Home Is Where Our Story Begins

Home Is Where Our Story Begins: Family, community, and belonging for sexuality and gender diverse CALD people looks at the lived experiences of sexuality and gender diverse (SGD) people in Greater Western Sydney, who are also culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD), in relation to family and community relationships, and the Marriage Equality Debate.  

Thank you to everyone who shared their story as part of this study. Without you this project would not have been possible. 

The Home Is Where Our Story Begins report is now available for you to read. The report includes an executive summary, that highlights the key findings and themes. For some people who shared their stories with us, their families were an amazing source of support, while other people told us that when they had shared their identities with their families, they had been met with negative reactions and silence. 

Many of our participants felt a disconnection between their cultural identity and their sexuality and gender. They felt they had to choose between living in the inner city and having access to sexuality and gender diverse services and community or remain in Western Sydney and be connected to family and culture.  

The report highlighted the need for community wide change to make sure that sexuality and gender diverse CALD people are safe and supported. Discrimination and family violence are social problems and every one of us has a role to play in making our communities safe for everyone.  

This report was launched at a virtual IDAHOBIT event. To hear the researchers talk more about this project, and hear from two families in Western Sydney sharing their personal experiences, check out the recording of this launch.

What can I do to be part of making sure my community is safe for everyone? 

The Home Is Where Our Story Begins report has a number of recommendations for strategies we believe will make the most difference in our communities. Here are some things you can do right now:  

If you’re part of the sexuality and gender diverse community: 

  • Share this report to help keep the conversation going about the needs of sexually and gender diverse community members in Western Sydney.
  • Get involved in and support one of the many amazing sexuality and gender diverse CALD community groups that are doing incredible work, like: 
    SheQu: a community organisation that helps supports and promotes LGBT+ women from CALD backgrounds 
    FOBGays: a grassroots community network for family and friends of South Asian LGBTIQA+ peoples
    Trikone Australasia: a Sydney-based community group for people of South Asian descent who identify as LGBT
    Sydney Queer Muslims: a not for profit organisation dedicated to providing social support, education and resources to individuals and families in NSW
    You can read more about other fantastic community and social groups in Western Sydney specifically by visiting ACON’s Western Sydney page
  • Listen to the experiences of your SGD CALD loved ones, and ask them how you can provide support. 
  • If you are part of a SGD community group, and you notice that there are very few CALD members, look at how you can be more actively inclusive, for example by establishing an anti-racism policy and reach out to SGD CALD community members and groups to invite their involvement.
  • If you are part of the SGD community and currently or have lived in Western Sydney, take part in the ACON Resilience Survey to help build even greater understanding of the needs of SGD communities in Western Sydney.
  • Take a moment to thank the people in your life who support you, whether that’s family of origin, chosen family, friends or community, and look at what you can do to be that supportive person for somebody else.
  • If you are concerned that someone you care about may be experiencing intimate partner violence, there are ways that you can intervene and support the person. You can read more about how you may be able to intervene to support your friends in our Bystander Toolkit.

If you are a service provider:  

  • Build your connections with sexuality and gender diverse specialist services and multicultural services in your area- collaborate to ensure that your service is welcoming and knowledgeable about the issues that SGD CALD people who access your service might be facing.  
  • Sign up to The Welcome Here Project. Welcome Here supports businesses and services throughout Australia to create and promote environments that are visibly welcoming and inclusive of sexuality and gender diverse communities. 
  • Join Pride in Health & Wellbeing for year round support in the provision of sexuality and gender diverse inclusive services.
  • Engage in training to increase your organisation’s awareness and knowledge about sexuality and gender diverse communities. ACON Pride Training is here for your needs.
  • Familiarise yourself with LGBTQ+ services, referral pathways and resources in the local area and broader Sydney , including online.
  • If you are a clinician, learn about how to strengthen the clinical care you deliver to trans patients and clients at TransHub.
  • Learn about the relationships of SGD people and how to offer support through Say It Out Loud’s Professionals section and Improving Your Service page.
  • Join your local LGBTIQ Inclusion Network (contact your local council for help finding a Network).
  • If you’d like to find out more about or join the NSW LGBTIQ DFV Interagency, contact the co-convenor Eloise at elayard@acon.org.au

We will continue to update this page with more resources as they become available, so please bookmark this page!  

Home is Where Our Story Begins: Family, community, and belonging for sexuality and gender diverse CALD people was a collaboration between the NSW LGBTIQ Domestic and Family Violence Interagency, ACON and Western Sydney researchers. This project was supported through a City of Parramatta Council Community Grant.