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No Conflict, They SAid

In Australia and around the world, legislation is being introduced that replaces sex with gender identity. Advocates insist that there is no conflict of interest. But governments are not collecting data on the impacts of this legislative change. We're worried about the impacts on women of men using women-only spaces, including but not limited to: changing rooms, fitting rooms, bathrooms, shelters, rape and domestic violence refuges, gyms, spas, sports, schools, accommodations, hospital wards, shortlists, prizes, quotas, political groups, prisons, clubs, events, festivals, dating apps, and language. If we can't collect data, we can at least collect stories. Please tell us how your use of women-only spaces has been impacted. All stories will be published anonymously. If you know of other women who have been impacted, please encourage them to tell their stories too.

This site is run from Australia, New Zealand members of the LGB Defence, and supported by LGB Alliance.

  • @ConflictSaid

Health care is a field where entering nude situations is part of the job. The media and activists state that nude situations require consent, and I know from working in health care for 17 years that this is true, that even in health care situations, consent is required by both parties before entering nude situations. Sometimes female patients refuse to be showered by male carers/nurses because they find that embarrassing. Also, some male nurses ask female nurses to insert urinary catheters into their female patient's vaginas because getting urinary catheters into the correct position is difficult and often requires multiple attempts. These multiple attempts can easily be mistaken for molestation. So, many male nurses refuse to insert urinary catheters into women.

Some male gynaecologists ask female nurses to be present when examining their patients because it's a situation that can easily be misread. Once a married, male patient was making sleazy comments to me. I asked a male carer to shower this man for me because I don’t enjoy that kind of behaviour, especially if the man is married. So, if patients and healthcare workers can opt-out of these situations, if they can find someone else to do it for them, why can't we opt out of dressing trans-identifying men or, at the very least, opt out of dressing them alone?

I know of a nursing home that asked for drag queen performers to come to their nursing home. The staff member who organised it seemed pro-transgenderism, so I don’t think it compromised this staff member’s comfort or values, but I’m thankful I wasn’t there that day because how do you pretend you're having a good time at a cross-dressing party when you know it’s a fetish and that your presence is giving the cross-dressers an extra kick? Nursing homes are not facilities. Nursing homes are homes. They are shared by people with diverse values and backgrounds. I wouldn’t like it if someone organised for drag queens to come to my home, so I wonder how the residents of this nursing home felt about it. #NoSelfID #Australia

At the state election, my labour politician was handing out how-to-vote cards. I told him my problem and that I feared losing my job if I refused to dress trans-identifying men in female underwear and make-up. He said I would not lose my job and to talk to my employer about it. But I think it’s clear that people have lost their jobs, been cancelled and had derogatory things written about them when they have opposed LGBTQ issues. A human rights organisation told me it’s still illegal to fire someone for their religious or political beliefs and that those people would have gotten their jobs back again, but even if that’s true, they still had to go through the process of being sacked and are now working in an environment that mustn’t feel very welcoming. So, I feel this politician lied to me.

I sent an email to a federal politician. My email was passed onto another federal politician who passed it onto a department of health.

His reply said, "Your discomfort is due to the fact that you have had little to do with diverse gender identities. Transgender people are entitled to high-quality health care and by law, you have to give it to this person. It must be respectful, kind and caring and VALUED" (emphasise mine)."

The email I had sent had a link to an article written by an academic at an American University called ‘Transvestic Disorder.’ This article respectfully states that transgenderism has a sexual component, women are often coerced into the transgender person's behaviour and this hurts them.

In response to this article, I was told, "Transvestite is an outdated and derogatory term," so I shouldn't have used it.

The response went on to say:

“Older people grew up in a time when they had limited choices for gender expression outside the male/female gender binary. They knew if they didn't, they could be imprisoned or undergo attempted 'cures'. Repression of gender diversity was one of the few safe options for personal safety. Living out gender diversity late in life can be a liberation for older trans and gender diverse people. The late-life changes may also result in restrictions to gender expression by family members and service providers who hold binary views of gender and members of society who have difficulty adjusting to such changes. You are encouraged to consider participating in diversity training that your agency provides and imagine how you would like to be treated if you were in a similar situation. Thank you for writing on this matter. I hope this letter provides food for thought."

With other politicians and organisations, I had tried to get out of this situation on religious grounds but I was sent a copy of an anti-discrimination law to read and was told I must:

"Act with respect for individual rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision-making in accordance with relevant laws and conventions."

I also contacted conservative right-wing groups who agreed my situation is wrong but haven't done anything about it. They haven't even written anything about it. They believe, of course, that we can't leave transgender people to (my words) die in their own blood.

Of course, we must give transgender people high-quality health care and treat them with care, kindness and respect, but I have read trans widow stories and it doesn’t sound like trans identifying men treat their wives and children with care, kindness and respect. It needs to be a two-way street. #NoSelfID #Australia

While working in community care, I visited a female transgender person. She wore football clothes, had a male name and had short boy hair. Apart from that, she looked, walked and talked like a female. She made a comment that she found me sexually attractive. During work hours, I would be unhappy for a male client to say this, and I felt even more uncomfortable with a female who believes she is a man saying it to me. As this transgender person has been female in the past, you would think she would remember what it feels like for a male to objectify her without seeking consent, and now that she is apparently a male, would refrain from doing that in her new male life. Her mother was there. She looked embarrassed but also amused.

I changed employer, not because of this reason but because of another. While working for this employer, I met a transgender man in a nursing home. I wasn't quite sure if he was transgender or not at first because I was standing across the room, but his face certainly looked unusual. I had to walk past him to get to another resident.

With a friendly smile and voice, he said, "Hi my name is (female name). I'm transgender, but I'm not wearing my paraphernalia today."

I thought that was a strange way to start a conversation with a stranger. I never say, "Hi my name's ____. I'm a heterosexual female" when I meet people. I also thought it was strange he called it paraphernalia and that he didn't wear it every day. I'm a female and I've never worn paraphernalia in my life. I am a female every day by birth not by clothing/make-up on days that I choose to be female.

Fortunately, I was not assigned to this man that shift, so I didn't have to help him dress but the thought of dressing a man in female underwear and make-up was very upsetting to me. I have avoided being involved in this man’s care by telling my employer a lie.

Another trans-identifying man I met was wearing a non-sexual female top and skirt. He had a menacing look in his eye and a menacing demeanour and every part of him besides his clothes were masculine (face, shoulders, hips, arms, legs, voice, walk, talk). Fortunately, once again, he was not assigned to me, but the thought of having to dress him was very upsetting to me once again. I can’t keep lying to my boss to avoid dressing trans-identifying people (I’m quite sure you can get fired for telling your boss lies), but every day I live in fear that I will be assigned to his care.

I rang a discrimination/human rights organisation to ask if there is a way I can honestly avoid dressing trans-identifying men in women’s clothing. They said they couldn't help me and gave me the number to another organisation who gave me the number to another organisation until I received the number for the first organisation. I'm quite sure one of those organisations put me on fake hold while they pretended to be reviewing with their team about what could be done about my situation. So, I sent an email to a union about the situation saying if I join your union, could you help me with this situation? They said they couldn't give me an answer until I had joined. So, I paid a couple of hundred-dollar membership fees to join. Then they said they couldn't help me. I felt like I'd been robbed.

Once my membership renewal came up the next year, I ticked that I didn't want to renew my membership. They sent me a perky email asking me why and if there was anything they could do to improve their service. I told them they hadn't been able to help me with my transgenderism problem. They sent an abrupt reply saying, okay, don't worry about renewing with us.

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