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01. Pronoun Pins

Do you ever wish you could display your pronouns to the world? Do you like gleaming silver text on bold, gender neutral, colours? Get in on the pronoun pin phenomenon in glorious parallelogram form with brand new AGA OFFICIAL PRONOUN PINS.

All proceeds go back to AGA so that we can do even more cool stuff in the future.

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02. Work For Us

AGA started as a grassroots organisation in 2005. It has since blossomed into a small but influential organisation within Canberra’s community sector – providing advocacy, training, education and social support for the intersex, trans and gender diverse community.

AGA provides social support, events, workshops, advocacy, training, policy advice and resources. We utilise a community development approach in our work that values the voices of lived experience.

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04. Trans Pathways: the mental health experiences and care pathways of trans young people

Groundbreaking, Australian research on the experiences of trans and gender diverse young people.

Gender Diverse, Individual, Medical, Transgender
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05. Intersex: The ‘I’ in LGBTI – FeedSBS

A short documentary piece produced by SBS’s The Feed addressing the stigma and myths surrounding intersex conditions.

 

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06. Protocols for the Initiation of Hormone Therapy for Trans and Gender Diverse Patients

Established by the Victorian Aids Council for Equinox Gender Diverse Health Centre, the Protocols for the Initiation of Hormone Therapy for Trans and Gender Diverse Patients provides clinical guidelines for providing information, service and care in a carefully staged format, utilising an informed consent model.

Gender Diverse, Medical, Transgender
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07. QLives: Bonnie’s Story

An intimate interview with artist, filmmaker and intersex human rights activist Bonnie Hart, produced by QLife Australia in 2015.

 

Individual, Intersex
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08. Model Transgender Employment Policy: negotiating for inclusive workplaces

The document  – Model Transgender Employment Policy: negotiating for inclusive workplace – was written by the US-based Transgender Law Centre.

While there are a couple of references throughout to the American legal context, on the whole the document is relevant for any Australian workplace looking to create a safer and more inclusive environment for trans or gender diverse employees/colleagues.

Employer, Gender Diverse, Transgender
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09. Safe Schools Coalition Australia: Resources

The Safe Schools Coalition Australia has created a number of useful resources for how to create more inclusive environments in schools for intersex, transgender and gender diverse students.

An introductory guide on how to better support intersex, trans and gender diverse students, featuring research and practical advice on how to begin creating a more safe and inclusive environment.

Gender Diverse, Intersex, Teacher, Transgender
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10. FAQs About Transgender People (NCTE)

Written by the National Centre for Transgender Equality, FAQs About Transgender People provides answers to many of the questions faced by transgender people or the people in their lives.

You might find it to be a useful resource for yourself, or to pass to other people in your life to relieve some of the burden of explanation from yourself.

Transgender
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11. Transgender: recently published research

The following articles and documents present up-to-date research on issues relating to transgender people:

Smith, E., Jones, T., Ward, R., Dixon, J., Mitchell, A., & Hillier, L. (2014). From Blues to Rainbows: Mental health and wellbeing of gender diverse and transgender young people in Australia. Melbourne: The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health, and Society. 

Transgender
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12. Gender identity discrimination: legal and human rights documents

The documents linked below are products of the ACT Human Rights Commission. They let you know your rights as a transgender person in the ACT and how to identify discrimination.

ACT Human Rights Commission: Discrimination Explainer

Individual, Transgender
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13. 52 Things You Can Do For Transgender Equality

This poster comes from the National Centre for Transgender Equality, based in Washington, DC.

Employer, Family, Friend, Medical, Teacher, Transgender
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14. Minus 18: Trans101 Videos

Minus 18 is a network for LGBTIQ youth based out of Melbourne. Their Trans101 videos provide concise and accessible introductions to what its like to be trans or gender diverse. You might find them useful to describe your own feelings and experiences, and they are also a fantastic resource to send to other people in your life that takes the initial burden and pressure of explanation off of you.

