2019 Community Survey Results from The South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA)

SARAA, 1 April 2019

The South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA) has analysed the results of their community survey and compiled them into a summary.

Some key findings:

  • Only 60% of respondents felt comfortable disclosing their gender and/or their
    sexual orientation when accessing services.
  • When accessing services, 37.7% of respondents felt that they didn’t receive
    sufficient and meaningful information to inform decision making.
  • 64% felt that the current level of LGBTIQ+ specific services did not
    adequately meet their needs.
  • This includes a lack of services and supports to rural and remote
    communities, a lack of services and supports for older LGBTIQ+ people
    and cuts to vital services for LGBTIQ+ people.
  • More support for trans people to access necessary medical services.

 

Transgender Visibility Matters in the Workplace (SHINE SA media release)

SHINE SA, 27th March 2019

SHINE SA Media Release

International Transgender Day of Visibility on 31 March is a day we acknowledge each year to celebrate transgender and gender diverse people around the globe, their courage and accomplishments.

The term ‘transgender’ refers to a person whose gender identity or expression is different from their assigned sex. Trans people experience significant harassment, discrimination and violence and may also face difficulties gaining employment.

It is important that organisations and individuals take steps to encourage inclusivity and diversity. Research by the Diversity Council Australia found that LGBTIQA+ employees in organisations that were highly LGBTIQA+ inclusive were twice as likely as employees in non-inclusive cultures to innovate, and 28% more likely to provide excellent customer/client service.

SHINE SA was the first organisation in SA to achieve Rainbow Tick Accreditation, which ensures all systems and processes are in place for an inclusive culture and operation.

Natasha Miliotis SHINE SA’s Chief Executive said:

“We were surprised at how much our whole organisation developed from Rainbow Tick Accreditation. Improving our capacity to be inclusive and to support diversity benefited everyone – staff, clients, stakeholders and our organisational culture as a whole. It’s made us more flexible, more able to respond to the needs of others. It has also made us better at designing and delivering services to support Trans people: whether that’s STI testing, contraception advice, cervical screening, counselling support or providing inclusive education to doctors, nurses and teachers or providing information to the community.”

Zac Cannell, SHINE SA Sexual Health Counsellor, and Co-Founder and Co-Facilitator of TransMascSA writes:

“I self-identify as a transgender man. My lived experience of gender diversity is an important factor to me in my profession, my community advocacy, as well as my social connectivity. I knew when I transitioned that there were many hurdles ahead of me, one of which was employment. As a visible transgender person I sadly knew my options for employment would be limited, and I knew I faced potential discrimination. My colleagues, and the SHINE SA management team, don’t just talk about inclusivity, they live it and champion it. This has gone a long way to helping build my resilience and confidence as an individual, as a professional, and as a SHINE SA team member. It also shows the community the value of leadership in facilitating visible diversity and the positive impact it has.”

SHINE SA offers a Gender Wellbeing Service which is a free counselling and peer support service for people who are questioning their gender or who identify as Trans or Gender Diverse in the Metropolitan Adelaide area. For more information click here. 

SHINE SA also offers education opportunities for individuals and organisations that want to encourage and support diversity. For more information on SHINE SA’s workforce development click here. 

To learn more about why inclusion and diversity matters watch this clip.

For further information contact Tracey Hutt, Director Workforce Education and Development on tracey.hutt@shinesa.org.au or 0434 937 036.

HIV and Trans Women: A Literature Review

Transgend Health. 2018; 3(1): 239–250

Abstract:

Trans women are a key, yet under-researched, population in the HIV epidemic. However, there remains a paucity of data on the health and wellbeing of trans women at risk of, or living with, HIV in the United Kingdom.

This article provides a narrative review of key empirical research into HIV among trans women. In an effort to explore individual and social factors in relation to HIV in this population, we outline key tenets of identity process theory from social psychology and the concept of structural violence from medical anthropology.

We focus on published studies around the following themes: (1) epidemiological data, (2) syndemic factors (3) barriers to social support, (4) HIV and gender transitioning, and (5) access to and engagement with health care.

We identify lacunae and thus call for United Kingdom-based research in the following areas: (1) the prevalence and incidence of HIV in trans women, (2) the impact of syndemic factors on HIV risk and acquisition in trans women, (3) the nature of social support for coping with syndemic factors, (4) the interface of gender transitioning and HIV, and (5) barriers to accessing HIV prevention and care services.

There is great scope (and urgency) for research into HIV among trans women, especially in the United Kingdom, to reduce incidence in this group, to enhance engagement in HIV care across the care continuum, and to improve the health and wellbeing of those living with HIV. A tentative model for HIV prevention and care is presented in this article.

Understanding LGBTI+ Lives in Crisis (Report)

Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University & Lifeline Australia, February 2019

This research report presents findings of lesbian (L), gay (G), bisexual (B), transgender (T), intersex people (I), and other sexual identity and gender diverse individuals (+) use of crisis support services (CSS) in Australia.

This is the first research of its kind in Australia that explores the needs of LGBTI+ people during a time of personal or mental health crises. It focuses on their uptake and familiarity with crisis support services in Australia, their perceptions and experiences with crisis support services, and where they might seek other professional mental health service support during a time of crisis.

This study enhances the evidence base for those working to design, resource or deliver services to meet the needs of LGBTI people in Australia during times of crisis.

Actions to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse, and Intersex elders

Australian Department of Health, February 2019

We know that LGBTI older people and elders are likely to have experienced violence, stigma and discrimination throughout their lives. As a result, they may be reluctant to disclose their identities or histories to aged care services and therefore remain isolated or invisible within both the aged care sector and the broader community. Combined with general stigmatisation and invisibility of LGBTI needs at large, this results in a lack of awareness of the unique needs of LGBTI elders and older people, including a lack of targeted services to support them. In addition, the fear of mistreatment or rejection from aged care providers can lead to LGBTI elders and older people delaying seeking care until their health deteriorates or a crisis occurs.

Many LGBTI elders and older people have lived through a time where identities were pathologised or criminalised, aversion therapies were encouraged, and non-consensual surgeries were routinely performed. As a result, many LGBTI older people have learned to conceal their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status in order to be safe, particularly when interacting with the health or social services sector. The fear and mistrust of these services in the past have led LGBTI elders and older people to be reluctant to utilise mainstream services, including aged care. Reliving past discrimination when encountering new forms of discrimination in the aged care
environment can lead to feelings of anxiety and/or depression.

The Action Plan is a resource that will assist aged care service providers to better understand how they can advocate for and support LGBTI elders and older people. By providing culturally safe and inclusive services, providers will build confidence amongst LGBTI elders and older people and their carers, families of choice (who may or may not include biological family) and allies that aged care services are available for them and they will be given the support and care they need as they age.

The Consumer Guide captures the voice of LGBTI peoples expressed through those consultations. It is intended both to help LGBTI peoples express their needs when speaking with aged care providers and as a resource to support people working in aged care to understand the perspectives of LGBTI peoples.

Disorders of penis development are on the rise and we’re not sure why

By Mark Green and Andrew Pask

In prenatal ultrasounds or at delivery, many new parents look between their baby’s legs: the presence of a penis is taken as a strong sign that it’s a boy.

For humans and other animals, development of a penis was thought to be driven by “male hormones” (androgens) produced entirely by the testes of the male fetus as it grows in the uterus.

However, a new paper released today indicates this might not be the case.