7 November 2019

The often misunderstood topic of gender identity and what’s like to grow up as gender diverse is the focus of a special edition of Queensland Health’s My Amazing Body podcast out this week.

Children’s Health Queensland proudly partnered with Queensland Health to produce the podcast, which aims to help increase understanding of gender diversity and the services available to help children and young people living with it.

The podcast includes interviews with experts from Children’s Health the Queensland Children’s Gender Service and the personal accounts of three young Queenslanders, Ashley, Jayden and Willow, who identify as trans, non-binary and gender diverse.

Psychologist Olivia Donaghy, Coordinator of the Queensland Children’s Gender Service, said everybody has a gender, even if they don’t consciously think about it.

“When somebody’s talking about their gender, they’re talking about this internal sense of who they are,” Ms Donaghy said.

Ms Donaghy added gender diversity was not a disease or a pathology, nor something that needed to be fixed.

“It’s a natural variation in the spectrum of humankind,” Ms Donaghy said.

“However, we do need specialised services for people who experience gender diversity because sometimes the distress that they feel around their sex being different from the gender that was assigned to them at birth and growing up in our environment can be really tough.”

“Gender to me, it’s a very broad thing to define. I kind of just consider it like how people experience the world through a particular lens,” Ashley said.

“So, for me that’s like, at this point it’s non binary, but at one point I was experiencing it through a female, a woman’s lens.”

“The only thing that I’d really say is just that for everyone, it’s a big learning process and you have to unlearn things about yourself and relearn them,” Ash said.

“Other people have to do the same process and it can seem really daunting, but it can also be a great thing. And I think finding as much enjoyment in that learning process as possible, can make it go so much easier and it can change a lot about how you experience other people and how you experience yourself.”

 

The My Amazing Body is now available on Apple podcast, Spotify or listen to the full podcast.