Graeme Kane

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[00:00:00] This recording was made at the second the Asia Pacific Outgames human rights conference held in Wellington, New Zealand in March 2011. [00:00:08] So, Brian Cain, I'm a counseling psychologist from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The albans conference, I've initially enrolled as a runner. And so I ran that on Sunday and got a silver in the five K's are very happy about that. In terms of the conference, one of my roles is as a counseling psychologist is on the secretary for the gay and lesbian issues in psychology interest group for Australian Psychological Society over in Australia. And I submitted two papers. So the two papers I submitted it one is gaming or more than their bodies and the other is looking at ethical guidelines for trans individuals. [00:00:48] So should we take the first paper first? What's that about? [00:00:51] The first paper is [00:00:54] he has had his sickly say it um, it's a it's a look at the two dogs paradigms that typically represent came in and research game in one is that game in a obsessed with been seen a new phone, the other is that they're obsessed with being muscular, and trim. And when you look at the research, certainly there are individuals that will have that obsession, but not necessarily as widely distributed, is some people climb. And so what I did is look at the evidence and start to get a sense that the the research and there's quite, there's quite a lot over the last 25 years, wasn't as robust as it should be. And so what I did was interrogate the research and have written a couple of articles that have been published. And so I'm presenting on some of my research, and I'm a practitioner. So I come in from up from an angle of someone who sees a couple hundred people a year as a clinician, and looking at the end, challenging some other paradigms. I'm challenging the thin and the muscular paradigm, not to say that, that there's not that men aren't interested in their bodies, it's just that we're more than our bodies, which is the title of the paper. [00:02:12] So as a clinician, and seeing two or 300 people a year, what are the main issues that are coming up for those people? [00:02:22] That, oh, it's a broad range. [00:02:27] In it, like the number one is always going to be relationships, it's going to be who you are in relationship to your family, your friends, and as well as work. So that the number one issue is relationships that I find, and you can kind of branch out from that some people might have some issues with anxiety or depression. And certainly you've got the you know, the typical coming out issues or, you know, you get the odd body image issue as well. So, the issues are diverse, but it's all about who I am. And why do I exist [00:02:58] in this world? Is that any different from a straight mainstream group of people coming to a council, [00:03:06] and what what I found and I'm 45, and I've been doing this, you're coming up to me the my second decade, and I have a huge, significant heterosexual straight population, and the issue is very much the same. One, one of my jokes is the ice may look different than the cake still the same underneath. That's kind of one of my little catchphrases that I made up for this week to annoy my partner with so you know, every time we will, will try to talk about some unique or distinct thing I'll turn around and say, well, the icing may be different but the cake still the same. So you know, he just actually said the same thing in terms of fidelity in relationships that they're no longer going to be with are heading negotiate that hadn't negotiated separation? How do you manage your careers with and juggle all those things? They're no different from same sex attracted couples, or opposite sex attracted couples. [00:04:01] So in Australia now, what do you think the biggest human rights issues are for queer communities? [00:04:09] Or the one number? Um, look, I think certainly, marriage and kids. But again, I always to challenge myself is that because I'm middle aged, and so as a middle aged man mines always, you know, his his middle class, and it's very comfortable, you know, he's got the house got the partner, you know, my net, my next issue is a marriage and kids. So do I see that through that particular lens? And I would suggest Yes. And so, and actually, I'm going to be very topical heat. You know, I think one of the biggest issues for all of us, how do we actually act that diversity, because we talk about it, and it's on the radio, it's in the media, but in terms of when we start to make jokes, we go back to bias and stereotypes. And so when you when you someone will say well, to be called lesbians, pragmatic, all the guys are very creative. And I want to kind of challenge the stereotypes, because I can't shop for shit. You know, when I go out and buy clothes, I have no idea. You know, I'm not gonna have power tools. So what am I close the delivery lesbian or something. So in terms of if I was to say, from our community, the issue is to embrace diversity and live it and breathe it and walk it rather than just give it lip service. So um, that's my challenge to to us in terms of actually walking and breathing and living in diversity as we proclaim, we, [00:05:34] we are. And so then my challenge to you would be your how do you do that? personally? [00:05:39] How do I do that personally? Oh, good. Me individually, personally, um, I have a very robust relationship with a partner that keeps me honest, as well as friends, I think that's how you actually do it. So that when, when you start to believe your own rubbish, you know, someone will come along and candle I did, I say, Excuse me, there is some inconsistency, your attitude and opinion on what you're actually doing. And it's always really healthy, to not only be a deliverer of feedback, but also to receive it. And I think in terms of one of the things I always work hard at, and you know, as a psychologist, some giving people my professional opinion, it's always nice when someone gives you their personal opinion back. And that's the hard thing to actually integrate it to actually take on board, when when someone actually gives you a challenge back that you're inconsistent. [00:06:29] Is it hard as a psychologist to actually switch off from that kind of whole observational kind of counseling [00:06:36] role? I think