A motion in support of trans and gender diverse folks passed NSW Parliament with unanimous support. The motion makes it clear that trans and gender diverse people are welcome in our parliaments, schools, universities, workplaces, on our sporting fields and in our venues because they are an integral and valued part of our community. They deserve to live free from fear, discrimination, vilification and attack.
You can watch Jenny's speech supporting this motion below:
"My name is Jenny Leong and I use the pronouns "she" and "her". I thank the member for Sydney for introducing this motion to the House. The Greens proudly and wholeheartedly supports this extremely important public interest debate. I acknowledge the contribution from the Minister for Transport and Roads on behalf of the Government. It is nice to see the Liberal-National Government putting the "trans" into Transport for NSW. It is wonderful that representatives from the trans organisations are listening to this debate and I welcome them to the New South Wales Parliament. I want them to know that they are always welcome here.
I make a special shout out to The Gender Centre, which has been on the front line helping trans, gender diverse and gender-exploring folks in New South Wales for 37 years. The centre provides 75 per cent to 80 per cent of all welfare and community support services, and 80 per cent of the crucial free counselling and psychological support for trans and gender diverse communities in New South Wales. The Gender Centre is an incredible organisation that does an incredible amount of work. It saves the New South Wales Government a lot of money by providing direct support to young people, particularly those at risk of homelessness, instead of the State having to pay for out‑of‑home care. Its work ensures that those young people are supported.
Right now services like The Gender Centre are going it alone and doing it very tough. They are really working hard to support disadvantaged members in our community and those struggling in rural and remote communities It is well past time that Trans Lives are given the funds and investment they deserve. I also acknowledge the incredible work of ACON, the Inner City Legal Centre, Twenty10, Trans Pride Australia and Equality Australia in supporting and advocating for trans and gender diverse folks in New South Wales.
On conservative estimates about 48,000 trans people live in New South Wales, yet they are often disregarded in health strategies, services and programs delivered across the State. Meanwhile, in the context of widespread stigma, discrimination and marginalisation, research suggests that trans and gender diverse people are much more at risk when it comes to serious health and mental health outcomes. That is not okay. It cannot be ignored anymore. To the trans and gender diverse and the non-binary folks in our communities I say: We see you, we hear you and we will do everything in our power to turn those statistics and health outcomes around.
Right now these communities are under attack—and some of those attacks are coming from people inside this building. Whether it be in the form of proposed legislation, notices of motion, talkback radio or sensationalist television commentary, trans and gender diverse lives are being aggressively targeted, and trans experiences are being discounted and erased. As we chanted last week when marching down Oxford Street with Community Action for Rainbow Rights, "When trans rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back." We cannot be silent or weak on this issue. We cannot let the bullying go on unchallenged. Vilification and discrimination is damaging, dangerous, has real world impacts, and is a matter of life and death.
The motion makes it clear that trans and gender diverse people are welcome in our parliaments, schools, universities, workplaces, on our sporting fields and in our venues because they are an integral and valued part of our community. They deserve to live free from fear, discrimination, vilification and attack. It is unacceptable and unconscionable that some people in this building, and others in high profile positions here and around the globe, feel they can use their influence to undermine the rights of trans and gender diverse people. As the member for Newtown I will continue to stand up against transphobia and bigotry in all its forms, and as the sex, sexuality, gender and gender identity spokesperson for The Greens, I give our commitment that we will continue to work for properly funded trans and gender diverse services for research, advocacy and health programs.
The Greens will also continue to work to remove provisions in the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act that blatantly ignore trans and gender diverse rights and experiences, and for a whole-of-government approach to stamp out transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools, workplaces and service provisions in New South Wales. Finally, in the interests of everyone in the community, I will continue to work to overhaul the Anti-Discrimination Act in this State to properly protect trans and gender diverse communities from discrimination. It is absolutely crucial that we are here today offering support. To the bullies and the people who wish to attack the trans community I say: We will continue to stand up and speak out against your aggressive bullying tactics."