As a proud member of ACON’s Welcome Here Project, Global Skills is committed to creating positive change within our local communities for all LGBTQIA+ people.
This week, 13 – 19 November, is Trans Awareness Week and an opportunity for us to share ACON’s 7 tips for being a better ally to trans and gender diverse people.
ACON is NSW’s leading LGBTQ+ health organisation. ACON’s Welcome Here Project supports businesses and services throughout Australia to create and promote environments that are visibly welcoming and inclusive to LGBTQIA+ communities.
What it means to be an ally
An ally is someone who supports and advocates for a community other than their own. Being an ally is an ongoing process — and it involves self-education as well as thoughtful, effective action.
Why being a trans ally matters
Instead of being celebrated, acknowledged, and feeling safe in our communities, transgender people often experience transphobia in many ways every day. Transphobia describes negative attitudes and feelings towards trans and gender diverse people and their communities in general. Trans people experience higher rates of stigma, discrimination and abuse, leading to higher rates of anxiety, depression and suicide.
Sadly, the trans community is less likely to feel accepted by the public in everyday life. The Private Lives 3 study, conducted by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University (2020), found that only 23% of the trans community feel accepted in public. The same study found that just 32% felt accepted when accessing health or support services, and only 38% felt acceptance with family members.
ACON’s 7 tips for being a better ally:
1. Keep in mind that gender identity and experience are unique. Don’t make assumptions about someone’s experience.
2. Be open minded – don’t be afraid to confront your own prejudice and bias.
3. Be mindful that some questions are harmful curiosities and do not need to be asked.
4. Defend trans people against discrimination – let people know that anti-trans jokes and commentary are harmful. Being visible and active in your allyship is very important.
5. Be a listener – watch and listen to trans issues in media and learn about the experiences of the trans community.
6. Remember that LGB people can, and should, be allies to the trans community.
7. Acknowledge trans people are people and should be treated with dignity and respect.
Cisgender or cis people identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender or trans people are those whose gender does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Non-binary describes people who don’t identify as male or female. These people live as both, either, or no gender. Some non-binary people identify as trans, some do not.
Gender diverse is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of different gender identities.
Since 2021, Global Skills has been a proud member of ACON’s Welcome Here Project. All our offices display ‘Welcome Here’ rainbow stickers as a visible symbol of our commitment to WELCOME & include LGBTQIA+ people, CREATE positive change in our local community and CELEBRATE LGBTQIA+ diversity.
For more information on ACON’s Welcome Here Project, go to https://www.welcomehere.org.au/
For more information on the trans community, go to https://www.transhub.org.au/