The NSW Premier is steamrolling stakeholders as he pushes ahead with a ban on ‘gay conversion therapy’

Chris Minns made history earlier this month by being the first serving NSW premier to march in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

At the same time, leaked files from WPATH (World Professional Association of Transgender Health) revealed widespread medical malpractice on children and vulnerable adults. They showed how gender medicine “consistently violate(s) medical ethics and informed consent” and “does not meet the standards of evidence-based medicine”, and where “members frequently discuss improvising treatments as they go along.”

Every social, medical and political alarm bell should by now be ringing at full volume. But they aren’t.

Instead, without consulting all of his stakeholders, Premier Minns has promised to ban “gay conversion practices” within weeks.

Whom has Minns successfully chosen to ignore to date, and how many of NSW’s constituents is he actually ignoring in the process?

First, he is ignoring significant members of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community in NSW. The LGB Alliance (Australia), which has among its ranks doctors, academics, psychiatrists and lawyers with expertise in safeguarding, wrote to all NSW politicians stating:

To our frustration, we have had no direct communication from the government with respect to any of the drafts that have been prepared to-date. We simply do not understand why with respect to the drafting of the bill, engagement is occurring with Mr Alex Greenwich MP and stakeholder groups he is associated with like Equality Australia, ACON et al., but not ourselves… Our continued exclusion raises serious questions about the conduct and the quality of the consultation process.

Lesbians, gays and bisexuals make up a significant, possibly even the largest quota, of the LGBTQIA+ community. Why would Minns want to ignore them?

Second, Minns is ignoring Women’s Forum (Australia) which last August made a submission to the Department of Communities and Justice and NSW Ministry of Health. Only last week, CEO of Women’s Forum (Australia) Rachel Wong again wrote to Premier Minns and all other members of Parliament asking for “genuine, transparent consultation”. Her letter said:

We have received no feedback at all on our submission and were not invited to participate in any of the closed roundtable meetings that were conducted, despite our clear community interest regarding the proposed bill. Unlike what has been the case for a very small select group of stakeholders, neither have we been provided with any draft bill for review and feedback.

Wong rightly refers to “the huge, disproportionate impact that such legislation is expected to have on women and girls,” and especially as “women and girls are significantly overrepresented in those presenting with gender dysphoria.” Once again, females make up 50 percent of all constituents. Why is Minns ignoring them?

Third, there are those who have been directly affected by present laws which have permitted healthy children and vulnerable adults to be lifelong victims to the devastating effects of cross-sex hormones and the surgical removal of healthy body parts.

Courageous detransitioner Jay Langadinos presented her story in the NSW Parliament last month. In her haunting testimony, she shared how her decision to transition was made in a state of distress, “a desperate act to heal a wounded heart”.

Vulnerable young people with mental health issues are getting caught up in the trans craze – it’s imperative that people receive the care they need rather than being put on a path of medicalisation. This will only further worsen psychological issues a person may be struggling with…

… believing that being transgender was my only problem, I began taking testosterone at 19. I was fast-tracked onto hormones without psychological evaluation and without encouragement to explore whether deeper issues were contributing to the decision to take this path. There was no questioning from the doctors or desire to engage in exploration of the thoughts and feelings that led me to the decision to have a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy.

A total breakdown ensued, consumed by the thought of suicide more than ever before, and an entire year of being unable to function. Langadinos was forced to “look at what I was doing and seek the root causes of my feelings”. She sought help from a psychiatrist and explored the depths of her hurt.

Today, Langadinos believes

Therapy is so important and should be the first step taken towards understanding what’s going on rather than pursuing medical treatment that could end in devastation. There is nothing more painful than having to grieve parts of yourself that you lost through unnecessary surgery.

It is a ban on this same therapy which Minns is seeking to fast-track through Parliament.

To date, detransitioners are very few in number, but the numbers are increasing. Why is Minns ignoring these crippling stories of lifelong devastation now backed up with evidence that “gender medicine” is latter-day snake oil?



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Fourth, there are the victim-survivors of childhood sexual abuse, which includes some of those abused in institutions in the not-so-distant past. Doesn’t Minns remember the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse?.

The network I facilitate, Survivors Support Network, contains many members from across NSW of every creed, culture, age, sex, sexual attraction and none. Their journeys of therapeutic recovery are also under assault by a bill that bans so-called conversion practices.

Sexual attraction, sexual identity and anything remotely to do with sex are fundamental topics that victim-survivors need the space and freedom to be able to discuss in a secure therapeutic setting, but this opportunity will be banned should a similar bill to Victoria’s draconian Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021 be introduced in NSW.

If statistics are correct which claim that 1-in-3 women and 1-in-4 men experience some form of sexual abuse or assault, this means that nearly 2.5 million victims and survivors in NSW could suffer from the effects of not being able to raise questions in therapy about sex, sexuality, and their identity after such crippling crimes.

Why is Premier Minns ignoring these stories of inner turmoil and creating settings where more, and not fewer, suicides are most likely to take place?

No one in their right mind ignores such key stakeholders on a topic that is literally a matter of life or death for most of those affected.  

Has Chris Minns showed immense political courage in backing a ban on gay conversion therapy? Tell us what you think in the comments box below. 

James Parker is a former gay activist and abuse survivor who supports people and their loved ones around sexuality, gender and identity.

