Who we are does not define what we can do.
On 1 August 2013, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 was amended to make discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status against the law.
Despite this important step forward, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people in Australia still experience discrimination, harassment and hostility in many parts of everyday life; in public, at work and study, accessing health and other services and securing proper recognition of their sex in official documents.
The key issues about LGBTI people include:
- A large number of LGBTI people hide their sexuality or gender identity when accessing services (34 per cent), at social and community events (42 per cent) and at work (39 per cent). Young people aged 16 to 24 years are most likely to hide their sexuality or gender identity.
- LGBTI young people report experiencing verbal homophobic abuse (61 per cent), physical homophobic abuse (18 per cent) and other types of homophobia (9 per cent), including cyberbullying, graffiti, social exclusion and humiliation.
- 80 per cent of homophobic bullying involving LGBTI young people occurs at school and has a profound impact on their well-being and education.
- Transgender males and females experience significantly higher rates of non-physical and physical abuse compared with lesbians and gay men.
- Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are three times more likely to experience depression compared to the broader population.
- Around 61 per cent of same-sex attracted and gender-questioning young people said they experienced verbal abuse because of their sexuality, while 18 per cent reported experiencing physical abuse. Young men (70 per cent) and gender-questioning young people (66 per cent) were more likely than young women (53 per cent) to experience verbal abuse.
In 2016, Elvis has been selected as the ambassador for Joy 94.9 radio station scholarship program. He has made videos to promote equality and has also been an advocate for LGBTI rights. He has given various talks advising parents and young people how to safe and come out, he worked on projects that support young LGBTI community.
Elvis has been selected as an ambassador of Zine magazine, working alongside with other ambassadors/community leaders to create an online platform for diverse LGBTI community and young LGBTI migrants.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Australia since 9 December 2017. The legislation to allow same-sex marriage, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017, passed the Australian Parliament on 7 December 2017 and received royal assent from the Governor-General the following day. Whilst this is a huge achievement for equality in Australia, Marriage equality isn’t the end of the fight for equality for LGBTI Australians.