 

Gender Diverse, Individual, Transgender
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15. Intersex: Relevant legal and human rights documents

The documents linked below are products of the ACT Human Rights Commission. They let you know your rights as an intersex person in the ACT and how to identify discrimination.

ACT Human Rights Commission: Discrimination Explainer

Intersex
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16. Intersex resources – Health related

The links below contain documents, reports and information relating to health issues and intersex people.

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17. Intersex organisations

Below are some links to intersex organisations operating both within Australia and abroad.

Individual, Intersex
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18. Intersex blogs

Below are some links to blogs addressing intersex issues. Please note that the information within them is not produced by AGA.

Individual, Intersex
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20. Transgender For Friends

When someone comes out to you as transgender, it can be difficult to know how to be supportive. The kind of support your friend might need should be an ongoing conversation. It’s okay to check in with your friend every now and again to clarify their needs. These are just some broad guidelines to help you understand some of the ways in which you can support your transgender friend. What’s most important is that you ask your friend what they need, because everyone’s trans journey is different!

Transgender people tend to come out to a select few friends and/or family members before coming out to the broader community. First and foremost, it’s important to acknowledge that a friend telling you they are transgender can be privileged information. Someone coming out to you isn’t necessarily an invitation for you to tell other people. A question you can ask is “Have you told anyone else?” or “Are you comfortable with me telling other people?”. If they’re not ready to come out, care should be taken not to accidentally out them by inappropriately using their new name and pronouns. This ongoing process is often referred to as “social transition”.

Friend, Transgender
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21. Gender Diversity for Friends

So your friend just came out to you with an identity you don’t fully understand. It seems important to them, but you’re not sure how to show them respect and feel a little embarrassed to ask them questions.

It’s okay to ask them questions!

Friend, Gender Diverse
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22. What is Gender Diversity?

Gender diversity is an umbrella term that is used to describe gender identities that demonstrate a diversity of expression beyond the binary framework. For many gender diverse people, the concept of binary gender – having to choose to express yourself as male or female – is constraining. Some people would prefer to have the freedom to change from one gender to another, or not have a gender identity at all. Others just want to be able to openly defy or challenge more normalised concepts of gender. For gender diverse people, their identity is about presenting something more outwardly authentic to the world, whether they understand themselves to be differently gendered, or have no gender at all.

 It is important to recognise that many cultures throughout history have recognised gender diversity beyond masculine and feminine. Today the internet has provided a platform where people can explore common experiences with gender diversity and a lot of the language used to describe these experiences is still evolving. There are often  misunderstandings that report of there being hundreds of genders, each with unique rules, language and pronouns. A lot of these claims are exaggerated, taking into account very niche and specialised terms, or very personal explorations of gender.

Umbrella terms such as non-binary, genderqueer or X gender are adequately broad descriptors for gender diverse people. Individuals, however, may use more specialised personal terms to describe themselves within their own peer group and safe spaces. There is a lot of debate around what pronouns are acceptable, or should be used to describe gender diverse people. The singular ‘they‘ (e.g. “they are taking their dog for a walk”) is widely recognised as an existing pronoun structure that is courteous of gender diversity, if not always considered ideal. There are many other gender neutral pronouns that people may use (such as fae and eir), but ultimately it is best to use the pronoun the gender diverse person asks for. 

Employer, Family, Friend, Gender Diverse, Medical, Teacher
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24. Gender Diversity For Schools

Supporting a gender diverse student at school is mostly about ensuring the student’s identity is treated as valid. Often this starts with a conversation around how the student wishes to identify, how they may wish to express their identity, what facilities they’re going to be comfortable using, and what they may expect from staff and students. Legally speaking, schools in the ACT are required to recognise X gendered students. As a result, schools must be able to accommodate the needs of gender diverse students.

