Supporting multicultural LGBTQ women from migrant backgrounds

Our Voices Changing Cultures

Building resistance, capacity and leadership in young LGBT women and non-binary people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds

MCWH worked with young LGBT women and non-binary people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds to build resistance, capacity and leadership. Funded by the HEY Grant and building on MCWH’s Understanding Sexualities Project, the project delivered a series of creative performance workshops culminating in a performance and panel discussion held at the Footscray Community Arts Centre in November 2015.

The sold-out show was attended by 80 and explored topics such as invisibility/visibility, mental health and wellbeing, concepts of ‘coming out’ and the idea of culture as a grounding force. The project prided itself on being ‘by and for’, involving LGBT women and non-binary people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds as participants as well as workshop facilitators and artists throughout the year. Read more here and here.

“I find that I can feel engaged with my sexuality without having to come out to my parents and be explicit about it.”

Understanding sexuality

Little information is available about the experiences and support needs of same-sex attracted women from immigrant and refugee communities in Australia. Similarly, there are still too few capacity-building initiatives for these communities around sexuality and sexual diversity.

The Understanding Sexualities project consulted with representatives from multicultural LGBTIQ groups, as well as relevant health and community professionals, to explore the impacts of cultural differences on supporting LGBTIQ individuals.

A key outcome of the project was the development of a half-day training for bilingual and bicultural workers, health professionals, community organisations and support services.

You can download Coming out, coming home or inviting people in? Supporting same-sex attracted women from immigrant and refugee communities (2011) in PDF or DOC format.

Contacts

For more information about the experiences of LGBTQ women from migrant backgrounds, you can read our news feed, which includes articles about diversity, same-sex marriage, mental health and intersecting idenities. To learn more about our training and other work we do, contact us by email or telephone +613 9418 0999.