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Transgender Awareness Week: when actions speak louder than words

Transgender Awareness Week: when actions speak louder than words

Australia ProBono has published a great article ahead of Transgender Awareness week (November 13 – 19), republished here:

Many communities will be celebrating, gathering, and mourning together next week in commemoration of Transgender Awareness Week, running from 13–19 November, and on Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November.

While Transgender Awareness Week has its roots in trans communities and has gone on to be embraced by the broader LGBTIQA+ community, it is now observed in many workplaces across the social services sector and beyond.

The week is significant not only because it raises the visibility of trans and gender diverse people in our own lives, as well as nationally and globally, but also because it promotes connection to the issues affecting trans and gender diverse communities, amplifies trans people’s voices and experiences, and importantly, brings attention to issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence inflicted on trans and gender diverse people.

In addition to providing visibility, connection, and celebration, Transgender Awareness Week offers an important opportunity for allies to understand and bring attention to issues of prejudice, discrimination and violence that affect trans and gender diverse people.

Trans and gender diverse people continue to face marginalisation and discrimination in the form of transphobia and transmisogyny, which describes how trans women face a more heightened and aggressive form of misogyny.

Negative attitudes and beliefs about trans people; irrational fears and misunderstandings; disbelief or dismissal of a person’s pronouns or gender identity and misgendering; derogatory language and name-calling; and bullying, abuse, and violence are all examples of transphobia.

Transphobia and associated stigma can also create barriers and deterrents to the access and inclusion of trans and gender diverse people in services, resources and communities.

As allies, it is our responsibility to work in solidarity to name, challenge, and break down these barriers. We should all be committed to challenging marginalisation and discrimination based on gender identity and expression as a sector that prides itself on values of care and inclusivity.

Consider how your actions will speak louder than words throughout next week and what your organisation can do to promote the inclusion, affirmation, and celebration of trans and gender diverse people.

Transgender Awareness Week concludes on 20 November with Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). The day was founded in 1998 by trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith, who held a vigil in memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was killed that year. The vigil evolved into a commemoration of all trans lives lost to violence that year, and it has since become an annual event.

Today, TDOR is a day of community gathering, togetherness and solidarity to remember those lost, celebrate resilience in the face of adversity and pledge to fight transphobia in order to create a safe and inclusive world for all.

In Gwendolyn’s own words, “TDOR seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people—sometimes in the most brutal ways possible—it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”

While all forms of transphobia must be condemned, it is critical to recognise that not all forms of transphobia are the same, especially when trans women face disproportionate rates of discrimination and violence. Last year, 96 per cent of those murdered globally were trans women or transfeminine people.

Beyond Transgender Awareness Week, the organisations in which we work and the communities we are part of should contribute to the inclusion of trans and gender diverse people through respect and the pursuit of equity.

Creating cultures of belonging necessitates ongoing care, attention and support that should be embedded in policies and strategies. The reward is a thriving environment in which everyone can flourish and meaningful change can be made.

For further information about Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance, visit Minus 18 and Trans Awareness Week and TDOR websites. For anonymous, LGBTI peer support and referral, contact QLife on 1800 184 527.

Nevena Spirovska  |  @ProBonoNews

Nevena Spirovska is an LGBTIQA+ activist, campaigner and proud community volunteer. She has dedicated herself to the for-purpose sector and has been highly engaged with grassroots movements and campaigns supporting LGBTIQA+ equality, human rights, and addressing the drivers of structural disadvantage. Twitter: @NevenaSpirovska


Wear it Purple: Purple Impact Report

Wear it Purple: Purple Impact Report

It’s officially official: Wear it Purple Day, way back on August 26, was our biggest one yet.  Our Wear it Purple Day Impact Report is ready and available for download!

Here’s a sneak peek!

💜 474,045 people got involved in Wear it Purple Day with Minus18

💜 1,895 Pride Packs were sent around the country!
💜 Including 250 FREE packs for schools and community groups

💜 99% said their Wear it Purple Day activity inspired ongoing inclusion.

There’s a couple of things that really stick out to us:
🌈 Firstly, that campaigns like this truly make a difference, and inspire ongoing change and inclusion.

🌈 Secondly, that it really is you, our community of supporters, whether LGBTQIA+ or allies, that turn campaigns from awareness days to days of true impact.

headspace Tweed Heads to hold a Wear It Purple Day

headspace Tweed Heads to hold a Wear It Purple Day

headspace Tweed Heads is having a Wear it Purple Day movie night on Friday, August 26, at the Hoyts Tweed Head cinema, starting around 5.30pm.

