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PRIDE: Why and How We Champion the LGBTQIA+ Community

PRIDE: TEAM TESTIMONIALS

Our team has STRONG core values that we live, breathe and celebrate. Part of this is creating a safe, inclusive safe for ALL clients that walk through our doors. We CHAMPION the LGTBQIA+ community in our mission to impact & inspire together. We seek to embrace and drive change, always.

With Sydney hosting World Pride this month, and Mardi Gras just passed, we thought it was about time our team has provided some testimonials to show you how.

PRIDE – noun. a feeling of honour and self-respect; a sense of personal worth. excessive self-esteem; conceit. a source of pride. satisfaction or pleasure taken in one’s own or another’s success, achievements, etc (esp in the phrase take (a) pride in). I hope that one day it will no longer be necessary to commemorate Pride Month, in the sense that any difference will be part of normality.

“I am a strong believer in being an ally for those that identify as LGBTQIA+. Growing up in our more modern age, I was happy and fortunate enough to see friends and family open up about their preferences and being able to publicly show it and be supported. For me, being able to support another person, however they identify, is me supporting them to be their true selves and living the life they want. My goal is to make those I come into contact feel as comfortable and safe as possible. I believe everyone supporting pride is doing something so important, by supporting pride you support our society in trying to make everyone feel as equal and welcomed as possible.”

Pride for me means celebration but it is also a symbol of resistance. As a queer afro-latino, I believe that is always important to acknowledge the ones who came before me and led the path so I could celebrate Pride today. The initial Pride celebrations were actually riots fighting for liberation and freedom, led by trans women of colour, and that needs to be remembered when celebrating Pride. My best experience with Pride was when my favourite Brazilian drag queen performed in my home state, Paraiba – Brazil. It was such a fun night and I can’t wait to celebrate Pride there again. I’ve been living in Australia for four years now and Sydney’s Mardi Grass is definitely in my list of things to do! I can’t wait to have the opportunity to be a part of one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the world. Happy Pride!”

“I have two family members who are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. They are my cousins. I have loved them from when there were babies and do not love them any less now that they have “come out”. I believe in the importance of family, no matter what. They are the same people I have grown up with and the same people who will always be my family. It is important to me that they have the same rights and are treated just like every other person in the family. I believe that my cousins should be able to express themselves and love who they want without fear of judgement or stigma. Everyone deserves to be accepted, regardless of their sexual orientation, and I’m proud to stand by my cousins and everyone in the community. I want them to feel safe and accepted and to know that they will always have my love and support.”

“Growing up in a small town over 20 years ago I was surrounded by conservative ideologies and not a lot of diversity. Although surrounded by this, it never translated well to me. I have a strong sense of right and wrong. And when people prioritise their beliefs, traditions and ideologies above their peers and their community, it is horribly wrong. It is totally absent of humanity and respect. Everyone deserves to love and be loved without fear of judgement, discrimination and stigma. I pay my unwavering respect to the LGBTQIA+ community, past and present, for the tireless fighting that has been and will be done. The strength to overcome hardship and fight for the future of their community and peers, like all advocates and activists alike, is sensational and worth celebrating. We’re not there yet, but I’m glad that the LGBTQIA+ community has events and avenues to celebrate the history, and the future of their community. Happy Pride!”

To the LGBTQIA+ community: We see you, we hear you, we love you & we support you.

 

Sydney World Pride is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the strong and valued LGBTQIA+ community in Australia. It seeks to acknowledge and to raise awareness about the challenges faced by members of this community, past and present.

There is one particular area of hardship that we as an industry feel closely, and we know this feeling is shared amongst the community. That is the accessibility to safe and inclusive allied healthcare services for LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Despite the progress that has been seen in recent years, research has continually shown that members of the LGBTQIA+ community experience difficulty in gaining access to safe, welcoming, inclusive healthcare services and positive outcomes when compared to their heterosexual and cisgender peers. This of course is due to a myriad of reasons that the healthcare industry has yet to overcome. This includes discrimination, stigma, and lack of understanding or training among healthcare providers – this can be in their language, their treatment offerings, and ignorance. Frankly, it is extremely disappointing.

We often hear that healthcare providers are hesitant to adapt to change. It is so important to educate and be educated on the needs and challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals. Healthcare providers need to ensure that they are offering high-quality, evidence-based care. Quality care cannot be provided without having in depth knowledge on the impact of discrimination, unique mental health challenges, gender-related care, and how to be culturally competent in considering diversity. It is not only knowing though, it is knowing AND understanding. Central to this is having empathy for others. In healthcare, there is no one answer for every person. Everyone is different and requires careful consideration of their issues, challenges and presentations. This also includes acknowledging the legal and social barriers that may prevent LGBTQIA+ individuals from accessing healthcare including discrimination in employment, housing, etc.

As allied health professionals, we are not hesitant to adapt to change. As mentioned above, we embrace and drive change. We champion the community. Our practitioners present with their pronouns, we have the option for pronouns in our client files, we upskill in our language, and we keep up to date with how to provide a safe and accessible environment for the community. Our clinics are physically and culturally welcoming to LGBTQIA+ clients. We have signage on our clinic door and PhysioWest cars to promote our inclusivity of LGBTQIA+ identities, we provide gender-neutral bathrooms, we upskill our team to use inclusive language and avoid assumptions about patients’ gender or sexual orientation, we often post and make a point to referrers and colleagues that we champion the community – it is so important to us to be a positive part of pride, all year round.

Remember – LOVE ALWAYS WINS. Happy Pride.

Do you have a story that connects you to pride? We would love to hear it. Comment below and share your story! If you, a peer, a colleague or family member could benefit from reading this blog please share it with them.

If you’re a client in need of safe, inclusive and welcoming health care, we would love to see you! Book an appointment online via the link below or in the top right corner.

 

 

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