Did ACON Cook the Books On Sport Inclusion Guidelines?

Sport Inclusion Guidelines

The rules for Transgender sporting participation are set out in the Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport.

You can find contextual information here and download the PDF of the guideline here.

The guideline was issued in 2019 by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). The guideline’s front page shows the badges of three organisations:

  • Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
  • SportAus
  • The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports

Who Wrote The Guideline on Trans Inclusion?

The guidelines were written by three peak organisations (representing a total of 12 constituents). All contributors are members of ACON’s Pride in Sport scheme.

This is about relationships. It is important to understand how how several governing bodies come together.

All contributors draw their transgender expertise from membership in ACON’s Pride in Sport scheme.

Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

The Commission is Australia’s National Human Rights Institution. They investigate and conciliate in complaints of discrimination, undertake research, and provide advice on human rights.

AHRCFounding member of ACON’s Pride in Sport membership scheme

In their introduction to the guide, the AHRC repeats ACON’s slogan that one must be able to “bring your whole self” to sport (page 5).

SportAus

SportAus and Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) make up the main parts of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). The ASC is accountable to the Minister for Sport. See also – SportAus ‘about’ page.

Australian Sports Commission (ASC)Member of ACON’s Pride in Sport
AISFounding member of ACON’s Pride in Sport
SportAusMember of ACON’s Pride in Sport
Source

Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS)

COMPPS is a peak body representing the following sports:

Australian Football LeagueMember of ACON’s Pride in Sport
Cricket AustraliaMember of ACON’s Pride in Sport
Football Federation AustraliaFounding member of ACON’s Pride in Sport
National Rugby LeagueMember of ACON’s Pride in Sport
Netball AustraliaMember of ACON’s Pride in Sport
Rugby AustraliaFounding member of ACON’s Pride in Sport
Tennis AustraliaMember of ACON’s Pride in Sport
Source

COMPPS itself, is a member of Pride in Sport.

COMPPSMember of ACON’s Pride in Sport

Consultations

The AHRC notes that they conducted “targeted consultations to inform the development of these Guidelines”. They “heard from a broad range of sporting stakeholders, including transgender and gender diverse athletes.” (Guideline page 5)

Trans-identified male, Roxy Tickle, was “sworn to secrecy” about his involvement in the consultation process. Roxy is closely affiliated with Pride in Sport, having appeared in several of their promotional materials.

“Further Resources” Section

A “further information” section at the end of the guideline points readers to a number of other organisations.

AHRCMember of ACON’s Pride in Sport
Sport Australia (SportAus)Founding member of ACON’s Pride in Sport
Play by the RulesPride in Sport “Corporate Partnership / Collaborator”
Pride in SportIs Pride in Sport
Proud2PlayA competitor of ACON’s Pride in Sport
Minus18An affiliate of ACON. Minus18 partners with businesses to finance youth-oriented events in exchange for brand exposure.
State and Territory Human Rights CommissionsAs an example, the Victorian guidelines embed the transgender flag into the design

These organisations are affiliated with ACON, are ACON, competitors who have the same mission as ACON.

What Does The Guideline Say?

The guideline focuses only on instances discrimination against transgender persons. The guide does not deal with how to balance fairness, competition and safety with others. In many areas, the guideline uses confusing language that would deter local clubs from exercising the rights to provide single-sex competitions.

Confusing language

The language used often appears deliberately confusing.

For example this paragraph deals with temporary exemptions and permanent exemptions together, despite these following different processes. It does not advise how to obtain these exemptions. It suggests that sex-segregated sport exemptions are outside the “core” provisions of the Act.

A sporting organisation must apply to the Commission to obtain a temporary exemption. A sporting organisation does not need to apply to the Commission to rely on a permanent exemption. If a sporting organisation wishes to rely on a permanent exemption it will need to make its own assessment that the exemption applies. Relying on an exemption is not mandatory. Sporting organisations may choose to comply with the core anti-discrimination provisions of the Act even when it is possible to rely on an exemption.

(Guideline p22)
Source: guidelines p 26

The law is misrepresented

When discussing exemptions, the guideline uses narrow language to reduce the scope of

The Sex Discrimination Act s42 allows sports to discriminate between the sexes (called an exemption) when “strength, stamina or physique of competitors is relevant“.

The guideline uses the word “only” to narrow the scope of this exemption.

“The exemption allows for discrimination on the grounds of sex or gender identity only in ‘any competitive sporting activity in which the strength, stamina or physique of competitors is relevant’.” (Guideline p24)

The guideline then goes on to say that these words have no legal meaning in Australia.

“The words ‘strength’, ‘stamina’ and ‘physique’, and the term ‘competitive sporting activity’, are not defined in the Act. Their meanings have not been conclusively settled by the Federal Court of Australia.” (Guideline p24)

Framing competition as exclusion

The guideline provides a single-page guide on how to rely on the ‘competitive sporting activity’ exemption to offer single-sex sports. (Guideline p36)

The guideline’s first instruction is to consider how important “inclusion” is in your sport. It stresses the limits of the competitive sporting activity provision (it does not apply to children under 12).

Narrowing language is used to imply that the provision cannot be applied to all sports. The guideline suggests that an onerous national and community consultation process is required to offer single-sex provisions.

The guideline frames single-sex sporting provision as “excluding an individual” rather than preserving fair competition. Note these examples (from a single page):

  • “where an individual’s strength directly affects their ability”
  • “If a sporting organisation seeks to specifically exclude an individual”
  • “so that the individual is not unnecessarily disadvantaged”
  • “providing the individual with an opportunity to respond”
  • “providing the individual with written reasons”
  • “providing the individual with an opportunity to seek a review”

This frames providing fair competition as a club seeking to unfairly exclude and individual.

No balance of rights

The guideline suggests introducing codes of conduct to create a zero-tolerance of transgender discrimination, exclusion and harassment.

The guideline gives examples of exclusion and harassment including:

  • Being told they are in the wrong bathroom
  • having team members refuse to play with them
  • being intentionally addressed by the wrong pronouns
(Guideline p38)

These examples are unqualified, meaning it is to be assumed that these behaviours are always harassment.

