1. Resilience in the face of change – Jacq's story
    I still can have times where I feel you know fairly low but the difference is now I call someone. I make contact, even with a mate.
  2. Resilience in the face of change – Kurt's story
    My self-esteem was very low. I didn’t know who I was or what I identified as. I didn’t really know it was possible for me to transition.

Resilience in the face of change: stories of transmen

Across Australia, Beyond Blue has found that, generally, men from all backgrounds are less likely to take action against depression and anxiety, with numerous barriers to seeking support, in particular stigma.

Beyond Blue recognises that transgender men have very high rates of anxiety and depression compared to others within the LGBTIQ+ communities, and the broader communities. Our research also demonstrates that while these men are generally more likely to have sought assistance with respect to anxiety and depression, when compared to gay men, transgender men are less likely to have found that assistance helpful.

We recognise that this is often a result of health services having a limited understanding of lived experience of transgender men. Of course, at times there can be direct discrimination by health services meaning a reduced level of trust by the communities, and reluctance in using those services again.

Beyond Blue trusts the following stories from a small sample of the diverse transgender male communities assist in providing a greater understanding of the challenges faced by members of these communities, and that it provides inspiration to others in similar circumstances.

Sim's story

I’ve just got a past life and a current life and it’s all pretty different then to now.

I identify just as Sim because attaching words to things, gendered words I personally didn’t find it very helpful after a while.

I can’t say that I’m not affected by a lot of things around me but I’ve done a lot of questioning into who I want to be, and transitioning at an age where I was officially becoming an adult you ask a lot of questions at that life stage.

Finding realistic information relied on talking to people from all different backgrounds, having real conversations with people, real stories, looking at research.

I have a lot more resilience now that I understand my own self-worth, despite living in a culture that often gives us the opposite messages. The advice I can give is to commit to learning and understanding gender, understand history, understand religion, understand how everything intertwines because it will really help you understand a lot of things you may come across as a trans person, and even help you understand how to bring about positive change.