In 1984, WIRE was established to inform, support and provide a referral service to the women of Victoria. Over time WIRE’s understanding of gender has shifted, and the organisation is committed to supporting and servicing the Trans and Gender Diverse (TGD), and gender nonconforming (GNC) communities. WIRE recognises that gender is a self-identification, and that there is a range of language that people may use to articulate their experience of gender.
The Federal Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013 states that: Gender identity means the gender-related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of a person. This includes the way people express or present their gender, and recognises that a person’s gender identity may be an identity other than male or female.
In consultation with key LGBTIQ advocates and organisations, WIRE has begun developing policy around Trans and Gender Diverse inclusion within the organisation. WIRE has formalised the policy for inclusion of Trans and Gender Diverse communities to assist staff, volunteers, service users and the broader community to clarify eligibility for WIRE’s services.
The release of the Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion Policy underlines that WIRE is striving for excellence and best practice in its service delivery, and proudly supports and welcomes the inclusion of members of the Trans and Gender Diverse communities of Victoria.
WIRE welcomes all women (trans and cis), all those who experience or have experienced oppression as women, including non-binary and gender non-conforming people and all those who identify as women. Self-definition is at the discretion of the individual.
Cisgender men (assigned male at birth and always identify as male) are welcome to attend WIRE as a service user’s support person, as a professional seeking information and to seek support and information around supporting a person eligible for WIRE services.
However, cisgender men cannot become service delivery volunteers or access services at WIRE for themselves.
Image: Trans Block CSD Hamburg 2015 by Franziska Neumeister