gender and intersexGeelong puts gender and intersex health on the agenda

A host of international speakers attended Geelong last Thursday and Friday for a groundbreaking conference about health inequalities experienced by intersex, trans and gender diverse young people.  Health, wellbeing and law advocates will present sessions designed to give community members access to contemporary and well-informed viewpoints on the health and wellbeing needs of intersex, trans and gender diverse young people, particularly in rural and regional settings. 

Gavi Ansara from the National LGBTI Health Alliance said it was a significant event that would give voice to many young people. 

“We hope that the Forum will be the beginning of a conversation in earnest about how we, as a responsible society, can address the very real needs and challenges of young intersex, trans and gender diverse people who live in rural and regional areas, and ensure that they can thrive in their communities and families,” he said.

City of Greater Geelong Education and Youth portfolio holder Cr Jan Farrell said young intersex, trans and gender diverse people were too often left to turn to the Internet for health advice and products.

“We cannot stand by and allow this to happen,” Cr Farrell said. “Everyone should have equitable access to appropriate healthcare pathways. It is simply an issue of human rights.”

The conference covered topics such as disparities in the health system, health and law advocacy and a social model of health. It also featured the personal stories of young people.   Conference participants were be asked to come up with a responsive proposal that could improve the care pathways for young people in the health system.  Speakers included representatives from the Zoe Bell Gender Centre, Transgender Victoria, the Human Rights Law Centre, the Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH), Organisation Intersex International, and the National LGBTI Health Alliance.  Delegates travelled from across Australia and included representatives from the Victorian State Government GLBTI Ministerial Advisory Committee.