Queer youth struggle with govt visibility

·2-min read

Queer young Australians feel the federal government is ignoring their concerns as many struggle with work, education and poor mental health.

Monash University researchers are calling on the government to step up and fulfil their responsibility for consultation.

Queer people between 18 and 24 years old are 85 per cent more likely to feel pessimistic about working a meaningful job than their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts, studies by the university have found.

They are 21 per cent less likely to feel like they belong at their educational institution, and 33 per cent more likely to experience significant stress about interacting with other students.

Queer young people are 1.4 more times likely to rate their mental health as poor or very poor, and 71 per cent more likely to have sought but not received mental health support in the past two years.

Findings are based on a survey and interviews in 2021.

One non-binary interview participant, aged 20, lamented pre-election that it was almost like transgender people "don't exist" to the government.

"I think that there is a lot of struggle to actually get (the government) to really hear what people are trying to say. A lot of the time, it's treated as though we're not here," they said.

Another pointed to the Australian 2021 census as an example of exclusion - participants can indicate their gender as non-binary but statistics are still broken down into male or female categories.

"It becomes really disheartening when you work towards things, and you don't see that change happening," they said.

More work by all levels of government is urgently needed, report co-author Lucas Walsh said.

"While queer young people are well aware of the challenges faced by their community, their concerns are not being heard, especially by the Australian Government and particularly during this election," he said.

"We need to be doing more to create safer schools and in the provision of mental health and wellbeing support."

His report recommends more inclusive questions about gender and sexuality in processes like the census to develop more support services for the queer community.

Queer-inclusive workplace and classroom training is also recommended to address barriers faced by queer young people.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting