Last part of the interview! Check out part 1,2,3!
Why are there so many mental health issues connected to being transgender and how do you think we can help make this not the case?
It may be due to the fact that gender identity is not taught at school, and so when a person is questioning their gender/realise they are transgender more often than not, the individual may feel isolated and different to those around them.
The cost of medically and legally transitioning is also expensive and is a big source of stress. Reducing medical costs by allowing it to be covered by health care and making legal name changes cheaper/free for transgender people will reduce this financial stress.
There is also lot of waiting that comes with transitioning, which can lead to increased feelings of hopelessness and depression. Promoting the idea that taking longer to transition is ok at that they will get there eventually may decrease this. Unaccepting parents is a big reason why young transgender people face so many mental health issues. Again, increasing awareness will help. In this case, advertising support groups aimed at parents of transgender people will help further.
Homelessness is an issue seen amongst trans people as there are a high proportion of transgender people who are kicked out of home or have had to leave home due to terrible circumstances. To reduce the mental impact of homelessness, providing more housing for transgender individuals is an initiative that can be taken on.
Is there a big transgender community in Sydney, can you tell us a bit about it?
Compared to the lesbian and gay community, it is not as big. I am only aware of support groups and organisations. In Sydney, there are organisations such as Twenty10 and The Gender Centre that help out trans people. The Gender Centre holds monthly groups where you can meet up with people with the same identity and discuss things regarding transition. There are also trans groups on the internet that allow for trans people to connect regardless of location.
Are there many support groups for transgender people in Sydney or do you think there needs to be more? Do you think the government should be doing more for the transgender community?
There is a small number of support groups around the city. I think there should be more situated further from the city, as this will increase the accessibility to those who live a bit further away.
I think the transgender community is one of the many minority groups that the government should be doing more towards.