Australian Institute of Criminology mistakenly includes intersex in “Transgender Inmates”

Defining Transgender

The New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Act defines a transgender person as someone who:

  • identifies as a member of the opposite sex by living, or seeking to live, as a member of the opposite sex; or
  • has identified as a member of the opposite sex by living as a member of that sex; or
  • being of indeterminate sex, identifies as a member of a particular sex by living as a member of that sex, and includes a person being thought of as a transgender person, whether the person is, or was, in fact a transgender person.

Transgender people may be male to female (MtF) or female to male (FtM). The definition in the anti-discrimination legislation also covers inter-sexed people; that is, those people who have both male and female characteristics from birth.

Australian Institute of Criminology: Transgender Inmates

Editorial comment:

Oh dear. How regrettable that this paper quotes the NSW legislation’s definition of transgender which includes “indeterminate sex”. The Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW recognises that the legislation wasn’t designed to include intersex people, and doesn’t protect intersex people. See this article, for example.

The Australian Institute of Criminology seems also to have no idea about intersex. Here is its paper When the Glitter Settles: Safety and Hostility at and Around Gay and Lesbian Public Events, by Stephen Tomsen and Kevin Markwell:

intersex: a self-description by people refusing orthodox male/female categories of identity

We hope, at some point, to see a useful definition of intersex in law. In the meantime, we invite readers to check out our FAQ pages for background information on intersex.