There can be a lot of gender segregated activities at school. “Girls vs Boys” can be a quick and easy way to pick sporting teams or pair off students for an activity. It’s also common for health classes to be gender segregated, as well as some extra-curricular activities. Rather than make special accommodations for gender diverse students that may single them out, why not reconsider how these activities are generally approached? Chances are by making such spaces safer for gender diverse students, more equitable conditions are being made for all other students.

Gender Diverse
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25. Transgender for Schools

A transgender student who chooses to affirm their gender can experience a unique set of challenges within the school environment. It is very important to work with the parents of the student and the student themselves to figure out the best way to support them. This can include updating student records to their new name, action around what uniform the student wishes to wear and which facilities they wish to use. It can also include helping teachers and students understand the process. Often it can mean setting a date when the student will start going by a new name and pronoun and wearing a new uniform. It is also be helpful to seek out training for staff to make sure all staff are equipped to support the student.

A lot of the controversy around students transitioning at school is focused on medical transition and whether or not a minor can make decisions about hormones and surgery. It is important to remember that these options are only made available under medical supervision, and that minors require the consent of their parents or a competency test. These are not decisions that are made lightly, and largely do not require the supervision or input of the school. It is important that the school supports and respects the decisions made by the student, parents, and medical practitioners supporting the trans young person.

Transgender
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26. Intersex for Schools

There is a very good chance that intersex students are not going to be open at school about being intersex, and that some of them might not even know that they are intersex. Different statistics suggest the number of people born with intersex variations to be between 0.05% and 1.7% of the population; making it comparable to the number of people with red hair. It is therefore important that schools are conscious of the issues intersex students may face.

There are approximately 40 different intersex variations, and many of these variations do not become apparent until well into puberty or adulthood. For students born with  observable variation at birth, there is a significant chance that they have not been told yet. If a school is informed that a student is intersex, it is important to work with the parents and the student, in an age appropriate way, to ensure their privacy and safety. It is also critical, however, to be guided by the parents in the first instance, as they may not have informed their child at that stage that they are intersex.

Intersex
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27. Gender Diversity for Medical Professionals

Gender diversity can be a very sensitive topic to navigate as a medical professional, but it is important that a medical practice is able to respect the needs of gender diverse individuals. Poor experiences mean that gender diverse people may not seek out medical help when they need it. Being able to take steps to ensure that gender diverse patients feel safe and respected will not only benefit those patients, but ensure practices more inclusive.

In some cases, it may be necessary for medical practices to ask for or record a patient’s legal name and sex assigned at birth. Taking into account that such questions might be upsetting or difficult for a gender diverse patient to answer, this experience should be made as comfortable as possible, and be approached with sensitivity and understanding. Having  space on patient intake forms to acknowledge how a patient wishes to be addressed, can be helpful. In environments where a patient has to deal with multiple staff members, there needs to be an understanding that all staff will respect the patient’s choices.

Gender Diverse, Medical
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28. Transgender For Medical Professionals

Transgender people often face great difficulty when it comes to finding doctors that are appropriately mindful of their needs. Many trans people experience doctors as the gatekeepers that may prevent them from receiving trans-affirming healthcare. Unfortunately, doctors often represent unreasonable barriers and hurdles that transgender people must face to be able to reinforce their gender. Trans people generally rely on word of mouth to find doctors that treat them appropriately. A bad experience can have terrible effects on the emotional well-being of a trans person and as such, this information is shared among their community in order to prevent others from experiencing the same.

Nevertheless, there are many things that doctors can do to improve access to services.

Transgender
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29. Intersex for Medical Professionals

The single best thing doctors can do for intersex people is to support the push for legislative protection against medical intervention on infants and children. It is important that the medical establishment uses a human rights framework when seeing intersex people as opposed to a framework of diagnosis and treatment. This is not about preventing intersex people from accessing treatment, but ensuring that the only people making decisions about intersex bodies are the intersex people to whom the body belongs.

