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August 5, 2015


The gender divide has never been more fluid. High-profile individuals like Chelsea Manning and Caitlyn Jenner have pushed transgender people to the front pages like never before, prompting a flurry of coverage and commentary, from Vanity Fair to The Sunday Times.

Transgender challenges society’s notions of man and woman, so how does the media cross this line and fairly report on transgender issues? How do we move beyond questions of ‘he’ or ‘she’? What other stories do trans people have to tell that don’t revolve around gender identity?

Our panel will comprise former WA Labor Senator, Louise Pratt, UWA’s Dr Rob Cover and self-professed ‘antique’ Tina Ross

Louise Pratt was the youngest woman ever elected to the Legislative Council and, at the time, only the second openly lesbian person elected to an Australian parliament. However, when her partner Aram became a transman, politicians and journalists wondered how to describe her sexuality. She will talk about this and other conundrums, exposing some of the limits of language and prevailing notions of sexuality and gender.

Dr Rob Cover heads up UWA’s media program and specialises in research on digital media and youth suicide. In his 2012 book “Queer Youth Suicide, Culture and Identity: Unbelievable Lives?” he examined the pressure young people face to present their sexual identities in specific ways.

Tina Ross works in IT and moved to Perth in 1999. Outside the office she loves a good dance, pin-up culture and burlesque, as well as playing tennis. She will talk about her transition to becoming legally female in 2014, including the positive experiences she has had with service providers and acceptance in her work and social life.

Places are strictly limited at this intimate venue so secure your ticket fast, through our Eventibrite booking system