Wear it Purple Day is an annual LGBTIQA+ awareness day especially for young people, based in Australia. Supporters wear purple to celebrate diversity and young people from the LGBTIQA+ community. The Day is organised by Wear it Purple, a student run, not-for-profit organisation, providing presentations and workshops

headspace Tweed Heads is inviting people to come long, listen to one of our young people speak, perhaps a panel and then watching the movie Happiest Season. The event is a gold coin donation.

Happiest Season is about a young woman, Abby, who plans to propose to her girlfriend, Harper, in front of Harper’s family members. But she is in for a shock when she learns that Harper is yet to come out to her parents.

Youth Advisory Group

headspace Tweed Heads is also looking for young people aged 16-25 who want to be involved in Youth Advisory Group (YAG).

The YAG is a key part of our service, they help direct us with sitting in on job interviews for employees, giving feedback about the service, co-designing and assist with organising, facilitating, and supporting events.

The group is space for young people to come along and contribute to the centre, their community and connect with other young people passionate about mental health. The YAG  meets every second Wednesday for 2 hours with food provided and facilitated by me and another worker, I have attached a flyer that has a QR code that takes young people to the EOI for the group.

headspace’s Lismore Young Peoples’ Advisory Committee seeks new members

headspace’s Lismore Young Peoples’ Advisory Committee seeks new members

headspace’s Lismore Young Peoples’ Advisory Committee is looking for new members.

The Young Peoples’ Advisory Committee (YPAC) at headspace Lismore is made up of volunteers aged 12-25 years who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people. headspace aims to have young people involved in every aspect of the decision-making to ensure young people’s voices and opinions remain front and centre.

Are you 12-25 and passionate about making a difference?

headspace Lismore aims to have young people involved in every aspect of the decision-making for our centre.

This includes:

·       Planning and helping run youth events and other programs including art workshops, markets, comps, hosting headspace stalls at festivals and more.

·       Evaluating and helping shape the delivery of headspace services.

·       Assisting in the design and development of our centre.

·       Attending various meetings for local organisations/services/schools and presenting on behalf of headspace Lismore.

·       Giving the youth a voice 

·       Building self-confidence and developing personal skills

·       Giving feedback and ideas on policies and procedures, including recruitment and staff training.

·       Developing our social media platforms and community engagement strategies.

We meet fortnightly on a Tuesday from 5:30pm at our centre.

Please follow the EOI link and/or share amongst your networks:


Pride Health and Wellbeing – Free Membership

Pride Health and Wellbeing – Free Membership

Through the generosity of Coles, 2 two-year Pride in Health + Wellbeing Memberships are available to help smaller organisations provide more LGBTQ inclusive care.

These memberships will allow these organisations to not only review and upskill on their care for gender and sexuality diverse patients/service users but also to measure this change through the free annual Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI) benchmark and surveys.


These two memberships will be awarded to organisations that meet the following criteria:

• Less than 25 FTE

• Be a not-for-profit organisation

• Working in the health, wellbeing or human services sector

• Working with vulnerable, marginalised and minoritised communities (e.g. culturally and linguistically diverse communities, refugee and newly arrived communities, those impacted by domestic, family and intimate partner violence, people living with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, regional and remote communities etc)

• Are located outside a capital city

• At least one is for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander focused organisation

Expression of Interest forms can be found here.


2022 Australian Pride in Health and Wellbeing

2022 Australian Pride in Health and Wellbeing

The inaugural Australian Pride in Health + Wellbeing Awards will be held online via Livestream on Wednesday,  March 30.

This event recognises the achievements across the health, wellbeing, human services, and community care sector, measured through the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI). Previously we had celebrated with Pride in Diversity at the Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards, but now it will be celebrated separately. Full details in the link below.


ACON Health update

ACON Health update

ACON’s Northern Rivers office in Lismore is closed until further notice due to the flooding disaster.

Phones have been redirected to our Hunter office, and all community enquiries will receive a response within 48 hours.

ACON’s team in the Hunter and Sydney are also currently offering a Crisis Support Service. Please see below for further information.

CRISIS SUPPORT SERVICE – Northern Rivers Flood Emergency

ACON is currently offering an LGBTQ+ inclusive crisis support service to anyone from our community impacted by the devastating Northern Rivers floods.

We understand that disasters such as these can impact our mental health and wellbeing, and we’re here to help.

