ACON (formerly the AIDS Council of NSW) has released an excellent guide for health professionals on how to sensitively work with LGBTI Australians during the marriage equality debate.

Some of the advice includes:
  • Acknowledge and be aware of the potential impact of the public debate on clients.
  • Indicate on your website and in your printed materials that your service does not discriminate and welcomes all people and explicitly include LGBTI people in this.
  • Establish visible cues of inclusion such as displaying a poster for QLife, the National LGBTI Helpline, and supply LGBTI resources.
  • Develop relationships with your local and statewide LGBTI health services.
  • Build your capacity to assess if/when your LGBTI clients require specialist LGBTI support.
  • Provide a list of referral options and communicate support pathways e.g. on websites and client newsletters.
  • Ensure your staff members have been appropriately trained in LGBTI inclusive practice and that your internal policies are reviewed to ensure they are inclusive.
  • Revise intake forms and paperwork to make sure they are inclusive. Include appropriately worded sexuality and gender indicators.
  • Increase positive messages for LGBTI clients.
  • Be a visible ally – put a sign in client areas, wear a badge or pin, actively talk about being an ally to others, and attend LGBTI inclusion events.
  • Call out non-inclusive language or behavior when comfortable doing so.
  • Be vigilant of behaviour and of conversations that might be harmful, and ensure staff know procedures for handling such incidents.

Download the full PDF Guide

Birchtree Centre is an LGBTI friendly service and a supporter of marriage equality in Australia.