Trans and Gender Diverse Peer Support Project

Supporting growth and sustainability of trans and gender diverse peer support across Victoria. Supported by the Victorian Government.

Listening, Apologising, and Committing to Doing Better

Transgender Victoria has, as of 2021, existed for 21 years.

The core of our mission has always been creating change to improve the lives of trans and gender diverse people, and building platforms for the underrepresented.

It informs all we do, and is at the centre of who we are.

But in order to keep moving forward, it’s vital that we reflect on our past and constantly examine where there’s room for improvement. 

To ensure we’re creating space for voices that aren’t being heard, and centring experiences at the margins.

Historically, while we’ve worked hard to represent the whole of our community, we haven’t always met that goal. 

At times we’ve fallen short and not brought the sensitivity, cultural awareness, and inclusivity we have needed when working with and for trans and gender diverse Aboriginal people and people of colour broadly in our community. 

And for that we are sorry.

Crucial work remains ongoing to ensure people of colour are more fully represented at TGV, and to improve our relationships working with these communities outside our organisation. 

We apologise unreservedly for times in our history we’ve fallen short, and not been all we needed to be.

And we thank those that have spoken up and told us when we’re wrong, or called on us to do better.

It’s never easy to do, but telling us how we can improve shows immense generosity, and that honesty that gives us the opportunity to improve.

We know for every person that does speak up, there are often many others that may have chosen to quietly step away.

To those who have chosen to do this for their own wellbeing, we apologise. 

It’s vital for us to remember that when people tell us when and where we’re going astray, they’re doing so in the belief we can be better.

Aboriginal people and people of colour across our community, amongst our volunteers, staff, and even our own Executive Director have made it abundantly clear: our job is to listen, put in the work, and create a TGV that’s representative of our community.

In doing so we must not place the burden of creating change on individual trans and gender people of colour to solve this for us, but instead bring the whole of TGV together and in alignment behind them to drive that work and move forward.

Just as we urge our cisgender peers to listen to trans voices, we need to make sure trans and gender diverse Aboriginal people and all people of colour are heard at TGV, and throughout our community.

This doesn’t just stop at a more aware organisation, or training up our team, but must include giving trans people of colour meaningful opportunities to lead.

We’ve taken steps to increase diversity at every level of TGV, from our board, to staff, to our volunteers.

We’ve committed to cultural sensitivity training for the whole of TGV’s staff and board, to help ensure those without lived experience are as equipped as possible to support their peers of colour.

We’re funding crucial grassroots independent initiatives created and driven by trans people of colour across the state through our SPARK and Big Ideas funding initiatives.

We’ve put trans voices of colour front and centre throughout the 2021 TransForum, a key hub for fostering new and strengthening existing trans and gender diverse peer support projects across the state.

We highlight these initiatives to be transparent about the work already happening across the organisation, and in acknowledgement that there’s still more to do.

We want to be very clear: we know change won’t happen overnight, but fostering meaningful inclusion and diversity remains an ongoing and top priority.

We’ll continue working hard to get it right, and be accountable when we don’t.

This acknowledgement is just one part of a larger, ongoing, organisation-wide effort to better represent and empower trans and gender diverse people of colour and Aboriginal people in all we do.

We know this isn’t just a project to complete or a task to check off a list, but must be at the centre of how TGV works and operates every day.

We’re committed to being an organisation for all trans and gender diverse people, and thank everyone who has been and continues to be part of creating a TGV that truly represents our community. 

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