Image credit: Premier Chris Minns / screenshot Nine News 


Showing 7 reactions

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  • Leah Gray
    commented 2024-03-13 23:13:38 +1100
    James, thank you. You speak on behalf of myself and many others who once upon a time were able to pursue the therapy and path that we desired. We were able to do so without any fear of falling foul of the law, both for ourselves as well as those who willingly supported us. Because we were able to utilise therapy and various support systems, many of us are living liberated lives – not just in our personal circumstances, but liberated from the internal wounds and clouds that we desperately hoped to be free from, of which therapy played a fundamental part.
    With these laws that are being passed without comprehensive and unbiased consultation, such stories of personal breakthrough and positive development are going to be stifled and often replaced with stories of continued heartbreak, entrapment and distress.
    I applaud the courage of Jay and others who are bold enough to speak out, despite the strong current of opposition around them.
    We live in times where anything other than ‘heterosexuality’ is increasingly accepted, affirmed, and celebrated. But with this increased acceptance, we must never shut the door on those who wish to walk out of such identities.
    In particular regard to the ‘rapid-onset of gender dysphoria’ amongst young girls, this just proves that the ‘Affirmative Model’ has narrowed the choice of intervention and continues to channel many into a one-direction ‘solution’ – which (as Janet has rightly pointed out below) is currently the real conversion practice taking place!
    As someone living in a state with the most severe conversion therapy laws (you guessed it, good ol’ Vic), the closed therapy doors and the open affirmative doors is the outrageous result of selective hearing by the government. They chose to listen more to the louder, and at times more threatening voices who advocated for the CT ban, while completely ignoring those of us who are quietly living content, hope-filled, changed-for-the-better lives. I guarantee you, since the Victorian bill was passed in February 2021, these lives just got a whole lot more silent.
    Now, NSW is about to do the same thing.
  • Janet Grevillea
    Thank you James Parker. You put it well.

    I have just heard on the news that the Conversion Practices Prohibition bill is being presented to parliament today.

    The way in which these Equality and Conversion bills have been drawn up and presented is quite undemocratic. Large groups of people who will be adversely affected by the bills have not been allowed to have a say. Only those chosen and approved of by Alex Greenwich have been invited to meetings behind closed doors.

    I am a lesbian who, like many other lesbians, finds the acronym ‘LGBTIQA+’ offensive. I shudder whenever I see it written, even in its abbreviated form ‘LGBT’. We have been co-opted by a movement that works against our interests. Why can’t the movement name itself TQ+ and thus clarify what it is on about?

    LGB Alliance Australia has set out its concerns on its webpage
    Alex Greenwich has refused to discuss significant issues raised by the LGBAA, for example that Affirmative medical care IS, in itself, a conversion practice.

    Various women’s organisations have lobbied for the bills. The changes envisaged will disadvantage women, girls and lesbian-gay-and-bisexual people who do not ‘identify’ with the ‘trans-queer plus cause.’ These groups have been refused the right to join in discussions about the bills.

    So, it is with a heavy heart that I anticipate the outcome of today’s vote. I suppose all members of the Labor Party will required to vote for them

    All this is happening when a number of other countries are limiting medical interventions aimed at transition, especially with regard to children. The release of the WPATH files this week has cast further doubt on medical transition practices. Yet, here we are in Australia blithely putting it all into law, with most members of the public completely unaware about what is going on. The lack of public awareness reflects the fact that many government departments, large organisations and media bodies have aligned themselves with the TQ cause.
  • James Parker
    commented 2024-03-13 09:58:42 +1100
    No one at any time should be shamed or labelled, but this labelling is still happening today.

    I was “labelled” by LGBTQ+ helpline workers as “gay” as a teenager — but I wasn’t actually gay, even though I then spent years working as an activist to further the LGBTQ+ cause that I was told as a vulnerable teen was the “only way you’ll become truly happy”. It is possible for all sorts of people to be lied to, to be misdiagnosed even around human sexuality. Just because it hasn’t happened to you does not mean it doesn’t happen.

    No one is trying to stop anyone from being LGBTQIA or . In fact, society is being pressured to celebrate each and every one of these “labels”. But LGBTQIA protagonists are using the laws of the land to now force people with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria to be converted to one way of thinking and one way only, a way of thinking that might work well for some, but that makes others suffer grievously. This is unjust; it is forced; it is a conversion practice in and of its own right which this bill, possibly soon an Act, is meant to eradicate.

    Many people ponder over time whether they are gay or straight or another variation. Many people do change and go from gay into successful heterosexual relationships, as others go from hetero to homo relationships. Why create further bigotry, exclusion and unnecessary pain by denying grown adults the right to choose their own therapeutic pathway, especially when there is underlying trauma involved as is the case for victim-survivors of childhood sexual abuse?
  • Paul Bunyan
    commented 2024-03-13 08:32:55 +1100
    We don’t shame or label people wanting to get married as “mentally unwell” or “evil,” Janet.
  • Janet Grevillea
    " we don’t require extensive testing before letting adults get married or choose a college degree.” But neither do we BAN pre-marital/pre-enrolment counselling for those who seek it.
  • Paul Bunyan
    commented 2024-03-12 18:09:04 +1100
    The existence of reparative “therapy” indicates that being LGBT+ is an illness to be fixed, like malaria or cancer. Since it is simply part of what people are, calling people “evil” or “disordered” just for having different desires is the primary reason why so many people in the LGBT+ community have attempted suicide.

    I hope no one tries to draw a comparison between being LGBT+ and child r*pe. Informed consent between adults is the key issue here.

    Some people regret transitioning. Many more regret getting married or choosing the “wrong” career path, but we don’t require extensive testing before letting adults get married or choose a college degree.
  • James Parker
    published this page in The Latest 2024-03-12 17:44:12 +1100