Evidence affirming school supports for Australian transgender and gender diverse students

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Background: The United Nations (UN) and related UN bodies have recognised transgender and gender diverse (TGD) students’ rights at the global level to full equitable access to education, and specifically sexuality education, repeatedly. Methods: This article explores the available support for this equal access in Australia. It discusses TGD student rights in a range of Australian laws and education policies. Results: It shows how the inclusion of TGD students, particularly in sexuality education, is reinforced in the current Australian National Curricula. Finally, it considers research on Australian TGD students’ educational attainment, experiences of transphobic abuse and violence, and experiences in contexts where they do and do not have staff (and other) support. It also shows that contrary to the picture of TGD students as victims leading inherently negative lives often seen in research, this group is nevertheless capable of resilience and positive education activism, which promotes their wellbeing and social outcomes. Conclusion: It argues for a shift from harmful approaches of victimising TGD students or treating them only as victims, towards celebrating the contributions of these students to their schools and societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-416
Number of pages5
JournalSexual Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright CSIRO 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • transgender
  • education
  • policy
  • curricula
  • suicide
  • activism
  • sexuality
  • puberty
  • resilience
  • violence


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