It is equally important to change the language and understanding around intersex in a way that embraces diversity, as opposed to seeing variation and difference as a problem that needs fixing. Intersex patients need ongoing, open conversations with their physicians in order to make the best informed choice for themselves. Even when an intersex person gives consent, there is often a lack of discernment and a feeling of being pressured into making a certain decision. It is worth noting that even when an intersex person is able to consent, many may feel pressured into making choices they are not fully informed or resourced about. Under such circumstances, it may be helpful to refer intersex patients onto peer support services, where they can be informed, share experiences with others and feel supported by the experiences of others.

Intersex
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30. LGBTIQ COMMUNITY CONSORTIUM

In partnership with Canberra’s local LGBTIQ publication FUSE MAGAZINE the CBR LGBTIQ Community Consortium has produced a handy guide to help our community connect with many vital services, social groups and local business. You can read it here on our website. Free copies are available at the Council or from any of our partners and participating businesses. The directory is is online at directory.fusemagazine.com.au

Download the full LGBTIQ Community Consortium Report as a .pdf

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31. Gender Diversity For Mental Health Professionals

Mental health statistics specific to gender diverse populations are not as well researched or understood as for the broader LGBTIQ+ community. Given a certain amount of common experiences and crossover between the communities, it can reasonably be understood that there are high rates of mental health issues, self-harm and suicidality prevalent in the gender diverse community. With such high need for mental health services, it is important to recognise the  barriers faced by the gender diverse community to accessing support services.

Clients who identify as gender diverse or non-binary might have quite different experiences to binary trans people – textbook, clinical understandings of what it means to be trans are not necessarily applicable to gender diverse people. As with many trans people, the experience of dysphoria may or may no be present. It is important not to assume gender dysphoria as a given for people exploring new ideas and understandings of gender.

Gender Diverse, Medical
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32. Transgender For Mental Health Professionals

Rates of mental illness, self harm, and suicide are significantly higher among trans people than non-trans people. This is due to ‘minority stress’ which describes the social and emotional impact that comes from being marginalised or discriminated against. 

Access to mental health services is part of the solution. Unfortunately, issues of gender diversity have historically been criminalised and pathologised, and psychiatry has left a long legacy of unhelpful diagnoses and mistreatment within the health profession. It is important to understand the depth of issues and barriers to accessing mental health care that trans people face.

Transgender
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33. Intersex for Mental Health Professionals

Like many people under the LGBTIQ+ banner, intersex people experience a higher incidence of mental health issues , self harm and suicide, along with higher than average rates of poverty, disability, and lower participation in higher education. This is as a result of a social phenomenon called ‘minority stress’. Minority stress describes the social and emotional impact that comes from being marginalised or discriminated against.

It is therefore important to shift understanding from the assumption that being LGBTIQ+ somehow intrinsically causes these problems, to placing the responsibility with society. Social and mental difficulties arise as a response to social hostility, rather than being somehow innately consequential. As such, it is the job of mental health professionals to support their intersex clients, and to shift attitudes in society.

Intersex
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34. Glossary

Sex – the biological characteristics of a person when they are born, including their genitalia, chromosomes, and gonads

gender identity – the gender with which a person identifies internally

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36. Gender Diversity For Parents

Parents may notice that their child does not fit society’s gender norms of ‘male’ or ‘female. This may present as a child enjoying activities or things that are commonly understood to be ‘for the opposite sex’. Some parents may not even notice their child’s experience of gender diversity, while for others it may be overwhelming or distressing. Some parents may be confused about what gender diversity is, why their child is gender diverse and what this means for them as parents.

There is a common perception that gender diversity is a recent trend among young people. However, there is a lot of historical and cultural precedent for gender diversity, and for communities finding new language and modes of expression that better represent their experiences of gender. Gravitating towards non-binary and gender diverse labels is something that can happen regardless of age.

