Conference shines light on Trans* and Intersex Health Issues

WRITTEN BY // Cec Busby

The findings from GASP (Geelong Adolescent Sexuality Program) a groundbreaking conference on the health and wellbeing of trans and intersex young people held in Geelong last week have been announced.

The conference which partnered with the LGBTI Health Alliance and representatives from the Zoe Belle Gender Centre, Transgender Victoria, Organisation Intersex International (OII) Australia, Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia (AISSGA) and the Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH), drew around 80 participants from over Australia.

Susanne Prosser from GASP described the event as a key first step in a national push to change the way young trans and intersex people experience the health system.

“The conference was a strong affirmation that change is possible and that if we join together we can affect that change, “ Prosser said.

Senior Health Policy Officer Gávi Ansara from the National LGBTI Health Alliance described the forum as a significant national event, saying the conference gave young trans and intersex people an opportunity to voice their concerns, paving the way for a more national response to health care needs.

“The concerns raised by young people and health care professionals at the forum highlighted the importance of ongoing consultation with the young people who are most directly affected by decisions about their care.

“We need to address the needs and challenges of young intersex, trans and gender diverse people living in regional, rural and remote areas to ensure that they can thrive in their communities and families,” Gavi said.

One of the main outcomes from the event was the need to establish a National Advisory Group who will work toward care pathway models for trans and intersex youth.

Conference-goers were excited by ideas that included a mentoring or buddy system, regional conferences, referrals for intersex youth, paediatrician and GP education programs and advocacy models within the GLBTI community.

Prosser was keen to stress the need for specialised services for trans and intersex young people.

“There are key differences in the lived experiences of trans people and intersex people, but one commonality that came through loud and clear at the conference is that at best young trans and intersex people can expect to be invisible in the health system and at worst they are encountering severe infringements on their human rights. 

“If we are to tout the term LGBTI, we all have to make an effort to ensure the health and wellbeing needs of trans and intersex people are considered and work together to change the inequalities they encounter.”

If you would like to become a part of the new National Advisory Group or want further information from the conference, visit call the GASP team on 5272 4977.

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