Friday, 05 June 2020

Ongoing attacks on TGD children in Australia are still framed around belief

Ongoing attacks on TGD children in Australia are still framed around belief

Amongst a plethora of violent, disturbing and bizarre images to come out of an America convulsing in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, one of the most controversial has been that of President Trump grimly holding aloft a bible outside of the St James Episcopal church in Washington.

Others have written about the implications of this hereand here, but for the TGD community it is a reminder of the way that religion is frequently used as a rallying point for political division. This isn’t the way it should be. Personal belief underpins some of the TGD community’s strongest advocates. For some in the community it is a source of consolation and hope, as well a common point of connection across social and/or cultural divide.

Here’s the thing though. At the moment in Australia, there is no greater source of grief and despair, no more determined force working against the emancipation of TGD people than those who believe institutional religion is at risk from gender diversity.  

And like the use of military language to label the almost entirely peaceful protest around George Floyd’s killing (i.e. ’dominating the battle-space, terorists and antifa) there is a disturbing reframing of trans people’s lives as an assault on religious belief.  As if on one side you have a belief in Christianity and on the other you have a belief that you are trans and/or gender diverse. 

From "80% de-transition memes", to "rapid onset gender dysphoriainfo-wars, for sections of the media trans identities range from fad to social contagion. Debunked again and again as pop psychology these theories are still being peddled.

The most recent one, hot off the press from Bernard Lane at the Australian is that autistic children and young people are vulnerable to believing they’re TGD because autistic people are not neuro-typical and treat ideas like religious dogma.

And with this latest version it’s possible to see how much the argument around trans people and in particular young people and children is wilfully being framed as a clash of belief systems.  As with Trump’s held-aloft-bible moment, the signalling around the place of religion in the middle of this crisis is clear. The hope is that unlike America, rife with racial injustice and turmoil, in shock from the appalling toll of COVID-19, Australia continues to work towards improving the lives of vulnerable TGD youth and young people.