Australia: Trans people unite to change their IDs together

three people smiling in a selfie

Every time Hank, a young trans person, tried to change his gender and name on official documents he found it too ‘overwhelming’.

But at a unique mass ‘Change ID’ event in the southern Australian town of Melbourne that all changed for Hank.

Trans people who for one reason or another had struggled to get their gender or names updated on their official documents, came together to do so at the event.

Staff at Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) were kept very busy on Wednesday (13 May).

‘I wanted to come and speak to someone face to face, because every time I open the website to do it online I get overwhelmed and want to hide under my couch,’ Hank said at the Change ID event.

‘I thought coming here would put me in the space where you wouldn’t have a chance to back out.’

Trans advocacy group Transgender Victoria (TGV) hosted the event. TGV brought together major departments to remove the anxiety for trans people.

Staff from BDM, VicRoads (for drivers licences), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Human Services and Justices of the Peace were in attendance to facilitate the changes.

‘I personally have had terrible experiences changing my ID at Centrelink and other places, plus it’s a horrible thing to have to go through again and again,’ said TGV’s event manager, Theodore Murray.

‘But the event was a huge success in terms of everyone felt really comfortable and everyone was really well supported.

‘Births, Deaths and Marriages were so busy the whole time. They changed 11 birth certificates in total which is a lot for a day at the BDM office.’

Welcoming and affirming

Other trans people at the event said it was really important they felt affirmed and welcomed in the space.

‘It’s been pretty easy to navigate… I was worried it would be a lot more complicated,’ Marco said.

‘It’s really cool being around more transgender people. I’m out in the country so it’s not often I can be around like minded people and feel open and comfortable.’

The day also offered practical assistance for trans people. One person described how they had needed help paying for their document change.

‘One of the reasons you keep putting it off is that you open the form and you think, “maybe I can put up with this for a little bit longer, maybe I need that $100 more than I need to change my name”,’ they said.

‘There were people here that asked “are you in financial distress, do you need help to pay for this?” and that was so amazing.’

Author: Shannon Power

The post Australia: Trans people unite to change their IDs together appeared first on Gay Star News.

Trans Day of Visibility celebrates everything wonderful about trans people

a cartoon of different trans people in the colour of the trans pride flag

Trans and gender diverse people can feel isolated and that’s why days like Trans Day of Visibility are so important.

Teddy Murray from the Australian group Transgender Victoria (TGV) explained.

‘This world can be incredibly alienating for trans and gender diverse people,’ Murray told Gay Star News.

‘Trans Day of Visibility is a beacon for everyone who hasn’t yet found community – to show them that they’re not alone out there.’

So to honor that TGV has planned its biggest celebration of Trans Day of Visibility to date.

For the entire month of March TGV is celebrating visibility like never before ‘to meet a clear demand from the community’.

The group designed unique lanyards in trans pride colors to spread trans visibility around the southern city of Melbourne. TGV is encouraging people and businesses to show their support for the visibility movement by wearing lanyards. They can be ordered online.

#BeSeen

‘There is so much happening at TGV at the moment,’ Murray said.

‘Our public engagement has never been higher, and our communities continue to demand more colour, more diversity, more
participation. So we’re raising the bar to give it to them, and call for action at the same time.

‘The next question is: who’s with us?’

TGV also wants people to join in the conversation from anywhere by adding a custom frame on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the hashtag, #BeSeen.

Also over the next few weeks, TGV will be collecting video stories from trans and gender diverse people. Then at the end of March it will publish a short series of video stories for TDOV on the theme of visibility.

‘TDOV is defined by self-determination, it’s our chance to celebrate everything wonderful about who we are, without needing to explain ourselves or be defined by others,’ Murray said.

‘It’s not really about coming out, and it doesn’t have to be about labels. It’s about creating space for expression, and reminding trans and gender diverse people that no matter where they are, they are beautiful.’

Finally, to finish the season of visibility, TGV are partnering with 3CR Community Radio and queer bookshop Hares & Hyenas to deliver a huge day of celebration for TGD communities on Sunday 31 March 2019. The day will feature performances and talks by a range of TGD artists and advocates and a dedicated kids space.

‘It will be a joyous day of education, fun, artistry, and partying,’ TGV said in a statement.

 

Author: Shannon Power

The post Trans Day of Visibility celebrates everything wonderful about trans people appeared first on Gay Star News.