The Guardian • Issue #2072

CPA members rally against transphobia in Brisbane

Rally against transphobia in Brisbane.

Several members of the Sunshine Coast Branch travelled to Brisbane on 14th September, to meet with a few non-member friends of the party at this rally. It was a protest against 7 News falling into the same conservative pandering mediascape as the worst of the Murdoch Media. 7 News has parroted the same sadly effective scare campaigns accusing the Trans community of grooming children and claiming that  HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is irreversible and lethal. The event was arranged by Meanjin People’s Pride (MPP) a self-described “grassroots queer protest group” who have been following 7 News since it aired its disreputable story. MPP created an infographic refuting and debunking all of the 7 News lies.

The crowd started small but increased rapidly. I noticed the colourful outfits around me, including one of the organisers wearing a dress decorated with hammer and sickles symbols with the Trans flag inside them. I complimented the dress and they reciprocated by admiring my iconic patch jacket. Ideologically the protest was a mix of Marxist-Leninists (including CPA members/fellow travellers), Ultra Leftists, Anarchists, and Social Democrats. All attendees united as a collective who agreed with the principle of queer and trans-liberation as a strong common goal.

Speakers ranged across age groups and professions, from those who began their transition a few weeks earlier to people who have been on the journey for years. I noticed a surprising number of  educators. One of the speakers commented on how they are happy to be in the safe space for trans and queer students, as growing up they never had one.

One organiser said, “The old white man patriarchy controlling media knows it is dying, and is just attacking us [the trans community] as a last cling to relevancy for a few more years”. Our own national embarrassment Rupert Murdoch is the prime example, but the grip on power by these wealthy WASP media oligarchs is loosening. Transgender existence is a convenient moral topic, and they will undoubtedly concentrate on a new target once the attention dies down.

After the protest was wrapped up the organisers urged people to make formal complaints to 7 News and take further actions in solidarity.

One rally member said, Caleb, “I really appreciated speakers highlighting and analysing the intersection between both the autistic community and queer Community.”

Sienna, a non-party member but very close friend, said, “Initially I was kind of worried it’d be a poor rally, however as the event snowballed it became two hours of trans people speaking on their experiences, and outright proving that falsity of the 7 news ‘spotlight.’ It really was awe inspiring to see so many trans people get up and confidently tell their story, and it felt good to finally say that discovering my ‘transness’ was the first time I’d ever been certain about anything.”

On the ride back to the Sunshine Coast I pondered the wider implications of the day, how as a self-described LGBTQ+ ally I was so happy and proud to see the Trans community gather united and without fear for the upward fight for their right to existence, with groups like Meanjin People’s Pride to represent them. I was also slightly melancholy that the Trans community in the Sunshine Coast seemingly do not have the same resources or groups to represent them and demand their human rights. I am still determined and hopeful that in some way the CPA can support the community and Transgender Liberation, not only here but, across Australia.

The Guardian can also be viewed/downloaded in PDF format. View More