You can access FREE, short-term counselling and practical support to access emergency financial assistance and other essential services.

For more information, please reach out to us, and we will contact you within 24-48 hours.

Online             http://www.aconhealth.org.au/intake_form

Free call:       1800 063 060

Tel:                 (02) 9206 2000

This is a short-term service available until mid-April 2022.

Crisis Support Service – NR Flood Emergency_A4_ACON


National Roundtable on LGBTI+ Ageing and Aging Care

National Roundtable on LGBTI+ Ageing and Aging Care

In February, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia will be holding a national roundtable on LGBTI ageing and aged care, to encourage discussion about ensuring LGBTI people live fulfilling lives into old age. The roundtable will develop a set of recommendations and policy positions to guide the work of the organisation into the future.

Attendance at the roundtable is by invitation. For further information contact Franky Lander-McLeod. 

Byron Youth Survey 2021 (closes 24 December 2021)

Byron Youth Survey 2021 (closes 24 December 2021)

Are you aged 12 to 24 years and located in the Byron Shire. Byron Shire Council would love to hear your opinions, ideas, experiences and challenges as a young person living, working, studying or socialising in the Byron Shire. Take our Byron Youth Survey before the closing date: 24 December 2021. The aim of the survey is to help us understand your unique needs and views as a young person.

The survey will tell us how the council can make sure your voice is properly heard and considered when making important decisions about Byron Shire’s future. It also gives you the chance to influence how Council will work with young people. So get involved, tell us what you think and enter the draw to win some great prizes.

Prizes up for grabs!

Take the Youth Survey 2021 now, and choose to enter the draw to win one of two great prizes:

1st Prize = Apple iPad

2nd Prize = UE Boom speaker

Prizes will be drawn on 11 January 2022 and winners will be notified via phone or email – so be sure to leave your contact details to be in for a chance.

We protect your privacy

Your survey responses will be completely anonymous and will not be linked to your personal information. Your personal information is collected only for the purpose of entering the competition, if you choose to do so. Only prize-winners will be contacted.

See Council’s Privacy Statement(External link) for more details about how Council uses your personal information. Byron Shire Council acknowledges the Traditional Owners of this land, the Arakwal people, the Minjungbal people and the Widjabul Wia-bal people of the Bundjalung Nation, and pays our deepest respects to Elders past and present.

Lived-experience art exhibition for Mental Health Month

Lived-experience art exhibition for Mental Health Month

There is a Lived Experience Art Exhibition for Mental Health Month at the Lismore Regional Gallery 10am-3pm, morning tea provided. It is taking place on Wednesday November 24.

The theme is ‘tune-in’, the colour is green, the symbol is the bell and there will be poets and musicians performing. T

‘Tune In’ to each other, ‘Tune In’ to our own life stories and their chapters; maybe frame our experiences alongside others; ‘Tune In’ and share some common experiences:  e.g.  Of having a minority ethnicity in regional Australia ‘Tune In’ – identify and celebrate recovery, resilience and the joys that come from being a survivor. ‘Tune In’ and make new friends. ‘Tune In‘ in a place where we will not be judged for our sexuality or gender

The Social and Emotional Wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ young people

The Social and Emotional Wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ young people


CFCA’s final webinar for 2021 is a re-broadcast of our April webinar – The social and emotional wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ young people. 

It is on on Thursday, December 9, 1 to 2pm. The presenters are Nicole Scott, Vikki Ryall and Adam Bourne.

The first screening of this webinar saw high attendance and engagement, and the topic continues to be relevant for our audience. This broadcast will not include a live Q&A; however, the extended Q&A from April will be shown.

Despite increasing social acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and asexual (LGBTIQA+) people in Australia, many young people continue to have experiences that negatively impact their social and emotional wellbeing. To differing extents, mainstream service providers are working to understand the needs of this group and respond accordingly. However, there continues to be a gap in the evidence on LGBTIQA+ young people and how best to respond to their social and emotional needs.

This webinar will help practitioners adopt an inclusive approach to working with young people with diverse sexuality, gender or variations of sex characteristics. Specifically it:

• Presents findings from the largest ever study on the health and wellbeing of LGBTQA+ young people aged 14-21, Writing Themselves In 4

• Shares a first-hand account of seeking help from services

• Presents practical considerations to engage and respond to LGBTIQA+ young people.

This webinar will be of interest to professionals working in domestic and family violence, mental health, child protection, out-of-home care and other social services.

