Embracing Gender Diversity
Navigating the many complexities of the world around us as a young person can be challenging and daunting at times.
Whether you are on the cusp of figuring out and accepting who you are, or just starting to, it is important to acknowledge that the journey of discovery and self-embrace is a difficult one for us all.
While especially true for those in our transgender diverse community, Transgender Awareness Week is an opportunity for us all to stand with our transgender friends.
By making a conscious effort to use the right pronouns, or even by simply using a Transgender Awareness Week background in your next virtual conference meeting, there are many things you can do to foster an inclusive and empowering environment for all transgender young people.
Transgender Awareness Week
Each year, from November 13 – 19, people and organisations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility about transgender people and address issues members of the community face.
The campaign is centred on embracing difference in the world around us, celebrating all those who are represented by the light blue, pink and white flag.
Each year, theweek ends with the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a celebration and honouring of those who have stood and continue to stand in the face of transphobic violence, fighting for transgender rights.
Transgender discrimination and violence are still experienced by transgender young people today. By doing our best to be transgender allies, we can embrace and empower transgender young people by letting them know there are people who accept and support them, just as they are.
Questioning my own sex at times has left me with feelings of guilt, shame and loneliness, as the lack of discussion around sexual diversity makes me think it’s frowned upon.
“Knowing that there’s an entire week dedicated to transgender awareness inspires me to remain resilient and proud of my journey of personal finding.”
Steven – Youth Reference Group, headspace
Being a Transgender Ally
There are many things you can do to help transgender young people know that no matter how different they may feel in society, they are not alone.
Here are a couple:
- Be conscious of pronouns. Wearing a pronoun badge, or asking someone for their pronouns before a conversation and using them throughout it, can show respect for pronouns.
- Use gender-neutral language – use ‘partner’ instead of ‘boyfriend/girlfriend, ‘sibling’ instead of ‘brother/sister’
- Have a conversation. Getting to know a transgender young person and their unique experiences, and responding with compassion, can help their voice to be heard!
- Attend an educational event! What better way to hear about lived-experiences, and gain useful tools for being an ally, than with others looking to do the same thing? Join the Minus 18 Team for a live online education and Q & A session on November 19.
Embracing Diversity at Sonder
At Sonder, we ensure our youth services consistently advocate for the inclusion and empowerment of LGBTQIA+ people.
We’re committed to fostering a safe and compassionate environment for all people who visit our Centres, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
headspace Edinburgh North operates the Gender Dive drop in group for young people who identify as LGBTIQ+ and headspace Onkaparinga offers the Southern Youth Rainbow Space.
We strive to embrace the principles of Transgender Awareness Week on a daily basis by providing an inclusive and accepting environment where people may seek help and guidance on the challenges they face.