This is the third in a four-part podcast telling the story of three people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community of the Wimmera.
Previously, Tom, Lily and Wanda have shared their experiences of the region and the affect bullying and casual homophobia and transphobia has on mental health.
In this episode they shared their decision to stay or leave the Wimmera.
Episode three: Stay or go
Tom Dryburgh, 22, said while he loves the Wimmera he was only able to come out as gay after leaving the area and going overseas to a place no-one knew him.
His story is not uncommon.
While many LGBTQ people such as Tom flee the Wimmera, Lily is unable to leave for medical reasons.
Wanda, however, took the opposite journey, finding her true home hundreds of kilometres away from the bright and accepting lights of Sydney.
Why the right words matter
FOR many, terms used but LGBTIQ people can be foreign, we’ve put together an explainer of some common terms.
Sex: The term refers to biology and sex assigned to someone at birth. It does not always match someone’s gender.
Gender: One’s sense of self, what they identify as.
Trans: The term trans is sometimes used as an umbrella term for anyone whose gender characteristics differ from societal expectations – meaning their gender doesn’t match their sex.
For example a person classed as male at birth, their sex, who’s gender is female might describe herself as a trans woman, or a woman.
Gender diverse: Gender diverse people include people who identify as agender, having no gender; bigender, both a man and a woman; genderqueer or fluid, having shifting genders; or as non-binary, neither a man or a woman.
Misgendering: Misgendering is the term used for describing someone with a pronoun or language that doesn’t match how they identify.
Why does it matter? Everyone one likes to be recognised for who they are, misgendering someone takes that away from them and can indicate they are not supported in their real identity.
All this is new? No, people have been undergoing sexual reassignment surgery since 1951. People living as genders other than their birth sex have been recorded back to ancient civilisations.
Help is available
Headspace Horsham have recently opened their doors as a safe space for all youth.
They are working to create an LGBTIQ inclusive space where young people can be supported and find resources.