Community survey calls for improved care for transgender Tasmanians

To mark International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31st), Equality Tasmania has released a landmark report on transgender people’s experiences in Tasmania. 

The report details the results of a community survey of over 80 trans and gender diverse adults about their experiences of medically affirming their gender in Tasmania (some people call this ‘transitioning’).

Lead researcher and Equality Tasmania board member, Dr Ruby Grant said:
“Our community survey found critical shortcomings in the availability and quality of gender affirmation services in Tasmania, forcing some Tasmanians to seek care interstate.” 

“This is a problem because we know that gender affirmation leads to better health outcomes, but many trans people in Tasmania struggle to access it because of financial or geographical barriers.”

The report found Tasmanians wanting gender affirming hormone treatments can face long wait times and poor communication from healthcare providers.

This was the experience of one community member, Ash Russell, who said: 

“It took me years to work up the courage to affirm my gender medically. When I finally did get an appointment after waiting months more for a space in their schedule, the experience was uncomfortable and stressful.”

 One of the most significant findings of the report was that trans Tasmanians felt that healthcare providers were placing unnecessary and unfair hurdles in their path to accessing medical care. 

“I felt pressured to conform to gender stereotypes in order to be given access to care. I was then denied that care until a psychologist assessed my ability to understand the impact of treatment in a way that would never occur for any other medicines. This made me feel like my sanity was being questioned simply because I am trans,” Mx Russell said. 

On a positive note, the report shows that once they gain access to services, many trans Tasmanians are satisfied with the care they receive, highlighting the importance of quality healthcare for this community.

“We found that when trans people feel respected by healthcare providers they experience greater satisfaction with care and, importantly, lower levels of stress,” Dr Grant said.

In their recommendations from the report, Equality Tasmania calls on the Tasmanian Government to increase funding for the Sexual Health Service to meet demand and reduce wait times. They also recommend ongoing professional development for healthcare providers working with the trans and gender diverse community. 

Rodney Croome, President of Equality Tasmania, said the report comes at a critical time for LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians. 

“With increasing attacks on trans rights, it is important not to lose sight of the real issues trans and gender diverse people face in our communities and to work with service providers to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable”, Mr Croome said. 

The full report is available at:

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

For more information contact: Dr Ruby Grant on 0438 901 857 or Ash Russell at 0447 378 689