Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews last year announced with self-righteous glee that his government plans to make ‘any practice or treatment that seeks to change, suppress or eliminate an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity,’ illegal.
This peacocking is very interesting indeed, considering the fact that many of his own prized sexuality education resources state “Identity is fluid and can change over time, and this applies to our sexuality and gender identity too… It’s completely up to you!”
Statements such as this, coupled with the many and varied encouragements to “explore” and “play” with one’s sexuality and identity, in those same education resources, leave one wondering if Daniel Andrews isn’t suffering from a very serious case of pot, kettle, black? Indeed, will this legislation actually open the door for legal action by students who feel pressured to question their heterosexuality and cis-normativity in class?
What if a homosexual student desires to have biological children one day, (but is unwilling to commodify a human being), and so decides to explore the possibility of igniting or increasing heterosexual attraction for that purpose? If sexuality is fluid, as Daniel Andrews mandates that children be taught, then how can it be bigotry to allow it?
What if a family have a child experiencing gender dysphoria, and, encouraged by peer-reviewed studies showing very high rates (over 80 per cent) of desistance of dysphoric feelings after natural puberty, decide to take the ‘watch and wait’ approach in the very reasonable hopes of avoiding drastic and irreversible medical interventions? If gender is fluid, as Daniel Andrews mandates that children be taught, then how can it be bigotry to encourage children to harness that fluidity to avoid extremely high-risk procedures?
Is Daniel Andrews truly disgusted by all attempts at conversion? Or only conversion in one direction? For example, I am yet to hear of his outrage over revelations in The Sunday Age and its fellow Sydney chip wrapper that many in the media and LGBTI community were applying pressure on Missy Higgins to come out as gay.
“For so many years, the media was trying to get me to say I was gay,” she says. “Except I didn’t feel that I was. It drove me crazy… I felt a lot of pressure back then, I was living in LA, hanging out mostly in the gay community, and they didn’t take fondly to the idea I might be bisexual. The media were pushing me for an answer but I couldn’t give them the headline they wanted. That’s a big reason why I retreated.”
That this legislation presents a very serious attack on not just religious freedom but freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, is plain for all to see.
That the same might highlight the hypocrisy and internal incoherence of the Andrews Governments agenda might just be the silver lining.