|Renee Gerlich and Charlie Montague at Pride Parade, Auckland 2018 (Photo by Arthur Francisco)|
There was a similar post put up on the 'Young Greens' facebook page, which also also accused both Renee Gerlich and Charlie Montague of advocating funding cuts to LGBT youth groups 'Inside Out' and 'Rainbow Youth'. It has now been removed. Here is a screenshot:
In response to these accusations I wrote a letter to several Green party leaders. The following is a copy of that letter, with hyperlinks to articles backing up my claims:
To Whom It May Concern:
As a Green party supporter with many friends and family members who have actively participated in the party, I am very concerned and saddened by the Green party response to the actions of Charlie Montague and Renee Gerlich at the recent Pride parade. On both the ‘Young Greens’ and ‘Rainbow Greens’ facebook pages there are posts which claim that Montague and Gerlich advocate funding cuts to Inside Out and Rainbow Youth, and that the protest banner they carried amounts to an attack on trans identifying people. Both of these claims are false, and act to prohibit democratic and critical debate about an important issue. Emotions often run high in these debates, but that is all the more reason not to condone lies and smear tactics.
The protest banner carried by Montague and Gerlich read “Stop Giving Kids Sex Hormones – Protect Lesbian Youth”. There is a real and substantive issue here about the physical side effects of synthetic hormones and puberty blocking drugs such as Lupron. Worldwide the numbers of children and youth who identify as transgender has skyrocketed only very recently. There are therefore no long term scientific studies on the potential side effects of these drugs. Yet existing studies on Hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women, and the numerous severe side effects on many people who have used puberty suppressants, are cause to take concerns about this issue very seriously.
There are also numerous studies which indicate that the vast majority of young people who experience gender dysphoria during their youth go on to identify as gay or lesbian adults. In countries such as the US and the UK, where the medicalised approach towards gender non-conformity is well entrenched, there is a growing movement of ‘de-transitioners’ who have come to the realisation that the medical approach did not work for them. The majority of these people are young women who now identify as lesbian.
Clearly there are complex and contentious political issues around these questions. The perspective held by many trans-identifying people is very different from the feminist analysis of Charlie Montague and Renee Gerlich. So by all means encourage and support members who wish to debate this important issue, clearly it deserves considered and careful attention. What it does not need is lies and smear tactics.