A big part of our mission at Relationships Australia NSW is to support the LGBTIQ community, as well as their partners, families and friends affected by the issues they may face. This community comprises of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Intersex people, with 11 Australians out of 100 identifying themselves belonging to the LGBTIQ community.
Issues faced by LGBTIQ people
For LGBTIQ people, especially those who are still working through their identity, can experience a whirlwind of different emotions and thoughts as they try to get to grips with their feelings. From trying to cope with their own emotions, LGBTIQ people can often find themselves contending with the reactions and opinions of families and friends, not to mention issues in the workplace and society at large.
Such issues can take the form of bullying, discrimination, a feeling of isolation, fear of reactions, or the pressure that materialises when ‘coming out’. Relationship and family issues can often arise in the LGBTIQ community and Relationships Australia NSW is here to help people through them.
LGBTIQ people are at much greater risk of becoming depressed or feeling anxious compared with heterosexual people. Additionally, drug abuse, self-harm and thoughts of suicide can affect LGBTIQ people. Homosexual and bisexual people are up to three times more likely to become depressed than heterosexuals, and twice as likely to fall victim to anxiety.
Bullying and discrimination
Bullying is a big problem for LGBTIQ people. Approximately six in 10 have suffered from verbal taunts and abuse, with two in 10 admitting to being physically assaulted. Discrimination in the workplace still affects LGBTIQ people, despite this having been made completely illegal across Australia in 2013.
Indeed, one in 10 LGBTIQ employees actually quit their job after they were made to feel unwelcome, and half of this demographic try to keep their sexual orientation a secret in the workplace through fear of discrimination.
A new short film Red Flags and website aim to help LGBTIQ people learn the early warning signs of domestic violence. Produced by ACON, the film features Logie award winning actor Brenna Harding (Puberty Blues) and explores early indicators of domestic violence.
How Relationships Australia NSW can help
You can choose to attend counselling sessions to help you address any concerns you have, either alone or with family or friends. Online counselling is also available, either via chat or Skype.
Where to next?
When you make contact with Relationships Australia NSW, you will be talking to a trained, experienced professional who has a background in either psychology, social work, counselling or mediation.
If you feel that you’re affected by LGBTIQ issues, or know someone that could benefit from our services, please be sure to contact us to find out more. You can also call us on 1300 364 277.