A compulsory curriculum that teaches our kids about transgender people.

A compulsory curriculum that teaches our kids about transgender people.

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Camden Sheppard started this petition to Ministry of Education

Gender dysphoria is the reason people are transgender (trans). It is what causes the discomfort that transgender people feel. Thankfully, we now have the ability to relieve trans people of a lot of their dysphoria with qualified gender therapists, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and surgery. However trans people must face more than gender dysphoria. Discrimination is a real fear for trans people, leading to severe anxiety and depression, Studies by New Zealand group "Counting Ourselves" backs this up. So if the "theory" of being trans has been proven, laws have been made and money gone into the health system to care for trans people, why is discrimination still such a big factor in NZ? the answer is education, or, lack of in this case.

Some people might say that it is not the first subject the ministry of education should be putting time and money into because transgender people are a small minority, but the impact that it would have on students to feel understood and supported is priceless when you consider the fact that New Zealand has the second highest youth suicide rate in the world. 

When i say discrimination, i say it literally. However, many people don't know that's what they're doing, and that is the point i am trying to make.

If people knew that gender dysphoria affects every aspect of a trans persons life from more obvious things like hair length and clothes, to very personal things that are uncomfortable to mention, I know that they'd be more considerate, personally, my transition would have been remarkably easier if my parents and peers understood what i was going through.

So what is my goal for this petition? What is the ideal outcome? The short term goal is to have the ministry of education work along side organisations like Rainbow Youth NZ to develop a category in the health curriculum about gender identity for all year groups. In time this would effect my long term goal of New Zealanders being more educated and so educated that discrimination is not a fear for trans people.

I have been calm writing this, but I really am urging the ministry of education to do something about these issues. It will save lives. 

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