Transgender voices: listen and learn

New episode of Let’s Go Further from the Skills and Education Group is out now! 

This week on Let’s Go Further Joe Mcloughlin talks with Jake and Hannah Graf about the importance for guidance on supporting transgender learners to come from a place of inclusion and not politics. They also discuss the need for more transgender voices and why it is crucial that young learners are supported by their families and schools.

Jake Graf is an international multi-award winning director, writer and actor best known for his roles in ’The Danish Girl’ and ‘Colette’, and for viral hit ‘Headspace’. He uses film making to further representation for stories often untold, and promote acceptance and further education.

Hannah Graf (MBE) began her career in the army having served in Afghanistan, Kenya and Canada. After coming out in 2014 she became the Army’s Transgender Representative to advocate for trans service people, and advise senior army officials on how best to support transgender army members.

Together the pair speak internationally on trans issues, conducting frequent media interviews to further public education. Jake and Hannah are also patrons of many LGBTQIA charities, most notably Mermaids which supports transgender young people and their families. Joe, Jake and Hannah first discuss the importance of family and societal support in shaping the experience and overall happiness of a trans young person. Jake and Hannah share their personal experiences growing up in 1980’s Britain and coming out as trans in adulthood. Hannah goes into detail about her experience coming out in the Army and the support she received in that process.

Any child who feels othered, any child who is from an LGBTQIA identity, must be supported and must be told that what they are does not make them less valid or less worthy, or less beautiful, or less wonderful or less deserving of love, and achieving all that they want and all
of their dreams.

Jake Graf

Joe then asks the pair for their view on the media discourse surrounding trans people and trans rights. Both Jake and Hannah criticise the media for their sensationalising and fear mongering of trans issues. Echoing themes from Dougie Boyd’s episode, Jake and Hannah emphasise the need to tone down the rhetoric surrounding trans issues in the press, which, they say, too often adopts an antagonistic approach. The three discuss just how often trans people are spoken about rather than to, and stress the need for greater inclusion of trans voices in media discourse.

Trans people and trans youth, they exist, our identities are valid, we have existed forever. There are countless kind of medical journals that … say that supporting trans people through their transition has the best possible outcomes. And so any policy should start with that as a basis…you only have to look at any newspaper on any given day to know that the subject of transgender people has become a – in inverted commas – political issue. And when that happens you tend to get away from the objective view of what the right thing to do for a person is.

Hannah Graf

Tune into episode 3 of Let’s Go Further for a topical and insightful conversation on familial support for transgender teens and changing the media discourse around trans people.

The Let’s Go Further Podcast is produced by the Skills and Education Group in collaboration with Research Podcasts and is published fortnightly. 

Subscribe now to get access to upcoming episodes including a discussion about neurodiversity with Skills and Education CEO Paul Eeles and Director of Education at Cognassist Louise Karwowski, how education can reduce reoffending rates with Yvonne Taylor from The Clink Charity and the importance of education to overcome barriers to women with Jess Philips MP and Principal of Hull College Debra Gray MBE.

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Freya Peake, Research and Administration Assistant at Research Podcasts