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NT transgender health in-focus

The health and wellbeing of transgender Northern Territorians is the focus of a research project The health and wellbeing of transgender Northern Territorians is the focus of a research project

The health and wellbeing of transgender Northern Territorians is the focus of a research project by a Charles Darwin University social researcher, and people identifying as transgender are encouraged to be involved.

CDU lecturer in sociology Dr Stephen Kerry will conduct an on-line survey to gauge the health and wellbeing status of transgender Australians who live or who have lived in the Northern Territory.

“Recent research indicates that transgender Australians still face issues of social isolation, mental illness, suicidal ideation, unemployment and violence,” Dr Kerry said. “Reported rates of depression were found to be much higher than those found in the general Australian population.”

Dr Kerry said that although transgender Australians were now protected by anti-discrimination laws, could marry in their preferred sex/gender, and had some access to sex reassignment surgery, their health and wellbeing remained relatively unknown in the NT.

“To date no significant research has been conducted in the health status of transgender Northern Territorians,” Dr Kerry said.

Dr Kerry said one of the reasons for the knowledge gap was accessing the transgender population in the NT.

“It is difficult to determine the number of transgendered individuals living in the NT, yet it is anticipated that a significant number will identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander,” Dr Kerry said.

“Some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people use the terms ‘sistergirl’ and ‘brotherboy’.”

Dr Kerry said participants could assist by accessing the survey to answer questions on their transgender identity and health status.

“For the purpose of this project, ‘transgender’ is used as an umbrella term which refers to a range of lived experiences, identities, and bodily configurations whereby an individual does not conform to normative notions of sex/gender,” Dr Kerry said. “This includes, but is not limited to individuals who undergo sex reassignment surgery.”

Participation is voluntary and anonymous. For further information or to complete the survey visit W: www.surveymonkey.com/s/TransNT