FAQs Carers, Supports & Professionals

It’s common for people supporting trans and gender diverse family members, friends or clients to have questions.
Below we have compiled a series of answers to common questions we receive from professionals, carers and supports.

If a young person in your life tells you that they are trans, gender diverse, or exploring their gender, the best course of action is to affirm and support them, regardless of whether you believe their identity will shift in the future. Regardless of whether a young person goes on to identify as cisgender (non-transgender) or transgender, support and acceptance from parents and carers is key.

This support can have a significant, and even lifesaving impact for trans and gender diverse (TGD) young people, reducing their mental health risk factors and increasing their resilience.

If you believe a young person in your life may be TGD or exploring their gender but you aren’t sure, the same rule applies – without making assumptions about the young person, demonstrate that you support TGD people and will support them no matter their identity.

Keep in mind that identity exploration happens in stages, and that the young person may not wish to discuss their identity just because you have voiced support. For example, the young person may not yet have the language to describe their experience, or they may not be ready to vocalise how they feel.

Community groups such as Transcend Australia and Parents of Gender Diverse Children are great sources of information and support for parents and carers. Transcend Australia has parent-led support groups in every state, and Parents of Gender Diverse Children. Trans Health SA also features a page with links to a variety of other helpful resources: Parent-Specific resources.

The Department for Education has a procedure on processes to support gender diverse students.

Teachers and educators working to support TGD students can access school supports available through SHINE SA. This includes workshops for educators on specific issues, including gender diversity. For more information see Educators and Schools.

SHINE SA offers professional development related to LGBTIQA+ inclusion, including TGD people. SHINE SA’s Courses and Events page lists upcoming courses or contact courses@shinesa.org.au for more information.

Gender Connect Country SA can provide information and support to professionals in rural and regional South Australia who are working with TGD people. Contact information and further details are available on the Gender Connect Country SA page.

There are also a number of sources of information available online, such as the TransHub website, which includes information for Allies and specific information for Clinicians.

Another online resource is Emerging Mind’s Supporting trans and gender diverse children and their families, which is primarily aimed at mental health professionals but may be applicable to other roles.

The TransHub website offers a page with many common terms and a guide for respective language, including a document specifically for clinical terminology. TransMascSA also produced the Language Guide for Learning about the TGD Community document with the help of their members. They also produced the What Trans People Want You To Know fact sheet, which focuses more on etiquette when speaking with and about the trans community.