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Info Pages

Gender Diversity

“Gender refers to the economic, social and cultural attributes and opportunities associated with being male or female.”
Source: Transforming health systems: gender and rights in reproductive health. WHO, 2001.

 

A person’s gender is how a person, thinks, acts, dresses and speaks which distinguishes them as masculine or feminine. It’s the sociological construction of one’s maleness or femaleness. A person’s gender can be masculine, feminine, both and/or androgynous. Everyone expresses their gender differently with various levels of diversity or deviance from society’s expectations.


Gender diversity comes in all forms; from a fully transitioned man or woman, to a person who just doesn’t fit their gender role stereotype because of how they dress or act. By simply being attracted to the same sex we are breaking our gender stereotypes and expectations, but this is far more accepted and visible in society than what the trans* community experience. The trans* community are too often forgotten in the LGBTIQ community (not to mention in the rest of society!), but at Freedom Centre we know that being trans* or gender diverse is not easy so support and information are really needed.


Within the trans* community there is a colourful variety of gender identities and expressions. Some trans* people will choose not to undergo surgery and hormone therapy, while many will only have hormones and/or top surgery (a bilateral mastectomy for F2M or breast enhancements for M2F) and others will undergo many different surgeries and therapies. People can undergo vocal training, and various surgeries (including phalloplasty, metaoidioplasty, vaginoplasty, labiaplasty, orchidectomy, facial reconstruction, hysterectomy). Many people will change their name too. For some people, hormones and/or surgery are not necessary for them to express their gender identity.


What’s most important is that you do what feels right for you; not what others tell you is or isn’t OK. We often feel the pressures of society to either be male OR female, but it’s OK if you have characteristics of both. Many people have both masculine AND feminine traits, but we are taught to believe that we can only be one or the other. When you hear these sorts of messages and don’t feel you fit into them, it can be easy to think that you are not OK and that you are the only one that feels like that. But there are many people, especially in the LGBTIQ community who do not fit gender expectations in all sorts of ways, and there are many people who have transitioned and lead happy lives in their true gender.

 

At Freedom Centre, while people who are gender diverse are welcomed and appreciated in any session, we have a monthly session just for gender diverse, Trans* or genderqueer young people to come and hang out, be themselves in a safe space and talk about all things genderqueer! It’s called GenderQ; 1st Thursday of every month 5pm – 8pm at the Freedom Centre, 1/471 William St, Northbridge.

 

We also encourage you to check out;

Don’t forget to check out our Links page on our site www.freedom.org.au which has a section of gender related links..

 

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