Local LGBTQIA+ Issues

The Commonwealth Department of Health estimate that 11% of the Australian population have a diverse sexual orientation, sex or gender identity. This means that in the City of Busselton (population 38,000+) there may be up to 3,500 LGBTQIA+ people (and more than one out of every ten tourists!) Many cities and town around Australia have taken active steps to recognise and include LGBTQIA+ people policy development, community engagement and social planning, with formal diversity policies and engagement procedures, but this is yet to occur in regional WA.

Sadly due to a range of factors, all people living in regional areas have higher rates of illness and death than those living in capital cities, and LGBTQIA+ people living in regional WA face additional unique factors in accessing health care and services, making social connections, and maintaining their well-being.

  • LGBTQIA+ people living in rural and regional areas are less likely to be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity, due to fears of discrimination and privacy concerns.

  • Regional towns offers fewer services that have actively taken steps to education and train staff on issues relating to the LGBTQIA+ community.

  • Many LGBTQIA+ individuals rely on word of mouth of other LGBTQIA+ people for recommendations and feedback on whether venues and businesses are "safe" or not, and without being able to establish strong social connections between LGBTQIA+ people, many simply do not engage with businesses, services, community groups and health care.

  • A lack of access to specialised medical services, such as gender affirming care, leaves many LGBQTIA+ people with higher health care and travel costs, if they are able to access those services at all.

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