This means that a woman who refuses to play alongside a trans-identified male has harassed him, even if it is for her own safety or for fairness. The sport could be lawn bowls, rugby or boxing. The presumption is the transgender athlete has the right to compete, and the other athletes do not have the right to withdraw.

Case studies do not consider women’s comfort

In this example, the problem is framed as the non-binary person feeling uncomfortable in the men’s bathroom because it is in disrepair, and in the women’s bathroom because they were stared at. We do not know why.

Source – p41

The solution is to re-label the bathrooms. There is no mention of fixing the men’s facilities, so it is unlikely that Kim will start to feel comfortable in that space. There is no discussion addressing of the women’s discomfort with Kim in their bathroom.

Conclusion

All organisations involved in drafting the Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport are members of ACON’s Pride in Sport.

The guidelines reflect ACON’s focus on transgender inclusion at all costs.

The guidelines discourage clubs from exercising their right to provide single-sex sports for fairness, safety and enjoyment.

The guidelines make no attempt to balance the needs of others.

The guidelines consistently show the solution to problems around transgender inclusion being to side with the transgender person and grant their wishes

Australian Media’s Pro Bono Work for ACON Pride in Diversity Leaderboard Scheme – Part 2 – SBS

See Australian Media’s Pro Bono Work for ACON Pride in Diversity Leaderboard Scheme – Part 1 – ABC


ACON’s Pride in Diversity lists only a few “media” members.

  • 10 ViacomCBS (Channel 10)
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
  • Bloomberg L.P.
  • Initiative Media
  • SBS

In part 1 I looked at our ABC. In this part 2 I will look closely at how SBS uses talent to make pro bono or in kind contributions to the Pride in Diversity mission in exchange for AWEI points.


Like ABC, SBS also lends it’s talent in exchange for points

In the 2021 AWEI SBS scored 185 out of 200 points, making it a gold employer. It is also a silver sponsor by dint of providing pro bono media services to Pride in Diversity. Services such as lending out Riccardo Goncalves to MC the 2020 Australian LGBTQ Awards. Yes, that’s the Pride in Diversity AWEI award ceremony.

Riccardo Goncalves to MC the 2020 Australian LGBTQ Awards (Q40 – 2 points)

This is in addition to their other contra deals such as pre-paying to advertise ACON for the Honour Awards.

Contra deals – also Q40

SBS Televised the Pride in Diversity LGBTQ Inclusion Awards on SBS World News

The story is on their website here.

SBS World News presenter Darren Mara introducing the story (Q43 -1 point)

Corporate Heroes Get Into The Action

SBS lends out executive-level staff to speak at Pride in Diversity events. This benefits SBS by netting them up to 2 AWEI points. Although it costs them in time and lost productivity for their senior staff.

It benefits Pride in Diversity by having the very public support of the SBS. They don’t even need to pay a speaker’s fee.

Director of Sport, Ken Shipp, spoke at the Pride in Sport Awards in October 2020 (Q34 – 2 points)

When the Corporate Heroes Aren’t Good Enough

Pride in Diversity tries to get the maximum cultural capital out of executive appearances. It does this by demanding that the CEO themselves speak at events promoting LGBTQ inclusion.

SBS sent a Director of Indigenous content to speak, but was NOT granted the 2 points for this question. PID notes the reason “Not CEO/equivalent“.

SBS Director of Indigenous Content and the Head of the NITV Business Tanya Denning Orman spoke at the Pride in Practice Conference in 2020 (Q36 – 0 out of 2 points)

Pride in Diversity was happy to accept Orman’s time, to bill her as a panellist, and charge people who registered to hear her speak. However they didn’t bother advising SBS that she wasn’t of high enough rank to gain their points.

Additional Work – Special Episodes

It’s one thing to lend out a director of programming for an afternoon, it’s another to redirect the whole cast and crew of a TV show to score 1 point on the AWEI index.

From Q43, here is SBS’s list of “additional” 1-pointer activities for 2021.

SBS – AWEI Submission 2021 – Q43 – Additional Work
ActivityMy comments
MG Parade ParticipationStaff built their own float – 1 point!
Professor Jane Ussher TalkShe talked about “about her research into the lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour in Australia.” 1 point!
SBS Pride Guide“The Pride Guide is a resource, produced by SBS, to support anyone creating, producing or working with LGBTIQ+ content. It has been designed to enable fair, respectful and inclusive representation.”
https://www.sbs.c om.au/aboutus/the-sbs-pride-guide
1 point for making this guide public (they got 1 point for creating it the previous year)
Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards on National BroadcastSBS World News ensured to cover the awards” – Presenter Darren Mara introduced the segment – The story is on their website here.
“We ensured key members of our staff, Executive and Inclusion Council were present at the Award Ceremony too.” – this means that awards tickets were purchased.

1 point to purchase a fully produced news story
ACON Covid-19 LGBTQ Impact Panel

ACON Living Trans Panel
They promoted 2 ACON events to Pride group members.
SBS Pride & Allies undertaking divisional road-showsTo continue to promote our Pride & Allies mission, Pride & Allies Co-Chairs frequently presented at SBS Staff Divisional meetings.
Consultation
with
ACON/Teddy
Cook for
Inclusive
bathrooms
This didn’t receive a point.
ACON/SBS
commissioned
research
project into
Gay and Thai
gay men.
“Our Sales and Research team engaged with ACON directly on research into key communities and how they can best be reached based on the content they consume. ACON was able to utilise SBS expertise through our Research and Marketing teams. Our Research team consulted with the Pride & Allies Committee along this process.”

“ACON has commissioned SBS to conduct some research”. It isn’t clear whether this was paid for, but the context suggests it was a freebie.

