When the International Transgender Day of Remembrance was held in September, many transgender people came out and raised awareness about the need to fund the charities and other organisations that support the transgender community.
One transgender person raised more than $300,000 for her local LGBT charity.
And some organisations raised over $20 million, with an estimated total of $50 million.
“A lot of these charities have got to be on their toes,” says Dr Julie Stacey, who is leading the Transgender Health and Wellbeing Project at the University of New South Wales.
“They’re looking at these charities that have been operating for decades and saying ‘Oh, well, what’s going to happen when we have a large enough proportion of people who are actually transitioning in their community to actually transition and support the communities?”
There are some organisations that are struggling financially and in the community, says Stacey.
“So many organisations, many of them do not have the resources they need to be able to support these trans people, especially at the moment.”
There are many ways to support transgender people, says Dr Stacey: a good way to start is to talk to a transgender person.
“There’s a lot of research and research that says it can be really important to speak to a trans person to get their perspective on their experience and their journey,” she says.
“If you’ve had a difficult experience, and you’re still struggling, talk to someone who has been through it and understand their experience.
It’s so important that we find a way to bridge the gap that exists between the transgender population and the rest of the community.”
For transgender people who can’t afford a full-time job, there are also other ways to help.
“People who are homeless or struggling, people who have had family or friends who have experienced homelessness and are seeking support, there’s lots of options out there that can be helpful,” says Stace.
There are also a number of charities that provide support for people transitioning, including the National Centre for Trans Health, the National Gay and Lesbian Health Service and the Australian Trans Health Association.
There is a range of support available to transgender people through organisations like TransLife Australia and Trans Lifeline.
“I think it’s very important to support the organisations that actually are providing support and support to people transitioning,” says Amanda McIlwaine, Trans Life Australia’s director.
“These organisations have got the experience and know-how to support people who might not be able or comfortable talking to a therapist.”
In some communities, the funding and support available can be extremely limited, or even unavailable.
Dr Stacy says some trans people are able to transition because of a financial hardship, but that’s not always the case.
“In some parts of Australia, we’ve seen people transitioning through a disability, they have a health condition, or a mental health issue that’s been going on for a long time,” she explains.
“It’s very rare that they can get to a state of transition where they can have full employment, full employment and full employment without needing support.”
“So there are still pockets of the population who can transition but there’s really not a lot that can really be done in those communities to assist those people.”
Trans Lifelines can be a lifeline for transgender people and their families, as it is the first and only service in Australia that provides support for those who are transgender.
The service provides services and referrals to services in rural areas and the CBD.
Trans Lifes also has support and referral services for people living with HIV/AIDS.
It also provides financial assistance to people who struggle to afford to live on their own.
“Trans Lifeline has been very effective in supporting people with disabilities and the homeless and that’s the reason that we’re so successful,” says McIlwee.
“We know from our research that when we’re able to reach out to these people and support them with their transition, it can have a huge impact on their quality of life and their quality life.”
But the money that can go towards transitioning is still quite limited.
The government has yet to provide any funding to the Trans Lifelining Centre.
So, it is up to individuals to make the most of their own resources.
“The biggest challenge is that we know that the money doesn’t necessarily go straight to transition, and we’re not always able to say, ‘Well, if you can give this to someone, that would be great’,” says McIwee, but they are able support the trans community in their communities.
Trans Life offers financial support and other services for transgender individuals and their parents.
“Our funding comes from a range on-going grants and grants to organisations that provide services to trans people,” says McKilwee from Trans Life.
But that’s just because we’re really focused on what we