Transgender University student interview [part 4]

Last part of the interview! Check out part 1,2,3!

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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.

Transgender university student interview [ part 3 ]

Part 3! ( See part 1 & 2)

Transgender laverne

How do you think we as a society can help diminish or get rid of transphobia?

More representation of trans individuals that are not negative; show that transgender people are in fact people. Educate people about what it means to be transgender, and the difficulties faced with being trans. Educate individuals about what is considered transphobic or cisnormative (trans exclusionary) language and behaviours.

What are your feelings about famous transgender individuals such as Caitlyn Jenner, Jazz Jennings and Laverne Cox?

I think it is great that there are famous trans people out there who aim to represent and give light to the community. Laverne Cox especially has done so much for trans representation, and also bringing up intersectionality into discussion. I haven’t seen Jazz Jennings around much, but from what I have seen I think she also creates people to question and understand what it may mean to be trans, especially a young trans person.

As for Caitlyn Jenner, she has brought being transgender into light but there has been a bit of contention in regards to her views, as she is quite conservative.

It is important to note that such famous people, such as Caitlyn are privileged; have the money and are at a place to be able to transition, and that most trans people do not have the same type of accessibility that she does.

What do you think family and schools can do in order to make transgender youth feel more comfortable in their skin and avoid feelings of dysphoria?

Introduce gender neutral bathrooms. Allow uniform to be worn regardless of gender. Allow people to have their preferred names on the roll. Don’t make such a fuss over whether or not someone adheres to gender stereotypes, accept them for who they are. If your child comes out as transgender, listen to what they have to say. Buy them clothes if they want to start dressing more ‘masculine’ or more ‘feminine’.

Transgender University student interview [part two]

Part Two of our interview! ( See part one first)

Feel free to comment, like and share!

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What issues do you encounter in your everyday life being trans?

Compared to before I started transitioning, everyday life has gotten much easier regarding my gender identity. I still have to deal with a few things that are trans related, but not to the same degree as I did a year ago.

I have to deal with a lot of stress regarding planning my medical transition. This was much harder initially as I did not know how to navigate the medical world myself, but I now have experience doing so. Currently I am trying to sort of Private Health Insurance to cover hospital costs and reduce the overall price of my chest reconstruction surgery (top surgery). The reason for this surgery is because I experience dysphoria regarding my chest. This dysphoria inhibits my ability to engage in activities such as going swimming or playing sports as I am currently left to wear a compression shirt which can slightly restrict upper body movement and breathing capacity.

I still have not changed my name legally and so I often have to book appointments with my dead name (name I was given at birth). This causes discomfort when my dead name is called out (such as University interviews and appointments) reminding me that I was indeed assigned a gender I did not want to be assigned as.
Are there any/many medical issues with the transition process?

With T hormone therapy, it is common to see an increase in cholesterol, which may lead to an increased risk in developing diabetes. There is also an increase in blood pressure and thickness that comes along with T. Compared to cis males (those who have a endogenous source of T) it is normal. With surgeries, there are the obvious chances of complications that come along with other surgeries. Some medical health professionals may gate-keep and hold trans people back from transitioning as medical transition is still not widely understood. I have experienced a medical health professional dismissing my gender dysphoria, writing me off as someone with depression.

How do you fight personal prejudice against the trans community?

I try to point things out when transphobic things are said, and get the person thinking about why it is transphobic.

What advice do you give to youth that are gender confused?

I think a better way to ask that is “questioning their gender” as there is a bit of stigma towards being confused about one’s identity. Advice to those questioning their gender: try things out. Look into the trans and/or non-binary communities. Try get the courage to talk to trans and/or non-binary people. Youtube is also your friend, where you can see heaps of videos of other people speaking of their experiences and how they’re navigating their gender and the outside world. Surround yourself with people who are willing to back you up on your journey to self discovery and love yourself, regardless of what identity you may or may not be.

Trangender University student interview [ part one]

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The other day, I was discussing this campaign with a friend. My friend said “ It’s not that I have transphobia or that I am against transgender people in anyway. It is just that I do not understand what it means to be ‘transgender’”. I thought this was a very important point and it is probably one of the more common ways that prejudice feelings and bullying towards the transgender community starts, a lack of understanding and ignorance.

Well, In order to educate and help understand what it means to be ‘transgender’, I interviewed a transgender Uni student, who was kind enough to allow me to ask some pretty personal questions and he answered them in great depth, in order to help educate those who have unanswered questions.

I will be publishing the interview in 3 parts. All Questions are in bold. T.E.A is 19 and is Transmasculine ( he, him, his, they, them, theirs).

What does the term ” transgender” mean to you?

To be “transgender” to me means to be of a gender that is different to the one you were assigned at birth.

When did it occur to you that you were trans?