Tim Freiszmuth (Custom Research Manager – Audience Data & Insights) “conducted several face-to-face interviews)” and is now designing a quantitative survey to reach gay Thai audiences.
Insight – ‘Coming out with faith’ episode“SBS current affairs program “Insight” ran an episode in February 2020 focused entirely on the intersection between sexuality and faith. What
makes this episode all the more special to our Pride Committee is that the episode was directly inspired by an internal staff-only panel we held in
2019 for Wear It Purple Day”

“This panel was such a success
internally, that it inspired not only our audience but also the Executive Producer of Insight Ross Scheeper’s to spend the next 6 months researching
this moving episode of Insight before airing it nationally on SBS Television in 2020.”
https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1696444483597/coming-out-with-faith

An entire show – 1 point.
Mardi Gras Federation Square Partnership & Screening“SBS Pride & Allies driven initiative was the pitching to and liaison with Federation Square to have the live SBS Parade broadcast aired live
on the big screen outside Federation Square.”

Priceless free promotion for Mardi Gras. 1 point.
Pride & Allies VideoSBS created a “pride and allies reel” which is played “in all our internal divisional roadshows and also during our employee inductions.”

1 point.
Mardi Gras Broadcast – Sales Presentation“Our Executive Sponsor of Pride and Allies Mandi Wicks maintained attendance at PID Executive Ally Forums in 2020; as per evidence from her diary below.”
Inclusion Council staff update videosCo-chair of Pride & Allies Committee provides a video meeting summary of their meeting – which is the broadcast to all staff.

This is a good example of how getting involved with Pride can raise a person’s profile in the organisation.
Mardi Gras
Broadcast –
Sales
Presentation
“Our national Sales team was in market selling advertising to clients around Australia around our Mardi Gras broadcast. Please see attached file
“S10 – 2020 Mardi Gras Sales Deck” for the presentation that our Sales team took to market, which was created by Pride & Allies Co-Chair”

1 point – the sales team created sales collateral and spruiked Mardi Gras
Q43 – the 1 point activities

SBS profits from the gender gospel

Question 8 of the AWEI is about engaging with suppliers, vendors and business contacts:

We can show evidence of promoting our commitment to LGBTQ inclusion in up to two of the following areas:
• pitching for business or contracts
• engaging with potential clients/customers
• applying for funding
• engaging with strategic partners or key external stakeholders

Q8, AWEI 2021

In response, SBS have produced their own (Pride in Diversity-approved) LGBTIQ+ training course (with the paid assistance of Pride in Diversity consultants). This course is available on the market.

Pride in Diversity has successfully co-opted the resources of our government-funded media to spread it’s message. SBS received their 4-point reward.

Diversity, but only a little bit

This is a good point to note that the training course advertises the “benefits of diversity” but it only deals with limited diversity among sexual behaviours and gender identities. These are arguably best left out of the workplace in any case – having sex at work is still frowned upon. Diversity of ability, cultural background, languages spoken, neurotypical status – these are not covered by “Pride in Diversity” or the LGBTIQ+.

Conclusion

There’s a certain sinking feeling to be had with the realisation that both ABC and SBS have such deep links to ACON/Pride in Diversity. ACON has a clear agenda to promote transgender inclusion at the expense of women’s rights.

Our lefty media outlets can’t be trusted to report the truth on how transgenderism harms women. Not when they are directly being advised by ACON.

Sources of information:

ABC and SBS submissions to the 2021 AWEI scheme were obtained under FOI and are freely available for you to download.

Please get in touch confidentially via twitter or email if you’d like to discuss these or similar documents.

GRUNT was created by a group called PASH.TM – Additional Receipts

The following text is is from PASH.TM’s Facebook Page. It clearly shows who was behind the website GRUNT, which has just been taken down.


PASH.tm was established in 2014 after four queer trans guys got to talking at the AIDS2014 conference in Melbourne about the invisibility of guys like us (trans men into other men – trans MSM) in the Australian HIV response.

We immediately set about developing a plan and this involved:

1 – finding more trans guys to join us

2 – getting our name out there

3 – creating education campaigns

4 – writing policy position statements

5 – contributing to the evidence base

In the last five years we’ve managed to achieve all of this. It’s been incredible, rewarding and super challenging. We have all worked hard as volunteers with full time jobs and/or full time study obligations.

As we look to the horizon of 2019, some of us are now working in the very few trans-focused positions in Australia, others are working in important health roles and others are continuing their studies, expanding their art practice or getting back into it after surgery and life adventures. We are also all continuing to undertake capacity development and advocacy, often in an unpaid capacity, with a broader focus than the sexual health and HIV needs of trans MSM.

With that in mind, it’s time now for the Peer Advocacy Network for the Sexual Health of Trans Masculinities, PASH.tm, to close.

From a group of motley dudes desperately trying to be seen as the gay men we are, to being a national voice across the HIV sector. We produced, and are so proud of, GRUNT, Australia’s first sexual health campaign and resources for trans men who have sex with other men. We also produced a PrEP campaign, gathered a fierce and predominantly trans-led investigative team for Australia’s first national trans and gender diverse sexual health survey with the findings presented during the opening plenary of the biggest HIV/AIDS and sexual health conference in the country. We have presented at so many conferences and meetings over the last five years. We wrote position statements and made submissions about data collection and PrEP, we advocated successfully for the inclusion of TGD people in the national HIV strategy, and we contributed to global discussions about trans men who have sex with other men claiming our place.

There is still so much work to be done, and we will continue the fight for the health and rights of all trans people, including gender diverse and non-binary people, alongside our sisters, siblings and brothers.

Although our work on PASH.tm specifically is coming to an end, this page will stay open as an ongoing educative and networking resource for our communities.

Thank you so much for all of your support.

Thank you to our HIV positive family, to all the trans men and trans mascs from Australia and abroad who worked with us, participated and contributed to the work, to our trans sisters and trans femmes who guided us and told us to keep going, to Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) for supporting us, and auspicing GRUNT, to all the AIDS organisations and councils, and LGBTQ organisations (NAPWHA, ACON, Thorne Harbour Health, AIDS Action Council, Queensland AIDS Council, WA AIDS Council, Northern Territory AIDS & Hepatitis Council, SHINE SA, SAMESHNational LGBTI Health Alliance and many others) for listening to us and shifting your practice (keep going!), to the HIV and sexual health researchers who stayed curious and interested, who listened and fought hard to adopt our data collection recommendations and who advocated successfully for the research project, to our intersex allies (Intersex Human Rights Australia) who also guided us and built our understanding (we will always fight for you, as you will for us) and finally to all the HIV-vulnerable and affected populations of Australia who have met, seen and supported us. To our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family, our sex workers, drug users and to all the gay, bi and queer cis men who have understood why it is so important that gay, bi and queer trans men are meaningfully, adequately and accurately included.

