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.

Scotland to embed LGBTI teaching across curriculum

The Guardian, 9/12/2018

Scotland will become the first country in the world to embed the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights in the school curriculum, in what campaigners have described as a historic moment.

State schools will be required to teach pupils about the history of LGBTI equalities and movements, as well as tackling homophobia and transphobia and exploring LGBTI identity, after ministers accepted in full the recommendations of a working group led by the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign. There will be no exemptions or opt-outs to the policy, which will embed LGBTI inclusive education across the curriculum and across subjects and which the Scottish government believes is a world first.

Transgender women taking PrEP have lower levels of PrEP drugs than cisgender men

aidsmap/nam, November 9th 2018

A study presented at October’s HIV Research for Prevention conference (HIVR4P) in Madrid shows that transgender women who are taking feminising hormones and also taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) have levels of the PrEP drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine in their blood that are about 25% lower than those in cisgender men, and levels in rectal tissue cells about 40% lower. Tenofovir levels in rectal tissue were 44% lower.

However, the study also confirmed that the interaction between hormones and PrEP did not appear to go the other way; blood levels of estradiol, the one hormone all of the transgender women took in one form or another, do not appear to be affected by PrEP.

 

Launching the Australian Trans and Gender Diverse Sexual Health Survey

 Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney, November 5 2018

Virtually nothing is known about the sexual lives of trans and gender diverse people living in Australia. A new survey coordinated by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney in collaboration with community advocates from across Australia will provide the first national data on topics related to sex and romance among Australia’s trans and gender diverse communities.

“This trans-led research is the first of its kind in Australia and we need as many people from our community as possible to do the survey and to encourage their trans and gender diverse mates to do it too,” said Teddy Cook from the Peer Advocacy Network for the Sexual Health of Trans Masculinities (‘PASH.tm’) and one of the study’s chief investigators.reserese

The online survey covers a diverse range of topics including online and offline dating, sexual health care, pleasure and satisfaction and marriage. The data from the survey will be used to inform service delivery, guide public policy, and otherwise support the sexual well-being of trans and gender diverse people.

As another of the study’s chief investigators, Liz Duck-Chong, explained: “sexual health isn’t just about testing, it has to be about talking. We have designed this survey to take a big-picture look at the experiences and desires of people who are often assumed to not have them at all.”

Although international research suggests that trans and gender diverse people have sexual lives and experiences that are unique from their cisgender peers, very little research has looked at this in detail in Australia or overseas.