 percent of boys and 12 to 27 percent of girls treated in gender clinics showed persistence of their gender dysphoria into adulthood. These figures should make us very cautious about responding to a child's expression of feeling like a boy when she is a girl or like a girl when he is a boy by rushing to publicly transition the child through recording a new legal sex. I am afraid that in many cases this may burden the child with the necessity of undoing this change once the transitory feelings of childhood gender confusion pass away.”
I agree with Little Athletics Victoria that we shouldn’t overcomplicate things. However, rather than reinforcing often transitory childhood feelings of being a different sex I would support a policy of treating boys as boys and calling them boys and treating girls as girls and calling them girls. This does not require imposing any stereotypes based on sex or restricting children in their choices of activities and behaviour.