Rebeckah Loveday chronicles her personal journey as a woman of transgender experience and claiming her identity, while empathising with the challenges faced in the transgender community, in their path to acceptance.
When I first started working at Sacred Heart Mission, I was unsure of how to go about being open about my gender identity within a faith-based organisation.
I identify as a woman of transgender experience and over the last five years I have become more open about who I am publicly, both in and out of the workplace.
I didn’t want to hide who I am when I began working at the Mission, but I was also cautious of how and when I would speak my truth, within my new professional setting.
The reason for this is because transgender people face high amounts of stigma and discrimination, which leads to poor mental health outcomes, unemployment and homelessness.
Despite potentially facing these socially constructed barriers personally throughout my life, I also acknowledge my privileges as a white, able bodied, middle class, passing (being seen as a cisgender/biological woman) transgender woman.
Not all people from the transgender and gender diverse community are afforded the same privileges that I’ve been given.
Transgender people who intersect with race, culture, religion and disability are often faced with higher amounts of discrimination – especially transgender women of colour; they’re the most targeted and vulnerable members of our community, often relating to survival sex work.
Transgender people often face rejection from loved ones and struggle to find employment. As a result, it leads to a high percentage of transgender and gender diverse people experiencing homelessness and being forced to live on the streets, due to inaccessibility of services which cater strictly to people that identify with their assigned gender at birth.
Visit our Help page to find support services and groups for people identifying as LGBTIQA+.
Although transgender people still face significant barriers, we’ve seen the birth of the Transgender Revolution, over the past several years.
This means that more transgender people are coming out and sharing their truths, services are slowly becoming more accessible, support groups are available, family acceptance is growing, accessible bathrooms are becoming available and there is more opportunities for employment and housing.
Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31 is a time for transgender people to be open and proud about who they are, while also shedding light on the discrimination, stigma and lack of equality we face as a community.
So, when I decided I would be open about who I am as a proud woman of transgender experience working for Sacred Heart Mission, I was beyond pleased to know that I was supported by managers, colleagues and the broader organisation to just embrace being myself and speaking my truth.
I hope that by sharing my story this will give other people the courage to speak their truths and know that despite our differences we should all be proud of who we are.
For Transgender Day of Visibility 2021, Rebeckah Loveday had a chat with social activist and proud trans woman of colour Miss Katalyna about the importance of trans visibility and what we all can do to create a community where people of transgender experience feel included.
Watch the full video below – and join the conversation: Send us your thoughts and questions on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Support for people identifying as LGBTIQA+
- Rainbow Door is a free support service for all LGBTIQA+ people in Victoria, their friends, family and peers.
- Switchboard provides peer-driven support services for LGBTIQA+ people, their families, allies and communities in Victoria.
- QLife offers anonymous and free LGBTIQA+ peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
- Queerspace is a LGBTIQA+ health and wellbeing support service in Victoria.
- LGBTIQ Legal Service provides free help for LGBTIQA+ people in Victoria with their legal problems.
- The Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission offers legal information and support for sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination.
- Victoria Police LGBTIQ liaison officers provide a contact point for LGBTIQA+ community members.
- The Victorian Pride Centre features more LGBTIQA+ services and support groups.
- The Rainbow Network provides a directory of LGBTIQA+ groups and services for young Victorians.
Resources for LGBTIQA+ allies
- A gender inclusive language guide by the Victorian Government
- How do I use gender inclusive language? – article and resources by Mypronouns.org
- What are pronouns and why are they important – article by Minus18
- Trans 101, a gender diversity crash course – information by YGender and Minus18
- Tips for allies of the transgender community – information by GLAAD
If you seek urgent homelessness support, visit our Get Help page.
Stay up to date with our monthly newsletter, Heartbeat