Caitlyn Jenner’s experience will help others

ONE particular news piece has dominated this week, and that's the unveiling of Caitlyn Jenner, who was once America's athletic hero of the 1970s, Caitlyn Jenner.

Transgender has been celebrated in Australia since Caitlyn Jenner was still an Olympian.

Our widely acclaimed transgender performer, Carlotta, has been embraced by our nation since she graced the stage with the other Les Girls in the 70s.

Prior to that, our favourite "man in a dress" has been performing to crowds since the 60s, and is even honoured by the Queen for it.

Although he is not transgender, Dame Edna Everage is a cross-dressing hero to many, and one of our greatest icons.

So for a lot of Australians this is nothing new or ground-breaking.

But what does make this story so intriguing is the fact that Caitlyn Jenner was a powerhouse of a man and a symbol of American strength.

What Caitlyn Jenner has done is blow open the door for transgender acceptance, to an audience greater than anyone else has ever been able to achieve.

I hope more transgenders can show their existence, and move forward in society without prejudice.

We have the science that allows people to be who they feel they are on the inside, so surely this is a positive thing?

The transgender community has the highest rate of suicide attempts and substance abuse over any other marginalised sections of society, so hopefully Caitlyn's story helps other families with acceptance and lowers the statistics in this area.

Around the area of Redfern in inner Sydney, where I worked in the police, there is a large transgender community, so each person had to be dealt with in respect to their preferences.

Being identified as a certain sex, or in a most recent case, being legally known as no sex at all, initiates many rights for that individual.

These are rights that we as "cisgender" people take for granted, such as whether you are searched by a male or female police officer.

Or, for the more law-abiding citizens, which public toilets you use.

When you're in an area such as this, being different is normal so people's choices aren't as intimidating as you may think.

A lack of understanding will breed intolerance so if we can learn anything from Caitlyn's transition, it's that we really can't categorise "normal" anymore.

Topics:  opinion tj hamilton

Dreamworld horror: 30 detectives to probe how it happened

TWO children watched their mother die in Dreamworld horror

Dreamworld deaths 'followed' funeral directors on holiday

Thunder River Rapids ride was next on their list to do

'Watch your party PM, not Pauline Hanson': letter

Pauline Hansen in Gladstone June 24, 2016.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

The rise of Pauline Hansen has alarmed major parties.

Local Partners

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Woolies announces closure of Ipswich store

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June