Why We Exist
Parents of Gender Diverse Children is here to provide peer support to parents and those parenting trans and gender diverse children. We know that parents who are well supported are better able to support their children. We believe that no matter your age – you will always be someone’s child – so we do not impose any age restrictions on the families that we support.
Gender is a spectrum and the number of school aged young people who identify as trans and gender diverse is currently cited as 1.2% and 2.5% respectively by the Telethon Kids Institute at the Princess Margaret Hospital in WA and The Royal Children's Hospital Gender Service in Melbourne. This translates into a very large number of school aged children across Australia.
Parents of Gender Diverse Children was incorporated in early 2016 as a way to give a voice to parents of trans and gender diverse children. Our goal was to have a platform from which to speak out about the potential elimination of LGBTIQ+ specific support programmes within educational environments. It soon became apparent that we could do so much more, and we have gone from strength to strength.
At its inception five mums of trans and gender diverse children came together to brainstorm a way to make it work. What started as five mums has over time settled to be two mums, with support from a wide base of volunteers and supporters.
The Parents of Gender Diverse Children team are passionate about raising awareness and understanding to ensure that professionals, educators and clinicians have the information, language and skills needed to create safe and inclusive environments for trans and gender diverse people and their families.
Meagan is mum to 5 children, with four currently living at home. Meagan’s particular area of interest is in inclusion in early childhood educational settings.
Karyn is mum to 2 children, a dachshund and three cats. Karyn’s particular area of interest is in sex and sexuality education for trans and gender diverse young people.
We provide direct peer support to families – individual contact with all families is a vital part of what we do. We run monthly catchups that are a fun and social way for families to meet and build a support network, in a safe and inclusive environment.
Creating this space for families allows parents, siblings and trans and gender diverse children of any age to build their own peer groups and create strong relationships. We have been successfully running catchups since 2015 and attendance grows each and every month. We can connect parents to our online groups that are a safe place for parents to seek peer support, chat with other parents and share their experiences.
We hold information sessions, workshops and panels to connect parents, professionals and allies with information, resources and access to experts and those with lived experience.
Parents of Gender Diverse Children accepts direct, self referral from parents, and referrals from professionals and service providers that work with both families and young people. We speak directly with every family that is referred to us, and through this process we can connect and refer them on to services, groups and providers that are most relevant to their needs and location.
Alongside the direct support we provide to parents and families we spend a great deal of time speaking to professionals, services and interested groups about gender diversity, and inclusive practice. We believe that this advocacy work raises awareness, breaks down barriers and equips professionals and services with the tools that they need to be open, supportive and inclusive.
In 2016 Parents of Gender Diverse Children participated in our first Midsumma Pride March, and became the first group fully dedicated to transgender kids marching in any pride march in Australia. Each year our group grows, and in 2017 we had over 120 people marching. It is always an amazing day for everyone who participates and starts off each year with a renewed sense of community, cohesion and pride for our trans and gender diverse children.