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37. Transgender For Parents

Parents can feel an enormous burden when their child tells them that they are or might be trans. A revelation like this might unsettle the life that parents had envisioned for their child, leading to feelings of distress, fear and grief. The enormous role that gender plays in shaping our view of the world and the fact that parenting is almost exclusively discussed in terms of having a daughter or son, means that feelings of confusion or destabilisation frequently arise when a child comes out as trans. This is not helped by the negative bias in the media; a rhetoric which often positions trans people as ‘less-than’ or ‘abnormal’.

Acknowledging this, it is important to note that as a parent, your feelings of distress or confusion are common and valid. Seeking support services in order to counter these feelings and do what is best for your child can be incredibly important. Family counselling with a trans-affirmative therapist, utilising appropriate resources and accessing the many events run at AGA, can help navigate the way forward. The best way for parents to support their trans child is to stay informed and positive, and to ensure the best possible support, outcomes and options are available.

Transgender
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38. Intersex for Parents

Whilst the majority of babies born appear to have characteristics which can be clearly  grouped into categories we call ‘male’ or ‘female’, for some babies it is not so clear. The word intersex is simply a descriptor for a person who has natural variation in their sex characteristics (hormones, chromosomes, gonads, or genitals). For some parents it can be confusing and perhaps even frightening to find out their child is intersex. Our society is preoccupied with biological sex and gender and this is particularly true when it comes to having a child. Often before a baby is born, people ask if it is a boy or a girl. Parents often talk about their children in terms of their sex, yet very few people talk about what it is like to have an intersex child.

Discovering that your child is intersex can be a distressing experience for many parents. However, there are support services, such as AGA available to parents and families of intersex people, as well as crises services that offer help and support. Support services can be more limited to families of intersex people, but they are out there, including at AGA.

Intersex
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39. Gender Diversity For Workplaces

Navigating gender diversity in the workplace can seem like a complex issue that needs special treatment. However workplaces often find the considerations made for gender diverse people are simple things that make the workplace more mindful and inclusive for everyone.

One thing to be aware of are the legalities that are applied to workplaces with the goal of avoiding discrimination in the workplace. The ACT Human Rights commission has some clear guidelines around gender in the workplace. 

Gender Diverse
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40. Transgender For Workplaces

When a person decides to tell their workplace that they are transitioning, the organisation has a responsibility to respond appropriately and supportively. If an employee is requesting to change their status, name and other details, this may require amending documentation concerning the employee. The HR section might need to familiarise themselves with such a process to ensure the transition in the workplace is as smooth, supportive and efficient as possible.

One of the most common requests AGA receive is facilitating workplace education when a work environment is experienced as feeling hostile to a transgender employee. While a solid workplace policy of inclusion combined with training can get everyone on the same page, there are plenty of other things organisations can do to ensure an inclusive environment. Often the best place to start can be sitting down with a transgender employee and asking them what they need, how they wish to handle coming out in the workplace, and when and how they would like to update their documentation. The employee may seek entitled leave over the transition period. While transitioning can be very liberating for trans people, it can also be unnerving due to the anticipation of how others might react.

Transgender
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41. Intersex for Workplaces

The best way to support intersex people within the workplace is to have inclusive policies. It should not be necessary for intersex people to disclose their status to their employer in order for this to be achieved. Intersex variation is much more common than people realise, so it is therefore important to create an intersex-inclusive work environment. Many more people will benefit from such initiatives than may be explicitly apparent.

 

Intersex
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42. Gender Diversity for Families

What does it mean to be gender diverse and how can a supportive family environment be established? Gender diversity is a very broad term that can mean different things to different people. To understand how to support gender diverse people in your family, it is often best just to ask the person. Being gender diverse for some people can mean that they do not identify with the current binary system of man and woman. They may feel themselves to be androgynous or gender creative or have no gender at all (agender). There are any number of ways a person may choose to identify and express themselves as gender diverse. Sometimes this might mean a change in how they want to be referred to – such as a different name or pronoun, or it might mean dressing differently or taking up a different role or duties in the family. Sometimes people come out as gender diverse and their gender expression might not change at all.

