Trans Dilemmas presents the findings of a three-year research project which examined the lived experiences of trans people in Australia’s Northern Territory. The book argues that whilst trans people, who live in remote areas, experience issues which may not be distinct from those living in urban areas and the inner-city, these issues can be aggravated by geographic and demographic factors. By conducting online surveys and in-depth interviews, Stephen Kerry brings to light the issues for transgender people which are compounded by living in sparsely populated, remote communities. Namely social isolation, maintaining relationships with friends, family and partners, and the difficulties accessing health care. The book also includes significant findings on the experiences and treatment of Australia’s trans Aboriginal people, also known as sistergirls and brotherboys. An analysis of first-person narratives by sistergirls and brotherboys reveals the racism within predominantly white trans communities and transphobia within traditional Aboriginal communities, which they are uniquely faced with. Trans Dilemmas represents an important contribution to contemporary research into the lives of transgender Australians. It gives a voice to those transgender people living in the more isolated communities in Australia, which up until now, have been largely unheard. For students and researchers in Queer Studies and Gender Studies, this is valuable reading.
By Stephen Kerry, 2018