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Forums / Multicultural experiences / Do you speak Gay? That's so Gay!

Topic: Do you speak Gay? That's so Gay!

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Donte'
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Greece
    • LGBTI
    Donte' avatar
    845 posts
    26 December 2017
    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer+ (LGBTIQ+) people experience higher rates of depression and anxiety, and are at greater risk of suicide, than the broader community. Same-sex attracted Australians are 3 times more likely to experience depression, and twice as likely to experience an anxiety condition, than heterosexual Australians. 1 in 6 LGBTIQ+ young people in Australia has attempted suicide. This number is much higher and often undocumented in culturally and linguistically diverse communities as many do not disclose their sexual orientation and keep their sexual identity hidden due to fear of persecution, stigma, shame and guilt perpetuated by cultural or religious notions. LGBTIQ+ people from non-English speaking communities or newly-arrived migrants may face additional challenges, discrimination, marginalization, taboo based on cultural or religious prejudices and be more vulnerable and disadvantaged than the mainstream LGBTIQ+ Australians. This is especially true if they belong in a collectivist culture. People from these communities may feel more pressure to fit in with conventional ideas of being male or female. Many in religious communities feel pressured or are forced to marry a person of the opposite sex. Those who don't fit the mold can be subjected to ridicule, intimidation and even physical abuse and violence. This affects the mental health of not only the victim but also the rest of the family and people around that person. Today, there is an increasing acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people in society and greater visibility in the media and public life, and the recent same-sex marriage results and subsequent change of law in Australia indicates clearly that fact, however, many LGBTIQ+ people still experience discrimination, harassment and violence at work, school, church, temple, mosque, in their home and in social situations and various settings. Many LGBTIQ+ people and their families feel shame, fear, and the impact of stigma, not only in the countries were they migrated from, where they could had been persecuted, especially if homosexuality is still criminalized there, and is punished (in many cases by imprisonment or death penalty), but, also in their local communities here in Australia. If you, or someone you know experiences mental distress due to their sexual identity or are a family member or friend needing support and information please call the beyondblue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or visit beyondblue.org.au.
  2. blueskye
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Hong Kong
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blueskye avatar
    67 posts
    27 December 2017 in reply to Donte'

    One of my male friends is gay. He is also from Sri Lanka. He is one of the loveliest people.

    He had anxiety about coming out to his community, especially his parents because Sri Lanka is apparently not a very pro-gay community.

    Luckily, he has a lot of support here in Australia from his friends. His family didn't mind that he was gay. They said they weren't surprised when he told them.

    I am happy for my friend but I know that other people out there may not be as lucky.

    If you are not supported in whatever way you swing, just know that you have every right to like whatever you like.

    We're all special and meant to like different people. If we all liked the same thing/person, we wouldn't populate and would have died out zonks ago.

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Donte'
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Greece
    • LGBTI
    Donte' avatar
    845 posts
    27 December 2017 in reply to blueskye

    Hi blueskye,

    You are so right! I'm glad that your friend is supported here in Australia. Nice that he is one of the loveliest people also. I have met many LGBTIQ+ people who are Australian and others who come from a culturally and linguistically diverse background who have suffered a lot of injustice, discrimination and marginalization and have been significantly disadvantaged. I have also met some who had no issues at all being born LGBTIQ+ and always felt accepted and loved by their families and peers. I have met some lovely people from a variety of sexual orientations and ethnic backgrounds and religions as well. Some amazingly kind and caring atheists too! That's the beauty of people, their uniqueness and individuality that enriches the tapestry of life and society as no two people are ever the same. I can understand the anxiety your friend felt in coming out to his community as we are often judged more harshly and with different measures by our own people who may have set expectations about how one of the 'group' should behave in order to fit in (tribal, collectivist mentality). Many LGBTIQ+ people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds may be persecuted 'within and without' their communities. There are universal aspects of humanity and sexuality, such as being born LGBTIQ+ or having a heterosexual orientation. These are perceived in certain ways by the individual and others through the cultural, social, geographical, economic, generational/intergenerational and/or religious lenses within a specific group and during a certain time in history. Then, there is the individual (your friend) and their specific situation which despite the similarities, it will vary from any other human being and story on the planet. I agree with you, it is a basic human right to be free to express your sexuality and explore your identity and have pride about who you are and the way you were born no matter what your orientation. No one should have to suffer or treated differently on the basis of their sexuality, gender, ethnicity, spirituality etc. LGBTIQ+ people existed in all cultures, societies and religions throughout human recorded history and will always exist as long as humans exist as being born LGBTIQ+ like being born heterosexual is to be born human. There are supports available to help people who may experience difficulties impacting their mental health. This forum is a great start together with the beyondblue website and services offered. :)

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