The best thing you can do is to start a conversation in which you are curious and positive about how the gender diverse person would like to be seen. It might seem like there is a lot to learn about gender diversity, but the most important thing to learn is how to specifically respect the gender diverse people in your life.

Family
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43. Transgender for Families

A supportive family network can make a huge difference to the social and emotional health and wellbeing of a trans person. Due to the important role family can play in our lives, the difference between a hostile reaction and compassion can have a significant effect on the lives of  trans people. An unsupportive family network, or one with a culture of transphobia or strong ideals about gender norms, can isolate a trans person and cause serious harm. We can think of family networks as mini-societies: just like our larger society is becoming more tolerant and accepting of LGBTQI people, so too can our family units. The voices of a few supportive and vocal members can go a long way to helping educate family members who might not yet be on the same page.

Creating a culture within your family that is supportive of trans family members can be a conscious choice. In practice, this would entail embracing the trans person’s choices, respecting their chosen name and pronouns, and asking other family members to do the same. It is not uncommon for family members to wish their loved one was not trans.  This can often come from good intentions: not wanting your loved one to experience discrimination and hostility is entirely normal. Whilst the feeling of wanting to protect a loved one from harm is understandable, all efforts to reduce harm can best be placed in the direction of changing societal attitudes. Research has demonstrated the ineffectiveness of conversion therapies, not to mention the immense trauma this inflicts upon trans people (see our information hub for resources). 

Transgender
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44. Intersex for Families

Parents of a new born intersex child report that a significant source of anxiety comes from worrying how other family members might react, particularly when there is a delay on visitation or announcements about the child. Therefore one of the most valuable things that can be done for the parents’ of an intersex child is to allow them some space right after the birth. This gives the parents an opportunity to calmly make decisions about what might need to happen and how best to inform their loved ones in due course. Sometimes families can feel very eager for news about their newborn relative but this can add to the sense of worry parents face. Sending well wishes for the child and parents whilst letting them decide when and how to share information can be the best form of support.

It is important to understand that there are many difficult decisions that the parents of intersex children need to work through. The family can be wonderful support to parents who need to be supported in these decisions, so the rights of the child are not overlooked. When faced with  intense social and/or medical pressures to raise a “normal” child, the anxiety and a lack of appropriate resources can minimise best outcome options for the child. There are many ways families can help support parents through this process such as helping with research, providing emotional support and putting families in touch with crisis services or intersex support groups.

Family, Intersex
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45. Gender Diversity For Individuals

Being gender diverse means different things to different people. A lot of people think that if someone is gender diverse they have to present themselves in a certain way (e.g. androgynous clothing). Some gender diverse people do not want to present themselves as either ‘male’ or ‘female, while others are happy to present themselves as what society sees as a binary gender. However this does not make them any ‘less’ gender diverse. For all the ways there are to explore gender, there is no one ‘right way’. You might find yourself gravitating towards a particular label or you might not. It might be about rejecting what feels inauthentic or embracing what is exciting. Perhaps it is about challenging how those around you see gender or maybe it is about challenging how you understand yourself. It is your path to navigate and how you express yourself is a personal choice.

That does not mean you have to do this alone. Many gender diverse people enjoy spending time within the gender diverse community. Many might need support from therapists, support groups and community centres, both online and offline. Some people experience gender diversity as a wonderful adventure filled with possibilities while for others it can feel difficult to find ways to express the complexity of their internal gender identity. This can be experienced as overwhelming and isolating. Being around other gender diverse people can help reinforce your identity and can support to better understand the unique ways that people explore, experience and express their gender identity.

Gender Diverse, Individual
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46. Transgender For Individuals

Coming to terms with being transgender can be a challenging and terrifying time in someone’s life. Always remember – your identity is valid and you do not have to tackle this alone. There is no single trans narrative and no correct time or way to transition. There is no rush to tell people and it is okay to feel one way and then another. It is also okay to tell some people and not others. This is your personal journey and the best thing you can do for yourself is to ensure that you are supported, resourced and informed. Knowing what options are available to you in deciding which path is best for you can support you to advocate and articulate your own needs. It can be the early stages for many trans people that feel most daunting, but with good support, the right information and access to care, the process can be a whole lot easier.

