Evidence affirming school supports for Australian transgender and gender diverse students Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

publication date

  • 2017