FUSE43 — Happiness comes from being authentic

I’m feeling very blessed.

I love being a boy and I wake up every morning a guy in a guy’s body and it suits me perfectly. This may sound like a strange thing to say but the truth is that not everyone is as lucky as me in this respect. Some people wake up every day to a body that does not match their true gender. Can you imagine what it might be like to find yourself in a body  of the wrong sex? One that does not match how you feel? A boy trapped in a girl’s body or visa versa?

The challenges of being transgendered are vast. Chaz Bono famously said ‘Gender is between your ears and not between your legs’. It’s a truth that not everyone can get their head around but something I feel is extremely important to understand.

In this issue I have had the privilege to interview four brave and wonderful trans teenagers — Marco, Ariel, Marlee and Eleanor. They have all been involved in the ‘Gender Is Not Uniform’ campaign, which is aimed at supporting gender diversity in schools through inclusive uniforms and challenging transphobia.

While most people may never have considered their gender, there are a growing number of young people who are becoming increasingly open and confident about exploring their own gender identity and  want to express themselves in ways that may differ from the sex  they were assigned at birth.

Many of these students find school very difficult. They often experience high levels of discrimination and bullying, negative attitudes, and face discriminatory school policies. It means that their ability to be authentic and happy is very much restricted and that’s why the ‘Gender Is Not Uniform’ campaign is so important and needs everyone’s support. p13.

Talking about being authentic and true to yourself, it’s that time of the year again when we celebrate Canberra Pride with the SpringOUT Festival. Every year I see the festival just get better and better and 2014 is no exception. As usual you can see the full SpringOUT festival guide right here in FUSE and it’s jam-packed with events. p20.

I’d like to make a special mention of BAKE : Canberra’s LGBTI Charity Bake Off. Last year we raised over $2000 for the AIDS Action Council and A Gender Agenda and this year we are hoping to do even better! It’s a really fun afternoon and we hope everyone will come along Saturday 8 November. Oh and remember, if you don’t bake, don’t worry — because we also need lots of people to come along to buy, eat and be merry. p7.

As another year comes to an end I’d like to thank all those who make FUSE possible. Without you none of this would be possible. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and happy new year.

Enjoy, Alex

FUSE43 : Happiness comes from being authentic - David

FUSE43 : Happiness comes from being authentic - Marlo

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