It is also important to acknowledge that there is no specific criteria for being transgender. Experiences of gender dysphoria (the clinical term used to describe the feelings of the intense distress some trans people experience in relation to their physical body not aligning with their gender identity) are not universal. The transition journey can take many different roads, for example some trans people experience dysphoria constantly, while other people only experience it from time to time. Others might never experience it!

Transgender
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47. Intersex for Individuals

Finding out that you are intersex may be very confusing and confronting. The most important thing to do is to take care of yourself, and if you find yourself struggling, seek support. It is very important to empower yourself with information, especially if you are being pressured into making decisions about your body. The more resources available to you, the better informed decisions you can make. Unfortunately there can be a lot of barriers to finding out certain information; medical records can be lost or have restricted access, and families and doctors might not be completely straightforward with information.

Another important point to remember is that you do not have to navigate this alone. Many intersex people are told they are ‘rare’ or ‘unique’ and that other people do not have similar experiences: this is simply not true. For all their differences, a lot of intersex people have very similar experiences, often of shame and isolation. Finding community can help you navigate these feelings while also offering emotional support. It is worth seeking out support groups, such as those offered at AGA, to connect with other people who have similar experiences. 

Individual, Intersex
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48. Intersex for Friends

So your friend just told you they’re intersex. Now what?

An important thing to understand about intersex is that it doesn’t necessarily mean that someone intends to change their gender identity or indeed anything about themselves. It’s important to know that intersex is a term used to talk about natural, biological variations in a person’s sex.  If someone comes out to you as intersex, it’s likely they need someone to talk to. Maybe they’ve just found out they’re intersex and are unsure how to process it. Maybe they have to make some decisions about their body, and need someone to trust.

Friend, Intersex
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49. Intersex for Families

Parents of a new born intersex child, report that a significant source of anxiety comes from worrying how other family members might react, particularly when there is a delay on visitation or announcements about the child. Therefore one of the most valuable things that can be done for the parents’ of an intersex child, is to allow them some space right after the birth. This gives the parents an opportunity to calmly make decisions about what might need to happen and how best to inform their loved ones in due course. Sometimes families can feel very eager for news about their newborn relative but this can add to the sense of worry parents face. Sending well wishes for the child and parents whilst letting them decide when and how to share information can be the form of support.

It is important to understand that there are many difficult decisions that the parents of intersex children need to work through. The family can be wonderful support to parents who need to be supported in these decisions, so the rights of the child are not overlooked. When faced with  intense social and/or medical pressures to raise a “normal” child, the anxiety and a lack of appropriate resources can minimise best outcome options for the child. There are many ways families can help support parents through this process such as helping with research, providing emotional support and putting families in touch with crisis services or intersex support groups.

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50. Privacy Policy

We are committed to ensuring and respecting the confidentiality and privacy of all clients within the limits of the law. The Privacy Policy adhered to by AGA incorporates the following legislation:

Privacy Act 1988

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51. Crisis Helplines

AGA is not a crisis service.

If you are in crisis or need someone to talk to, there are a lot of great over the phone and online counselling services.

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54. Become a Member

Becoming a member of AGA can strengthen your connection with our organisation and will ensure that our aims and objectives continue to be guided by the community. As a member of AGA, you will receive:

 

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55. What Is Transgender?

Transgender – or trans* for short – is an umbrella term for those whose gender differs from that which they were assigned at birth. This includes binary trans people (trans men and trans women) and non-binary trans people, who may use descriptors like gender-queer, bi-gender, a-gender, or gender-fluid (though not all non-binary people use trans as a descriptor – refer to our gender diversity pages for more information).

