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.

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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’.

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