SISTERGIRL INSIDE: DOUBLY COLONISED, DOUBLY TRAPPED

Jeremy Kane

Abstract


The Discriminating Decision in Sinden v State of QLD

That both trans people and Australia’s First Peoples are incarcerated at rates higher than the general population requires that the unique needs of those inmates positioned at the intersection of these oppressions — sistergirls — receive greater attention by legal scholars, the legislature and the judiciary. By deconstructing and critiquing the QCAT decision Sinden v State of Queensland using an intersectional framework grounded in trans theory, the cisnormative and Eurocentric assumptions underlying the dismissal of Thalia Sinden’s anti-discrimination claim will be brought to bear. In doing so it is argued the Queensland Corrective Services’ Procedure — Transgender Offenders is cisnormatively discriminatory against trans inmates, and the tribunal’s endorsement of that procedure itself compounded such discrimination by failing to account for the intersectional complexity of Sinden’s identity. This case makes explicit many of the issues trans inmates face, the cisnormativity of the law, and the ways Anti-Discrimination legislation fails multiply-oppressed people in numerous ways.

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