The September guest speaker was Louse from Tranzform Wellington, a support group for young transgender people. They meet on the second Tuesday of the month and can be contacted via their website.
Louse explained that the group has about 20 members. About three quarters are girls and a quarter are guys. At present the members’ ages range from 14 to 28.
Louse shared a lot of information about the challenges facing transgender youth. One of the main obstacles to overcome is a feeling of isolation. It's really important to know that if you are transgender you are not alone. Having a supportive GP makes a big difference. Some of the assumptions people make - such as 'it is just a phase' and 'it's a choice you make' - are similar to what we often face when coming out.
Louse's advice was that if a transgender youth calls Helpline, don't judge or make assumptions. Let them know it's ok, there are many other transgenders out there. Putting transgender youth in contact with someone who has been through the process is really valuable so we're lucky to have Tranzform as a local group to refer callers to.
Louse coped outstandingly with lots of questions. It was a great session.