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Learning your child is struggling with their gender identity can be scary, confronting and isolating for parents and carers. But you’re not alone. There are families and young people all across Australia seeking help, connecting with one another and finding professional assistance through Transcend and other support networks. Trans and gender diverse children are much happier and more resilient with the love and support of family, so we encourage you to learn as much as possible about gender identity and gender diversity in order to be your child’s best support and ally. Over the years, Transcend has seen a rapid social evolution to greater acceptance and support of trans and gender diverse people. Whilst there are still many challenges, there are also many reasons for optimism and many examples of young people thriving and reaching their full potential with the support of their family, school, medical services and social groups.

When parents first learn their child is struggling with their gender identity, they can feel very overwhelmed. Many parents report a range of emotions from grief, fear, relief, disbelief or total acceptance. Regardless, it’s a steep learning curve and it’s difficult to know where to start. Please contact Transcend directly for services, resources and community connection to help you give your child the best support available or search Resources.

Trans and gender diverse people have existed as long as humanity and are an expression of natural human diversity. Gender diversity is not a mental illness, however discrimination and rejection can have an enormous negative impact on a person’s mental health, causing anxiety, depression, self harm and social isolation.  We know that children thrive with the love and support of their parents and family. When children grow in this environment, their mental health outcomes are exactly the same as their peers. Well-informed and accepting parents and carers are their child’s best defence against discrimination, self harm and isolation.

Transcend can direct you to the best available supports as close to home as possible. We can provide you with a safe, respectful, non-judgemental place to share your feelings and experiences with other parents and connect you to professional medical and legal organisations. We can help answer some of your questions. Trust us, no question is “too silly”. We’ve been in your shoes, we remember how worried, nervous and scared we were. We’re not a professional counselling service, but we can introduce you to families on the same unfamiliar road. There is great comfort and relief in speaking to others going through the same terrain. Your privacy and most importantly the privacy of your child is respected and protected in this group.

You can connect to support groups here.

In the meantime, here are some links that may be useful immediately.  You can also go to Resources and find supports specific to your State or Territory.

GIRES

Australian Standards of Care and Treatment Guidelines for Trans and Gender Diverse Children and Adolescents

The Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service: Saving Lives

Trans Pathways Report: The Mental health Experiences and Care Pathways of Trans Young People

The Kids Are OK-Medical Journal of Australia-Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Terminology and Inclusive Language

Gender Questioning Booklet

Families Like Mine

Safe Schools

Live Life to the Full: Frequently Asked Questions regarding the support of people of diverse sexual and gender orientation in Catholic Schools

Justice Connect Stage2 Access

Legal Toolkit for Parents Accessing Stage 2 Treatment through the Family Court of Australia

QLife

Kids Help Line

Guidelines Trans & Gender Diverse Inclusion in Sport

Guide for media – reporting on  gender identiy