Trans people may express their gender in a variety of ways and that may vary in certain contexts and at certain times. Therefore it is important to remember that there is no one way to ‘be’ trans as it can mean many different things to different people. Transition for some people may mean changing their name and choosing a pronoun that feels more appropriate – a process that is often referred to as ‘social transition’. For others, transition may involve gender affirming medical treatments, such as hormones and surgical interventions – processes referred to as ‘medical transition’.

Transgender
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56. What Is Intersex?

Intersex is an umbrella term that describes the many different ways people can be born with biological traits that are not commonly regarded as unambiguously ‘male’ or ‘female’.

While there are many documented types of intersex variations, the term broadly refers to natural variations of the genitals, gonads, chromosomes, and/or hormones. These variations may be observable from birth, become apparent through puberty, or might not be detected until much later in life.

Employer, Family, Friend, Individual, Intersex, Medical, Teacher, Transgender
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62. Training & Education

A Gender Agenda (AGA)  is actively engaged in increasing public awareness and understanding of intersex, trans and gender diversity issues. We do this by offering up to date consulting, training and education.

AGA’s consulting, training and education programs are based on the foremost research as well as the lived experiences of the communities we represent. As such, our training services offer current understandings and appreciation of the issues that are faced by the intersex, trans and gender communities.

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63. Acknowledgements

AGA acknowledges the Ngunnawal, Nagambi and Ngarigu peoples as the traditional owners of the land that we work and live on. We pay tribute to their elders, past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

 

Employer, Family
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64. Meet the Board

Jake has been involved with AGA on and off since its inception.  He has been chair of the AGA board since 2015.  In that time AGA has grown considerably, secured long-term funding, moved to new premises and expanded services to members.  Jake has also been involved in a number of other Canberra community organisations including the Meridian Club (way back in the 1990s) and the AIDS Action Council.  Jake is a lawyer and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Over 40 years of lived experience with gender identity confusion, and a member of AGA since 2010. This is Stuart’s 4th year on the board and 2nd year as Treasurer.

Employer
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65. Advocacy

AGA is actively engaged to protect, promote and advocate for the rights and legal recognition of intersex, trans and gender diverse people. AGA’s work helps reform laws at a territory and nationwide level, and contributes to policy development. We also actively lobby decision makers and forms strategic partnerships through which to enhance our advocacy platform. If you have any questions about AGA’s policy and advocacy work, please contact AGA’s Executive Director Sel Cooper. sel.cooper@genderrights.org.au

AGA has made submissions to a number of Commonwealth and ACT-based consultation processes and inquiries.

Employer, Family
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66. Our History

AGA started as a grassroots organisation in 2005. It has since blossomed into a small but influential organisation within Canberra’s community sector – providing advocacy, training, education and social support for the intersex, trans and gender diverse community.

We are currently working on writing a rich history of the beginnings of AGA, for which we are seeking contributions from long-term members. If you’re interested in providing your reflections, please get in contact!

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68. Why Donate

This is achieved through:

Demand for our services is ever-growing. Your generosity will contribute towards ensuring that we can continue to meet the needs of our community, and that we can expand, build upon and improve the services we currently deliver.

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71. Partner Organisations

 

The LGBTIQ+ Canberra Consortium is made up of lead organisations in Canberra working with the LGBTIQ+ communities, including AGA. These services can provide various support options and assist in linking people with other relevant services.

Gender Diverse, Intersex
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74. About AGA

A Gender Agenda (AGA) works with the intersex, trans and gender diverse community. This includes intersex people, transgender people, people who cross-dress and other gender variant or gender non-conforming people. We acknowledge the important role that partners, family members and allies play and these people are specifically welcomed as part of our community.

AGA is a unique community organisation actively engaged in increasing public awareness and understanding of intersex, trans and gender diversity issues. In addition to training and education, we provide advocacy and support services, information and resources and are actively engaged in human rights and law reform.

Intersex
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