Perkins is a breath of fresh air in the trans debate, and Australia is with him

But yes, there is relevance in the case of Lia Thomas who became the first transgender NCAA champion in the 500-meter freestyle, which caused . † † the downfall!

Katherine Deves, Liberal candidate for Warringah, saw her party’s primaries hit historic lows after revelations about her views.Credit:Jessica Hromas

Not really.

And certainly not here in Australia, where the issue of transgender people in sport was so virtually invisible that when it first arose, no Australian sport had approached the federal government to ban trans athletes.

It just wasn’t a problem – and still barely on the ground. I vaguely remember a trans surfer who did well in a female comp in WA, yeah? There may have been one or two other episodes, but we don’t have trans athletes who have any influence on elite netball, football, cricket or anywhere else? The trans athletes on display tend to be at the community level, where they have been beautifully embraced as living, breathing examples of the joys of sporting inclusivity.

Come one, come all, of all colors, religions, genders, sexuality. Nobody cares about that stuff, just come and play!

So why, if there wasn’t a problem, did the Morrison crowd go so hard at it? As discussed in this space, it was a simple gutter-level dog whistle policy, and Mrs. Deves was bugged as its torchbearer. (In the process of rallying the crowd against trans women in sports, she had already appealed to all the Holocaust, the stolen generation, serial murders and self-mutilation, while insisting that “half of all men with trans identities are sex offenders”. Oh, and she also wanted a “respectful debate”.)

Australian sports are tough enough to take on things like Lia Thomas if they arise.

Australian sports are tough enough to take on things like Lia Thomas if they arise.Credit:AP

Following exactly Donald Trump’s playbook — who mastered just enough minorities to get a majority — the Libs hoped to push through trans-bans, not because there was a huge problem to tackle, but about every homophobic idiot in the country, along with the nerds who might chuckle at the horrors of playing against “chicks with cocks,” and vote the Libs for that.

Fortunately, the Deves exercise was a disaster in Australia, and not only set a record low for the Libs vote in Warringahbut was also accused of suppressing the Lib vote in the six voters that “Teal” independents rose to thanks to voters who refused to be played with such low-level filth.

It may work in southern Alabama, but not here.

Much more eloquent than I have been on the whole subject, and miraculously, the increasingly impressive Kieren Perkinsthe former Olympic champion who became president of Swimming Australia and is now the CEO of Sport Australia.

“This is a really challenging dialogue for everyone,” he told SEN radio this week when asked about the FINA ban, “and one of the main reasons is that, unfortunately, the other sides of the argument have this incredibly emotional energy around the subject. The reality is that the Save Women’s Sport movement, which suggests that women’s sport is about to disappear because of a wave of transgender athletes, is incredibly wrong. And on the other hand, that there must be unrelenting, open competition being for whatever gender you identify is obviously going too far and missing the fairness argument around speed, strength and stamina.

So good, yeah? You may already know that Perkins has developed so much wisdom, eloquence and acumen in recent years, but I didn’t know that he this one powerful. Carry on, Kieren.

“FINA has been clear in their dialogue that they are talking about a very small microcosm, namely elite [sport]† What they’ve missed in acknowledging that is that it’s the billboard for sports, the main focus, and I’m very, very concerned that domestic leagues will accept that ruling and carry on with it, regardless of the human carnage it causes in their local, domestic level.”



Yes, if local examples of a Lia Thomas come up, any sport can deal with them according to existing regulations. But it’s just not necessary for Australian sports to issue Morrisonian bans that will cause human carnage. That sort of thing was put to the public on May 21, and it helped win back the Libs by 20 seats. Australia is taking a different, better, more inclusive path.

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