Local effort links to national trans support
WHEN Abbie Clark transitioned genders in 2019, she felt lost when it came to finding the services available to her.
After five months of psychologist appointments and nearly $1000 in expenses the year prior, she began hormone treatments after being directed to a local service by a former university colleague who’d successfully transitioned.
“Back then it was more who you knew, not what you knew,” Ms Clark said. “I didn’t think that was reasonable.
“The process at the time was go and see your GP, get a mental health care plan, see a psychologist and they’ll help you with the process.
“Not all psychologists are informed on how to help with trans folks though.
“My friend led me to sound psychology and started hormones in May. I also received support from the local trans community groups and stuff like that.”
Following her experience, Ms Clark has spent nearly five months developing an online national directory charting transgender and gender diverse services, groups, and resources, called Trans.au.
Though based in Ballarat, she said it was important for her to cast the net out to services across Australia.
“We’ve seen the resurgence of services like TransHub, TransFolk of WA, Trans Health South Australia. They all have lists of doctors, but I didn’t think that was going to quite cover everything,” she said.
“It’s only those states. Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, ACT, Northern Territory all seem to have no real list, and that’s just with doctors.
“With Trans.au, we don’t just list doctors. We list other services, so mental health support, voice training, clinics, sexual health services, community groups, resources, events, surgeons.
“We include trans-friendly gendered businesses like hairdressers, beauty services and personal trainers, because it can be really confronting to go to those early in your transition.”
Trans.au went live last week, and includes more than 320 map markers, 158 of which are Headspace locations.
Many interstate services were sourced through a page on Reddit that Clark moderates, while people are able to submit their own suggestions to feature in the trans.au directory via a Google form.
Plans are underway to expand the website’s news and advocacy component, which is set to serve as a news aggregator for trans media organisations nationwide.
Trans.au saw 500 hits on launch day while more than 20 community submissions have been received.