From a very early age I knew I wanted to be more masculine. I remember wishing I was born in a typical boy’s body and to be treated like one of the boys.
However, I did not know I was transgender until I was in yr 9, where I came across a FTM trans narrative on Degrassi that completely resonated with me. Up until then, I knew that something was odd, that I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what to do until I came across the portrayal of a trans individual.

Can you tell us a bit about the process of transitioning? 

From what I know, the process of transitioning can be categorised into 3 types; social transition, legal transition, and medical transition.

Note: no transition is the same. People have different levels of gender dysphoria and may take different means to be comfortable with themselves. For example, not everyone can or feel the need to start hormones, or opt for surgery. Some may take longer to transition, others faster. It is wholly dependant on the individual and their needs.

1. Social transitioning: For most, this means coming out and telling those around you, or select few that you are trans. This may mean changing your name, your pronouns, how you present yourself through your clothing, your mannerisms. Transitioning in a way that effects your social life.

2. Legal transition: This may mean changing your name legally and/or changing your gender marker on your passport, credit cards and other forms of identification.

3. Medical transition: For some this may mean getting onto hormone replacement therapy. This can also include getting surgery to reconstruct certain physical features. Psych approval is needed in order to get onto hormones and surgeries.

Are you out to your family and friends, do you openly discuss being trans?

I am out to the people who knew me before I started testosterone and to other trans people and queer people. I do not usually openly discuss being unless there is discussion regarding gender identity and if someone asks for information regarding transitioning.

Part 2 and 3 will be posted up soon, so make sure to keep checking in!

Let us know what you think and I really do hope that you help us share this story in order to prevent bullying and transphobia. You can comment, Share or like!

xx GB

Understanding Transgender

I have recently stumbled upon a couple of paragraphs that I believe sums up the notion of being a transgender from a book ‘Transitions – A Guide to Transitioning For Transsexuals and Their Families’.

‘Generally speaking though, transgender people do not know that what they are feeling about their gender is wrong until someone points it out to them that they are not acting appropriately for their gender, or they learn on their own what society deems appropriate for each gender. Let’s face it, society generally believes there are just two genders, male and female, each with its own set of associated behaviours, norms and dress. Modern western society has not generally embraced the fact that there are gender variations beyond male or female. Society tends to ignore the fact that some people are born intersexed and the fact that some people have gender identities that do not match their physical gender.

When a transgender person starts to realise that his or her gender identity is discordant with his physical gender, there develops within the person a level of discomfort. This level of discomfort may wax and wane throughout life. The way individual copes with this discomfort level is low, a person may just act effeminately or tomboyish. When the discomfort level rises, the person may start cross-dressing privately. If the discomfort continues to rise, the person may venture out in public cross-dressed on a limited basis. if the discomfort level becomes too great, the person may start to consider living as the other gender permanently. Hence, what really defines the different variations of transgender spectrum is the action that is required for a person to manage the discomfort caused by his or her gender identity incongruence.’

I think people need to have the basic understanding of transgender that is outlined in these two paragraphs. This seems to be a great book to read for transgenders who are considering transitioning, as well as for families and friends of transgenders who would like to better understand your loved one. This book is written by Mara Drummond, who is a transgender herself.

Get this book from Amazon ->



Cosmetic surgery is not always necessary for transgenders to get into a transition. Taking hormones is one of the most common method if one wants to undergo a transition. Hormones can amazingly and dramatically change your body from inside to the outer physical appearance. Transitioning with hormones takes time, it can goes from one to three years or longer. Taking hormones will change the soft tissues of your body, they will change the shape, the curves, they way you look and how you feel. However, hormones can only give and cannot take away. They can’t take away what you have such as breast or sex organs. That would have to be done by surgery, which is the next step after hormones taking.

Before beginning a transition, you should make sure that you really want this. A transition will change your life. You should also do a sufficient research before making a decision. Different people experience different journey of a transition, so by checking out others’ experience might give you a brief guide of what you should expect.

Again, there are so many transgenders out there that are making a record of their transitions. Take a look at Jamie Raines’s amazing Transition Video down below. Jamie is a trans guy, who took selfies of himself for three year during his transition. He took hormones and had a top surgery. He also gives advices and share his experiences on his blog and YouTube channel. From this video, you can see how hormones alone can change Jamie’s appearance. It is amazing, and certainly inspiring.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Jamie on YouTube to continue follow his transition.



For many transgenders, regardless of their ages, being accepted by their parents is the top of their priorities. Parents play a particular important role in transgender children and teenager. Just like every many children, we all go through a phase where we don’t know what to do and who we want to be. While with trans youngsters, they are also going through a life process where they stand in the middle between their identity and the society and puberty is their enemy.

For parents with transgender child, sometimes you just need to let your child teach you and learn to trust your child decision regarding his/her gender and identity. This may be hard for many parents, having spend most of their life making decision on your child behalf and expecting your child to walk down the perceived common route. It is important for parents to try to listen and understand your child with an opening heart.

