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Paige Phoenix, from Transgender Victoria, which needs money for a computer. PIC: GLENN DANIELS
Gender on the agenda in Brunswick

in AUSTRALIA, 14/07/2012

WHEN musician Paige Phoenix, who is also a transsexual, performed on television show The X Factor, he wasn't sure how the audience would react. To his delight, the response was extremely positive and he was selected as one of the top six for the over-25 group.

"I think the Australian public are being introduced to (transexuality), often for the first time, and there is real openness and curiosity about it," Phoenix said.

The Brunswick resident is working with Transgender Victoria to educate allied heath services and schools about gender diversity.

The volunteer-run group has applied for a $1000 Leader Local grant to buy a second-hand computer to produce training material.

"We have identified that one of the most at-risk groups in community are gender diverse Victorians and we think that there is a real gap in the traditional services and access to services for these groups," Phoenix said.

"We are hoping to upskill GPs and mental health practitioners in our local area so that if a gender diverse person accesses their services they will have a positive experience."

Phoenix, a psychotherapist, said the term transgender could apply to "anyone that felt they didn't fit into the male and female gender binary categories or felt that there was some kind of mismatch between the body they were in and the way they experience themselves".

For information, go to transgendervictoria.com

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