‘Respect My Sex’ Campaign Launches Amid Trans Debate in Australia

By Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at nina.nguyen@epochtimes.com.au.
April 23, 2022 Updated: April 23, 2022

Australians will be encouraged to quiz their local members about their stance on transgender issues under a nonpartisan campaign seeking to move biological rights to the forefront of the upcoming federal election.

Launched on April 22, the Respect My Sex If You Want My Vote campaign will tell community members to lobby their local electoral candidates and elected officials on issues such as men’s inclusion in women’s sport, men in women’s single-sex spaces, as well as the medical transitioning of young people.

The movement seeks to pressure politicians to strengthen protections for sex-based rights under the Sex Discrimination and Equality Acts, which have been adjusted at the federal level to make room for gender identity-based rights.

The campaign follows the lead of the Respect My Sex If You Want My X movement in the United Kingdom, which has been supported by Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

A number of accomplished professional women are featured in the Australian campaign, including Karyn Lisignoli, Former Girl Guides WA CEO; Sall Grover, founder of Giggle, the social networking app for women; and Bronwyn Winter, Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney.

The move comes as the debate around gender identity continues to dominate national discourse with three high-profile Australian swimmers—Dawn Fraser, Emma McKeon and Emily Seebohm—speaking up this week against transgender athletes’ participation in female sports.

It follows the increasing media scrutiny of the views of biological-sex campaigner, Katherine Deves; the centre-right Coalition’s candidate for the Sydney seat of Warringah, who has received growing support.

Epoch Times Photo
Girl Guides Western Australia terminated former chief executive Karyn Lisignoli’s employment for her comment on its transgender policy on Feb. 16, 2022. (provided)

Lisignoli, who was fired from the Girl Guides WA after questioning the group’s constitution to open doors to boys identifying as girls, said the electorate should be concerned about the radical transgender ideology because it is “absolutely compromising” the biological rights of Australian girls and women.

She noted that “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” a condition where gender dysphoria is used as a coping mechanism for peer pressure and social media, is “exploding” amongst young girls, who will then be put on a path of medicalisation, resulting in irreversible damage.

“We know that young girls are very susceptible to social contagion,” she told The Epoch Times. “These young girls are then being affirmed as trans. Some of these young girls are having double mastectomy, they’re in puberty blockers, taking testosterone, and [for a lot of them] it ends up making them sterile.”

“Now we’re starting to get tens of thousands of de-transitioners,” she added, saying that young girls have regretted going down the path of transitioning and “now they’re trying to reverse that process. But “they just can’t do so,” after pursuing it for years, she said.

Lisignoli revealed: “This is often happening behind parents’ backs in schools and other settings.”

The former Girl Guides WA CEO further noted that if gender identity is prioritised over biological sex in sports or in single-sex spaces, it will be “opening the door for predators” because “anyone who just identifies as female can access vulnerable women by self-identification.”

“It’s come about because of decades and decades of aggressive behind-the-scenes lobbying.”

The Respect My Sex If You Want My Vote campaign was started by Stassja Frei, who is also the founder of the Coalition for Biological Reality consisting of up to 500 members.

The group also called for a federal inquiry into the medical treatment of young people identifying as transgender. They suggested children should be given “robust psychotherapy” rather than medical treatment, with Lisignoli explaining that body dysphoria is often the “secondary presenting issue” rooted in other mental health concerns such as severe depression and trauma.

“Should schools be allowed to socially transition children without the knowledge or consent of parents?” and “Do you think children experiencing gender confusion should receive robust psychotherapy rather than puberty blockers and hormones?” are among the questions the campaign encourages Australians to put forward to politicians.

Jackie Turner, trans equality advocate from LGBT+ group Equality Australia said the campaign would “divide” the community.

“Every person in Australia deserves to live their life with dignity and respect, free from discrimination,” Turner told The Australian.

“All trans people want is the freedom to be ourselves and the same opportunities as everyone else to build a good life. But this campaign seeks to divide our community and eliminate trans people from public life.

“We know from our research that they are also out of step with 78 percent of people in Australia who believe that trans and gender diverse deserve the same rights and protections as everyone else.”

Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at nina.nguyen@epochtimes.com.au.