Here in Australia we are known by coming together as one to support each other through mateship, and we are told that we have good healthcare compared to rest of the world. 

However, recent studies conducted by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited – ANROWS, led by Professor Jane Ussher at Western Sydney University, titled Crossing the line: Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in Australia show that trans women of colour do not have enough support, especially when it comes to sexual abuse. 

A large survey conducted for this research has shown that the experience and needs of trans women in regards to sexual violence remains poorly understood by many police, policymakers, legislators and healthcare providers. 

Study participant Fiona said, ”I cannot access women’s sexual assault services because I’m transgender. And the other straight women will be afraid that I’m a perpetrator.”

The experiences and needs of trans women of colour are the least understood as trans women of colour are found to be twice as likely as other groups of women to report having been sexually assaulted ten times or more. 

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 “This research demonstrates that the absence of culturally competent information and knowledge about transgender experience, accompanied by misinformation, can lead to stigma, prejudice and discrimination,”  ANROWS CEO Dr Heather Nancarrow said. 

Dr Nancarrow followed with, “This results in unmet health and justice needs for trans women… There is a clear need for community-wide activities that challenge attitudes condoning sexual violence against women. This means we must ensure that our words, policies and practice guidelines promote respect for gender, sexuality and cultural diversity. We must demonstrate zero tolerance of sexual violence against any woman.”

We reached out and spoke with Peppermint the drag queen, who is a trans woman of colour in America, who starred on season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race,  around black trans lives. 

She says that in the Black Lives Matter movement, black trans women’s lives are not talked about at all, but should be focused on, because just before we spoke to her there were two women of colour killed in America, Rhia Milton and Dominique Falls. 

New York based Peppermint and Bob The Drag Queen are hosting an event online for people all around the world called, Black Queer Town Hall, on June 19-21. There has been a number of people contributing to this event to raise funds, Such as Todrick Hall and Monet X Change, to name a few.

The idea is to give Black Queers a space to talk about their experiences in the LGBTQI community and not be just one black person and number of other people who do not represent them and what they go through.

If any of what you have read has affected you and you need some support please contact Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or you can chat online here.

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