The recording of this webinar will be available on the CFCA website after the rebroadcast.

We encourage you to test your system before the webinar, and read our Frequently Asked Questions.

Register for this free webinar 

This week is Trans Awareness Week

This week is Trans Awareness Week

This week is Trans Awareness Week  and we’ll be celebrating all the way until Friday 19 November. It’s time for a week of trans pride, and of allies learning how to elevate the voices of our community.

So, how will you be getting involved? Will it be by celebrating your unique trans and gender diverse pride? Or will you be engaging in education and striving to be the best ally to the trans community that you can be?

Will you be doing a work morning tea, a classroom discussion, or maybe a morning meeting?

Whatever your style, we can’t wait to see how you do TAW!

Make sure you tag us in your photos (@minus18youth), and join in the conversation via the hashtag #TransAwarenessWeek2021

And if you need any Zoom backgrounds, social media images or even convo inspo? We got you!

Even if you haven’t organised an activity, there are plenty of ways to get involved. And there’s still time to gather up the office crew and organise a last minute event! Every post, every activity, every conversation started makes a huge difference in championing trans inclusion.


Trans Awareness Week is all about trans pride and allyship – but what if you’re just starting to learn about gender diversity and what being an ally is all about?

Easy! Join us on Thursday 18 November for a special digital Intro to Visible Trans Allyship. You’ll be joined by our Education Team, including the wonderful Seb.

So, what are you waiting for?

Level up your activity and tune in as a team, or join us solo to learn how to support your friends, family, colleagues, or clients.


Back up your Trans Awareness Week activity with real, lasting impact. Fundraise, or donate directly, in support of charities that do the work year-round.

And if you choose to support Minus18? We’re so, so, so grateful for your support. Make a donation below, or download our fundraising toolkit to set up a digital fundraiser!


Listening to LGBT Seniors

Listening to LGBT Seniors

National Seniors Australia has released a new report on LGBT Seniors.

Australians are a diverse group of people, and two aspects of that diversity are gender and sexual orientation. Both of these have sometimes been taboo, or difficult to talk about, within mainstream Australian culture and many other cultures. Unfortunately, that cultural discomfort has often contributed to making life more difficult for people whose gender or sexual orientation don’t fit with mainstream society’s expectations. They include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender diverse people, or LGBT people for short. They also include members of other groups whose gender or sexual orientation are marginalised.

In the new report National Seniors Australia seek to engage in a  conversation with our own community about the experiences and needs of older LGBT people and how we might best respond to them. We also wish to contribute to conversations about these matters taking place in the context of the findings from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The Commission reported that older people receiving age care who have diverse genders or sexualities are at increased risks of abuse, isolation, and discrimination

Download the report here: https://nationalseniors.com.au/uploads/LGBT-report.pdf

Act for intersex rights

Act for intersex rights

Noah and his parents are speaking up to stop children born with an intersex variation being operated on as an infant without the consent of the child.

Noah’s not alone.  Around 1.7 percent of babies born in Australia are intersex, born with physical sex characteristics that are less common, varying from social or medical norms for male or female bodies.  Just as skin and hair colour vary along a spectrum, so do our sex characteristics.  But many intersex people still don’t have a say in medical procedures performed on their bodies which modify their sex characteristics.  These procedures can have lifelong consequences.

The I in LGBTIQ+ refers to those of us born with these bodily variations of sex characteristics. Like everyone else, intersex people have diverse genders and sexualities, defined by their hearts and minds, not their body parts.

Our community fights alongside intersex people because everyone should be able to make their own choices about what happens to their own body. It’s about equality, for all of us.

That’s why, together with Intersex Human Rights Australia, we’re coming together to support Noah and his loving family in their mission to end unnecessary medical procedures that modify the sex characteristics of intersex people without their consent. But if we are to achieve this change we need to lift up the voices of intersex people to raise awareness of what it means to be intersex, and what they want to be changed.

Will you help spread the word? https://www.facebook.com/EqualityAustralia/videos/727297308665268/

All human bodies are different and intersex variations are a natural part of human diversity. By letting doctors perform unnecessary medical procedures that modify people’s sex characteristics without their consent, governments deny intersex people the right to non-discriminatory healthcare that affirms their diversity. That’s why intersex people across Australia have long advocated that governments end these harmful practices. Momentum is building, with the ACT and Victoria committing publicly to introduce new laws soon, but there’s more to be done. Help Noah build that momentum, by sharing his story.

Will you watch and share Noah’s story?