Ausnew Home Care | Dion Galea is the non-binary activist | NDIS

Dion Galea is the non-binary activist bringing trans awareness to the deaf community

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"I am non-binary … It means I do not identify with either gender — man or woman. Sometimes, I am one or the other, both or neither of them."

Dion Galea's transition began the day they saw transgender activist Blake Culley sign these words in a YouTube video with the title: "What it's like growing up deaf and trans."

As the video went on, recognition set in.

"I thought, 'That's me. That's exactly me.'"

Screenshot of a YouTube video with Blake Culley, speaking straight to camera Ausnew Home Care, NDIS registered provider, disability
"Growing Up Deaf and Transgender" YouTube video from Blake Culley.(

YouTube: Ai-Media


At the time, Dion identified as a lesbian and had been married to a woman for six years.

Speaking to The Drum through an Auslan interpreter, Dion said the news they might be trans came as no surprise to their wife, who had been the one to first raise the possibility.

"My friends all said they knew, that it had been really obvious," Dion told The Drum.

"I think the deaf community is more accepting of diversity. Deaf people already know what it's like to be different."

Their mother is still coming to terms with the change.

"[She] accepted it out of respect but she still calls me by my old name. I guess that's understandable."

At their wife's suggestion, Dion began seeing a counsellor, with the help of an interpreter made available under the NDIS.

"The first year was interesting because the counsellor had to learn how to work with an interpreter … Everybody was new to the experience, and I had to provide a bit of awareness training", they said.

"It was a slow process, but it was a very important one that I needed to go through."

More than a year into testosterone hormone therapy, Dion is feeling increasingly confident and comfortable in their body, which is slowly becoming more aligned with their trans-masc identity.

Their jawline has become more defined and hearing friends have told Dion their voice is deeper.

One of the things they are most looking forward to is growing facial hair.

"I've always had this longing for a beard … I want a moustache, I want to play around with facial hair.

"A few of my male friends have told me I need to start shaving … but I'm so excited for the hair to grow, I want to leave it."

Dion Galea stands smiling at camera, next to a motorcycle.
Dion Galea is speaking publicly about coming out as transgender, to help other deaf Australians.(

ABC The Drum


Filling knowledge gaps

The size of Australia's deaf community is not clear but it is estimated that fewer than 10,000 people are native Auslan users.

Dion says that can make information and resources about transgender issues difficult to access.

"America's way more advanced, people there are standing up and doing advocacy work, but in Australia, there's nothing."

They're helping fill that knowledge gap by creating video resources in Auslan and speaking publicly about their transition.

"I've been contacted by a few deaf trans people. A lot of them are not ready to come out … they're still not sure about where they can go and who they can talk to. It's going to take time."

Dion said they were encouraged by a growing awareness about the theory of intersectionality.

"It's about the layers that people have, for example me as a deaf person, a trans person, and a white person.

"I think it's important for all of us to identify the intersections that we do have and take them on and embrace them."

Source: ABC

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