The Wellbeing of Trans and Gender Diverse Youth
The Speaking Out Survey 2021 (SOS21) engaged students from Year 4 to Year 12, delving into their experiences and views on safety, mental health, engagement in education, connection to community and access to support. A crucial question asked students about their gender identity, offering three response choices: female, male, and in another way.
The 'in another way' option was thoughtfully designed to be inclusive, embracing students who identify with a wide spectrum of gender-diverse identities. This encompasses terms like non-binary, gender fluid, gender questioning, agender, as well as other terms that best represent their gender identity.
Notably the SOS21 data showed a marked increase in the number of students identifying as gender-diverse in comparison to SOS19. This growth allowed the Commissioner's team to identify significant differences between gender-diverse students and those who identify with binary genders in the SOS21 findings.
Initial analysis of the differences revealed that gender-diverse students face notably more challenges across multiple aspects of wellbeing, performing comparatively worse than other vulnerable groups across specific measures.
One vital responsibility of the Commissioner is to directly listen to children and young people, ensuring their participation in decisions that affects their lives.
Building upon the SOS and Girls Wellbeing surveys, the Commissioner decided to conduct further research by directly engaging trans and gender diverse children and young people.
This project involved:
- Direct consultation with trans and gender diverse children and young people.
- Reviewing quantitative and qualitative data from the Commissioner’s other projects, such as the Speaking Out Survey and responses from the Girls’ Wellbeing Survey, to provide additional context.
- Consulting with a reference group consisting of trans and gender diverse individuals working in professional and peer support roles within the community.
Trans and Gender Diverse Report
The Commissioner's team brought together data from previous surveys, alongside the candid narratives shared in the direct consultations. The result: A comprehensive report titled, 'I just want to feel equal to others': Hearing from trans and gender diverse children and young people in WA.
A condensed version has also been produced for a younger audience titled, 'We are people and we exist': Hearing from trans and gender diverse children and young people in WA - Young People's summary report.