Gender identity case studies

The gender identity discrimination case summaries are grouped into two categories: court and tribunal decisions, and conciliated outcomes.

Court and tribunal decisions are made after all the evidence is heard, including details of loss and damage. The full text of court and tribunal decisions is available from:

  • AustLII website
  • Queensland Supreme Court Library website .

Conciliated outcomes are where the parties have reached an agreement through conciliation at the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland.

Court and tribunal decisions

Refusal of service

Type of outcome Anti-Discrimination Tribunal Queensland decision
Contravention Discrimination
Attribute *Sex, and lawful sexual activity
Area Providing goods or services
Outcome details Financial compensation
Compensation $9,000
Year 2007

Summary: As a transgender woman (who was also a sex worker) walked down the street, a worker in a bottle shop yelled out to her drag queen, and a worker from the adjacent grocery store, who was outside the bottle shop, laughed. Later, when the woman went into the grocery store, she confronted the worker about the incident and he refused her service and required her to leave the premises.

Compensation was awarded as follows: $5,000 (general damages); $3,000 (lost income); $500 (outlays); and $500 (interest).

*The conduct in this complaint occurred before the Act was amended to include gender identity as a ground of discrimination, and to define lawful sexual activity as the status of being a lawful sex worker. Before those amendments, lawful sexual activity meant activity such as homosexual activity.

M v A and U [2007] QADT 8 — liability
M v A and U [2007] QADT 23 — compensation

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Conciliated outcomes

Housing service learns from trans complaint

Type of outcome Conciliation
Contravention Discrimination
Attribute Gender identity
Area Accommodation
Outcome details

Anti-discrimination training for staff
LGBTI awareness and support training for staff
Reimbursement of removal costs
Inclusivity statement for website

Year 2017

Summary: A transwoman living in community housing was subjected to ongoing and persistent transphobic verbal harassment and threats of violence from other tenants.

She said that when she complained to her housing provider, the service said that they "couldn't do anything" about the abuse.

The housing provider contended that they had treated her case like any other tenant who complained about neighbours’ behaviour, but expressed regret that the woman felt that their response was inadequate and that she felt it was necessary to leave.

Prior to conciliation, the woman secured new accommodation at a Department of Housing property. Her priority had been escalated because it was no longer safe for her to remain in the community housing accommodation

During conciliation, the community housing provider agreed to:

  • pay the woman’s removal costs;
  • write an inclusivity statement for their website;
  • train all staff on the Anti-Discrimination Act ;
  • provide specific LGBTI awareness training to all staff; and
  • develop a LGBTI referral list to better support their trans & gender diverse clients.

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Trans woman refused access to women’s toilet

Type of outcome Conciliation
Contravention Discimination
Attribute Gender identity
Area Goods and services
Outcome details Compensation
Donation to charity
Policy change / change in practice
Anti-discrimination training undertaken
Compensation $3,500
Year 2016

Summary: While at a popular retail precinct, a trans woman went to use the women’s toilets, but was stopped by a centre security guard. The woman said that the security guard told her he had been instructed by centre management to ensure that she was directed to use the men's toilet, and that ‘people like me were not allowed to use the women’s toilet’.

At conciliation, two separate agreements were reached: one with the company that employed the security guard, and one with the retail precinct management.

The security company agreed to:

  • pay the woman $1500 as compensation;
  • donate $500 to a transgender support group;
  • review policies, and implement a policy covering how positive interactions with members of the transgender community should be conducted; and
  • organise anti-discrimination training for the security guard.

The retail precinct management agreed to:

  • pay the woman $2000 as compensation;
  • donate $1000 to a transgender support group;
  • review policies and procedures, and implement a policy and procedure that allows trans people to use bathrooms according to their identified gender; and
  • organise anti-discrimination training at a managerial level.

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