Authors: Peter Farrugia, Spencer McGill
Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Gender Transition: Supporting change, naturally darlink!
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Peter Farrugia is the Manager Peer Work at Flourish Australia. Peter understands the value of social justice and equality, working towards positive change for people who identify within the Rainbow community, as well as for those people managing mental health issues. Peter identifies as an out-and-proud gay man and brings lived experience into his many diverse roles. Outside of work, Peter enjoys travelling, walking for fitness and gardening.
Spencer McGill is a female-to-male transman, having been medically transitioned for over a decade and brings lived experience to his role as a Peer Support Worker at Flourish Australia. As a rural Flourish worker, he is a passionate advocate for the LGBTI community alongside being a proud Father and Husband.
Flourish Australia values diversity and inclusion and through its Diversity policy, acknowledges a range of priority populations, including people from the LGBTI community.
Disclosing someone’s transgender status is a decision solely for that person. Flourish Australia recognises that people who work with us or who access our services may identify as transgender. Some may also commence or be in the process of transition.
Gender transitioning is a profound journey of self-discovery, acceptance and evolution. It is a uniquely individual and deeply personal process. Whenever it occurs, Flourish Australia will support the person throughout this period.
Flourish Australia’s Transgender Transitioning policy guides staff to embrace a person’s transition. It enables an open and inclusive culture by establishing guidelines and provisions of support.
Flourish Australia’s Manager Peer Workforce, Peter Farrugia will outline the process of establishing the policy and detail provisions that support inclusion. Hear about the approaches to create equality and ways to support understanding across the organisation. The discussion will include some of the challenges that were faced, including ways to respond to traditional beliefs and perceptions
In addition, Spencer McGill will give a personal account as a staff member and how the policy effected change and proclaimed equality.
Learning Objective 1: Audience will understand the purpose of the policy; the methods of consultation to ensure relevance and most importantly, the challenges that emerged following the endorsement of the policy.
Learning Objective 2: Transgender people experience higher-than-average rates of discrimination, violence, mental health issues and suicide. Establishing a position of inclusion for transgender people, enabling a culture of understanding and enacting change can lead to a shift in attitudes and perceptions within local communities that bring opportunities and hope for people who are or will experience gender transitioning.