Trans advocate gets great result for trans community

Katherine Wolfgramme Trans Advocate

A great outcome has been achieved for the Transgender Community and its Allies earlier this year, settling a complaint against The Australian with the Anti-Discrimination Board. The basis of the complaint was that an article published under The Australian’s ‘Gender Issues’ column incited serious contempt for transgender people. 

Miss Katherine Wolfgramme FRSA, award winning trans advocate and gender diversity consultant, believes strongly in educating the wider community on the issues transgender people face and raising awareness of the distress such publications cause.

As Miss Wolfgramme  recalled:

“I transitioned over thirty years ago when there were no rights for my community. I and other trans advocates strive to help pave the way for future generations to be happy without persecution - as my trans elders and trans ancestors strove to pave the way for us now.

None of these things can be achieved without stronger allies, in the legal and political and corporate arena who stand in front of us when we cannot speak, stand beside us when we cannot be brave and stand behind us to give us a platform so our voices can be heard; and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for how far we have come and continue to go.”

Following conciliation, The Australian agreed to both amend the headline of the article and publish an Editor’s note to the online article. This is a strong result for the transgender community. It not only provides necessary context to the article’s commentary, but importantly acknowledges the harm the transgender community and its Allies consider the article caused.

The outcome of the complaint provides a clear reminder that words and the context in which they are used matters. The significant impact felt by the transgender community and their experience of minority stress cannot be overstated.

Miss Wolfgramme would like to thank The Australian for:

“acknowledging the community stress and distress their articles may have caused and their grace in deciding to publicly acknowledge that and take action to help change the narrative. 

Slowly, slowly with each generation we are all learning to accept each other’s differences more kindly and it is my hope that  one day all media outlets will learn to be more respectful and kind towards people of all genders and all diversities.”

The Editor’s note is published as follows:

“The original version of this article carried the headline "Health chiefs can't ignore 'global epidemic' of transgender teens", but following concerns raised by Miss Katherine Wolfgramme on behalf of the transgender community and its Allies, who considered the article could cause harm to the transgender community, The Australian has chosen to amend the headline to read, "Health chiefs can't ignore 'global epidemic' of transgender teens, inquiry told" to clarify the headline was reporting on submissions to a Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry.”

Clyde & Co is proud to support the LGBT Community through our Pryde network (also referred to as ‘Pryde & Co’) and wish to further the important goal of educating the larger community about the issues that LGBTIQ+ people face.

For any further inquiries, please contact Andrea de Palatis, Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing (APAC) at  or Miss Katherine Wolfgramm FRSA at  

The Passing of Aidy Griffin

Vale Aidy Griffin 1954-2021, by Norrie May Welby

AIDY GRIFFIN (1954-2021)
by Norrie May Welby

The Passing of Aidy Griffin

VALE Aidy Griffin

Aidy Griffin, strategic driver of law reform and social inclusion of sex and gender diverse people, passed away in a hospice on Thursday 7 October 2021, at the age of 67. Aidy worked with others and then local state MP Clover Moore in the mid nineties to draft the first transgender recognition and anti-discrimination bill in the western world. That bill lapsed when parliament rose for the next election, but the cause was taken up again to the government by Aidy and other activists, and it passed the Transgender (Anti-Discrimination and Other Acts Amendment) Act of 1996 (NSW). This is the Act that made possible the later ruling in the High Court recognising non-binary sex (NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie [2014].

 

I first met Aidy at an early meeting of the Transgender Liberation Coalition (aka Transgender Lobby Coalition) in the early 1990s, when they gave me advice about finding a doctor who supported non-binary choices with regard to hormone therapy. Aidy was studying at UTS, which was hosting Queer Collaborations, so they invited me along to co-present some workshops on sex and gender. Aidy gave an academic dissection, and I did a little song and dance, show and tell. Everything I know about Foucault and post-modern deconstruction I learned second hand from Aidy.

Aidy was fiercely intelligent, and spoke in a very quiet Irish voice. They were very street smart and politically savvy, and taught me a lot.

