On 3 April 2023, the Classification Board (the Board) classified the publication, Gender Queer A Memoir, Unrestricted, with consumer advice of 'M (Mature)—Not Recommended for Readers under 15 Years'.
When classifying a publication, the Board is required to consider the impact of classifiable elements within the publication in the context of the publication's narrative and artistic merits. The Board applies the National Classification Code and the Guidelines for the Classification of Publications 2005 (the Guidelines) when classifying publications.
The Director of the Classification Board, Fiona Jolly, stated: 'In the Board's view, this publication can be accommodated in the Unrestricted classification as, within the context of the publication, the treatment of themes is not high in impact or offensive, and the treatment of sex and nudity is also not high in impact and is not exploitative, offensive, gratuitous or very detailed. Given the context of the publication's narrative and its literary, artistic and educational merits, the Board does not consider that the publication contains material that offends a reasonable adult to the extent that it should be restricted.'
'While considering that the publication should not be restricted, the Board noted that some content within this autobiographical text may offend some sections of the adult community and may not be suitable for younger readers. For this reason the Board has classified Gender Queer A Memoir 'Unrestricted' with consumer advice of "M—not recommended for readers under 15 years of age".'
Ms Jolly reiterated: 'This consumer advice does not constitute a legal restriction on its sale or availability.'
The Guidelines for the Classification of Publications 2005 (the Guidelines) state that, "in considering each element, the Board makes classification decisions based on the impact of individual elements and their cumulative effect. Both the content and treatment of elements contribute to the impact. The Board takes into account the concepts underlying individual descriptions and depictions, and assesses factors such as emphasis, tone, frequency, context and the amount of visual or written detail in those descriptions and depictions." Thus, specific content that may be accommodated within a certain classification within one context, may fall into a different classification within another context."