More needs to be done for LGBTQI+ educators, families, Australian research shows

by Freya Lucas

February 22

Research conducted ahead of the 41st Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras shows that almost half a million LGBTQI+ community members in Australia (one in every four) are not comfortable discussing their sexuality and gender identity with their loved ones, friends or coworkers.

 

ANZ MARDI GRAS from Group Communications on Vimeo.

 

The research, commissioned by the ANZ bank in acknowledgement of their 13 year relationship with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, is of interest to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, with a growing body of discussion and research reflecting on the experiences of educators, children and families identifying as part of this community.

 

Inclusivity, for educators, children and families, is an important component of the National Quality Framework, with Quality Area Six asking ECEC educators to connect in a meaningful way with communities, and support diversity, inclusion and acceptance.

 

In a blog post on the topic, researcher Dr Red Ruby Scarlet said it was important to illustrate to children, in a gentle way, that bias hurts, and has no place in ECEC settings.

 

“To be welcomed into a culture that experiences discrimination is a lesson about how to welcome and be welcomed by diversity and difference.” Dr Scarlet said.

 

Key findings of the research were:

 

  • 84 per cent of the LGBTQI+ community feel there are parts of Australia where it is unsafe to identify as LGBTQI+, with 68 per cent of the non LGBTQI+ community also sharing this view

 

  • 68 per cent of Australians support efforts to improve equality for the LGBTQI+ community

 

  • LGBTQI+ community members are twice as likely to experience some form of harrasment, discrimination or prejudice because of their sexual orientation

 

  • 52 per cent of LGBTQI+ community members would not feel comfortable disclosing their sexuality in the workplace

 

Chair of the ANZ Diversity Council, Mark Hand, said that “being open about your whole identity is something that all Australians should be comfortable doing, yet research shows this isn’t the case”

 

To support the LGBTQI+ community, and to encourage visibility, ANZ have installed sculptures around Australia, “transforming Oxford St signs into beautiful works of art”. The intention behind the art, ANZ said, was to create signposts of an equal future of inclusivity for the LGBTQI+ community.

 

To view the collection of signs, please see here.

PRINT