Male Australian Student Pretended to Identify as Woman to Win Paid Position at the College, Friends Say

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By Lukas Mikelionis | 10:04 am, October 20, 2016

Talk about gender fluidity.

An Australian man pretended to identify as a woman to win a paid executive position on the University of Sydney students’ council. Alex Fitton vowed he was not a cisgender male in order to become joint general secretary of the university’s representative council (SRC). The school’s affirmative-action policy states that the coveted council position can be shared by two people, but only if one of them identifies as a woman or a non-cisgender male.

The SRC’s electoral officer, Paulene Graham, accepted Fitton’s nomination but said he would need to sign a statement declaring “for the public record for the rest of their life” regarding his gender identity.

“I have now been told that one of those two people will provide a stat dec (statutory declaration) to say that they do not identify as a man,” Graham told students.

She added: “That is something that your standing legal [committee] is going to have to deal with. But under the rules as they currently exist if that person is willing to put that in writing for the public record for the rest of their life then I will accept it and we will proceed.”

The chair of the council’s standing legal committee, Cameron Caccamo, said Fitton was now in the process of proving his identity, but had thus far fallen short of the legal requirements.

“I have received confirmation that [Mr] Fitton has attempted to notify the RO [returning officer] of his/their gender identity, it has been deemed insufficient, so [Mr] Fitton has the rest of the day to fix that,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Fitton and his running mate, Dylan William, were elected by a margin of only one vote and if confirmed, each would pocket a $9,000 salary.

Some people, however, were upset that a man appears to have decided to change his gender identity for the purpose of landing a paid position. A source familiar with Fitton told the newspaper that the move reflected an “immature culture” and described the now-woman as “blokey.”

“He ran for an affirmative action position by pretending to be a woman,” the source said. “He is incredibly blokey. Plays AFL. They all call each other ‘the boys’. It’s got no basis at all in fact.”

The newspaper also spoke with other people who know Fitton, and nobody could confirm his history of identifying as a non-cisgender male.