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Burnet Institute and WEHI stand with transgender and gender diverse people

29 April 2022
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Our institutes are passionate about equality and social justice and believe that LGBTQIA+ inclusion is our collective responsibility. We celebrate the achievements and contributions of transgender and gender diverse people around Australia and globally. We recognise that inclusion is not where it should be in 2022, and that this has a profoundly negative impact upon the health and wellbeing of transgender and gender diverse people – especially young community members.

Dr Elissa Kennedy, Burnet’s Co-Head of Adolescent Health said: “The majority of transgender people in Australia experience transphobia, with devastating impacts on young people’s wellbeing – 80 per cent of transgender young people have experienced self-harm and almost half have attempted suicide by the age of 24. The rights of transgender and gender diverse people to live in safety and participate freely in society should not be up for debate.”

WEHI established WE-Pride in 2018 to actively support LGBTQIA+ people across the Institute.

WE-Pride Co-Chair, Belinda Zipper said: “Compared to the general population, young people from the LGBTQIA+ community are at an elevated risk of experiencing poor mental health, lack of family support, social isolation and depression. We encourage the Australian community to stand united in support of transgender and gender diverse people. Let’s become strong allies for all transgender and gender diverse people in our communities.”

The current conflicting public discourse about the freedoms of transgender people exacerbates the existing challenges that gender diverse people face. In particular, there is clear evidence that links a lack of support for transgender and gender diverse people to poor mental health.

Burnet Institute and WEHI celebrate diversity and are committed to challenging attitudes and assumptions that could become a barrier to the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people. LGBTQIA+ inclusion is for all of us to support.

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