The trans community and allies protested against Liberal candidate Katherine Deves in the centre of the electorate she's contesting on April 21. The action at Manly Mall was called by Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) and drew 100 protesters at short notice.
Deves is the Prime Minister Scott Morrison's “captain’s pick” for the seat of Warringah, won by independent MP Zali Steggall in 2019 beating former PM Tony Abbott.
Deves heads the organisation “Save Women’s Sports Australasia”, which is lobbying to have transgender women banned from playing professional sport. She is on the record saying transgender children are “surgically mutilated and sterilized” and that “half of all transgender people who are biologically men have committed sexual assault on women”.
Morrison also supports banning transgender women from sports clubs. He described conservative Tasmanian Senator Claire Chandler’s private members bill to allow sporting organisations to exclude transgender people from single-sex sports as “terrific”.
Yasmina Ilic-Miloradovic, a mother of a trans child, told the protest she was “scared” for her child’s future. “We are being used as targets in a political game and we are suffering a lot of discrimination.”
She said her child had been bullied and forced to leave a school. “We are a regular family. Nothing special. We live in a modest home and our three children go to the local public school. We also happen to have a trans child. It wasn’t our choice to have a trans child. Trust me — it’s not the easy route but, we did make the choice to be supportive,” she told the rally.
Ilic-Miloradovic said Deves and Morrison’s comments were “down right cruel, uneducated and hateful”. “All I want is for my three children, regardless of gender, sexuality or race to have the same opportunities, the same freedoms and the confidence to be who they want to be.”
She said her child was not invited to birthday parties “purely because of who she is”. “Bathrooms, uniforms, healthcare and schooling are all basic human rights and Deves as well as our PM and premier are all advocating for the breach of these rights,” Ilic-Miloradovic said.
“As for the issue of trans women and girls in sport, as someone with both a trans and cisgender daughter, plus family who have played elite sport, I have done more than my fair of research on both sides. Let’s just say both daughters are currently in female competitive sports teams and will continue to be, because what’s in their pants is nobody’s god damn business.”
The rally was chaired by Owen Marsden-Readford and heard from Rachael Jacobs, Greens candidate for Grayndler and Yasmine Johnson, a Sydney University Student Representative Council welfare officer.
[Community Action for Rainbow Rights is holding a post-election LGBTIQ+ rights action on June 25.]