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Monthly Archives: February 2016

So why do we do this?

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Coffee with my J dude is a special treat.  Yes we do ignore each other until the coffee arrives, focusing on the screens of our phones, but when the coffee hits the table we are all talk and focus.  Yesterday we took some time to reflect on the amazing journey that we had this week.

I was so proud on Monday to stand with parents of transgender children at Parliament House as we talked to politicians about the urgent need to change the Family Law Act so that transgender children do not have to go to court to get permission to be treated by their physicians.  It is no longer an issue that affects us, our journey however has never just been about us.

For the last three and a half years I have watched families struggle, I have seen marriages end, I have provided advice and support to those who struggle with single parenthood and a transgender child. I have held my hand out to young people who have become disconnected from their families.  I have received support and love from people who have become friends that may be around the corner or on the other side of the world.

Last Monday was an amazing step for Australian transgender children. We participated in a formal event where we heard medical and legal information about what needs to change.  Then we heard two moving stories from beautiful young women, one whose mother has fought for years and through her tenacity changed Australian law via a full bench of the Family Court challenge (and subsequent decision) for the benefit of all transgender children, then another for whom the clock is ticking and who needs the law to change for teens like her.  Meeting these mothers was like homecoming, because at the very start of my journey I was connected to them by their stories.  I was sitting in an office at the RCH and asked if Jeremy would just stop all this and go back to being normal.  Instead I received reassurance and the story of these two families, de-identified.  Last Monday I realised that it was the stories of these two families that helped give me the strength to keep going.

Over three years later we still keep going, because there is so much to do.  Access to appropriate treatment for transgender youth in Australia for a start, agitating for the removal of treatment of gender identity disorder from the list of special medical procedures in the Family Law Act,many conversations need to be had.  But there are many voices to join me.

As part of this week’s spectacular events Jeremy spoke openly on radio about what not being able to access cross hormone treatment did to him physically and emotionally.  He was joined by the awesome Georgie, please, enjoy.  Life Matters – 22022016

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Posted by on February 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Stop being so scared

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Eek it’s been a tough week in the media, with a lot of haters.

Read this – The Age

then this The Australian

then this news.com

then read this Ginger Gorman on News.com

The first three articles are fear mongering, biased pieces with a slim grasp on facts.  The last article is beautiful piece from a journalist and a mother who just wants to stop the fear and hate.

Like all things transgender, the more sensational the details, the more the media clamours.  Joe and Jenny Public are eternally fascinated by the weirdness of being transgender.  It is, for so many people, an experience that is so far out of their ordinary that they lap up salacious details and want justification to not be educated because that may be uncomfortable.  Such is human behaviour.

I am only one small voice – but I hope always that my voice will be joined by other small voices to become the insistent voice of love, acceptance and right.

Safe Schools has always been an LGBTIQ focused service, in that their information sessions are aimed to educate teachers about LGBTIQ specific challenges in their student population.  The first three above articles are evidence that LGBTIQ education is needed, because the fear mongering in mainstream media is just that, fear mongering.

Jeremy did not have the benefit of schooling with teachers who received Safe Schools inservice training.  I have told his story here, as it unfolded in heartbreaking episode after heartbreaking episode.  His education has suffered, his future is not the rosy tertiary educated future I always imagined.  I have often pondered how different his future would have been if Safe Schools had had the resources to get into his school that year, if then he could have hung on the final two years of formal schooling instead of floundering with distance education.

What I have heard over the last couple of years is story after story of successful inservice sessions at schools around the country that teach teachers that LGBTIQ students need some adult understanding in the form of modelling positive behaviours.  For transgender children, this layer of protection is vital.  It lifts my heart to hear parents telling stories of their transgender or gender fluid children attending school and learning and playing and growing.  So when you deny Safe Schools the opportunity to demystify being transgender, you deny a child safe education. Because those adults that are up in arms are raising children who get up in arms and those children outnumber transgender children significantly.

This is what I know:

  • having your child go to school with LGBTIQ students will not affect your child
  • having Safe Schools come in to deliver inservice or talk to students will not make your child LGBTIQ
  • having teachers who have received training from Safe Schools leads to school environments where all students accept each other and get on with learning
  • Safe Schools do not teach your children how to be gay or transgender

The fact is that your children will express their sexual preference at some point.  If your child is transgender then they will also express this at some point.  How you deal with that is your choice as a parent.

What I find distressing is that there is a need for Safe Schools at all.  I recognise that their need is vital as evidenced by the tsunami of inaccurate and hateful articles proliferating in Australian media at the moment.

Finally, a word about to the Australian Christian Lobby.  Real Christians have gay and lesbian and transgender and intersex children.  Real Christians love those children, treasure them and recognise them as the mighty miracles they are.  God does not make mistakes, therefore these amazing children are not mistakes, they are part of the diverse panoply of human existence and are loved in God’s eyes.

 

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in Uncategorized