Kurongkurl Katitjin, Edith Cowan University
The ‘Breaking the Silence’ research project is one of the first to focus on the unique experiences of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ people living in Western Australia. Research focusing on the intersection of Indigeneity and gender/sexual diversity is severely lacking in Australia. This is the first survey to comprehensively capture the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ Western Australians. Previously, major research pertaining to LGBTIQ+ Australians rarely just focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander same sex attracted or gender variant individuals (Bonson, 2017; Dudgeon, et. al., 2017; Growing Up Queer, 2014; Hill, et. al., 2021; Uink, et. al., 2020; Whitton, et. al, 2015).
This summary report presents the key findings of a state-wide survey completed by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, living in Western Australia and identifying as LGBTIQ+. Findings about discrimination, homophobia and the ways in which participants are included and accepted within their own families and the wider community are presented.
The report also provides a focus on the positive aspects of participants’ lives; including how they experience pride and inclusion and a sense of belonging to their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and/or LGBTIQ+ communities.
This summary report has important information for organisations that provide health and social support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who identify as LGBTIQ+, including the extent to which diverse health, social and emotional wellbeing; education and community services meet the needs of participants.This report also includes a section describing how the findings from the community compare and contrast with those of workers in a range of health, social support and education services from the first phase of the study. (See: “Breaking the Silence: Insights from WA Services Working with Aboriginal/ LGBTIQ+ People,”).