Residents rallied outside the Cairns City early voting centre on May 17 to take a stand against federal and Queensland MPs anti-trans views. The rally was held on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
“We are people. We are not pawns for political stunts,” said Cairns transgender woman and advocate Wendy Ramsay. “It is cheap to whip up prejudice for political gain. But they did not reckon on us speaking back.”
“Some politicians are trying a ‘look over there’ tactic to shift attention from their failures on the big issues — housing, cost of living and climate,” said Renee Lees, rally organiser, LGBTI advocate and Senate candidate for Socialist Alliance.
“But their words fuel hate, which has an impact on real people. We will not let it slide, just as we should not let racism slide,” Lees continued.
“We will stand with our trans children, parents, friends and neighbours. And we ask politicians to focus on tackling the real problems.
“Socialist Alliance stands for a different kind of politics: for care, community and climate repair, and human rights.”
Protesters are angry that the Coalition government had refused to condemn Liberal Party candidate Katherine Deves’ transphobia, who described gender reassignment as “mutilation”.
They criticised the Liberal-National Party in Queensland and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party for supporting a transphobic motion from Katter’s Australia Party to exclude transgender women from women’s sport.
The motion, which lost on May 12, called on MPs to agree that allowing transgender women to play in women’s leagues would “erode” their integrity and women’s rights.