Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
And it’s more important than ever to be talking about this. Across the world, people are increasingly forced to flee their homes because they are persecuted for who they are and who they love.
Brunei is an example of a country where people are vilified because of their sexual orientation. Up until this month, Brunei had the death penalty for gay sex. Only in the last few weeks have the Brunei Government announced it will extend a moratorium on the death penalty to offences under the new penal code. But even if the death penalty is not enforced, men who have sex with other men can still be punished by up to 100 lashes or a lengthy prison sentence in Brunei.
This is just one country. Just one example of the kind of depraved treatment the LGBTQIA+ community faces. Of course we deplore this homophobia. Of course we must offer anyone – identifying as homosexual, transsexual or otherwise – refuge in our country.
Once in Australia, though, there are still more barriers to safety. Here is a list of the shockingly intrusive and inappropriate questions that asylum seekers were asked by Australia to prove they were gay.
At the Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health, we support the human rights of every individual. We recognise the extreme hardships culturally diverse LGBTQIA+ people face. And we are committed to leading projects and developing resources that support the LGBTQIA+ community. To that end, we are currently seeking a Community Engagement & Projects Officer who will work specifically with theLGBTIQA+ migrant and refugee community.
We have also created Rainbow Connections, a creative platform for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to share their experiences in relation to health, identity, gender, relationships, culture, racism and discrimination.
So on this day, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we champion inclusion, and strive to build a better world for the LGBTQIA+ community.
To find out what you can do, view the workplace and school resources on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia website.