Janet is a parent, and she has a 16 year old daughter, who is transgender. Her daughter eventually transitioned at age 14, after several years of inner turmoil, significant anxiety and very low mood, and she had great difficulties in attending school in years 7, 8 and part of year 9.
Through this experience, Janet has connected to hundreds of other families whose children are either transgender, gender diverse or gender questioning. Peer support from parents in similar situations has been invaluable, and a source of strength to her.
This group of children and young people experience much scrutiny, judgement and criticism from many groups within society, and of all the groups of children who seek support from clinics such as the Gender Clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Janet can think of no other group of young people whose truth is so questioned, whose needs are so heavily debated and whose lives are so politicised.
Janet’s primary motivation to share their family and her daughter’s very personal story is to demystify the experience of being transgender, normalise families who are on this journey with
their children, and in doing so, create a safer and more accepting world for her daughter and others like her.
Janet is a Social Worker, working within the Public Health system in Victoria.