In-Depth With LGBTIQA+ Specialist Kai Schweizer – Butterfly: Let’s Talk Season 2, Episode 18

Kai Schweizer, who identifies as gender diverse, first joined the Butterfly podcast in 2020 for the episode Gender, Sexuality and Eating Disorders. Our host Sam spent some time getting to know how Kai’s emerging gender identity at an all-girls secondary school led to disordered eating behaviours. He’s now a respected specialist in LGBTIQA+ issues, including this community’s experience with eating disorders.

“We know that treating your discomfort with your body, your dysphoria, or your incongruence through disordered eating doesn’t solve the problem you’re experiencing,” he says. “It doesn’t reduce the distress that you’re feeling.”

While Kai’s teenage years were a struggle, he found a path to recovery. “It was amazing how quickly, upon starting to feel more congruent in the body I was living in, that it became more comfortable to nourish and care about it,” he says. “It is really easy to not care for the body you live in when it doesn’t feel permanent. As my body became more of a home for me, it became more important to take better care of myself.”

Today, Kai’s a sexologist and researcher focused on trans and gender-diverse health. Two in three trans young people have engaged in disordered eating behaviours, and Australia needs safer treatment options for the LGBTIQA+ community. In particular, Kai calls for more understanding that transitioning can play a key role in recovery.

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