Australian second wave feminist Germaine Greer has cancelled an upcoming talk at Cardiff University, after a petition was launched to ban her, due to her transphobic comments and attitudes. The Australian Greens say the transphobic views of Germaine Greer show that she is out of touch with the community on this issue. I spoke to Greens spokesperson for gender identity and mental health Senator Janet Rice about this topic, and the effect prominent people like Germaine Greer can have on the gender diverse community.
This morning the Olympian formerly known Bruce Jenner came out as a trans woman, who is now called Caitlyn. The announcement was celebrated by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and social media sites exploded with well-wishers, sparking the hashtag #CallMeCaitlyn. However the unfortunate reality is that Caitlyn Jenner is an anomaly. Radical overnight transformation is not a reality for most trans people, who have higher statistics of homelessness, mental health issues, poverty, and violence perpetrated against them. These rates increase when the focus is taken off the white queer community, and focuses on people of colour. I spoke to Jen Shields, a spokesperson for Trans on Campus, a group actively working to improve conditions for trans people at university, about what Caitlyn Jenner’s announcement means for the broader queer community. Jen is currently raising money for gender confirmation surgery, if you’re able to support her, please visit her page.