This short video from Inter/Act Youth (USA) explores ‘What it’s like to be intersex’.
Organisation Intersex International Australia’s website has an extensive list of resources and information for parents and families of intersex people. Resources include a handbook for parents, recorded parent talks and links to films by and about intersex people’s experiences.
Organisation Intersex International is a network of Intersex organisations worldwide. OII is represented in Australia by OII Australia, “an independent support, education and policy development organisation, by and for people with intersex variations or differences. Our work focuses on human rights, bodily autonomy and self-determination, and on evidence-based, patient-directed healthcare”.
“Intersex people are born with atypical physical sex characteristics, so that our bodies do not fit typical definitions of male or female. We have diverse bodies, identities and life experiences.
OII Australia is a national body by and for people with intersex variations. Our goals are to help create a society where our bodies are not stigmatised, and where our rights as people are recognised.” — OII Australia
The OII Australia and OII International websites have an extensive range of resources, publications and multimedia.
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”
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
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.”
Guidelines for Supporting Sexual and Gender Diversity in Schools and Colleges, produced by the Tasmanian Government Department of Education, provides guidelines for Tasmanian schools to enable them to be inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex students, families and staff. The guidelines include information regarding legislation, research, providing a supportive school culture, and how schools will be measured on their improvement.
Visit the website: Tasmanian Government Department of Education
Download the Guidelines for Supporting Sexual and Gender Diversity in Schools and Colleges [PDF]
Growing Up Queer was a national research study released in 2014 looking into the issues facing young Australians who are gender variant and sexuality diverse. It demonstrates the need for greater community education, training of educators, doctors and health professionals about the health and wellbeing issues facing young Australians who are gender variant and sexuality diverse.
Download Growing Up Queer research report (2014) [PDF]
The ‘Sexuality is Not a Choice’ booklet is written with the intention of assisting parents, families and friends to gain more understanding of concerns and fears many parents experience when a loved one discloses their sexuality. The booklet is produced by PLFAG Brisbane who also provide a range of booklets and resources with different focuses.
Writing Themselves In 3
Writing Themselves In 3 is the third national study on the sexual health and wellbeing of same sex attracted and gender questioning young people in Australia. It highlights young people’s experiences of discrimination, as well as the protective factors that can improve their overall wellbeing.
Access the report: http://www.glhv.org.au/report/writing-themselves-3-wti3-report