BSSC Year 12 student, Jay Moore, has increasingly realised how important it is to be upfront about issues that need to be talked about.

Therefore, it’s not surprising to hear he’s aiming for a career as a Social Worker.

“I took Psychology 1/2 in Year 10, and 3/4 in Year 11, thinking that would be my path.”

In fact, the most helpful aspect was realising psychology wasn’t the path he was looking for.

Jay hopes to study Social Work at La Trobe, Bendigo, and can see himself working in a hospital setting with adults after trauma events or people adjusting to, or dealing with, disabilities.

He’s taken the initiative to apply to join La Trobe’s ‘Aspire’ program—which may result in him being given an early offer into his course—and he’s dived into community service.

Earlier this year Jay designed condom packaging for a project giving free condoms to young people.

Meanwhile, he says BSSC is, “probably the best school for VCE because the staff are so helpful” and chooses the term “inclusionary” to describe the college.

“As well as all the extra-curricular events and options to study whatever you want, the college is protective and supportive of the Queer community, of First Nations students, of students from a refugee background and those with disabilities.”

Jay says he’s found BSSC has accommodated him in ways he had never expected, and highly recommends the college.

Jay is studying Sociology, Vis Com, English Literature, Philosophy and Art (drawing).

While Sociology is his favourite subject, he mentions David Van Es and Scott McDonald as two teachers who have been particularly fantastic.

The biggest challenge has been keeping on top of the work and keeping his grades up.

“I’m not brilliant at study, but I’ve realised the most important approach to VCE is to make sure I’ve grasped the important concepts before I leave the classroom.

“Understanding is really important to remembering. If there’s a problem I go and talk to my teachers and I’ve learnt how much they want to help us.

“They are very lenient when you have good reason for why something is not completed.”

Jay also believes school is not just about getting good grades; “Your ATAR is not the point of your existence!”

When he’s not at BSSC, Jay is likely to be immersed in art at home. He also has numerous hobbies he enjoys. His desk is an art space and homework happens elsewhere.

Jay won the Youth Award for a portrait entered in the St John of God Art Competition and he’s entered artwork in the Raw Arts Awards.

“I mostly do portraits with acrylic paint. I love painting birds and have been doing a series of beetle drawings. I’m also dipping into digital art.”

As well as this, Jay is a keen textile artist—sewing and altering clothes.

Jay has also been on a life-changing journey since he was ten and first realised he didn’t want to have long hair anymore, or wear a skirt to play netball.

“By twelve I was ‘out’ to my friends and became ‘Jay’,” he says.

“It was also around this age I met a transgender guy who used the term ‘transgender’ and I just knew that was me. I’m a transgender man.”

It would be another four years before Jay was able to come out fully to his family.

Sadly, Jay’s Dad passed away when he was twelve. If it were possible, he would love to introduce himself “as Jay” to his Dad.

“I’d talk to Dad about life, about our family, about my art awards.”

If Jay could give some advice to his twelve-year-old self, he imagines he’d say; ‘Don’t worry so much—you can move on from situations and people who let you down’.

“I’d also say: ‘You’re going to meet some very important friends’.”

Socially, Jay says his transgender journey has been positive.

“I’ve never worried about being teased or bullied at BSSC—one student on one occasion was transphobic towards me and our teacher just shut him down immediately.”

In contrast, Jay has discovered many limitations in the medical system as it affects the transgender community.

For a start, there are only three hospitals in Australia that have dedicated clinics for transgender healthcare.

“At my first appointment with the Royal Children’s Hospital they pretty much told me I was too old to start with them and they referred me straight to the Monash clinic—where there is at least a one-year waiting list.”

While Jay has been given some helpful resources, he cannot begin certain treatments until he’s had three appointments.

He’s also concerned about events around the globe that leave him feeling the whole world is going downhill in terms of respect for trans people.

“When the anti-trans demonstrations were on in Melbourne, I couldn’t help thinking: those people are only two hours away—or that I could easily have been in Melbourne that day.”

However, as he reflects back on his journey across the last five years, Jay says, “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I am proud of how I’ve coped—and how my art has developed.”