Australia has taxpayer-funded sport guidelines promoting transgender inclusion, launched in 2019 after "confidential, targeted and respectful” consultations with unnamed groups. But whose idea was this? Senator Claire Chandler asked some months ago & got this answer --
In October, Chandler & Robert Dalton, acting CEO of @sportaustralia, the top government agency, were back in the Senate. In preamble to a question, Chandler reminded Dalton about his agency having kicked off the guideline project.
Dalton said: "If I can correct you ... the guidelines were in fact initiated by the human rights commission ... we supported the human rights commission."
Looks like a contradiction, although whoever came up with the guideline idea it seems clear the human rights commission led the opaque consultation process & drafting of the document.
I asked the @AusHumanRights which agency began the project, and a spokeswoman said: "Sport Australia approached (us) with a request to develop the guidelines". So, it looks like Sport Australia's first answer was correct, and Dalton's correction was incorrect.
The next obvious question is what prompted Sport Australia to come up with the idea in the first place? Its written answer to Chandler, some months ago, was that it was not something thrust upon the world of sport by the peak government agency.
Rather, Sport Australia's guideline project was "in response to requests by sporting organisations for
support and guidance on legal obligations regarding discrimination as well as inclusive policies and practices".
How helpful is the guideline for sports, especially those that might wish to preserve female sport as a single-sex category, something in theory allowed under anti-discrimination law?…
It would be worth asking the "sporting organisations" who requested the guideline whether or not it has turned out to be what they hoped for. So, who were those organisations?
In October, Chandler asked Sport Australia's Dalton, who said: "I don't know which sports requested (the guideline)". Chandler: "Do you know of any other organisations that requested the guidelines?". Dalton: "No, I don't ... I know we were requested by sports to support them.."
Chandler asked him to check & report "the details of any organisation, sporting or otherwise, that requested (the guidelines)". She was "particularly interested" to know whether @PrideinSportAU was one of them. Answers to come. Dalton did not redirect question to the commission.
Is Pride in Sport what most people would regard as a "sporting organisation"? It is an arm of ACON, the old NSW AIDS Council, promotes self-identified trans rights and opposes any testosterone limits for transwomen in female sport.
Pride in Sport's advisory group includes Dalton's "inclusive sport director", Merrilee Barnes, whose bio says she led Sport Australia's collaborative effort to develop the guidelines. She gets no money for this, Sport Australia says.
I asked Sport Australia about Barnes' link to a group such as Pride in Sport & a spokeswoman said: "ACON’s Pride in Sport program helps sporting organisations by providing advice and guidance that can help them include people of all sexualities and genders."
Although Sport Australia & the human rights commission have refused to name the groups invited to help draft the guideline, an outfit called @proud2playinc has claimed it was involved.…
I asked Sport Minister Richard Colbeck which agency, Sport Australia or the human rights commission, had initiated the guideline & which groups had requested it but got no answer to those questions. His office did say sport bodies should maintain the "integrity of women's sport".

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More from @Bernard_Lane

1 Oct
With transgender lobby @PrideinSportAU, 8 major sport bodies put out a statement on trans "inclusion" @RugbyAU @AFL @NetballAust @TennisAustralia @unisportAU @WaterpoloAus @touchfootyaus @HockeyAustralia Their policy enables male-bodied transfemales to compete in female sport. 1/
They justify this with the suggestion that if trans players are not included, suicide may result. That's a serious issue -- & there are serious questions about activist use of statistics on suicide risk. Did those 8 sporting bodies do their due diligence?…
Their statement says: "Data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance state that trans & gender diverse adults are nearly 11 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population, with 35% of trans & gender diverse adults having attempted suicide in their lifetime".
Read 12 tweets
17 Sep
No doubt Harvard's @jack_turban has reason to worry about trans people. Many teens in gender clinics present with a host of problems but is there any good data on how much suicide risk is *because* of trans issues versus, say, autism, same-sex attraction or family trauma? 1/
As for this new study, Dr Turban admits it uses a "convenience sample". Suicide risk studies relied on to promote gender clinic medicine typically claim very high risk but are low-quality from a research design point of view. I base this thread on talks with experts & reading.
These trans suicide studies can't be taken to be representative of trans people generally. They recruit participants via sources such as social media & trans activist groups, where the narrative of trans suicide risk circulates and may be reinforced by each successive study.
Read 19 tweets
29 Aug
Here are parents' voices, rarely heard in mainstream media, warning that "conversion therapy" bans will make it harder to ensure that troubled kids get honest, thoughtful help from those who love them, and expert, cautious care, not just uncritical "gender affirmation". THREAD
A mother of a trans-identifying teenager (with mental health problems and school refusal) points out the brain does not fully develop until the mid-20s, and children need “the support, guidance and education from the mature minds of their parents, therapists and carers."
“(The latest Australian conversion therapy ban) is eroding the role and responsibility of parents as children and teenagers navigate the most vulnerable years of their lives,” this mother tells @australian…
Read 21 tweets
19 May
Does "gender fluidity" teaching in schools lead to any cases of overdiagnosis of gender dysphoria ("born in the wrong body") and life-altering medical interventions in children's hospital gender clinics?… @australian #health #education #auspol | THREAD
In Queensland, Australia, education bureaucrats work to “strengthen relationships” with the Queensland Children's Hospital gender clinic — where under-18 patient numbers have risen 1,172% since 2014 — and liaise with a "Queensland Queering Education Consultative Committee".
In Victoria, the pioneer state for teaching fluidity, education minister James Merlino cites “confidentiality” when asked how many under-18s have been referred to the Royal Children’s Hospital gender clinic by GPs, trained by that clinic, under his Doctors in Schools program.
Read 13 tweets
13 May
Sweden has reportedly abandoned a plan to allow transgender genital surgery at age 15. Medical & legal experts had protested, driving media scrutiny & now the National Board of Health & Welfare has backflipped.… @Sven_Roman @socialstyrelsen #policy | THREAD
The board's head Thomas Lindén cites the rapid increase in young patients with neuropsychiatric disorders in gender clinics, reports Swedish news program @granskning which had revealed a lack of evidence for official claims that lowering the age from 18 would prevent suicides.
The surge in patients may be over & @granskning reports that referrals fell 65% in the last quarter of 2019 at Stockholm's youth gender clinic.… | From 2008-2017, the number of girls aged 10-19 treated for "gender dysphoria" in Sweden rose 1800%.
Read 8 tweets

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