There are many online societies for parents with transgender child, where people come to share experiences. Many find it useful to listen to other families’ stories along with sharing their own experiences. What we can’t forget is that the gender identity of a trans child is only one aspect of his/her life and it doesn’t change his/her true-self.

Here are some of the links for parents of transgender online group:


Transgender Toilet


Today’s societies are more open toward LGBT community than it ever has been. Transgenders have slowly become more acceptable and recognised as a third gender in many societies. However, their civil rights still remain as a contentious subject. One of many transgender social problems is their right to use public toilets that correspond to their gender identity. Many transgenders may feel unease and come across mistreatment, harassment and assaults, resulting in them feeling unsafe in either of the toilets.

I don’t think people realised or understand the issues of using public toilet for trans people. It may seems to be a small issue, however imagine yourself having to feel nervous every time you want to use a toilet, whether it’s in public, workplace or at uni campus. We can all help fix this issue by being considerate and respectful to transgender you meet in the toilet and help campaign for trans toilets. 

There is an organisation called #Illgowithyou that offers support for trans people who feel afraid or concerned about going to the toilet alone. We can also help out by getting the ‘Illgowithyou button’ and attach it on your clothes or bag to publicly offer support to be a ‘bathroom buddy’ to trans people who needs it. This is such a great campaign, while the society is slowly working towards providing more toilets for transgenders or unisex toilet that indicate inclusion of trans-gender, we should do our best to make  trans people feel like they belong in our society just like everybody else. 

I’ll go with you Campaign –


Transparent review: Episode 3

transparent 3

Yes, I know, another review so soon! But I just can’t stop watching!

So episode 3 is a little different to the other episodes as Maura is not really the focus and the focus is more on Maura’s children. What seems to be evident is that at the same time that Maura is learning to not hide who she really is, her children’s personal journeys shadow this. Each of her adult children is dealing with past demons and past secrets that are now haunting them.

Perhaps what this episode is trying to show us is that maybe having a father who was never truly himself affected his three children in various ways. Non of his children are the person they need or want to be.

Josh is a very warped and multi-fasciated character, he is very self indulged and can’t see past his own insecurities. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to Maura. Maura could not come out to Josh and backed out last minute because “ boys are the hardest”. I think this is a good topic to dwell on, do you think gender matters in this case? Is it easier to come out to your daughter because “they are more sensitive”. Or is it about the person no matter the gender? This was some fascinating dialogue and it would be interesting to hear others opinions on this.

Maura’s youngest daughter struggles to find who she really is, she lives off her parents and is perhaps the most unconventional character in a way. To me she is weird and quirky and fabulously entertaining, I think she has a great heart and is most defiantly a “ daddy’s girl”, so I feel she will not take Maura very well.

What is also interesting about this episode is that Maura’s oldest daughter ( who she is out to) still girls her “daddy”. This is a very interesting concept and I am interested and curious to see if this changes.

As usual this episode just made me want to watch another one, with the incredible writing and fantastic acting.

Until the next episode! Let me know your thoughts xx GB

Transparent: Episode 2


So I just watched episode 2 of Transparent and WOW what a perfectly excellent cast in every way. We start off where the pilot left us, at the introduction of Maura. She is beautiful and eloquent. Her response to her daughters question was striking- “so you’re going to start dressing as a women?”. Maura replies “No, I have been dressing up as a man my whole life.” In that moment i felt my body shiver and develop goose bumps, I felt as if I was in that room with Maura.

You get the feeling that Maura is still very much learning how to accept herself and how to live the life she always lived in secret. Every character has their own secrets and their own journeys and you feel the authentic and realness behind each characters story and personality. Not once when I’m watching do I feel that I am watching a television program, it is only once the show ends that I realise “oh these are actually actors”. Their performances are so real that it is chilling.

I do like that I am now seeing transgender actors in the show as this was obviously a factor that has lacked within the main cast. I am excited to keep watching Maura’s journey and meet other characters that have taken similar journeys to Maura.

I am interested in how the other siblings will find out and what their initial reactions will be. I am most interested in seeing how Maura’s ex wife reacts or weather she had any idea.

Transparent is an example of how entertainment can also double as a form of activism. And whilst I am very aware of the issues that the Transgender community feel towards Transparent ( such as Maura being played by a cis individual), I think that a mainstream show about a Transgender persons journey, does wonderful things in terms of getting a conversation going about  Transgender acceptance.

Maura’s son, Josh, is an interesting character who I don’t fully understand at this point and I am interested to see how his character further develops. He is multi-fasciated and there is something important about him we do not know yet ( I sense) and I will keep on watching to find out!

I would enjoy some more flash backs to fully understand how Mort hid Maura from his loved ones.

Stay tuned for episode 3!

xx GB