Long time no talk - We're so sorry that it's been quiet around here! Truth is, we've been smashed with welcoming new YRG members, Youth Week in April, IDAHOBIT Day in May and more goodies to come! We're very excited to announce what's coming up in the near future, all of which you can get involved in!
Enough of excuses though, let's get to what we're all here to talk about, and that is, IDAHOBIT Day! For those who are reading and are not exactly sure what IDAHOBIT is, it's an acronym that stands for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia and was held on May 17 2019. Not only is it a day to stand in support of your LGBTIQ friends, family and colleague, but it is also a day of discussion to raise awareness and squash discrimination. IDAHOBIT is also important to shine a light on the experiences of young LGBTIQ people. It is important to build a safe environment for all youth so they can thrive and truly be themselves. By creating conversations, you can educate youth and reduce any barriers. Adopting strategies in schools and communities demonstrates acceptance and provides a safe space to talk about sexual identity.
This year, we wanted to provide a safe and supportive space for young people who either questioned, identified or knew someone who identified within the LGBTQ+ community in the Hunter to raise more awareness of what IDAHOBIT Day is all about. Our All 4 One Collective (LGBTIQ support group) decided that they wanted to screen a film, choosing the fabulous coming of age film, 'Love, Simon' and a massive 25 people rocked up - most of which weren't already engaged in headspace! We were lucky enough to have ACON Hunter come out and support us, shedding some light into what IDAHOBIT Day is all about, why it's important to recognize and honour the people who fought for LGBTIQ rights in the past and why it's so important to build community in regional NSW. Samara from ACON detailed the history of how LGBTIQ Australia came about and emphasizing that support is always there for the LGBTIQ community - and that asking for help is a strength! Hopefully we'll be seeing more of ACON in the future so that young people who enter our space can feel more supported! It certainly takes a village to raise a person and we hope that ACON can be part of our village.
As we all sat, I (Liz - Community Engagement Officer @ headspace Maitland) was suddenly reminded of the fact that a large group of young people living in regional NSW can all come together, watch a film about young LGBTIQ people, celebrate the community and feel safe in doing so. There is something so powerful in appreciating that win from the community.
Ultimately, IDAHOBIT is a day to challenge discrimination, celebrate pride and create safe spaces. By keeping lines of communication open, we can all play a role in supporting the LGBTIQ community and allow them to thrive when they feel visible.
All 4 One is headspace Maitland's LGBTIQ social group that meet up every second Wednesday from 3.30pm-5pm. It's a space for young people between 16-25 to feel like their most self without having to meet any expectations. Give us a call on 4931 1000 to find out when All 4 One will be running again. We hope to see you there!!