An issue to engage

Liberty Cramer. Photo by Steve Grant.

ACHIEVING marriage equality shouldn’t be seen as “job done” for the LGBTQI+ community, which still faces institutional discrimination, says the WA Greens candidate for the state seat of Fremantle.

“I think that was certainly the fear of the LGBTQI+ community when that issue was being fought,” Liberty Cramer told the Herald.

“It was also a really challenging time and so I think understandably there been a bit of having to recoup and recover from that experience,” she says of the issue coming off the boil in WA.

But Ms Cramer says new legislation in Queensland and the ACT banning conversion therapy (attempting to remove a person’s feelings of same-sex attraction or changing their gender identity, often through shaming) shows WA is already starting to lag behind.

“[Conversion therapy] is something that is open in Western Australia, and we still have things like the Gender Reassignment Bill, so if you’re trans you can still legally face discrimination until you get your certification from the gender reassignment board.

“And so, there are a lot of issues still in this space.”

Ms Kramer said growing up in the coastal fishing town of Geraldton wasn’t the most promising background for a life in politics, as there was little encouragement for a young, queer woman to speak up.

But a high school project on refugees as Australia grappled with the “Pacific solution” highlighted the chasm between the line being fed to the public and the real actions of the major political parties.

“That was the issue that galvanised me to go to my first protest and start getting louder about issues that I care about,” Ms Kramer said.

She later moved to Perth to study at the University of WA, where she also found work as a learning designer.

“I do everything from policy and project management through to designing training sessions and helping academics with problems; so this year it’s been how to teach on Zoom, how do you take an entire university and put it online in six weeks.”

She also chairs an LGBTQI+ working group and says having visibility in the community is an important step in getting the issues heard.

“In Parliament we have three people who are out, and probably others who aren’t, but we are not getting laws through Parliament,” she said.

Locally Ms Kramer opposes the McGowan government’s decision to close Fremantle’s port, saying it’s too premature.

“I think the port is going to have to evolve, but it’s hard to see at the moment that this project right now, and this degree of spending, is what the community wants to see.”

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