Our communities are under siege, and many feel lost, disillusioned, hurt, and disheartened, searching for “What Can I Do?” This is my post with some suggestions & resources for you, your friends & loved ones. xx Mama Alto
This post contains an introduction, some ACTIONS, and RESOURCES including links to Pro Bono Legal Advice and Crisis Hotlines. You can skip the preamble and head straight for the resources if that’s what you’re after, or you can have an introductory read first. Feel free to copy & paste, and share this around.
Now is the time for LGBTIQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer, questioning, and asexual people), GSD (gender & sex diverse people), and queer people, all our allies, and anyone who believes in democracy (especially representative democracy – with our parliamentary representatives having the job of voting in parliament to responsibly represent their constituency) or who believes that we are all equal human beings to STAND UP and TAKE ACTION.
Whilst not all LGBTIQA+, GSD, and queer people want marriage equality, for various political reasons, it is undoubtedly true that a harmful and divisive plebiscite campaign will be disastrous for the mental health and emotional wellbeing of our community. The “No” campaign, as we can already see, denigrates our humanity, questions our equality, and positions us as less valid and with less right to belong and exist as human beings.
Even some of you, whether in the LGBTIQA+, GSD & queer communities, or not, who oppose marriage equality, may be able to see the damage this campaign can cause – especially to our most vulnerable, including our youth (and elderly), and with a higher rate of suicide brought about by the homophobic, transphobic issues our vulnerable and our youth face, you can see how this campaign may result in many falling victim to self-harm, suicide, and violence from others.
Reach out to vulnerable LGBTIQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer, questioning, and asexual people), GSD (gender & sex diverse people), and queer people, who will bear the brunt of the “No” campaign – including dire consequences to mental health, emotional wellbeing, and potential verbal and physical threats, violence, abuse and discrimination. You can help to counter feelings of isolation and doubts over validity: we all have a right to belong and exist. Don’t feel as though your actions in empowering, emboldening, and empathising with queer people are powerless – nothing is too small – as two of my heroes say:
“Like in fairytales, small acts of kindness (as with small acts of cruelty) have epic consequences.”
– Moira Finucane
“Community is made of the accumulation of small acts of kindness, which can stop the death by a thousand cuts.”
– Daniel Witthaus
Sign the petition in protest to support Parliament directly voting, without a harmful plebiscite campaign – CLICK HERE->
Enrol to vote for the postal vote. We need all the votes we can get, with the “No” campaign already organised and ready to vote en masse via hate groups including the ACL and the far right. You only have till August 24. Do it now.
- ENROL for the ELECTORAL ROLL – CLICK HERE->
- ENROL for OVERSEAS VOTING – CLICK HERE->
- UPDATE your ADDRESS – CLICK HERE->
Contribute to fundraising for the High Court legal challenge against the postal vote. CLICK HERE->
PRO BONO LEGAL ADVICE
COMMUNITY & RESOURCES
EQUINOX Gender Diverse Health Centre: an initiative of VAC (Victorian AIDS Council) – a safe environment for gender diverse clients to obtain quality medical care. equinox.org.au
Out & About Community Visitors Scheme: connecting with older LGBTIQ people across Victoria – a volunteer based home visiting program. 0466 218 921, firstname.lastname@example.org
Q Life: nationwide counselling and referral service for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. 1800 184 527, 3pm to 12am every day. qlife.org.au
Rainbow Home Support: creating a support base for aging LGBTIQA+ communities. rainbowhomesupport.com.au
Switchboard: connect, support, sexuality, gender – a Victorian based telephone and web counselling, information and support service to assist lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people and their allies. 1800 184 527, 5pm to 10.30pm every day. switchboard.org.au
Transgender Victoria: works to achieve justice, equity, and quality health and community service provision for transgender people, challenge discrimination and facilitate social and legislative change. 03 9020 4642 transgendervictoria.com
PFLAG – Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: http://pflagaustralia.org.au
beyondblue (for anyone feeling depressed or anxious) – call 1300 22 4636 or chat online: https://www.beyondblue.org.au
headspace (mental health service for ages 12-25) – call 1800 650 890 or chat online: https://headspace.org.au
ReachOut.com (youth mental health service) – visit the website for info or use the online forum: https://au.reachout.com
Lifeline (support for anyone having a personal crisis) – call 13 11 14 or chat online: https://www.lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service (for anyone thinking about suicide) – call 1300 659 467