When it comes to Safe Schools, the program, not the person, is the priority. Most recently, a prominent transgender advocate, Catherine McGregor, was sacked from her high profile role with LGBTI advocacy organisation Kaleidoscope Australia. Her grievance? Speaking out against the Safe Schools program.
In her lifetime, Catherine McGregor has been a well-known, notable member of the transgender community. Among her accomplishments, she is recognised for becoming the world’s highest ranking transgender military official.
When first deciding to transition, Ms McGregor offered her resignation to Lieutenant General David Morrison, because she believed that she would cause “embarrassment” to the office. Instead, Lieutenant General Morrison refused to accept the resignation and expressed his support for her. “More often than not I've quit and resigned and said 'I'm causing embarrassment to your office' and he has unfailingly supported me and insisted I continue to serve on,'' Ms McGregor said. Additionally, she was awarded Queenslander of the Year in 2015, and was a finalist for 2016 Australian of the Year.
It’s telling that members of the LGBTI community cannot show Ms McGregor the support she received from her peers in the military and the Australian public.
By voicing her legitimate concerns about the “queer theory” behind Safe Schools, which she said would have killed her, she was bullied and rejected by parts of the LGBTI community. Such is the desperation to protect this so-called “anti-bullying” program, that even those who raise serious concerns for the wellbeing of children, based on their own personal experiences of gender transition, are silenced.
Her sacking shows that the particular form of gender ideology being pushed by Safe Schools is being prioritised over individual members of the LGBTI community, and over the health of LGBTI students.
Kaleidoscope Australia describes itself as an organisation “committed to promoting and protecting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the Asia Pacific region.” It seems that this does not include the right to free speech when it comes into conflict with the Safe Schools program.
In addition to Kaleidoscope’s invidious dismal of her, Ms McGregor also lost a speaking engagement at another LGBTI event. Following these callous actions, Ms McGregor has resigned from her remaining roles with LGBTI organisations, including The Pinnacle Foundation and Canberra’s SpringOUT Pride Festival. If even a successful, high-profile transgender person is the subject of rejection because of her stance on Safe Schools, how much more difficult will it be for the average parent to object?
Australians deserve to know the truth about the Safe Schools program, and what it truly seeks to accomplish. The sacking of Catherine McGregor shows that the particular form of gender ideology pushed by Safe Schools is prioritised without input from important individual members of the LGBTI community, and in spite of the health-risks to LGBTI students. This sorry episode is more evidence that the Safe Schools program is about ideology, not bullying. In fact, instead of including and inviting the input of LGBTI people like Ms McGregor, Safe Schools activists are the ones doing the bullying.