Western Australian Acting Equal Opportunity Commissioner Dr John Byrne said the Telethon Kids Institute’s Trans Pathways report was a valuable step in the right direction for transgender equality.
Dr Byrne said the report documented compelling research, such as statistics showing trans young people identified the main drivers for poor mental health as discrimination (68.9%), bullying (74%), issues with education centres (78.9%) and peer rejection (89%).
“These statistics indicate a clear need for greater community acceptance of transgender issues, especially when it comes to vulnerable young people transitioning,” he said.
He said it was a misconception among many that gender identity was simply a lifestyle choice.
“This report supports the need for trans young people to have access to the same rights as other young people, namely access to education, shelter, services and protection from discrimination,” he said.
Dr Byrne said the Commission had worked extensively with public and independent schools as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) support groups to produce a set of guidelines to help support vulnerable LGBTI youth.
“The Commission's Guidelines for supporting sexual and gender diversity in schools, as well as the extensive information found in the Trans Pathways report, can help the community better support transitioning youth.
“I would like to see the Western Australian community, in particular, embrace this information to stop trans youth from facing discrimination, bullying and any other barriers to them leading happy and healthy lives,” he said.
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