Terminology

SEXUALITY: refers to a person’s sexual and romantic attraction to people. Some people are fluid in their sexuality, others have a type. 

HOMOPHOBIA: is the act of vilifying and discriminating against people based on their sexuality. It is illegal and can have long term negative impacts on individuals, their families and communities, such as: feelings of isolation, depression, fear, self-harm, negative impact on self-esteem/self-worth and disengagement from life.

CISGENDERISM: the act of discriminating or stigmatising non-cisgendered forms of expression.

SAFER SEX: it’s important to look after yourself and your partners by having safe sex and getting regular sexual health checks. See back of booklet for clinics.

Thea / Photographer: Gerwyn Davies
Peter / Photographer: Rhett Hammerton

Some of us are:

HETEROSEXUAL is a person who is attracted to a person of the opposite sex
GAY is a word traditionally used to describe men that love, are sexually attracted to, feel romantic towards or have sex with other men.
LESBIAN is a word that some people use to identify, it means women who have sex with are attracted to and/or love other people who are feminine identified.
BISEXUAL means a person who is attracted to both masculine and feminine identified people.
PANSEXUAL sexual and/or romantic attraction to people regardless of their gender expression.
ASEXUAL no or little sexual attraction to anyone. Being asexual does not mean a person cannot be romantically attracted to someone or enjoy intimate touch.
QUEER can be a broad, complex and non-specific term for sexual and gender freedom or diversity that is not heterosexual, hetero-normative, or gender-binary. Queer people may consider themselves somewhere on a spectrum of gender and/or sexual diversity, which may be changing often or over time.
POLYAMOROUS having more than one intimate or sexual partner, where all partners are aware of each other. Polyamory is not the same as cheating.

Voices from our community

BRADLEY’S STORY

“I’m an Arrente fella. I was born in Alice Springs, but I lived over in Western Australia too. I did my commercial cooking apprenticeship out on a mine site in the Kimberley’s. I was still young then and didn’t yet have the confidence to come out as a gay fella.

When I was 22 I got in an argument with my sister who then ‘outed’ me to my family. My parents called a big family meeting and we sat around a table where I had to tell them all I was gay. They all sort of knew as I was staying at my parent’s house and sharing a room with my boyfriend. I’d told them he was just a ‘friend’ who didn’t have a place to stay. My Mum was a bit upset for a while, she didn’t talk to me. She’s sort of gotten over it, but it’s never really talked about.

I was a bit frightened of what some of my family members would say if I came out. However I had some family with diverse genders and sexualities who really supported me.

Bradley / Photographer: Alexandra Hullah
When it was all out on the table, it felt like a big weight lifted off my shoulders. Beforehand I’d been shy and withdrawn, I’m much more confident now!

Lots of other Aboriginal fellas approach me, from both in town and out bush, wanting to subtly communicate to me about sexuality. They want to connect to know they are not alone, that there are other people to talk to and feel safe. We support each other no matter where we live.

It’s hard for fellas out bush; they might not be exposed to gay culture or be in a place where they can be themselves.”

~ Bradley Curtis

“I feel safe inside myself to be proud of who I am outside. I feel proud physically mentally and emotionally, which means I’m safe outside. I love my family for that.

If it wasn’t for my family and my culture, I wouldn’t be who I am. I hold my partner’s hand in public and that’s normal.

Being in love, holding hands, that’s normal, no matter if they’re lesbians, Sistergirls, Brotherboys, transgender … that’s normal. Racism, homophobia, and sexism hurts. Labels just hurt people; we are all humans with the same blood. With the help of my auntie’s family and friends, I felt alright. Good, safe, loved. I feel proud within myself. “ ~ Betty Sailor

“I’m Thea, I identify as queer. I prefer gender neutral pronouns (they/them/theirs). Queer to me means community, love, respect and inclusion. I grew up in Queensland and I remember feeling different from an early age and realised I was gay in my early teens but tried very hard to fit-in and hide it. I came out to my family when I was 21 and identified as Lesbian for a few years it never really felt right.

I became aware of queer identity and started to explore it, I found it fit with me: ethically, politically and socially.

I felt comfortable and confident for the first time in my life. Being queer informs every part of my life and our community brings me strength and happiness. Sometimes being diverse can be tough but our community is here to support us.” ~ Thea McDiarmid

Betty / Photographer: Alexandra Hullah

”Rob’s real life story”, Beyond Blue

“Stand Out: Against Homophobia in Schools”, Minus 18

“Jack (Your Story)”, NICHE IDAHO Campaign