Transgender people most likely abused
The Human Rights Commissioner, Catherine Branson, has called on the federal government to introduce federal laws to protect people from discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity.As regular readers of my blog are no doubt aware.
State legislation is inconsistent and incomplete and it is unclear whether its reach covers those working in federal bodies.
Ms Branson said federal legislation, apart from providing uniform and comprehensive protection, would be an important symbolic statement which would help bring about attitudinal change.
Ms Branson said the most distressing and egregious examples of violence came from people who were intersex or who were transitioning from male to female or the other way round.
A 2010 survey found that 92 per cent of trans women and 55 per cent of trans men reported they had been the subject of verbal abuse, and 46 per cent and 36 per cent respectively had been punched kicked or beaten; almost 40 per cent of trans women reported having been attacked with knives, bottles or rocks.
The report, Addressing Sexual Orientation and Sex and/or Gender Identity Discrimination, also heard examples of discrimination in nursing homes, in the healthcare system, in sporting clubs, and in the use of toilets and change rooms.
Transgender people face 'social isolation'
Transgender and intersex people living in the ACT are six times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population and have difficulty accessing health services, a new survey shows.I'm in that situation myself. I have a marvellous GP, but I have to travel interstate for every 15 minute endocrinologist's appointment. 12 hours travel time, catching busses and trains, and at considerable expense. A 400 mile round-trip.
The Gender Diversity in the ACT survey is the first of its kind and reveals high rates of social isolation and discrimination among the local transgender and intersex population.
Compiled by advocacy and support group A Gender Agenda, the survey reveals 78 per cent of transgender and intersex people in the ACT have had difficulty accessing medical care.
A further 21 per cent of respondents travelled interstate to access general practitioner services because local doctors did not have the knowledge to treat them or refused to provide appropriate treatment.
The survey findings coincide with the opening of Canberra's first place for the sex and gender diverse, which will be launched today by Deputy Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.With a little help from an advisory panel from the Australian National University, comprised of medical and legal experts in the area. And at least one member of staff who knows more about the law than the medics, and more about the biology than the lawyers.
In March, the ACT Government launched an inquiry into the legal recognition of transgender and intersex people living in Canberra which will be completed by the Law Reform Advisory Council.
I'm meeting with the chair of the Law Reform Advisory Council on Thursday, to discuss my role and other issues.