Scott Morrison criticised after saying transgender teens pressured by 'identity politics' | Society

Scott Morrison criticised after saying transgender teens pressured by ‘identity politics’ | Society

Political News

Scott Morrison’s comments that transgender teenagers are dealing with “the pressures of identity politics” have been dismissed as “inaccurate, dismissive and patronising” by transgender supporters.

Morrison made the comment in response to the transgender teen activist and new Headspace spokesperson Georgie Stone, who told Nine newspapers she was disappointed with Morrison’s history on trans issues, particularly given the government’s push to tackle mental health problems.

“The tragedy of youth suicide is all too common in Australia, particularly amongst younger Australians working through their identity and the pressures of identity politics,” Morrison said.



Georgie Stone said she was disappointed with Scott Morrison’s history on trans issues. Photograph: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Transgender Victoria’s Sally Goldner said the PM’s comments were “totally inaccurate, dismissive and patronising to trans and gender-diverse young people”.

“They also typify his patronising attitude to young people generally and his attitudes to trans and gender diverse people of all ages.”

Jo Hirst, an author and mother of a transgender child, said it was totally appropriate for Stone to ask the prime minister to change his tone and take responsibility for supporting young transgender people if he was serious about lowering the suicide rate.

“It was distressing to see her important input on such a serious subject dismissed by the prime minister,” she said. “To write off the suicides of transgender children as younger Australians working through the pressures of ‘identity politics’ is not only not dismissing their identity but giving bullies a new slogan.

“It’s negative slogans like ‘gender whisperers’, attached to professionals attempting to provide support in schools, that filter down to playgrounds and are used to bully children, that really impact on our children’s mental health.”

An Australian study released by Trans Pathways in 2017 showed 48.1% of transgender people between the ages of 12 and 17 attempt suicide, a rate 20 times higher than the rest of the adolescent population.


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