Yes please! We encourage you to share the Escape Velocity artworks on social media. Why not include a personal message about why these stories resonate for you, or a commitment to be an ally to trans and gender non-confirming young people?
Pronouns are words used to refer to a person other than their name: they, she and he. In English, some pronouns are gendered or imply a gender: she/ her or he/ him.
When a trans person comes out they may have new pronouns they want to use that best reflects them.
If you don’t know someone’s name or their pronouns, just ask! Using pronouns like they/ them and themselves is a safe bet until you know.
Using a person’s name and their correct pronouns respects their identity. It can take a bit of getting used to, but it’s important to get pronouns right. If you make a mistake, apologise and correct yourself.
Here’s Minus18’s guide on what pronouns are, why they matter, and how to use some new ones!
There are many resources covering the differences between sex, gender and sexuality (you can start with Minus18’s article).
In brief, our sex is our physical body: what genitals we have or levels of particular hormones. Generally, when we’re born a doctor will write a sex on our birth certificate based on their assessment of these physical characteristics.
Gender identity on the other hand, is our sense of self as it relates to being masculine or feminine. Basically, it’s how we feel in our mind. For a lot of people, gender identity will match their assigned sex at birth. This is called being cisgender or cis. When our gender identity doesn’t match the sex we were assigned at birth, this is called being transgender or trans (e.g. being assigned male at birth, but identifying as female).
Some people identify with aspects of male and female while others might not really feel like either. This is called being gender diverse, gender non-conforming or non-binary.
For gender diverse people, the word they use to describe their identity is very personal and entirely up to them. Some gender diverse people might start using different pronouns (which are words like ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’ etc).
Yes, you can! An ally is someone who actively supports a community but who may not have lived experience of that community. Anyone can be an ally of trans and gender non-conforming communities.
Escape Velocity is being created to inspire the public to become allies of trans and gender diverse young people. You can participate by speaking up, supporting our communities, and encouraging your own communities to be inclusive too.
Escape Velocity will share some ideas, resources and information on this website and on social media – many of these are from groups, organisations and communities around Australia listed in the Ally section of this website.
On our social media channels, Escape Velocity will also share resources, information and the stories of more trans and gender diverse people to inspire you and your communities.
Escape Velocity is made by young people in Melbourne who define themselves as trans and gender non-conforming.
There are many genders and gender identities. Escape Velocity isn’t an expression of all gender identities, just a handful of our own. Thirteen young people took part so the films are the result of a specific cross section of experiences.
In the Support section of this website we have provided links to groups, organisations and communities around Australia where you can find out more about gender identities and sexualities.
We hope the Escape Velocity artworks inspire you to become an ally for young people who are trans and gender non-conforming.
St Martins has been supported by Creative Victoria’s Future Makers for Change initiative to work with Minus18 and young people to explore how the arts can affect a positive social impact; in this case, the mental wellbeing of young people who are trans or gender non-conforming.
When compared to the general population, it is many times more likely that young people who are trans and gender diverse will experience anxiety, depression and psychological distress. For more information on these statistics please refer to the National LGBTI Health Alliance.
A group of young people who are trans or gender non-conforming in Melbourne worked together from 2018 to 2021 create the Escape Velocity films and performances with St Martins and Minus18.
The artworks are not based on one story, but they are made from the many stories and experiences of the young people.
Escape Velocity films are made as a collaboration between the young people and the St Martins team with artistic consultation and collaboration with other trans and gender non-conforming artists (see Credits for more information).
Escape Velocity quotes statistics from three Australian studies:
Hillier, L., Jones, T., Monagle, M., Overton, N., Gahan, L., Blackman, J., Mitchell, A. (2010). Writing themselves in 3: the third national study on the sexual health and wellbeing of same sex attracted and gender questioning young people. Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
Smith, E., Jones, T., Ward, R., Dixon, J., Mitchell, A., & Hillier, L. (2014). From Blues to Rainbows: Mental health and wellbeing of gender diverse and transgender young people in Australia. The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health, and Society, Melbourne, Australia.
Strauss, P., Cook, A., Winter, S., Watson, V., Wright Toussaint, D., Lin, A. (2017). Trans Pathways: the mental health experiences and care pathways of trans young people. Summary of results. Telethon Kids Institute, Perth, Australia.