young psychologist, a psychologist every breathing second of their lives, I think, as you get older, you get a bit fatigued, and a little bit disinterested, always looking at people. So you know, I think everyone has a capacity to make interpretations of themselves and each other minds is scientifically based. And we're not always interpreting or assessing other people. However, how easy is it? Think it's pretty easy, unless it's pretty much in your face? And pretty obvious? Or? So? [00:07:13] Do you find there is any difference between a straight group of people and a queer group of people in terms of accessing health services, particularly like so mental health services, and [00:07:26] I think it's always bang for buck, like the biggest cities, you're going to have more options, and you have those that want more in an enemy. anonymity, you want those that want. gay, lesbian, transgender identified, the, think the smaller cities, people are going to struggle with that. So in Melbourne, where I live, you know, people from too long and rural Victoria will come up to the gay identified, but then the difficulty with that is that it can take, you know, 48 weeks getting a point appointment. So it's all those kinds of challenges, and honestly calls as well as opportunities. The segue into my second presentation, very good. The, the if I'm looking at proposing ethical guidelines for Australian psychologists, because there's one at the moment, I'm working with gay, lesbian, bisexual clients, which basically means that you need to do so in a respectful, competent manner, if you're a psychologist. And so that, in a sense, it's a standard. And if you don't do so that there could be some consequences for you. I'm endeavoring to advocate for a transgender guidelines to be recognized and legitimize within Australia so that, you know, it's going to be a challenge and an uphill battle. So that to get it indoors, that that high level such that all 27,000 psychologists need to be attentive to those particular issues. So in terms of mental health, at the individual working with an individual practitioner, and looking at psychologist, it's always good to kind of set the bar, and always constantly reviewing and setting that bar higher and higher. So that's it in the summary. [00:09:09] I'm interested to know why will it be a challenge? What what why is it so difficult to get that past? [00:09:16] In terms of vulnerable groups, it's just critical mass, it's like anything. The more you have, the more you're going to be heard so that in terms of gay lesbians and bisexuals in Australia, given the critical mass, I can turn around and say, Well, this is our expectations. This is what we want. In terms of transgender being of a vulnerable group. I think one of the speakers this morning was talking about a vulnerable group within a vulnerable group, etc. The the challenges with that is that when you're dealing with a smaller population, it's lower on the agenda. It's low, it's lower on the priorities, and where things are always being prioritized. How do you actually say yesterday, a small group of people, but it's still important. And that's the challenge. So how many psychologists in Australia are going to be providing psychological services to trans clients? I don't know what that number is. So that's part of the challenge to say that to legitimize it to say that this is important. [00:10:20] That's the challenge. [00:10:21] Now often using the word queer, all the way over the last couple of days, but what words would you use for myself? [00:10:30] Well, for myself outside again, man, but when working with clients, terminologies is huge, and that's one of the thing that I've done in both ethical guidelines, one that's actually endorsed and the other that I'm putting forward, and that is that you need to check with the person the terminology that they're comfortable with, you might have someone that has an incredible resistance to that kind of terminology, or would say, to use a 45 year old man, the guy aspect probably represents 5%, of who I am, for probably when I was about 1819, it was probably 90. So in terms of where people are in their life, where they are, culturally, socially, politically, economically, they're going to have different ways of expressing who they are. So some, I see myself more as a partner in a psychologist than necessarily a game and they would have a higher priority, as well, as an owner, they're very demanding dog. So in terms of being a pet, a very responsible pet owner that sort of features hugely in my life, because every afternoon, I need to walk that path, that particular creature. [00:11:40] So this conference, what do you want to get out of it? [00:11:46] I suppose a couple of things, the I've got one on one. And the opening is just sensational, you know, in terms of the both to be entertained, to be challenged, to [00:12:00] be excited and to be [00:12:03] I'm speechless, so that kind of gives you like some sort of idea of just how it met met those needs to conference, you you know, conferences, you don't want necessarily like everything you hear or see, but the opening was, it was boom, it was intelligent. It was as cheeky as all hell some of the presenters were hysterical, the head mean fit, but it was also poignant, and, and the pathos and, and the diversity not only of the presenters and their issues, but also the crowd. So you know, I'm happy I got what I wanted. So I know for some other people, it's about connections with a whole range of people is a psychologist, I don't necessarily go to human rights conferences. And that's it. This is all this is a first for me. And yesterday I said in a workers rights. Now I'm not that I'm going to unionize member of any workforce. So it was quite a pleasure to sit in there and go, okay, you know, learning. All right. That's it in this in a nutshell, learning has that. [00:13:04] That's great. If we were to look through the years ahead, and somebody's listening back to this as an archival recording, what would you like to say to them? [00:13:13] How far have we advanced have we gotten any further and we had we manage our domestic petty domestic concerns and have we gotten over that and how inclusive and diverse are we have we moved from lip service to actually walking the talk? There's some of the reflections I've asked people to consider.

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