YOUTH-led LGBTI organisation Minus18 has launched a new information resource for young trans* people to be distributed among Victorian schools.
The guide, called OMG I’m Trans, was developed over 18 months and covers practical social and medical information for the trans* community, as well as personal anecdotes by trans* teenagers themselves.
[showads ad=MREC]Minus18 chief executive Micah Scott said many schools around Victoria were quick to get on board.
“Already our order requests have gone through the roof,” he told the Star Observer.
“What’s great is that there aren’t a lot of resources around gender identity anywhere, let alone at schools… for schools to have this and for students to be reading it is a huge milestone.
“It’s a very Victoria-specific resource because of the content in it, but we now want to push it to have content with people around the country and for it to be in schools around Australia.”
While creating the guide, Minus18 volunteers and staff underwent training in order to better understand the trans* community before reaching out to trans* youth to share their stories.
Scott believes the training was necessary to create the best possible resource.
“We’ve wanted to create a trans* specific resource for a while now, but for us it required a huge cultural change,” he said.
“We had to become significantly trans* inclusive.
“Once we were at that stage and able to support those young people to share their stories, we were able to create a product that I think is amazing and absolutely essential.”
One of the personal stories found in the guide is of Australian model superstar Andreja Pejic, as told to trans* activist Margot Fink, who headed a lot of the project.
Fink said the resource came about as a result of Minus18’s interest in expanding and covering gender diversity.
“Gender diversity is an emerging area in the community,” she said.
“Over the last year we turned it up to high gear and began working on it full-time, with a team of really dedicated and passionate people.”
Fink said the project helped her to come out as trans*, and hoped it would do the same for others in school.
“I’d told a few people, but while getting involved, it’s been really cool to grow along with the resource,” she said.
“At the time I was asking a lot of questions about myself, and I didn’t realise how many unknowns there’d be.
“Being able to document that and provide answers for the next trans* person is amazing, because they can pick up the book and have all their questions answered.”
OMG I’m Trans is the latest Minus18 resource, and following previous guides such as OMG I’m Queer and Stand Out, both of which aim to tackle homophobia and transphobia.
Scott said that Minus18 spoke to a lot of existing organisations in the sector to help gather all the information into one place.
“The big thing is we wanted to create something that was meaningful and engaging, but not tokenistic,” he said.
“That’s why I believe it’s been so successful and is such a fantastic resource.”[showads ad=FOOT]