Whilst Australia has become increasingly accepting of the LGBT community over recent years, many LGBT people still struggle with feeling different and not having anyone to speak to who understands them.
However, there are a plethora of LGBT groups, LGBT services, and LGBT organisations Australia who are on hand to offer their support to all members of the LGBT community in a variety of ways. Whilst some LGBT services are state-specific, others are Australia-wide, providing support for anyone who needs it.
Here are some of the most renowned LGBT groups and LGBT organisations Australia.
Start Out provides an online mentoring service for people of diverse sex, sexuality, or gender. It is a 100% free service that matches clients with a mentor who understands what they are going through. They are also in the process of creating an online community to give people of diverse sex, sexuality, or gender a sense of social inclusion.
QLife provides free, anonymous peer support for members of the LGBT community. As well as a myriad of resources and referrals, LGBT Qlife staff and volunteers are available to offer peer support via phone or webchat. QLife is a free LGBT service funded by the Australian government, and operating 365 days per year.
New South Wales-based Acon is the one of largest community-based LGBT organisations in Australia that focuses on health and HIV/ AIDS. As well as HIV prevention and support, their services cover a range of health-related issues that the LGBT community faces, such as mental health, sexual health, drugs and alcohol, and domestic violence.
As the name may suggest, Bi+ Australia focuses primarily on providing support to people who are attracted to more than gender. Their goal is to enhance and increase the acceptance, understanding, and inclusion of bisexuality and pansexuality in Australia, by offering ongoing support and counselling services, as well as other resources.
Sydney-based Dayenu specifically offer support to Jewish members of the LGBT community, as well as their parents, friends, family, and social circles. As well as providing educational materials, outreach, counselling, and support, they arrange a tempting calendar of social events, including movie nights, bowling, dinners, and pub nights for their members.
First Nations Rainbow
First Nations Rainbow aims to provide support for Australian and Torres Strait Islander people who identify as LGBTQI by searching for ways to reduce stigma, prejudice, and discrimination.
Furthermore, they help the wider community to understand the needs and strengths of First Nations LGBTQI people, and arrange a series of events that bring their community together.
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Operating under the goal of keeping families together, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays in a non-profit voluntary organisation that provides help, support, and information to gay people and their friends and families.
They offer a plethora of resources including bi-monthly support meetings, and a library of educational books, videos, articles, and pamphlets.
Hosts of the Mardi Gras Film Festival and the Queer Screen Film Test, Queer Screen run a range of workshops and events for LGBT filmmakers and audiences. Through film festivals and other activities, they promote inclusion, diversity, and social justice for LGBTQI+ communities.
Shequ aims to provide support to LGBT+ women from ethnic backgrounds through a range of events. An array of workshops helps members of their community to learn new skills, whilst picnic and other social activities offer the opportunity to build friendships between people who are going through similar things.
Twnety10 works across New South Wales to provide a broad range of specialised services to young people aged 12-25 who are members of the LGBTQI+ community. They offer counselling, social support, mental health support, housing, and more. Furthermore, they offer inclusivity consulting and training to organisations and service providers.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association
This not-for-profit organisation is dedicated to providing professional support and development to members of the LGBT+ community in Sydney. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association evolved from a time when the LGBT community was less accepted, with the goal of providing them with a safe space to network with like-minded professionals.
Today they continue to provide opportunities for LGBT+ business people to learn, network, and promote their services.