Nine in 10 young LGBTIQ+ Australians have struggled to express themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin, new research shows.
A shocking 98% reported that they had avoided attending events because of fear of judgement, according to a survey commissioned by Olay Australia, a partner of Minus18 and Mardi Gras.
The statistics, released for IDAHOBIT, highlight the discrimination and judgement still experienced and feared by many in the community.
Another study by Minus18 found that three quarters of young LGBTIQ+ people have been discriminated against.
Those who belong to multiple marginalised groups, such as LGBTIQ+ Indigenous people, may face double stigmas and judgements.
Podcaster and Out For Australia Change Maker of the Year Matika Little has joined Olay as an ambassador as the brand begins a big year of supporting the LGBTIQ+ community through its partnerships.
Based in Sydney, Little is a Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi woman from Wagga Wagga who has experienced challenges including domestic violence and mental health issues.
She said that everyone carries a ‘backpack’ filled by their experiences that affects their life.
“Largely, Indigenous Australians have more to carry around in their backpack… we have cultural obligations, the health gap, the education gap, and that impacts our life experiences,” she told Pink Advocate.
“IDAHOBIT is a really awesome day to be able to create conversation around what’s still happening around the world and even in Australia today in terms of injustices to our community.”
She said that challenges were doubled for Indigenous LGBTIQ+ people, who must seek services such as healthcare that are not just queer-friendly but culturally safe.
Little said that minorities such as queer and Indigenous communities have a strong record of supporting each other.
She said that other LGBTIQ+ people can support Indigenous communities through actively including them and working to understand issues that affect them.
“Seeking out our perspective when making decisions [is important],” Little said.
“The queer community has so many minorities within it, it’s important that we all get a seat at the table and a turn at the microphone.”
She noted that, just as any one queer person’s viewpoint cannot represent the whole community, input is needed from multiple Indigenous perspectives in decision-making.
Little said that diverse communities can come together to fight many battles, from self-confidence to HIV education.
“My hope for young queer Indigenous people today is that they also face their fears,” she said.
“Stand up, take up space, and say: ‘What I have to say matters.’”
Olay’s #GlowUpYourOwnWay campaign with Minus18 and Mardi Gras will celebrate and support Minus18’s program for LGBTIQ+ youth, contributing to Queer Formal, IDAHOBIT, Trans Awareness Week, and more.
The brand will work with Minus18 to host a series of awareness activities, while funding free resources and education packs for schools throughout Australia.