Queensland Senator Barry O’Sullivan has asked if he could self-identify as a woman in order to spend all of his smoko break in the women’s bathrooms and use the “ladies’ loo loo”.
The government senator made the comments in Estimates on Wednesday evening, following questioning from Greens Senator Janet Rice about the public service’s implementation of guidelines intended to support transgender people.
O’Sullivan was ignorantly and offensively conflating his concerns about predatory behaviour from men with the implementation of the government’s guidelines on recognising sex and gender,” Rice told Junkee.
“These guidelines exist to ensure that trans and gender diverse people feel safe to be who they are in the workplace.”
To mix these two issues is outrageous, and minimises the experience and identities of trans and gender diverse people. A person’s gender identity is not a choice made on a whim in order to tick a form, as he implied.