Lou Sullivan (1951-91), pioneering gay and trans liberation activist who was the first recorded trans man to die of AIDS related illnesses once wrote, “they said I couldn’t live as a gay man, but it looks like I’m going to die like one”. We hope we’ve made a difference so that guys like us can live proudly and safely as gay men.

Love always,

Ted Cook – co-chair

Jeremy Wiggins – Jez Pez – co-chair

Aram Hosie – Hosie Bear

Laurie Hopkins

Max Mackenzie – MJ Beck

Ethan Kristy


Bullying of gay venues

Remember that time when PASH.TM banded together to bully a gay venue for trying to cater to gay men? A number of women were going to a gay spa called Wet on Wellington. WoW sent out a survey to consult with patrons. The trans lobby did NOT like it.

The text of their demand letter is below for posterity.


TW: transphobia & trans exclusionary behaviour

We heard about what has been happening with Wet on Wellington and it was alarming enough to bring us out of hibernation. We wanted to share this community statement that has been created by members of the trans masculine community in response to recent incidents at Wet on Wellington (a sex on premises venue in Melbourne).

Transphobia is never okay. We stand with those who have been hurt by the decisions of the management team at Wet on Wellington and we urge people to read and share this post. This is a time for our cis allies to step up.

This is a call to action to do two simple things:

1. Please share this post and tag Wet on Wellington to raise your concerns about their actions. We call on all people, trans and cis to speak up in support of this statement.

2. Please contact Wet on Wellington direct by writing to their management to express your concerns about the harm that is continuing to occur and request that they listen and take this statement on board. Email: info@wetonwellington.com.au

Image description: The two images are photos of the statement, black text on a white background. The statement reads as follows:

Community Statement: regarding Wet on Wellington’s recent trans-exclusionary actions

On the 6th of April, 2021 a number of members of the trans masculine community from various backgrounds came together to discuss the impact of Wet on Wellington’s discriminatory actions related to the rejection of entry of some trans masculine people, the recent creation of a transphobic survey and their subsequent decisions to manage the consequences of the survey.

Those in attendance noted that trans masculine people have a long history of attending Wet on Wellington and other similar venues around Melbourne, but that the recent actions of Wet on Wellington’s management have directly led to making a previously enjoyable experience feel unsafe and inaccessible.

As a result of discussions at that meeting, those in attendance agreed on the following statements:

1. The Wet on Wellington survey was transphobic and caused significant harm to our community. It was unethical and discriminatory and we do not accept that it was a reasonable mechanism to build an inclusive environment. We request that the survey results be destroyed and for Wet on Wellington to discontinue referring to or sharing the results.

2. We do not accept Wet on Wellington’s recent online apology, especially given the following:

a. that trans masculine people have recently been ejected from the venue and are still being refused entry on the basis of being trans;

b. trans masculine people continue to be told that it is a venue for cis men only; and

c. that the venue continues to refer to and share the survey results.

3. We do not support the establishment of Wet on Wellington’s ‘Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion Reference Group’ because it is unsafe for trans community, was not co-created with trans community, is not consultative, is not listening to trans advocates and is not being led by trans people. We will not participate in it and we call on cis allies and other organisations to stand with us on this.

4. We require a trans-led process, that first requires Wet on Wellington to respectfully listen to and meaningfully engage with trans people.

5. We expect Wet on Wellington to issue a proper apology that has meaning and is accompanied by concrete actions to improve, including the following:

a. Wet on Wellington management and staff to undergo training in both their legal obligations (from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission) and best practice trans inclusion more broadly (from Transgender Victoria)

b. Wet on Wellington to produce and publish a formal policy on trans inclusion specifically, as well as consent and safety policies for all patrons

c. Wet on Wellington to engage in a restorative process with individuals who have been directly impacted and discriminated against, if those individuals wish to engage.

The group also expressed thanks to the cis individuals and organisations who have stood as allies with the trans community on this issue. We respectfully request that going forward all allies support and advocate for the actions detailed in this statement, and refrain from enabling or participating in any processes, groups or activities that are not aligned with the those detailed above.

We would also like to pay respect and express gratitude to Sally Goldner AM for kindly donating her time to facilitate our meeting, and to express our solidarity with trans women and trans feminine and non-binary people who often experience similar exclusion and discrimination, including the recent experiences of those seeking to access the McIver Women’s Baths in Coogee.

Signed –

• Aram Hosie (Member, Victorian LGBTIQ+ Taskforce; co-Founder PASH.tm; former Board Director Thorne Harbour Health)

• Chris Rohr

• Dee Chryssomallos (Founding Committee, FTM Shed; International Mr Transgender Leather, 2014; Awarded Special Service Award, Thorne Harbour Health, 2020)

• Felix Oni

• Florin Risley Douglas

• Gabe Curtis

• Jeremy Wiggins (Victorian LGBTI Person of the Year 2018, Churchill Fellow 2016, Co-Founder of PASH.tm)

• Jo McMahon

• Dr Julian Grace (Member, Australian Professional Association for Trans Health Education Committee)

• Lex Townsend (Queer Officer, University of Melbourne 2013 – 2015)

• Mary Fox

• N.K Madden

• Nevo Zisin (Author, Finding Nevo (2017) & The Pronoun Lowdown (2021); transgender awareness trainer)

• Ted Cook (Vice President, Australian Professional Association for Trans Health; co-Founder PASH.tm)

(A further 2 people who attended the meeting also support this statement but wish to remain anonymous.)

Wet on Wellington apologised profusely The are all about Queer women.


GRUNT IS GONE! (NSFW) – Receipts

What if you needed to clean up your image a bit, and quickly? Would you try to erase evidence of your counselling women to trick gay men into sex?


