5T Key transition points in the schooling years
Transcending Fear – The Risky Business of Supporting Transgender Children and Their Families
Relationships Australia Queensland (RAQ) has a well-established history of leaving no one behind when it comes to our commitment to the lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) communities. In 2008, RAQ formed its Rainbow Program to provide counselling, information and support services for people of diverse bodies, genders and sexualities. At the 2017 FRSA Conference, the Rainbow Program delivered a presentation on RAQ’s work to ensure that these communities, that experience heightened vulnerability, do not get left behind.
In 2014, informed by community consultation, the Rainbow program developed and launched Transcendence – a monthly group supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of trans and gender diverse people living in Brisbane. The group attracts 15–30 people each month and has now been successfully replicated on the Gold Coast.
The few years that followed were a challenging period in the support of people of diverse bodies, genders and sexualities, with the equal marriage debate and the conservative backlash against the Safe Schools Program leaving many in LGBTIQ communities feeling targeted and vulnerable. It was against this backdrop that RAQ launched Transilience – a social and emotional support group for transgender children (6–12) and their families.
Like its predecessor, Transcendence, the new group was born out of expressed community need and Transilience was the first group of its kind in Queensland. An experienced counsellor and group facilitator team works in separate spaces with the children and their parents/carers, providing support to these community members, who so often feel socially isolated.
This presentation will be delivered by Manager – Diversity & Inclusion, Chris Pye, who will showcase the Transilience experience from its commencement to today, providing rationale for the work and evidence of its efficacy, as well as advice and guidelines for those who identify a desire to do more in the support of trans and gender diverse children and young people, and their families.
Chris Pye joined RAQ in 2007 and helped to develop RAQ’s Rainbow Program for the support of LGBTIQ clients. He now works in the role of Manager – Diversity & Inclusion.