GSA Council condemns transphobic event, and supports trans and gender diverse students

By Lauren Taylor (LGBTQIA+ Associate Office Bearer) and Tessa Gould (Women’s Office Bearer)

In response to the event ‘The Future of Sex-Based Rights’ being hosted at the University this week, the University of Melbourne Graduate Student Association reiterates its support for trans and gender diverse students, and condemns transphobia.

We support the rights of trans and gender diverse students to study in a safe and affirming university environment free of gender-based discrimination and transmisogyny. GSA condemns any events that undermine the safety of students on campus, including the safety of trans and gender non-conforming students, and believes events that that promote the idea that trans women are a threat to cis women have no place on our campus.

GSA supports the open letter to Duncan Maskell circulated by Equality Australia that requests that the University refuse to host ‘The Future of Sex-Based Rights’ and other similar transphobic or queerphobic events, and commit to a long-term strategy that applies the University’s values to the rights and concerns of transgender and gender non-conforming people.

Trans women are women and thus have the same rights to the safety and solidarity afforded by women’s spaces. It is not biological sex that gives these spaces power and importance – it is the shared experience of being a woman who seeks refuge from a patriarchal society. GSA welcomes trans women and gender non-conforming students to women’s spaces in the 1888 building and autonomous women’s events.