On 13 March this article was posted online about the NHS in the UK advising women to prostitute themselves to pay for gender transition, and to conceal their sex at gay orgies.

On 18th March, Alex Greenwhich MP announced he will be leading the charge on the NSW Equality Bill. It is our version of the “conversion practices” bill that will bring mandatory affirmation to our state. Similar legislation in other states has also delivered mandatory affirmation therapy for children, harsh penalties for even discussing the option of not acting on same-sex attraction, and a powerful commission to hunt down dissenters.

Greenwhich is advised by ACON’s Teddy Cook.

ACON’s Teddy Cook, creator of GRUNT

RIP GRUNT

In the wake of a discussion online about women in men’s spaces, I decided to update my post(s) about GRUNT. That’s the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) website dedicated to helping WOMEN invade gay male spaces.

I noticed some images and links weren’t right. GRUNT is down.

Domain Name De-Registered

In December 2021 the domain name registration read:

Domain Name: GRUNT.ORG.AU
Registrant Contact Name: Ted Cook
Registrant: AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION OF AIDS ORGANISATIONS INCORPORATED
Registrant ID: ABN 91 708 310 631
Eligibility Type: Non-profit Organisation

whois

Now it reads

NOT FOUND

whois

But it was there and it promoted RAPE BY DECEPTION

The Wayback Machine captured slices of GRUNT over time since 2016.

Receipts

Here are a couple of captures for your reference. Including one or NSFW images.

Booklet

Remember these names

GRUNT hasn’t been taken down by accident. It has been taken down because it might make some high-profile people look bad. Perhaps as they become more politically visible (Teddy Cook). Or simply because a similar advice was recently highlighted in the UK, with an understandably negative reaction.

These the are names they want you to forget. The female leaders of the space invaders:

Teddy Cook (trans man) – now at ACON as Director, Community Health where she oversees client services, LGBTQ community health programs, Pride Training and Trans Health Equity. Inventor of ACON’s TransHub.

Jeremy Wiggins (trans man) – Executive Officer at Transcend. This is the mother-son charity that worked tirelessly to remove the roadblocks preventing Australian children from accessing puberty blockers and wrong-sex hormones.

Aram Hosie (trans man) – Head of Strategic Communications at Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission

Laurie Hopkins (nb female) – seems to have gone to religion and is a motivational speaker. She was always more gender-fluid anyways.

Max Mackenzie (trans man) – Director of Resilience Enterprises, and named “rural trans activist of the year” in 2019 in Queensland. Not bad.

Ethan Kristy (trans man) – graduated from photographing lesbian orgies staged to look like gay male orgies, and went on to become an artist capturing the queer experience.

How ACON Captured the Australian Government

This is my talk from IWD Brisbane Meanjin earlier this year.

This is the introduction they have used, and I think it is apt.

Have you ever wondered why the ABC and SBS constantly promote gender identity ideology and never allow feminist spokespeople to present the alternative perspective?

Kit Kowalski has researched how ACON, using its Australian Workplace Equality Index, has captured Australian agencies. This is Kit’s presentation from the annual Brisbane feminist conference.

IWD Brisbane Meanjin

If you’re in Australia, I strongly suggest you

Australian Media’s Pro Bono Work for ACON Pride in Diversity Leaderboard Scheme – Part 1 – ABC

ACON’s Pride in Diversity lists only a few “media” members.

  • 10 ViacomCBS (Channel 10)
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
  • Bloomberg L.P.
  • Initiative Media
  • SBS

In this part 1 I will talk about ABC. In part 2 I will look closely at how SBS uses talent to make pro bono or in kind contributions to the Pride in Diversity mission in exchange for AWEI points.


The AWEI

The Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) is a voluntary leaderboard scheme run by Pride in Diversity. It is open to all organisations in Australia. The template is 45 pages long. Organisations answer detailed questions and submit their answers for marking. They receive a ranking score out of 200. Every few years the index changes to make it harder to get a high score.

Pro bono work, contra deals and a stable of talent

There are several questions in the AWEI that demand financial contributions or pro bono support of LGBTQ charities. Yes, Pride and Diversity qualifies as a charity despite also taking in $6600 membership fees and additional revenue for training sessions that are mandatory under the AWEI.

ABC’s Pro Bono Work

This post only deals with a small number of examples, and only where talent and cultural capital have been deployed to win AWEI points.

Both SBS and ABC have a stable of media talent they can lend out to events and score points. Such as that time ABC’s Jeremy Fernandez hosted a session at Pride in Practice conference in 2020 (page 20). This netted them 2 points.

I wonder how much money his time cost the taxpayer?

2 points awarded for Jeremy Fernandez hosting a CEO panel event.
ABC’s redacted submission.

The same conference hosted another session prepared by the ABC. How many person-hours were spent trawling the archives at taxpayer expense? Note the reference to First Day an ABC production glamourising transgender children.

This presentation was worth 1 point under additional work.

Additionally, they paid for 4 conference tickets to send their staff members (2 points). This is recommended in Questions 30 and 32 specifically.

Q30 demands development opportunities for LGBTQ employees and Q32 demands that LGBTQ staff attend external conferences.

ABC sent transwoman Julie Peters to speak at a Pride in Diversity Sapphire (womens) event (1 point). ABC has recently run a story (collection of stories across channels) on Julie Peters. Let’s see if these come up in the next round of AWEI submissions.

Corporate Heroes

Manda Hatter, the Head of Operations, spoke at Big Stays In conference (1 point). She attended a Diversity Council of Australia event Out at Work: Inclusion at Work for LGBTIQ+ Talent (1 of 4 events offered for a 2 point question). She also volunteered on the panel of Out50 – a Deloitte publication dedicated to LGBTI+ leadership (1 point). ABC’s Mon Schafter (they/them) gets a profile in the issue.

Manda Hatter’s public profile as a high-powered “dyke on bike” operations manager lends credibility to the ABC’s claims of LGBTQ solidarity. It certainly helps her profile to be able to spruik her personality at events – and Pride in Diversity gets incredible social cache from platforming Manda’s public performances.

