Prompted by two separate events involving the Australian sporting world, Senator Penny Wong reminded the Australian public that ‘homophobia is never acceptable’ in her recent speech to the Senate. Australian champion swimmer, Ian Thorpe’s struggle with his sexuality and publically coming out as gay, served as a reminder of the difficulty many young people face negotiating their sexuality and/or gender diversity in heteronormative or homophobic environments. Senator Wong referred to a recent report authored by University of Western Sydney researchers, ‘Growing up Queer’ (Robinson, Bansel, Denson, Ovenden, Davies, 2014) which was a collaboration with Twenty10 incorporating the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service NSW and the Young and Well CRC. The report is an investigation into the experiences of young people who identify as gender and sexuality diverse across a broad range of issues such as identity, health and wellbeing, education, technology, and access to services.
Senator Wong drew attention to the ‘sad statistics’ from the research findings that almost two thirds of young people had experienced overt homophobia or transphobia, 64% had been verbally abused, 18% had been physically abused, and 32% had experienced other forms of prejudice and hatred. 41% of young people had thought about self-harm, 42% had thought about suicide, 33% had harmed themselves, and 16% had attempted suicide.
Comments from AFL commentator, Brian Taylor, whose recent homophobic slur broadcast about a player’s hand wave to the crowd during Channel Seven’s Saturday Night Footy panel show, serve as testimony to the everyday homophobia Senator Wong was speaking against both on the sporting field, across the education, health and other public sectors.
Download the report:
The Australia Forum on Sexuality, Education and Health aims to brings together researchers, practitioners, community leaders and policy makers from across the fields of sexuality, education and health. The goal is to discuss and debate contemporary issues and concerns, build and consolidate networks, and develop joint projects and initiatives together.
Bringing together a range of people across Australia, the Forum is led by Professor Peter Aggleton (Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Australia).
The Forum’s founding members include
Kath Albury (UNSW Australia), Steve Bell (UNSW Australia), Paul Byron (UNSW Australia), Kellie Burns (University of Sydney), Cristyn Davies (University of Sydney), Gary Dowsett (La Trobe University), Angela Dwyer (QUT), Tania Ferfolja (University of Western Sydney), Daniel Marshall (Deakin University), David McInnes (University of Western Sydney), Kane Race (University of Sydney), Mary Lou Rasmussen (Monash University), Kerry Robinson (University of Western Sydney), Elizabeth Stephens (University of Queensland), Jodie Taylor (Griffith University) and Jackie Ullman (University of Western Sydney).
Together with colleagues and supporters from a range of community groups and non-statutory agencies, AFSEH works to enhance the quality of discussion and debate on issues of sex, sexuality and relationships.
An AIDS 2014 conference independent affiliated event
Your last chance to sign up (advance registration required)
Where? William Angliss Institute Conference Centre, 555 La Trobe Street, Melbourne 3000
When? 10:00am–4:30pm Friday 18 July 2014
Register here: https://csrh.arts.unsw.edu.au/event/featured/conferences/
AFAO and the Centre for Social Research at UNSW Australia warmly invite you to a Special Reception with drinks and canapés to celebrate the joint launch of two flagship publications on the Australian response to HIV.
The Australian HIV Prevention Response. Special edition of the journal AIDS Education and Prevention edited by Peter Aggleton and Susan Kippax.
HIV and the enabling environment: Australia and our region. Special edition of HIV Australia focusing on HIV and the enabling environment
Download here http://www.afao.org.au/library/hiv-australia
When? Wednesday 23 July 2014, 5.15–7.00pm
Where? AFAO, G’day! Welcome to Australia Networking Zone, AIDS 2014 Global Village, Melbourne Conference Centre. Admission free
With music by the Acacia Quartet