Giggle for Girls app and transgender rights in the digital sphere

Roxanne Tickle, a transgender woman, has filed a lawsuit against the social media app Giggle for Girls, alleging unlawful gender identity discrimination.

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After being prevented from using the app, Roxanne Tickle, a transgender woman from New South Wales, filed a lawsuit against the social media app Giggle for Girls. Giggle is a women-only social media platform where users can connect, share content, and interact with each other in a space designed specifically for women. It aims to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for women to engage with each other online. 

Tickle claimed in a lawsuit filed in December 2022 that she was unlawfully forbidden from using Giggle in September 2021 on the basis of being identified as a man by the company and its CEO, Sall Grover. Tickle’s lawsuit, which seeks damages, is the first involving alleged gender identity discrimination to be decided by a federal court, raising serious concerns about how gender identity and womanhood are interpreted.

Tickle’s entrance to the app involved submitting a selfie, which was then verified for gender authenticity by KairosAI software and human assessment. Despite being identified as female by the software earlier, Tickle asserts her membership was later revoked. The involvement of the Australian Human Rights Commission, with support from the sex discrimination commissioner, as a friend of the court, underscores the broader societal implications of the case, particularly regarding the interpretation and enforcement of anti-discrimination legislation.

Tickle’s complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2021 further emphasises the need for robust legal protections and enforcement mechanisms to safeguard gender rights in digital spaces. This case highlights the importance of inclusive policies and technologies that respect diverse gender identities online, ensuring equitable access and treatment for all individuals regardless of gender identity or expression.