What is 'gender identity'?

Gender identity means: 

The gender by which a person identifies, and includes identification on a bona fide basis by a person of one sex as a member of the other sex (whether or not the person is recognised as such):

  • by assuming characteristics of the other sex, whether by means of medical intervention, style of dressing or otherwise; or
  • by living, or seeking to live, as a member of the other sex.

Gender identity is a protected attribute under equal opportunity laws, just like race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual preference and marital status, among others. This means that it cannot be used as a basis to discriminate against someone.

What does 'transgender' mean?

'Transgender' describes the state of having adopted a new gender identity. This process is commonly known as 'transitioning'.

Perhaps the best-known example of a transgender person is Caitlyn Jenner, but there are many people in public and private life who have taken this path because their physical (birth) sex is different to the gender with which they genuinely identify. This can occur in childhood or later in life.

Can you be transgender before you’ve had surgery or hormone treatment?

Yes. To be considered transgender, someone need not have had an operation, hormone treatment or any other medical intervention.  

How do I tell whether someone is transgender?

You are entitled to take each person on face value based on their clothes, their name and how they introduce or present themselves.    

The key words are 'bona fide'. People who are transitioning will have adopted a complete identity and lifestyle, or have a genuine plan to do so. They do not just 'dress up' as a hobby, fetish or fancy dress.  However, some transgender people may make progressive adjustments or have false starts as they gain confidence.

What does this mean for the VRC and the raceday experience at Flemington?   

It presents an opportunity to promote awareness and provide leadership. Practically, it requires very little change in how we relate to our employees, Members and other visitors to Flemington.  Most people who adopt a new gender identity wish to do so smoothly and without fuss.  

Some examples:

  • Changes of name will be managed according to the normal process.  
  • The dress code for the Members’ Enclosure will likewise apply in the usual way, based on a person’s apparent gender. 
  • Someone who is transgender may enter the toilet facilities of their adopted gender identity and we would expect this to be the normal preference. However, some people may be more comfortable using the facilities that they are most accustomed to using and VRC supports that choice.

Above all, VRC has a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination. We expect that our teams, our contractors and our Members will conduct themselves sensitively and respectfully at all times. Examples of behaviour that the Club considers unacceptable include: 

  • making jokes or snide remarks at someone’s expense 
  • asking a transgender person to move to another area, dress differently, 'tone it down' or do anything else if we would not ask the same of every person in those circumstances.

Where can I find more information?

For more information, phone the Customer Service Centre on 1300 727 575 or email customerservice@vrc.net.au