Today, March 31st, is Transgender Day of Visibility, a day to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments and struggles of transgender people. This day was first recognized in 2009 and has since grown in importance and visibility.
Transgender Day of Visibility is particularly important because it provides a platform for transgender individuals to be seen and heard. This is crucial, given the marginalization and discrimination that many transgender people face in their daily lives. Transgender people are often denied access to basic human rights, including healthcare, education, and employment. They are also disproportionately targeted for violence and harassment.
I'm transgender/questioning my gender identity, what resources are available to me?
In the face of frequent challenges to our rights and freedoms as transgender & gender diverse people, it's important to remember that we're not alone, and that there are communities and support systems available.
- The Gender Centre: The Gender Centre is a community-based organization that provides support, information, and resources for transgender and gender-diverse individuals, their partners, families, and friends. They offer a range of services, including counseling, peer support groups, legal advice, and referral to medical professionals. They also run a clinic in Annandale (near Parramatta) specifically aimed at improving trans-specific health outcomes.
- TransHub: TransHub is an online resource center and community hub for transgender and gender-diverse individuals in Australia. The website provides a range of resources and support for trans people, including information on transitioning, mental health, legal rights, and community events.
- ACON: ACON is a health promotion organization that focuses on the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people in New South Wales. They offer a range of services, including counseling, sexual health clinics, and support groups for transgender people.
- Twenty10: Twenty10 is an LGBTQ+ youth organization that provides support, advocacy, and education for young people aged 12-25. They offer a range of services, including counseling, housing support, and social activities for transgender and gender-diverse youth.
- Transcend: Transcend is a support group for transgender and gender-diverse young people aged 12-25. They offer a safe and supportive space for young people to share their experiences, make friends, and access information and resources.
- QLife: QLife is a national telephone and webchat counseling service for LGBTQIA+ individuals in Australia. The service provides free, confidential, and anonymous support for people who are experiencing mental health concerns, social isolation, relationship issues, or discrimination related to their sexuality or gender identity.
- Black Rainbow: Black Rainbow is an organization that provides support and advocacy for Indigenous LGBTQ+ people. They offer a range of services, including counseling, support groups, and advocacy for transgender and gender-diverse Indigenous people.
- Inner City Legal Centre: Inner City Legal Centre is a community legal center that provides legal advice and representation to LGBTQ+ people in Sydney. They offer assistance with legal issues related to employment, discrimination, and access to healthcare.
- Rainbow Families: Rainbow Families is a community organization that provides support and resources for LGBTQ+ families, including families with transgender and gender-diverse children. They offer social events, workshops, and information resources for families.
- UNSW Queer Collective: While mainly targeted to UNSW students, we advocate for LGBTQIA people on the state & national level, as well as running campaigns to improve medical & industry inclusivity for queer people.
These organizations provide a range of services and support for transgender and gender-diverse individuals in Sydney. It's important to remember that everyone's needs and experiences are unique, and it may take some time to find the right support and resources for you. Don't be afraid to reach out and explore different options to find the best fit for you.
I'm not trans or gender diverse, but I'd like to learn more. What are some good resources?
There are a number of resources available for cisgender (non-transgender) people who want to better understand transgender identities. Here are a few examples:
- GLAAD: GLAAD is a LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization that provides resources and information on how to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, including the transgender community. Their website includes guides and articles on how to support transgender people and understand transgender issues.
- The Gender Dysphoria Bible: This is one of the most in-depth resources about gender dysphoria (the feeling of one's gender not aligning with their assigned gender at birth) and trans identity.
- Digital Transgender Archive: DTA is a project aimed at expanding access to trans history, in order to foster education and dialog concerning trans history. It's a good starting point to understand the history of trans people, as well as the development of modern transgender identity.
What initiatives is the Queer Collective running for transgender students?
In addition to our partnerships with groups like ACON, Minus18, and Twenty10, the Queer Collective is committed to improving outcomes for transgender and gender-diverse students through specific schemes around health, community, and awareness:
- We run awareness campaigns (like this one) throughout the year to promote and explore the experiences of (and issues faced by) transgender people in Australia, as well as providing insights from legal, social, and medical experts on future goals for the community;
- We're working on several resources, such as the Inclusive Language Guide, which aim to provide up-to-date guidance on avoiding inaccurate/misled terminology and information;
- We run the Transgender Autonomous Group at UNSW, which is a semi-official collective of transgender, gender-diverse, and non-binary students who advise and propose changes to policy as part of the Collective,
And much more! Understanding of gender and sexuality is an ever-developing part of the queer community, so we're constantly looking for ways to improve our understanding of ourselves and others. If you have any thoughts or want to share your experiences as/with a transgender or gender-non-conforming person, leave a comment below :)
Transgender Day of Visibility is an opportunity for all of us to come together and show our support for transgender people. It is a day to celebrate the courage and resilience of the transgender community and to commit to building a more inclusive and equitable world. So today, and every day, let us stand in solidarity with transgender individuals and work towards a brighter future for all.