Transgender people failed by Q&A

Community Events, News, Uncategorized


I’m a fan of public debate, being able to talk about and discuss issues. Especially issues that affect the transgender community. But in order to do that you need to have equitable representation from the community groups being debated.

Sadly once again, the ABC has failed in its duty as the national broadcaster for equitable debate. The public affairs and debate program Q&A felt the need to have Germaine Greer on the program on Monday 11 April, 2016. It failed again to foot a transgender community representative.

It was inevitable that the question would be asked about transgender people. The producers of Q&A already knew this. The questions for the show audience are screened and vetted so they are relevant to the show and of course the panel.

A debate program is that: a debate where both sides of the equation are represented, but the duty of care the ABC should have exercised was not.

It was a place where once again Germaine could dig her self into a hole with her antiquated and ill formed views on the transgender community. While she does acknowledge in the past she has been wrong. Yet she fails to see past her own nose and understand the term gender identity. But she does understand intersex.

Germaine Greer appearing on QandA
Photo: ABC Q&A

She does not have the lived experience of a transgender person. Neither does she have the nuanced sense of self and identity that a transgender person has. Much less does she understand the intersectionality of being transgender. Yet, for all intensive purposes the transgender community including experts, were not afforded the right of reply to debate her and provide that insight and narrative.

It is a pity that some people are allowed platform privilege. A privilege by a national broadcaster that should be equitably be representing all Australians instead of a select few. Sadly I am now beginning to question the integrity of Q&A and the ABC.