At Aidy’s instigation, the two of us took a proposal to the Sydney Star Observer for a regular column on gender and transgender issues, and this became Gender Agenda. We were hosted by Philip Adams on the panel of his ABC Radio National Late Show Live, along with avant-garde drag artiste Cindy Pastel and American feminist academic Jane Gallop. When Philip asked about their gender journey, Aidy replied,“ I took a taxi here”.

We took every opportunity to get in front of cameras and microphones to challenge gender norms and inspire social inclusion, and you can see and hear Aidy starring in the docudrama Sexing the Label, sitting on Gilligan's Island (corner Oxford and Flinders Street) as the 1996 Mardi Gras parade speeds by in fast motion.

A nightclub in Kings Cross that was part of Abe Saffron’s network was accused of discriminating against a transgender woman. In response, Aidy negotiated with the nightclub network for a free venue to use for a fundraiser to benefit the trans community. This led to the 'Trany Pride' Ball at the old Les Girls nightclub, which raised money for the first 'Trany Pride' float in the Mardi Gras Parade. This helped build enough community support for the successful law reform achieved in 1996.

There aren’t many people as caring and intelligent as Aidy, and their passing is a devastating loss. But too, Aidy was part of many invigorating heady and sometimes terrifying adventures, memories to cherish, or to just wonder at how we survived them.

Trans Community Call for DPP Appeal #JusticeforMhelody Bruno.

Click here to read the Response to Mhelody Bruno Appeal.

A letter to the TGD Community

Dear TGD folk and families,

As you are no doubt aware, the latest chapter in the Education Amendment (parental rights) Bill 2020 is currently underway. For many of us, if not most TGD people and families it is a distressing time. Yet again the legitimacy of trans people’s lives are being discussed across parliament and in the media. It is distressing for many of us that there is currently a focus in the NSW legislative assembly on the idea that a parent’s right to educate their children and instil their own values might necessitate a bill that requires a strict removal of any reference to trans and gender diverse people and forbids all teaching and non-teaching staff as well as volunteers from teaching, advising, instructing or counselling students on anything to do with gender diversity.

From the Gender Centre’s perspective there seems to generally be confusion and misunderstanding around the facts of the bill, around the way that organisations like the Gender Centre work to support schools, and how the Education Amendment (parental rights) Bill 2020 could work if passed.

The Gender Centre has been supporting NSW schools for a number of years. We advise and assist at least one school every week on the best way to help transgender and gender diverse children and families be treated like every other student and family. We work with schools in such a way that parent’s rights to decide values and beliefs for their child is respected and meets the Australian community’s expectations of good citizenship regardless of religious belief, ableness, gender expression or other diversity. It works. We continue to see that with the right kind of support families and students can thrive amongst a plurality of ideas, expressions, beliefs and lived experiences. We see that if you keep a TGD child within the safety of a loving supportive family then that child does well. If you keep that TGD family within the safety of a loving supportive community that child will excel.  We also see, through the various crisis services we provide, what happens when you don’t.

NSW TGD families and community members are anxious and frightened by what is happening around the education amendment bill. That’s understandable. However it’s worth considering a few things about living in NSW and Australia. Many of the major headline news stories we get about trans people and children comes from the US and the UK. In these countries things are extremely dire. The rights of trans people and families are under assault and the lives of trans people are at risk. In Australia trans people experience discrimination and violence across many issues, but there are also federal anti-discrimination laws in place, in schools and in workplaces that insure the rights of transgender adults and children.   

The Education Amendment (parental rights) Bill 2020 is currently working its way through the parliamentary process. However, there are important questions to be answered about how such a bill could work in light of existing federal anti-discrimination laws. Federal anti-discrimination law makes the central tenant’s of the Education Amendment (parental rights) Bill 2020 illegal. Federal legislation overrides state legislation (for further information about the bill you can read Ros Cook of the Inner City Legal Centre’s review of the law here,  as well as Professor Luke Beck’s article here.

The Gender centre encourages community and supporters to contact their state members to express any concerns that they have around the bill.

As usual, the Gender Centre is available to talk and can be contacted on 95199 7599.

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