My Trans Kid is Not Your Political Football


Joshua Morris and family. Image: Supplied

By Joshua Morris

My name is Josh. I’m a cis, white 52-year-old male. I’ve been married to my fine, fierce wife for over 20 years and we have two awesome teenage kids. One’s cis, one’s trans. 

I’ve never been the target of much in the way of prejudice, though I’ve seen waves of hatred and ignorance directed at my brothers and sisters in the rainbow community, our First Nations community, the Asian community, the Muslim community, and 51% of the population – women, throughout my life. I’ve marched, and I’ve modelled, but I’ve not had much skin in the game. Until now. 

We Are Traded in Votes and Manoeuvres to Score Points

Now, my 13-year-old daughter is a political football, and we are political expendable capital. We are traded in votes and manoeuvres designed to score points and bolster votes, rather than being where we want to be – left alone to live a normal life. 

My family and I spent the last couple of weeks in a state of high agitation. My wife and I shared a meal with our kids, both of us listening to the speeches in the House of Reps with one earbud, and our kids with the other, so we could shield them, and arm ourselves. You take the shield, and I’ll take the sword. This is not how I want to live my life, and this is not how I want my kids to lead theirs. 

I do not want to spend my days calling the offices of Labour MPs, so that I can impart to them how damaging their support for the Religious Discrimination Bill is. I want them to lead with a vision of Australia that is tolerant and kind. I’m tired of their small target approach. I do not want to spend my days calling the 5 rebel Liberals to thank them, especially Dr Katie Allen and Dr Fiona Martin, but I did. 

My Trans Child is Just Like Your Cis Child

My trans child is just like your cis child, with one exception – she was born in the wrong body. That’s it. That’s where it ends. She’s still a kid, a teen with awesome taste in music, and a great sense of style that she’s always possessed.  

My trans child is not your political football. 

My trans child is still just a kid. 

What kind of adult chooses to pick on a kid? 

I’m asking you, Scott Morrison? 

I’m asking you, Australian Christian Lobby? 

I’m asking you, Mark Latham? 

You have an utterly unhealthy obsession with my child, and others like her, and I’m not ok with that. So, like any decent parent, I’ll do anything to advocate for my kid, and defend them from the prejudice you peddle. History will prove you to be the small-minded bullies and bigots you are, and strip you of the Christian love and tolerance you purport to espouse. Australia has changed, and it’s ours for the taking. Please, get out of our way. 

Joshua Morris is a husband, father of two humans, one dog and one cat. He’s a photographer and sometime musician. 

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