Mardi Gras

Is this newsworthy, or is this advertising? It’s a fine line.

Newsworthy? Advertising money could not buy

ABC staff marching in the Mardi Gras for the first time was worth 1 point. Now in 2022, the ABC hosted and relentlessly promoted the Mardi Gras which will hopefully be worth more for them.

Not all roses

Unfortunately for them, host Mon Schafter “dead-named” or “misgendered” Elliot Page and caused members of activist 272k-member strong Facebook bully group LGBTI Rights Australia to have a little fit.

ABC should be aware that negative media attention can attract a 25 point penalty in the AWEI!

Where talent fails to get the points

ABC failed to get the 2 points for having Ita Buttrose and David Anderson (their MD) marching in the Mardi Gras. In the submission document, ABC gushes

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose and Managing Director David Anderson both played an exceptionally strong leadership role for 2020 which is demonstrated here as they both are seen about to head to the 2020 Mardi Gras parade float.

The AWEI response is terse: “Marching in MG isn’t evidence of CEO speaking at events”

Time and effort

Think of the effort, time, lost productivity that goes into organising attendance at these 1 pointer events. The ABC’s score in 2021 was 177. That gives you an idea of the scale of effort they go to on an annual basis.

Influence

There’s a quote from Andrew Breitbart that seems apt – “Politics is downstream of culture”.

What we are seeing here is an attempt to influence the company culture at an employer. It just happens to the national broadcaster, the ABC, bought and paid for by the taxpayer. Trusted by every Aussie as a companion to morning coffee and background radio through our workdays.

Politics is downstream of culture

Andrew Breitbart

The culture matters. The leaders at ABC are modelling behaviour they expect to see replicated by ABC employees: journalists, designers, publishers, broadcasters and more. Those leaders are performing inclusion – but are they doing inclusion?

This leaks into our everyday politics. Recently I counted the number of articles ABC published with the subject matter “transgender” – 35 within a 7 day period. All rabidly pro-trans. None taking into account alternative viewpoints. When the ABC leaders model transgender inclusion at all costs, this attitude filters down to staff. It then spreads out into the culture at large, not with a ripple, but with the force of a bomb.

How can women advocate for their rights when the friendly “lefty” state-sponsored media has already decided that the word “woman” is a bigoted dog whistle? They think we can’t. They are wrong.

Sources of information:

ABC and SBS submissions to the 2021 AWEI scheme were obtained under FOI and are freely available for you to download.

Please get in touch confidentially via twitter or email if you’d like to discuss these or similar documents.

ACON’s Relationship Manager Advises ABC on How to Define “Family” (and Promote Trans Narratives for Points)

The Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) is a voluntary leaderboard scheme run by ACON’s Pride in Diversity. It is open to all organisations in Australia. The template is 45 pages long. Organisations answer detailed questions and submit their answers for marking. They receive a ranking score out of 200.

The ABC’s 2021 AWEI score was 177 out of 200 and they were ranked as a gold tier employer.

Managing the Relationship

This this an accident? No, Pride in Diversity employ a number of relationship managers to assist organisations to complete the AWEI and participate in Pride in Diversity activities.

Chris Nelson is one such person.

Why is the ABC relying on a lobby group to define “family”?

Chris is available for advice and questions. Such as helping ABC grapple with interpretation of the word family. This email was sent by an ABC staffer to Chris. Note the definition of family explicitly disregards gender.

Source: FOI – https://ladykitkowalski.files.wordpress.com/2022/03/document-7.pdf

Chris responds helpfully with an attachment holding this definition which again explicitly disregards gender gender:

An immediate family member is a:
Spouse or former spouse (regardless of gender)
De facto partner or former de facto partner (regardless of gender)
Child
Parent
Grandparent
Grandchild
Sibling
Spouse or de facto partner’s child, parent, grandchild, grandparent or sibling
This definition includes step-relations and adoptive relations.
A household member is any person who lives with the employee.

FOI – https://ladykitkowalski.files.wordpress.com/2022/03/document-6.1.pdf

Where did Chris obtain his definition and how is it more correct than any other? It doesn’t include in-laws, even if living in the same house. Or people one is close to on their life’s journey – “you’re like family” or “we’re sisters”.

Helpful hints

Some other examples of Chris Nelson, on behalf of Pride in Diversity, influencing the programming and content produced by the ABC.

“This is AWEI worthy”

Please note that through all the politess, he totally MISGENDERS Ed Ayres by calling her “her”.

“There are AWEI points in it too”

This gamifies the adding of suicide helplines to the bottom of every story. It is not difficult to imagine a future where every slightly upsetting story carries mental health warnings and impressionable young people begin to associate these dire warnings with feeling slightly challenged by media content.

“it would be good to use this as extra work in the AWEI. It is normalising trans experience”

Note importing the language: “affirmed his gender”.

What about the stories of women who regretted medical transition?

There is no praise for journalistic integrity, for tough investigation or unbiased reports. Chris praises the feel-good stories, and grooms ABC to further promote these. He actively instructs ABC to “normalise” taking drugs to alter your body and lying about your sex.

Proof it works?

Have you checked out ABCQueer lately? Full of feel-good stories about affirming gender, new buzzwords and new interpretations of old words such as “woman”.

Sources of information:

ABC submission to the 2021 AWEI scheme was obtained under FOI and are freely available for you to download.

Please get in touch confidentially via twitter or email if you’d like to discuss these or similar documents.

Who is paid up to ACON’s Pride in Diversity Leaderboard Scheme? (Australian Public Sector)

These government organisations pay to be members of ACON’s Pride in Diversity scheme.

ACON receives $17 Million annually from NSW government and “other government” grants. It’s mission is supposed to be slowing the spread of HIV. Not handing out inclusivity ticks.

Membership rates

They publish a sample business case document to help activists make the case for spending $6600 annually for membership.

