Article: Not All Transgender People Have Dysphoria – And Here Are 6 Reasons Why That Matters

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Image of 12 illustrated portraits depicting diversityAn informative opinion piece written by Sam Dylan Finch, on why not all trans* identifying people experience gender dysphoria – the medical term for the distress or discomfort that occurs when the gender someone is assigned at birth does not align with their actual gender identity. Sam Dylan Finch a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism. He is queer writer, activist, and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Access the article at everydayfeminism.com:

Not All Transgender People Have Dysphoria – And Here Are 6 Reasons Why That Matters

Gender Help for Parents

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Gender Help for Parents

Gender Help for Parents is a website created and maintained by “Australian parents who have struggled to find information about services and support for issues around their children’s gender identity.”

The aim of the website is to make gender identity information easily available for parents and carers. Some good starting pages to have a look at include:

The website also contains information on services for parents and young people in Australia, including services in Tasmania.

From Blues to Rainbows: The Mental Health Needs of Young People With Diverse Gender

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From Blues to Rainbows was a national research project that aimed to redress the absence of positive, resilience-focused research for gender diverse and transgender young people. Download the From Blues to Rainbows report from beyondblue.

“From Blues to Rainbows found that half of the gender diverse and transgender young people surveyed were diagnosed with depression and two thirds had experienced verbal abuse.

Almost all of the 189 young Australians surveyed had experienced abuse because of their gender diversity, ranging from verbal threats to physical violence. One fifth had experienced physical abuse, and 90 per cent had thought about suicide in response to that experience of physical abuse. The street (40 per cent) and school (38 per cent) were the most common places for threats and harm to occur.

The report also found:

  • 66% of participants had seen a health professional for their mental health in the past year
  • 38% had suicidal thoughts and a quarter had spoken to a medical professional about it
  • One in three did not feel supported by their family and suffered much higher rates of stress, suicide and depression
  • 45% were diagnosed with anxiety compared with an average 25% of the population
  • 66% had experienced verbal abuse due to their gender identity
  • 62% had participated in some form of activism (e.g. participating in a march) which was a protective factor

However, the report also highlighted that parental, peer and school support can make a huge and positive impact to that young person’s wellbeing, as support from parents, peers and teachers was a major protective factor in their wellbeing.

The findings will be presented to policy makers and schools to suggest better supports for gender diverse and transgender young people and to educate teachers and parents, whose influence is crucial to the young person’s mental health and wellbeing”

Citation

Smith, E., Jones, T., Ward, R., Dixon, J., Mitchell, A., & Hillier, L. (2014). From Blues to Rainbows: Mental health and wellbeing of gender diverse and transgender young people in Australia. Melbourne: The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society

First Steps: Shared Stories from Parents and Caregivers of Trans* and Gender Diverse Children

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First Steps is a collection of personal stories, information and tips written for and by parents and caregivers of Trans* and gender diverse children. Published by Working It Out and the Gender Centre NSW, the booklet includes five stories from parents and a young person about their experiences, a note a about language and and gender identity, links to useful books and resources for talking about gender identity with children, and information about Working It Out support groups for parents, young people and adults in Tasmania.

First Steps was made possible with the generous assistance of many parents and families, the Gender Centre NSW and, Being Proud, a project of Working It Out, initially funded by the Tasmanian Government Department of Premier and Cabinet LGBTI Community Grants program 2014.

Download First Steps [PDF] | [DOC]

Being Me (ABC Four Corners)

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Being Me was a Four Corners documentary that originally aired on the ABC in November 2014. This critically acclaimed documentary explores the stories of several trans* children and their families.

View the episode free on the ABC Four Corners website.

“There are any number of self help books that will tell you how to find yourself.

But what if truly being yourself involved changing your gender? Would you have the courage to do it?

Eleven-year-old Isabelle does. To the world she looked like a young boy. But she knew that she was really a girl, and a year ago she told her parents the way she felt.

This week Four Corners reporter Janine Cohen tells Isabelle’s story and the story of the family, the doctor and ultimately the community that backed her decision to truly be herself.

Along the way we meet other people who’ve confronted the same feelings and discover that a growing and significant number of children are finding themselves in the same situation. Some find support from their parents and doctors. Others discover fear, prejudice and a legal system that doesn’t make it easy for them to be themselves.

For Isabelle, the decision to tell her story was not made lightly. She and her parents tell Four Corners that they are willing to speak about their experience so that others won’t feel alone and other transgender children can be helped and protected.

Doctors tell the program that trying to repress the feeling that you are trapped in the wrong body simply does not work. Instead, it can lead to self harm and even suicide.

Paediatricians also make it clear that timing is important. They explain that if children want to make a physical change, then treatment should begin at puberty. In that way, hormone treatments can be prescribed with far better results.

A senior judge tells Four Corners she is keen to see the law relating to transgender treatment tested sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, doctors and families warn the current legal situation is putting some children at risk.

Isabelle’s story is remarkable and inevitably raises many questions for families, doctors and society in general. Ultimately though, it’s a journey that shows courage and honesty is essential to triumph over ignorance. It’s a story that is not to be missed.”

In My Shoes

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What’s it like growing up transgender?

‘In My Shoes’ asks five transgender young people what it’s like to be them – the awesome times, the challenges and how they’ve gotten through them.

This short, collaborative documentary film is an initiative of the Transgender Anti-Violence Project at The Gender Centre Inc., NSW and is produced by Tahlia Trijbetz, the Transgender Anti-Violence Project (TAVP) Officer.

It is co-directed by Walkley Award winning journalist, Monique Schafter (Hungry Beast / 7.30 ABC TV) and award winning director/cinematographer, Mat Govoni.

Thank you to development consultant, Kate Doak.

‘In My Shoes’ features the original rap “Spring” by transgender artist, Harri Harding.

We hope that this film will serve as a resource for the wider community to better understand the issues facing young transgender and gender diverse people. We also hope that it encourages transgender and gender diverse people of all ages to come forward and access support if they need it.

The Gender Centre

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The Gender Centre, NSW

The Gender Centre offers a wide range of services to transgender and gender diverse people, their partners, families and friends in New South Wales. It includes links to current news items related to issues around gender diversity, and a range of fact sheets. They also publish the quarterly magazine Polare, and have an archive containing articles from all past issues. The resources published by the Gender Centre are also relevant to people outside of New South Wales.

 

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