Issue 15
Monday, 29 August 2016
Charles Darwin University
Dr Stephen Kerry: Social isolation is one of the bigger issues for transgender Territorians
Dr Stephen Kerry: Social isolation is one of the bigger issues for transgender Territorians

Academic to reveal results of transgender study

By Patrick Nelson

A Charles Darwin University academic, who recently conducted the first study into the wellbeing of transgender Territorians, will be the keynote speaker at the Alice Springs Pride Carnivale’s “inclusivity” community forum this Friday September 2.

Sociology lecturer Dr Stephen Kerry said relatively little had been known about the health and wellbeing of the Territory’s transgender people until this research, conducted during the past 18 months.

“Social isolation, mental health issues and transphobia are some of the bigger themes,” Dr Kerry said.

“Nearly all the transgender people who I have been in contact with have talked about leaving the Territory at one time or another, citing various ‘push factors’.

“Finding a doctor or a health worker who understands the specific issues that affect transgender people has been problematic, particularly given their (the specialists’) high turnover rates. 

“Sometimes a transgender person feels as though they have to educate the medical practitioner before they can receive an appropriate service.”

Dr Kerry said there was much demographic diversity among transgender people in the Territory.

“They live in urban, regional and bush communities and range in age between 18 and 60. They come from different backgrounds, from different and mixed races and they fulfil a variety of employment occupations.”

Dr Kerry said there would be an emphasis on healthcare and medical needs during Friday’s presentation.

“I’d encourage health practitioners in Alice Springs to come along.”

Dr Kerry’s presentation is scheduled to take place in the Andy McNeill Room, Alice Springs Town Council on Friday 2 September. The event is free and open to the public.