The rates:

TECHNOLOGY ONLY$3,600 + GST
SMALL EMPLOYER <100$2,675 + GST
EMPLOYEES STANDARD$6,000 + GST
PRINCIPAL PARTNER$10,250 + GST
Source: includes the list of perks

Imagine these 65 local, state and federal government agencies each pay standard rates:

$6,600 x 65 = $429 000 additional income from the government purse. That’s the taxpayer funding pronoun workshops.

Pride in Diversity encourage government organisations to provide contra, pro bono and financial support to themselves and other rainbow charities.

As well as spending money on ‘diversity training’. For instance the ATO annually sponsors an $11k awards dinner for Pride in Diversity AWEI participants.

Public Sector Organisations and Agencies

Federal Government Agencies and Statutory Bodies

Australian Border Force
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)
Australian Federal Police (AFP)
Attorney Generals Department
Australian Public Service Commission (APSC)
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Department of Agriculture
Department of Education and Training
Department of Jobs and Small Business
Department of Defence
Department of Finance
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Department of Health
Department of Home Affairs
Department of Human Services (DHS)
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
Department of Premier & Cabinet (VIC)
Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet (PMC)
Department of Social Services (DSS)
Department of the Treasury
Geoscience Australia
IP Australia
National Disability Insurance Agency
National Indigenous Australians Agency
Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman
Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman
Safework Australia
Department of Defence (Fed)
SBS

State Governments, Agencies and Organisations

ACT Government
Department of Communities (WA)
Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (VIC)
NSW State Emergency Service
Victoria Police
Art Gallery of NSW
Country Fire Authority (VIC)
Department of Communities & Justice (NSW)
Department of Communities, Housing & Digital Economy (QLD)
Department of Education (QLD)
Department of Education and Training (VIC)
Department of Energy and Public Works (QLD)
Department of Energy and Water Supply (QLD)
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (VIC)
Department of Health and Human Services (VIC)
Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (VIC)
Department of Justice and Regulation (VIC)
Department of Transport (VIC)
Department of Treasury and Finance (VIC)
Melbourne Water (VIC)
Northern Territory Government
NSW Police Service
Parks Victoria
Queensland Police Service
Transport for NSW
Western Australia Police Force

Local Governments

Brisbane City Council
City of Newcastle
Hawkesbury City Council
Inner West Council
Mackay Regional Council

Source:

List from October 2021 – https://web.archive.org/web/20211020063627/https://www.prideinclusionprograms.com.au/members-list-2/

There may be others who are signed up to the scheme anonymously.

You do NOT need to be a member of Pride in Diversity to participate in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). This is a different (but intersecting) list who are being influenced in by the AWEI.

See also…

Nolan Investigates Stonewall where “Nolan Investigates looks at the influence Stonewall has in public institutions across the UK. We talk to a range of voices with a view on sex, gender and identity.”

The BBC is paying to lobby itself

Stephen Nolan

The Nolan report lead to a number of UK government organisations leaving the Stonewall Diversity Champions Scheme.

TransHub on Medical Gatekeeping

TransHub is a website owned and operated by ACON.

It was written in extreme haste by Teddy Cook and Liz Duck-Chong. Together they spent 6 months to get it off the ground. Who are they?

Teddy and Liz work for (or better still, they are) the ACON Trans Health Equity Unity.

Teddy is co-inventor of GRUNT, the website designed to bring women into gay male spaces. Liz is a writer and film maker and, “sexual health nerd”. Teddy seems to have done the hard yards working for ACON, but Liz’s qualifications aren’t readily available for some reason. Together they played on the team of trans activists who brought you lots of trans-research.

What does ACON say about medical gatekeeping?

All gender affirming care must be inclusive, self-determined and rights-based.

https://www.transhub.org.au/gatekeeping?rq=gatekeeping

Name another illness, condition or medical management pathway that is “rights-based” or “self-determined”.

One would be pregnancy and obstetric care. Where healthy women routinely submit to medical management to mitigate the risks of childbirth. Women have been fighting for (years, decades, centuries?) for self-determination and control in the labour room. Still we are medicated, ignored and mistreated.

https://www.transhub.org.au/gatekeeping?rq=gatekeeping

The other is cosmetic surgery. A user-pays model ensures that the process is driven by the customer. This is what transgender care is: cosmetic alteration on demand. With a suicide threat thrown in for good measure.

The footnote index after “tragic consequences” lazily links to a list of sources rather than to the specific source for each claim. Item 1 on the list is a VIEWPOINT article written by TRANSGENDER ACTIVIST Florence Ashley.

“Viewpoint”: https://jme.bmj.com/content/45/7/480
Picture
Florence Ashley: Absolutely no axe to grind

What Might Constitute Medical Gatekeeping? (According to ACON)

There are 1 or 2 reasonable red flags embedded in this list. Delaying care without a clear reason is

Red FlagComment
Refusing to take on trans or gender diverse patients and clientsDoctors can refuse to take patients they don’t feel equipped to handle. This is the essence of specialisation.
Would you rather have a doctor who felt out of her depth, and forced into a care relationship, or a doctor who loved slicing off healthy breasts?
Requiring unnecessary steps in order to access gender affirmation, eg. Mandating a psychiatrist or endocrinologist is assessment for all patientsIf Transgender is not a mental disease, it is surely a mental viewpoint. Doctors would be doing malpractice if they started medically treating patients who didn’t have the condition being treated.

Endocrinologists are specialists who deal in human hormones. They are the ones who manage hormone treatment. How is it a red flag for a doctor to send a hormone-requesting patient to a hormone-specialising doctor?
Delaying gender affirming care without a clear health-based reason, or for reasons of “watchful waiting”, a well-established conversion practiceDelaying care without a reason sounds very fair. However “watchful waiting” isn’t delay of care. It is a specific form of non-medical care.
Not providing all the information or answers as to why a particular decisions has been madeQuite fair. Patients generally should have access to information about why decisions were made.
Requiring trans and gender diverse people to adopt a binary identity, or refusing to accept or learn about non-binary identitiesThis is just bizarre. “Refusing to learn about”. “Forcing to adopt”. How do they force you to adopt an identity?

