Transcend was founded by Rebekah Robertson in 2012. It was the first parent led peer support network for the families of transgender children in Australia. In 2007, when Rebekah was desperately searching for information and support for her child and any information about gender identity for children in Australia, there was none to be found.
Rebekah named this support network Transcend as it was a positive affirmation that families and the children they love and support could overcome the difficulties they may face in raising a transgender child. Not simply survive, but transcend them and thrive. Since then Transcend has connected hundreds of families to medical, legal and educational support services as well as parent/carer communities around Australia.
Transcend/Rebekah has worked alongside other community organisations to promote and support programs which help trans and gender diverse kids reach their full potential. Among these organisations are the Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service, Justice Connect and the Safe Schools Coalition. She has spoken at many events, conferences, panels and in the media. Rebekah has met and advocated for the needs of trans children with politicians, government agencies and health services, community organisations, human rights organisations, police, lawyers, academics and the wider community to bring awareness and action to better support trans and gender diverse young people. She has run information sessions for families unfamiliar with the many aspects of parenting a trans child, inviting professionals along to provide expert advice on the Stage 2 legal requirements, or giving families a better understanding of the medical and social supports available. She has run many family events where parents and children come together to meet, share and enjoy one another’s company.
A fierce advocate for law reform around access to medical interventions for trans teens for the past ten years, she is now joined by her equally determined daughter Georgie Stone, who’s personal story ‘About A Girl’ captured hearts and minds when it aired on Australian Story in August 2016.
Rebekah was nominated for Straight Ally of the Year in the 2016 GLOBE Community Awards. Transcend has also been nominated in the 2018 Australian LGBTI Awards in the Community Initiative/Charity category.
“Not every parent has the time or the freedom to publicly advocate for trans children. But I strongly feel the most powerful form of advocacy any parent can do is raise a child who is happy, healthy and excited about their future. If you can do that, you’ve changed your child’s life, and you’ve brought your entire community with you: family, friends, schools, sporting/activity groups, your place of worship, your colleagues. That’s the kind of advocacy that is profound and lasting.”
Rebekah Robertson OAM