About ‘LGBTI’

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You might have heard people speaking about the letters ‘LGBTI’ in your work or your community. If this is your first time learning about LGBTI, welcome!

What is ‘LGBTI’?

In Australia, the Commonwealth Government uses the initials ‘LGBTI’ to refer collectively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex.

These five distinct but sometimes overlapping groupings are part, but not all, of what we mean when we speak about ‘LGBTI’ communities/populations.

Why and how does the Alliance use ‘LGBTI’?

The hands of Crystal Johnson, a Sistergirl from the Tiwi Islands.

The hands of Crystal Johnson, a Sistergirl from the Tiwi Islands.

The category of ‘LGBTI’ people and populations is now recognised by the Commonwealth Government in some federal legislation, policies, and programs. From 1 August 2013, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 has provided federal protection from both direct and indirect discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, relationships status, gender identity, and intersex status. ‘LGBTI’ people are also recognised as a special needs group in the Aged Care Act 1997.

Historically, the category of ‘LGBTI’ was promoted by the Alliance and some of our Member Organisations in efforts to create greater inclusion at a national level. This formal recognition of ‘LGBTI’ people and populations has helped the Alliance to raise the concerns of those who have face historical exclusion and marginalisation, when working at a national level with government and professional bodies. We also recognise its limitations.

The Alliance is aware that many people and communities have additional ways of describing their distinct histories, experiences, and needs beyond the five letters in ‘LGBTI’. For this reason, the Alliance considers people and populations beyond those letters when conducting consultations to learn more about your needs when giving national advice.

At the Alliance today, we see the use of ‘LGBTI’ as a strategic choice with historical roots in the concerns of our members. Our understanding of ‘LGBTI’ continues to change and mature alongside our partnerships with the people and communities that make up the Alliance.

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