If you feel “forced” by your doctor to adopt an identity, you can choose another care provider.
Requiring invasive and unnecessary examinations or testing in order to access careThis is quite fair. But it is now tinted by the previous items that seem to imply the patient should be the only one driving the medicalisation bus. At this point I wonder what constitutes an “invasive and unnecessary” examination or test. Since referring out to a specialist is seen as a medical red flag, what is it we are actually talking about here?
My mind leaps to unnecessary genital contact, but do they actually mean routine blood work?
Engaging in conversion or aversion therapy (or Gender Identity Change Efforts)How does one perform gender identity conversion therapy? Tell a girl that her body is beautiful and unique and she will be an excellent engineer even without hormonal therapy?
Any discussion of ‘Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria’This is the item that gives the game away. Any clinician who is interested in their patients will make the link between a teen girl who is the 4th in her friend group to declare a trans identity and Lisa Littman’s research on ROGD.

This is the cutting-edge science. It’s the science they don’t want you to know about because it casts their beloved transgender identities as vapid trend-based stereotypes.
Over-inflation of regret ratesAnd how, oh how, would the patient know what the regret was was? Despite all efforts to blank out this evidence, there ARE regretters, desisters, detransitioners. Famously, Walt Heyer’s website https://sexchangeregret.com/ receives multiple emails a day from people who change their minds.
https://www.transhub.org.au/gatekeeping?rq=gatekeeping

In Conclusion

TransHub want us to believe that gatekeeping is dangerous. They want us to believe that gatekeeping is a defined set of behaviours. However many of their red flags can be explained as something else (such as not wanting to take on a complex patient) or as due diligence (referring to a specialist).

TransHub’s list of gatekeeping behaviours is designed to cast suspicion on any medical practices that might result in a patient hearing a “no” or a “wait” or a “I think there might be other problems to deal with”.

This list is designed to open the express route to a medical pathway. it benefits the over-eager patient, it benefits the pharmaceutical company and it benefits the surgeon.

It does not put the need for holistic care front and centre.

Trans Research is Produced by Trans Activists

I recently released a post about the The 2018 Australian Trans and Gender Diverse Sexual Health Survey. The post ended with a question asking who may have been behind this work. It is time to answer this question.

The citation for this study includes 10 names. Some are academics. Some are transgender activists. The study’s website shows photographs of the researches. Can you tell which ones are the activists?

Trans Gender Diversity Sexual Health Researchers. Can you tell which ones are the researchers and which ones are the activists?

The Activists

Jeremy Wiggins: Creator of GRUNT, Executive Officer at Transcend.

The study started as the masters thesis of one Jeremy Wiggins. She is one of the creators of GRUNT. That’s the website enabling women to invade gay male spaces.

GRUNT primes women to invade gay male private space.
It is hosted by Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.

Jeremy is highly placed at Transcend. This charity is run by Rebekah Robertson (mother) and Georgie Stone (trans-identified son). Together they successfully challenged the high court to remove legal protections for trans identified children. Now doctors can prescribe puberty blockers and wrong-sex hormones without the protection of court orders.

Creators of GRUNT

Teddy Cook: ACON’s director of Trans Health Equity. Creator of GRUNT, creator of TransHub, VP of AUSPATH (Australian ProfessionaL ASSOC for Transgender Health).

TransHub is a one-stop-shop for transgender health and advocacy. It mixes medical information with legal and social advice. You can find a gender-friendly doctor, bolster your convictions that you have the right to play whatever sport you want to, get advice about blocking puberty (but not the side effects of Goserelin) and find advice about the best packers and tuckers a single disposable income can buy.

The TransHub page on gatekeeping by doctors warns that “Any discussion of ‘Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria’” or discussion of regret rates is gatekeeping. TransHub is anti-science, anti-doctor and downright dangerous.

Liz Duck-Chong is a trans woman & writer, Creator of TransHub

Works at ACON with Teddy Cook. Together they concocted the TransHub website. Among his writing credits, check out “Let’s Talk About Girl Dick” written for a 15+ audience. Or the invective piece ‘Rapid-onset gender dysphoria’ is a poisonous lie used to discredit trans people.

Liz hosts a podcast called “Let’s Do It” where he proclaims himself a writer and “sexual health nerd”. This seems to be the sum total of his quals in sexual health. (The linked episode features Teddy Cook and demonstrates of the difference between vocal patterns in women, trans men and trans women).

Although he lists about 10 trades, occupations and professions on his website, Liz doesn’t proclaim any qualifications in public health. By virtue of being transgender and highly opinionated, Liz has taken an opportunity to shape public health policy in Australia.

Shoshana Rosenberg: an academic steeped in Queer Theory, employed by ACON

Currently employed at ACON, Rosenberg’s bio begins: I am a queer, butch, Jewish academic researcher, multi-instrumentalist, and composer….research interests include gender and sexuality, Queer Theory, Jewish Studies, and musicology.

Despite being a non-binary Mx “a-gender trans woman”, Shoshana believes it’s perfectly fine to participate in a podcast named Let Women Talk. Perhaps he could eff off and let women actually talk.

Mish Pony is a trans woman sex worker and elected representative at the Scarlett Alliance & Founder of LGBTQ youth camp

He is also employed in a managerial role by Twenty10, a youth crisis service with clientele aged 12-25. In this interview from 2014, Mish talks about getting roped into sex work “as a guy” through university. Later graduating literally to sex work plus advocacy.

He talks about having issues with his body, feeling out of control. Although he doesn’t connect this lack of control to his activities in either sex work or medical transitioning. He began taking hormones (control), but didn’t like all the side effects (out of control). While he was overseas he simply ran out of estrogen (out of control) and stopped medicating (control). But now Mish is the quintessential trans woman: a man with a long hair, breasts and a fully-functional penis for hire.

Not to clutch at my pearls too much, but how on Earth is this an appropriate adult to be guiding vulnerable children?

Mish sits on the board of The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO).

Mish Pony: works with children and is a prominent sex worker

Bios on both Twenty10 and Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations state that Mish Pony is a founder of Camp Out. Camp Out is A away-from home camp for 13-17 year old LGBTIQ children where they are taught to reject compulsory heterosexualty.