A former Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Group Captain and one of Australia’s most prominent transgender women Cate McGregor has delivered a calm, considered and powerful speech against former tennis player Margaret Court’s beliefs on marriage equality, homosexuality and comments about the families of transgender children.
Now a respected journalist, McGregor used an appearance on ABC TV show The Drum, to sum up the furore surrounding Court’s week of comments and suggested that airbrushing the Australian tennis legend from sporting history would be a mistake.
“I respect this woman for her achievements. I oppose efforts to boycott the Australian Open or to rename that arena because it smacks of Stalinist airbrushing of someone’s history,” McGregor stated on ABC TV.
“It is wrong. I would ask her to think heavily and examine her conscience about the impact these remarks have on a very small minority of Australians whose lives are difficult enough without this kind of stuff.”
The Grand Slam champion and winner of 24 tennis open titles had last week penned at open letter to a Western Australian newspaper stating she would be boycotting airline QANTAS due to the company’s same-sex marriage stance.
She then followed those remarks up by telling a Christian radio station on Wednesday that “tennis is full of lesbians” and transgender children are influenced by the devil and manipulated in a way that was evident in Nazi Germany.
Court, who is now a Pentecostal Christian Minister, went on to say transgender and non-binary children were “all the devil”.
“But that’s what Hitler did and that’s what communism did – got the mind of the children. And there’s a whole plot in our nation, and in the nations of the world to get the minds of the children.”
In response, McGregor acknowledged the pain these comments have had but suggested the reaction by LGBTI groups has only made the situation worse.
“I don’t think persecuting a 74-year-old Christian pastor is going to take us anywhere, she was a living national treasure for a while and piling onto her is going to erode our moral authority.
“All we can do is be visible and be proud and not break and not break under the strain of this and live our lives authentically and we’ve gotta be better than she is. We’ve got to show dignity when she isn’t required to.”
“The free speech element is important though. I add weight to that because the pile-on last week strategically helped her, it gave prominence to her views and it rendered her a victim.
“This woman has to look at her conscience and live with her remarks and ask herself as a Christian when she examines her conscience, has she dealt with us lovingly? She says she loves homosexuals but not their sin.”
“We are all sinners according to the teachings of both the Old and New Testaments, we are all broken in our humanity. Every one of us grapples to live an authentic, decent life.
“To think I arrived at my life decision without a process of agonising discernment is an offensive and gratuitously offensive thing to say to me when she has no experience of my life and my parental background.
As a transgender woman who transitioned while in the Navy, McGregor was clearly upset about her Court’s comments on the families of transgender children.
“I think she has absolutely overstepped any support from theology or religion in some of her discursive remarks about the families of transgender kids, which are just nonsense.”
“To go on about the parents of trans kids failing or neglecting their children or that transgenderism is some kind of parental failure.
“I know a lot of families with young kids who are grappling with gender issues. They’re loving families, there’s a mother and a father present, kids are loved to bits and those parents only want two things.
“They want their child to be happy and primarily they want them to not kill themselves and I’ve had that conversation with numerous families.”
— ABC The Drum (@ABCthedrum) June 1, 2017