LGBTI brawl over $30m Australian ‘Pride Centre’

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Rebecca Urban writes at The Australian:

The Victorian government’s multi-million-dollar Pride Centre project has stirred up divisions within the LGBTI community, with the board forced to apologise following what has been ­described by some attendees as a “disastrous” community consultation event last month.

Leading the backlash, Transgender Victoria executive director Sally Goldner has used recent episodes of her show on community radio station 3CR to criticise the event and the general handling of $30 million-plus project, which she described as the “Victorian Corporate Gay and Lesbian Centre”.

Ms Goldner hit out at the lack of transgender representation on the nine-member board and ­accused organisers of permitting “transphobic attitudes”, “non-­binary erasure” and promoting “mental health stigma”.

She took particular issue with a convener of the meeting greeting the audience with the phrase ­“ladies and gentlemen”, despite there being several non-binary people in attendance, as well as comments from board chairman Jude Munro that the building would be bright and cheery in ­design and was not going to be “all about depressives”.

She also expressed concerns over revelations that lesbian ­advocacy organisation Matrix Guild had requested a “safe space” within the Pride Centre for biological women only.

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