Transgender Victoria (TGV) is preparing to open their new inclusive community space for trans and gender diverse people, the Affirmation Station, this December.
Located in Brunswick East, the Affirmation Station aims to provide support services and workshops for Victoria’s trans and gender diverse community. TGV initially announced the new space back in September, but now the Affirmation Station is almost ready to open their doors.
TGV’s Communications and Fundraising Lead, Hank Paul, spoke with Star Observer on the Affirmation Stations latest schedule, and their goal of helping local trans and gender diverse communities thrive.
Providing Crucial Support Networks
Following the “March 18 crisis”, when Neo-Nazi groups clashed with trans rights protesters in front of Victorian Parliament, TGV received emergency funding from the Department of Equality. The funds have been utilised to create the Affirmation Station.
Over 75 per cent of transgender and gender diverse individuals are feeling socially isolated, with toxic political and social debates continuing to impact trans communities. With social anxiety on the rise, TGV are also concerned for trans and gender diverse individuals’ reluctance to contact emergency services, especially Police.
“Social support services like the ones provided by TGV are crucial to ensuring trans and gender diverse people feel safer and more connected in their communities,” explained Paul.
For The Community, By The Community
Since the first inception of the Affirmation Station, TGV has consulted with the local community in order to be “very thoughtful around [their] processes for access and inclusion.”
Whilst acknowledging the “complex needs” of the community, TGV will not claim that “everyone will feel safe all the time.” However, the Affirmation Station will focus on “building up [the] community to feel brave, courageous and supported.”
“We care deeply about the people in our community, and we continue to engage with them on an ongoing basis, so we’ll always be open to feedback,” continued Paul.
Inclusive And Affirming Services
In anticipation for their opening week, a line-up of service providers are also preparing for the Affirmation Station. Services including barbers, photographers and makeup artists will be available from the hub.
“Very soon, people will be able to make appointments with inclusive services providers… as well as our on-site peer navigator who provides support for people exploring their gender and gender affirmations services,” explained Paul.
“The demand for TGV’s gender affirming social programs has never been higher, and we are excited to be able to offer them from our dedicated community hub, Affirmation Station.”
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The Affirmation Station will open to the public mid-December. Keep an eye out for exact times and dates on TGV’s social media channels.
Transgender Victoria is a leading advocacy body for the Trans and gender diverse people in Victoria. Providing resource developments and training across the state, the organisation continues to empower trans communities and challenge discrimination against gender diverse people.