Transgender adults report that from a very early age, they feel that their outsides are in opposition to their insides. To fix this dichotomy they generally face constant medical intervention and relentless discrimination in both the workplace, school environment, and society in general. Despite recent mainstream media representation of transgender people like Caitlyn Jenner, negative community attitudes and limited understanding of gender variance remain.
In recent years, there has been a rapid rise in the number of children and adolescents identifying as the opposite gender and experts suggest that intervention prior to puberty provides better outcomes. This of course comes with all sorts of ethical, moral and legal debate, and many, many converse opinions. We speak with Dr Elizabeth Riley, one of Australia’s leading counsellors of transgender kids and their families, about the challenges these families face, the identification of gender dysphoric kids, and the treatments and medical interventions they need.
Dr Riley recently spoke at Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous ideas on gender issues, and has a PhD titled ‘The needs of gender variant children and their parents’. A Sydney-based counsellor & clinical supervisor specialising in gender diversity, Elizabeth has extensive experience working with gender diverse clients, providing gender specific support and counselling for children & adolescents with differences in gender identity and/or expression and their parents, trans youth, couples where a partner is transitioning and those seeking support for gender related surgery. Elizabeth also delivers professional development in gender diversity for schools, clinicians and other service providers and has 10 publications in the area of gender identity. As an advocate for the trans community Elizabeth appears for Mardis Gras interviewing transgender trailblazers, including Chaz Bono and Catherine MacGregor. Her media presence includes Insight, 60 Minutes, A Current Affair, The Project, ABC’s 7.30, Radio National & JJJ.
No doubt one of Australia’s leading experts on gender diversity, we are delighted to have Elizabeth join us in conversation. We hope you can join us.